Hindawi Publishing Corporation http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Association between Polymorphism of Interleukin-1beta and Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Gene and Asthma Risk: A Meta-Analysis Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:07:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/685684/ Background. Asthma is a complex polygenic disease in which gene-environment interactions are important. A number of studies have investigated the polymorphism of IL-1β -511C/T and IL-1RA genes in relation to asthma susceptibility in different populations. However, the results of individual studies have been inconsistent. Accordingly, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis to investigate the association between the IL-1β -511C/T and IL-1RA polymorphism and asthma risk. Methods. Data were collected from the following electronic databases: Pub Med, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), ISI Web of Knowledge, and Google Scholar Search databases with the last report up to July 2013. Finally, 15 studies were included in our meta-analysis. We summarized the data on the association between IL-1β -511C/T and IL-1RA polymorphism and risk of asthma in the overall population and performed subgroup analyses by ethnicity, mean of age, and source of controls. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to evaluate the associations between IL-1β -511C/T and IL-1RA polymorphism and asthma risk. Statistical analysis was performed with Review Manager 5.1. Results. A total of 15 case-control studies were included in the meta-analysis of IL-1β -511C/T (1,385 cases and 1,964 controls) and IL-1RA (2,800 cases and 6,359 controls) genotypes. No association was found between IL-1β -511C/T polymorphism and asthma risk (dominant model: , 95% CI: 0.99–1.25, , ; recessive model: , 95% CI: 0.91–1.20, , ). Subgroup analysis based on ethnicity (Asian and Caucasian), source of controls (population-based controls and hospital-based controls), and mean of age (adulthood and childhood) did not present any significant association. The overall results showed that the IL-1RA polymorphism was related to an increased risk of asthma (homozygote model: , 95% CI: 1.12–1.56, , ; recessive model: , 95% CI: 1.18–1.63, , ). Similar results were found in the subgroup analyses by ethnicity, mean of age, and source of controls. Sensitivity analysis did not perturb the results. Conclusions. This meta-analysis provided strong evidence that the IL-1RA polymorphism was a risk factor of asthma, especially in Caucasian populations. However, no association was found for IL-1β -511C/T genotype carriers. Larger scale studies are needed for confirmation. Yuanzhou He, Shuang Peng, Weining Xiong, Yongjian Xu, and Jin Liu Copyright © 2015 Yuanzhou He et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Welding Residual Stress for Making Artificial Stress Corrosion Crack in the STS 304 Pipe Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:09:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2015/932512/ The stress corrosion crack is one of the fracture phenomena for the major structure components in nuclear power plant. During the operation of a power plant, stress corrosion cracks are initiated and grown especially in dissimilar weldment of primary loop components. In particular, stress corrosion crack usually occurs when the following three factors exist at the same time: susceptible material, corrosive environment, and tensile stress (residual stress included). Thus, residual stress becomes a critical factor for stress corrosion crack when it is difficult to improve the material corrosivity of the components and their environment under operating conditions. In this study, stress corrosion cracks were artificially produced on STS 304 pipe itself by control of welding residual stress. We used the instrumented indentation technique and 3D FEM analysis (using ANSYS 12) to evaluate the residual stress values in the GTAW area. We used the custom-made device for fabricating the stress corrosion crack in the inner STS 304 pipe wall. As the result of both FEM analysis and experiment, the stress corrosion crack was quickly generated and could be reproduced, and it could be controlled by welding residual stress. Jae-Seong Kim, Bo-Young Lee, Woong-Gi Hwang, and Sung-Sik Kang Copyright © 2015 Jae-Seong Kim et al. All rights reserved. Bypass during Liver Transplantation: Anachronism or Revival? Liver Transplantation Using a Combined Venovenous/Portal Venous Bypass—Experiences with 163 Liver Transplants in a Newly Established Liver Transplantation Program Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:09:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2015/967951/ Introduction. The venovenous/portal venous (VVP) bypass technique has generally become obsolete in liver transplantation (LT) today. We evaluated our experience with 163 consecutive LTs that used a VVP bypass. Patients and Methods. The liver transplant program was started in our center in 2010. LTs were performed using an extracorporal bypass device. Results. Mean operative time was 269 minutes and warm ischemic time 43 minutes. The median number of transfusion of packed cells and plasma was 7 and 14. There was no intraoperative death, and the 30-day mortality was 3%. Severe bypass-induced complications did not occur. Discussion. The introduction of a new LT program requires maximum safety measures for all of the parties involved. Both surgical and anaesthesiological management (reperfusion) can be controlled very reliably using a VVP bypass device. Particularly when using marginal grafts, this approach helps to minimise both surgical and anaesthesiological complications in terms of less volume overload, less use of vasopressive drugs, less myocardial injury, and better peripheral blood circulation. Conclusion. Based on our experiences while establishing a new liver transplantation program, we advocate the reappraisal of the extracorporeal VVP bypass. Anne Mossdorf, Florian Ulmer, Karsten Junge, Christoph Heidenhain, Marc Hein, Ilknur Temizel, Ulf Peter Neumann, Wenzel Schöning, and Maximilian Schmeding Copyright © 2015 Anne Mossdorf et al. All rights reserved. Intravitreal Aflibercept Injection and Photodynamic Treatment of a Patient with Unilateral Subretinal Neovascular Membrane Associated with Fundus Flavimaculatus Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:09:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criopm/2015/748420/ We report the good outcome of combined intravitreal aflibercept injection and photodynamic treatment in a case with fundus flavimaculatus (FFM) and unilateral subretinal neovascular membrane (SRNM). A 57-year-old man with FFM and unilateral SRNM who was treated with two consecutive ranibizumab injections with no improvement at another institution was referred to us. He was treated successfully with three aflibercept injections three months apart and a single photodynamic treatment performed a week after the initial aflibercept injection. Six weeks after the last aflibercept injection visual acuity was improved and submacular exudation exhibited dramatic resolution with a moderate degree of residual scarring. SRNM formation is rarely observed in eyes with FFM and a satisfactory outcome can be achieved with a proper treatment. Ali Osman Saatci, Ziya Ayhan, Bora Yüksel, Göktuğ Seymenoğlu, and Seenu M. Hariprasad Copyright © 2015 Ali Osman Saatci et al. All rights reserved. Sol-Gel Derived Eu3+-Doped Gd2Ti2O7 Pyrochlore Nanopowders Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:08:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2015/514173/ Herein we presented hydrolytic sol-gel synthesis and photoluminescent properties of Eu3+-doped Gd2Ti2O7 pyrochlore nanopowders. According to Gd2Ti2O7 precursor gel thermal analysis a temperature of 840°C is identified for the formation of the crystalline pyrochlore phase. Obtained samples were systematically characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. The powders consist of well-crystalline cubic nanocrystallites of approximately 20 nm in size as evidenced from X-ray diffraction. The scanning and transmission electron microscopy shows that investigated Eu3+-doped Gd2Ti2O7 nanopowders consist of compact, dense aggregates composed entirely of nanoparticles with variable both shape and dimension. The influence of Eu3+ ions concentration on the optical properties, namely, photoluminescence emission and decay time, is measured and discussed. Emission intensity as a function of Eu3+ ions concentration shows that Gd2Ti2O7 host can accept Eu3+ ions in concentrations up to 10 at.%. On the other hand, lifetime values are similar up to 3 at.% (~2.7 ms) and experience decrease at higher concentrations (2.4 ms for 10 at.% Eu3+). Moreover, photoluminescent spectra and lifetime values clearly revealed presence of structural defects in sol-gel derived materials proposing photoluminescent spectroscopy as a sensitive tool for monitoring structural changes in both steady state and lifetime domains. Sanja Ćulubrk, Željka Antić, Vesna Lojpur, Milena Marinović-Cincović, and Miroslav D. Dramićanin Copyright © 2015 Sanja Ćulubrk et al. All rights reserved. Antioxidant Strategies in the Management of Diabetic Neuropathy Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:04:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/515042/ Chronic hyperglycaemia (an abnormally high glucose concentration in the blood) resulting from defects in insulin secretion/action, or both, is the major hallmark of diabetes in which it is known to be involved in the progression of the condition to different complications that include diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy (diabetes-induced nerve damage) is the most common diabetic complication and can be devastating because it can lead to disability. There is an increasing body of evidence associating diabetic neuropathy with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress results from the production of oxygen free radicals in the body in excess of its ability to eliminate them by antioxidant activity. Antioxidants have different mechanisms and sites of actions by which they exert their biochemical effects and ameliorate nerve dysfunction in diabetes by acting directly against oxidative damage. This review will examine different strategies for managing diabetic neuropathy which rely on exogenous antioxidants. Ayodeji Babatunde Oyenihi, Ademola Olabode Ayeleso, Emmanuel Mukwevho, and Bubuya Masola Copyright © 2015 Ayodeji Babatunde Oyenihi et al. All rights reserved. Predictors of Mortality for Nursing Home-Acquired Pneumonia: A Systematic Review Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:47:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/285983/ Background. Current risk stratification tools, primarily used for CAP, are suboptimal in predicting nursing home acquired pneumonia (NHAP) outcome and mortality. We conducted a systematic review to evaluate current evidence on the usefulness of proposed predictors of NHAP mortality. Methods. PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE, and CINAHL databases were searched for articles published in English between January 1978 and January 2014. The literature search elicited a total of 666 references; 580 were excluded and 20 articles met the inclusion criteria for the final analysis. Results. More studies supported the Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI) as a superior predictor of NHAP severity. Fewer studies suggested CURB-65 and SOAR (especially for the need of ICU care) as useful predictors for NHAP mortality. There is weak evidence for biomarkers like C-reactive protein and copeptin as prognostic tools. Conclusion. The evidence supports the use of PSI as the best available indicator while CURB-65 may be an alternative prognostic indicator for NHAP mortality. Overall, due to the paucity of information, biomarkers may not be as effective in this role. Larger prospective studies are needed to establish the most effective predictor(s) or combination scheme to help clinicians in decision-making related to NHAP mortality. Naveen Dhawan, Naushira Pandya, Michael Khalili, Manuel Bautista, Anurag Duggal, Jaya Bahl, and Vineet Gupta Copyright © 2015 Naveen Dhawan et al. All rights reserved. Retinal Neurodegeneration in db/db Mice at the Early Period of Diabetes Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:32:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2015/757412/ Purpose. To describe both the functional and pathological alternations in neurosensory retina in a murine model of spontaneous type 2 diabetes (db/db mouse). Methods. db/db (BKS/DB−/−) mice and heterozygous littermates (as control group) at various ages (12, 16, 20, 24, and 28 weeks) were inspected with pattern electroretinogram (PERG), fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA), and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Histological markers of neuroinflammation (IBA-1 and F4/80) were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. In addition, levels of retinal ganglion cell death were measured by terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL). Results. Significant alternations of PERG responses and increased retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) apoptosis were observed in diabetic db/db mice for 20-week period when compared with control group. IBA-1 and F4/80 expression in microglia/macrophages became evidently for 24-week period, thus supporting the PERG findings. Furthermore, obvious thinning of nasal and dorsal retina in 28-week-old db/db mice was also revealed by OCT. No visible retinal microvascular changes were detected by FFA throughout the experiments on db/db mice. Conclusions. Diabetic retina underwent neurodegenerative changes in db/db mice, which happened at retinal ganglion cell layer and inner nuclear layer. But there was no obvious abnormality in retinal vasculature on db/db mice. Qin Yang, Yidan Xu, Ping Xie, Haixia Cheng, Qinglu Song, Tu Su, Songtao Yuan, and Qinghuai Liu Copyright © 2015 Qin Yang et al. All rights reserved. Quantitative Determination of Lercanidipine Enantiomers in Commercial Formulations by Capillary Electrophoresis Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:59:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jamc/2015/294270/ An enantioselective method based on capillary electrophoresis (CE) using cyclodextrin (CD) as chiral selector was developed and validated for determination of lercanidipine (LER) enantiomers, a drug calcium channel blocker which exerts antihypertensive effects of long duration, in a pharmaceutical formulation. Optimum separation of LER enantiomers was obtained on a 50 cm × 50 μm id capillary using a sodium acetate buffer solution 200 mmol/L pH 4.0 containing 10 mmol/L of 2,3,6-o-methyl-β-cyclodextrin (TM-β-CD) as background electrolyte. The capillary temperature and voltage were 15°C and 25 kV, respectively, hydrodynamic injection and detection at 237 nm. Linearity was obtained in the range 12.5–100 μg/mL for both enantiomers (). The RSD (%) and relative errors (, %) obtained in precision and accuracy studies (intraday and interday) were lower than 5%. After validation, the method was applied to quantify the enantiomers of LER in commercial tablets and the results were satisfactory in terms of accuracy and precision, both less than 5%. Therefore, this method was found to be appropriate for enantioselective quality control of LER enantiomers in pharmaceutical formulations. Luciana Pereira Lourenço, Fernando Armani Aguiar, Anderson Rodrigo Moraes de Oliveira, and Cristiane Masetto de Gaitani Copyright © 2015 Luciana Pereira Lourenço et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Levothyroxine Replacement Therapy on Parameters of Metabolic Syndrome and Atherosclerosis in Hypothyroid Patients: A Prospective Pilot Study Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:57:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2015/147070/ The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of levothyroxine (LT4) replacement therapy during three months on some parameters of metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis in patients with increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level. This study included a group of 30 female patients with TSH level >4 mIU/L and 15 matched healthy controls. Intima media complex thickness (IMCT) and peak systolic flow velocity (PSFV) of superficial femoral artery were determined by Color Doppler scan. In hypothyroid subjects, BMI, SBP, DBP, and TSH were significantly increased versus controls and decreased after LT4 administration. FT4 was significantly lower in hypothyroid subjects compared with controls and significantly higher by treatment. TC, Tg, HDL-C, and LDL-C were similar to controls at baseline but TC and LDL-C were significantly decreased by LH4 treatment. IMCT was significantly increased versus controls at baseline and significantly reduced by treatment. PSFV was similar to controls at baseline and significantly decreased on treatment. In this study, we have demonstrated the effects of LT4 replacement therapy during three months of treatment on correction of risk factors of metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis. Zoran Gluvic, Emina Sudar, Jelena Tica, Aleksandra Jovanovic, Sonja Zafirovic, Ratko Tomasevic, and Esma R. Isenovic Copyright © 2015 Zoran Gluvic et al. All rights reserved. The Existence and Uniqueness of a New Boundary Value Problem (Type of Problem “E”) for Linear System Equations of the Mixed Hyperbolic-Elliptic Type in the Multivariate Dimension with the Changing Time Direction Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:55:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/703652/ The existence and uniqueness of the boundary value problem for linear systems equations of the mixed hyperbolic-elliptic type in the multivariate domain with the changing time direction are studied. Applying methods of functional analysis, “-regularizing” continuation by the parameter and by means of prior estimates, the existence and uniqueness of generalized and regular solutions of a boundary problem are established in a weighted Sobolev space. Mahammad A. Nurmammadov Copyright © 2015 Mahammad A. Nurmammadov. All rights reserved. Early Maternal Deprivation Enhances Voluntary Alcohol Intake Induced by Exposure to Stressful Events Later in Life Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:42:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2015/342761/ In the present study, we aimed to assess the impact of early life stress, in the form of early maternal deprivation (MD, 24 h on postnatal day, pnd, 9), on voluntary alcohol intake in adolescent male and female Wistar rats. During adolescence, from pnd 28 to pnd 50, voluntary ethanol intake (20%, v/v) was investigated using the two-bottle free choice paradigm. To better understand the relationship between stress and alcohol consumption, voluntary alcohol intake was also evaluated following additional stressful events later in life, that is, a week of alcohol cessation and a week of alcohol cessation combined with exposure to restraint stress. Female animals consumed more alcohol than males only after a second episode of alcohol cessation combined with restraint stress. MD did not affect baseline voluntary alcohol intake but increased voluntary alcohol intake after stress exposure, indicating that MD may render animals more vulnerable to the effects of stress on alcohol intake. During adolescence, when animals had free access to alcohol, MD animals showed lower body weight gain but a higher growth rate than control animals. Moreover, the higher growth rate was accompanied by a decrease in food intake, suggesting an altered metabolic regulation in MD animals that may interact with alcohol intake. Sara Peñasco, Virginia Mela, Jose Antonio López-Moreno, María-Paz Viveros, and Eva M. Marco Copyright © 2015 Sara Peñasco et al. All rights reserved. Family Outbreaks of Nontyphoidal Salmonellosis following a Meal of Guinea Pigs Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:37:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criid/2015/864640/ Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to a wide variety of foods, including recent nationwide outbreaks. Guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), also known as cuy or cobayo, has long been a popular delicacy and ceremonial food in the Andean region in South America. This case report describes three family outbreaks of nontyphoidal salmonellosis, each occurring after a meal of guinea pigs. We believe this case report is the first to describe a probable association between the consumption of guinea pig meat and human salmonellosis. Physicians should be aware of the association of Salmonella and the consumption of guinea pigs, given the increasing immigration of people from the Andean region of South America and the increasing travel to this region. John B. Fournier, Kimberly Knox, Maureen Harris, and Michael Newstein Copyright © 2015 John B. Fournier et al. All rights reserved. Handling Diagnosis of Schizophrenia by a Hybrid Method Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:36:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmm/2015/987298/ Psychotics disorders, most commonly known as schizophrenia, have incapacitated professionals in different sectors of activities. Those disorders have caused damage in a microlevel to the individual and his/her family and in a macrolevel to the economic and production system of the country. The lack of early and sometimes very late diagnosis has provided reactive measures, when the professional is already showing psychological signs of incapacity to work. This study aims to help the early diagnosis of psychotics’ disorders with a hybrid proposal of an expert system that is integrated to structured methodologies in decision support (multicriteria decision analysis: MCDA) and knowledge structured representations into production rules and probabilities (artificial intelligence: AI). Luciano Comin Nunes, Plácido Rogério Pinheiro, Tarcísio Pequeno Cavalcante, and Mirian Calíope Dantas Pinheiro Copyright © 2015 Luciano Comin Nunes et al. All rights reserved. Possible Involvement of µ Opioid Receptor in the Antidepressant-Like Effect of Shuyu Formula in Restraint Stress-Induced Depression-Like Rats Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:36:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/452412/ Recently μ opioid receptor (MOR) has been shown to be closely associated with depression. Here we investigated the action of Shuyu, a Chinese herbal prescription, on repeated restraint stress induced depression-like rats, with specific attention to the role of MOR and the related signal cascade. Our results showed that repeated restraint stress caused significant depressive-like behaviors, as evidenced by reduced body weight gain, prolonged duration of immobility in forced swimming test, and decreased number of square-crossings and rearings in open field test. The stress-induced depression-like behaviors were relieved by Shuyu, which was accompanied by decreased expression of MOR in hippocampus. Furthermore, Shuyu upregulated BDNF protein expression, restored the activity of CREB, and stimulated MEK and ERK phosphorylation in hippocampus of stressed rats. More importantly, MOR is involved in the effects of Shuyu on these depression-related signals, as they can be strengthened by MOR antagonist CTAP. Collectively, these data indicated that the antidepressant-like properties of Shuyu are associated with MOR and the corresponding CREB, BDNF, MEK, and ERK signal pathway. Our study supports clinical use of Shuyu as an effective treatment of depression and also suggests that MOR might be a target for treatment of depression and developing novel antidepressants. Fu-rong Wang, Ming-qi Qiao, Ling Xue, and Sheng Wei Copyright © 2015 Fu-rong Wang et al. All rights reserved. On the Lightning Electromagnetic Fields due to Channel with Variable Return Stroke Velocity Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:32:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/150756/ Numerical field expressions are proposed to evaluate the electromagnetic fields due to the lightning channel with variable values of return stroke velocity. Previous calculation methods generally use an average value for the return stroke velocity along a lightning channel. The proposed method can support different velocity profiles along a lightning channel in addition to the widely used channel-base current functions and also the general form of the engineering current models directly in the time domain without the need to apply any extra conversions. Moreover, a sample of the measured lightning current is used to validate the proposed method while the velocity profile is simulated by the general velocity function. The simulated fields based on constant and variable values of velocity are compared to the corresponding measured fields. The results show that the simulated fields based on the proposed method are in good agreement with the corresponding measured fields. M. Izadi, M. Z. A. Ab Kadir, and M. Hajikhani Copyright © 2015 M. Izadi et al. All rights reserved. Acute Dysphasia and Reversible Cognitive Decline in a Patient with Probable Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy-Related Inflammation Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:23:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crinm/2015/189581/ Cerebral amyloid angiopathy related inflammation (CAAri) is becoming increasingly recognised as a subset of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). CAAri generally presents with subacute cognitive decline, headaches, seizures, behavioral changes, and focal neurological deficits. We describe a patient who developed acute dysphasia and reversible cognitive decline due to probable CAAri. CT brain showed bilateral vasogenic edema in the cerebral hemispheres, predominantly involving the parietal and temporal lobes, left greater than right without enhancement. Magnetic resonance brain imaging showed extensive multifocal areas of subcortical white matter T2 hyperintensity in the frontal and temporal regions with associated mass effect, negligible enhancement, and multiple foci of microhemorrhage on susceptibility weighted imaging sequences consistent with a diagnosis of probable CAAri. She responded dramatically to a course of intravenous methylprednisolone followed by further immunosuppression with pulse intravenous cyclophosphamide. Her dysphasia resolved within 5 days of intravenous methylprednisolone therapy. Her MMSE improved from 11/30 at day 5 of admission to 28/30 at 6-month follow-up. The notable features of our case were the unusual CT findings, which were inconsistent with stroke and diagnostic utility of susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in confirming the diagnosis which allowed for prompt institution of immunosuppression. Louise Rigney, Dale Sebire, and Dennis Cordato Copyright © 2015 Louise Rigney et al. All rights reserved. Efficient Intelligent Energy Routing Protocol in Wireless Sensor Networks Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:21:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/618072/ In wireless sensor networks energy is a very important issue because these networks consist of lowpower sensor nodes. This paper proposes a new protocol to reach energy efficiency. The protocol has a different priority in energy efficiency as reducing energy consumption in nodes, prolonging lifetime of the whole network, increasing system reliability, increasing the load balance of the network, and reducing packet delays in the network. In the new protocol is proposed an intelligent routing protocol algorithm. It is based on reinforcement learning techniques. In the first step of the protocol, a new clustering method is applied to the network and the network is established using a connected graph. Then data is transmitted using the -value parameter of reinforcement learning technique. The simulation results show that our protocol has improvement in different parameters such as network lifetime, packet delivery, packet delay, and network balance. Farzad Kiani, Ehsan Amiri, Mazdak Zamani, Touraj Khodadadi, and Azizah Abdul Manaf Copyright © 2015 Farzad Kiani et al. All rights reserved. Self-Reported Efficacy of Cannabis and Other Complementary Medicine Modalities by Parkinson’s Disease Patients in Colorado Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:19:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/874849/ Introduction. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is frequently used by Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. We sought to provide information on CAM use and efficacy in PD patients in the Denver metro area with particular attention to cannabis use given its recent change in legal status. Methods. Self-administered surveys on CAM use and efficacy were completed by PD patients identified in clinics and support groups across the Denver metro area between 2012 and 2013. Results. 207 patients (age ; 60% male) completed the survey. Responses to individual CAM therapy items showed that 85% of respondents used at least one form of CAM. The most frequently reported CAMs were vitamins (66%), prayer (59%), massage (45%), and relaxation (32%). Self-reported improvement related to the use of CAM was highest for massage, art therapy, music therapy, and cannabis. While only 4.3% of our survey responders reported use of cannabis, it ranked among the most effective CAM therapies. Conclusions. Overall, our cross-sectional study was notable for a high rate of CAM utilization amongst PD patients and high rates of self-reported efficacy across most CAM modalities. Cannabis was rarely used in our population but users reported high efficacy, mainly for nonmotor symptoms. Taylor Andrew Finseth, Jessica Louise Hedeman, Robert Preston Brown II, Kristina I. Johnson, Matthew Sean Binder, and Benzi M. Kluger Copyright © 2015 Taylor Andrew Finseth et al. All rights reserved. Terminal Sliding Mode Control for Attitude Tracking of Spacecraft Based on Rotation Matrix Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:15:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/187924/ Two finite-time controllers without unwinding for the attitude tracking control of the spacecraft are investigated based on the rotation matrix, in which a novel modified nonsingular fast terminal sliding manifold is developed to keep tr. The first terminal sliding mode controller can compensate external disturbances with known bounds, while the second one can compensate external disturbances with unknown bounds by using an adaptive control method. Since the first terminal sliding mode controller is continuous, it is able to avoid chattering phenomenon. Theoretical analysis shows that both the two controllers can make spacecraft follow a time-varying reference attitude signal in finite time. Numerical simulations also demonstrate that the proposed control schemes are effective. Yong Guo, Shen-Min Song, and Xue-Hui Li Copyright © 2015 Yong Guo et al. All rights reserved. Proteomic Analysis of Human Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells Reveals Differential Protein Expression in Response to Enterovirus 71 Infection Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:49:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/864169/ 2D DIGE technology was employed on proteins prepared from human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC), to study the differentially expressed proteins in cells at 0 h, 1 h, 16 h, and 24 h after infection. Proteins found to be differentially expressed were identified with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDITOF/TOF MS) analysis. We identified 43 spots showing changes of at least 2.5 fold up- or downregulated expressions in EV71-infected cells at different time when comparing to control, and 28 proteins could be successfully identified by MALDI TOF/TOF mass spectrometry analysis. 