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Single-crystalline gallium arsenide (GaAs) grown by various techniques can exhibit hillock defects on the surface when sub-optimal growth conditions are employed. The defects act as nonradiative recombination centers and limit solar cell performance. In this paper, we applied near-field transport imaging to study hillock defects in a GaAs thin film. On the same defects, we also performed near-field cathodoluminescence, standard cathodoluminescence, electron-backscattered diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry. We found that the luminescence intensity around the hillock area is two orders of magnitude lower than on the area without hillock defects in the millimeter region, and the excess carrier diffusion length is degraded by at least a factor of five with significant local variation. The optical and transport properties are affected over a significantly larger region than the observed topography and crystallographic and chemical compositions associated with the defect.
Carrier water pH is an important factor for enhancing herbicide efficacy. Coapplying agrochemical products with the herbicide might save time and resources; however, the negative effect of foliar fertilizers on herbicide efficacy should be thoroughly evaluated. In greenhouse studies, the effect of carrier water pH (4, 6.5, and 9), foliar fertilizer (zinc [Zn], manganese [Mn], or without fertilizer), and ammonium sulfate (AMS) at 0% or 2.5% vol/vol was evaluated on 2,4-D and premixed 2,4-D plus glyphosate efficacy for giant ragweed, horseweed, and Palmer amaranth control. In addition, a field study was conducted to evaluate the effect of carrier water pH (4, 6.5, and 9); and Zn or Mn foliar fertilizer on premixed 2,4-D plus glyphosate efficacy for horseweed and Palmer amaranth control. In the greenhouse study, 2,4-D and premixed 2,4-D plus glyphosate provided 5% greater weed control at acidic compared with alkaline carrier water pH. Coapplied Mn foliar fertilizer reduced 2,4-D and premixed 2,4-D plus glyphosate efficacy at least 5% for weed control. Addition of AMS enhanced 2,4-D and premixed 2,4-D plus glyphosate efficacy at least 6% for giant ragweed, horseweed, and Palmer amaranth control. In the field study, few significant differences occurred between coapplied Zn or Mn foliar fertilizer for any treatment variables. Therefore, carrier water pH, coapplied foliar fertilizer, and water-conditioning adjuvants have potential to influence herbicide performance. However, weed species could play a role in the differential response of these factors on herbicide efficacy.
The application of clay minerals in therapeutics is becoming important due to their structural and surface physicochemical properties. 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) is a very common pharmaceutical drug and is used worldwide. The interactions between the 5-ASA molecule and both the aluminol and siloxane surfaces of kaolinite are studied by means of atomistic calculations using force fields based on empirical interatomic potentials and quantum mechanics calculations based on density functional theory. A conformational analysis of 5-ASA has been performed and the anion of 5-ASA was also studied. The calculated adsorption energy values indicate that 5-ASA is likely to be adsorbed on the kaolinite surfaces with greater affinity to the aluminol surface. Hence, kaolinite may be considered as a promising pharmaceutical carrier of 5-ASA.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium (PQQ·Na2) supplementation on the reproductive performance and intestinal barrier functions of gestating and lactating female Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats and their offspring. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 increased the number of implanted embryos per litter during gestation and lactation at GD 20 and increased the number of viable fetuses per litter, and the weight of uterine horns with fetuses increased at 1 d of newborn. The mRNA expression levels of catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx2), superoxide dismutase (SOD1), solute carrier family 2 member 1 (Slc2a1) and solute carrier family 2 member 3 (Slc2a3) in the placenta were increased with dietary PQQ·Na2 supplementation. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in gestating and lactating rats increased the CAT, SOD and GPx activities of the jejunal mucosa of weaned rats on PD 21. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in female rats affected the expression of tight junction proteins (claudin, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and occludin) in the jejunal mucosa of their offspring by increasing the expression of ZO-1 mRNA in the expression of ZO-1 and claudin mRNA in the jejunal mucosa of weaned rats on PD 21. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in gestating and lactating female rats had positive effects on their reproductive performance and on the intestinal barrier of weaned rats.
