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In the present work, Titanium dioxide (TiO2) micro–nanostructured thin films are deposited by a cold atmospheric plasma jet on carbon fiber substrates. The surface morphology, grain size, and structure phase of TiO2 thin films are investigated by scanning electron microscopic (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Raman spectrum. As the discharge voltage increased from 5 to 15 kV, the size of these TiO2 particles decreased from 2 to 3 μm to less than 1 μm. The XRD and Raman spectroscopic results show TiO2 on the carbon fiber surface prepared by atmospheric plasma jet is at the mixture phase of anatase and rutile. We also investigated the adhesion and proliferation assays of MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts on the samples. The surface with smaller TiO2 particles deposited on carbon fiber is more appropriate for attachment of preosteoblasts. Furthermore, the highest proliferation of MC3T3-E1 was found on a sample with smaller TiO2 particles after incubation. Our data suggest that the increased roughness fosters cell attachment and proliferation on the surface of TiO2/carbon fibers.
In this work, two types of zinc adipate β-nucleating agents, Adi-Zn(OH)2 (1:1) and Adi-ZnO (1:1), for polypropylene (PP) were prepared and their performances were evaluated and compared with commercial β-nucleating agent (named CNA). Results showed that Adi-Zn(OH)2 (1:1) was more effective in promoting PP to form β-crystals and improving the impact strength of PP in the range of nucleating agent addition (0–0.4 wt%). Based on these findings, the ratio of adipic acid to zinc hydroxide and the nonisothermal crystallization kinetics of the optimum ratio of adipic acid to zinc hydroxide were systematically studied; results showed that at 0.2 wt%, Adi-Zn(OH)2 (1:2), the nucleated PP displayed the highest impact strength, which was 2.6 times that of pure PP and 42% higher than that of CNA. Besides, Adi-Zn(OH)2 (1:2) could also afford to induce the formation of a high content of β-crystals and shorten the crystallization half time (t1/2) and accelerate the crystallization of PP.
To determine whether neighbourhood supermarket and convenience store availability and broader built environment context are associated with food purchasing behaviour in a national population.
We used observational data to perform a cross-sectional study of food purchases for US households in 2010. We used three-level mixed-effect regression models to determine whether the associations between the number of neighbourhood supermarkets and convenience stores and the self-reported annual household expenditures for fruits and vegetables were affected by regional destination accessibility, neighbourhood destination diversity, availability of neighbourhood destinations and neighbourhood street connectivity.
Metropolitan statistical areas (n 378) in the USA.
Households (n 22 448).
When we controlled for broader built environment context, there was no significant association between availability of neighbourhood supermarkets and expenditures on fruits and vegetables; instead, we observed an inverse association between the number of convenience stores and expenditures for fruits (P = 0·001). The broader built environment context was associated with food purchase, although the magnitude was small: (i) higher regional destination accessibility was associated with higher expenditures for fruits (P < 0·001); (ii) higher neighbourhood destination diversity was associated with lower expenditures for vegetables (P = 0·002); and (iii) higher neighbourhood street connectivity was associated with higher expenditures for fruits (P < 0·001).
The broader built environment factors contributed to understanding how people use neighbourhood food stores. However, there was only a small relationship between the broader environment context and fruit and vegetable expenditures. Policy interventions that focus exclusively on increasing the availability of neighbourhood supermarkets likely will not promote fruit and vegetable consumption.
Ethanolamine (Etn) contained in milk is the base constituent of phosphatidylethanolamine and is required for the proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells and bacteria, which is important for maintenance of the gut microbiome and intestinal development. The present study investigated the effect of Etn on intestinal function and microbiome using 21-d-old Sprague–Dawley rats treated with 0, 250, 500 and 1000 μm Etn in drinking water for 2 weeks immediately after weaning. Growth performance, intestinal morphology, antioxidant capacity and mucosal immunity, as well as gut microbiota community composition, were evaluated. Metagenomic prediction and metabolic phenotype analysis based on 16S RNA sequencing were also carried out to assess changes in metabolic functions. We found that weaned rats administered 500 μm Etn enhanced mucosal antioxidant capacity, as evidenced by higher superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels in the jejunum (P<0·05) compared with those in the control group. Predominant microbes including Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Elusimicrobia and Tenericutes were altered by different levels of Etn compared with the control group. An Etn concentration of 500 µm shifted colonic microbial metabolic functions that are in favour of lipid- and sugar-related metabolism and biosynthesis. Etn also altered the metabolic phenotypes such as anaerobic microbial counts, and oxidative stress tolerance at over 250 µm. This is the first report for a role of Etn in modifying gut microbiota and intestinal functions. Our findings highlighted the important role of Etn in shaping gut microbial community and promotes intestinal functions, which may provide a better insight of breast-feeding to infant’s gut health.