4 proteins were significantly upregulated, and 6 proteins were downregulated, another 18 proteins were different expression at different incubation time. We identified changes in the expression of 12 cellular metabolism-related proteins, 5 molecules involved in cytoskeleton, 3 molecules involved in energy metabolism, 2 molecules involved in signal transduction, 1 molecule involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, 1 molecule involved in cell cycle, 1 molecule involved in apoptosis-related protein, 1 molecular chaperone, and 2 unknown proteins. These findings build up a comprehensive profile of the HBMEC proteome and provide a useful basis for further analysis of the pathogenic mechanism that underlies EV71 infections to induce severe neural complications. Wenying Luo, Jiayu Zhong, Wei Zhao, Jianjun Liu, Renli Zhang, Liang Peng, Wenxu Hong, Sheng He Huang, and Hong Cao Copyright © 2015 Wenying Luo et al. All rights reserved. Tracheal Agenesis: A Challenging Prenatal Diagnosis—Contribution of Fetal MRI Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:48:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criog/2015/456028/ Tracheal agenesis is a rare congenital anomaly. The prevalence is less than 1 : 50 000 with a male to female ratio of 2 : 1. This anomaly may be isolated but, in 93% of cases, it is part of polymalformative syndrome. The most evocative diagnosis situation is the ultrasonographic congenital high airway obstruction syndrome. Dilated airways, enlarged lungs with flattened diaphragm, fetal ascites and severe nonimmune hydrops can be observed. In the absence of a congenital high airway obstruction syndrome, the antenatal diagnosis of tracheal agenesis is difficult. Tracheal agenesis should be suspected in the presence of an unexplained polyhydramnios associated with congenital malformations. The fetal airway exploration should then be systematically performed by fetal thoracic magnetic resonance imaging. A case of Floyd’s type II tracheal agenesis, detected during the postnatal period, is reported here. The retrospective reexamination of fetal magnetic resonance images showed that the antenatal diagnosis would have been easy if a systematical examination of upper airways had been performed. Prenatal diagnosis of tracheal agenesis is possible with fetal MRI but the really challenge is to think about this pathology. Charline Bertholdt, Estelle Perdriolle-Galet, Pascale Bach-Segura, and Olivier Morel Copyright © 2015 Charline Bertholdt et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Lipoatrophy in Patients with HIV Infection in Nigeria Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:45:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/art/2015/402638/ Background. Although the association between lipoatrophy and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is well known, other nondrug factors may be associated with lipoatrophy in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). There are no reports of lipoatrophy from Nigeria, a country with the second largest number of PLWHA. We aimed to determine the prevalence, characteristics, and factors associated with lipoatrophy in a cohort of patients attending the HIV clinic in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Methods. Two hundred and eighty-eight patients with HIV infection were recruited for the study. The study protocol involved administration of a questionnaire, targeted physical examination (including anthropometric indices and skin fold thickness), and bioelectrical impedance analysis measurements. Lipoatrophy was defined clinically. Results. Lipoatrophy was present in 75 (26.0%) persons. It was associated with lower body circumferences, skin fold thicknesses, and lower % body fat with preservation of skeletal muscle mass (all ). Male gender and HAART use were the factors associated with lipoatrophy on multivariate analysis . Conclusion. Lipoatrophy is frequently encountered in patients with HIV infection in Nigeria, with HAART use conferring an added factor in its development. There is need for more physician and patient awareness of this condition. Sandra Omozehio Iwuala, Olufunmilayo A. Lesi, Olufemi Adetola Fasanmade, Anas A. Sabir, Michael Adeyemi Olamoyegun, and Charles C. Okany Copyright © 2015 Sandra Omozehio Iwuala et al. All rights reserved. Quaternion-Based Improved Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm for Color Remote Sensing Image Edge Detection Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:36:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/138930/ As the color remote sensing image has the most notable features such as huge amount of data, rich image details, and the containing of too much noise, the edge detection becomes a grave challenge in processing of remote sensing image data. To explore a possible solution to the urgent problem, in this paper, we first introduced the quaternion into the representation of color image. In this way, a color can be represented and analyzed as a single entity. Then a novel artificial bee colony method named improved artificial bee colony which can improve the performance of conventional artificial bee colony was proposed. In this method, in order to balance the exploration and the exploitation, two new search equations were presented to generate candidate solutions in the employed bee phase and the onlookers phase, respectively. Additionally, some more reasonable artificial bee colony parameters were proposed to improve the performance of the artificial bee colony. Then we applied the proposed method to the quaternion vectors to perform the edge detection of color remote sensing image. Experimental results show that our method can get a better edge detection effect than other methods. Dujin Liu, Huajun Wang, Sen Wang, Guolin Pu, Xiaoya Deng, and Xiang Hou Copyright © 2015 Dujin Liu et al. All rights reserved. Hyers-Ulam Stability of a System of First Order Linear Recurrences with Constant Coefficients Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:28:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/269356/ We study the Hyers-Ulam stability in a Banach space of the system of first order linear difference equations of the form for (nonnegative integers), where is a given matrix with real or complex coefficients, respectively, and is a fixed sequence in . That is, we investigate the sequences in such that (with the maximum norm in ) and show that, in the case where all the eigenvalues of are not of modulus 1, there is a positive real constant (dependent only on ) such that, for each such a sequence , there is a solution of the system with . Bing Xu and Janusz Brzdęk Copyright © 2015 Bing Xu and Janusz Brzdęk. All rights reserved. Mapping Orbits regarding Perturbations due to the Gravitational Field of a Cube Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:27:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/493903/ The orbital dynamics around irregular shaped bodies is an actual topic in astrodynamics, because celestial bodies are not perfect spheres. When it comes to small celestial bodies, like asteroids and comets, it is even more import to consider the nonspherical shape. The gravitational field around them may generate trajectories that are different from Keplerian orbits. Modeling an irregular body can be a hard task, especially because it is difficult to know the exact shape when observing it from the Earth, due to their small sizes and long distances. Some asteroids have been observed, but it is still a small amount compared to all existing asteroids in the Solar System. An approximation of their shape can be made as a sum of several known geometric shapes. Some three-dimensional figures have closed equations for the potential and, in this work, the formulation of a cube is considered. The results give the mappings showing the orbits that are less perturbed and then have a good potential to be used by spacecrafts that need to minimize station-keeping maneuvers. Points in the orbit that minimizes the perturbations are found and they can be used for constellations of nanosatellites. Flaviane C. F. Venditti and Antonio F. B. A. Prado Copyright © 2015 Flaviane C. F. Venditti and Antonio F. B. A. Prado. All rights reserved. Substance P Receptor Antagonism: A Potential Novel Treatment Option for Viral-Myocarditis Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:27:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/645153/ Viral-myocarditis is an important cause of heart failure for which no specific treatment is available. We previously showed the neuropeptide substance P (SP) is associated with the pathogenesis of murine myocarditis caused by encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV). The current studies determined if pharmacological inhibition of SP-signaling via its high affinity receptor, NK1R and downstream G-protein, Ras homolog gene family, member-A (RhoA), will be beneficial in viral-myocarditis. Aprepitant (1.2 mg/kg), a SP-receptor antagonist, or fasudil (10 mg/kg), a RhoA inhibitor, or saline control was administered daily to mice orally for 3 days, prior to, or 5 days following, intraperitoneal infection with and without 50 PFU of EMCV, following which disease assessment studies, including echocardiogram and cardiac Doppler were performed in day 14 after infection. Pretreatment and posttreatment with aprepitant significantly reduced mortality, heart and cardiomyocyte size, and cardiac viral RNA levels ( all, ANOVA). Only aprepitant pretreatment improved heart functions; it significantly decreased end systolic diameter, improved fractional shortening, and increased peak aortic flow velocity ( all, ANOVA). Pre- or posttreatment with fasudil did not significantly impact disease manifestations. These findings indicate that SP contributes to cardiac-remodeling and dysfunction following ECMV infection via its high affinity receptor, but not through the Rho-A pathway. These studies suggest that SP-receptor antagonism may be a novel therapeutic-option for patients with viral-myocarditis. Prema Robinson, George E. Taffet, Nikita Engineer, Mitra Khumbatta, Bahrom Firozgary, Corey Reynolds, Thuy Pham, Tushar Bulsara, and Gohar Firozgary Copyright © 2015 Prema Robinson et al. All rights reserved. Cytotoxicity of Cyclodipeptides from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 Leads to Apoptosis in Human Cancer Cell Lines Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:26:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/197608/ Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen of plants and animals, which produces virulence factors in order to infect or colonize its eukaryotic hosts. Cyclodipeptides (CDPs) produced by P. aeruginosa exhibit cytotoxic properties toward human tumor cells. In this study, we evaluated the effect of a CDP mix, comprised of cyclo(L-Pro-L-Tyr), cyclo(L-Pro-L-Val), and cyclo(L-Pro-L-Phe) that were isolated from P. aeruginosa, on two human cancer cell lines. Our results demonstrated that the CDP mix promoted cell death in cultures of the HeLa cervical adenocarcinoma and Caco-2 colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines in a dose-dependent manner, with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.53 and 0.66 mg/mL, for HeLa and Caco-2 cells, respectively. Flow cytometric analysis, using annexin V and propidium iodide as apoptosis and necrosis indicators, respectively, clearly showed that HeLa and Caco-2 cells exhibited apoptotic characteristics when treated with the CDP mix at a concentration <0.001 mg/mL. IC50 values for apoptotic cells in HeLa and Caco-2 cells were 6.5 × 10−5 and 1.8 × 10−4 mg/mL, respectively. Our results indicate that an apoptotic pathway is involved in the inhibition of cell proliferation caused by the P. aeruginosa CDP mix. Dolores Vázquez-Rivera, Omar González, Jaquelina Guzmán-Rodríguez, Alma L. Díaz-Pérez, Alejandra Ochoa-Zarzosa, José López-Bucio, Víctor Meza-Carmen, and Jesús Campos-García Copyright © 2015 Dolores Vázquez-Rivera et al. All rights reserved. Weighted Filtering for a Class of Switched Linear Systems with Additive Time-Varying Delays Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:25:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/649487/ This paper is concerned with the problem of weighted filtering for a class of switched linear systems with two additive time-varying delays, which represent a general class of switched time-delay systems with strong practical background. Combining average dwell time (ADT) technique with piecewise Lyapunov functionals, sufficient conditions are established to guarantee the exponential stability and weighted performance for the filtering error systems. The parameters of the designed switched filters are obtained by solving linear matrix inequalities (LMIs). A modification of Jensen integral inequality is exploited to derive results with less theoretical conservatism and computational complexity. Finally, two examples are given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Li-li Li, Guangling Zhang, Xin Ge, and Cui-li Jin Copyright © 2015 Li-li Li et al. All rights reserved. Recent Developments of Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors as Potential Drugs Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:21:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/174178/ Jamshed Iqbal, Mariya Al-Rashida, Serdar Durdagi, Vincenzo Alterio, and Anna Di Fiore Copyright © 2015 Jamshed Iqbal et al. All rights reserved. Erratum to “Partial Gene Deletions of PMP22 Causing Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsies” Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:12:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crig/2015/239874/ Sun-Mi Cho, Bo Young Hong, Yoonjung Kim, Sang Guk Lee, Jin-Young Yang, Juwon Kim, and Kyung-A Lee Copyright © 2015 Sun-Mi Cho et al. All rights reserved. Assessing Static Performance of the Dashengguan Yangtze Bridge by Monitoring the Correlation between Temperature Field and Its Static Strains Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:10:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/946907/ Taking advantage of the structural health monitoring system installed on the steel truss arch girder of Dashengguan Yangtze Bridge, the temperature field data and static strain data are collected and analyzed for the static performance assessment of the bridge. Through analysis, it is found that the static strain changes are mainly caused by temperature field (temperature and temperature difference) and train. After the train-induced static strains are removed, the correlation between the remaining static strains and the temperature field shows apparent linear characteristics, which can be mathematically modeled for the description of static performance. Therefore, multivariate linear regression function combined with principal component analysis is introduced to mathematically model the correlation. Furthermore, the residual static strains of mathematical model are adopted as assessment indicator and three kinds of degradation regulations of static performance are obtained after simulation of the residual static strains. Finally, it is concluded that the static performance of Dashengguan Yangtze Bridge was in a good condition during that period. Gao-Xin Wang, You-Liang Ding, Peng Sun, Lai-Li Wu, and Qing Yue Copyright © 2015 Gao-Xin Wang et al. All rights reserved. Control, Stability, and Qualitative Theory of Dynamical Systems 2014 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:07:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/469715/ Nazim I. Mahmudov, Mark A. McKibben, Sakthivel Rathinasamy, and Yong Ren Copyright © 2015 Nazim I. Mahmudov et al. All rights reserved. Hepatoprotective Effect of Silymarin (Silybum marianum) on Hepatotoxicity Induced by Acetaminophen in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:05:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/538317/ This study was aimed to investigate the effect of Silymarin (SLM) on the hypertension state and the liver function changes induced by acetaminophen (APAP) in spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). Animals normotensive (N) or hypertensive (SHR) were treated or not with APAP (3 g/kg, oral) or previously treated with SLM. Twelve hours after APAP administration, plasmatic levels of liver function markers: alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), glucose (GLU), gamma glutamyl transferase (γ-GT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) of all groups, were determined. Liver injury was assessed using histological studies. Samples of their livers were then used to determine the myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and nitric oxide (NO) production and were also sectioned for histological analysis. No differences were observed for ALT, γ-GT, and GLU levels between SHR and normotensive rats groups. However, AST and ALP levels were increased in hypertensive animals. APAP treatment promoted an increase in ALT and AST in both SHR and N. However, only for SHR, γ-GT levels were increased. The inflammatory response evaluated by MPO activity and NO production showed that SHR was more susceptible to APAP effect, by increasing leucocyte infiltration. Silymarin treatment (Legalon) restored the hepatocyte functional and histopathological alterations induced by APAP in normotensive and hypertensive animals. Abel Felipe Freitag, Gabriel Fernando Esteves Cardia, Bruno Ambrósio da Rocha, Rafael Pazzinatto Aguiar, Francielli Maria de Souza Silva-Comar, Ricardo Alexandre Spironello, Renata Grespan, Silvana Martins Caparroz-Assef, Ciomar Aparecida Bersani-Amado, and Roberto Kenji Nakamura Cuman Copyright © 2015 Abel Felipe Freitag et al. All rights reserved. A Complicated Case of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy Successfully Treated with All-trans-Retinoic Acid Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:01:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crihem/2015/634252/ A 40-year-old female at 26-week gestation was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) after an abnormal prenatal lab workup showed pancytopenia. She was treated with all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), idarubicin, and dexamethasone. After day one of treatment, she developed differentiation syndrome, which was treated with dexamethasone. At 30-week gestation, she had preterm premature rupture of membranes and delivered by cesarean section because of the fetus’ breech presentation. Despite ATRA’s potential for teratogenicity, a viable infant was born without apparent anomalies. Postpartum, she underwent consolidation treatment with ATRA and arsenic trioxide (ATO). The patient continued ATRA therapy after delivery and is currently in remission. Kanika Agarwal, Megha Patel, and Vandana Agarwal Copyright © 2015 Kanika Agarwal et al. All rights reserved. Prospective Evaluation of Cases of Discharge against Medical Advice in Abuja, Nigeria Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:59:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/314817/ Background. Discharge against medical advice (DAMA) is a global clinical phenomenon contributing significantly to adverse patients’ outcome. Literatures abound on self-discharges in specific medical subpopulations. However, multidisciplinary studies on this subject in our region are few. Aim. To prospectively evaluate cases of DAMA in a wholesale multidisciplinary perspective at Federal Staff Medical Centre, Abuja, and suggest strategies to reduce it. Patients and Methods. All consecutive patients who DAMA from our medical centre between June 2013 and May 2014 were included in the study. Data harvested from the standard proforma were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 19.0. Results. We recorded an overall DAMA rate of 2.1%. The majority of the patients were paediatric cases (, 44.6%) while closed long bone fractures represented the leading diagnosis (, 24.8%). The most commonly cited reasons for leaving the hospital were financial constraints (, 32.6%) and seeking alternative therapy (, 17.7%). Conclusion. The DAMA rate in our study is comparable to some urban hospitals elsewhere. However, the leading reasons for this phenomenon are unacceptable in the current medical best practice. Thus, strengthening the Health Insurance Scheme, strict control of traditional medical practices, and focused health education are recommended strategies to reduce DAMA. Bioku Muftau Jimoh, Obalim-Chris Anthonia, Igwilo Chinwe, Adewumi Oluwafemi, Aremu Ganiyu, Adamu Haroun, Eziechila Chinwe, and Aiyekomogbon Joshua Copyright © 2015 Bioku Muftau Jimoh et al. All rights reserved. Correlation of Papillomacular Nerve Fiber Bundle Thickness with Central Visual Function in Open-Angle Glaucoma Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:57:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2015/460918/ Purpose. To determine the correlation of reduced retinal thickness in the central papillomacular bundle (CPB) to central visual function, including central retinal sensitivity and visual acuity, in glaucoma patients. Methods. This study enrolled 50 eyes of 50 patients with open-angle glaucoma who were carefully screened for comorbid conditions that can cause decreased central visual function, such as cataracts or macular diseases. We used a novel CPB analysis comprising a program for optical coherence tomography that measured RNFL thickness and GCC thickness in the CPB and divided lengthwise into three parts (upper, middle, and lower CPB). The relationship of these parameters, including conventional macular thickness, to visual field sensitivity in four central standard automated perimetry points (the central four thresholds) and BCVA was analyzed. Results. The two parameters most highly correlated with central four thresholds were macular GCCT and macular RNFLT. The two parameters most highly correlated with BCVA were middle CPB (mid-CPB) GCCT and mid-CPB RNFLT. A multiple regression analysis revealed that mid-CPB GCCT was an independent factor impacting central retinal thresholds and BCVA. Conclusions. Our results suggest that mid-CPB RNFLT and GCCT, parameters of a novel papillomacular bundle analysis, are candidate biomarkers of decreased central visual function in glaucomatous eyes. Wataru Kobayashi, Hiroshi Kunikata, Kazuko Omodaka, Kyousuke Togashi, Morin Ryu, Masahiro Akiba, Gaku Takeuchi, Tetsuya Yuasa, and Toru Nakazawa Copyright © 2015 Wataru Kobayashi et al. All rights reserved. Bullous Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Associated with Esophagitis Dissecans Superficialis Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:56:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crirh/2015/930683/ Bullous systemic lupus erythematosus is one of the rare autoantibody mediated skin manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) demonstrating subepidermal blistering with neutrophilic infiltrate histologically. We present a case of a 40-year-old Hispanic female who presented with a several months’ history of multiple blistering pruritic skin lesions involving the face and trunk, a photosensitive rash over the face and neck, swelling of the right neck lymph node, and joint pain involving her elbows and wrist. Her malady was diagnosed as bullous systemic lupus erythematosus based on the immunological workup and biopsy of her skin lesions. The patient also complained of odynophagia and endoscopy revealed esophagitis dissecans superficialis which is a rare endoscopic finding characterized by sloughing of the esophageal mucosa. The bullous disorders typically associated with esophagitis dissecans superficialis are pemphigus and rarely bullous pemphigoid. However, this is the first reported case of bullous systemic lupus erythematosus associated with esophagitis dissecans superficialis. Meera Yogarajah, Bhradeev Sivasambu, and Eric A. Jaffe Copyright © 2015 Meera Yogarajah et al. All rights reserved. Embedded Electromechanical Impedance and Strain Sensors for Health Monitoring of a Concrete Bridge Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:55:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2015/821395/ Piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT) is one of the piezoelectric smart materials, which has direct and converse piezoelectric effects and can serve as an active electromechanical impedance (EMI) sensor. The design and fabrication processes of EMI sensors embedded into concrete structures are presented briefly. Subsequently, finite element modeling and modal analysis of a continuous rigid frame bridge are implemented by using ANSYS and MIDAS and validated by the field test results. Uppermost, a health monitoring technique by employing the embedded EMI and strain sensors is proposed in this paper. The technique is not based on any physical model and is sensitive to incipient structural changes for its high frequency characteristics. A practical study on health monitoring of the continuous rigid frame bridge is implemented based on the EMI and strain signatures. In this study, some EMI and strain sensors are embedded into the box-sectional girders. The electrical admittances of distributed EMI active sensors and the strains of concrete are measured when the bridge is under construction or in operation. Based on the electrical admittance and strain measurements, the health statuses of the continuous rigid frame bridge are monitored and evaluated successfully in the construction and operation stages using a root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) index. Dansheng Wang, Junbing Zhang, and Hongping Zhu Copyright © 2015 Dansheng Wang et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effects of N-Acetylcysteine in Concanavalin A-Induced Hepatitis in Mice Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:54:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/189785/ This study was designed to study the protective effects and mechanisms of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in concanavalin A-induced hepatitis in mice. In this study, pretreatment with NAC ameliorated the histopathological changes and suppressed inflammatory cytokines in ConA-induced hepatitis. The expression of IL-2, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ was significantly reduced in the NAC-treated groups. NAC activated PI3K/Akt pathway and inhibited the activation of NF-κB. Additionally, NAC reduced autophagosome formation, as assessed by detecting the expression of LC3 and Beclin 1. Our results demonstrate that NAC can alleviate ConA-induced hepatitis by regulating the PI3K/Akt pathway and reducing the late stages of autophagy. Our results described a new pharmaceutical to provide more effective therapies for immune hepatitis. Chengfen Wang, Yujing Xia, Yuanyuan Zheng, Weiqi Dai, Fan Wang, Kan Chen, Jingjing Li, Sainan Li, Rong Zhu, Jing Yang, Qin Yin, Huawei Zhang, Junshan Wang, Jie Lu, Yingqun Zhou, and Chuanyong Guo Copyright © 2015 Chengfen Wang et al. All rights reserved. Analytical Solution of a Nonlinear Index-Three DAEs System Modelling a Slider-Crank Mechanism Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:54:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/206473/ The slider-crank mechanism (SCM) is one of the most important mechanisms in modern technology. It appears in most combustion engines including those of automobiles, trucks, and other small engines. The SCM model considered here is an index-three nonlinear system of differential-algebraic equations (DAEs), and therefore difficult to integrate numerically. In this work, we present the application of the differential transform method (DTM) to obtain an approximate analytical solution of the SCM model in convergent series form. In addition, we propose a posttreatment of the power series solution with the Padé resummation method to extend the domain of convergence of the approximate series solution. The main advantage of the proposed technique is that it does not require an index reduction and does not generate secular terms or depend on a perturbation parameter. Brahim Benhammouda and Hector Vazquez-Leal Copyright © 2015 Brahim Benhammouda and Hector Vazquez-Leal. All rights reserved. Periodic Solutions Generated by Impulses for State-Dependent Impulsive Differential Equation Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:54:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/816325/ We study the existence of periodic solutions for a class of state-dependent impulsive differential systems via geometrical analysis methods. Our results show that these periodic solutions are generated by impulses. Moreover, numerical simulations are used to examine the existence of the periodic solutions. Qizhen Xiao and Binxiang Dai Copyright © 2015 Qizhen Xiao and Binxiang Dai. All rights reserved. Effect of Normal Saline Bicarbonate on Reversing Epidural Anesthesia Either with Bupivacaine Or Bupivacaine and Nalbuphine in Patients Undergoing Orthopedic Surgery Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:52:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aan/2015/509710/ Background. Orthopedic procedures are among the commonest surgeries in the elderly. On the other hand, those patients have many risk factors suitable for development of postoperative complication due to prolonged postoperative recumbent that decrease by using anesthesia technique allowed early ambulation as far as possible.  Aim of the Work. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether washout of the local anesthesia with 0.9% normal saline with bicarbonate through the epidural catheter could provide early ambulation throughout the faster recovery of the motor block. Patient and Methods. Sixty adult patients were included in this study and divided into three groups. In group I, epidural injection of bupivacaine was carried out without wash (control group). In group II, epidural injection of bupivacaine was followed by wash. In group III, epidural injection of both bupivacaine and nalbuphine was followed by wash. Results. They were significantly faster in both group II and group III as compared with group I. In group I, sensory recovery was insignificantly faster than the motor recovery. In group II motor recovery was significantly faster than sensory recovery. In group III motor recovery was significantly faster than the sensory recovery. Conclusions. These results suggested that early ambulation with an adequate postoperative analgesia was reported in patient receiving epidural injection of both bupivacaine and nalbuphine. Josef Attia, Ahamed Mohamed, and Yaser Bader Copyright © 2015 Josef Attia et al. All rights reserved. Robust PLS Prediction Model for Saikosaponin A in Bupleurum chinense DC. Coupled with Granularity-Hybrid Calibration Set Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:48:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jamc/2015/583841/ This study demonstrated particle size effect on the measurement of saikosaponin A in Bupleurum chinense DC. by near infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy. Four types of granularity were prepared including powder samples passed through 40-mesh, 65-mesh, 80-mesh, and 100-mesh sieve. Effects of granularity on NIR spectra were investigated, which showed to be wavelength dependent. NIR intensity was proportional to particle size in the first combination-overtone and combination region. Local partial least squares model was constructed separately for every kind of samples, and data-preprocessing techniques were performed to optimize calibration model. The 65-mesh model exhibited the best prediction ability with root mean of square error of prediction (RMSEP) = 0.492 mg·g−1, correlation coefficient , and relative predictive determinant (RPD) = 2.58. Furthermore, a granularity-hybrid calibration model was developed by incorporating granularity variation. Granularity-hybrid model showed better performance than local model. The model performance with 65-mesh samples was still the most accurate with RMSEP = 0.481 mg·g−1, , and RPD = 2.64. All the results presented the guidance for construction of a robust model coupled with granularity-hybrid calibration set. Zhisheng Wu, Min Du, Xinyuan Shi, Bing Xu, and Yanjiang Qiao Copyright © 2015 Zhisheng Wu et al. All rights reserved. Cause Analysis on Eastward Movement of Southwest China Vortex and Its Induced Heavy Rainfall in South China Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:37:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2015/481735/ The movement of southwest China vortex (SWV) and its heavy rainfall process in South China had been investigated during June 11–14, 2008. The results show that under the steering of upper-level jet (ULJ) and mid-level westerly trough, SWV moved eastward from southern Sichuan Plateau, across eastern Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau to South China, forming an obvious heavy rain belt. SWV developed in the large storm-relative helicity (SRH) environment, as environmental wind field continuously transferred positive vorticity to it to support its development. The thermodynamic structures of distinctive warm (cold) advections in front (rear) of the SWV movement are also important factors for the SWV evolutions with a southwest low-level jet (LLJ) and vertical wind shear. SWV development was associated with the distributions of negative MPV1 (the barotropic item of moist potential vorticity) and positive MPV2 (the baroclinic item of it). The MPV1 and MPV2 played the dominant role in the formation and the evolution of SWV, respectively. The mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) frequently occurred and persisted in water vapor convergence areas causing the severe heavy rainfall. The areas of high moist helicity divergence and heavy rainfall are consistent, and the moist helicity divergence could be a good indicator for heavy rainfall occurrence. Yongren Chen, Yueqing Li, and Tianliang Zhao Copyright © 2015 Yongren Chen et al. All rights reserved. Serum Levels of Anticyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibodies, Interleukin-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor-α, and C-Reactive Protein Are Associated with Increased Carotid Intima-Media Thickness: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of a Cohort of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients without Cardiovascular Risk Factors Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:35:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/342649/ The main cause of death in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is cardiovascular events. We evaluated the relationship of anticyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody levels with increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) in RA patients. Methods. Forty-five anti-CCP positive and 37 anti-CCP negative RA patients, and 62 healthy controls (HC) were studied. All groups were assessed for atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) and cIMT. Anti-CCP, C-reactive protein (CRP), and levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results. The anti-CCP positive RA patients showed increased cIMT compared to HC and anti-CCP negative (). Anti-CCP positive versus anti-CCP negative RA patients, had increased AIP, TNFα and IL-6 (), and lower levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) (). The cIMT correlated with levels of anti-CCP (, ), CRP (, ), TNFα (, ), and IL-6 (, ). In multiple regression analysis, cIMT was associated with CRP () and anti-CCP levels (). Conclusions. Levels of anti-CCP and CRP are associated with increased cIMT and cardiovascular risk supporting a clinical role of the measurement of cIMT in RA in predicting and preventing cardiovascular events. Mónica Vázquez-Del Mercado, Lourdes Nuñez-Atahualpa, Mauricio Figueroa-Sánchez, Eduardo Gómez-Bañuelos, Alberto Daniel Rocha-Muñoz, Beatriz Teresita Martín-Márquez, Esther Guadalupe Corona-Sanchez, Erika Aurora Martínez-García, Héctor Macias-Reyes, Laura Gonzalez-Lopez, Jorge Ivan Gamez-Nava, Rosa Elena Navarro-Hernandez, María Alejandra Nuñez-Atahualpa, and Javier Andrade-Garduño Copyright © 2015 Mónica Vázquez-Del Mercado et al. All rights reserved. Pharmacogenomics and Herb-Drug Interactions: Merge of Future and Tradition Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:34:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/321091/ The worldwide using of herb products and the increasing potential herb-drug interaction issue has raised enthusiasm on discovering the underlying mechanisms. Previous review indicated that the interactions may be mediated by metabolism enzymes and transporters in pharmacokinetic pathways. On the other hand, an increasing number of studies found that genetic variations showed some influence on herb-drug interaction effects whereas these genetic factors did not draw much attention in history. We highlight that pharmacogenomics may involve the pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic pathways to affect herb-drug interaction. We are here to make an updated review focused on some common herb-drug interactions in association with genetic variations, with the aim to help safe use of herbal medicines in different individuals in the clinic. Mou-Ze Liu, Yue-Li Zhang, Mei-Zi Zeng, Fa-Zhong He, Zhi-Ying Luo, Jian-Quan Luo, Jia-Gen Wen, Xiao-Ping Chen, Hong-Hao Zhou, and Wei Zhang Copyright © 2015 Mou-Ze Liu et al. All rights reserved. Non-Gaussian Hybrid Transfer Functions: Memorizing Mine Survivability Calculations Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:33:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/623720/ Hybrid algorithms and models have received significant interest in recent years and are increasingly used to solve real-world problems. Different from existing methods in radial basis transfer function construction, this study proposes a novel nonlinear-weight hybrid algorithm involving the non-Gaussian type radial basis transfer functions. The speed and simplicity of the non-Gaussian type with the accuracy and simplicity of radial basis function are used to produce fast and accurate on-the-fly model for survivability of emergency mine rescue operations, that is, the survivability under all conditions is precalculated and used to train the neural network. The proposed hybrid uses genetic algorithm as a learning method which performs parameter optimization within an integrated analytic framework, to improve network efficiency. Finally, the network parameters including mean iteration, standard variation, standard deviation, convergent time, and optimized error are evaluated using the mean squared error. The