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Combining optics and microfluidics to create a portable optofluidic photonic crystal (PhC) biosensor is an approach with promising applications in the fields of counter-terrorism, agricultural sciences, and health sciences. Presented here are fabrication processes of a gallium nitride (GaN)-based PhC biosensor with a resonance-enhanced fluorescence detection mechanism that shows potential for meeting the single molecule detection requirements of these application areas. GaN is being targeted as the photonic crystal slab material for two main reasons: its transparency in the visible spectral range, within which the excitation and emission wavelengths of the commercial fluorescent-labeling dyes fall, and its intrinsic thermal stability which provides an increased flexibility of operating in different environments. Optical modeling efforts indicate a 25-fold enhancement of the fluorescent emission in this portable fluorescentbased PhC biosensor.
Quantum dots play a promising role in the development of novel optical and biosensing devices. In this study, we investigated steady state and time-dependent luminescence properties of InGaP/ZnS core/shell colloidal quantum dots in a solution phase at room temperature. The steady state experiments exhibited an emission maximum at 650 nm with full width at half maximum of ~ 85 nm, and strong first-excitonic absorption peak at 600 nm. The time-resolved luminescence measurements depicted a bi-exponential decay profile with lifetimes of τ1 ~ 47 ns and τ2 ~ 142 ns at the emission maximum. Additionally, luminescence quenching and lifetime reduction due to resonance energy transfer between the quantum dot and an absorber are demonstrated. Our results support the plausibility of using these InGaP quantum dots as an effective alternative to highly toxic conventional Cd or Pb based colloidal quantum dots for biological applications.
Detection of important biological molecules using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) has become widely used because of the highly sensitive and label free approach offered by SERS as well as the low cytotoxic response from some SERS substrates. Gold nanoparticles are commonly used in SERS studies; however, the inherent instability of these metal nanostructures in solution adversely influences the reproducibility and quantitative nature of these measurements. Furthermore, the metal surface often denatures biomolecules upon their direct interaction. To combat this incompatibility and improve optical stability, gold nanoparticles have been encapsulated in silica shells. These Au@SiO2 nanostructures have been used extensively in cellular studies, but their SERS capabilities are generally limited to uses that include silica-entrapped SERS reporter molecules rather than direct SERS detection. This work focuses on combating these limitations via the fabrication of Au@SiO2 nanoparticles with porous silica membranes for the direct detection of target molecules in solution. Gold nanoparticles have been designed and coated with a variety of silica morphologies and subsequently interrogated using extinction spectroscopy and SERS. It will be revealed that these gold nanoparticles entrapped in silica membranes serve as optically stable substrates for the quantitative and direct detection of target molecules. These advances in nanomaterial fabrication are envisioned to impact both fundamental and applied studies in a variety of research areas including catalysis, separations, and spectroscopy.
We develop rapid chemical vapor sensors and micro gas chromatography (μGC) analyzers based on the optofluidic ring resonator (OFRR). An OFRR is a micro-sized thin-walled glass capillary; the circular cross-section of the capillary acts as an optical ring resonator while the whispering gallery modes or circulating waveguide modes (WGMs) supported by the ring resonator interact with the vapor samples passing through the capillary. The OFRR interior surface is coated with a vapor-sensitive polymer. The analyte and polymer interaction causes the polymer refractive index (RI) and the thickness to change, which is detected as a WGM spectral shift. Owing to the excellent fluidics, the OFRR vapor sensor exhibits sub-second detection and recovery time with a flow rate of 1 mL/min. On-column separation and detection in the OFRR based μGC system is also demonstrated, showing efficient separation of vapor mixtures and presenting highly reproducible retention time for the individual analyte. Compared to the conventional GC system, the OFRR μGC has the advantage of small size, rapid response, and high selectivity over a short length of column.
This work proves that a 1-D porous silicon (PSi) sensor is capable of monitoring the optical changes in a polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogel that correlate with swelling capacity. The PSi device was impregnated with PAAm hydrogel with varying crosslinking density and total solids. The optical response of the PSi sensor was utilized to distinguish the changes in refractive index of hydrogels with varying cross-linking densities. Refractive index values calculated by the composite hydrogel-PSi sensor response agree well (≤1% difference) with values measured using a bench-top refractometer. This work serves to build a foundation for creating a composite biochemical-responsive hydrogel-PSi sensor in which competitive binding of a target analyte would cause a reduction in hydrogel cross-linking density. Long-term goals of this work are to exploit the volume sensitivity of a PSi sensor and leverage the added optical response of the responsive hydrogel to increase target detection sensitivity in an affinity based biosensor.