Shot-peened CM400 maraging steel was used to study the mechanism of enhanced notch fatigue properties of ultra-high strength materials. After shot peening, the specimen surface became rougher, but the transversal machining traces were reduced. The yield strength was slightly improved while the ultimate tensile strength and hardness maintained constant; as a result, the fatigue limit was promoted by about 1.5 times. The nucleated sites of the fatigue fracture were partly changed from the surface to subsurface/interior of the specimen. To further analyze the influencing factors of fatigue properties, the fatigue damage process may be resolved to two aspects: (a) fatigue damage rate affected by shear deformation and (b) fatigue damage tolerance controlled by the dilatation fracture process. Considering the stress state near the notch tip, the hydrostatic stress and maximum shear stress are considered for better understanding these two aspects. It is observed that the fatigue damage tolerance increased while the fatigue damage rate decreased after shot peening. Therefore, the notch fatigue properties of CM400 maraging steels can effectively be improved.
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have great potential in regenerative medicine, including cell replacement therapies and disease modelling in vitro. However, with this potential comes several challenges, including clinical safety, reprogramming and differentiation efficiency, and compromised functionality of differentiated cell types after transplantation. Many of these issues arise from imprecise control of cell fate. With large-scale sequencing and genome-editing technologies we can now precisely manipulate the genome, which has expanded our knowledge of functional cell types and cell identity. These technologies may improve our efforts in generating iPS-derived therapeutic cells and in development of therapies for human diseases.
Hydroxytyrosol (HT) is a major polyphenolic compound found in olive oil with reported anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities. However, the neuroprotective effect of HT on type 2 diabetes remains unknown. In the present study, db/db mice and SH-SY-5Y neuroblastoma cells were used to evaluate the neuroprotective effects of HT. After 8 weeks of HT administration at doses of 10 and 50 mg/kg, expression levels of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes I/II/IV and the activity of complex I were significantly elevated in the brain of db/db mice. Likewise, targets of the antioxidative transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 including p62 (sequestosome-1), haeme oxygenase 1 (HO-1), and superoxide dismutases 1 and 2 increased, and protein oxidation significantly decreased. HT treatment was also found to activate AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), sirtuin 1 and PPARγ coactivator-1α, which constitute an energy-sensing protein network known to regulate mitochondrial function and oxidative stress responses. Meanwhile, neuronal survival indicated by neuron marker expression levels including activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein, N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor and nerve growth factor was significantly improved by HT administration. Additionally, in a high glucose-induced neuronal cell damage model, HT effectively increased mitochondrial complex IV and HO-1 expression through activating AMPK pathway, followed by the prevention of high glucose-induced production of reactive oxygen species and declines of cell viability and VO2 capacity. Our observations suggest that HT improves mitochondrial function and reduces oxidative stress potentially through activation of the AMPK pathway in the brain of db/db mice.
