Hindawi https://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Superfast Set, Strong and Less Degradable Mineral Trioxide Aggregate Cement Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:19:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijd/2017/3019136/ Purpose. Despite the good sealing ability and biocompatibility of mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA), its slow setting, high degradation, and weakness limit its use in surgical endodontics and high stress-bearing areas. This study aimed to develop two new liquids to control these drawbacks. They were prepared from calcium chloride, fumed silica, and hydroxyapatite or calcium phosphate and coded “H” and “P,” respectively. Methods. Portland cement, Grey ProRoot® MTA, and white ProRoot MTA were mixed with distilled water (control) or liquid “H” or “P.” The pH, setting time, degradation rate, leachant/precipitate’ composition, compressive strength, and morphology were assessed. Results. Both liquids maintained MTA’s high alkalinity and reduced the setting time by 1-2 orders of magnitude. Both liquids, H in particular, significantly reduced the degradation rate of Grey ProRoot and White ProRoot MTA®. Calcite has been identified as the main phase of the leachant or precipitate formed during the cement’s degradation. Calcium hydroxide or hydroxyapatite was also identified with Grey ProRoot MTA mixed with H liquid. These liquids also significantly increased the compressive strength with no statistical differences between them; this was associated with the production of dense, consolidated structures. Conclusions. The modified MTA could be used in surgical endodontics and high stress-bearing areas. Abdullah Alqedairi, Carlos A. Muñoz-Viveros, Eugene A. Pantera Jr., Marc Campillo-Funollet, Hussam Alfawaz, Ensanya Ali Abou Neel, and Tariq S. Abuhaimed Copyright © 2017 Abdullah Alqedairi et al. All rights reserved. Antihyperglycemic, Antidiabetic, and Antioxidant Effects of Garcinia pedunculata in Rats Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:03:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/2979760/ The antihyperglycemic, antidiabetic, and antioxidant potentials of the methanolic extract of Garcinia pedunculata (GP) fruit in rats were investigated. The acute antihyperglycemic effect of different doses of GP was studied in normal male Wistar rats. Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin (STZ) injection in another cohort of male Wistar rats and they showed significantly higher blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, altered lipid profiles, and lower insulin levels compared to nondiabetic control animals. There were increased lipid peroxidation and reduced levels of cellular antioxidant enzymes in different tissues of diabetic rats. However, oral administration of GP extracts, especially the highest dose (1000 mg/kg), significantly ameliorated hyperglycemia (42%); elevated insulin levels (165%); decreased HbA1c (29.4%); restored lipid levels (reduction in TG by 25%, TC by 15%, and LDL-C by 75% and increase in HDL-C by 4%), liver and renal function markers, and lipid peroxidation (reduction by 52% in the liver, 39% in the kidney, 44% in the heart, and 46% in the pancreas); and stimulated tissue antioxidant enzymes to near normalcy. Overall, the findings suggest that GP fruit is effective against hyperglycemia and could be used in the treatment of diabetes and its complications and other oxidative stress-mediated pathological conditions. Md. Yousuf Ali, Sudip Paul, E. M. Tanvir, Md. Sakib Hossen, Nur-E Noushin Rumpa, Moumoni Saha, Nikhil Chandra Bhoumik, Md. Aminul Islam, Md. Sabir Hossain, Nadia Alam, Siew Hua Gan, and Md. Ibrahim Khalil Copyright © 2017 Md. Yousuf Ali et al. All rights reserved. A Multicriteria Decision Model for Supplier Selection in a Food Industry Based on FITradeoff Method Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:19:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/4541914/ This article puts forward a decision model for solving a supplier selection problem in a food industry by considering multiple objectives that influence the decision-making process. In times of increasing competitiveness, companies strive hard to improve their profitability, and selection of supply sources may help if an appropriate decision is made through a well-structured decision-making process. Preference modeling is conducted in a flexible and interactive elicitation manner with the decision-maker (DM), aided by FITradeoff method. Partial information is gathered about the DM’s preferences in such a way that less effort is spent on finding a final solution for the problem. Eduarda Asfora Frej, Lucia Reis Peixoto Roselli, Jônatas Araújo de Almeida, and Adiel Teixeira de Almeida Copyright © 2017 Eduarda Asfora Frej et al. All rights reserved. Age-Adjusted D-Dimer in the Prediction of Pulmonary Embolism: Does a Normal Age-Adjusted D-Dimer Rule Out PE? Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:11:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/4867060/ Risk assessment for pulmonary embolism (PE) currently relies on physician judgment, clinical decision rules (CDR), and D-dimer testing. There is still controversy regarding the role of D-dimer testing in low or intermediate risk patients. The objective of the study was to define the role of clinical decision rules and D-dimer testing in patients suspected of having a PE. Records of 894 patients referred for computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) at a University medical center were analyzed. The clinical decision rules overall had an ROC of approximately 0.70, while signs of DVT had the highest ROC (0.80). A low probability CDR coupled with a negative age-adjusted D-dimer largely excluded PE. The negative predictive value (NPV) of an intermediate CDR was 86–89%, while the addition of a negative D-dimer resulted in NPVs of 94%. Thus, in patients suspected of having a PE, a low or intermediate CDR does not exclude PE; however, in patients with an intermediate CDR, a normal age-adjusted D-dimer increases the NPV. Jacob Ortiz, Rabia Saeed, Christopher Little, and Saul Schaefer Copyright © 2017 Jacob Ortiz et al. All rights reserved. Views of First-Time Expectant Mothers on Breastfeeding: A Study in Three Health Facilities in Accra, Ghana Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:04:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aph/2017/4894026/ The objective of this study was to evaluate the views of first-time expectant mothers on breastfeeding. A qualitative study approach using focus group discussions was used to solicit the views of 25 expectant first-time mothers. The results indicated the intention to breastfeed, though some were willing to opt for formula feeding when the need arises. Knowledge on breastfeeding issues was minimal among this group. Common sources of information on breastfeeding issues were obtained from home (relatives), hospital, and television. The need to support and provide adequate education on breastfeeding issues is critical among this category of women. Freda Intiful, Claudia Osei, Rebecca Steele-Dadzie, Ruth Nyarko, and Matilda Asante Copyright © 2017 Freda Intiful et al. All rights reserved. Healing and Antisecretory Effects of Aqueous Extract of Eremomastax speciosa (Acanthaceae) on Unhealed Gastric Ulcers Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:52:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/1924320/ Objective. This work investigated the healing and antisecretory effects of the aqueous extract of Eremomastax speciosa on “unhealed gastric ulcers” associated with gastric acid hypersecretion. Materials and Methods. “Unhealed gastric ulcers” were induced using indomethacin following the establishment of acetic-acid-induced chronic gastric ulcers. The extract (200 and 400 mg/kg, per os) was administered concomitantly with indomethacin (1 mg/kg, subcutaneously). The effects of the extract on both basal and histamine-stimulated gastric acid secretion were determined. Mucus secretion and oxidative stress parameters were measured, and histological assessment of ulcer healing was carried out. Results. The extract significantly promoted the healing process in rats subjected to “unhealed gastric ulcers” (82.4–88.5% healing rates). Treatment with the extract significantly reduced the basal (25.95–49.51% reduction rates) and histamine-stimulated (24.25–47.41%) acid secretions. The healing effect of the extract was associated with a significant () increase of mucus secretion and concentrations of antioxidant enzymes compared with the controls. The extract at the highest dose showed normalization of the mucosa, without glandular destruction and with the disappearance of fibrosis and lymphocyte infiltration. Conclusion. The abilities of the extract to increase mucus secretion, to reinforce antioxidant status, and to inhibit acid secretion would be some of the mechanisms by which this extract would accelerate the healing process in “unhealed gastric ulcers.” A. P. Amang, C. Mezui, G. T. Siwe, J. Emakoua, G. Mbah, E. Z. Nkwengoua, G. E. Enow-Orock, and P. V. Tan Copyright © 2017 A. P. Amang et al. All rights reserved. Cholesterol Granuloma in the Maxillary Sinus: Are Endodontically Treated Teeth Involved in Its Etiopathogenesis? Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:49:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripa/2017/5249161/ Cholesterol granuloma (CG) is a tissue reaction in response to the accumulation of cholesterol crystals rarely found in the maxillary sinus. The etiopathogenesis of maxillary sinus CG remains unclear. We reviewed the literature and added two new reports of cholesterol granuloma in maxillary sinus related to endodontically treated maxillary posterior teeth. The first report refers to a 45-year-old woman diagnosed with rhinitis, who was submitted to endodontic retreatment of maxillary molar, and subsequently showed maxillary sinus opacity with cystic appearance. The second case describes a young adult woman, who presented a cystic mass in maxillary sinus after endodontic treatment, in close association with the apex of the maxillary right second premolar. Both patients were treated by a classic Caldwell-Luc surgery and the microscopic analyses revealed maxillary sinus CG. In the following, the authors discuss the probable involvement of endodontically treated maxillary posterior teeth in the etiopathogenesis of maxillary sinus CG. Silas Antonio Juvencio de Freitas Filho, Gilberto Gallo Esteves, and Denise Tostes Oliveira Copyright © 2017 Silas Antonio Juvencio de Freitas Filho et al. All rights reserved. A Case Report of Recurrent Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy in a Patient during Myasthenia Crisis Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:37:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cricc/2017/5702075/ Introduction. Patients with myasthenia crisis can develop Takotsubo stress cardiomyopathy (SC) due to emotional or physical stress and high level of circulating catecholamines. We report a patient who developed recurrent Takotsubo cardiomyopathy during myasthenia crisis. Coexisting autoimmune disorders known to precipitate stress cardiomyopathy like Grave’s disease need to be evaluated. Case Report. A 69-year-old female with seropositive myasthenia gravis (MG), Grave’s disease, and coronary artery disease on monthly infusion of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), prednisone, pyridostigmine, and methimazole presented with shortness of breath and chest pain. Electrocardiogram (ECG) showed ST elevation in anterolateral leads with troponemia. Coronary angiogram was unremarkable for occlusive coronary disease with left ventriculogram showing reduced wall motion with apical and mid left ventricle (LV) hypokinesis suggestive of Takotsubo stress cardiomyopathy. Her symptoms were attributed to MG crisis. Her symptoms, ECG, and echocardiographic findings resolved after five cycles of plasma exchange (PLEX). She had another similar episode one year later during myasthenia crisis with subsequent resolution in 10 days after PLEX. Conclusion. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy can be one of the manifestations of myasthenia crisis with or without coexisting Grave’s disease. These patients might benefit from meticulous fluid status and cardiac monitoring while administering rescue treatments like IVIG and PLEX. Anusha Battineni, Naresh Mullaguri, Shail Thanki, Anand Chockalingam, and Raghav Govindarajan Copyright © 2017 Anusha Battineni et al. All rights reserved. The Prognostic Value of Combined Smoking and Alcohol Consumption Habits for the Estimation of Cause-Specific Mortality in Middle-Age and Elderly Population: Results from a Long-Term Cohort Study in Lithuania Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:35:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/9654314/ Aim. To evaluate the prognostic value of combined smoking and alcohol consumption habits for the estimation of cause-specific mortality risk in middle-age and elderly population. Methods. The study presents data from the four surveys. A random sample of 6,729 subjects aged 35–64 years was selected for statistical analysis. During the follow-up of 31 years (1983–2014), there were 2,158 deaths from any cause. Multivariate Cox’s proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for all-cause mortality and Competing Risk Regression analysis was used to estimate subdistribution hazard risk (SHR) for cause-specific mortality. Results. Smoking clearly increased the risk of all-cause mortality and mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD), but alcohol use had little effect in men aged 35–64 years. However, heavy alcohol consumption (>14 units/week) increased the risk