Zn serves as a powerful feed additive to reduce post-weaning diarrhoea in pigs. However, the mechanisms responsible for Zn-associated effects on the adaptive immune responses following feeding of a very high dosage of Zn remain elusive. In this study, we examined the T-cell response in gut-associated lymphatic tissues of seventy-two weaned piglets. Piglets received diets with 57 mg Zn/kg (low Zn concentration, LZn), 164 mg Zn/kg (medium Zn concentration, MZn) or 2425 mg Zn/kg (high Zn concentration, HZn) mg Zn/kg feed for 1, 2 or 4 weeks. We observed that feeding the HZn diet for 1 week increased the level of activated T-helper cells (CD4+ and CD8αdim) compared with feeding MZn and LZn (P<0·05). In addition, we observed higher transcript amounts of interferon γ and T-box 21 (TBET) in the HZn group compared with the MZn and LZn groups (P<0·05). A gene set enrichment analysis revealed an over-representation of genes associated with ‘cytokine signalling in immune system’. Remarkably, feeding of a very high Zn dosage led to a switch in the immune response after 2 weeks. We detected higher relative cell counts of CD4+CD25high regulatory T-helper cells (P<0·05) and a higher expression of forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) transcripts (P<0·05). After 4 weeks of feeding a high-dosage Zn diet, the relative CD4+ T-cell count (P<0·05) and the relative CD8β+ T-cell count (P<0·1) were reduced compared with the MZn group. We hypothesise that after 1 week the cellular T-helper 1 response is switched on and after 2 weeks it is switched off, leading to decreased numbers of T-cells.
Efficiency potential of crystalline Si solar cells is analyzed by considering external radiative efficiency (ERE), voltage, and fill factor losses. Crystalline Si solar cells have an efficiency potential of more than 28.5% by realizing ERE of 20% from about 5% and normalized resistance of less than 0.05 from around 0.1. Nonradiative recombination losses in single-crystalline and multicrystalline Si solar cells are also discussed. Especially, nonrecombination and resistance losses in multicrystalline Si solar cells are shown to be higher than those of single-crystalline cells. Importance of further improvement of minority-carrier lifetime in crystalline Si solar cells is suggested for further improvement of crystalline Si solar cells. High efficiency of more than 28.5% will be realized by realizing high minority-carrier lifetime of more than 30 ms. Key issues for those ends are reduction in carbon concentration of less than 1 × 1014 cm−3, oxygen precipitated and dislocations even in single-crystalline Si solar cells, and reduction in dislocation density of less than 3 × 103 cm−2 in multicrystalline Si solar cells.
Dietary phosphoglycerides and n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) play important functions in the development of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) larvae. This study aimed to determine optimal dietary levels of soyabean lecithin (SBL)-derived phospholipids (PL) in starter feeds for pikeperch larvae 10–30 d post-hatch (DPH) and examine performance and ontogeny by additional supplementation of n-3 LC-PUFA in the form of Algatrium DHA 70 (glyceride product; 660–700 mg/g DHA; EPA 60–75 mg/g). In total, six isoproteic and isoenergetic extruded diets were formulated with increasing levels of PL (3·7, 8·3 or 14·5 % wet weight (w.w.), respectively); however, three of the diets were supplemented with three levels of Algatrium DHA 70 (0·6, 2·0 or 3·4 %, respectively). Liver proteomic analyses of larvae at 30 DPH were included for effects of PL and primarily DHA on performance, physiological expression and interactions in larval proteins. In addition, bone anomalies, digestive enzymatic activity, candidate gene expression and skeleton morphogenesis were examined. Results confirmed the importance of dietary PL levels of at least 8·2 % w.w., and an additional beneficiary effect of supplementation with DHA plus EPA. Thus, combined supplementation of SBL (up to 14·51 % w.w. PL) and n-3 LC-PUFA (1·004 % DM DHA and 0·169 % DM EPA) in the form of TAG resulted in highest growth and lowest incidence of anomalies, improved digestive enzyme activity and had differential effect on liver proteomics. The results denote that essential fatty acids can be supplemented as TAG to have beneficial effects in pikeperch larvae development.
