Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity of Glacier Runoff to Winter Snow Thickness Investigated for Vatnajökull Ice Cap, Iceland, Using Numerical Models and Observations
Atmosphere 2018, 9(11), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9110450 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Several simulations of the surface climate and energy balance of Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, are used to estimate the glacier runoff for the period 1980–2015 and the sensitivity of runoff to the spring conditions (e.g., snow thickness). The simulations are calculated using the
[...] Read more.
Several simulations of the surface climate and energy balance of Vatnajökull ice cap, Iceland, are used to estimate the glacier runoff for the period 1980–2015 and the sensitivity of runoff to the spring conditions (e.g., snow thickness). The simulations are calculated using the snow pack scheme from the regional climate model HIRHAM5, forced with incoming mass and energy fluxes from the numerical weather prediction model HARMONIE-AROME. The modeled runoff is compared to available observations from two outlet glaciers to assess the quality of the simulations. To test the sensitivity of the runoff to spring conditions, simulations are repeated for the spring conditions of each of the years 1980–2015, followed by the weather of all summers in the same period. We find that for the whole ice cap, the variability in runoff as a function of varying spring conditions was on average 31% of the variability due to changing summer weather. However, some outlet glaciers are very sensitive to the amount of snow in the spring, as e.g., the variation in runoff from Brúarjökull due to changing spring conditions was on average 50% of the variability due to varying summer weather. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Role of Wine in Modulating Inflammatory Processes: A Review
Beverages 2018, 4(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages4040088 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Several epidemiological studies associated the consumption of wine with the reduction of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, as well as for diabetes. These conditions are characterized by inflammatory mechanisms in addition to other biological mechanisms. Acute and chronic inflammation
[...] Read more.
Several epidemiological studies associated the consumption of wine with the reduction of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, as well as for diabetes. These conditions are characterized by inflammatory mechanisms in addition to other biological mechanisms. Acute and chronic inflammation is mediated by a plethora of biomarkers production and pathway activation. Since the health promoting properties of wine in different pathological conditions may include the reduction of inflammation, the aim of this paper was to collect and review the in vitro, in vivo, and human studies performed to evaluate the effects of wine on different models of inflammation. Although great variability in wine intake, period of consumption, and content of phenolic compounds was observed, data from both human and animal studies showed a positive modulation of inflammatory biomarkers (cytokines, coagulation parameters) and oxidative stress (mainly malondialdehyde) involved in cardiovascular function. In addition, some convincing evidence was obtained in different models suggesting a positive modulation of risk factors for gastric and intestinal inflammation. Contradictory results were obtained for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. To date, no significant paper has been published in the area of immune function. Integrating in vivo data and in vitro studies, the NF-κB pathway has been identified as a critical target for the protective properties of a moderate wine consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Wave Velocity and Power Spectral Density of Hole-Containing Specimens with Different Moisture Content under Uniaxial Compression
Energies 2018, 11(11), 3166; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113166 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The gas drainage borehole is a typical hole-containing structure, and its failure is similar to the hole-containing specimen. To study the characteristics of wave velocity and power spectral density of the hole-containing specimens with different moisture content, an ultrasonic test of the hole-containing
[...] Read more.
The gas drainage borehole is a typical hole-containing structure, and its failure is similar to the hole-containing specimen. To study the characteristics of wave velocity and power spectral density of the hole-containing specimens with different moisture content, an ultrasonic test of the hole-containing specimens during destruction was carried out. A waveform with different moisture contents was recorded by the RSM-SY7 system. The wave velocity and power spectral density was calculated to analyze its relationship with moisture content and degree of damage. The results show that the wave velocity of the hole-containing specimens gradually decreases during the destruction. There were 3 stages of attenuation of wave velocity during the destruction, which were stable, slightly reduced, and rapidly decreasing stages. Changes in moisture content would cause changes of duration of the three stages. The power spectral density gradually decreases during the destruction. The moisture content affected the attenuation mode of the power spectral density and the amount of attenuation. In the detecting of the gas borehole, the wave velocity and the power spectral density can be used to locate the damage area. This research provides a theoretical basis for detection engineering. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Advances in Automotive Conversion Coatings during Pretreatment of the Body Structure: A Review
Coatings 2018, 8(11), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8110405 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Automotive conversion coatings consist of layers of materials that are chemically applied to the body structures of vehicles before painting to improve corrosion protection and paint adhesion. These coatings are a consequence of surface-based chemical reactions and are sandwiched between paint layers and
[...] Read more.
