ResearchPad - glass https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A Photonic crystal fiber with large effective refractive index separation and low dispersion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14637 A photonic crystal fiber (PCF) structure with a ring-core and 5 well-ordered semiellipse air-holes has been creatively proposed. Through a comparison between the structures with a high refractive index (RI) ring-core and the structure without, it conclude that a PCF with a high RI ring-core can work better. Schott SF57 was elected as the substrate material of ring-core. This paper compares the effects of long-axis and short-axis changes on the PCF and selects the optimal solution. Especially TE0,1 mode’s dispersion is maintained between 0 and 3 ps / (nm · km) ranging from 1.45 μm to 1.65 μm. This property can be used to generate a supercontinuum with 200 μm long zero dispersion wavelength (ZDM). In addition, Δneff reaches up to 10−3, which enables the near -degeneracy of the eigenmodes to be almost neglected. The proposed PCF structure will have great application value in the field of optical communications.

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<![CDATA[Molecular mechanisms of mesoporous silica formation from colloid solution: Ripening-reactions arrest hollow network structures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c9902e3d5eed0c484b9881a

The agglomeration of silica nanoparticles in aqueous solution is investigated from molecular simulations. Mimicking destabilization of colloidal solutions by full removal of protective moieties or surface charge, association of SiO2/Si(OH)4 core/shell particles leads to rapid proton transfer reactions that account for local silanole → silica ripening reactions. Yet, such virtually barrier-less binding is only observed within a limited contact zone. Agglomeration hence leads to the formation of oligomers of nanoparticles, whilst full merging into a compact precipitate is hampered by the need for extended structural reorganisation. Implementing sufficiently fast supply from colloidal solution, our simulations show the development of silica networks comprised of covalently bound, yet not fully merged nanoparticles. Within the oligomerized nanoparticle network, coordination numbers range from 2 to 5 –which is far below closest packing. Our simulations hence rationalize the formation of covalently bound network structures hosting extended pores. The resulting interfaces to the solvent show water immobilization only for the immediate contact layers, whilst the inner pores exhibit solvent mobility akin to bulk water.

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<![CDATA[Individual differences in cognitive processing for roughness rating of fine and coarse textures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5262d5eed0c4842bc728

Previous studies have demonstrated that skin vibration is an important factor affecting the roughness perception of fine textures. For coarse textures, the determining physical factor is much less clear and there are indications that this might be participant-dependent. In this paper, we focused on roughness perception of both coarse and fine textures of different materials (glass particle surfaces and sandpapers). We investigated the relationship between subjective roughness ratings and three physical parameters (skin vibration, friction coefficient, and particle size) within a group of 30 participants. Results of the glass particle surfaces showed both spatial information (particle size) and temporal information (skin vibration) had a high correlation with subjective roughness ratings. The former correlation was slightly but significantly higher than the latter. The results also indicated different weights of temporal information and spatial information for roughness ratings among participants. Roughness ratings of a different material (sandpaper versus glass particles) could be either larger, similar or smaller, indicating differences among individuals. The best way to describe our results is that in their perceptual evaluation of roughness, different individuals weight temporal information, spatial information, and other mechanical properties differently.

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<![CDATA[High-pitch, 120 kVp/30 mAs, low-dose dual-source chest CT with iterative reconstruction: Prospective evaluation of radiation dose reduction and image quality compared with those of standard-pitch low-dose chest CT in healthy adult volunteers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5369d9d5eed0c484a46906

Purpose

Objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the iterative reconstruction of high-pitch dual-source chest CT (IR-HP-CT) scanned with low radiation exposure compared with low dose chest CT (LDCT).