The Carrier-Phase (CP) technique used in the Global Positioning System (GPS) has proved to be a useful spatial tool for remote precise time transfer. Galileo is a Global Navigation Satellite System like GPS. However, currently, given the low number of satellites at any one observation epoch, Galileo's accuracy and continuity of time transfer leave much to be desired. To achieve better performance of time transfer for Galileo, this study has developed a new approach for Galileo CP time transfer, using prior constraint information such as precise coordinates and troposphere zenith delay constraints. The new approach was applied for precise time transfer in real-time mode and post-processed mode for short baseline and long baseline observations. For the short baseline time link in real-time mode, compared with the standard Galileo CP, the standard deviation improved by 51·4% for the troposphere zenith delay constraint, 47·6% for the station coordinates constraint, and 49·5% when considering both constraints simultaneously. At a 10,000 s time interval, in comparison to the standard CP, the three constraint approaches show stable results as well as improvements of nearly an order of magnitude. In post-processed mode, the constraint approach for Galileo time transfer showed little improvement compared to the standard CP technique for both the short baseline and long baseline time links.
International air travel becomes more affordable over the years with the introduction of low-cost carriers (LCCs) in Asia Pacific. As a result, this region has seen an exponential growth in its air traffic movements. Asia Pacific has been recording faster air traffic growths, compared to regions such as Europe and North America. This is largely due to emerging markets and developing economies in Asia Pacific. This is especially seen in the demand and supply for LCCs in Southeast Asia. Changi Airport, being one of the major air traffic hubs in Asia, is facing overloaded traffic in the future due to this exponential growth. Although a new runway and new terminals are proposed and in the process of being built, the coming years could still bring a huge challenge to the airport, if its existing capacity is not maximised to cope with the increasing traffic demand. Hence, we studied the impacts of increasing LCC flights on the airport runway capacity. Different runway operational scenarios were simulated to investigate their advantages and disadvantages. It is found that the segregated parallel arrival-departure runway operation is beneficial. By simulating various operational scenarios with the projected increasing flight movements, it is found that a dedicated runway to medium-sized arrival aircraft may be more beneficial, as this would possibly enable it to have a higher runway capacity.
With electronic warfare increasingly complicated and military confrontations increasingly intense, the potential security threat to satellite navigation has become a difficult issue to deal with. Traditional satellite navigation anti-interference technology generally refers to jamming, but less consideration has been given to spoofing. It should be noted that the potential risk induced by spoofing interference is worse than that caused by jamming as the loss of positioning integrity may not be immediately obvious. This paper introduces a spoofing detection method based on a two-antenna structure using fraction parts of double-difference carrier phase observables. If all spoofing signals are transmitted by one single antenna, a spoofing detection hypothesis test can be carried out through the normalisation of double-difference carrier phase observables, without need to consider the integer ambiguity problem, measure the baseline vector and estimate the real directions of signals. The detection scheme adopts an M of N algorithm (if M or more of the test values exceed the threshold, the algorithm declares the presence of a spoofing signal), integrating carrier phase measurements of all the available satellites. Finally, the proposed method is verified by real experiments. This spoofing detection method can easily be applied to GNSS anti-spoofing receivers without changing their architecture and has simple and effective characteristics.
Marine n-3 (omega-3) fatty acids alter gene expression by regulating the activity of transcription factors. Krill oil is a source of marine n-3 fatty acids that has been shown to modulate gene expression in animal studies; however, the effect in humans is not known. Hence, we aimed to compare the effect of intake of krill oil, lean and fatty fish with a similar content of n-3 fatty acids, and high-oleic sunflower oil (HOSO) with added astaxanthin on the expression of genes involved in glucose and lipid metabolism and inflammation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) as well as circulating inflammatory markers. In an 8-week trial, healthy men and women aged 18–70 years with fasting TAG of 1·3–4·0 mmol/l were randomised to receive krill oil capsules (n 12), HOSO capsules (n 12) or lean and fatty fish (n 12). The weekly intakes of marine n-3 fatty acids from the interventions were 4654, 0 and 4103 mg, respectively. The mRNA expression of four genes, PPAR γ coactivator 1A (PPARGC1A), steaoryl-CoA desaturase (SCD), ATP binding cassette A1 (ABCA1) and cluster of differentiation 40 (CD40), were differently altered by the interventions. Furthermore, within-group analyses revealed that krill oil down-regulated the mRNA expression of thirteen genes, including genes involved in glucose and cholesterol metabolism and β-oxidation. Fish altered the mRNA expression of four genes and HOSO down-regulated sixteen genes, including several inflammation-related genes. There were no differences between the groups in circulating inflammatory markers after the intervention. In conclusion, the intake of krill oil and HOSO with added astaxanthin alter the PBMC mRNA expression of more genes than the intake of fish.