Automotive conversion coatings consist of layers of materials that are chemically applied to the body structures of vehicles before painting to improve corrosion protection and paint adhesion. These coatings are a consequence of surface-based chemical reactions and are sandwiched between paint layers and the base metal; the chemical reactions involved distinctly classify conversion coatings from other coating technologies. Although the tri-cationic conversion coating bath chemistry that was developed around the end of the 20th century remains persistent, environmental, health, and cost issues favor a new generation of greener methods and materials such as zirconium. Environmental forces driving lightweight material selection during automobile body design are possibly more influential for transitioning to zirconium than the concerns regarding the body coating process. The chemistry involved in some conversion coatings processing has been known for over 100 years. However, recent advances in chemical processing, changes in the components used for vehicle body structures, environmental considerations and costs have prompted the automobile industry to embrace new conversion coatings technologies. These are discussed herein along with a historical perspective that has led to the use of current conversion coatings technologies. In addition, future directions for automobile body conversion coatings are discussed that may affect conversion coatings in the age of multi-material body structures. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
ISAR Autofocus Imaging Algorithm for Maneuvering Targets Based on Phase Retrieval and Gabor Wavelet Transform
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(11), 1810; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10111810 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The imaging issue of a rotating maneuvering target with a large angle and a high translational speed has been a challenging problem in the area of inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) autofocus imaging, in particular when the target has both radial and angular
[...] Read more.
The imaging issue of a rotating maneuvering target with a large angle and a high translational speed has been a challenging problem in the area of inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) autofocus imaging, in particular when the target has both radial and angular accelerations. In this paper, on the basis of the phase retrieval algorithm and the Gabor wavelet transform (GWT), we propose a new method for phase error correction. The approach first performs the range compression on ISAR raw data to obtain range profiles, and then carries out the GWT transform as the time-frequency analysis tool for the rotational motion compensation (RMC) requirement. The time-varying terms, caused by rotational motion in the Doppler frequency shift, are able to be eliminated at the selected time frame. Furthermore, the processed backscattered signal is transformed to the one in the frequency domain while applying the phase retrieval to run the translational motion compensation (TMC). Phase retrieval plays an important role in range tracking, because the ISAR echo module is not affected by both radial velocity and the acceleration of the target. Finally, after the removal of both the rotational and translational motion errors, the time-invariant Doppler shift is generated, and radar returned signals from the same scatterer are always kept in the same range cell. Therefore, the unwanted motion effects can be removed by applying this approach to have an autofocused ISAR image of the maneuvering target. Furthermore, the method does not need to estimate any motion parameters of the maneuvering target, which has proven to be very effective for an ideal range–Doppler processing. Experimental and simulation results verify the feasibility of this approach. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Development of Zinc-Doped Hydroxyapatite by Sol-Gel Method for Medical Applications
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2986; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112986 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Zinc- (Zn) doped hydroxyapatite (HAp) were prepared by sol-gel method. Zinc-doped hydroxyapatite (ZnHAp) and HAp were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The Rietveld analysis revealed that the HAp and 7ZnHAp powders obtained by sol-gel method have a monophasic
[...] Read more.
Zinc- (Zn) doped hydroxyapatite (HAp) were prepared by sol-gel method. Zinc-doped hydroxyapatite (ZnHAp) and HAp were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The Rietveld analysis revealed that the HAp and 7ZnHAp powders obtained by sol-gel method have a monophasic hydroxyapatite structure belonging to the P63/m spatial group. The results obtained from the ultrasound characterization of HAp and ZnHAp are also presented in this study. The effect of zinc concentration on properties that were deduced from ultrasonic measurements are studied in the case of a significant zinc concentration (xZn = 0.07). From the values of the ultrasonic waves velocities were determined by the pairs of elastic coefficients of the suspensions (Young modulus E, Poisson coefficient ν), which have proven to be similar to those determined by other authors. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Extracellular Vesicles: A Potential Novel Regulator of Obesity and Its Associated Complications
Children 2018, 5(11), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/children5110152 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health concern. Obesity causes various metabolic complications, including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. However, currently, we have a limited understanding of the pathophysiology in
[...] Read more.
Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health concern. Obesity causes various metabolic complications, including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. However, currently, we have a limited understanding of the pathophysiology in the development of these processes. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nano-sized vesicles secreted by different cell types that travel to various organ systems carrying molecular and genetic information. These vesicles have been proposed as a novel intercellular communication mode in systemic metabolic regulation and in several pathophysiologic processes. In particular, recent studies indicate that EVs play a critical role in the pathogenesis of obesity and its metabolic complications. In this study, we reviewed the current literature that supports the role of EVs in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis and pathogenesis of obesity and its associated metabolic complications, with a short discussion about future directions in the EV research field. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Imidazo[1,2-a]quinoxalines Derivatives Grafted with Amino Acids: Synthesis and Evaluation on A375 Melanoma Cells