Materials and methods

This study was approved by the institutional review board. Thirty healthy adult volunteers (mean age 44 years) were enrolled in this study. All volunteers underwent both IR-HP-CT and LDCT. IR-HP-CT was scanned with 120 kVp tube voltage, 30 mAs tube current and pitch 3.2 and reconstructed with sinogram affirmed iterative reconstruction. LDCT was scanned with 120 kVp tube voltage, 40 mAs tube current and pitch 0.8 and reconstructed with B50 filtered back projection. Image noise, and signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the infraspinatus muscle, subcutaneous fat and lung parenchyma were calculated. Cardiac motion artifact, overall image quality and artifacts was rated by two blinded readers using 4-point scale. The dose-length product (DLP) (mGy∙cm) were obtained from each CT dosimetry table. Scan length was calculated from the DLP results. The DLP parameter was a metric of radiation output, not of patient dose. Size-specific dose estimation (SSDE, mGy) was calculated using the sum of the anteroposterior and lateral dimensions and effective radiation dose (ED, mSv) were calculated using CT dosimetry index.

Results

Approximately, mean 40% of SSDE (2.1 ± 0.2 mGy vs. 3.5 ± 0.3 mGy) and 34% of ED (1.0 ± 0.1 mSv vs. 1.5 ± 0.1 mSv) was reduced in IR-HP-CT compared to LDCT (P < 0.0001). Image noise was reduced in the IR-HP-CT (16.8 ± 2.8 vs. 19.8 ± 3.4, P = 0.0001). SNR of lung and aorta of IR-HP-CT showed better results compared with that of LDCT (22.2 ± 5.9 vs. 33.0 ± 7.8, 1.9 ± 0.4 vs 1.1 ± 0.3, P < 0.0001). The score of cardiac pulsation artifacts were significantly reduced on IR-HP-CT (3.8 ± 0.4, 95% confidence interval, 3.7‒4.0) compared with LDCT (1.6 ± 0.6, 95% confidence interval, 1.3‒1.8) (P < 0.0001). SNR of muscle and fat, beam hardening artifact and overall subjective image quality of the mediastinum, lung and chest wall were comparable on both scans (P ≥ 0.05).

Conclusion

IR-HP-CT with 120 kVp and 30 mAs tube setting in addition to an iterative reconstruction reduced cardiac motion artifact and radiation exposure while representing similar image quality compared with LDCT.

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<![CDATA[Deep convolutional networks do not classify based on global object shape]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141e6cd5eed0c484d26895

Deep convolutional networks (DCNNs) are achieving previously unseen performance in object classification, raising questions about whether DCNNs operate similarly to human vision. In biological vision, shape is arguably the most important cue for recognition. We tested the role of shape information in DCNNs trained to recognize objects. In Experiment 1, we presented a trained DCNN with object silhouettes that preserved overall shape but were filled with surface texture taken from other objects. Shape cues appeared to play some role in the classification of artifacts, but little or none for animals. In Experiments 2–4, DCNNs showed no ability to classify glass figurines or outlines but correctly classified some silhouettes. Aspects of these results led us to hypothesize that DCNNs do not distinguish object’s bounding contours from other edges, and that DCNNs access some local shape features, but not global shape. In Experiment 5, we tested this hypothesis with displays that preserved local features but disrupted global shape, and vice versa. With disrupted global shape, which reduced human accuracy to 28%, DCNNs gave the same classification labels as with ordinary shapes. Conversely, local contour changes eliminated accurate DCNN classification but caused no difficulty for human observers. These results provide evidence that DCNNs have access to some local shape information in the form of local edge relations, but they have no access to global object shapes.