results demonstrate that the hybrid model is able to reduce the computation complexity, increase the robustness and optimize its parameters. This novel hybrid model shows outstanding performance and is competitive over other existing models. Mary Opokua Ansong, Jun Steed Huang, Mary Ann Yeboah, Han Dun, and Hongxing Yao Copyright © 2015 Mary Opokua Ansong et al. All rights reserved. Evolutionary Spectra Estimation of Field Measurement Typhoon Processes Using Wavelets Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:32:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/945203/ This paper presents a wavelet-based method for estimating evolutionary power spectral density (EPSD) of nonstationary stochastic oscillatory processes and its application to field measured typhoon processes. The EPSD, which is deduced in a closed form based on the definition of the EPSD and the algorithm of the continuous wavelet transform, can be formulated as a sum of squared moduli of the wavelet functions in time domain modulated by frequency-dependent coefficients that relate to the squared values of wavelet coefficients and two wavelet functions with different time shifts. A parametric study is conducted to examine the efficacy of the wavelet-based estimation method and the accuracy of different wavelets. The results indicate that all of the estimated EPSDs have acceptable accuracy in engineering application and the Morlet transform can provide desirable estimations in both time and frequency domains. Finally, the proposed method is adopted to investigate the time-frequency characteristics of the Typhoon Matsa measured in bridge site. The nonstationary energy distribution and stationary frequency component during the whole process are found. The work in this paper may promote an improved understanding of the nonstationary features of typhoon winds. Guang-Dong Zhou, You-Liang Ding, and Ai-Qun Li Copyright © 2015 Guang-Dong Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Alterations of Dendritic Cells in Sepsis: Featured Role in Immunoparalysis Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:29:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/903720/ Sepsis, the leading cause of mortality in intensive care unit, is characterized by hyperinflammatory response in the early stage and followed by a period of immunosuppression. This immune disorder is believed to be the potent factor that is tightly associated with high mortality in sepsis. Dendritic cells (DCs) serve as professional antigen-presenting cells that play a vital role in immune response by activating T lymphocytes. During the progression of sepsis, DCs have been reported to take part in the aberrant immune response and be necessary for survival. Therefore, a better understanding of the DCs pathology will be undoubtedly beneficial for resolving the problems occurring in sepsis. This review discusses effects of sepsis on DCs number and function, including surface molecules expression, cytokines secretion, and T cell activation, and the underlying mechanism as well as some potential therapeutic strategies. Xia Fan, Zheng Liu, He Jin, Jun Yan, and Hua-ping Liang Copyright © 2015 Xia Fan et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Inverse Optimal Control of a Novel Fractional-Order Four-Wing Hyperchaotic System with Uncertain Parameter and Circuitry Implementation Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:28:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/741307/ An efficient approach of inverse optimal control and adaptive control is developed for global asymptotic stabilization of a novel fractional-order four-wing hyperchaotic system with uncertain parameter. Based on the inverse optimal control methodology and fractional-order stability theory, a control Lyapunov function (CLF) is constructed and an adaptive state feedback controller is designed to achieve inverse optimal control of a novel fractional-order hyperchaotic system with four-wing attractor. Then, an electronic oscillation circuit is designed to implement the dynamical behaviors of the fractional-order four-wing hyperchaotic system and verify the satisfactory performance of the controller. Comparing with other fractional-order chaos control methods which may have more than one nonlinear state feedback controller, the inverse optimal controller has the advantages of simple structure, high reliability, and less control effort that is required and can be implemented by electronic oscillation circuit. Chaojun Wu, Gangquan Si, Yanbin Zhang, and Ningning Yang Copyright © 2015 Chaojun Wu et al. All rights reserved. Robust H-Infinity Stabilization and Resilient Filtering for Discrete-Time Constrained Singular Piecewise-Affine Systems Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:27:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/878120/ This paper is concerned with the problem of designing robust H-infinity output feedback controller and resilient filtering for a class of discrete-time singular piecewise-affine systems with input saturation and state constraints. Based on a singular piecewise Lyapunov function combined with S-procedure and some matrix inequality convexifying techniques, the H-infinity stabilization condition is established and the resilient H-infinity filtering error dynamic system is investigated, and, meanwhile, the domain of attraction is well estimated. Under energy bounded disturbance, the input saturation disturbance tolerance condition is proposed; then, the resilient H-infinity filter is designed in some restricted region. It is shown that the controller gains and filter design parameters can be obtained by solving a family of LMIs parameterized by one or two scalar variables. Meanwhile, by using the corresponding optimization methods, the domain of attraction and the disturbance tolerance level is maximized, and the H-infinity performance is minimized. Numerical examples are given to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed design methods. Zhenhua Zhou, Mao Wang, and Qitian Yin Copyright © 2015 Zhenhua Zhou et al. All rights reserved. A Methodology to Exploit Profit Allocation in Logistics Joint Distribution Network Optimization Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:24:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/827021/ Logistics joint distribution network (LJDN) optimization involves vehicle routes scheduling and profit allocation for multiple distribution centers. This is essentially a combinational and cooperative game optimization problem seeking to serve a number of customers with a fleet of vehicles and allocate profit among multiple centers. LJDN routing optimization based on customer clustering units can alleviate the computational complexity and improve the calculation accuracy. In addition, the profit allocation mechanism can be realized based on cooperative game theory through a negotiation procedure by the Logistics Service Provider (LSP). This paper establishes a model to minimize the total cost of the multiple centers joint distribution network when each distribution center is assigned to serve a series of distribution units. An improved particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm is presented to tackle the model formulation by assigning distribution centers (DCs) to distribution units. Improved PSO algorithm combines merits of PSO algorithm and genetic algorithm (GA) with global and local search capabilities. Finally, a Shapley value model based on cooperative game theory is proposed to obtain the optimal profit allocation strategy among distribution centers from nonempty coalitions. The computational results from a case study in Guiyang city, China, suggest the optimal sequential coalition of distribution centers can be achieved according to Strictly Monotonic Path (SMP). Yong Wang, Xiaolei Ma, Maozeng Xu, Likun Wang, Yinhai Wang, and Yong Liu Copyright © 2015 Yong Wang et al. All rights reserved. Use of a Robotic Device for the Rehabilitation of Severe Upper Limb Paresis in Subacute Stroke: Exploration of Patient/Robot Interactions and the Motor Recovery Process Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:22:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/482389/ This pioneering observational study explored the interaction between subacute stroke inpatients and a rehabilitation robot during upper limb training. 25 stroke survivors (age years; time since stroke, days) with severe upper limb paresis carried out 16 sessions of robot-assisted shoulder/elbow training (InMotion 2.0, IMT, Inc., MA, USA) combined with standard therapy. The values of 3 patient/robot interaction parameters (a guidance parameter: Stiffness, a velocity-related parameter: Slottime, and Robotic Power) were compared between sessions 1 (S1), 4 (S4), 8 (S8), 12 (S12), and 16 (S16). Pre/post Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) scores were compared in 18 patients. Correlations between interaction parameters and clinical and kinematic outcome measures were evaluated. Slottime decreased at S8 , while Guidance decreased at S12 . Robotic Power tended to decrease until S16. FMA scores improved from S1 to S16 (+49%, ). Changes in FMA score were correlated with the Stiffness parameter (, ). Slottime was correlated with movement velocity. This novel approach demonstrated that a robotic device is a useful and reliable tool for the quantification of interaction parameters. Moreover, changes in these parameters were correlated with clinical and kinematic changes. These results suggested that robot-based recordings can provide new insights into the motor recovery process. Christophe Duret, Ophélie Courtial, Anne-Gaëlle Grosmaire, and Emilie Hutin Copyright © 2015 Christophe Duret et al. All rights reserved. Primary Borderline Mucinous Tumors of the Testis: A Case Report and Literature Review Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:20:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crionm/2015/863745/ Ovarian-type epithelial tumors of the testes and paratestes are very rare. Mucinous subtypes of such tumors are extremely rare; only 25 cases have been reported to date. Ovarian-type epithelial tumors are histologically classified into cystadenomas, borderline tumors, and carcinomas. We herein report a case involving a 60-year-old man with a primary borderline mucinous tumor of the testis. He underwent orchiectomy and has developed no recurrence for 4 years. This is the 26th report of a mucinous tumor of the testis in the literature. We also herein review the literature and discuss the etiology, prognosis, and treatment of mucinous tumors of the testes. Satoshi Funada, Toru Yoshida, Masaaki Ito, Fumihiko Kono, and Takehiko Segawa Copyright © 2015 Satoshi Funada et al. All rights reserved. The Epidemiology and Economic Burden of Clostridium difficile Infection in Korea Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:19:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/510386/ The prevalence of Clostridium difficile infection and the associated burden have recently increased in many countries. While the main risk factors for C. difficile infection include old age and antibiotic use, the prevalence of this infection is increasing in low-risk groups. These trends highlight the need for research on C. difficile infection. This study pointed out the prevalence and economic burden of C. difficile infection and uses the representative national data which is primarily from the database of the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, for 2008–2011. The annual economic cost was measured using a prevalence approach, which sums the costs incurred to treat C. difficile infection. C. difficile infection prevalence was estimated to have increased from 1.43 per 100,000 in 2008 to 5.06 per 100,000 in 2011. Moreover, mortality increased from 69 cases in 2008 to 172 in 2011. The economic cost increased concurrently, from $2.4 million in 2008 to $7.6 million, $10.5 million, and $15.8 million in 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively. The increasing economic burden of C. difficile infection over the course of the study period emphasizes the need for intervention to minimize the burden of a preventable illness like C. difficile infection. Hyung-Yun Choi, So-Youn Park, Young-Ae Kim, Tai-Young Yoon, Joong-Myung Choi, Bong-Keun Choe, So-Hee Ahn, Seok-Jun Yoon, Ye-Rin Lee, and In-Hwan Oh Copyright © 2015 Hyung-Yun Choi et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Premature Ventricular Cycles of Electrocardiogram Using Discrete Cosine Transform-Teager Energy Operator Model Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:18:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jme/2015/438569/ An algorithm based on the ability of TEO to track the changes in the envelope of ECG signal is proposed for identifying PVCs in ECG. Teager energy is calculated from DCT coefficients of ECG signal. This method can be considered as computationally efficient algorithm when compared with the well-known DCT cepstrum technique. EPE is derived from the teager energy of DCT coefficients in DCT-TEO method and from the cepstrum of DCT coefficients in the existing method. EPE determines the decay rate of the action potential of ECG beat and provides sufficient information to identify the PVC beats in ECG data. EPEs obtained by DCT-TEO and existing DCT cepstrum models are compared. The proposed algorithm has resulted in performance measures like sensitivity of 98–100%, positive predictivity of 100%, and detection error rate of 0.03%, when tested on MIT-BIH database signals consisting of PVC and normal beats. Result analysis reveals that the DCT-TEO algorithm worked well in clear identification of PVCs from normal beats compared to the existing algorithm, even in the presence of artifacts like baseline wander, PLI, and noise with SNR of up to −5 dB. Vallem Sharmila and K. Ashoka Reddy Copyright © 2015 Vallem Sharmila and K. Ashoka Reddy. All rights reserved. Topical Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Isorhamnetin Glycosides Isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:17:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/847320/ Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) has been widely used in Mexico as a food and for the treatment of different health disorders such as inflammation and skin aging. Its biological properties have been attributed to different phytochemicals such as the isorhamnetin glycosides which are the most abundant flavonoids. Moreover, these compounds are considered a chemotaxonomic characteristic of OFI species. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of OFI extract and its isorhamnetin glycosides on different inflammatory markers in vitro and in vivo. OFI extract was obtained by alkaline hydrolysis of OFI cladodes powder and pure compounds were obtained by preparative chromatography. Nitric oxide (NO), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, and interleukin- (IL-) 6 production were measured. NO production was tested in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells while in vivo studies were carried on croton oil-induced ear edema model. OFI extract and diglycoside isorhamnetin-glucosyl-rhamnoside (IGR) at 125 ng/mL suppressed the NO production in vitro (% and %, resp.) without affecting cell viability. Likewise, IGR inhibited the ear edema (%) equating the indomethacin effects (%). Both IGR and OFI extract significantly inhibited the COX-2, TNF-α, and IL-6 production. IGR seems to be a suitable natural compound for development of new anti-inflammatory ingredient. Marilena Antunes-Ricardo, Janet A. Gutiérrez-Uribe, Carlos Martínez-Vitela, and Sergio O. Serna-Saldívar Copyright © 2015 Marilena Antunes-Ricardo et al. All rights reserved. Xuebijing Ameliorates Sepsis-Induced Lung Injury by Downregulating HMGB1 and RAGE Expressions in Mice Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:15:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/860259/ Xuebijing (XBJ) injection, a traditional Chinese medicine, has been reported as a promising approach in the treatment of sepsis in China. However, its actual molecular mechanisms in sepsis-induced lung injury are yet unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the beneficial effects of XBJ on inflammation and the underlying mechanisms in a model of caecal ligation and puncture-(CLP-) induced lung injury. The mice were divided into CLP group, CLP+XBJ group (XBJ, 4 mL/kg per 12 hours), and sham group. The molecular and histological examinations were performed on the lung, serum, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples of mice at the points of 6, 24, and 48 hours after CLP. The results show that XBJ reduces morphological destruction and neutrophil infiltration in the alveolar space and lung wet/dry weight ratio, which improves mortality of CLP-induced lung injury. Meanwhile, XBJ treatment downregulates high mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1) and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) expression, as well as neutrophil counts, production of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in the BAL fluids. In conclusion, these results indicate that XBJ may reduce the mortality through inhibiting proinflammatory cytokines secretion mediated by HMGB1/RAGE axis. Qiao Wang, Xin Wu, Xiaowen Tong, Zhiling Zhang, Bing Xu, and Wugang Zhou Copyright © 2015 Qiao Wang et al. All rights reserved. Detecting Communities in 2-Mode Networks via Fast Nonnegative Matrix Trifactorization Mon, 02 Mar 2015 11:14:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/937090/ With the rapid development of the Internet and communication technologies, a large number of multitype relational networks widely emerge in real world applications. The bipartite network is one representative and important kind of complex networks. Detecting community structure in bipartite networks is crucial to obtain a better understanding of the network structures and functions. Traditional nonnegative matrix factorization methods usually focus on homogeneous networks, and they are subject to several problems such as slow convergence and large computation. It is challenging to effectively integrate the network information of multiple dimensions in order to discover the hidden community structure underlying heterogeneous interactions. In this work, we present a novel fast nonnegative matrix trifactorization (F-NMTF) method to cocluster the 2-mode nodes in bipartite networks. By constructing the affinity matrices of 2-mode nodes as manifold regularizations of NMTF, we manage to incorporate the intratype and intratype information of 2-mode nodes to reveal the latent community structure in bipartite networks. Moreover, we decompose the NMTF problem into two subproblems, which are involved with much less matrix multiplications and achieve faster convergence. Experimental results on synthetic and real bipartite networks show that the proposed method improves the slow convergence of NMTF and achieves high accuracy and stability on the results of community detection. Liu Yang, Wang Tao, Ji Xin-sheng, Liu Caixia, and Xu Mingyan Copyright © 2015 Liu Yang et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Mathmatics Courses in the Assessment Process of Engineering ABET-Outcomes Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:59:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2015/735325/ This paper deals with the mathematics courses offered to the engineering students at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). The paper focuses essentially on the level of achievement by the students of the outcomes of the mathematics and how this reflects on the satisfaction of the engineering ABET-outcomes. Mapping between the course outcomes of the different math courses offered at UAEU to engineering students and the engineering ABET criteria ((a)–(k)) was made. It is found that most of the ABET-outcomes are to a great extent in-line with the outcomes of our mathematics courses. This encourages us to use the achievement of the courses outcomes as an assessment tool for the engineering ABET-outcomes. We considered both direct and indirect assessment tools to assess the level of satisfaction of the math courses outcomes. The performances of the students according to both methods are then used to assess the achievements of the ABET-outcomes. The results generally show very good level of achievement of the outcomes, although few ABET-outcomes were not achieved well according to our performance criteria. Accordingly, we provide some comments and recommendations aiming at the improvement of the program. Salah-Addin B. Al-Omari, Qasem M. Al-Mdallal, Youssef El-Khatib, and Basim Abu-Jdayil Copyright © 2015 Salah-Addin B. Al-Omari et al. All rights reserved. Inspection of Wooden Poles in Electrical Power Distribution Networks in Artvin, Turkey Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:51:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2015/659818/ According to Trabzon Electricity Distribution Local Directorship’s statistical data, there are 208.000 utility poles in Trabzon, 180.000 utility poles in Rize, and 121.000 utility poles in Artvin. Every year, 17.000 new utility poles are placed in these three cities. The average lifetime of a treated-wood utility pole is typically 40 to 50 years. However, the average lifetime of a treated-wood utility pole in the Eastern Black Sea Region is only about 10–15 years. In this study, the suggestions for enhancing the service life of treated-wood utility poles in Artvin vicinity were listed by determining the deteriorations and degradations using both visual inspection and nondestructive test methods. The results showed that the most important factors affecting the service life of utility poles were the decay due to fungi, insects, inadequate impregnation, and the deep cracks and splits. Engin Derya Gezer, Ali Temiz, and Turan Yüksek Copyright © 2015 Engin Derya Gezer et al. All rights reserved. Disseminated Nocardiosis: A Successful Blind Strategy of Treatment in an HIV Infected Patient Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:42:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criid/2015/260640/ Background. Nocardiosis is a rare disease that mainly affects severely immunocompromised patients. Symptoms are nonspecific and microbiological isolation is difficult, hiding the diagnosis. Treatment should be guided by species and susceptibility testing. Findings. We report a clinical case of a disseminated nocardiosis in a patient with HIV and HVB infections. Interpretation. Diagnosis should be presumed early and microbiological conditions should be optimized, in order to identify the species and achieve antibiotic susceptibility testing. This is a very important step to choose an effective therapeutic regimen or alternative options. Ana C. Guerra, Dário Batista, Maria J. Aleixo, Paulo Saraiva, and Maria J. Aguas Copyright © 2015 Ana C. Guerra et al. All rights reserved. The -Transform Method and Delta Type Fractional Difference Operators Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:35:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/852734/ The Caputo-, Riemann-Liouville-, and Grünwald-Letnikov-type difference initial value problems for linear fractional-order systems are discussed. We take under our consideration the possible solutions via the classical -transform method. We stress the formula for the image of the discrete Mittag-Leffler matrix function in the -transform. We also prove forms of images in the -transform of the expressed fractional difference summation and operators. Additionally, the stability problem of the considered systems is studied. Dorota Mozyrska and Małgorzata Wyrwas Copyright © 2015 Dorota Mozyrska and Małgorzata Wyrwas. All rights reserved. Acute Spontaneous Coronary Artery Thrombosis as Initial Presentation of HIV Infection in a Young Man Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:33:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cric/2015/342348/ Introduction. The presentation of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in young HIV patients may be atypical with different pathophysiological and clinical features. Acute coronary thrombosis, as a presentation of acute coronary syndrome in young patients with HIV, raises diagnostic and treatment challenges. Case Presentation. We describe a case of a 33-year-old African man, without traditional atherosclerotic risk factors, who presented with chest pain of acute onset. Emergent coronary angiography revealed extensive thrombus in the left anterior descending coronary artery with no evidence of atherosclerosis in this or other coronary vessels. Plaque and/or thrombus prolapse through the stent was noted following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Resolution of chest pain and improvement in ST-segment elevation was noted after the procedure. A diagnosis of HIV infection was made during the workup for HIV infection. Conclusion. In young patients without traditional risk factors, HIV infection is a possible etiological factor for spontaneous coronary artery thrombosis. Percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with this presentation may be compounded with atherothrombotic complications. The likely pathophysiological pathway is superficial endothelial cell denudation as a result of chronic inflammation and immune activation. James Kayima, Wilson Nyakoojo, Damalie Nakanjako, Marco A. Costa, Christopher T. Longenecker, and Daniel I. Simon Copyright © 2015 James Kayima et al. All rights reserved. Novel Mechanisms of Herbal Therapies for Inhibiting HMGB1 Secretion or Action Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:26:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/456305/ High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is an evolutionarily conserved protein and is constitutively expressed in virtually all types of cells. In response to microbial infections, HMGB1 is secreted from activated immune cells to orchestrate rigorous inflammatory responses. Here we review the distinct mechanisms by which several herbal components inhibit HMGB1 action or secretion, such as by modulating inflammasome activation, autophagic degradation, or endocytic uptake. In light of the reciprocal interactions between these cellular processes, it is possible to develop more effective combinational herbal therapies for the clinical management of inflammatory diseases. Andrew H. Wu, Li He, Wei Long, Qiuping Zhou, Shu Zhu, Ping Wang, Saijun Fan, and Haichao Wang Copyright © 2015 Andrew H. Wu et al. All rights reserved. Improvement of High-Power Three-Level Explosion-Proof Inverters Using Soft Switching Control Based on Optimized Power-Loss Algorithm Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:25:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jece/2015/571209/ The high-power three-level explosion-proof inverters demand high thermal stability of power devices, and a set of theories and methods is needed to achieve an accurate power-loss calculation of power devices, to establish heat dissipation model, and ultimately to reduce the power loss to improve thermal stability of system. In this paper, the principle of neutral point clamped three-level (NPC3L) inverter is elaborated firstly, and a fourth-order RC equivalent circuit of IGBT is derived, on which basis the power-loss model of IGBT and the optimized maternal power-loss thermal model, using an optimized power-loss algorithm, are established. Secondly, in accordance with the optimized maternal power-loss thermal model, the generic formulas of power-loss calculation are deduced to calculate the power-loss modification values of NPC3L and soft switching three-level (S3L) inverters, which will be the thermal sources during thermal analysis for maternal power-loss thermal models. Finally, the experiment conducted on the 2.1 MW experimental platform shows that S3L inverter has the same excellent output characteristics with NPC3L inverter, reduces the power loss significantly by 213 W in each half-bridge, and decreases the temperature by 10°C, coinciding with the theoretical calculation, which verifies the accuracy of optimized power-loss algorithm and the effectiveness of the improvement. Shi-Zhou Xu and Feng-You He Copyright © 2015 Shi-Zhou Xu and Feng-You He. All rights reserved. Is Visual Registration Equivalent to Semiautomated Registration in Prostate Biopsy? Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:23:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/394742/ In magnetic resonance iimaging- (MRI-) ultrasound (US) guided biopsy, suspicious lesions are identified on MRI, registered on US, and targeted during biopsy. The registration can be performed either by a human operator (visual registration) or by fusion software. Previous studies showed that software registration is fairly accurate in locating suspicious lesions and helps to improve the cancer detection rate. Here, the performance of visual registration was examined for ability to locate suspicious lesions defined on MRI. This study consists of 45 patients. Two operators with differing levels of experience (1 and 18 years) performed visual registration. The overall spatial difference by the two operators in 72 measurements was 10.6 ± 6.0 mm. Each operator showed a spatial difference of 9.4 ± 5.1 mm (experienced; 39 lesions) and 12.1 ± 6.6 mm (inexperienced; 33 lesions), respectively. In a head-to-head comparison of the same 16 lesions from 12 patients, the spatial differences were 9.7 mm ± 4.9 mm (experienced) and 13.4 mm ± 7.4 mm (inexperienced). There were significant differences between the two operators (unpaired, P value = 0.042; paired, P value = 0.044). The substantial differences by the two operators suggest that visual registration could improperly and inaccurately target many tumors, thereby potentially leading to missed diagnosis or false characterization on pathology. Jin Tae Kwak, Cheng William Hong, Peter A. Pinto, Molly Williams, Sheng Xu, Jochen Kruecker, Pingkun Yan, Baris Turkbey, Peter L. Choyke, and Bradford J. Wood Copyright © 2015 Jin Tae Kwak et al. All rights reserved. Cometabolism of Fluoroanilines in the Presence of 4-Fluoroaniline by Ralstonia sp. FD-1 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:13:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2015/206150/ A strain of Ralstonia sp. FD-1 capable of using 4-fluoroaniline (4-FA) as the sole carbon and nitrogen source was investigated for its ability to utilize 4-FA isomers (2-FA, 3-FA) and homologs (2,4-DFA, 3,4-DFA, and 2,3,4-TFA). Both 4-FA and 3-FA could be mineralized as the sole carbon and nitrogen source by FD-1. 