Across psychopathologies, trauma-exposed individuals suffer from difficulties in inhibiting emotions and regulating attention. In trauma-exposed individuals without psychopathology, only subtle alterations of neural activity involved in regulating emotions have been reported. It remains unclear how these neural systems react to demanding environments, when acute (non-traumatic but ordinary) stress serves to perturbate the system. Moreover, associations with subthreshold clinical symptoms are poorly understood.
The present fMRI study investigated response inhibition of emotional faces before and after psychosocial stress situations. Specifically, it compared 25 women (mean age 31.5 ± 9.7 years) who had suffered severe early life trauma but who did not have a history of or current psychiatric disorder, with 25 age- and education-matched trauma-naïve women.
Under stress, response inhibition related to fearful faces was reduced in both groups. Compared to controls, trauma-exposed women showed decreased left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) activation under stress when inhibiting responses to fearful faces, while activation of the right anterior insula was slightly increased. Also, groups differed in brain–behaviour correlations. Whereas stress-induced false alarm rates on fearful stimuli negatively correlated with stress-induced IFG signal in controls, in trauma-exposed participants, they positively correlated with stress-induced insula activation.
Neural facilitation of emotion inhibition during stress appears to be altered in trauma-exposed women, even without a history of or current psychopathology. Decreased activation of the IFG in concert with heightened bottom-up salience of fear related cues may increase vulnerability to stress-related diseases.
The study compared the contributions of self- and social-oriented personality factors to Chinese adolescents’ career exploration with a longitudinal perspective. The mediation effects of career decision self-efficacy and perceived parental support were also investigated. A total of 488 high school students in Hong Kong took three waves of a questionnaire survey at Grade 10, Grade 11 and Grade 12 respectively. The results indicated that adolescents’ career exploration at Grade 12 could be predicted by both self- and social-oriented personalities at Grade 10. Specifically, both self- and social-oriented personality factors could contribute to adolescents’ environmental exploration, and the effect was mediated by perceived parental support at Grade 11, after controlling for the effect of career exploration at Grade 11; whereas self-oriented personality factor could contribute to self-exploration, and the effect was mediated by career self-efficacy at Grade 11. The implications for career counseling and education for Chinese adolescents are discussed.
Associations have been shown between father’s absence and menarcheal age, but most studies have focused on absence resulting from divorce, abandonment or death. Little research has been conducted to evaluate the effect on menarcheal age of paternal absence through migrant work. In a sample of 400 middle school students, this study examined the association between paternal migrant work and menarcheal age against a backdrop of extensive rural-to-urban migration in China. Data were collected through a self-reported questionnaire, including social-demographic characteristics, aspects of family relationships, information about father’s migrant work and age at menarche. After adjusting for BMI, parent marital status and perceived relationship with mother, lower self-perceived quality of father–daughter relationship (both ‘father present, relationship poor’ and ‘father absent, relationship poor’) and lower frequency of contact with the father were associated with higher odds for early menarche. These findings suggest that the assumption that father’s absence for work influences the timing of menarche needs to be examined in the context of the quality of the father–daughter relationship and paternal care, which appear to play a critical role in the timing of menarche. These findings also emphasize the importance of enhancing paternal involvement and improving father–daughter relationships in the development of appropriate reproductive strategy in daughters.
Sodium and chloride are the key factors maintaining normal osmotic pressure (OSM) and volume of the extracellular fluid, and influencing the acid–base balance of body fluids. The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary Na+ and Cl− level on growth performance, excreta moisture, blood biochemical parameters, intestinal Na+–glucose transporter 1 (SGLT1) messenger RNA (mRNA), and Na+–H+ exchanger 2 (NHE2) mRNA, and to estimate the optimal dietary sodium and chlorine level for yellow-feathered chickens from 22 to 42days. A total of 900 22-day-old Lingnan yellow-feathered male chickens were randomly allotted to five treatments, each of which included six replicates of 30 chickens per floor pen. The basal control diet was based on corn and soybean meal (without added NaCl and NaHCO3). Treatments 2 to 5 consisted of the basal diet supplemented with equal weights of Na+ and Cl−, constituting 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3% and 0.4% of the diets. Supplemental dietary Na+ and Cl− improved the growth performance (P<0.05). Average daily gain (ADG) showed a quadratic broken-line regression to increasing dietary Na+ and Cl− (R2=0.979, P<0.001), and reached a plateau at 0.1%. Supplemental Na+ and Cl− increased (P<0.05) serum Na+ and OSM in serum and showed a quadratic broken-line regression (R2=0.997, P=0.004) at 0.11%. However, supplemental Na+ and Cl− decreased (P<0.05) serum levels of K+, glucose (GLU) and triglyceride. Higher levels of Na+and Cl− decreased duodenal NHE2 transcripts (P<0.05), but had no effect on ileal SGLT1 transcripts. The activity of Na+ /K+-ATPase in the duodenum decreased (P<0.05) with higher levels of dietary Na+ and Cl−. In conclusion, the optimal dietary Na+ and Cl− requirements for yellow-feathered chickens in the grower phase, from 22 to 42 days of age, to optimize ADG, serum Na+, OSM, K+ and GLU were 0.10%, 0.11%, 0.11%,0.17% and 0.16%, respectively, by regression analysis.