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<![CDATA[Multivariate multiple regression models of poly(ethylene-terephthalate) film degradation under outdoor and multi-stressor accelerated weathering exposures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254560d5eed0c48442c622

Developing materials for use in photovoltaic (PV) systems requires knowledge of their performance over the warranted lifetime of the PV system. Poly(ethylene-terephthalate) (PET) is a critical component of PV module backsheets due to its dielectric properties and low cost. However, PET is susceptible to environmental stressors and degrades over time. Changes in the physical properties of nine PET grades were modeled after outdoor and accelerated weathering exposures to characterize the degradation process of PET and assess the influence of stabilizing additives and weathering factors. Multivariate multiple regression (MMR) models were developed to quantify changes in color, gloss, and haze of the materials. Natural splines were used to capture the non-linear relationship between predictors and responses. Model performance was evaluated via adjusted-R2 and root mean squared error values from leave-one-out cross validation analysis. All models described over 85% of the variation in the data with low relative error. Model coefficients were used to assess the influence of weathering stressors and material additives on the property changes of films. Photodose was found to be the primary degradation stressor and moisture was found to increase the degradation rate of PET. Direct moisture contact was found to impose more stress on the material than airbone moisture (humidity). Increasing the concentration of TiO2 was found to generally decrease the degradation rate of PET and mitigate hydrolytic degradation. MMR models were compared to physics-based models and agreement was found between the two modeling approaches. Cross-correlation of accelerated exposures to outdoor exposures was achieved via determination of cross-correlation scale factors. Cross-correlation revealed that direct moisture contact is a key factor for reliable accelerated weathering testing and provided a quantitative method to determine when accelerated exposure results can be made more aggressive to better approximate outdoor exposure conditions.

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<![CDATA[Live nanoscopic to mesoscopic topography reconstruction with an optical microscope for chemical and biological samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab853d5eed0c48402794b

Macroscopic properties of physical and biological processes like friction, wetting, and adhesion or cell migration are controlled by interfacial properties at the nanoscopic scale. In an attempt to bridge simultaneously investigations at different scales, we demonstrate here how optical microscopy in Wet-Surface Ellipsometric Enhanced Contrast (Wet-SEEC) mode offers imaging and measurement of thin films at solid/liquid interfaces in the range 1–500 nm with lateral optical resolution. A live, label-free and noninvasive methodology integrated with microfluidic devices allowed here characterization of polymers and proteins patterns together with corresponding phenotypes of living cells.

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<![CDATA[Microleakage of conventional light-cure resin-based fissure sealant and resin-modified glass ionomer sealant after application of a fluoride varnish on demineralized enamel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966d3d5eed0c484b53005

Background

International guidelines on the prevention of caries recommend sealing of the pits and fissures of the permanent molars. There is no evidence on which type of material is most effective on demineralized enamel.

Aim

To evaluate the microleakage of a conventional light-cured, resin-based fissure sealant (LCRBS), GrandiO Seal, and a resin-modified glass ionomer sealant (RMGIS), Vitremer, after application of a fluoride varnish, Bifluorid 12, on demineralized enamel.

Design

80 human third molars were divided into eight groups. The groups combined the three study factors (1) type of enamel (intact or demineralized); (2) enamel non-varnished or varnished with Biflourid12; and (3) type of sealant (GrandiO Seal or Vitremer). The percentage of microleakage after thermocycling was measured using imaging analysis software. The Kruskal-Wallis plus Dunn tests were used to compare differences in microleakage in the different groups.

Results

The lowest microleakage was in the unvarnished groups, and was the same for GrandiO Seal and Vitremer. When varnish was applied, microleakage was greater in demineralized enamel than in intact enamel for both LCRBS and RMGIS.

Conclusion

The application of fluoride varnish on demineralized enamel increases the microleakage of both GrandiO Seal and Vitremer.