2-FA, 2,4-DFA, 3,4-DFA, and 2,3,4-TFA could not be degraded by FD-1, respectively, and were selected as secondary substrates for cometabolism with 500 mg/L 4-FA as growth substrate. Bacterial growth (OD600), F− concentrations, and fluoroanilines contents were measured to determinate the degradation ability of 4-FA isomers and homologs by FD-1. FD-1 growth was inhibited by 2,4-DFA, 3,4-DFA, and 2,3,4-TFA at higher concentrations (400 mg/L), except for 2-FA. Complete fluoroanilines degradation was achieved while incomplete defluorination was characterized by the stoichiometric fluoride release indicating partial degradation but not total mineralization. When fluoroaniline was supplied to the resting cells of strain FD-1, a relatively effective removal was showed. Strain FD-1 had broadened application prospect of toxicity and low nutrition fluoroanilines wastewater. Wenling Cao, Erxi Song, Dongsheng Shen, and Meizhen Wang Copyright © 2015 Wenling Cao et al. All rights reserved. BDS Multipath Parameter Estimation in the Presence of Impulsive Noise Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:04:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijap/2015/864327/ This study focuses on mitigating the multipath, especially the short-delay multipath of the BeiDou navigation satellite system under impulsive noise conditions. A modified least mean -norm (LMP) algorithm is developed to reduce the convergence time with the same steady-state error by predicting the updating trend of weights. The modified normalized power and the normalized polynomial least mean th power are also directly provided according to a similar principle. According to the research work, an average filter has been utilized to improve the processing gain of designed mitigation scheme. Some significant simulation results verified the performance of the proposed adaption algorithm. Multipath parameter estimation tests have been conducted under different noise levels. Some comparative statistics performance assessments are quantified and verified under impulsive and additional white Gaussian noise environments. Results with various window widths of the average filtering and carrier-to-noise ratios indicate that the proposed scheme is able to improve the performance of the short-delay multipath mitigation under normal and degraded environments. Jicheng Ding, Lin Zhao, Chun Jia, and Zhibin Luo Copyright © 2015 Jicheng Ding et al. All rights reserved. Antioxidant Capacity of “Mexican Arnica” Heterotheca inuloides Cass Natural Products and Some Derivatives: Their Anti-Inflammatory Evaluation and Effect on C. elegans Life Span Mon, 02 Mar 2015 10:03:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2015/843237/ It has been suggested that the accumulation of biomolecular damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributes to aging. The antioxidant activity is related to the ability of certain compounds to protect against the potentially harmful effect of processes or reactions involving ROS. This ability is associated with the termination of free radical propagation in biological systems. From Heterotheca inuloides various compounds which have shown to possess antioxidant capacity and scavenging ROS. The aim of this study was to determine the antioxidant capacity of additional natural components isolated from H. inuloides and some semisynthetic derivatives, their anti-inflammatory activity and the effect on Caenorhabditis elegans nematode life span. Compounds showed ability to inhibit various biological processes such as lipid peroxidation, scavenge nonbiological important oxidants such as 1O2, , H2O2, and HOCl and scavenge non biological stable free radicals (DPPH). Some cadinane type compounds showed possess antioxidant, ROS scavenging capacity, anti-inflammatory activity, and effect on the C. elegans life span. Flavonoid type compounds increased the life of the nematode and quercetin was identified as the compound with the greatest activity. The modification of chemical structure led to a change in the antioxidant capacity, the anti-inflammatory activity, and the survival of the worm. José Luis Rodríguez-Chávez, Elvia Coballase-Urrutia, Antonio Nieto-Camacho, and Guillermo Delgado-Lamas Copyright © 2015 José Luis Rodríguez-Chávez et al. All rights reserved. Use of Drosophila as an Evaluation Method Reveals imp as a Candidate Gene for Type 2 Diabetes in Rat Locus Niddm22 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:59:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/758564/ Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is one of the most common human diseases. QTL analysis of the diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats has identified numerous hyperglycemic loci. However, molecular characterization and/or gene identification largely remains to be elucidated due mostly to the weak genetic variances contributed by each locus. Here we utilized Drosophila melanogaster as a secondary model organism for functional evaluation of the candidate gene. We demonstrate that the tissue specific knockdown of a homologue of igf2bp2 RNA binding protein leads to increased sugar levels similar to that found in the OLETF rat. In the mutant, the expression of two of the insulin-like peptides encoded in the fly genome, dilp2 and dilp3, were found to be downregulated. Consistent with previous reports of dilp mutants, the imp mutant flies exhibited an extension of life span; in contrast, starvation tolerance was reduced. These results further reinforce the possibility that imp is involved in sugar metabolism by modulating insulin expression. Kurenai Kawasaki, Sawaka Yamada, Koki Ogata, Yumiko Saito, Aiko Takahama, Takahisa Yamada, Kozo Matsumoto, and Hiroyuki Kose Copyright © 2015 Kurenai Kawasaki et al. All rights reserved. Catalpol Modulates Lifespan via DAF-16/FOXO and SKN-1/Nrf2 Activation in Caenorhabditis elegans Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:55:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/524878/ Catalpol is an effective component of rehmannia root and known to possess various pharmacological properties. The present study was aimed at investigating the potential effects of catalpol on the lifespan and stress tolerance using C. elegans model system. Herein, catalpol showed potent lifespan extension of wild-type nematode under normal culture condition. In addition, survival rate of catalpol-fed nematodes was significantly elevated compared to untreated control under heat and oxidative stress but not under hyperosmolality conditions. We also found that elevated antioxidant enzyme activities and expressions of stress resistance proteins were attributed to catalpol-mediated increased stress tolerance of nematode. We further investigated whether catalpol’s longevity effect is related to aging-related factors including reproduction, food intake, and growth. Interestingly, catalpol exposure could attenuate pharyngeal pumping rate, indicating that catalpol may induce dietary restriction of nematode. Moreover, locomotory ability of aged nematode was significantly improved by catalpol treatment, while lipofuscin levels were attenuated, suggesting that catalpol may affect age-associated changes of nematode. Our mechanistic studies revealed that mek-1, daf-2, age-1, daf-16, and skn-1 are involved in catalpol-mediated longevity. These results indicate that catalpol extends lifespan and increases stress tolerance of C. elegans via DAF-16/FOXO and SKN-1/Nrf activation dependent on insulin/IGF signaling and JNK signaling. Hyun Won Seo, Se Myung Cheon, Myon-Hee Lee, Hong Jun Kim, Hoon Jeon, and Dong Seok Cha Copyright © 2015 Hyun Won Seo et al. All rights reserved. Connectivity Study of the Neuromechanism of Acute Acupuncture Needling during fMRI in “Overweight” Subjects Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:54:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/384389/ This functional connectivity study depicts how acupoints ST 36 and SP 9 and their sham acupoints acutely act on blood glucose (GLU), core body temperature (CBT), hunger, and sensations pertaining to needling (De-qi) via the limbic system and dopamine (DA) to affect various brain areas in fasting, adult, and “overweight” Chinese males using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Functional connectivity (FC) analysis utilized the amygdala (AMY) and hypothalamus (HYP) as regions of interest (ROIs) in the discrete cosine transform and seed correlation analysis methods. There was a significant difference in the spatial patterns of the distinct brain regions between groups. Correlation results showed that increased HYP-hippocampus FC after ACU was positively correlated with ACU-induced change in CBT; increased HYP-putamen-insula FC after ACU was positively correlated with ACU-induced change in GLU; and increased HYP-anterior cingulate cortex FC after ACU was positively correlated with ACU-induced change in HUNGER suggesting that increased DA modulation during ACU was probably associated with increased poststimulation limbic system and spinothalamic tract connectivity. Decreased HYP-thalamus FC after ACU was negatively correlated or anticorrelated with ACU-induced change in HUNGER suggesting that increased DA modulation during ACU was possibly associated with decreased poststimulation limbic system and spinothalamic tract connectivity. No correlation was found for min SHAM. This was an important study in addressing acute acupuncture effects and neural pathways involving physiology and appetite regulation in overweight individuals. Karen M. von Deneen, Wei Qin, Peng Liu, Minghao Dong, Peng Chen, Huisheng Xie, Yi Zhang, Mark S. Gold, Yijun Liu, and Jie Tian Copyright © 2015 Karen M. von Deneen et al. All rights reserved. Investigating the Nanoparticles Penetration Efficiency through Horizontal Tubes Using an Experimental Approach Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:54:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amp/2015/897120/ It is a complex transfer process of nanoparticles in a tube. In this paper, in order to quantify the penetration efficiency of nanoparticles in different flows condition through horizontal tubes, the experiments have been carried out with particles diameter between 6 nm and 560 nm in various lengths of sampling tube. The results were in good agreement with the theory of Gormley and Kennedy and the experiment results of Kumar et al. for particles size smaller than 100 nm. Particles penetration rate increases with increasing of the Schmidt number (Sc), and it decreases with increasing Reynolds and tube length. Particles deposition on the wall induces the changes of the mass and average diameter of particles continuously. Therefore, a nondimensional parameter (ς) defined dependency on Reynolds number and particle residence time in tube has been used to express total mass penetration efficiency and mean size growth rate through a straight tube. Zhaoqin Yin and Zhongping Dai Copyright © 2015 Zhaoqin Yin and Zhongping Dai. All rights reserved. Anisotropic Characteristics of Turbulence Dissipation in Swirling Flow: A Direct Numerical Simulation Study Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:53:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amp/2015/657620/ This study investigates the anisotropic characteristics of turbulent energy dissipation rate in a rotating jet flow via direct numerical simulation. The turbulent energy dissipation tensor, including its eigenvalues in the swirling flows with different rotating velocities, is analyzed to investigate the anisotropic characteristics of turbulence and dissipation. In addition, the probability density function of the eigenvalues of turbulence dissipation tensor is presented. The isotropic subrange of PDF always exists in swirling flows relevant to small-scale vortex structure. Thus, with remarkable large-scale vortex breakdown, the isotropic subrange of PDF is reduced in strongly swirling flows, and anisotropic energy dissipation is proven to exist in the core region of the vortex breakdown. More specifically, strong anisotropic turbulence dissipation occurs concentratively in the vortex breakdown region, whereas nearly isotropic turbulence dissipation occurs dispersively in the peripheral region of the strong swirling flows. Xingtuan Yang, Nan Gui, Gongnan Xie, Jie Yan, Jiyuan Tu, and Shengyao Jiang Copyright © 2015 Xingtuan Yang et al. All rights reserved. The Class of -Cliqued Graphs: Eigen-Bi-Balanced Characteristic, Designs, and an Entomological Experiment Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:52:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijcom/2015/152918/ Much research has involved the consideration of graphs which have subgraphs of a particular kind, such as cliques. Known classes of graphs which are eigen-bi-balanced, that is, they have a pair a, b of nonzero distinct eigenvalues, whose sum and product are integral, have been investigated. In this paper we will define a new class of graphs, called q-cliqued graphs, on vertices, which contain cliques each of order connected to a central vertex, and then prove that these -cliqued graphs are eigen-bi-balanced with respect to a conjugate pair whose sum is and product . These graphs can be regarded as design graphs, and we use a specific example in an entomological experiment. Paul August Winter, Carol Lynne Jessop, and Costas Zachariades Copyright © 2015 Paul August Winter et al. All rights reserved. Prediction of Drug Indications Based on Chemical Interactions and Chemical Similarities Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:49:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/584546/ Discovering potential indications of novel or approved drugs is a key step in drug development. Previous computational approaches could be categorized into disease-centric and drug-centric based on the starting point of the issues or small-scaled application and large-scale application according to the diversity of the datasets. Here, a classifier has been constructed to predict the indications of a drug based on the assumption that interactive/associated drugs or drugs with similar structures are more likely to target the same diseases using a large drug indication dataset. To examine the classifier, it was conducted on a dataset with 1,573 drugs retrieved from Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry database for five times, evaluated by 5-fold cross-validation, yielding five 1st order prediction accuracies that were all approximately 51.48%. Meanwhile, the model yielded an accuracy rate of 50.00% for the 1st order prediction by independent test on a dataset with 32 other drugs in which drug repositioning has been confirmed. Interestingly, some clinically repurposed drug indications that were not included in the datasets are successfully identified by our method. These results suggest that our method may become a useful tool to associate novel molecules with new indications or alternative indications with existing drugs. Guohua Huang, Yin Lu, Changhong Lu, Mingyue Zheng, and Yu-Dong Cai Copyright © 2015 Guohua Huang et al. All rights reserved. Sleep as a Mediator in the Pathway Linking Environmental Factors to Hypertension: A Review of the Literature Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:41:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijhy/2015/926414/ Environmental factors, such as noise exposure and air pollution, are associated with hypertension. These environmental factors also affect sleep quality. Given the growing evidence linking sleep quality with hypertension, the purpose of this review is to investigate the role of sleep as a key mediator in the association between hypertension and environmental factors. Through this narrative review of the extant literature, we highlight that poor sleep quality mediates the relationship between environmental factors and hypertension. The conceptual model proposed in this review offers opportunities to address healthcare disparities in hypertension among African Americans by highlighting the disparate impact that the predictors (environmental factors) and mediator (sleep) have on the African-American community. Understanding the impact of these factors is crucial since the main outcome variable (hypertension) severely burdens the African-American community. Oluwaseun A. Akinseye, Stephen K. Williams, Azizi Seixas, Seithikurippu R. Pandi-Perumal, Julian Vallon, Ferdinand Zizi, and Girardin Jean-Louis Copyright © 2015 Oluwaseun A. Akinseye et al. All rights reserved. Dynamic Instability Analysis of a Rotating Ship Shaft under a Periodic Axial Force by Discrete Singular Convolution Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:40:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2015/482607/ Dynamic instability of a rotating ship shaft subjected to a periodic axial force is studied by using discrete singular convolution (DSC) with regularized Shannon’s delta kernel. The excitation frequency is related to the spinning speed and the number of blades on the propeller. Effects of number of blades, constant term in the periodic force, and damping on dynamic instability regions are investigated. The results have shown that the increase of number of blades and damping could improve the dynamic stability of rotating shaft with damping. The increase of constant term in the periodic force leads to dynamic instability regions shifting to lower frequencies, making the shaft more sensitive to periodic force. Those dynamic instability regions obtained by DSC method have been compared with those by Floquet’s method to verify the application of DSC method to dynamic instability analysis of rotating ship shaft. Wei Li, Zhiwei Song, Xuexia Gao, and Zhigang Chen Copyright © 2015 Wei Li et al. All rights reserved. Modified Theories of Gravitation behind the Spacetime Deformation Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:38:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/physri/2015/152846/ In the framework of proposed theory of spacetime deformation/distortion, we have a way to deform the spacetime through a nontrivial choice of the distortion-complex, displaying different connections, which may reveal different post-Riemannian spacetime structures as corollary. We extend this theory to address, in particular, the gauge model of the most general metric-affine gravity carrying both nontrivial torsion and nonmetricity. This model is constructed in the framework of the first order Lagrangian expressed in terms of the gauge potentials and their first derivatives. The equations of the standard theory, which have no propagating modes for torsion, can be equivalently replaced in modified framework by the modified equations, which in the limit of reducing the affine group leads to the modified Einstein-Cartan theory with dynamical torsion and beyond. In testing the modified framework for various particular cases, we use the Lagrange multipliers for extinguishing nonmetricity and torsion. Gagik Ter-Kazarian Copyright © 2015 Gagik Ter-Kazarian. All rights reserved. Locomotive Assignment Problem with Heterogeneous Vehicle Fleet and Hiring External Locomotives Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:38:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/583909/ This paper focuses on solving the problem of how to assign locomotives to assembled trains optimally. To solve the problem, linear programming is applied. The situation we model in the paper occurs in the conditions of a transport operator that provides rail transport in the Czech Republic. In the paper, an extended locomotive assignment problem is modeled; the transport operator can use different classes of the locomotives to serve individual connections, some connections must be served by a predefined locomotive class, and the locomotives can be allocated to several depots at the beginning. The proposed model also takes into consideration the fact that some connections can be served by the locomotives of external transport companies or operators. The presented model is applied to a real example in order to test its functionality. Dušan Teichmann, Michal Dorda, Karel Golc, and Helena Bínová Copyright © 2015 Dušan Teichmann et al. All rights reserved. Concept of Bee-Eyes Array of Fresnel Lenses as a Solar Photovoltaic Concentrator System Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:37:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jpho/2015/327342/ This paper presents a proposal of a new configuration of an optical concentrator for photovoltaic application which may enhance the efficiency of solar cells. Bee-eyes array Fresnel lenses concentrator proposed here provide high concentration factor which is greater than1000x at the 20th zone. In addition, the system also provides room for increasing the number of zones to achieve the high concentration factor if needs arise. The transmission efficiency greater than 90% has been achieved with f-number of 1.25. Mathematical relations derived to obtain flux distribution at the absorber plane and the transmission efficiency as well as the position of the solar cell were used in the ray tracing simulations for 6, 18, 36, 60, 90, 126, 168, 216, 270, and 330 suns concentration systems. A transmission efficiency is linearly decreasing with the increase in the number of arrays in which the transmission efficiency of 94.42% was recorded at the array of 6 suns and 74.98% at 330 suns. Nura Liman Chiromawa and Kamarulazizi Ibrahim Copyright © 2015 Nura Liman Chiromawa and Kamarulazizi Ibrahim. All rights reserved. Intestinal Microbiota as Modulators of the Immune System Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:35:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/159094/ Borja Sánchez, Miguel Gueimonde, Amado Salvador Peña, and David Bernardo Copyright © 2015 Borja Sánchez et al. All rights reserved. Reliability Analysis in Presence of Random Variables and Fuzzy Variables Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:33:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2015/365051/ For mixed uncertainties of random variables and fuzzy variables in engineering, three indices, that is, interval reliability index, mean reliability index, and numerical reliability index, are proposed to measure safety of structure. Comparing to the reliability membership function for measuring the safety in case of mixed uncertainties, the proposed indices are more intuitive and easier to represent the safety degree of the engineering structure, and they are more suitable for the reliability design in the case of the mixed uncertainties. The differences and relations among three proposed indices are investigated, and their applicability is compared. Furthermore, a technique based on the probability density function evolution method is employed to improve the computational efficiency of the proposed indices. At last, a numerical example and two engineering examples are illustrated to demonstrate the feasibility, reasonability, and efficiency of the computational technique of the proposed indices. Cui Lijie, Lü Zhenzhou, and Li Guijie Copyright © 2015 Cui Lijie et al. All rights reserved. Effect of the Unsaturation of the Hydrocarbon Chain of Fatty-Amides on the Corrosion of Carbon Steel Using EIS and Real-Time Corrosion Measurement Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:32:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jspec/2015/184140/ Fatty-amide derivatives were evaluated to study the effect of the double bonds into the hydrocarbon chain (C18) on the corrosion behavior of carbon steel. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and real-time corrosion measurements were used to evaluate the inhibition mechanism of the fatty-amides on carbon steel in CO2-saturated (3% NaCl + 10% diesel) emulsion at 50°C. EIS results demonstrated that the unsaturation present into the hydrocarbon chain contributes to the efficiency of fatty-amides, because they can be adsorbed on the metal surface by a flat-adsorption process reducing the presence of active sites and blocking the corrosion process and preventing the diffusion of corrosive species, such as H2O, H+, Cl−, and . Real-time corrosion measurements also indicated that the effectiveness of the inhibitors is dependent on the unsaturation into the hydrocarbon chain, being also a good technique to determine the stability of the adsorption process of the inhibitors. J. Porcayo-Calderon, I. Regla, E. Vazquez-Velez, L. M. Martinez de la Escalera, J. Canto, and M. Casales-Diaz Copyright © 2015 J. Porcayo-Calderon et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Applications of Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:31:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2015/605729/ Anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) was recently developed and has become a crucial tool in clinical practice. AS-OCT is a noncontact imaging device that provides the detailed structure of the anterior part of the eyes. In this review, the author will discuss the various clinical applications of AS-OCT, such as the normal findings, tear meniscus measurement, ocular surface disease (e.g., pterygium, pinguecula, and scleromalacia), architectural analysis after cataract surgery, post-LASIK keratectasia, Descemet’s membrane detachment, evaluation of corneal graft after keratoplasty, corneal deposits (corneal dystrophies and corneal verticillata), keratitis, anterior segment tumors, and glaucoma evaluation (angle assessment, morphological analysis of the filtering bleb after trabeculectomy, or glaucoma drainage device implantation surgery). The author also presents some interesting cases demonstrated via AS-OCT. Su-Ho Lim Copyright © 2015 Su-Ho Lim. All rights reserved. Korean Studies on Blood Stasis: An Overview Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:28:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/316872/ Blood stasis is one of the important pathological concepts in Korean medicine. We analyzed the Korean studies concerning blood stasis. We searched for articles in eight electronic databases from their inception to September, 2014. We included reviews, clinical studies, and preclinical studies that had studied blood stasis and excluded articles in which blood stasis was not mentioned or in which the original authors had not explained blood stasis. Of 211 total included studies, 19 were reviews, 52 were clinical studies, and 140 were preclinical articles. “Stagnant blood within the body” was the most frequently mentioned phrase of the traditional concept of blood stasis. Traumatic injury was the most frequently studied disease/condition in the clinical studies. In the preclinical studies, coagulopathy was studied most frequently, followed by hyperviscosity, hyperlipidemia, inflammation, neoplasm, ischemic brain injury, and atherosclerosis. Hyeolbuchukeo-tang and Angelicae Gigantis Radix were the most frequent formula and single herb, respectively, used in the blood stasis researches. The results showed that blood stasis was mainly recognized as disorder of circulation and many studies showed the effectiveness of activating blood circulating herbs for diseases and pathologies such as traumatic injury or coagulopathy. Further studies are needed in the pathologic mechanisms and various diseases of blood stasis. Bongki Park, Sooseong You, Jeeyoun Jung, Ju Ah Lee, Kyung-Jin Yun, and Myeong Soo Lee Copyright © 2015 Bongki Park et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Two-Level Frame Aggregation for Fairness and Efficiency in IEEE 802.11n Wireless LANs Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:28:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/misy/2015/548109/ This paper deals with the problem of performance degradation in wireless local area networks (WLANs) based on IEEE 802.11n. When a wireless channel is shared by heterogeneous stations that have different data rates and packet sizes, each station occupies a different amount of airtime because the basic channel access mechanism of WLAN was originally designed to provide fair chance of channel access, regardless of packet size and data rate. This leads to the degradation of overall network throughput and airtime fairness among stations, which is known as performance anomaly. To resolve this problem, we firstly formulate an optimization problem for a generalized two-level frame aggregation whose objective is to maximize the achievable throughput under the constraint of airtime fairness. Then, we propose a frame size adaptation scheme that controls the number of packets in an aggregated frame. The proposed scheme is fully compatible with the IEEE 802.11 standard and works in a distributed manner, which neither modifies the channel access mechanism nor resorts to a centralized scheduling algorithm. The extensive simulation results confirm that the proposed scheme tightly regulates the airtime usage of each station to be almost the same and significantly improves the overall network throughput compared to other existing schemes. Minho Kim, Eun-Chan Park, and Chong-Ho Choi Copyright © 2015 Minho Kim et al. All rights reserved. Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Effects on Saccade Adaptation Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:26:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2015/968970/ Saccade adaptation is a cerebellar-mediated type of motor learning in which the oculomotor system is exposed to repetitive errors. Different types of saccade adaptations are thought to involve distinct underlying cerebellar mechanisms. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) induces changes in neuronal excitability in a polarity-specific manner and offers a modulatory, noninvasive, functional insight into the learning aspects of different brain regions. We aimed to modulate the cerebellar influence on saccade gains during adaptation using tDCS. Subjects performed an inward () or outward () saccade adaptation experiment (25% intrasaccadic target step) while receiving 1.5 mA of anodal cerebellar tDCS delivered by a small contact electrode. Compared to sham stimulation, tDCS increased learning of saccadic inward adaptation but did not affect learning of outward adaptation. This may imply that plasticity mechanisms in the cerebellum are different between inward and outward adaptation. TDCS could have influenced specific cerebellar areas that contribute to inward but not outward adaptation. We conclude that tDCS can be used as a neuromodulatory technique to alter cerebellar oculomotor output, arguably by engaging wider cerebellar areas and increasing the available resources for learning. Eric Avila, Jos N. van der Geest, Sandra Kengne Kamga, M. Claire Verhage, Opher Donchin, and Maarten A. Frens Copyright © 2015 Eric Avila et al. All rights reserved. A Seed-Based Plant Propagation Algorithm: The Feeding Station Model Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:24:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/904364/ The seasonal production of fruit and seeds is akin to opening a feeding station, such as a restaurant. Agents coming to feed on the fruit are like customers attending the restaurant; they arrive at a certain rate and get served at a certain rate following some appropriate processes. The same applies to birds and animals visiting and feeding on ripe fruit produced by plants such as the strawberry plant. This phenomenon underpins the seed dispersion of the plants. Modelling it as a queuing process results in a seed-based search/optimisation algorithm. This variant of the Plant Propagation Algorithm is described, analysed, tested on nontrivial problems, and compared with well established algorithms. The results are included. Muhammad Sulaiman and Abdellah Salhi Copyright © 2015 Muhammad Sulaiman and Abdellah Salhi. All rights reserved. Protective and Curative Effects of the Sea Cucumber Holothuria atra Extract against DMBA-Induced Hepatorenal Diseases in Rats Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:18:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/563652/ Oxidative stress is a common mechanism contributing to the initiation and progression of hepatic damage. Hence there is a great demand for the development of agents with potent antioxidant effect. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy of Holothuria atra extract (HaE) as an antioxidant against 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene- (DMBA-) induced hepatorenal dysfunction. Experimental animals were divided into two main groups: protective and curative. Each group was then divided into five subgroups pre- or posttreated either with distilled water (DMBA subgroups) or with HaE (200 mg/kg body weight) for seven and fourteen days. Single oral administration of DMBA (15 mg/kg body weight) to Wistar rats resulted in a significant increase in the serum liver enzymes and kidney function’s parameters. DMBA increased level of liver malondialdehyde (MDA), decreased levels of reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) in the liver tissue, and induced liver histopathological alterations. Pre- or posttreatment with HaE orally for 14 days significantly reversed the hepatorenal alterations induced following DMBA administration. In conclusion, HaE exhibits good hepatoprotective, curative, and antioxidant potential against DMBA-induced hepatorenal dysfunction in rats that might be due to decreased free radical generation. Ahmed I. Dakrory, Sohair R. Fahmy, Amel M. Soliman, Ayman S. Mohamed, and Sayed A. M. Amer Copyright © 2015 Ahmed I. Dakrory et al. All rights reserved. Fuzzy-Based Sensor Fusion for Cognitive Radio-Based Vehicular Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:17:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/439272/ In wireless sensor networks, sensor fusion is employed to integrate the acquired data from diverse sensors to provide a unified interpretation. The best and most salient advantage of sensor fusion is to obtain high-level information in both statistical and definitive aspects, which cannot be attained by a single sensor. In this paper, we propose a novel sensor fusion technique based on fuzzy theory for our earlier proposed Cognitive Radio-based Vehicular Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks (CR-VASNET). In the proposed technique, we considered four input sensor readings (antecedents) and one output (consequent). The employed mobile nodes in CR-VASNET are supposed to be equipped with diverse sensors, which cater to our antecedent variables, for example, The Jerk, Collision Intensity, and Temperature and Inclination Degree. Crash_Severity is considered as the consequent variable. The processing and fusion of the diverse sensory signals are carried out by fuzzy logic scenario. Accuracy and reliability of the proposed protocol, demonstrated by the simulation results, introduce it as an applicable system to be employed to reduce the causalities rate of the vehicles’ crashes. Mohammad Jalil Piran, Amjad Ali, and Doug Young Suh Copyright © 2015 Mohammad Jalil Piran et al. All rights reserved. Inhibitory and Apoptosis-Inducing Effects of Newcastle Disease Virus Strain AF2240 on Mammary Carcinoma Cell Line Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:17:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/127828/ Breast cancer is the malignant tumour that developed from cells of the breast and is the first leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. Surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy are the available treatments for breast cancer, but these were reported to have side effects. Newcastle disease virus (NDV) known as Avian paramyxovirus type-1 (APMV1) belongs to the genus Avulavirus in a family Paramyxoviridae. NDV is shown to be a promising anticancer agent, killing tumour cells while sparing normal cells unharmed. In this study, the oncolytic and cytotoxic activities of NDV AF2240 strain were evaluated on MDA-MB-231, human mammary carcinoma cell line, using MTT assay, and its inhibitory effects were further studied using proliferation and migration assays. Morphological and apoptotic-inducing effects of NDV on MD-MB-231 cells were observed using phase contrast and fluorescence microscopes. Detection of DNA fragmentation was done following terminal deoxyribonucleotide transferase-mediated Br-dUTP nick end labeling staining (TUNEL) assay, which confirmed that the mode of death was through apoptosis and was quantified by flow cytometry. Furthermore, analysis of cellular DNA content demonstrated that the virus caused an increase in the sub-G1 phase (apoptotic peak) of the cell cycle. It appears that NDV AF2240 strain is a potent anticancer agent that induced apoptosis in time-dependent manner. Umar Ahmad, Ismaila Ahmed, Yong Yoke Keong, Nizar Abd Manan, and Fauziah Othman Copyright © 2015 Umar Ahmad et al. All rights reserved. Emergency Vehicle Dispatching and Redistribution in Highway Network Based on Bilevel Programming Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:17:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/731492/ Response time is a key factor in the emergency vehicle dispatching problem. Because regional emergency vehicles are limited, vehicle gaps will be created in the rescue station after vehicles are dispatched to several accidents, which affects quick response to the subsequent incidents. To solve this problem, a bilevel programming model for emergency vehicle dispatching and redistribution is established, of which the optimal objectives are the shortest rescue time for current accidents and the shortest time for vehicle redistribution, and the key constraints are emergency vehicle requirements and accident time windows. In the precondition of effective rescue of current accidents, emergency vehicles are redistributed according to the potential risks in the rescue station coverage area. A bilevel shuffled frog leaping algorithm is proposed to solve the bilevel programming model. The dispatching results of examples show that the model conforms to dispatching decision rule and the bilevel shuffled frog leaping algorithm can resolve the bilevel programming model fast and efficiently. Xiaohong Duan, Shouxin Song, and Jiandong Zhao Copyright © 2015 Xiaohong Duan et al. All rights reserved. Circadian System and Melatonin Hormone: Risk Factors for Complications during Pregnancy Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:16:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ogi/2015/825802/ Pregnancy is a complex and well-regulated temporal event in which several steps are finely orchestrated including implantation, decidualization, placentation, and partum and any temporary alteration has serious effects on fetal and maternal health. Interestingly, alterations of circadian rhythms (i.e., shiftwork) have been correlated with increased risk of preterm delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, and preeclampsia. In the last few years evidence is accumulating that the placenta may have a functional circadian system and express the clock genes Bmal1, Per1-2, and Clock. On the other hand, there is evidence that the human placenta synthesizes melatonin, hormone involved in the regulation of the circadian system in other tissues. Moreover, is unknown the role of this local production of melatonin and whether this production have a circadian pattern. Available information indicates that melatonin induces in placenta the expression of antioxidant enzymes catalase and superoxide dismutase, prevents the injury produced by oxidative stress, and inhibits the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) a gene that in other tissues is controlled by clock genes. In this review we aim to analyze available information regarding clock genes and clock genes controlled genes such as VEGF and the possible role of melatonin synthesis in the placenta. F. J. Valenzuela, J. Vera, C. Venegas, F. Pino, and C. Lagunas Copyright © 2015 F. J. Valenzuela et al. All rights reserved. Missing Value Imputation Based on Gaussian Mixture Model for the Internet of Things Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:14:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/548605/ This paper addresses missing value imputation for the Internet of Things (IoT). Nowadays, the IoT has been used widely and commonly by a variety of domains, such as transportation and logistics domain and healthcare domain. However, missing values are very common in the IoT for a variety of reasons, which results in the fact that the experimental data are incomplete. As a result of this, some work, which is related to the data of the IoT, can’t be carried out normally. And it leads to the reduction in the accuracy and reliability of the data analysis results. This paper, for the characteristics of the data itself and the features of missing data in IoT, divides the missing data into three types and defines three corresponding missing value imputation problems. Then, we propose three new models to solve the corresponding problems, and they are model of missing value imputation based on context and linear mean (MCL), model of missing value imputation based on binary search (MBS), and model of missing value imputation based on Gaussian mixture model (MGI). Experimental results showed that the three models can improve the accuracy, reliability, and stability of missing value imputation greatly and effectively. Xiaobo Yan, Weiqing Xiong, Liang Hu, Feng Wang, and Kuo Zhao Copyright © 2015 Xiaobo Yan et al. All rights reserved. Further Results on Stability Analysis of Discrete-Time Markov Jump Linear Systems with Time-Varying Delay and Partly Known Transition Probabilities Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:13:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/524584/ This paper is concerned with the stability analysis of discrete-time Markov jump linear systems (MJLSs) with time-varying delay and partly known transition probabilities. The time delay is varying between lower and upper bounds, and the partly known transition probabilities cover the cases of known, uncertain with known lower and upper bounds, and completely unknown, which is more general than the existing result. Via constructing an appropriate Lyapunov function and employing a new technique to separate Lyapunov variables from unknown transition probabilities, a novel stability criterion is obtained in the framework of linear matrix inequality. A numerical example is given to show the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Xingang Zhao, Jianda Han, and Yiwen Zhao Copyright © 2015 Xingang Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Control for Nonlinear Stochastic Systems with Time-Delay and Multiplicative Noise Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:09:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/382859/ This paper studies the infinite horizon control problem for a general class of nonlinear stochastic systems with time-delay and multiplicative noise. The exponential/asymptotic mean square control design of delayed nonlinear stochastic systems is presented by solving Hamilton-Jacobi inequalities. Two numerical examples are provided to show the effectiveness of the proposed design method. Ming Gao, Weihai Zhang, and Zhengmao Zhu Copyright © 2015 Ming Gao et al. All rights reserved. Morphological Study of the Lingula in Adult Human Mandibles of Brazilians Individuals and Clinical Implications Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:08:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/873751/ Objectives. The purpose of this research was to study, in macerated adult human mandibles, the height of the lingula and provide morphometric data for its location considering aspects such as shape of the lingula, gender, and race. Material and Methods. 