of all-cause mortality and mortality from external causes in the never-smokers men group who drank alcohol of 1–14 units/week (HR 2 = 1.57 and SHR 2 = 2.40, resp.). Conclusions. The smoking habits and alcohol consumption are modifiable risk factors, and thus efforts to support abstinence from alcohol and smoking use should be a public health priority. Dalia Luksiene, Abdonas Tamosiunas, Dalia Virviciute, and Ricardas Radisauskas Copyright © 2017 Dalia Luksiene et al. All rights reserved. Fluid Flow and Heat Transport Computation for Power-Law Scaling Poroperm Media Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:30:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/geofluids/2017/9687325/ In applying Darcy’s law to fluid flow in geologic formations, it is generally assumed that flow variations average to an effectively constant formation flow property. This assumption is, however, fundamentally inaccurate for the ambient crust. Well-log, well-core, and well-flow empirics show that crustal flow spatial variations are systematically correlated from mm to km. Translating crustal flow spatial correlation empirics into numerical form for fluid flow/transport simulation requires computations to be performed on a single global mesh that supports long-range spatial correlation flow structures. Global meshes populated by spatially correlated stochastic poroperm distributions can be processed by 3D finite-element solvers. We model wellbore-logged Dm-scale temperature data due to heat advective flow into a well transecting small faults in a Hm-scale sandstone volume. Wellbore-centric thermal transport is described by Peclet number ≡ ( = wellbore radius, = fluid velocity at , = mean crustal porosity, and = rock-water thermal diffusivity). The modelling schema is (i) 3D global mesh for spatially correlated stochastic poropermeability; (ii) ambient percolation flow calibrated by well-core porosity-controlled permeability; (iii) advection via fault-like structures calibrated by well-log neutron porosity; (iv) flow ~ 0.5 in ambient crust and ~ 5 for fault-borne advection. Peter Leary, Peter Malin, and Rami Niemi Copyright © 2017 Peter Leary et al. All rights reserved. Antibacterial Effects of Natural Herbal Extracts on Streptococcus mutans: Can They Be Potential Additives in Dentifrices? Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:19:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijd/2017/4921614/ Background. Many plants or herbs exhibit potent antimicrobial activity against various microorganisms. They have no side effects and presumably act against and modulate the factors that are crucial for microbial survival or their activity. Streptococcus mutans is a pioneer bacteria implicated in dental caries. This study aims to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of garlic bulbs, pudina leaves, and mango and eucalyptus twig extracts on Streptococcus mutans by evaluating their zone of inhibition and determining their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Methods. Microbiological assay (well diffusion method) to determine zone of inhibition against pure forms of Streptococcus mutans was performed. The antibacterial effects of methanolic extracts of mango twigs, eucalyptus twigs, pudina leaves, and garlic bulbs were studied. Test compounds were further evaluated for their MIC. Results. Extracts derived from mango and eucalyptus twigs showed significant antibacterial effects at test concentrations. Pudina and garlic extracts did not show any significant antibacterial effects at similar concentrations. Upon further evaluation of the 2 positive compounds for their MIC, mango twigs demonstrated more antimicrobial potential than eucalyptus twigs at a lower concentration. Conclusion. Our observations indicated that the mango twig extracts possess higher antibacterial effects against Streptococcus mutans than other compounds at specific test concentration. Spoorthi Banavar Ravi, Sudarshini Nirupad, Prashanthi Chippagiri, and Rohit Pandurangappa Copyright © 2017 Spoorthi Banavar Ravi et al. All rights reserved. Suspended Load Path Tracking Control Strategy Using a Tilt-Rotor UAV Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:16:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jat/2017/9095324/ This work proposes a control strategy to solve the path tracking problem of a suspended load carried by a tilt-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Initially, the equations of motion for the multibody mechanical system are derived from the load’s perspective by means of the Euler-Lagrange formulation, in which the