Integration of the III–V material systems on Si is an enabling technology for achieving high efficiency heterojunction Si-based photovoltaic devices. Gallium phosphide (GaP) offers numerous potential electrical, optical, and material advantages over amorphous silicon (a-Si) for the realization of several heterojunction solar cell designs. In this paper, details are given for the growth, fabrication, and characterization of different n-GaP/n-Si heterojunction solar cells to explore the effect of GaP as a carrier-selective contact. The cell performance is promising with high Si bulk lifetime (∼2.2 ms at the injection level of 1015 cm−3) and an open-circuit voltage of 618 mV and an efficiency of 13.1% in this new solar cell design. In addition to GaP as an electron-selective contact, MoOx was successfully implemented as a hole-selective contact in the n-GaP/n-Si heterojunction solar cell, increasing efficiency to 14.1% by improving the short wavelength response. The Si bulk lifetime is maintained during growth of GaP on Si by two different approaches and their effects on GaP/Si solar cell performance are also presented.
A maternal high-fat, high-sucrose (HFS) diet alters offspring glucose and lipid homoeostasis through unknown mechanisms and may be modulated by folic acid. We investigated the effect of a maternal HFS diet on glucose homoeostasis, expression of genes and proteins associated with insulin signalling and lipid metabolism and the effect of prenatal folic acid supplementation (HFS/F) in male rat offspring. Pregnant Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly fed control (CON), HFS or HFS/F diets. Offspring were weaned on CON; at postnatal day 70, fasting plasma insulin and glucose and liver and skeletal muscle gene and protein expression were measured. Treatment effects were assessed by one-way ANOVA. Maternal HFS diet induced higher fasting glucose in offspring v. HFS/F (P=0·027) and down-regulation (P<0·05) of genes coding for v-Akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 2, resistin and v-Raf-1 murine leukaemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (Raf1) in offspring skeletal muscle and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (Acaca), fatty acid synthase and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-biphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit β in offspring liver. Skeletal muscle neuropeptide Y and hepatic Kruppel-like factor 10 were up-regulated in HFS v. CON offspring (P<0·05). Compared with CON, Acaca and Raf1 protein expression levels were significantly lower in HFS offspring. Maternal HFS induced higher homoeostasis model of assessment index of insulin resistance v. CON (P=0·030) and HFS/F was associated with higher insulin (P=0·016) and lower glucose (P=0·025). Maternal HFS diet alters offspring insulin sensitivity and de novo hepatic lipogenesis via altered gene and protein expression, which appears to be potentiated by folate supplementation.
Prisons/jails are thought to amplify the transmission of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) particularly methicillin-resistant SA infection and colonisation. Two independently pooled cross-sectional samples of detainees being admitted or discharged from two New York State maximum-security prisons were used to explore this concept. Private interviews of participants were conducted, during which the anterior nares and oropharynx were sampled and assessed for SA colonisation. Log-binomial regression and correspondence analysis (CA) were used to evaluate the prevalence of colonisation at entry as compared with discharge. Approximately 51% of admitted (N = 404) and 41% of discharged (N = 439) female detainees were colonised with SA. Among males, 59% of those admitted (N = 427) and 49% of those discharged (N = 393) were colonised. Females had a statistically significant higher prevalence (1·26: P = 0·003) whereas males showed no significant difference (1·06; P = 0·003) in SA prevalence between entry and discharge. CA demonstrated that some strains, such as spa types t571 and t002, might have an affinity for certain mucosal sites. Contrary to our hypothesis, the prison setting did not amplify SA transmission, and CA proved to be a useful tool in describing the population structure of strains according to time and/or mucosal site.