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<![CDATA[Experimental studies addressing the longevity of Bacillus subtilis spores – The first data from a 500-year experiment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028ebd5eed0c4842487a5

The ability to form endospores allows certain Gram-positive bacteria (e.g. Bacillus subtilis) to challenge the limits of microbial resistance and survival. Thus, B. subtilis is able to tolerate many environmental extremes by transitioning into a dormant state as spores, allowing survival under otherwise unfavorable conditions. Despite thorough study of spore resistance to external stresses, precisely how long B. subtilis spores can lie dormant while remaining viable, a period that potentially far exceeds the human lifespan; is not known although convincing examples of long term spore survival have been recorded. In this study, we report the first data from a 500-year microbial experiment, which started in 2014 and will finish in 2514. A set of vials containing a defined concentration of desiccated B. subtilis spores is opened and tested for viability every two years for the first 24 years and then every 25 years until experiment completion. Desiccated baseline spore samples were also exposed to environmental stresses, including X-rays, 254 nm UV-C, 10% H2O2, dry heat (120°C) and wet heat (100°C) to investigate how desiccated spores respond to harsh environmental conditions after long periods of storage. Data from the first 2 years of storage show no significant decrease in spore viability. Additionally, spores of B. subtilis were subjected to various short-term storage experiments, revealing that space-like vacuum and high NaCl concentration negatively affected spore viability.

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<![CDATA[Individual Objective and Subjective Fixation Disparity in Near Vision]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb94a

Binocular vision refers to the integration of images in the two eyes for improved visual performance and depth perception. One aspect of binocular vision is the fixation disparity, which is a suboptimal condition in individuals with respect to binocular eye movement control and subsequent neural processing. The objective fixation disparity refers to the vergence angle between the visual axes, which is measured with eye trackers. Subjective fixation disparity is tested with two monocular nonius lines which indicate the physical nonius separation required for perceived alignment. Subjective and objective fixation disparity represent the different physiological mechanisms of motor and sensory fusion, but the precise relation between these two is still unclear. This study measures both types of fixation disparity at viewing distances of 40, 30, and 24 cm while observers fixated a central stationary fusion target. 20 young adult subjects with normal binocular vision were tested repeatedly to investigate individual differences. For heterophoria and subjective fixation disparity, this study replicated that the binocular system does not properly adjust to near targets: outward (exo) deviations typically increase as the viewing distance is shortened. This exo proximity effect—however—was not found for objective fixation disparity, which–on the average–was zero. But individuals can have reliable outward (exo) or inward (eso) vergence errors. Cases with eso objective fixation disparity tend to have less exo states of subjective fixation disparity and heterophoria. In summary, the two types of fixation disparity seem to respond in a different way when the viewing distance is shortened. Motor and sensory fusion–as reflected by objective and subjective fixation disparity–exhibit complex interactions that may differ between individuals (eso versus exo) and vary with viewing distance (far versus near vision).

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<![CDATA[Whitefly attraction to rosemary (Rosmarinus officinialis L.) is associated with volatile composition and quantity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf799

Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) is an important insect pest, causing severe damage to agricultural crops. The pest was recorded in a commercial rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis, Lamiaceae) field, colonizing rosemary variety (var.) '2', but not '11'. A series of field and controlled laboratory choice bioassays confirmed the observed phenomenon. Mature potted plants of the two varieties were randomly organized in a lemon verbena (Lippia citrodora) and lemon grass (Cymbopogon spp.) fields. Seven days later var. '2' was significantly more colonized by whiteflies than var. '11'. Under lab conditions, whiteflies were significantly more attracted to var. '2' plantlets than to var. '11' following choice bioassays. Furthermore, cotton plants dipped in an essential oil emulsion of var. '2' had significantly greater colonization than cotton plants dipped in the essential oil emulsion of var. '11'. Similar results were obtained in 'plant-plant', 'plant-no plant' as well as, 'essential oil—essential oil' choice bioassay designs. Analyses of the essential oils of the two varieties identified a set of common and unique volatiles in each variety. Among these volatiles were β-caryophyllene and limonene, two compounds known to be associated with plant-insect interactions. The attraction of B. tabaci to pure (>95%) β-caryophyllene and limonene using a range of concentrations was examined in vitro by choice bioassays. The compounds were attractive to the insect at moderate concentration, but not at the lowest or highest concentrations used, where the insect was not attracted or repelled, respectively. Limonene attracted the insects at rates that were 10-fold lower than β-caryophyllene. The results emphasized the role of host plant volatiles in shaping the structure of B. tabaci populations in nature and in agricultural systems, and provided insights into the factors that contribute to the development of insect populations with unique characteristics. The results could also serve for future development of bio-pesticides and in breeding programs.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive measurement of UVB-induced non-melanoma skin cancer burden in mice using photographic images as a substitute for the caliper method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb966