132 macerated mandibles of Brazilian adult individuals, both sexes, Amerindian and Caucasian, were used. The distances: from mandibular notch to lingula; from anterior margin of ramus of mandible to lingula; from posterior margin of ramus of mandible to lingula; from mandibular base to lingula, and the height of lingula were obtained. To perform these measurements we used a digital caliper. The variables such as gender and race were analyzed. Results. The mean values found for the height of lingula and its location were determined according to the gender, race, and the lingula shape. Conclusion. This research provides additional data on height of the lingula and morphometric data for its location considering aspects such as shape of the lingula, gender, and race, information that had not been reported in the literature to date. We emphasize that a careful study considering gender and ethnic group makes procedures involving the region of lingula safer. Nilton Alves and Naira Figueiredo Deana Copyright © 2015 Nilton Alves and Naira Figueiredo Deana. All rights reserved. Autoimmune Polyendocrine Syndrome 3 Onset with Severe Ketoacidosis in a 74-Year-Old Woman Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:04:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crie/2015/960615/ Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D), autoimmune thyroid disease, and autoimmune gastritis often occur together forming the so-called autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 3 (APS3). We here report a clinical case of a 74-year-old woman who presented for the first time with severe hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis diagnosed as T1D. Further clinical investigations revealed concomitant severe hypothyroidism with autoimmune thyroid disease and severe cobalamin deficiency due to chronic atrophic gastritis. The diagnosis of type 1 diabetes mellitus was confirmed by the detection of autoantibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase 65, islet cell antibodies, and anti-insulin autoantibodies. Anti-thyroperoxidase, anti-thyroglobulin, and anti-gastric parietal cell antibodies were also clearly positive. The case emphasized that new onset diabetic ketoacidosis, hypothyroidism, and cobalamin deficiency may simultaneously occur, and one disease can mask the features of the other, thereby making diagnosis difficult. It is noteworthy that an APS3 acute episode occurred in an asymptomatic elder woman for any autoimmune diseases. Stefano Benedini, Antonietta Tufano, Elena Passeri, Marco Mendola, Livio Luzi, and Sabrina Corbetta Copyright © 2015 Stefano Benedini et al. All rights reserved. Inhibitory Effects of Sodium Arsenite and Acacia Honey on Acetylcholinesterase in Rats Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:03:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijad/2015/903603/ This study was conducted to investigate the effect of sodium arsenite and Acacia honey on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and electrolytes in the brain and serum of Wistar rats. Male Wistar albino rats in four groups of five rats each were treated with distilled water, sodium arsenite (5 mg/kg body weight), Acacia honey (20% v/v), and sodium arsenite and Acacia honey, daily for one week. The sodium arsenite and Acacia honey significantly decreased AChE activity in the brain with the combined treatment being more potent. Furthermore, sodium arsenite and Acacia honey significantly decreased AChE activity in the serum. Strong correlation was observed between the sodium and calcium ion levels with acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain and serum. The gas chromatography mass spectrometry analysis of Acacia honey revealed the presence of a number of bioactive compounds such as phenolics, sugar derivatives, and fatty acids. These findings suggest that sodium arsenite and/or Acacia honey modulates acetylcholinesterase activities which may be explored in the management of Alzheimer’s diseases but this might be counteracted by the hepatotoxicity induced by arsenics. Aliyu Muhammad, Oyeronke A. Odunola, Michael A. Gbadegesin, Abdullahi B. Sallau, Uche S. Ndidi, and Mohammed A. Ibrahim Copyright © 2015 Aliyu Muhammad et al. All rights reserved. Chinese Gini Coefficient from 2005 to 2012, Based on 20 Grouped Income Data Sets of Urban and Rural Residents Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:03:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2015/939020/ Data insufficiency has become the primary factor affecting research on income disparity in China. To resolve this issue, this paper explores Chinese income distribution and income inequality using distribution functions. First, it examines 20 sets of grouped data on family income between 2005 and 2012 by the China Yearbook of Household Surveys, 2013, and compares the fitting effects of eight distribution functions. The results show that the generalized beta distribution of the second kind has a high fitting to the income distribution of urban and rural residents in China. Next, these results are used to calculate the Chinese Gini ratio, which is then compared with the findings of relevant studies. Finally, this paper discusses the influence of urbanization on income inequality in China and suggests that accelerating urbanization can play an important role in narrowing the income gap of Chinese residents. Jiandong Chen, Fuqian Fang, Wenxuan Hou, Fengying Li, Ming Pu, and Malin Song Copyright © 2015 Jiandong Chen et al. All rights reserved. A Multiscale Finite Element Model Validation Method of Composite Cable-Stayed Bridge Based on Structural Health Monitoring System Mon, 02 Mar 2015 09:00:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2015/817281/ A two-step response surface method for multiscale finite element model (FEM) updating and validation is presented with respect to Guanhe Bridge, a composite cable-stayed bridge in the National Highway number G15, in China. Firstly, the state equations of both multiscale and single-scale FEM are established based on the basic equation in structural dynamic mechanics to update the multiscale coupling parameters and structural parameters. Secondly, based on the measured data from the structural health monitoring (SHM) system, a Monte Carlo simulation is employed to analyze the uncertainty quantification and transmission, where the uncertainties of the multiscale FEM and measured data were considered. The results indicate that the relative errors between the calculated and measured frequencies are less than 2%, and the overlap ratio indexes of each modal frequency are larger than 80% without the average absolute value of relative errors. These demonstrate that the proposed method can be applied to validate the multiscale FEM, and the validated FEM can reflect the current conditions of the real bridge; thus it can be used as the basis for bridge health monitoring, damage prognosis (DP), and safety prognosis (SP). Rumian Zhong, Zhouhong Zong, Qiqi Liu, and Haifei Zhou Copyright © 2015 Rumian Zhong et al. All rights reserved. Photodegradation of Methylene Blue by TiO2-Fe3O4-Bentonite Magnetic Nanocomposite Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:58:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2015/591428/ -bentonite nanoparticles have been prepared by a coprecipitation technique under a nitrogen atmosphere. An aqueous suspension of bentonite was first modified with FeCl2 and FeCl3. TiO2 was then loaded onto the surface of the -bentonite by a sol-gel method. After sufficient drying, the colloidal solution was placed in a muffle furnace at 773 K to obtain the -bentonite composite. The material has been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). Morphological observation showed that and TiO2 nanoparticles had been adsorbed on the surface of bentonite nanoneedles. The material was then applied for the photodegradation of the azo dye methylene blue (MB). It was found that the removal efficiency of MB exceeded 90% under UV illumination, and that only a 20% mass loss was incurred after six cycles. The composite material thus showed good photocatalytic performance and recycling properties. Wei Chen, Hongyao Xiao, Hang Xu, Tonggang Ding, and Yanmei Gu Copyright © 2015 Wei Chen et al. All rights reserved. Existence, Uniqueness, and Characterization Theorems for Nonlinear Fuzzy Integrodifferential Equations of Volterra Type Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:57:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/835891/ Existence and uniqueness theorem are the tool which makes it possible for us to conclude that there exists only one solution to a given problem which satisfies a constraint condition. How does it work? Why is it the case? We believe it, but it would be interesting to see the main ideas behind this. To this end, in this paper, we investigate existence, uniqueness, and other properties of solutions of a certain nonlinear fuzzy Volterra integrodifferential equation under strongly generalized differentiability. The main tools employed in the analysis are based on the applications of the Banach fixed point theorem and a certain integral inequality with explicit estimate. Also, some results for characterizing solution by an equivalent system of crisp Volterra integrodifferential equations are presented. In this way, a new direction for the methods of analytic and approximate solutions is proposed. Omar Abu Arqub, Shaher Momani, Saleh Al-Mezel, and Marwan Kutbi Copyright © 2015 Omar Abu Arqub et al. All rights reserved. Sentinel Events in Ophthalmology: Experience from Hong Kong Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:55:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2015/454096/ Purpose. To arouse ophthalmologists’ awareness in patient safety by reviewing sentinel events in Ophthalmology submitted to a web-based incident reporting system involving all public hospitals in Hong Kong. Methods. Sentinel events in Ophthalmology reported from November 2007 to October 2014 were identified and classified into different categories for further presentation and analysis. Key contributing factors attributing to the occurrence of the incidents were described. Suggestions aiming to prevent future occurrence of similar events were made. Relevant literature and case law were discussed. Results. Twelve sentinel events were included in this observational case series. They were classified into 4 main categories, namely “wrong eye” (5 cases, 41%), “wrong prescription” (3 cases, 25%), “wrong patient and surgery” (2 cases, 17%), and “retained surgical items” (2 cases, 17%). The key contributing factor leading to the occurrence of the incidents was largely human error. Increased staff awareness and proper time-out procedures were recommended to help prevent occurrence of these errors. Conclusion. Sentinel events in Ophthalmology do occur. Many of these incidents were attributed to human error. Surgeon’s awareness and willingness to prevent occurrence of sentinel events are warranted. Shiu Ting Mak Copyright © 2015 Shiu Ting Mak. All rights reserved. Robust Nonfragile Controllers Design for Fractional Order Large-Scale Uncertain Systems with a Commensurate Order Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:54:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/206908/ The paper concerns the problem of stabilization of large-scale fractional order uncertain systems with a commensurate order under controller gain uncertainties. The uncertainties are of norm-bounded type. Based on the stability criterion of fractional order system, sufficient conditions on the decentralized stabilization of fractional order large-scale uncertain systems in both cases of additive and multiplicative gain perturbations are established by using the complex Lyapunov inequality. Moreover, the decentralized nonfragile controllers are designed. Finally, some numerical examples are given to validate the proposed method. Jianyu Lin Copyright © 2015 Jianyu Lin. All rights reserved. Tinospora crispa Ameliorates Insulin Resistance Induced by High Fat Diet in Wistar Rats Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:54:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/985042/ The antidiabetic properties of Tinospora crispa, a local herb that has been used in traditional Malay medicine and rich in antioxidant, were explored based on obesity-linked insulin resistance condition. Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups, namely, the normal control (NC) which received standard rodent diet, the high fat diet (HFD) which received high fat diet only, the high fat diet treated with T. crispa (HFDTC), and the high fat diet treated with orlistat (HFDO). After sixteen weeks of treatment, blood and organs were harvested for analyses. Results showed that T. crispa significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the body weight (41.14 ± 1.40%), adiposity index serum levels (4.910 ± 0.80%), aspartate aminotransferase (AST: 161 ± 4.71 U/L), alanine aminotransferase (ALT: 100.95 ± 3.10 U/L), total cholesterol (TC: 18.55 ± 0.26 mmol/L), triglycerides (TG: 3.70 ± 0.11 mmol/L), blood glucose (8.50 ± 0.30 mmo/L), resistin (0.74 ± 0.20 ng/mL), and leptin (17.428 ± 1.50 ng/mL) hormones in HFDTC group. The insulin (1.65 ± 0.07 pg/mL) and C-peptide (136.48 pmol/L) hormones were slightly decreased but within normal range. The histological results showed unharmed and intact liver tissues in HFDTC group. As a conclusion, T. crispa ameliorates insulin resistance-associated with obesity in Wistar rats fed with high fat diet. Mohd Nazri Abu, Suhana Samat, Norathirah Kamarapani, Fuzina Nor Hussein, Wan Iryani Wan Ismail, and Hamzah Fansuri Hassan Copyright © 2015 Mohd Nazri Abu et al. All rights reserved. Research on the Design and Modification of Asymmetric Spur Gear Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:53:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/897257/ A design method for the geometric shape and modification of asymmetric spur gear was proposed, in which the geometric shape and modification of the gear can be obtained directly according to the rack-cutter profile. In the geometric design process of the gear, a rack-cutter with different pressure angles and fillet radius in the driving side and coast side was selected, and the generated asymmetric spur gear profiles also had different pressure angles and fillets accordingly. In the modification design of the gear, the pressure angle modification of rack-cutter was conducted firstly and then the corresponding modified involute gear profile was obtained. The geometric model of spur gears was developed using computer-aided design, and the meshing process was analyzed using finite element simulation method. Furthermore, the transmission error and load sharing ratio of unmodified and modified asymmetric spur gears were investigated. Research results showed that the proposed gear design method was feasible and desired spur gear can be obtained through one time rapid machining by the method. Asymmetric spur gear with better transmission characteristic can be obtained via involute modification. Xiaohe Deng, Lin Hua, and Xinghui Han Copyright © 2015 Xiaohe Deng et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Scheduling Algorithm Based on Game Theory and Multicriteria Decision Making in LTE Network Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:53:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/604752/ Fourth generation wireless networks provide mobile users with high data rate and quality of services, such as Long Term Evolution (LTE), which has been developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). However, 3GPP is not a standardized scheduling algorithm to utilize LTE properties in smart grid applications. This paper proposes a two-level scheduling scheme composed of cooperative game theory (bankruptcy and shapely) and Technique for Order Performance by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). The proposed algorithm improves resource allocation for three smart grid applications, namely, voice, video surveillance, and metering data. On the first level, bankruptcy and shapely value algorithm fairly distribute the resources among smart grid applications. On the second level, TOPSIS algorithm allocates the resources among application’s users based on their criteria and the application’s preferences. Moreover, the system’s performance has been evaluated in terms of throughput, delay, and fairness index. The proposed algorithm is compared with existing algorithms, such as proportional fairness, modified largest weighted delay first, and exponential rule schemes. The results show a significant improvement compared to other algorithms. This paper presents a novel technique consisting of both TOPSIS and game theory algorithms to study three smart grid applications. The novel algorithm has proven to be an effective scheduling technique for smart grid applications. Mohammad Nour Hindia, Ahmed Wasif Reza, and Kamarul Ariffin Noordin Copyright © 2015 Mohammad Nour Hindia et al. All rights reserved. A Note about Certain Arbitrariness in the Solution of the Homological Equation in Deprit’s Method Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:52:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/982857/ Deprit’s method has been revisited in order to take advantage of certain arbitrariness arising when the inverse of the Lie operator is applied to obtain the generating function of the Lie transform. This arbitrariness is intrinsic to all perturbation techniques and can be used to demonstrate the equivalence among different perturbation methods, to remove terms from the generating function of the Lie transform, or to eliminate several angles simultaneously in the case of having a degenerate Hamiltonian. Juan Félix San-Juan, Rosario López, Iván Pérez, and Montserrat San-Martín Copyright © 2015 Juan Félix San-Juan et al. All rights reserved. Stabilization of a Class of Switched Positive Nonlinear Systems Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:50:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/152410/ The problem of switching stabilization for a class of switched positive nonlinear systems (switched positive homogeneous cooperative system (SPHCS) in the continuous-time context and switched positive homogeneous order-preserving system (SPHOS) in the discrete-time context) is studied by using average dwell time (ADT) approach, where the positive subsystems are possibly all unstable. To tackle this problem, a new class of ADT switching is first defined, which is different from the previous defined ADT switching in the literature. Then, the proposed ADT is designed via analyzing the weighted norm of the considered system’s state. A sufficient condition of stabilization for SPHCSs with unstable positive subsystems is derived in continuous-time context. Furthermore, a sufficient condition for SPHOSs under the assumption that all modes are possibly unstable is also obtained. Finally, a numerical example is given to demonstrate the advantages and effectiveness of our developed results. Xing Xing, Zhichun Jia, Yunfei Yin, and Tingting Wu Copyright © 2015 Xing Xing et al. All rights reserved. Performance of PRP Associated with Porous Chitosan as a Composite Scaffold for Regenerative Medicine Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:45:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/396131/ This study aimed to evaluate the in vitro performance of activated platelet-rich plasma associated with porous sponges of chitosan as a composite scaffold for proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells. The sponges were prepared by controlled freezing (−20, −80, or −196°C) and lyophilization of chitosan solutions (1, 2, or 3% w/v). The platelet-rich plasma was obtained from controlled centrifugation of whole blood and activated with calcium and autologous serum. The composite scaffolds were prepared by embedding the sponges with the activated platelet-rich plasma. The results showed the performance of the scaffolds was superior to that of activated platelet-rich plasma alone, in terms of delaying the release of growth factors and increased proliferation of the stem cells. The best preparation conditions of chitosan composite scaffolds that coordinated the physicochemical and mechanical properties and cell proliferation were 3% (w/v) chitosan and a −20°C freezing temperature, while −196°C favored osteogenic differentiation. Although the composite scaffolds are promising for regenerative medicine, the structures require stabilization to prevent the collapse observed after five days. Andréa Arruda Martins Shimojo, Amanda Gomes Marcelino Perez, Sofia Elisa Moraga Galdames, Isabela Cambraia de Souza Brissac, and Maria Helena Andrade Santana Copyright © 2015 Andréa Arruda Martins Shimojo et al. All rights reserved. Fault Detection Based on Tracking Differentiator Applied on the Suspension System of Maglev Train Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:44:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/242431/ A fault detection method based on the optimized tracking differentiator is introduced. It is applied on the acceleration sensor of the suspension system of maglev train. It detects the fault of the acceleration sensor by comparing the acceleration integral signal with the speed signal obtained by the optimized tracking differentiator. This paper optimizes the control variable when the states locate within or beyond the two-step reachable region to improve the performance of the approximate linear discrete tracking differentiator. Fault-tolerant control has been conducted by feedback based on the speed signal acquired from the optimized tracking differentiator when the acceleration sensor fails. The simulation and experiment results show the practical usefulness of the presented method. Hehong Zhang, Yunde Xie, and Zhiqiang Long Copyright © 2015 Hehong Zhang et al. All rights reserved. E-Cube+ Routing Protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks in the Presence of Network Failures Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:43:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/231514/ Providing reliable communication represents one of the major barriers to wireless sensor networks. In this paper, we propose a fault-tolerant tableless routing protocol called E-cube+, inspired from e-cube routing protocol, to support intelligent rerouting. A range of fault-tolerant routing properties of E-cube+ (such as loop-freeness, failure recovery guarantees, and bounded latency) have been derived and analyzed. Experiment results also show that E-cube+ is able to route data properly without complicated and energy-intensive routing table lookup processes even when node failures occur. Bo-Chao Cheng, Guo-Tan Liao, Yuan-Fu Chen, and Huan Chen Copyright © 2015 Bo-Chao Cheng et al. All rights reserved. Pathogenic Roles of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor during Dengue Virus Infection Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:41:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/547094/ Dengue virus (DENV) infection is the most common cause of viral hemorrhagic fever, which can lead to life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). Hemorrhage and plasma leakage are two major hallmarks of DHF/DSS. Because the mechanisms causing these pathogenic changes are unclear, there is no effective therapy against DHF/DSS. In this review, we focus on the possible pathogenic effects of a pleiotropic cytokine, macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), on the pathogenesis of DENV infection. MIF is a critical mediator of the host immune response and inflammation, and there is a correlation between the serum levels of MIF and disease severity in dengue patients. Furthermore, MIF knock-out mice exhibit less severe clinical disease and lethality. However, the role of MIF in the pathogenesis of DHF/DSS is not limited to immune cell recruitment. Recent evidence indicates that DENV infection induced MIF production and may contribute to vascular hyperpermeability and viral replication during DENV infection. The expression of both adhesion and coagulation molecules on MIF-stimulated monocytes and endothelial cells is also increased, which may contribute to inflammatory and anticoagulatory states during DHF/DSS. Therefore, blocking MIF production or its function may provide a solution for the treatment and prevention of DHF/DSS. Yung-Chun Chuang, Hong-Ru Chen, and Trai-Ming Yeh Copyright © 2015 Yung-Chun Chuang et al. All rights reserved. Accuracy, Robustness, and Efficiency of the Linear Boundary Condition for the Black-Scholes Equations Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:41:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/359028/ We briefly review and investigate the performance of various boundary conditions such as Dirichlet, Neumann, linear, and partial differential equation boundary conditions for the numerical solutions of the Black-Scholes partial differential equation. We use a finite difference method to numerically solve the equation. To show the efficiency of the given boundary condition, several numerical examples are presented. In numerical test, we investigate the effect of the domain sizes and compare the effect of various boundary conditions with pointwise error and root mean square error. Numerical results show that linear boundary condition is accurate and efficient among the other boundary conditions. Darae Jeong, Seungsuk Seo, Hyeongseok Hwang, Dongsun Lee, Yongho Choi, and Junseok Kim Copyright © 2015 Darae Jeong et al. All rights reserved. Approximate Solutions of Delay Differential Equations with Constant and Variable Coefficients by the Enhanced Multistage Homotopy Perturbation Method Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:39:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/382475/ We expand the application of the enhanced multistage homotopy perturbation method (EMHPM) to solve delay differential equations (DDEs) with constant and variable coefficients. This EMHPM is based on a sequence of subintervals that provide approximate solutions that require less CPU time than those computed from the dde23 MATLAB numerical integration algorithm solutions. To address the accuracy of our proposed approach, we examine the solutions of several DDEs having constant and variable coefficients, finding predictions with a good match relative to the corresponding numerical integration solutions. D. Olvera, A. Elías-Zúñiga, L. N. López de Lacalle, and C. A. Rodríguez Copyright © 2015 D. Olvera et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Abnormal Savda Munzip on the Proliferation Activity and Migration Ability of Fibroblasts Derived from Hypertrophic Scar In Vitro Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:36:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/870514/ Background. To explore the effect of ASMq on proliferation and migration ability of the fibroblast derived from HS of donor (HSFbs) in vitro. Methods. The HSFbs were cultured from tissue specimens and passaged to the 3~4 generation, which were treated with the different concentrations of ASMq and 5-Fu from 1 to 11 days. The difference of HSFbs proliferation activity was analyzed by the CCK-8 method. The HSFbs migration ability in ASMq (0.4 mg/mL) was analyzed by the Cell Scratch method. Results. Transmission electron microscope result shows ASMq concentration significantly increases and fibroblast cell structure markedly change in the experimental group. The proliferation activity of the HSFbs was obviously weakened in ASMq groups than those of the group A () at seven days. The group C (0.4 mg/mL) is better suitable than other three ASMq treatment groups. Cell Migration Assay shows that the migration ability HSFbs was significantly reduced in ASMq (0.4 mg/mL) treatment group compared with those of blank control group at both 24 h and 48 h (). Conclusions. These results suggest that ASMq effectively restrains the proliferation and migration ability of the HTSFbs in vitro, which can be one of the mechanisms for the prevention and treatment of HS. Hujun Wang, Weicheng Gao, Menglong Kong, Nan Li, and Ma Shaolin Copyright © 2015 Hujun Wang et al. All rights reserved. Recent Development in Production and Biotechnological Application of Microbial Enzymes Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:30:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/280518/ Noomen Hmidet, Neelu Nawani, and Sofiane Ghorbel Copyright © 2015 Noomen Hmidet et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Da-Cheng-Qi Decoction on Pancreatitis-Associated Intestinal Dysmotility in Patients and in Rat Models Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:29:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/895717/ The impairment of intestinal motility and related infectious complications are the predominant clinical phenomenon in patients with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP). We aimed to investigate the effects of Da-Cheng-Qi decoction (DCQD) on the gastrointestinal injury in SAP patients and the potential mechanism involved in rats. DCQD was enema administered to 70 patients for 7 days in West China Hospital. Mortality and organ failure during admission were observed and blood samples for laboratory analysis were collected. We also experimentally examined plasma inflammatory cytokines in rat serum and carried the morphometric studies of the gut. Intestinal propulsion index and serum and tissue vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) were also detected. Though DCQD did not affect the overall incidence of organ failure, it shortened the average time of paralytic intestinal obstruction and decreased the morbidity of infectious complications in patients with SAP. Compared with untreated rats, the DCQD lowered the levels of proinflammatory cytokine and decreased the mean pathological intestinal lesion scores. The VIP level in intestinal tissue or serum in DCQD group was obviously lowered and intestinal propulsion index was significantly improved. In conclusion, DCQD has good effect on pancreatitis-associated intestinal dysmotility in patients and in rat models. Jianlei Zhao, Cejun Zhong, Zhiyu He, Guangyuan Chen, and Wenfu Tang Copyright © 2015 Jianlei Zhao et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Powdered Shells of the Snail Megalobulimus lopesi on Secondary-Intention Wound Healing in an Animal Model Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:29:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/120785/ Topical administration of powdered shells of the land snail Megalobulimus lopesi was evaluated in Wistar rats for their healing activity in an excision wound model. The animals were distributed into three groups—G1 (control): no therapeutic intervention; G2 (vehicle controls): Lanette cream once daily; G3 (experimental animals): treated with powdered shells. Variables investigated were: wound area contraction, angiogenic activity, morphometric data, leukocytic inflammatory infiltrate, and total leukocyte count in peripheral blood. Thermogravimetric analysis and quantification and characterization of powdered shell proteins were also performed. Wound area on days 3, 7, and 14 was smaller in G3, besides presenting wound closure on day 21 for all these animals. Topical administration of the powdered shells also led to an increased number of vessels at the wound site, higher leukocyte counts in peripheral blood, and increased leukocytic inflammatory infiltrate. The results lend support to the southern Brazilian folk use of M. lopesi powdered shells, as shown by the enhanced secondary-intention healing achieved with their topical administration to wounds in rats. Topical administration caused inflammatory response