Serum uric acid (SUA), a causative agent for gout among others, is affected by both genetic and dietary factors, perhaps differentially by sex. We evaluated cross-sectional (SUAbase) and longitudinal (SUArate) associations of SUA with a genetic risk score (GRS), diet and sex. We then tested the interactive effect of GRS, diet and sex on SUA. Longitudinal data on 766 African-American urban adults participating in the Healthy Aging in Neighborhood of Diversity across the Lifespan study were used. In all, three GRS for SUA were created from known SUA-associated SNP (GRSbase (n 12 SNP), GRSrate (n 3 SNP) and GRStotal (n 15 SNP)). Dietary factors included added sugar, total alcohol, red meat, total fish, legumes, dairy products, caffeine and vitamin C. Mixed-effects linear regression models were conducted. SUAbase was higher among men compared with that among women, and increased with GRStotal tertiles. SUArate was positively associated with legume intake in women (γ=+0·14; 95 % CI +0·06, +0·22, P=0·001) and inversely related to dairy product intake in both sexes combined (γ=−0·042; 95 % CI −0·075, −0·009), P=0·010). SUAbase was directly linked to alcohol consumption among women (γ=+0·154; 95 % CI +0·046, +0·262, P=0·005). GRSrate was linearly related to SUArate only among men. Legume consumption was also positively associated with SUArate within the GRStotal’s lowest tertile. Among women, a synergistic interaction was observed between GRSrate and red meat intake in association with SUArate. Among men, a synergistic interaction between low vitamin C and genetic risk was found. In sum, sex–diet, sex–gene and gene–diet interactions were detected in determining SUA. Further similar studies are needed to replicate our findings.
Background: Dystrophinopathies are X-linked muscular dystrophies characterized by pathogenic mutations in the dystrophin gene. Symptomatic dystrophinopathy female carriers may present with limb-girdle weakness. The diagnosis may be challenging in the absence of affected male relatives. We aimed to describe the phenotypic variability in a series of molecular-confirmed female dystrophinopathy patients. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of medical records from 1997 to 2015. Results: Ten female dystrophinopathy patients were selected, two with unusual phenotypes: one with early joint contractures muscular dystrophy and the other with very late onset myopathy. Muscle imaging studies demonstrated predominant asymmetric fat replacement. Muscle biopsy immunohistochemistry demonstrated clear mosaic pattern in two cases and only subtle reduction of dystrophin intensity in three. Conclusions: Adequate diagnosis is fundamental for genetic counseling and cardiologic follow-up. Female patients with dystrophinopathy may present unusual phenotypes such as early contractures and very late onset myopathy.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate cognitive performance including preclinical and clinical disease course in carriers and non-carriers of autosomal-dominant Alzheimer’s disease (adAD) in relation to multiple predictors, that is, linear and non-linear estimates of years to expected clinical onset of disease, years of education and age. Methods: Participants from five families with early-onset autosomal-dominant mutations (Swedish and Arctic APP, PSEN1 M146V, H163Y, and I143T) included 35 carriers (28 without dementia and 7 with) and 44 non-carriers. All participants underwent a comprehensive clinical evaluation, including neuropsychological assessment at the Memory Clinic, Karolinska University Hospital at Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden. The time span of disease course covered four decades of the preclinical and clinical stages of dementia. Neuropsychological tests were used to assess premorbid and current global cognition, verbal and visuospatial functions, short-term and episodic memory, attention, and executive function. Results: In carriers, the time-related curvilinear trajectory of cognitive function across disease stages was best fitted to a formulae with three predictors: years to expected clinical onset (linear and curvilinear components), and years of education. In non-carriers, the change was minimal and best predicted by two predictors: education and age. The trajectories for carriers and non-carriers began to diverge approximately 10 years before the expected clinical onset in episodic memory, executive function, and visuospatial function. Conclusions: The curvilinear trajectory of cognitive functions across disease stages was mimicked by three predictors in carriers. In episodic memory, executive and visuospatial functions, the point of diverging trajectories occurred approximately 10 years ahead of the clinical onset compared to non-carriers. (JINS, 2017, 23, 195–203)
Salmonella enterica is an important food borne pathogen that is frequently carried by swine. Carrier animals pose a food safety risk because they can transmit S. enterica to finished food products in the processing plant or by contamination of the environment. Environmental contamination has become increasingly important as non-animal foods (plant-based) have been implicated as sources of S. enterica. The prevalence of S. enterica in swine is high and yet carrier animals remain healthy. S. enterica has developed a highly sophisticated set of virulence factors that allow it to adapt to host environments and to cause disease. It is assumed that S. enterica also has developed unique ways to maintain itself in animals and yet not cause disease. Here we describe our research to understand persistence. Specifically, data are presented that demonstrates that detection of most carrier animals requires specific stresses that cause S. enterica to be shed from pigs. As well, we describe a phenotypic phase variation process that appears to be linked to the carrier state and a complex set of factors that control phenotypic phase variation. Finally, we describe how the composition of the gut bacterial microbiome may contribute to persistence and at the least how S. enterica might alter the composition of the gut bacterial microbiome.