White beam synchrotron X-ray topography has been applied both to the characterization of two semiconductor heterostructures, GaAs/Si and InxGa1-xAs/GaAs strained layers, and a substrate to be used for growing semiconductor epilayers, Cd1-xZnxTe. In the case of the heterostructures, misfit dislocations were observed using depth sensitive X-ray topographic imaging in grazing incidence Bragg-Laue geometries. The X-ray penetration depth, which can be varied from several hundreds of angstroms to hundreds of micrometers by rotating about the main reflection vector, which in this specific case was (355), is governed by kinernatical theory. This is justified by comparing dislocation contrast and visibility with the extent of the calculated effective misorientalion field in comparison to the effective X-ray penetration depth. For the case of Cd1-xZnxTe, twin configurations are observed, and their analysis is presented.
Large area, parallel beams of x-rays are potentially useful in many diffraction, imaging and other x-ray analysis applications. Diffraction, in typical experiments, uses only a small portion of the incident beam that is within a limited “rocking curve” of the crystal capable of diffracting, although the whole crystal may be illuminated by the incident beam. Signal intensity can be increased if the ”whole” crystal can be made to diffract simultaneously. Similarly for imaging, improved results also are possible if divergent beams are replaced with nearly parallel ones. Production of parallel beams of large areal extent has not been simple. Often this meant that the source had to be placed at great distances from the sample, reducing the incident intensity. Sometimes, asymmetric cuts of crystals can be used to increase beam cross-sectional areas.
Production of parallel beams of large area! extent has not been simple. Often this meant that the source had to be placed at great distances from the sample, reducing the incident intensity. Sometimes, asymmetric cuts of crystals can be used to increase beam cross-sectional areas.
The aim of the study was to investigate any association between extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) and intestinal flora of <30-week-old preterm infants. A total of 59 preterm infants were assigned to EUGR (n=23) and non-EUGR (n=36) groups. Intestinal bacteria were compared by using high-throughput sequencing of bacterial rRNA. The total abundance of bacteria in 344 genera (7568 v. 13,760; P<0.0001) and 456 species (10,032 v. 18,240; P<0.0001) was significantly decreased in the EUGR group compared with the non-EUGR group. After application of a multivariate logistic model and adjusting for potential confounding factors, as well as false-discovery rate corrections, we found four bacterial genera with higher and one bacterial genus with lower abundance in the EUGR group compared with the control group. In addition, the EUGR group showed significantly increased abundances of six species (Streptococcus parasanguinis, Bacterium RB5FF6, two Klebsiella species and Microbacterium), but decreased frequencies of three species (one Acinetobacter species, Endosymbiont_of_Sphenophorus_lev and one Enterobacter_species) compared with the non-EUGR group. Taken together, there were significant changes in the intestinal microflora of preterm infants with EUGR compared to preterm infants without EUGR.
Enteric pathogens have been related to child undernutrition. Whereas there are lots of data on enteric bacterial microbiota and infections, much less is known about the incidence of prevalence of intestinal colonisation with viruses or important parasitic species. This study assessed the presence of selected viruses and parasites in stools of 469, 354, 468 Malawian children at 6, 12 and 18 months. We also assessed environmental predictors of the presence of viruses and parasites among 6-month infants. Microbial presence was documented using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Enteroviruses were identified in 68%, 80% and 81% of the stool samples at 6, 12 and 18 months children, rhinovirus in 28%, 18% and 31%, norovirus in 24%, 22% and 16%, parechovirus in 23%, 17% and 17%, rotavirus in 3%, 1% and 0.6%, Giardia lamblia in 9.6%, 23.5% and 26%, and Cryptosporidium (spp.) in 6%, 8% and 2% of the 6, 12 and 18 months stool samples. Dry season (May–October) was associated with a low infection rate of enterovirus, norovirus and Cryptosporidium (spp.). Higher father's education level, less number of person in the household and higher sanitation were associated with a low infection rate of enterovirus, norovirus and rotavirus, respectively. The results suggest that the prevalence of asymptomatic viral and parasitic infections is high among Malawian children and that the family's living conditions and seasonality influence the rate of infections.