The vernier caliper has been used as a gold standard to measure the length, width and height of skin tumors to calculate their total area and volume. It is a simple method for collecting data on a few tumors at a time, but becomes tedious, time-consuming and stressful for the animals and the operator when used for measuring multiple tumors in a large number of animals in protocols such as UVB-induced non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in SKH-1 mice. Here, we show that photographic images of these mice taken within a few minutes under optimized conditions can be subjected to computerized analyses to determine tumor volume and area as accurately and precisely as the caliper method. Unlike the caliper method, the photographic method also records the incidence and multiplicity of tumors, thus permitting comprehensive measurement of tumor burden in the animal. The simplicity and ease of this method will permit more frequent monitoring of tumor burden in long protocols, resulting in the creation of additional data about dynamic changes in progression of cancer or the efficacy of therapeutic intervention. The photographic method can broadly substitute the caliper method for quantifying other skin pathologies.

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<![CDATA[Emphysema in active farmer’s lung disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be1076

Background

Farmer’s lung (FL) is a common type of hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It is often considered that fibrosis is the most frequent finding in chronic FL. Nevertheless, three cohort studies have suggested that some patients with chronic FL may develop emphysema. We aimed to evaluate the current prevalence of emphysema in active FL, to describe the radiological and functional features of emphysema in active FL, and to identify risk factors associated with emphysema in this population.

Methods

Patients aged over 18 years with active FL were prospectively recruited through the SOPHIA study (CPP Est; P-2009-521), between 2007 and 2015. Each patient had complete medical history screening, clinical examination, high resolution computed tomodensitometry, bronchoalveolar lavage, pulmonary function tests and serum precipitins.

Results

Among 33 patients with active FL, the prevalence of emphysema in this series of incident active FL cases was higher (48.5%) than that of fibrosis (12%) and was not dependent on smoking habits. Most patients with emphysema did not have lung hyperinflation. The possible risk factors for emphysema in active FL were a longer duration of exposure to organic dusts, and at a higher level.

Conclusion

Emphysema is found in half of patients with active FL and may be influenced by exposure patterns.

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<![CDATA[Shewanella oneidensis MR-1-Induced Fe(III) Reduction Facilitates Roxarsone Transformation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1bab0ee8fa60b7ce91

Although microbial activity and associated iron (oxy)hydroxides are known in general to affect the environmental dynamics of 4-hydroxy-3-nitrobenzenearsonic acid (roxarsone), the mechanistic understanding of the underlying biophysico-chemical processes remains unclear due to limited experimental information. We studied how Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 –a widely distributed metal-reducing bacterium, in the presence of dissolved Fe(III), affects roxarsone transformations and biogeochemical cycling in a model aqueous system. The results showed that the MR-1 strain was able to anaerobically use roxarsone as a terminal electron acceptor and to convert it to a single product, 3-amino-4-hydroxybenzene arsonic acid (AHBAA). The presence of Fe(III) stimulated roxarsone transformation via MR-1-induced Fe(III) reduction, whereby the resulting Fe(II) acted as an efficient reductant for roxarsone transformation. In addition, the subsequent secondary Fe(III)/Fe(II) mineralization created conditions for adsorption of organoarsenic compounds to the yielded precipitates and thereby led to arsenic immobilization. The study provided direct evidence of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1-induced direct and Fe(II)-associated roxarsone transformation. Quantitative estimations revealed a candidate mechanism for the early-stage environmental dynamics of roxarsone in nature, which is essential for understanding the environmental dynamics of roxarsone and successful risk assessment.