load’s position and orientation are chosen as degrees of freedom. An unscented Kalman filter (UKF) is designed for nonlinear state estimation of all the system states, assuming that available information is provided by noisy sensors with different sampling rates that do not directly measure the load’s attitude. Furthermore, a model predictive control (MPC) strategy is proposed for path tracking of the suspended load with stabilization of the tilt-rotor UAV when parametric uncertainties and external disturbances affect the load, the rope’s length and total system mass vary during taking-off and landing, and the desired yaw angle changes throughout the trajectory. Finally, numerical experiments are presented to corroborate the good performance of the proposed strategy. M. A. Santos, B. S. Rego, G. V. Raffo, and A. Ferramosca Copyright © 2017 M. A. Santos et al. All rights reserved. Multitemporal Volume Registration for the Analysis of Rheumatoid Arthritis Evolution in the Wrist Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:12:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijbi/2017/7232751/ This paper describes a method based on an automatic segmentation process to coregister carpal bones of the same patient imaged at different time points. A rigid registration was chosen to avoid artificial bone deformations and to allow finding eventual differences in the bone shape due to erosion, disease regression, or other eventual pathological signs. The actual registration step is performed on the basis of principal inertial axes of each carpal bone volume, as estimated from the inertia matrix. In contrast to already published approaches, the proposed method suggests splitting the 3D rotation into successive rotations about one axis at a time (the so-called basic or elemental rotations). In such a way, singularity and ambiguity drawbacks affecting other classical methods, for instance, the Euler angles method, are addressed. The proposed method was quantitatively evaluated using a set of real magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences acquired at two different times from healthy wrists and by choosing a direct volumetric comparison as a cost function. Both the segmentation and registration steps are not based on a priori models, and they are therefore able to obtain good results even in pathological cases, as proven by the visual evaluation of actual pathological cases. Roberta Ferretti and Silvana G. Dellepiane Copyright © 2017 Roberta Ferretti and Silvana G. Dellepiane. All rights reserved. A New Theoretical Approach: A Model Construct for Fault Troubleshooting in Cloud Computing Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:00:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/misy/2017/9038634/ In cloud computing, there are four effective measurement criteria: (I) priority, (II) fault probability, (III) risk, and (IV) the duration of the repair action determining the efficacy of troubleshooting. In this paper, we propose a new theoretical algorithm to construct a model for fault troubleshooting; we do this by combining a Naïve-Bayes classifier (NBC) with a multivalued decision diagram (MDD) and influence diagram (ID), which structure and manage problems related to unambiguous modeling for any connection between significant entities. First, the NBC establish the fault probability based on a Naïve-Bayes probabilistic model for fault diagnosis. This approach consists of three steps: (I) identifying the network parameters to also show the reliance for probability relationship among the entire set of nodes; (II) determining the structure of the network topology; (III) assessing the probability of the fault being propagated. This calculates the probability of each node being faulty given the evidence. Second, the MDD combines the influential factors of four measurements and determines the utility value of prioritizing their actions during each step of the fault troubleshooting which in turn assesses which fault is selected for repair. We demonstrate how the procedure is adapted by our method, with the host server’s failure to initiate a case-study. This approach is highly efficient and enables low-risk fault troubleshooting in the field of cloud computing. Ameen Alkasem, Hongwei Liu, Muhammad Shafiq, and Decheng Zuo Copyright © 2017 Ameen Alkasem et al. All rights reserved. A Rare Case of Glioblastoma Multiforme with Osseous Metastases Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:47:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crionm/2017/2938319/ Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common