modulation, crucial to accelerating the healing process, the chronification of which increases the risks of wound contamination by opportunistic pathogens. Paulo Henrique Muleta Andrade, Eric Schmidt Rondon, Carlos Alexandre Carollo, Maria Lígia Rodrigues Macedo, Luiz Henrique Viana, Albert Schiaveto de Souza, Carolina Turatti Oliveira, and Maria de Fatima Cepa Matos Copyright © 2015 Paulo Henrique Muleta Andrade et al. All rights reserved. Evaluating LRRK2 Genetic Variants with Unclear Pathogenicity Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:28:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/678701/ Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) have been known to be a major genetic component affecting Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the pathogenicity of many of the LRRK2 variants is unclear because they have been detected in single patients or also in patients and controls. Here, we selected 5 exonic variants (L1165P, T1410M, M1646T, L2063X, and Y2189C) from each of the protein domain of LRRK2 and analysed their possible association with pathogenicity using in vitro functional assays. Point mutations representing each of these variants were incorporated into the LRRK2 gene, and functional aspects such as the percentage of cell survival upon application of stress and kinase activity were measured. Our results showed that all 5 variants had a significantly negative effect on the survival of cells, in both presence and absence of stress, as compared to the wild-type. In addition, there was also a slight increase in kinase activity in most of the variants in comparison to the wild-type. A negative correlation between cell survival and kinase activity was observed. These data suggest that most of the variants despite being located in different domains of LRRK2 appear to exert a potential pathogenic effect possibly through an increased kinase activity, supporting a gain of function mechanism. Fathima Shaffra Refai, Shin Hui Ng, and Eng-King Tan Copyright © 2015 Fathima Shaffra Refai et al. All rights reserved. QoS Analysis for a Nonpreemptive Continuous Monitoring and Event-Driven WSN Protocol in Mobile Environments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:27:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/471307/ Evolution in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) has allowed the introduction of new applications with increased complexity regarding communication protocols, which have to ensure that certain QoS parameters are met. Specifically, mobile applications require the system to respond in a certain manner in order to adequately track the target object. Hybrid algorithms that perform Continuous Monitoring (CntM) and Event-Driven (ED) duties have proven their ability to enhance performance in different environments, where emergency alarms are required. In this paper, several types of environments are studied using mathematical models and simulations, for evaluating the performance of WALTER, a priority-based nonpreemptive hybrid WSN protocol that aims to reduce delay and packet loss probability in time-critical packets. First, randomly distributed events are considered. This environment can be used to model a wide variety of physical phenomena, for which report delay and energy consumption are analyzed by means of Markov models. Then, mobile-only environments are studied for object tracking purposes. Here, some of the parameters that determine the performance of the system are identified. Finally, an environment containing mobile objects and randomly distributed events is considered. It is shown that by assigning high priority to time-critical packets, report delay is reduced and network performance is enhanced. Israel Leyva-Mayorga, Mario E. Rivero-Angeles, Chadwick Carreto-Arellano, and Vicent Pla Copyright © 2015 Israel Leyva-Mayorga et al. All rights reserved. A Result regarding the Seismic Dislocations in Microstretch Thermoelastic Bodies Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:25:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/850261/ The aim of our study is to derive a relation of De Hoop-Knopoff type for displacement fields within context of thermoelastic microstretch bodies. Then, as a consequence, an explicit expression of the body loadings equivalent to a seismic dislocation is obtained. The results are extensions of those from the classical theory of elastic bodies. M. Marin, O. Florea, and S. R. Mahmoud Copyright © 2015 M. Marin et al. All rights reserved. Inhibitory Effects of Chemical Compounds Isolated from the Rhizome of Smilax glabra on Nitric Oxide and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Production in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced RAW264.7 Cell Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:25:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/602425/ The rhizome of Smilax glabra has been used for a long time as both food and folk medicine in many countries. The present study focused on the active constituents from the rhizome of S. glabra, which possess potential anti-inflammatory activities. As a result, nine known compounds were isolated from the rhizome of S. glabra with the bioassay-guiding, and were identified as syringaresinol (1), lasiodiplodin (2), de-O-methyllasiodiplodin (3), syringic acid (4), 1,4-bis(4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-2,3-bis(hydroxymethyl)-1,4-butanediol (5), lyoniresinol (6), trans-resveratrol (7), trans-caffeic acid methyl ester (8), and dihydrokaempferol (9). Among these compounds, 2 and 3 were isolated for the first time from S. glabra. In addition, the potential anti-inflammatory activities of the isolated compounds were evaluated in vitro in lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced RAW264.7 cells. Results indicated that 4 and 7 showed significant inhibitory effects on NO production of RAW264.7 cells, and 1, 2, 3, and 5 showed moderate suppression effects on induced NO production. 1, 7, and 5 exhibited high inhibitory effects on TNF-α production, with the IC50 values less than 2.3, 4.4, and 16.6 μM, respectively. These findings strongly suggest that compounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 were the potential anti-inflammatory active compositions of S. glabra. Chuan-li Lu, Wei Zhu, Dong-mei Wang, Wen-long Chen, Meng-mei Hu, Min Wang, Xiao-jie Xu, and Chuan-jian Lu Copyright © 2015 Chuan-li Lu et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Antiradical and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Ethyl Acetate and Butanolic Subfractions of Agelanthus dodoneifolius (DC.) Polhill & Wiens (Loranthaceae) Using Equine Myeloperoxidase and Both PMA-Activated Neutrophils and HL-60 Cells Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:23:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/707524/ The ethyl acetate and n-butanolic subfractions of Agelanthus dodoneifolius were investigated for their antioxidant and antimyeloperoxidase (MPO) activities. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was assessed by lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence (CL) and dichlorofluorescein- (DCF-) induced fluorescence techniques from phorbol myristate acetate- (PMA-) stimulated equine neutrophils and human myeloid cell line HL-60, respectively. In parallel, the effects of the tested subfractions were evaluated on the total MPO release by stimulated neutrophils and on the specific MPO activity by means of immunological assays. The results showed the potent activity of the butanolic subfraction, at least in respect of the chemiluminescence test (IC50 =  µg/mL) and the ELISA and SIEFED assays (IC50 =  µg/mL and  µg/mL), respectively. However, the ethyl acetate subfraction was found to be the most potent in the DCF assay as at the highest concentration, DCF fluorescence intensity decreases of about 50%. Moreover, we demonstrated that the ethyl acetate subfraction was rich in catechin (16.51%) while it was not easy to identify the main compounds in the butanolic subfraction using the UPLC-MS/MS technique. Nevertheless, taken together, our results provide evidence that Agelanthus dodoneifolius subfractions may represent potential sources of natural antioxidants and of antimyeloperoxidase compounds. Rainatou Boly, Thierry Franck, Stephan Kohnen, Marius Lompo, Innocent Pierre Guissou, Jacques Dubois, Didier Serteyn, and Ange Mouithys-Mickalad Copyright © 2015 Rainatou Boly et al. All rights reserved. Bifurcation in Deterministic Discrete Dynamical Systems: Advances in Theory and Applications Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:20:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/960834/ Raghib Abu-Saris, Fathi Allan, Sui Sun Cheng, and Mustafa Kulenović Copyright © 2015 Raghib Abu-Saris et al. All rights reserved. Survival of AIDS Patients Treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine in Rural Central China: A Retrospective Cohort Study, 2004–2012 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:20:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/282819/ This study aimed to explore the survival of AIDS patients treated with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in addition to combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) and of AIDS patients treated with cART. Data of patients taking cART between 30 October 2003 and 30 October 2004 in the National TCM HIV Treatment Trial Program area were retrospectively analyzed, with follow-up from 30 October 2004 to 30 October 2012. The log-rank test was used to compare survival between the two groups. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine hazard ratios to identify prognostic factors. The study included 521 patients in the TCM + cART group followed up for 3548 person-years and 375 patients in the cART group followed up for 2523 person-years. Mortality rates were 3.2/100 person-years and 4.2/100 person-years in the TCM + cART and cART groups, respectively. The difference in survival was significant. After adjusting for explanatory variables, the mortality rate of AIDS patients in the cART group was 1.7 times higher than in the TCM + cART group. Male sex, older age, little education, and lower CD4 cell count were risk factors for mortality. TCM intervention in addition to cART could increase survival of AIDS patients. Yantao Jin, Xin Wang, Zhengwei Li, Ziqiang Jiang, Huijun Guo, Zhibin Liu, and Liran Xu Copyright © 2015 Yantao Jin et al. All rights reserved. Robust Stabilization and Disturbance Rejection of Positive Systems with Time-Varying Delays and Actuator Saturation Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:18:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/125343/ This paper focuses on the problems of robust stabilization and disturbance rejection for a class of positive systems with time-varying delays and actuator saturation. First, a convex hull representation is used to describe the saturation characteristics. By constructing an appropriate copositive type Lyapunov functional, we give sufficient conditions for the existence of a state feedback controller such that the closed-loop system is positive and asymptotically stable at the origin of the state space with a domain of attraction. Then, the disturbance rejection performance analysis in the presence of actuator saturation is developed via -gain. The design method is also extended to investigate the problem of -gain analysis for uncertain positive systems with time-varying delays and actuator saturation. Finally, three examples are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Xi Ding, Zhengrong Xiang, and Chunyu Yang Copyright © 2015 Xi Ding et al. All rights reserved. Systems and Algorithms for Wireless Sensor Networks Based on Animal and Natural Behavior Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:17:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/625972/ In last decade, there have been many research works about wireless sensor networks (WSNs) focused on improving the network performance as well as increasing the energy efficiency and communications effectiveness. Many of these new mechanisms have been implemented using the behaviors of certain animals, such as ants, bees, or schools of fish. These systems are called bioinspired systems and are used to improve aspects such as handling large-scale networks, provide dynamic nature, and avoid resource constraints, heterogeneity, unattended operation, or robustness, among many others. Therefore, this paper aims to study bioinspired mechanisms in the field of WSN, providing the concepts of these behavior patterns in which these new approaches are based. The paper will explain existing bioinspired systems in WSNs and analyze their impact on WSNs and their evolution. In addition, we will conduct a comprehensive review of recently proposed bioinspired systems, protocols, and mechanisms. Finally, this paper will try to analyze the applications of each bioinspired mechanism as a function of the imitated animal and the deployed application. Although this research area is considered an area with highly theoretical content, we intend to show the great impact that it is generating from the practical perspective. Sandra Sendra, Lorena Parra, Jaime Lloret, and Shafiullah Khan Copyright © 2015 Sandra Sendra et al. All rights reserved. Serum Levels of Proinflammatory Cytokines in Painful Knee Osteoarthritis and Sensitization Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:12:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/iji/2015/329792/ Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder in the world. Among the mechanisms involved in osteoarthritis, biomarkers (cytokines profile) may be related to pain and pain intensity, functional capacity, and pressure pain thresholds (PPT). Thus, the study of these relationships may offer useful information about pathophysiology and associated mechanisms involved in osteoarthritis. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the seric concentration of pro (IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines in patients with painful knee osteoarthritis and to correlate the levels of these biomarkers with the patients’ functional capacity and pressure pain threshold (PPT) values. Marta Imamura, Fernando Ezquerro, Fábio Marcon Alfieri, Lucy Vilas Boas, Tania Regina Tozetto-Mendoza, Janini Chen, Levent Özçakar, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, and Linamara Rizzo Battistella Copyright © 2015 Marta Imamura et al. All rights reserved. An Efficient Iterative Scheme Using Family of Chebyshev’s Operations Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:09:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/205295/ This paper presents an efficient iterative method originated from the family of Chebyshev’s operations for the solution of nonlinear problems. For this aim, the product operation matrix of integration is presented, and therefore the operation of derivative is developed by using Chebyshev wavelet functions of the first and second kind, initially. Later, Chebyshev’s iterative method is improved by approximation of the first and second derivatives. The analysis of convergence demonstrates that the method is at least fourth-order convergent. The effectiveness of the proposed scheme is numerically and practically evaluated. It is concluded that it requires the less number of iterations and lies on the best performance of the proposed method, especially for highly varying nonlinear problems. Seyed Hossein Mahdavi and Hashim Abdul Razak Copyright © 2015 Seyed Hossein Mahdavi and Hashim Abdul Razak. All rights reserved. Design and Test of Fuzzy-PI Controller for Copper Disc Casting Machine Casting Electronic Balance Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:01:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/391654/ Casting electronic scale is the key part of copper casting machine; its control precision directly affects the quality of casting. For this problem, this paper analyzes 16 casting machine casting structures and control principles. According to the movement characteristics of casting, a cast Fuzzy-PI composite controller of electronic scale was designed. On this basis, the hardware system based on PLC and the expansion modules were developed, and casting electronic control programs were designed. Moreover, the control system was simulated by Matlab software and the field experiments have also been carried out. Experiments showed that the casting precision reached 99%, when weight errors are in 3 kg. The designed casting electronic scale satisfies the needs for production. Fanzhi Kong, Qun Sun, Chong Wang, Chengqiang Yin, and Song Hu Copyright © 2015 Fanzhi Kong et al. All rights reserved. Recent Developments in Vascular Imaging Techniques in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:56:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/783983/ Adequate vascularisation is key in determining the clinical outcome of stem cells and engineered tissue in regenerative medicine. Numerous imaging modalities have been developed and used for the visualization of vascularisation in tissue engineering. In this review, we briefly discuss the very recent advances aiming at high performance imaging of vasculature. We classify the vascular imaging modalities into three major groups: nonoptical methods (X-ray, magnetic resonance, ultrasound, and positron emission imaging), optical methods (optical coherence, fluorescence, multiphoton, and laser speckle imaging), and hybrid methods (photoacoustic imaging). We then summarize the strengths and challenges of these methods for preclinical and clinical applications. Paul Kumar Upputuri, Kathyayini Sivasubramanian, Chong Seow Khoon Mark, and Manojit Pramanik Copyright © 2015 Paul Kumar Upputuri et al. All rights reserved. Robust Head Pose Estimation Using a 3D Morphable Model Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:53:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/678973/ Head pose estimation from single 2D images has been considered as an important and challenging research task in computer vision. This paper presents a novel head pose estimation method which utilizes the shape model of the Basel face model and five fiducial points in faces. It adjusts shape deformation according to Laplace distribution to afford the shape variation across different persons. A new matching method based on PSO (particle swarm optimization) algorithm is applied both to reduce the time cost of shape reconstruction and to achieve higher accuracy than traditional optimization methods. In order to objectively evaluate accuracy, we proposed a new way to compute the pose estimation errors. Experiments on the BFM-synthetic database, the BU-3DFE database, the CUbiC FacePix database, the CMU PIE face database, and the CAS-PEAL-R1 database show that the proposed method is robust, accurate, and computationally efficient. Ying Cai, Menglong Yang, and Ziqiang Li Copyright © 2015 Ying Cai et al. All rights reserved. Royal Jelly and Its Dual Role in TNBS Colitis in Mice Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:51:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/956235/ Royal Jelly (RJ) is widely consumed in diets throughout the world due to its beneficial effects: antioxidant, antitumor and anti-inflammatory. We have investigated the role of RJ in the development of TNBS colitis in mice. Colitis was induced by a rectal instillation of TNBS at 0.1 mL per mouse. Intestine samples of the animals orally treated with RJ (100, 150, and 200 mg/kg) were collected for antioxidant assays (GSH and GSH-Px), proinflammatory protein quantification (COX-2 and NF-κB), and histological analyses. RJ 100 mg/kg maintained GSH levels and increased the activity of GSH-Px, downregulated key inflammatory mediators (COX-2 and NF-κB), and decreased the lesions caused by TNBS as shown by the histological analyses. In conclusion, RJ showed anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in experimental colitis, resulting in the amelioration of the macroscopic and histological analyses. These results corroborate with the RJ supplementation in diets. Luis Paulo Manzo, Felipe Meira de-Faria, Ricardo José Dunder, Eduardo Augusto Rabelo-Socca, Silvio Roberto Consonni, Ana Cristina Alves de Almeida, Alba Regina Monteiro Souza-Brito, and Anderson Luiz-Ferreira Copyright © 2015 Luis Paulo Manzo et al. All rights reserved. Silver Nanoparticles in PEDOT:PSS Layer for Polymer Solar Cell Application Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:50:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2015/764938/ We compare the performance of polymer solar cells based on poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) and [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) with silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) incorporated in poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). The structure of constructed solar devices was ITO/PEDOT:PSS:Ag NPs/P3HT:PCBM/Al. Typical polyol chemistry was used to synthesize silver in water solution. Ag nanoparticles were investigated by UV-vis, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and dynamic light scattering (DLS) methods. We investigated influence of amount of silver in a hole transporting layer on the performance of bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells. The value of power conversion efficiency (PCE), equal to 2.16% under simulated 100 mW/cm2 AM 1.5G irradiation, was found for device created in air with 60 µL of Ag NPs added to 1 mL of PEDOT:PSS. Along with the increase amount of Ag NPs from 60 to 150 µL, the PCE decrease was found. Stability of solar cells with Ag was also investigated. The loss in value of PCE after 8 months was found in the range 13–47% depending on the device architecture. The solar cells were additionally measured with impedance spectroscopy. Agnieszka Iwan, Bartosz Boharewicz, Igor Tazbir, Andrzej Sikora, and Beata Zboromirska-Wnukiewicz Copyright © 2015 Agnieszka Iwan et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Essential Oils and Bioactive Fractions on Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans Biofilms: A Confocal Analysis Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:49:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/871316/ The essential oils (EO) and bioactive fractions (BF) from Aloysia gratissima, Baccharis dracunculifolia, Coriandrum sativum, Cyperus articulatus, and Lippia sidoides were proven to have strong antimicrobial activity on planktonic microorganisms; however, little is known about their effects on the morphology or viability of oral biofilms. Previously, we determined the EO/fractions with the best antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus mutans and Candida spp. In this report, we used a confocal analysis to investigate the effect of these EO and BF on the morphology of S. mutans biofilms (thickness, biovolume, and architecture) and on the metabolic viability of C. albicans biofilms. The analysis of intact treated S. mutans biofilms showed no statistical difference for thickness in all groups compared to the control. However, a significant reduction in the biovolume of extracellular polysaccharides and bacteria was observed for A. gratissima and L. sidoides groups, indicating that these BF disrupt biofilm integrity and may have created porosity in the biofilm. This phenomenon could potentially result in a weakened structure and affect biofilm dynamics. Finally, C. sativum EO drastically affected C. albicans viability when compared to the control. These results highlight the promising antimicrobial activity of these plant species and support future translational research on the treatment of dental caries and oral candidiasis. Irlan Almeida Freires, Bruno Bueno-Silva, Lívia Câmara de Carvalho Galvão, Marta Cristina Teixeira Duarte, Adilson Sartoratto, Glyn Mara Figueira, Severino Matias de Alencar, and Pedro Luiz Rosalen Copyright © 2015 Irlan Almeida Freires et al. All rights reserved. Substructural Identification of Flexural Rigidity for Beam-Like Structures Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:48:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2015/726410/ This study proposes a novel substructural identification method based on the Bernoulli-Euler beam theory with a single variable optimization scheme to estimate the flexural rigidity of a beam-like structure such as a bridge deck, which is one of the major structural integrity indices of a structure. In ordinary bridges, the boundary condition of a superstructure can be significantly altered by aging and environmental variations, and the actual boundary conditions are generally unknown or difficult to be estimated correctly. To efficiently bypass the problems related to boundary conditions, a substructural identification method is proposed to evaluate the flexural rigidity regardless of the actual boundary conditions by isolating an identification region within the internal substructure. The proposed method is very simple and effective as it utilizes the single variable optimization based on the transfer function formulated utilizing Bernoulli Euler beam theory for the inverse analysis to obtain the flexural rigidity. This novel method is also rigorously investigated by applying it for estimating the flexural rigidity of a simply supported beam model with different boundary conditions, a concrete plate-girder bridge model with different length of an internal substructure, a cantilever-type wind turbine tower structure with different type of excitation, and a steel box-girder bridge model with internal structural damages. Ki-Young Koo and Jin-Hak Yi Copyright © 2015 Ki-Young Koo and Jin-Hak Yi. All rights reserved. Online Junction Temperature Cycle Recording of an IGBT Power Module in a Hybrid Car Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:47:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ape/2015/652389/ The accuracy of the lifetime calculation approach of IGBT power modules used in hybrid-electric powertrains suffers greatly from the inaccurate knowledge of application typical load-profiles. To verify the theoretical load-profiles with data from the field this paper presents a concept to record all junction temperature cycles of an IGBT power module during its operation in a test vehicle. For this purpose the IGBT junction temperature is measured with a modified gate driver that determines the temperature sensitive IGBT internal gate resistor by superimposing the negative gate voltage with a high-frequency identification signal. An integrated control unit manages the measurement during the regular switching operation, the exchange of data with the system controller, and the automatic calibration of the sensor system. To calculate and store temperature cycles on a microcontroller an online Rainflow counting algorithm was developed. The special feature of this algorithm is a very accurate extraction of lifetime relevant information with a significantly reduced calculation and storage effort. Until now the recording concept could be realized and tested within a laboratory voltage source inverter. Currently the IGBT driver with integrated junction temperature measurement and the online cycle recording algorithm is integrated in the voltage source inverter of first test vehicles. Such research will provide representative load-profiles to verify and optimize the theoretical load-profiles used in today’s lifetime calculation. Marco Denk and Mark-M. Bakran Copyright © 2015 Marco Denk and Mark-M. Bakran. All rights reserved. Extended State Observer Based Adaptive Back-Stepping Sliding Mode Control of Electronic Throttle in Transportation Cyber-Physical Systems Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:46:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/301656/ Considering the high accuracy requirement of information exchange via vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, an extended state observer (ESO) is designed to estimate the opening angle change of an electronic throttle (ET), wherein the emphasis is placed on the nonlinear uncertainties of stick-slip friction and spring in the system as well as the existence of external disturbance. In addition, a back-stepping sliding mode controller incorporating an adaptive control law is presented, and the stability and robustness of the system are analyzed using Lyapunov technique. Finally, numerical experiments are conducted using simulation. The results show that, compared with back-stepping control (BSC), the proposed controller achieves superior performance in terms of the steady-state error and rising time. Yongfu Li, Bin Yang, Taixiong Zheng, and Yinguo Li Copyright © 2015 Yongfu Li et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Analysis of Laguerre-Based Approximators to the Grünwald-Letnikov Fractional-Order Difference Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:45:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/512104/ This paper provides a series of new results in both steady-state accuracy and frequency-domain analyses for two Laguerre-based approximators to the Grünwald-Letnikov difference. In a comparative study, the Laguerre-based approximators are found superior to the classical Tustin- and Al-Alaoui-based approximators, which is illustrated in simulation examples. Rafał Stanisławski, Krzysztof J. Latawiec, and Marian Łukaniszyn Copyright © 2015 Rafał Stanisławski et al. All rights reserved. Cellular Neural Network-Based Methods for Distributed Network Intrusion Detection Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:45:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/343050/ According to the problems of current distributed architecture intrusion detection systems (DIDS), a new online distributed intrusion detection model based on cellular neural network (CNN) was proposed, in which discrete-time CNN (DTCNN) was used as weak classifier in each local node and state-controlled CNN (SCCNN) was used as global detection method, respectively. We further proposed a new method for design template parameters of SCCNN via solving Linear Matrix Inequality. Experimental results based on KDD CUP 99 dataset show its feasibility and effectiveness. Emerging evidence has indicated that this new approach is affordable to parallelism and analog very large scale integration (VLSI) implementation which allows the distributed intrusion detection to be performed better. Kang Xie, Yixian Yang, Yang Xin, and Guangsheng Xia Copyright © 2015 Kang Xie et al. All rights reserved. Positive Solutions for a Third Order Nonlinear Neutral Delay Difference Equation Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:44:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/658651/ The existence, multiplicity, and properties of positive solutions for a third order nonlinear neutral delay difference equation are discussed. Six examples are given to illustrate the results presented in this paper. Zeqing Liu, Xiaochen Wang, Shin Min Kang, and Young Chel Kwun Copyright © 2015 Zeqing Liu et al. All rights reserved. Dry Needling Related Short-Term Vasodilation in Chronic Sciatica under Infrared Thermovision Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:43:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/214374/ Vasomotor responses to dry needling (DN) of trigger points (TrPs) under infrared thermovision (IRT) camera control and TrPs coexistence in chronic sciatica patients have never been studied. Materials and Methods. Fifty consecutive chronic sciatica patients were enrolled in the study. DN under IRT control was performed for all patients regardless of gluteus minimus (GM) active TrPs examination. Then, the vasomotor response and its agreement with TrPs examination were evaluated. Results. The prevalence of GM active TrPs was 32%. DN provokes intensive vasodilatation for TrPs-positive patients only, with the localization dependent on referred pain during the procedure not the daily complaint. The increase of vasodilatation was, for example, for thigh, TrPs-positive +30.29% versus TrPs-negative +4.08%. Additionally, a significant skin temperature increase was observed for TrPs-positive only, for example, thigh +1.5 ± 1.3°C (maximum) and +1.2 ± 1.0°C (average) (both ). Conclusion. GM active TrPs prevalence among chronic sciatica patients was around one in three. Every TrPs-positive subject presented with vasodilatation under IRT in the area of DN related referred pain. Although TrPs involvement in chronic sciatica patients is possible, further studies on a bigger group of patients are still required. Elżbieta Skorupska, Michał Rychlik, Wiktoria Pawelec, and Włodzimierz Samborski Copyright © 2015 Elżbieta Skorupska et al. All rights reserved. Delay-Dependent Stability Analysis for Uncertain Switched Time-Delay Systems Using Average Dwell Time Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:40:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/628693/ We are concerned with the stability problem for linear discrete-time switched systems with time delays. The problem is solved by using multiple Lyapunov functions to develop constructive tools for the exponential stability analysis of the switched time-delay system. Furthermore, the uncertainties of the switched systems are also taken into consideration. Sufficient delay-dependent conditions are derived in terms of the average dwell time for the exponential stability based on linear matrix inequalities (LMIs). Finally, numerical examples are provided to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Yangming Zhang and Peng Yan Copyright © 2015 Yangming Zhang and Peng Yan. All rights reserved. Feng’s First Integral Method Applied to the ZKBBM and the Generalized Fisher Space-Time Fractional Equations Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:38:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2015/191545/ The fractional derivatives in the sense of the modified Riemann-Liouville derivative and Feng’s first integral method are employed to obtain the exact solutions of the nonlinear space-time fractional ZKBBM equation and the nonlinear space-time fractional generalized Fisher equation. The power of this manageable method is presented by applying it to the above equations. Our approach provides first integrals in polynomial form with high accuracy. Exact analytical solutions are obtained through establishing first integrals. The present method is efficient and reliable, and it can be used as an alternative to establish new solutions of different types of fractional differential equations applied in mathematical physics. Huitzilin Yépez-Martínez, Ivan O. Sosa, and Juan M. Reyes Copyright © 2015 Huitzilin Yépez-Martínez et al. All rights reserved. Improved Emotion Recognition Using Gaussian Mixture Model and Extreme Learning Machine in Speech and Glottal Signals Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:38:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/394083/ Recently, researchers have paid escalating attention to studying the emotional state of an individual from his/her speech signals as the speech signal is the fastest and the most natural method of communication between individuals. In this work, new feature enhancement using Gaussian mixture model (GMM) was proposed to enhance the discriminatory power of the features extracted from speech and glottal signals. Three different emotional speech databases