Writing in language tests is regarded as an important indicator for assessing language skills of test takers. As Chinese language tests become popular, scoring a large number of essays becomes a heavy and expensive task for the organizers of these tests. In the past several years, some efforts have been made to develop automated simplified Chinese essay scoring systems, reducing both costs and evaluation time. In this paper, we introduce a system called SCESS (automated Simplified Chinese Essay Scoring System) based on Weighted Finite State Automata (WFSA) and using Incremental Latent Semantic Analysis (ILSA) to deal with a large number of essays. First, SCESS uses an n-gram language model to construct a WFSA to perform text pre-processing. At this stage, the system integrates a Confusing-Character Table, a Part-Of-Speech Table, beam search and heuristic search to perform automated word segmentation and correction of essays. Experimental results show that this pre-processing procedure is effective, with a Recall Rate of 88.50%, a Detection Precision of 92.31% and a Correction Precision of 88.46%. After text pre-processing, SCESS uses ILSA to perform automated essay scoring. We have carried out experiments to compare the ILSA method with the traditional LSA method on the corpora of essays from the MHK test (the Chinese proficiency test for minorities). Experimental results indicate that ILSA has a significant advantage over LSA, in terms of both running time and memory usage. Furthermore, experimental results also show that SCESS is quite effective with a scoring performance of 89.50%.
In this paper, the influence of the electron flux limiter fe on hohlraum plasmas is studied by using the two-dimensional code LARED-H, and a method to experimentally determine fe via the motion of the M-band emission region in Au hohlraum is proposed. From our simulations, the limited free streaming flux may dominates the heat conduction in the regions with steep temperature gradient, including the laser deposition region, the flux-heated overcritical region, and the laser channel boundary between the hot laser plasmas and the surrounding radiation ablated plasmas, while these are important X-ray emission regions. Hence, the choosing of fe may influence the wall plasma expansion and the laser spot motion, and further influence the motion of the emission regions. From our study, the motion of the M-band (>1.5 keV) emission region is sensitive to fe when the limited free streaming flux dominates the heat conduction of the wall plasma expansion region, and so it is possible to determine fe via the motion of the M-band emission region. In this work, the model used in our simulations is taken from the wall and laser spot motion experiments done by Huser et al. (2009).
Male and female Schistosoma japonicum worms have dissimilar appearances in their final host. In this study, a morphometric and morphological assessment of whole worms derived from unisexual and mixed infections in mice was conducted using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Worms from mixed infections showed significant morphological changes between 15 and 25 days post-infection (PI). On the fifteenth day PI, 33% of males had formed the conspicuous gynecophoric canal, but only 8% of them had testicular lobes containing a few germinative cells; 13% of females had incipient ovaries with a few immature ovarian cells inside. On the twentieth day PI, the testicular lobes contained more germinative cells in all male worms, while female worms presented vitelline glands. On the twenty-fifth day PI, more germinative cells were observed in the male testicular lobes, and differentiated cells were present in the female ovaries. All worms had fully developed reproductive organs from 30 days PI onwards. Morphometric analysis showed significant differences between mixed and unisexual infections at 35 days PI. Ovaries of worms from unisexual infections contained cells in one stage of maturation and vitelline glands had undifferentiated cells. Our study of S. japonicum provides a detailed comparison of different morphological traits from worms of mixed and unisexual infections throughout development.
The effect of an insoluble surfactant on the centrifugal and shear instability of a pair of radially stratified immiscible liquids in the annular gap between concentric two-fluid Taylor–Couette flow is investigated by a normal-mode linear analysis and complementary energy analysis. The interface is assumed to be concentric with the cylinders. The gravitational effects are ignored. Influences of density and viscosity stratification, surface tension, surfactant concentration distribution and Taylor–Couette shearing are considered comprehensively. The instability characteristics due to competition and interaction between various physical instability mechanisms are of principal concern. Neutral curves with upper and lower branches in the Reynolds number (Re1)/axial wavenumber (k) plane are obtained. A window of parameters is identified in which the flow is linearly stable. The Marangoni traction force caused by the gradient of surfactant concentration stabilizes the axisymmetric perturbations but initiates an instability corresponding to non-axisymmetric modes in the presence of basic Couette shearing flow. Co-rotation of the outer cylinder has a stabilizing effect in expanding the stable region, which dwindles in the counter-rotation situation.
The stress depth distribution in the silicon substrate under thin thermal oxide layers has been measured using the photoelastic technique. With the high sensitivity and improved spatial resolution of a newly developed low level birefringence detection system, it is confirmed that the stress distribution deviates significantly from the linear distribution predicted by classical bi-metallic strip theory. The deviation can be attributed to arising from Si self-interstitial injection during the thermal oxidation process. Long term changes in the stress distribution with time have also been observed and the changes can be understood in terms of point defect movements under the stress field in the substrate. Our preliminary results have demonstrated how we can probe microscopic point defect processes in thin film SiO2/Si substrate systems using a macroscopic photoelastic stress measurement technique.