Carrier water quality is an important consideration for herbicide efficacy. Effect of carrier water pH (4, 6.5, or 9) and coapplied Zn or Mn foliar fertilizer was evaluated on glufosinate efficacy for horseweed and Palmer amaranth control in the field. Greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of: (1) carrier water pH, foliar fertilizer (Zn, Mn, or without fertilizer), and ammonium sulfate (AMS) (at 0 or 2.5% v/v); and (2) carrier water hardness (0 to 1,000 mg L−1) and AMS (at 0 or 2.5% v/v) on glufosinate efficacy for giant ragweed, horseweed, and Palmer amaranth control. In a 2014 field study, control, plant density reduction, and biomass reduction were at least 8% greater for horseweed and at least 14% greater for Palmer amaranth when glufosinate was applied at carrier water pH 4 compared with pH 9. Glufosinate efficacy was at least 10 and 17% greater for giant ragweed and Palmer amaranth control, respectively, with carrier water pH 4 compared with pH 9 in the greenhouse. In the greenhouse studies, coapplied Zn or Mn fertilizer had no effect on glufosinate efficacy. Increased carrier water hardness from 0 to 1,000 mg L−1 negatively influenced glufosinate efficacy and resulted in 20 and 17% lesser control and biomass reduction, respectively, on giant ragweed or Palmer amaranth. Use of AMS enhanced glufosinate efficacy on giant ragweed control in both greenhouse studies, whereas only the Palmer amaranth control was enhanced in the water hardness study. Horseweed control with glufosinate as affected by carrier water pH, hardness, or AMS remained unaffected in both greenhouse studies. Carrier water at alkaline pH or hardness > 200 mg L−1 has potential to reduce glufosinate efficacy. Therefore, carrier water free of hardness cations and at acidic condition (pH = 4 to 6.5) should be considered for optimum glufosinate efficacy.
Arginine is a multifaceted amino acid that is critical to the normal physiology of the gastrointestinal tract. Oral arginine administration has been shown to improve mucosal recovery following intestinal injury. The present study investigated the influence of extracellular arginine concentrations on epithelial cell barrier regulation and nutrition uptake by porcine small intestinal epithelial cell line (IPEC-J2). The results show that reducing arginine concentration from 0·7 to 0·2 mm did not affect the transepithelial electrical resistance value, tight-junction proteins (claudin-1, occludin, E-cadherin), phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (p-ERK) and mucin-1 expression. Furthermore, reducing arginine concentration stimulated greater expression of cationic amino acid transporter (CAT1), excitatory amino acid transporter (EAAT3) and alanine/serine/cysteine transporter (ASCT1) mRNA by IPEC-J2 cells, which was verified by elevated efficiency of amino acid uptake. Glucose consumption by IPEC-J2 cells treated with 0·2 mm-arginine remained at the same physiological level to guarantee energy supply and to maintain the cell barrier. This experiment implied that reducing arginine concentration is feasible in IPEC-J2 cells guaranteed by nutrient uptake and cell barrier function.