Covering a broad optical spectrum, ternary InxGa1−xAs nanowires, grown by bottom-up methods, have been receiving increasing attention due to the tunability of the bandgap via In composition modulation. However, inadequate knowledge about the correlation between growth and properties restricts our ability to take advantage of this phenomenon for optoelectronic applications. Here, three different InGaAs nanowires were grown under different experimental conditions and atom probe tomography was used to quantify their composition, allowing the direct observation of the nanowire composition associated with the different growth conditions.
This longitudinal study investigated the contributions of Chinese secondary school students’ meaning in life in Grade 10 to vocational identity in Grade 12 in different Chinese settings. Whether vocational exploration and commitment reported by students (VECS) in Grade 11, and the vocational exploration and commitment reported by parents (VECP) of the students mediate the above link was examined as well. Participants comprised 435 students and their parents/guardians from Hong Kong, 422 students and their parents/guardians from urban Shanghai, and 308 students and their parents/guardians from rural Zhejiang. Partial mediation of the VECS in the relationship between meaning in life and vocational identity was significant in the Shanghai and Zhejiang rural samples. In the Hong Kong sample, the VECP was significantly predicted by meaning in life and could predict vocational identity. Associations between parental perceptions of vocational commitment and adolescents’ own career development might therefore be weaker than previously believed. The pattern of the relationships between meaning in life, vocational commitment and identity, and the influence of parents on adolescents’ career development in different Chinese local contexts are discussed herein.
Fully resolved measurements of turbulent boundary layers are reported for the Reynolds number range
. Despite several decades of research in wall-bounded turbulence there is still controversy over the behaviour of streamwise turbulence intensities near the wall, especially at high Reynolds numbers. Much of it stems from the uncertainty in measurement due to finite spatial resolution. Conventional hot-wire anemometry is limited for high Reynolds number measurements due to limited spatial resolution issues that cause attenuation in the streamwise turbulence intensity profile near the wall. To address this issue we use the nano-scale thermal anemometry probe (NSTAP), developed at Princeton University to conduct velocity measurements in the high Reynolds number boundary layer facility at the University of Melbourne. The NSTAP has a sensing length almost one order of magnitude smaller than conventional hot-wires. This enables us to acquire fully resolved velocity measurements of turbulent boundary layers up to
. Results show that in the near-wall region, the viscous-scaled streamwise turbulence intensity grows with
in the Reynolds number range of the experiments. A second outer peak in the streamwise turbulence intensity is also shown to emerge at the highest Reynolds numbers. Moreover, the energy spectra in the near-wall region show excellent inner scaling over the small to moderate wavelength range, followed by a large-scale influence that increases with Reynolds number. Outer scaling in the outer region is found to collapse the energy spectra over high wavelengths across various Reynolds numbers.
The graphene quantum dots (GQD) are unique for several different applications especially in the area of sensors as they provide a platform for large surface area on which sensing material can be attached. We wish to report here a new analytical method for sensing ciprofloxacin (CPFX) antibiotic using GQD electrode in differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) which is based on the ferric ion interaction with CPFX. Ferric ion undergoes a well defined one electron reduction at GQD electrode in DPV at Ep=0.310 V vs saturated calomel electrode (SCE) with a peak width of 0.100 V. When nanomolar to micromolar concentrations of CPFX is present in the electrolytic bath, the ferric ion reduction peak decreases with the appearance of three new peaks at EpI=0.200 V, EpII=0.050 V and EpIII= -0.085V. The three peaks are attributed to the three stages of binding of CPFX with three positive charges of ferric ion. The decrease of the ferric ion peak at 0.31 V is proportional to the concentration of CPFX. Due to large surface area of GQD, the CPFX bound ferric ion shows enhanced currents in comparison to glassy carbon electrode. The sensor is fabricated by depositing GQD containing known concentration of ferric ion. The sensor response to different concentrations of CPFX is measured for an analytical purpose.