The linear stability of Bingham-plastic fluid flow between two concentric cylinders rotating independently and with axial sliding of the inner cylinder (spiral Couette flow) is studied. Bingham fluid exhibits a yield stress in addition to the plastic viscosity, which has some inhibiting effects on the competition between the centrifugal and shear instability mechanisms owing to the inter-relationship of the azimuthal and axial velocities. Islands of instability, which are found in the spiral Couette flow of Newtonian fluids, may not exist owing to the effect of yield stress. The possibility of the yield surface falling between the cylinders is analysed. Although small perturbation waves appearing on the yield surface are considered, the yield surface, which has been treated as a free surface, has little effect on the flow stability. The effects of the axisymmetric and non-axisymmetric perturbation on flow stability are both presented. Both the rotation of the outer cylinder and a decrease of the gap between the cylinders have stabilizing effects.
Silicon high-power devices are commonly bonded to Mo electrodes using Al films. Bonding stress will inevitably be introduced into the Si substrate by such a process. In this work, the infrared (IR) photoelasticity (PE) method was employed to measure the stress distribution in the Si substrates induced by high temperature bonding process of Si/Al/Mo structures commonly used in the production of silicon thyristors. It is demonstrated that quantitative information on both the directions and magnitudes of the stress can be obtained. The dependence of the magnitude of the stress on the geometrical parameters of the structure has also been studied. The experimental results are shown to agree well with the calculated results derived from a theory of interlaminar stresses in composites.
Benign chondroma affecting the soft tissues is uncommon. This tumour is particularly rare in the neck. We present the first case of soft tissue chondroma arising in the parapharyngeal space of a 20-year-old man with a two-year history of a gradual sensation of a swelling in the pharynx with increasing snoring. The CT and pathological features of this lesion will be discussed. We suggest that a peroral approach should be considered for benign parapharyngeal tumour which has been demonstrated on imaging to be in the anterior parapharyngeal space, especially for tumours that are medial to the pterygoid muscles even though the tumour is a large one.
Carbon nitride films prepared by magnetic filtered plasma deposition were characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) absorption and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Characteristic bands corresponding to C-N, C=N, C=N, and C=C bonds were observed in FTIR spectra. It was found that the XPS C 1s and N 1s signals could be deconvoluted into three and two gaussian peaks, respectively. A plausible suggestion on the assignments of the XPS peaks to C3N4, CNx and ta-C phases was discussed. The relative abundance of the various CN bonds, the relative abundance of the various bonding components from XPS results, and their dependence on the nitrogen partial pressure PN during deposition were analyzed. Assuming the assignments of the XPS peaks to the various phases, the XPS results suggested that there would be an optimal PN that would favor the growth of the C3N4 phase. The electrical conductivity, the optical band gap and the Vickers hardness of these films were measured and the effects of PN on these properties were studied.
Carbon nanotubes were prepared by the dc arc-discharge method under a controlled helium pressure ranging from 10 to 80 kPa and subsequently purified by oxidation in air. The purified carbon nanotubes were observed by transmission electron microscopy. The room temperature electron spin resonance (ESR) spectra of the purified nanotubes were measured. The variations in the ESR line shape, g-value, linewidth and relative spin density of the purified nanotubes on helium pressure were studied and discussed.
We report here the results of our study on the properties of iodine-doped C60 thin films by IR and optical absorption, X-ray diffraction, and electrical conductivity measurements. The results show that there is no apparent structural change in the iodine-doped samples at room temperature in comparison with that of the undoped films. However, in the electrical conductivity measurements, an increase of more that one order of magnitude in the room temperature conductivity has been observed in the iodine-doped samples. In addition, while the conductivity of the undoped films shows thermally activated temperature dependence, the conductivity of the iodine-doped films was found to be constant over a fairly wide temperature range (from 20°C to 70°C) exhibiting a metallic feature.