were utilized to gauge the proposed methods. Extreme learning machine (ELM) and -nearest neighbor (NN) classifier were employed to classify the different types of emotions. Several experiments were conducted and results show that the proposed methods significantly improved the speech emotion recognition performance compared to research works published in the literature. Hariharan Muthusamy, Kemal Polat, and Sazali Yaacob Copyright © 2015 Hariharan Muthusamy et al. All rights reserved. Asymptotic Behavior of Positive Solutions of a Competitive System Subject to Environmental Noise Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:35:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/389638/ A competitive system subject to environmental noise is established. By using the theory of stochastic differential equations and Lyapunov function, sufficient conditions for the existence, uniqueness, stochastic boundedness, and global attraction of the positive solution of the above system are established, respectively. An example together with its corresponding numerical simulations is presented to confirm our analytical results. Huili Xiang, Zhuang Fang, Zuxiong Li, and Zhijun Liu Copyright © 2015 Huili Xiang et al. All rights reserved. Prediction of Cardiovascular Disease Risk among Low-Income Urban Dwellers in Metropolitan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:34:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/516984/ We aimed to predict the ten-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among low-income urban dwellers of metropolitan Malaysia. Participants were selected from a cross-sectional survey conducted in Kuala Lumpur. To assess the 10-year CVD risk, we employed the Framingham risk scoring (FRS) models. Significant determinants of the ten-year CVD risk were identified using General Linear Model (GLM). Altogether 882 adults (≥30 years old with no CVD history) were randomly selected. The classic FRS model (figures in parentheses are from the modified model) revealed that 20.5% (21.8%) and 38.46% (38.9%) of respondents were at high and moderate risk of CVD. The GLM models identified the importance of education, occupation, and marital status in predicting the future CVD risk. Our study indicated that one out of five low-income urban dwellers has high chance of having CVD within ten years. Health care expenditure, other illness related costs and loss of productivity due to CVD would worsen the current situation of low-income urban population. As such, the public health professionals and policy makers should establish substantial effort to formulate the public health policy and community-based intervention to minimize the upcoming possible high mortality and morbidity due to CVD among the low-income urban dwellers. Tin Tin Su, Mohammadreza Amiri, Farizah Mohd Hairi, Nithiah Thangiah, Awang Bulgiba, and Hazreen Abdul Majid Copyright © 2015 Tin Tin Su et al. All rights reserved. Fuzzy Controllers for Nonaffine-in-Control Singularly Perturbed Switched Systems Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:29:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/896413/ This paper investigates the problem of fuzzy controller design for nonaffine-in-control singularly perturbed switched systems (NCSPSSs). First, the NCSPSS is approximated by Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) models which include not only state but also control variables in the premise part of the rules. Then, a dynamic state feedback controller design method is proposed in terms of linear matrix inequalities. Under the controller, stability bound estimation problem of the closed-loop system is solved. Finally, an example is given to show the feasibility and effectiveness of the obtained methods. Linna Zhou, Qianjin Wang, Xiaoping Ma, and Chunyu Yang Copyright © 2015 Linna Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effects of Tao-Hong-Si-Wu Decoction on Memory Impairment and Hippocampal Damage in Animal Model of Vascular Dementia Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:28:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/195835/ Tao-Hong-Si-Wu decoction (TSD) as a traditional chinese medicine (TCM) has been developed to treat thrombotic diseases for hundreds of years, and vascular dementia (VD) is a cognitive dysfunction syndrome caused by cerebral embolism. In this study, the protective effect of TSD on memory impairment and brain damage in rat model of VD induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was investigated. The study showed that rats in MCAO treatment with TSD for 14 days significantly improved behavioral function, increased densities of neuron, and induced angiogenesis in the brain compared with model rats. TSD also adjusted the neurotransmitter levels, reduced the content of endothelin-1 (ET-1), and induced the activities of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in hippocampus. Moreover, the immunohistochemical staining and western blotting results also revealed that TSD decreased apoptosis via upregulated B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2)/Bcl-2 associated X protein (Bax) ratio. These results demonstrated TSD possesses neuroprotective and antidementia properties by preventing the loss of neural cells, adjusting brain neurotransmitter, promoting cerebral blood circulation, and decreasing apoptosis. These results suggested that TSD might be developed as an effective drug for the prevention of VD. Lan Han, Zhaojie Ji, Weidong Chen, Dengke Yin, Fan Xu, Shanshan Li, Fangfang Chen, Guangyu Zhu, and Daiyin Peng Copyright © 2015 Lan Han et al. All rights reserved. A Pseudo-Parallel Genetic Algorithm Integrating Simulated Annealing for Stochastic Location-Inventory-Routing Problem with Consideration of Returns in E-Commerce Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:28:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/586581/ Facility location, inventory control, and vehicle routes scheduling are three key issues to be settled in the design of logistics system for e-commerce. Due to the online shopping features of e-commerce, customer returns are becoming much more than traditional commerce. This paper studies a three-phase supply chain distribution system consisting of one supplier, a set of retailers, and a single type of product with continuous review (Q, r) inventory policy. We formulate a stochastic location-inventory-routing problem (LIRP) model with no quality defects returns. To solve the NP-hand problem, a pseudo-parallel genetic algorithm integrating simulated annealing (PPGASA) is proposed. The computational results show that PPGASA outperforms GA on optimal solution, computing time, and computing stability. Bailing Liu, Hui Chen, Yanhui Li, and Xiang Liu Copyright © 2015 Bailing Liu et al. All rights reserved. Antinociceptive Effect of the Essential Oil Obtained from the Leaves of Croton cordiifolius Baill. (Euphorbiaceae) in Mice Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:26:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/620865/ Croton cordiifolius Baill. is a shrub known as “quebra-faca” and is used to treat inflammation, pain, wounds, and gastrointestinal disturbances in the semiarid region in the northeast of Brazil. In an ethnobotanical survey in the state of Pernambuco, “quebra-faca” use was cited in 33% of the interviews. Thus, we decided to evaluate the antinociceptive effects of the essential oil from C. cordiifolius (CcEO). Chemical analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed 1,8-cineole (25.09%) and α-phellandrene (15.43%) as major constituents. Antinociceptive activity was evaluated using murine models of chemically induced pain (writhing induced by acetic acid, formalin, capsaicin, and glutamate tests). Opioid and central nervous systems (CNS) involvement were also investigated. Regarding antinociceptive activity, CcEO (50 and 100 mg/kg) reduced the number of writhing responses induced by acetic acid and decreased the licking times in both phases of the formalin test. CcEO also was evaluated in capsaicin- and glutamate-induced nociception. While no effect was observed in the capsaicin test, CcEO (100 mg/kg) was effective in the glutamate test. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, did not affect the antinociceptive activity of CcEO in writhing test. In conclusion, the antinociceptive effect of CcEO could be explained, at least in part, by inhibition of the glutamatergic system. Lenise de Morais Nogueira, Monalisa Ribeiro da Silva, Simone Maria dos Santos, Julianna Ferreira Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, Igor Cavalcanti Ferraz, Thaíse Torres de Albuquerque, Carlos Renato França de Carvalho Mota, Renata Mendonça Araújo, Glauce Socorro de Barros Viana, René Duarte Martins, Alexandre Havt, and Rafael Matos Ximenes Copyright © 2015 Lenise de Morais Nogueira et al. All rights reserved. Classic and Modern Meridian Studies: A Review of Low Hydraulic Resistance Channels along Meridians and Their Relevance for Therapeutic Effects in Traditional Chinese Medicine Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:24:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/410979/ Meridian theory is one of the core components of the theory of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It gives an integral explanation for how human life works, how a disease forms, and how a therapy acts to treat a disease. If we do not understand the meridians, it is hard to understand the TCM. People in China and abroad had been working hard for 50 years, trying to understand the meridians; then 15 years ago a breakthrough idea appeared when we realized that they are low resistance fluid channels where various chemical and physical transports take place. The channel is called low hydraulic resistance channel (LHRC) and the chemical transport is named volume transmission (VT). This review aims to give a full understanding of the essence of meridian and its works on the therapies of TCM. Wei-Bo Zhang, Guang-Jun Wang, and Kjell Fuxe Copyright © 2015 Wei-Bo Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Experimental Studies on Finite Element Model Updating for a Heated Beam-Like Structure Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:22:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2015/143254/ An experimental study was made for the identification procedure of time-varying modal parameters and the finite element model updating technique of a beam-like thermal structure in both steady and unsteady high temperature environments. An improved time-varying autoregressive method was proposed first to extract the instantaneous natural frequencies of the structure in the unsteady high temperature environment. Based on the identified modal parameters, then, a finite element model for the structure was updated by using Kriging meta-model and optimization-based finite-element model updating method. The temperature-dependent parameters to be updated were expressed as low-order polynomials of temperature increase, and the finite element model updating problem was solved by updating several coefficients of the polynomials. The experimental results demonstrated the effectiveness of the time-varying modal parameter identification method and showed that the instantaneous natural frequencies of the updated model well tracked the trends of the measured values with high accuracy. Kaipeng Sun, Yonghui Zhao, and Haiyan Hu Copyright © 2015 Kaipeng Sun et al. All rights reserved. Efficient Output Solution for Nonlinear Stochastic Optimal Control Problem with Model-Reality Differences Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:22:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/659506/ A computational approach is proposed for solving the discrete time nonlinear stochastic optimal control problem. Our aim is to obtain the optimal output solution of the original optimal control problem through solving the simplified model-based optimal control problem iteratively. In our approach, the adjusted parameters are introduced into the model used such that the differences between the real system and the model used can be computed. Particularly, system optimization and parameter estimation are integrated interactively. On the other hand, the output is measured from the real plant and is fed back into the parameter estimation problem to establish a matching scheme. During the calculation procedure, the iterative solution is updated in order to approximate the true optimal solution of the original optimal control problem despite model-reality differences. For illustration, a wastewater treatment problem is studied and the results show the efficiency of the approach proposed. Sie Long Kek, Kok Lay Teo, and Mohd Ismail Abdul Aziz Copyright © 2015 Sie Long Kek et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Differences between PaCO2 and ETCO2 by Age as Measured during General Anesthesia with Patients in a Supine Position Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:21:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jan/2015/710537/ Objective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the arterial to end-tidal partial pressure gradient of carbon dioxide according to age in the supine position during general anesthesia. Methods. From January 2001 to December 2013, we evaluated 596 patients aged ≥16 years who underwent general anesthesia in the supine position. The anesthetic charts of these 596 patients, all classified as American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I or II, were retrospectively reviewed to investigate the accuracy of PaCO2 and ETCO2. Results. The a-ETCO2 was  mmHg for patients aged 16 to <65 years and  mmHg for patients ≥65 years. The a-ETCO2 was  mmHg for patients aged 16 to 25 years,  mmHg for patients aged 26 to 35 years,  mmHg for patients aged 36 to 45 years,  mmHg for patients aged 46 to 55 years,  mmHg for patients aged 56 to 64 years,  mmHg for patients aged 65 to 74 years, and  mmHg for patients aged 75 to 84 years. Conclusion. The arterial to end-tidal partial pressure gradient of carbon dioxide tended to increase with increasing age. Kenichi Satoh, Ayako Ohashi, Miho Kumagai, Masahito Sato, Akiyoshi Kuji, and Shigeharu Joh Copyright © 2015 Kenichi Satoh et al. All rights reserved. Study and Simulation of Deformation Mechanics Modeling of Flexible Workpiece Processing by Rayleigh-Ritz Method Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:21:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/157951/ This paper discusses the calculation problems of bending deformation of FWP processing. Take three axis CNC machining as an example, to establish mechanics model of flexible workpiece processing process. The flexible workpiece balance equation is a two-dimensional partial differential equation, to solve the problem of flexible workpiece bending deformation using Rayleigh-Ritz method and designing the test function of bending deformation of flexible workpiece. By satisfying the minimum potential energy condition of FWP processing to work out the approximate solution of bending deformation of flexible workpiece, find out the relationship between material properties of flexible piece, acting force , and deformation value. Finally, the rectangle flexible workpiece which is made up of polyurethane sponge is selected as an experiment subject. The results show that the average relative deviation between theoretical value and observed value is only 5.51%. It is proved that the bending deformation test function satisfies the actual deformation calculation requirements. Yaohua Deng, Sicheng Chen, Qiwen Lu, Jiayuan Chen, Qiaofen Zhang, Liming Wu, Jiandong Shi, and Xiali Liu Copyright © 2015 Yaohua Deng et al. All rights reserved. The Synergistic Beneficial Effects of Ginkgo Flavonoid and Coriolus versicolor Polysaccharide for Memory Improvements in a Mouse Model of Dementia Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:19:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/128394/ This study reports the combination of Ginkgo flavonoid (GF) and Coriolus versicolor polysaccharide (CVP) in the prevention and treatment of a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). GF is a traditional health product, and CVP is the main active ingredient of the medicinal fungus Coriolus versicolor. The Morris water maze test, the Y maze, and the step-through test showed that the combinational use of CVP and GF synergistically improved memory in a mouse model of AD. Based on H&E staining analysis, the combination of CVP and GF decreased the severity of the pathological findings in the brain. Given that the expression of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α was downregulated, the inflammation response in AD mice was considered to be inhibited. The downregulation of GFAP further demonstrated that inflammation was reduced in the brain of AD mice following treatment. Moreover, the expression levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were elevated in the brains of treated mice, indicating that oxidation levels were reduced upon the combination treatment. Our results provide new insights into the efficient utilization of traditional medicine for preventing dementia. Xianying Fang, Yan Jiang, Hui Ji, Linguo Zhao, Wei Xiao, Zhenzhong Wang, and Gang Ding Copyright © 2015 Xianying Fang et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Neural Gradient Descent Control for a Class of Nonlinear Dynamic Systems with Chaotic Phenomenon Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:19:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/894071/ A neural network controller design is studied for a class of nonlinear chaotic systems with uncertain parameters. Because the chaos phenomena are often in this class of systems, it is indispensable to control this class of systems. At the same time, due to the presence of uncertainties in the chaotic systems, it results in the difficulties of the controller design. The neural networks are employed to estimate the uncertainties of the systems and a controller is designed to overcome the chaos phenomena. The main contribution of this paper is that the adaptation law can be determined via the gradient descent algorithm to minimize a cost function of error. It can prove the stability of the closed-loop system. The numerical simulation is specified to pinpoint the validation of the approach. Xiujuan Liu and Tian Lan Copyright © 2015 Xiujuan Liu and Tian Lan. All rights reserved. Adaptive Observer-Based Fault-Tolerant Control Design for Uncertain Systems Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:16:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/429361/ This study focuses on the design of the robust fault-tolerant control (FTC) system based on adaptive observer for uncertain linear time invariant (LTI) systems. In order to improve robustness, rapidity, and accuracy of traditional fault estimation algorithm, an adaptive fault estimation algorithm (AFEA) using an augmented observer is presented. By utilizing a new fault estimator model, an improved AFEA based on linear matrix inequality (LMI) technique is proposed to increase the performance. Furthermore, an observer-based state feedback fault-tolerant control strategy is designed, which guarantees the stability and performance of the faulty system. Moreover, the adaptive observer and the fault-tolerant controller are designed separately, whose performance can be considered, respectively. Finally, simulation results of an aircraft application are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed design methods. Huaming Qian, Yu Peng, and Mei Cui Copyright © 2015 Huaming Qian et al. All rights reserved. Incidence and Risk Factors of Postoperative Pulmonary Complications in Noncardiac Chinese Patients: A Multicenter Observational Study in University Hospitals Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:12:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/265165/ Purpose. To assess the incidence of postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) in Chinese inpatients, and to develop a brief predictive risk index. Methods. Between August 6, 2012, and August 12, 2012, patients undergoing noncardiac operations in four university hospitals were enrolled. The cohort was divided into two subsamples, cohort 1 to develop a predictive risk index of PPCs and cohort 2 to validate it. Results. 1673 patients were enrolled. PPCs were recorded for 163 patients (9.7%), of whom the hospital length of stay (LOS) was longer (). The mortality was 1.84% in patients with PPCs and 0.07% in those without. Logistic Regression modeling in cohort 1 identified nine independent risk factors, including smoking, respiratory infection in the last month, preoperative antibiotic use, preoperative saturation of peripheral oxygen, surgery site, blood lost, postoperative blood glucose, albumin, and ventilation. The model was validated within cohort 2 with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.90 (95% CI 0.86 to 0.94). Conclusions. PPCs are common in noncardiac surgical patients and are associated with prolonged LOS in China. The current study developed a risk index, which can be used to assess individual risk of PPCs and guide individualized perioperative respiratory care. Yue Jin, Guohao Xie, Haihong Wang, Lielie Jin, Jun Li, Baoli Cheng, Kai Zhang, Andreas Hoeft, and Xiangming Fang Copyright © 2015 Yue Jin et al. All rights reserved. Cloning and Expression of Synthetic Genes Encoding the Broad Antimicrobial Spectrum Bacteriocins SRCAM 602, OR-7, E-760, and L-1077, by Recombinant Pichia pastoris Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:12:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/767183/ We have evaluated the cloning and functional expression of previously described broad antimicrobial spectrum bacteriocins SRCAM 602, OR-7, E-760, and L-1077, by recombinant Pichia pastoris. Synthetic genes, matching the codon usage of P. pastoris, were designed from the known mature amino acid sequence of these bacteriocins and cloned into the protein expression vector pPICZαA. The recombinant derived plasmids were linearized and transformed into competent P. pastoris X-33, and the presence of integrated plasmids into the transformed cells was confirmed by PCR and sequencing of the inserts. The antimicrobial activity, expected in supernatants of the recombinant P. pastoris producers, was purified using a multistep chromatographic procedure including ammonium sulfate precipitation, desalting by gel filtration, cation exchange-, hydrophobic interaction-, and reverse phase-chromatography (RP-FPLC). However, a measurable antimicrobial activity was only detected after the hydrophobic interaction and RP-FPLC steps of the purified supernatants. MALDI-TOF MS analysis of the antimicrobial fractions eluted from RP-FPLC revealed the existence of peptide fragments of lower and higher molecular mass than expected. MALDI-TOF/TOF MS analysis of selected peptides from eluted RP-FPLC samples with antimicrobial activity indicated the presence of peptide fragments not related to the amino acid sequence of the cloned bacteriocins. Sara Arbulu, Juan J. Jiménez, Loreto Gútiez, Luis M. Cintas, Carmen Herranz, and Pablo E. Hernández Copyright © 2015 Sara Arbulu et al. All rights reserved. Xueshuan Xinmaining Tablet Treats Blood Stasis through Regulating the Expression of F13a1, Car1, and Tbxa2r Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:08:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/704390/ Xueshuan Xinmaining Tablet (XXT), the Chinese formula, has long been administered in clinical practice for the treatment of cerebral thrombosis and coronary heart disease. In this study, we aimed to study the effect and the molecular mechanism of activating blood circulation and removing blood stasis. Rat models of cold coagulation blood stasis were induced with ice-water bath and epinephrine to assess the amelioration of blood stasis by XXT. Microarray technique was used to identify gene expression from the model and XXT-treated rats. In addition, Quantitative Real-Time PCR (qPCR) was performed to verify the microarray results. The results showed that XXT had a good therapeutic effect on blood stasis by reducing the whole blood viscosity (WBV), plasma viscosity (PV), increasing PT, APTT and TT, and by inhibiting platelet aggregation. Genes were differentially expressed in rats among the model group and the XXT-pretreated groups. XXT ameliorated blood stasis by regulating the expressions of F13a1, Car1, and Tbxa2r. Xiaotian Zhang, Chao Zhang, Jingying Sai, Fan Li, Jinping Liu, Yang Li, and Fang Wang Copyright © 2015 Xiaotian Zhang et al. All rights reserved. An Improved Fruit Fly Optimization Algorithm Inspired from Cell Communication Mechanism Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:06:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/492195/ Fruit fly optimization algorithm (FOA) invented recently is a new swarm intelligence method based on fruit fly’s foraging behaviors and has been shown to be competitive with existing evolutionary algorithms, such as particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm. However, there are still some disadvantages in the FOA, such as low convergence precision, easily trapped in a local optimum value at the later evolution stage. This paper presents an improved FOA based on the cell communication mechanism (CFOA), by considering the information of the global worst, mean, and best solutions into the search strategy to improve the exploitation. The results from a set of numerical benchmark functions show that the CFOA outperforms the FOA and the PSO in most of the experiments. Further, the CFOA is applied to optimize the controller for preoxidation furnaces in carbon fibers production. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the CFOA. Chuncai Xiao, Kuangrong Hao, and Yongsheng Ding Copyright © 2015 Chuncai Xiao et al. All rights reserved. Dynamics Analysis and Prediction of Genetic Regulation in Glycerol Metabolic Network via Structural Kinetic Modelling Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:06:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/673120/ Glycerol can be biologically converted to 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) by Klebsiella pneumoniae. In the synthesis pathway of 1,3-PD, the accumulation of an intermediary metabolite 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde (3-HPA) would cause an irreversible cessation of the dynamic system. Genetic manipulation on the key enzymes which control the formation rate and consumption rate of 3-HPA would decrease the accumulation of 3-HPA, resulting in nonlinear regulation on the dynamic system. The interest of this work is to focus on analyzing the influence of 3-HPA inhibition on the stability of the dynamic system. Due to the lack of intracellular knowledge, structural kinetic modelling is applied. On the basis of statistical account of the dynamical capabilities of the system in the parameter space, we conclude that, under weak or no inhibition to the reaction of 3-HPA consumption, the system is much easier to obtain a stable state, whereas strong inhibition to its formation is in favor of stabilizing the system. In addition, the existence of Hopf bifurcation in this system is also verified. The obtained results are helpful for deeply understanding the metabolic and genetic regulations of glycerol fermentation by Klebsiella pneumoniae. Jianxiong Ye, Honglei Xu, Xueying Huang, Chongrong Ke, and Enmin Feng Copyright © 2015 Jianxiong Ye et al. All rights reserved. High Performance Discrete Cosine Transform Operator Using Multimedia Oriented Subword Parallelism Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:06:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aceng/2015/405856/ In this paper an efficient two-dimensional discrete cosine transform (DCT) operator is proposed for multimedia applications. It is based on the DCT operator proposed in Kovac and Ranganathan, 1995. Speed-up is obtained by using multimedia oriented subword parallelism (SWP). Rather than operating on a single pixel, the SWP-based DCT operator performs parallel computations on multiple pixels packed in word size input registers so that the performance of the operator is increased. Special emphasis is made to increase the coordination between pixel sizes and subword sizes to maximize resource utilization rate. Rather than using classical subword sizes (8, 16, and 32 bits), multimedia oriented subword sizes (8, 10, 12, and 16 bits) are used in the proposed DCT operator. The proposed SWP DCT operator unit can be used as a coprocessor for multimedia applications. Shafqat Khan, Emmanuel Casseau, and Daniel Menard Copyright © 2015 Shafqat Khan et al. All rights reserved. Validation of New and Existing Decision Rules for the Estimation of Beat-to-Beat Pulse Transit Time Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:05:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/306934/ Pulse transit time (PTT) is a pivotal marker of vascular stiffness. Because the actual PTT duration in vivo is unknown and the complicated variation in waveform may occur, the robust determination of characteristic point is still a very difficult task in the PTT estimation. Our objective is to devise a method for real-time estimation of PTT duration in pulse wave. It has an ability to reduce the interference caused by both high- and low-frequency noise. The reproducibility and performance of these methods are assessed on both artificial and clinical pulse data. Artificial data are generated to investigate the reproducibility with various signal-to-noise ratios. For all artificial data, the mean biases obtained from all methods are less than 1 ms; collectively, this newly proposed method has minimum standard deviation (SD, <1 ms). A set of data from 33 participants together with the synchronously recorded continuous blood pressure data are used to investigate the correlation coefficient (CC). The statistical analysis shows that our method has maximum values of mean CC (0.5231), sum of CCs (17.26), and median CC (0.5695) and has the minimum SD of CCs (0.1943). Overall, the test results in this study indicate that the newly developed method has advantages over traditional decision rules for the PTT measurement. Xiaolin Zhou, Rongchao Peng, Hongxia Ding, Ningling Zhang, and Pan Li Copyright © 2015 Xiaolin Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Comparative Myocardial Deformation in 3 Myocardial Layers in Mice by Speckle Tracking Echocardiography Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:04:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/148501/ Background. Speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) using dedicated high-resolution ultrasound is a relatively new technique that is useful in assessing myocardial deformation in 3 myocardial layers in small animals. However, comparative studies of STE parameters acquired from murine are limited. Methods. A high-resolution rodent ultrasound machine (VSI Vevo 2100) and a clinically validated ultrasound machine (GE Vivid 7) were used to consecutively acquire echocardiography images from standardized parasternal long axis and short axis at midpapillary muscle level from 13 BALB/c mice. Speckle tracking strain (longitudinal, circumferential, and radial) from endocardial, myocardial, and epicardial layers was analyzed using vendor-specific offline analysis software. Results. Intersystem differences were not statistically significant in the global peak longitudinal strain (−16.8 ± 1.7% versus −18.7 ± 3.1%) and radial strain (46.8 ± 14.2% versus 41.0 ± 9.5%), except in the global peak circumferential strain (−16.9 ± 3.1% versus 27.0 ± 5.2%, ). This was corroborated by Bland Altman analysis that revealed a weak agreement in circumferential strain (mean bias ± 1.96 SD of −10.12 ± 6.06%) between endocardium and midmyocardium. However, a good agreement was observed in longitudinal strain between midmyocardium/endocardium (mean bias ± 1.96 SD of −1.88 ± 3.93%) and between midmyocardium/epicardium (mean bias ± 1.96 SD of 3.63 ± 3.91%). Radial strain (mean bias ± 1.96 SD of −5.84 ± 17.70%) had wide limits of agreement between the two systems that indicated an increased variability. Conclusions. Our study shows that there is good reproducibility and agreement in longitudinal deformation of the 3 myocardial layers between the two ultrasound systems. Directional deformation gradients at endocardium, myocardium, and epicardium observed in mice were consistent to those reported in human subjects, thus attesting the clinical relevance of STE findings in murine cardiovascular disease models. Nicole Tee, Yacui Gu, Murni, and Winston Shim Copyright © 2015 Nicole Tee et al. All rights reserved. PROMETHEE-ROC Model for Assessing the Readness of Technology for Generating Energy Mon, 02 Mar 2015 07:02:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/530615/ This paper puts forward a proposal for a multicriteria decision model for prioritizing technologies that are critical for power generation in the energy sector. It deals with the context of imprecise information regarding importance of criteria; then an integration of surrogate weights with the PROMETHEE method is undertaken in order to approach this context. In this type of strategic decision problem, how to deal with imprecise information is always a challenge. The use of surrogate weights presents a significant contribution and it can facilitate the assignment of weights in a decision ranking problem, which requires the decision-maker (DM) to order the criteria by their importance for the decision problem. Thus for this situation of assessing the readiness of technology for generating energy where the DM is able and feels comfortable to order all criteria by their relative importance, the proposed approach of surrogate weights in the PROMETHEE II method, the PROMETHEE-ROC model, is shown to be an adequate approach. Danielle Costa Morais, Adiel Teixeira de Almeida, Luciana Hazin Alencar, Thárcylla Rebecca Negreiros Clemente, and Ceres Zenaide Barbosa Cavalcanti Copyright © 2015 Danielle Costa Morais et al. All rights reserved. High Level Synthesis FPGA Implementation of the Jacobi Algorithm to Solve the Eigen Problem Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:57:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/870569/ We present a hardware implementation of the Jacobi algorithm to compute the eigenvalue decomposition (EVD). The computation of eigenvalues and eigenvectors has many applications where real time processing is required, and thus hardware implementations are often mandatory. Some of these implementations have been carried out with field programmable gate array (FPGA) devices using low level register transfer level (RTL) languages. In the present study, we used the Xilinx Vivado HLS tool to develop a high level synthesis (HLS) design and evaluated different hardware architectures. After analyzing the design for different input matrix sizes and various hardware configurations, we compared it with the results of other studies reported in the literature, concluding that although resource usage may be higher when HLS tools are used, the design performance is equal to or better than low level hardware designs. Ignacio Bravo, César Vázquez, Alfredo Gardel, José L. Lázaro, and Esther Palomar Copyright © 2015 Ignacio Bravo et al. All