The study investigated whether different dietary energy and protein sources affect laying performance, antioxidant status, fresh yolk fatty acid profile and quality of salted yolks in laying ducks. In all, 360 19-week-old Longyan ducks were randomly assigned to four diets in a factorial arrangement (2×2). The four diets consisted of two energy sources, corn (CO) or sorghum (SO) and two protein sources, soybean meal (SM) and rapeseed meal with corn distillers dried grains with solubles (RMD), and each treatment contained six replicates of 15 birds each. The experimental diets were isocaloric (metabolizable energy, 10.84 MJ/kg) and isonitrogenous (CP, 17%). The results showed that egg production, average egg weight, egg mass and feed conversion ratio were not affected by diets (P>0.05). Plasma contents of reduced glutathione (GSH), GSH/oxidized glutathione and total antioxidant capacity were lower (P<0.05) in ducks fed the RMD diets compared with those fed SM diets with a substantial increase (P=0.006) in plasma content of malondialdehyde (MDA). Egg yolks from ducks fed SO diets had higher proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and lower saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids compared with CO diets (P<0.001). Similarly, ducks fed RMD diets had a higher content of PUFA and n-6/n-3 ratio in fresh yolks (P<0.001), and increased salted yolk MDA, carbonylated proteins content and incidence of hard salted yolks (P<0.05) compared with SM diets. Scanning electron microscopy showed that salted yolks contained rougher polyhedral granules and fewer fat droplets, and were surrounded with a layer of bunchy fibers in ducks fed SO+RMD than those fed CO+SM diet. In conclusion, the current study showed that feeding laying ducks with diets containing SO or RMD reduced antioxidant capacity and increased egg yolk concentrations of PUFA. It appeared that egg yolks from ducks fed these diets were more sensitive to lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation during salting, and reduced the quality of salted yolks.
The study investigated whether dietary methionine (Met) affects egg weight and antioxidant status through regulating gene expression of ovalbumin (OVAL), nuclear factor erythroid 2 like 2 (Nrf2) and haem oxygenase 1 (HO-1) in laying duck breeders. Longyan duck breeders (n 540, 19 weeks) were randomly assigned to six treatments with six replicates of fifteen birds each. Breeders were fed diets with six Met levels (2·00, 2·75, 3·50, 4·25, 5·00 and 5·75 g/kg) for 24 weeks. The egg weight (g), egg mass (g/d), feed conversion ratio, hatchability, 1-d duckling weight, albumen weight, albumen proportion and OVAL mRNA level improved with dietary Met levels, whereas yolk proportion decreased (P<0·05). The weight of total large yellow follicles increased linearly (P<0·001) and quadratically (P<0·05) with dietary Met concentration, and their weight relative to ovarian weight showed a linear (P<0·05) effect. Dietary Met level had a linear (P<0·05) and quadratic (P<0·001) effect on the gene expression of glutathione peroxidase (GPX1), HO-1 and Nrf2, and quadratically (P<0·05) increased contents of GPX and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) in liver of duck breeders. In addition, maternal dietary Met enhanced gene expression of GPX1, HO-1 and Nrf2, increased contents of GPX and T-AOC and reduced carbonylated protein in the brains of hatchlings. Overall, dietary Met concentration affected egg weight and albumen weight in laying duck breeders, which was partly due to gene expression of OVAL in oviduct magnum. A diet containing 4·0 g Met/kg would achieve optimal hepatic GPX1 and Nrf2 expression, maximise the activity of GPX and minimise lipid peroxidation.
The majority of people living with dementia in Ireland reside in their own homes, some supported by formal or informal home care. This audit aimed to estimate the prevalence of dementia and suspected cognitive impairment (CI) among older adults, 65+ years, in receipt of formal home care (domiciliary care) in a defined health service area in North Dublin. A secondary objective of the audit was to explore factors associated with dementia or CI in this cohort.
A cross-sectional audit was conducted on all clients aged 65+ years actively receiving publicly funded home care packages (HCPs) during May 2016 in Healthcare Service Executive CHO9 Dublin North Central. A total of 935 urban community dwelling older adults were included in the study [mean age 83.7 (s.d. 7.4) years and 65% female]. Basic socio-demographic and health data were extracted from common summary assessment reports. Service users were categorised as having (a) dementia if a diagnosis of dementia or cognitive decline which impacts on independent living, was documented by a health professional or (b) suspected CI where a validated cognitive screening tool was applied and the score was indicative of mild CI.
Overall, the estimated prevalence of dementia and suspected CI was 37.1% and 8.7%, respectively. Factors significantly associated with dementia and suspected CI were higher dependency and home care hours, communication difficulty and being non-self-caring (p<0.001). Notably, half (51.6%) of those with either dementia or suspected CI group lived alone.
Our findings suggest a high prevalence dementia among HCP users, highlighting a need and opportunity for dementia-specific approaches to support older people in their homes.