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<![CDATA[Vitamin D supplementation and growth in urban Mongol school children: Results from two randomized clinical trials]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf602

Background

Symptomatic vitamin D deficiency is associated with slowed growth in children. It is unknown whether vitamin D repletion in children with asymptomatic serum vitamin D deficiency can restore normal growth.

Objective

We tested the impact of vitamin D-supplementation on serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and short-term growth in Mongol children, with very low serum vitamin D levels in winter.

Design

We conducted two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in urban school age children without clinical signs of rickets. The Supplementation Study was a 6-month intervention with an 800 IU vitamin D3 supplement daily, compared with placebo, in 113 children aged 12–15 years. A second study, the Fortification Study, was a 7-week intervention with 710 ml of whole milk fortified with 300 IU vitamin D3 daily, compared with unfortified milk, in 235 children aged 9–11 years.

Results

At winter baseline, children had low vitamin D levels, with a mean (±SD) serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration of 7.3 (±3.9) ng/ml in the Supplementation Study and 7.5 (±3.8) ng/ml in the Fortification Study. The serum levels increased in both vitamin D groups—by 19.8 (±5.1) ng/ml in the Supplementation Study, and 19.7 (±6.1) ng/ml in the Fortification Study. Multivariable analysis showed a 0.9 (±0.3 SE) cm greater increase in height in the vitamin-D treated children, compared to placebo treated children, in the 6-month Supplementation Study (p = 0.003). Although the children in the 7-week Fortification Study intervention arm grew 0.2 (±0.1) cm more, on average, than placebo children this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.2). There were no significant effects of vitamin D supplements on differences in changes in weight or body mass index in either trial. For the Fortification Study, girls gained more weight than boys while taking vitamin D 3 (p-value for interaction = 0.03), but sex was not an effect modifier of the relationship between vitamin D3 and change in either height or BMI in either trial.

Conclusions

Correcting vitamin D deficiency in children with very low serum vitamin D levels using 800 IU of vitamin D3 daily for six months increased growth, at least in the short-term, whereas, in a shorter trial of 300 IU of D fortified milk daily for 7 weeks did not.

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<![CDATA[Potential Host Manipulation by the Aphid Parasitoid Aphidius avenae to Enhance Cold Tolerance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac8ab0ee8fa60bb3272

During parasitoid development, the immature parasitoid is confined to the host species. As a result, any potential to modify the physiology or behaviour of the host could play an important role in parasitoid fitness. The potential for host manipulation by the aphid parasitoid Aphidius avenae to increase cold thermotolerance was investigated using the aphid host species Metopolophium dirhodum and Sitobion avenae. Aphids were parasitized at L3/L4 instar stage (5 d old) and allowed to develop into pre-reproductive adults (10 d old) containing a 5 d old parasitoid larva. A control group was created of non-parasitized pre-reproductive adults (10 d old). The inherent physiological thermotolerance (LT50) and potential behavioural thermoregulation (behaviour in a declining temperature regime) of parasitized and non-parasitized aphids were investigated. Results revealed no effect of parasitism on the physiological thermotolerance of S. avenae and M. dirhodum. Significant differences in the behaviour of parasitized and non-parasitized aphids were observed, in addition to differences between host species, and such behaviours are discussed in view of the potential for host manipulation.

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<![CDATA[The Production of a Stable Infliximab Powder: The Evaluation of Spray and Freeze-Drying for Production]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3aab0ee8fa60b87850