rights reserved. The Coupling Characteristic Investigation of Double-Gimbal Magnetically Suspended Control Moment Gyro Used on Agile Maneuver Spacecraft Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:57:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/278145/ Double-gimbal magnetically suspended CMG is a novel attitude control actuator for the agile maneuver spacecraft. Taking the double-gimbal magnetically suspended control moment gyro used on agile maneuver spacecraft as the research object, the dynamic model of the magnetically suspended rotor, the inner gimbal, and the outer gimbal of double-gimbal magnetically suspended control moment gyro is built. The nonlinear coupling characteristic between the rotor, the gimbal, and the spacecraft is given. It can be seen that the motion of magnetically suspended rotor does not only rely on magnetic bearing force but also suffer from the influence of gimbal servo system and spacecraft motion. The coupling torque includes the gyro coupling torque and the inertial coupling torque. The work in this paper provides the foundation for further studies. Peiling Cui, Jian Cui, Qian Yang, and Shiqiang Zheng Copyright © 2015 Peiling Cui et al. All rights reserved. Robust Quantized Generalized Filtering for Uncertain Discrete-Time Fuzzy Systems Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:55:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/807254/ This paper deals with the problem of robust generalized filter design for uncertain discrete-time fuzzy systems with output quantization. Firstly, the outputs of the system are quantized by a memoryless logarithmic quantizer before being transmitted to a filter. Then, attention is focused on the design of a generalized filter to mitigate quantization effects, such that the filtering error systems ensure the robust stability with a prescribed generalized noise attenuation level. Via applying Finsler lemma to introduce some slack variables and using the fuzzy Lyapunov function, sufficient conditions for the existence of a robust generalized filter are expressed in terms of linear matrix inequalities (LMIs). Finally, a numerical example is provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Jidong Wang, Xiaoping Si, and Kezhen Han Copyright © 2015 Jidong Wang et al. All rights reserved. The Singular Points of Analytic Functions with Finite -Order Defined by Laplace-Stieltjes Transformations Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:54:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfs/2015/865069/ We study the singular points of analytic functions defined by Laplace-Stieltjes transformations which converge on the right half plane, by introducing the concept of -order functions. We also confirm the existence of the finite -order Borel points of such functions and obtained the extension of the finite -order Borel point of two analytic functions defined by two Laplace-Stieltjes transformations convergent on the right half plane. The main results of this paper are improvement of some theorems given by Shang and Gao. Hong-Yan Xu and Zu-Xing Xuan Copyright © 2015 Hong-Yan Xu and Zu-Xing Xuan. All rights reserved. Survival of Mexican Children with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia Who Received Early Intensification Chemotherapy and an Autologous Transplant Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:53:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/940278/ Background. In Mexico and other developing countries, few reports of the survival of children with acute leukaemia exist. Objective. We aimed at comparing the disease-free survival of children with acute myeloid leukaemia who, in addition to being treated with the Latin American protocol of chemotherapy and an autologous transplant, either underwent early intensified chemotherapy or did not undergo such treatment. Procedure. This was a cohort study with a historical control group, forty patients, less than 16 years old. Group A (20 patients), diagnosed in the period 2005–2007, was treated with the Latin American protocol of chemotherapy with an autologous transplant plus early intensified chemotherapy: high doses of cytarabine and mitoxantrone. Group B (20 patients), diagnosed in the period 1999–2004, was treated as Group A, but without the early intensified chemotherapy. Results. Relapse-free survival for Group A was 90% whereas that for Group B it was 60% (). Overall survival for Group A (18, 90%) was higher than that for Group B (60%). Complete remission continued for two years of follow-up. Conclusions. Relapse-free survival for paediatric patients treated with the Latin American protocol of chemotherapy with an autologous transplant plus early intensified chemotherapy was higher than that for those who did not receive early intensified chemotherapy. Elva Jiménez-Hernández, María Teresa Dueñas-González, José Arellano-Galindo, María Elena Medrano-Ortíz-De-Zárate, Vilma Carolina Bekker-Méndez, Adolfina Berges-García, Karina Solís-Labastida, Berenice Sánchez-Jara, Héctor Manuel Tiznado-García, Ethel Zulie Jaimes-Reyes, Xochiketzalli García-Jiménez, Laura Espinoza-Hernández, Nora Nancy Núñez-Villegas, Sergio Franco-Ornelas, Ruy Xavier Pérez-Casillas, Octavio Martínez Villegas, Teresa Marin Palomares, and Juan Manuel Mejía-Aranguré Copyright © 2015 Elva Jiménez-Hernández et al. All rights reserved. Etoposide Incorporated into Camel Milk Phospholipids Liposomes Shows Increased Activity against Fibrosarcoma in a Mouse Model Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:53:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/743051/ Phospholipids were isolated from camel milk and identified by using high performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Anticancer drug etoposide (ETP) was entrapped in liposomes, prepared from camel milk phospholipids, to determine its activity against fibrosarcoma in a murine model. Fibrosarcoma was induced in mice by injecting benzopyrene (BAP) and tumor-bearing mice were treated with various formulations of etoposide, including etoposide entrapped camel milk phospholipids liposomes (ETP-Cam-liposomes) and etoposide-loaded DPPC-liposomes (ETP-DPPC-liposomes). The tumor-bearing mice treated with ETP-Cam-liposomes showed slow progression of tumors and increased survival compared to free ETP or ETP-DPPC-liposomes. These results suggest that ETP-Cam-liposomes may prove to be a better drug delivery system for anticancer drugs. Hamzah M. Maswadeh, Ahmad N. Aljarbou, Mohammed S. Alorainy, Mansour S. Alsharidah, and Masood A. Khan Copyright © 2015 Hamzah M. Maswadeh et al. All rights reserved. Aging and Cardiovascular Risk Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:52:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/871656/ Elísio Costa, Alice Santos-Silva, Constança Paúl, and Javier González Gallego Copyright © 2015 Elísio Costa et al. All rights reserved. GABs: A Game-Based Secure and Energy Efficient Data Aggregation for Wireless Sensor Networks Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:51:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/658543/ This paper endeavors to investigate the security and energy issues in wireless sensor networks from prior art such as game theory and various embodiments of methods like public-key cryptography. Due to the needs of interacting with the physical world, thanks to a plethora of innovative applications, the state of the art in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is focusing on multiple purposes such as monitoring, tracking, and security while relying upon some assumptions about distributed data, whereas these assumptions may not hold in a real scenario. The content herein models homogeneous WSN environment of highly linked nodes, in a theoretical game with synchronized actions, where, in order to transmit their readings securely across the network in some level of hierarchy, using the technique of data aggregation, sensor nodes with communication and computational resources constraint should establish trusted and direct links between their neighbors for the privacy and integrity of their data against faulty nodes, while ensuring energy saving. The study considers the ZigBee known as IEEE 802.15.4 standard for its high trustworthiness and low power consumption in wireless sensor network and compares different topology models. Tristan Daladier Engouang, Yun Liu, and Zhenjiang Zhang Copyright © 2015 Tristan Daladier Engouang et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Electroacupuncture with Different Frequencies on Muscle Oxygenation in Humans Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:50:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/620785/ The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) with different frequencies on muscle oxygenation in humans. The subjects were 8 healthy male volunteers. Muscle oxygenation was measured using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were monitored simultaneously. After baseline recording, EA was given for 15 min and recovery was measured for 20 minutes. The procedure of EA at 1 Hz, at 20 Hz, and at control followed in the same subjects. Tissue oxygenation index (TOI) decreased during EA at 20 Hz () and increased during the recovery period. Normalized tissue hemoglobin index (nTHI) also decreased during EA at 20 Hz and increased during the recovery period (), whereas TOI and nTHI in the EA at 1 Hz did not change significantly throughout the experiment. The peak TOI and nTHI values at 20 Hz during the recovery period were higher than the values at 1 Hz and in the control (). BP and HR remained constant. These data suggest that the supply of oxygen to muscle decreased during EA at 20 Hz and increased after EA at 20 Hz, without any changes in HR and BP. Kenichi Kimura, Takayoshi Ryujin, Makoto Uno, and Ikuro Wakayama Copyright © 2015 Kenichi Kimura et al. All rights reserved. A Network-Based Approach to Investigate the Pattern of Syndrome in Depression Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:49:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/768249/ In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, syndrome is essential to diagnose diseases and treat patients, and symptom is the foundation of syndrome differentiation. Thus the combination and interaction between symptoms represent the pattern of syndrome at phenotypic level, which can be modeled and analyzed using complex network. At first, we collected inquiry information of 364 depression patients from 2007 to 2009. Next, we learned classification models for 7 syndromes in depression using naïve Bayes, Bayes network, support vector machine (SVM), and C4.5. Among them, SVM achieves the highest accuracies larger than 0.9 except for Yin deficiency. Besides, Bayes network outperforms naïve Bayes for all 7 syndromes. Then key symptoms for each syndrome were selected using Fisher’s score. Based on these key symptoms, symptom networks for 7 syndromes as well as a global network for depression were constructed through weighted mutual information. Finally, we employed permutation test to discover dynamic symptom interactions, in order to investigate the difference between syndromes from the perspective of symptom network. As a result, significant dynamic interactions were quite different for 7 syndromes. Therefore, symptom networks could facilitate our understanding of the pattern of syndrome and further the improvement of syndrome differentiation in depression. Jianglong Song, Xi Liu, Qingqiong Deng, Wen Dai, Yibo Gao, Lin Chen, Yunling Zhang, Jialing Wang, Miao Yu, Peng Lu, and Rongjuan Guo Copyright © 2015 Jianglong Song et al. All rights reserved. Dynamic Output Feedback Based Active Decentralized Fault-Tolerant Control for Reconfigurable Manipulator with Concurrent Failures Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:48:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/528086/ The goal of this paper is to describe an active decentralized fault-tolerant control (ADFTC) strategy based on dynamic output feedback for reconfigurable manipulators with concurrent actuator and sensor failures. Consider each joint module of the reconfigurable manipulator as a subsystem, and treat the fault as the unknown input of the subsystem. Firstly, by virtue of linear matrix inequality (LMI) technique, the decentralized proportional-integral observer (DPIO) is designed to estimate and compensate the sensor fault online; hereafter, the compensated system model could be derived. Then, the actuator fault is estimated similarly by another DPIO using LMI as well, and the sufficient condition of the existence of fault-tolerant controller in the dynamic output feedback is presented for the compensated system model. Furthermore, the dynamic output feedback controller is presented based on the estimation of actuator fault to realize active fault-tolerant control. Finally, two 3-DOF reconfigurable manipulators with different configurations are employed to verify the effectiveness of the proposed scheme in simulation. The main advantages of the proposed scheme lie in that it can handle the concurrent faults act on the actuator and sensor on the same joint module, as well as there is no requirement of fault detection and isolation process; moreover, it is more feasible to the modularity of the reconfigurable manipulator. Yuanchun Li, Fan Zhou, and Bo Zhao Copyright © 2015 Yuanchun Li et al. All rights reserved. Antiviral Activity of a Zymolytic Grain Based Extract on Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 In Vitro Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:46:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/642327/ Increasing evidence shows that grains may play a role in disease prevention beyond the simple provision of energy and nutrients. It has been reported that some components contained in grains exert their functional effects on viral and bacterial infections and protect against various cancers. However, until now, hardly any intervention studies have investigated the effects of grains or grain based extracts on the inhibition of HIV-1 infection. In this study, the antiviral function of a zymolytic grain based extract (ZGE) was detected in vitro and in rats, and the antiviral mechanism was investigated. Results showed that ZGE had an inhibition effect on HIV-1 infection in vitro with low cytotoxic effects. The study of the mechanism demonstrated that this functional food possibly acted on the viral surface structure protein gp120 which is responsible for cell binding, as well as on the postattachment stage of the virus. The sera of model rats administrated with this food by gavage presented anti-infection abilities against HIV-1 in vitro during a serum concentration associated period of time. These findings provide valuable insights into the application of ZGE on the control of viral load, which may contribute to future anti-HIV treatment with less adverse effects. Chu Wang, Di Liu, Xiao-Han Guo, Bin Yu, Hui Wu, Hai-Hong Zhang, Jia-Xin Wu, Chun-Lai Jiang, Wei Kong, and Xiang-Hui Yu Copyright © 2015 Chu Wang et al. All rights reserved. Robust Adaptive Fuzzy Control for a Class of Uncertain MIMO Nonlinear Systems with Input Saturation Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:45:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/561397/ This paper studies the robust adaptive fuzzy control design problem for a class of uncertain multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) nonlinear systems in the presence of actuator amplitude and rate saturation. In the control scheme, fuzzy logic systems are used to approximate unknown nonlinear systems. To compensate the effect of input saturations, an auxiliary system is constructed and the actuator saturations then can be augmented into the controller. The modified tracking error is introduced and used in fuzzy parameter update laws. Furthermore, in order to deal with fuzzy approximation errors for unknown nonlinear systems and external disturbances, a robust compensation control is designed. It is proved that the closed-loop system obtains tracking performance through Lyapunov analysis. Steady and transient modified tracking errors are analyzed and the bound of modified tracking errors can be adjusted by tuning certain design parameters. The proposed control scheme is applicable to uncertain nonlinear systems not only with actuator amplitude saturation, but also with actuator amplitude and rate saturation. Detailed simulation results of a rigid body satellite attitude control system in the presence of parametric uncertainties, external disturbances, and control input constraints have been presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed control scheme. Shenglin Wen and Ye Yan Copyright © 2015 Shenglin Wen and Ye Yan. All rights reserved. Modeling of the Feed-Motor Transient Current in End Milling by Using Varying-Coefficient Model Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:44:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/103507/ In order to ensure the stability of the machining process, it is vital to control the machining condition during the milling process. While the feed-motor current is related to many physical variables, such as the cutting force and tool wear, we can indicate it as the key variables to monitoring the conditions of the milling process. A predictive model of the feed-motor current amplitude is established in this paper. The change regulation of the transient current amplitude during the milling process is investigated, and the effect of the spindle speed on the transient current amplitude is studied as well. Since the transient current amplitude is time-varying, the predictive model is a typical panel data type. In this case, the varying-coefficient model (VCM), a potential soft computing method, is applied to solve this predictive model. Then several experiments are conducted to evaluate the performance of VCM method. Results show that the predicted values match the experimental value well, and the correctness of the predictive model for transient current amplitude is also validated. Mi Xiao, Long Wen, Xi Li, and Liang Gao Copyright © 2015 Mi Xiao et al. All rights reserved. A Multicriteria Analysis of Photovoltaic Systems: Energetic, Environmental, and Economic Assessments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:44:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2015/627454/ The development of photovoltaic (PV) energy has led to rising efficiencies, better reliability, and falling prices. A multicriteria analysis (MCA) of PV systems is proposed in this paper in order to evaluate the sustainability of alternative projects. The investigations are presented using multiple indicators: Energy Payback Time (EPBT), Energy Return on Investment (EROI), Greenhouse Gas per kilowatt-hour (GHG/kWh), Greenhouse Gas Payback Time (GPBT), Greenhouse Gas Return on Investment (GROI), Net Present Value (NPV), Discounted Payback Time (DPBT), and Discounted Aggregate Cost Benefit (). PV energy is a relevant player in global electricity market and can have a key-role in sustainable growth. Federica Cucchiella and Idiano D’Adamo Copyright © 2015 Federica Cucchiella and Idiano D’Adamo. All rights reserved. State Estimation for Discrete-Time Takagi-Sugeno Fuzzy Systems with Time-Varying Delays Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:44:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/453806/ The state estimation problem is investigated for discrete-time Takagi-Sugeno fuzzy systems with time-varying delays. By constructing appropriate Lyapunov-Krasovskii functionals and employing matrix inequality technique, a delay-dependent linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) criterion is developed to estimate the systems state with some observed output measurements such that the error-state system is globally asymptotically stable. An example with simulations is given to show the effectiveness of the proposed criterion. Ting Lei, Qiankun Song, and Yurong Liu Copyright © 2015 Ting Lei et al. All rights reserved. An Online Distributed Game Optimal Control for Heavy Haul Trains with Limited Communication Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:42:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/158695/ For heavy haul trains, it is difficult to get global information due to the limited range of communication. This paper proposed a novel distributed optimal control based on game strategy, in which the global optimization is achieved by equilibrizing subsystems’ performance just utilizing local information. To online solve the game control, an efficient multivariable extremum seeking algorithm was adapted to approximate the partial differential equation deduced by optimal condition. The convergence of the proposed approximate algorithm is proved by constructing a fictitious Lie bracket system using Lyapunov function. Finally, the proposed distributed optimal control is valuated rigorously by case study according to the configuration of Daqin railway in China. Kai Gao, Zhiwu Huang, Jun Peng, Heng Li, and Weirong Liu Copyright © 2015 Kai Gao et al. All rights reserved. Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide Protects Glomerular Podocytes from Inflammatory Injuries Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:40:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/727152/ Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a leading cause of end-stage kidney disease; however, there are few treatment options. Inflammation plays a crucial role in the initiation and/or progression of DN. Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a neuropeptide, which was originally isolated from the ovine hypothalamus and reportedly has diverse biological functions. It has been reported that PACAP has renoprotective effects in different models of kidney pathology. However, the specific cell types within the kidney that are protected by PACAP have not yet been reported. In this study, we localized VPAC1, one of the PACAP receptors, to glomerular podocytes, which also reportedly has crucial roles not only in glomerular physiology but also in pathology. PACAP was effective in the downregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and interleukin-6, which had been induced by the activation of toll-like receptor (TLR) with lipopolysaccharide. PACAP also had downregulated the expression of MCP-1 through the protein kinase A signaling pathway; this led to the attenuation of the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and nuclear factor-kappa B signaling. Our results suggested that PACAP could be a possible treatment option for DN through the use of anti-inflammation effects on glomerular podocytes. Kenichi Sakamoto, Kyoko Kuno, Minoru Takemoto, Peng He, Takahiro Ishikawa, Shunichiro Onishi, Ryoichi Ishibashi, Emiko Okabe, Mayumi Shoji, Akiko Hattori, Masaya Yamaga, Kazuki Kobayashi, Harukiyo Kawamura, Hirotake Tokuyama, Yoshiro Maezawa, and Koutaro Yokote Copyright © 2015 Kenichi Sakamoto et al. All rights reserved. Methods for Fault Diagnosability Analysis of a Class of Affine Nonlinear Systems Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:39:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/409184/ The fault diagnosability analysis for a given model, before developing a diagnosis algorithm, can be used to answer questions like “can the fault be detected by observed states?” and “can it separate fault from fault by observed states?” If not, we should redesign the sensor placement. This paper deals with the problem of the evaluation of detectability and separability for the diagnosability analysis of affine nonlinear system. First, we used differential geometry theory to analyze the nonlinear system and proposed new detectability criterion and separability criterion. Second, the related matrix between the faults and outputs of the system and the fault separable matrix are designed for quantitative fault diagnosability calculation and fault separability calculation, respectively. Finally, we illustrate our approach to exemplify how to analyze diagnosability by a certain nonlinear system example, and the experiment results indicate the effectiveness of the fault evaluation methods. Xiafu Peng, Lixiong Lin, Xunyu Zhong, and Chengrui Liu Copyright © 2015 Xiafu Peng et al. All rights reserved. Fusing Two Kinds of Virtual Samples for Small Sample Face Recognition Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:39:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/280318/ Face recognition has become a very active field of biometrics. Different pictures of the same face might include various changes of expressions, poses, and illumination. However, a face recognition system usually suffers from the problem that nonsufficient training samples cannot convey these possible changes effectively. The main reason is that a system has only limited storage space and limited time to capture training samples. Many previous literatures ignored the problem of nonsufficient training samples. In this paper, we overcome the insufficiency of training sample size problem by fusing two kinds of virtual samples and the original samples to perform small sample face recognition. The two used kinds of virtual samples are mirror faces and symmetrical faces. Firstly, we transform the original face image to obtain mirror faces and symmetrical faces. Secondly, we fuse these two kinds of virtual samples to achieve the matching scores between the test sample and each class. Finally, we integrate the matching scores to get the final classification results. We compare the proposed method with the single virtual sample augment methods and the original representation-based classification. The experiments on various face databases show that the proposed scheme achieves the best accuracy among the representation-based classification methods. Minna Qiu, Jian Zhang, Jiayan Yang, and Liying Ye Copyright © 2015 Minna Qiu et al. All rights reserved. Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Outcomes in the Era of Combined Platinum and Folate Antimetabolite Chemotherapy Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:22:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/lci/2015/590148/ Introduction. Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is associated with a poor prognosis. Palliative platinum-based chemotherapy may help to improve symptoms and prolong life. Since 2004, the platinum is commonly partnered with a folate antimetabolite. We performed a review investigating if survival had significantly changed before and after the arrival of folate antimetabolites in clinical practice. Methods. All MPM patients from January 1991 to June 2012 were identified. Data collected included age, gender, asbestos exposure, presenting signs/symptoms, performance status, histology, stage, bloodwork, treatment modalities including chemotherapy, and date of death or last follow-up. The primary endpoint was overall survival. Cox models were applied to determine variables associated with survival. Results. There were 245 patients identified. Median overall survival for all patients was 9.4 months. After multivariate analysis, performance status, stage, histology, leucocytosis, and thrombophilia remained independently associated with survival. Among all patients who received chemotherapy, there was no difference in overall survival between the periods before and after folate antimetabolite approval: 14.2 versus 13.2 months (). Specifically receiving combined platinum-based/folate antimetabolite chemotherapy did not improve overall survival compared to all other chemotherapy regimens: 14.1 versus 13.6 months (). Conclusions. In this review, we did not observe an incremental improvement in overall survival after folate antimetabolites became available. Mathieu D. Saint-Pierre, Christopher Pease, Hamid Mithoowani, Tinghua Zhang, Garth A. Nicholas, Scott A. Laurie, and Paul Wheatley-Price Copyright © 2015 Mathieu D. Saint-Pierre et al. All rights reserved. Prokinetic Activity of Prunus persica (L.) Batsch Flowers Extract and Its Possible Mechanism of Action in Rats Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:22:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/569853/ The peach tree, Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, is widely cultivated in China, and its flowers have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat gut motility disorders. But few studies have explored the pharmacological effect of Prunus persica (L.) Batsch flowers on gastrointestinal motility. In this study, the activities of different extracts from Prunus persica (L.) Batsch flowers on the smooth muscle contractions were evaluated using isolated colon model, and the ethyl acetate extract (EAE) showed the strongest effects in vitro. EAE (10−8–10−5 g/mL) caused a concentration-dependent stimulatory effect in rat colonic tissue. Additionally, ketotifen (100 µM), cimetidine (10 µM), and pyrilamine (1 µM) produced a significant inhibition of contractions caused by EAE. Furthermore, immunofluorescence and toluidine blue staining revealed increased numbers of mast cells in the EAE group, and EAE increased histamine release from the colonic tissues. These data indicate that EAE has significant prokinetic activity and acts by a mechanism that mainly involves mast cell degranulation. Our study provides a pharmacological basis for the use of an extract of Prunus persica (L.) Batsch flowers in the treatment of gut motility disorders. Wei Han, Jing Dong Xu, Feng Xian Wei, Yong Dong Zheng, Jian Zhong Ma, Xiao Dong Xu, Zhen Gang Wei, Wen Wang, and You Cheng Zhang Copyright © 2015 Wei Han et al. All rights reserved. Active Vibration Control of Container Cranes against Earthquake by the Use of LMI Based Mixed State-Feedback Controller Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:17:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2015/589289/ This paper studies the design of a linear matrix inequality (LMI) based mixed state-feedback controller for vibration attenuation problem of seismic-excited container cranes. In order to show effectiveness of the designed controller, a six-degree-of-freedom container crane structural system is modeled using a spring-mass-damper subsystem. The system is then simulated against the real ground motion of El Centro and Northridge earthquakes. Finally, the time history of the crane parts displacements, accelerations, control forces, and frequency responses of both uncontrolled and controlled cases are presented. Additionally, the performance of the designed controller is also compared with a nominal state-feedback controller performance. Simulations of the designed controller show better seismic performance than a nominal state-feedback controller. Simulation results show that the designed controller is all effective in reducing vibration amplitudes of crane parts. C. Oktay Azeloglu and Ahmet Sagirli Copyright © 2015 C. Oktay Azeloglu and Ahmet Sagirli. All rights reserved. Time-Delay LPV System Control and Its Application in Chatter Suppression of the Milling Process Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:57:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/307149/ This paper proposed a methodology for the control of model following control system (MFCS) approach to time-delay linear parameter-varying (LPV) system. The method incorporates a state control law which makes the output error zero, the bounded property of the internal states for the control is given, and the utility of this control design is guaranteed. Numerical example is given to demonstrate the effectiveness and less conservativeness of the proposed methods. The proposed control methodology is demonstrated on chatter suppression in the milling process. Dazhong Wang, Shujing Wu, and Lei Wan Copyright © 2015 Dazhong Wang et al. All rights reserved. A Review of Indirect Bridge Monitoring Using Passing Vehicles Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:55:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2015/286139/ Indirect bridge monitoring methods, using the responses measured from vehicles passing over bridges, are under development for about a decade. A major advantage of these methods is that they use sensors mounted on the vehicle, no sensors or data acquisition system needs to be installed on the bridge. Most of the proposed methods are based on the identification of dynamic characteristics of the bridge from responses measured on the vehicle, such as natural frequency, mode shapes, and damping. In addition, some of the methods seek to directly detect bridge damage based on the interaction between the vehicle and bridge. This paper presents a critical review of indirect methods for bridge monitoring and provides discussion and recommendations on the challenges to be overcome for successful implementation in practice. Abdollah Malekjafarian, Patrick J. McGetrick, and Eugene J. OBrien Copyright © 2015 Abdollah Malekjafarian et al. All rights reserved. Variable Structure Compensation PID Control of Asymmetrical Hydraulic Cylinder Trajectory Tracking Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:25:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/890704/ A novel variable structure compensation PID control, VSCPID in short, is proposed for trajectory tracking of asymmetrical hydraulic cylinder systems. This new control method improves the system robustness by adding a variable structure compensation term to the conventional PID control. The variable structure term is designed according to sliding mode control method and therefore could compensate the disturbance and uncertainty. Meanwhile, the proposed control method avoids the requirements for exact knowledge of the systems associated with equivalent control value in SMC that means the controller is simple and easy to design. The stability analysis of this approach is conducted with Lyapunov function, and the global stability condition applied to choose control parameters is provided. Simulation results show the VSCPID control can achieve good tracking performances and high robustness compared with the other control methods under the uncertainties and varying load conditions. Difei Liu, Zhiyong Tang, and Zhongcai Pei Copyright © 2015 Difei Liu et al. All rights reserved. Phantoms for Development of Microwave Sensors for Noninvasive Blood Glucose Monitoring Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:25:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijap/2015/570870/ A suitability of two different liquid phantoms of blood-glucose solutions as phantoms for development of microwave sensors for noninvasive blood glucose monitoring is compared. The two phantoms are physiological saline-glucose and pig blood-glucose solutions. For this purpose a simple microwave sensor is developed for in vitro monitoring of blood glucose levels. The sensor consists of a microstrip antenna and of a small rectangular container on the top of the antenna. The container is filled with one of the liquid phantoms. Both phantoms with different glucose concentrations ranging from 0 to 500 mg/dL are considered. Dependence of sensor’s resonant frequency on glucose concentration of LUTs is both estimated by aid of numerical simulations and measured. The results are discussed and compared with some results reported in the literature. Jan Vrba, Jakub Karch, and David Vrba Copyright © 2015 Jan Vrba et al. All rights reserved.