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2987; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112987 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Imiqualines (imidazoquinoxaline derivatives) are anticancer compounds with high cytotoxic activities on melanoma cell lines. The first generation of imiqualines, with two lead compounds (EAPB0203 and EAPB0503), shows remarkable in vitro (IC50 = 1 570 nM and IC50 = 200 nM, respectively,
[...] Read more.
Imiqualines (imidazoquinoxaline derivatives) are anticancer compounds with high cytotoxic activities on melanoma cell lines. The first generation of imiqualines, with two lead compounds (EAPB0203 and EAPB0503), shows remarkable in vitro (IC50 = 1 570 nM and IC50 = 200 nM, respectively, on the A375 melanoma cell line) and in vivo activity on melanoma xenografts. The second generation derivatives, EAPB02302 and EAPB02303, are more active, with IC50 = 60 nM and IC50 = 10 nM, respectively, on A375 melanoma cell line. The aim of this study was to optimize the bioavailability of imiqualine derivatives, without losing their intrinsic activity. For that, we achieved chemical modulation on the second generation of imiqualines by conjugating amino acids on position 4. A new series of twenty-five compounds was efficiently synthesized by using microwave assistance and tested for its activity on the A375 cell line. In the new series, compounds 11a, 9d and 11b show cytotoxic activities less than second generation compounds, but similar to that of the first generation ones (IC50 = 403 nM, IC50 = 128 nM and IC50 = 584 nM, respectively). The presence of an amino acid leads to significant enhancement of the water solubility for improved drugability. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
In Vitro and In Silico Analyses of Nicotine Release from a Gelisphere-Loaded Compressed Polymeric Matrix for Potential Parkinson’s Disease Interventions
Pharmaceutics 2018, 10(4), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics10040233 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study aimed to develop a prolonged-release device for the potential site-specific delivery of a neuroprotective agent (nicotine). The device was formulated as a novel reinforced crosslinked composite polymeric system with the potential for intrastriatal implantation in Parkinson’s disease interventions. Polymers with biocompatible
[...] Read more.
This study aimed to develop a prolonged-release device for the potential site-specific delivery of a neuroprotective agent (nicotine). The device was formulated as a novel reinforced crosslinked composite polymeric system with the potential for intrastriatal implantation in Parkinson’s disease interventions. Polymers with biocompatible and bioerodible characteristics were selected to incorporate nicotine within electrolyte-crosslinked alginate-hydroxyethylcellulose gelispheres compressed within a release rate-modulating external polymeric matrix, comprising either hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), polyethylene oxide (PEO), or poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) to prolong nicotine release. The degradation and erosion studies showed that the produced device had desirable robustness with the essential attributes for entrapping drug molecules and retarding their release. Zero-order drug release was observed over 50 days from the device comprising PLGA as the external matrix. Furthermore, the alginate-nicotine interaction, the effects of crosslinking on the alginate-hydroxyethycellulose (HEC) blend, and the effects of blending PLGA, HPMC, and PEO on device performance were mechanistically elucidated using molecular modelling simulations of the 3D structure of the respective molecular complexes to predict the molecular interactions and possible geometrical orientation of the polymer morphologies affecting the geometrical preferences. The compressed polymeric matrices successfully retarded the release of nicotine over several days. PLGA matrices offered minimal rates of matrix degradation and successfully retarded nicotine release, leading to the achieved zero-order release for 50 days following exposure to simulated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Dual-Family Peptidylprolyl Isomerases (Immunophilins) of Select Monocellular Organisms
Biomolecules 2018, 8(4), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom8040148 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The dual-family peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerases (immunophilins) represent a naturally occurring chimera of the classical FK506-binding protein (FKBP) and cyclophilin (CYN), connected by a flexible linker. They are found exclusively in monocellular organisms. The modular builds of these molecules represent two distinct types: CYN-(linker)-FKBP
[...] Read more.
The dual-family peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerases (immunophilins) represent a naturally occurring chimera of the classical FK506-binding protein (FKBP) and cyclophilin (CYN), connected by a flexible linker. They are found exclusively in monocellular organisms. The modular builds of these molecules represent two distinct types: CYN-(linker)-FKBP and FKBP-3TPR (tetratricopeptide repeat)-CYN. Abbreviated respectively as CFBP and FCBP, the two classes also exhibit distinct organism preference, the CFBP being found in prokaryotes, and the FCBP in eukaryotes. This review summarizes the mystery of these unique class of prolyl isomerases, focusing on their host organisms, potential physiological role, and likely routes of evolution. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Institutional Open Access Program (IOAP)

IOAP participants benefit from discounts and convenient payment options.

Feedback

We are keen to hear what you think about MDPI. To leave us your feedback, suggestions or questions please click here.

See what our authors and guest editors say about us.

About MDPI

MDPI.com is a platform for peer-reviewed, scientific open-access journals operated by MDPI, based in Basel, Switzerland. Additional offices are located in Beijing and Wuhan (China) as well as in Barcelona (Spain).

Back to Top