In prospect of developing an oral dosage form of Infliximab, for treatment of Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, freeze-drying (vial vs Lyoguard trays) and spray-drying were investigated as production method for stable powders. Dextran and inulin were used in combination with sucrose as stabilizing excipients. The drying processes did not affect Infliximab in these formulations, i.e. both the physical integrity and biological activity (TNF binding) were retained. Accelerated stability studies (1 month at 60°C) showed that the TNF binding ability of Infliximab was conserved in the freeze-dried formulations, whereas the liquid counterpart lost all TNF binding. After thermal treatment, the dried formulations showed some chemical modification of the IgG in the dextran-sucrose formulation, probably due to Maillard reaction products. This study indicates that, with the appropriate formulation, both spray-drying and freeze-drying may be useful for (bulk) powder production of Infliximab.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive Chemical Characterisation of Byzantine Glass Weights]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafbab0ee8fa60bc4c03

The understanding of the glass trade in the first millennium CE relies on the characterisation of well-dated compositional groups and the identification of their primary production sites. 275 Byzantine glass weights from the British Museum and the Bibliothèque nationale de France dating to the sixth and seventh century were analysed by LA-ICP-MS. Multivariate statistical and graphical data analysis discriminated between six main primary glass types. Primary glass sources were differentiated based on multi-dimensional comparison of silica-derived elements (MgO, Al2O3, CaO, TiO2, Fe2O3, ZrO2) and components associated with the alkali source (Li2O, B2O3). Along with Egyptian and Levantine origins of the glassmaking sands, variations in the natron source possibly point to the exploitation of two different natron deposits. Differences in strontium to calcium ratios revealed variations in the carbonate fractions in the sand. At least two cobalt sources were employed as colouring agents, one of which shows strong correlations with nickel, indicating a specific post-Roman cobalt source. Typological evidence identified chronological developments in the use of the different glass groups. Throughout the sixth century, Byzantine glass weights were predominately produced from two glasses that are probably of an Egyptian origin (Foy-2 and Foy-2 high Fe). Towards the second half of the sixth century a new but related plant-ash glass type emerged (Magby). Levantine I was likewise found among the late sixth- to early seventh-century samples. The use of different dies for the same batch testifies to large-scale, centralised production of the weights, while the same die used for different primary production groups demonstrates the co-existence of alternative sources of supply. Given the comprehensive design of our study, these results can be extrapolated to the wider early Byzantine glass industry and its changes at large.

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<![CDATA[The influence of lightning induced voltage on the distribution power line polymer insulators]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbf7f

Protection of medium voltage (MV) overhead lines against the indirect effects of lightning is an important issue in Malaysia and other tropical countries. Protection of these lines against the indirect effects of lightning is a major concern and can be improved by several ways. The choice of insulator to be used for instance, between the glass, ceramic or polymer, can help to improve the line performance from the perspective of increasing the breakdown strength. In this paper, the electrical performance of a 10 kV polymer insulator under different conditions for impulse, weather and insulator angle with respect to a cross-arm were studied (both experimental and modelling) and the results were discussed accordingly. Results show that the weather and insulator angle (with respect to the cross-arm) are surprisingly influenced the values of breakdown voltage and leakage current for both negative and positive impulses. Therefore, in order to select a proper protection system for MV lines against lightning induced voltage, consideration of the local information concerning the weather and also the insulator angles with respect to the cross-arm are very useful for line stability and performance.

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<![CDATA[Simultaneous Determination of Glass Transition Temperatures of Several Polymers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e8ab0ee8fa60b6bd69

Aims

A simple and easy optical method is proposed for the determination of glass transition temperature (Tg) of polymers.

Methods & Results

Tg was determined using the technique of microsphere imaging to monitor the variation of the refractive index of polymer microsphere as a function of temperature. It was demonstrated that the method can eliminate most thermal lag and has sensitivity about six fold higher than the conventional method in Tg determination. So the determined Tg is more accurate and varies less with cooling/heating rate than that obtained by conventional methods. The most attractive character of the method is that it can simultaneously determine the Tg of several polymers in a single experiment, so it can greatly save experimental time and heating energy.

Conclusion

The method is not only applicable for polymer microspheres, but also for the materials with arbitrary shapes. Therefore, it is expected to be broadly applied to different fundamental researches and practical applications of polymers.

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