malignant primary central nervous system neoplasm in adults. It has a very aggressive natural history with a median overall survival estimated at 14.6 months despite multimodality treatment. Extracranial metastases are very rare with few case reports published to date. We report the case of a 65-year-old male who underwent maximal safe resection for a newly diagnosed brain mass after presentation with new neurologic symptoms. He then received standard postsurgical adjuvant treatment for glioblastoma. Subsequently, he underwent another resection for early progressive disease. Several months later, he was hospitalized for new-onset musculoskeletal complaints. Additional investigation revealed new metastatic osseous lesions which were initially felt to be a new malignancy. The patient opted for supportive care and died 12 days later. Despite choosing no treatment, he elected to undergo a bone biopsy to understand the new underlying process. Results were that of metastatic GBM and were reported after the patient expired. Physicians caring for patients with GBM and new nonneurologic symptoms may contemplate body imaging. Rubens Barros Costa, Ricardo Costa, Jason Kaplan, Marcelo Rocha Cruz, Hiral Shah, Maria Matsangou, and Benedito Carneiro Copyright © 2017 Rubens Barros Costa et al. All rights reserved. Effect of a Carbohydrate-Rich Diet on Rat Detrusor Smooth Muscle Contractility: An Experimental Study Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:36:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/5796456/ Objectives. We aimed to investigate the effect of a carbohydrate-rich diet on detrusor contractility in rats. Materials and Methods. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into two groups. The control group received regular food and water. The study group received carbohydrate-rich diet for six weeks. The rats’ detrusor muscle was isolated for pharmacological and histopathological examinations. Results. In the control and study groups, mean body weights were 431.5 ± 27.6 g and 528.0 ± 36.2 g, respectively (p < 0.001). Electrical stimulation of the detrusor strips of the control group resulted in gradual contraction. A decreased contractile response was shown in the study group. Acetylcholine in 10-7-10-3 molar concentration produced a decreased contractile response in the study group, compared to the control group (p < 0.01). The study group showed marked subepithelial and intermuscular fibrosis in the bladder. Conclusion. Carbohydrate-rich diet causes marked subepithelial and extracellular fibrosis and changes in contractility in the detrusor within a six-week period. Changes have higher costs in therapeutic choices and correction of these changes remains difficult. Putting an end to carbohydrate-rich diet would seem to be more cost-effective than dealing with the effects of consuming it in high proportions which should be the national policy worldwide. Mustafa Suat Bolat, Sırrı S. Bilge, Ekrem Akdeniz, Onder Cinar, Fatih Firat, Arzu Erdal Agri, Mustafa Bakirtas, Omer Alici, and Fikret Erdemir Copyright © 2017 Mustafa Suat Bolat et al. All rights reserved. Regional Groundwater Quality Management through Hydrogeological Modeling in LCC, West Faisalabad, Pakistan Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:34:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2017/2041648/ The intensive abstraction of groundwater is causing a number of problems such as groundwater depletion and quality deterioration. To manage such problems, the data of 256 piezometers regarding groundwater levels and quality were acquired for the period of 2003 to 2012 in command area of Lower Chenab Canal (LCC), West Faisalabad, Pakistan. MODFLOW and MT3D models were calibrated for the period of 2003–2007 and validated for years 2008–2012 with respect to observed groundwater levels and quality data, respectively. After the successful calibration and validation, two pumping scenarios were developed up to year 2030: Scenario I (increase in pumping rate according to the historical trend) and Scenario II (adjusted canal water supplies and groundwater patterns). The predicted results of Scenario I revealed that, up to year 2030, the area under good quality groundwater reduced significantly from 50.35 to 28.95%, while marginal and hazardous groundwater quality area increased from 49.65 to 71.06%. Under Scenario II, the good quality groundwater area increased to 6.32% and 12.48% area possesses less hazardous quality of groundwater. It was concluded that the canal water supply should shift from good quality aquifer zone to poor quality aquifer zone for proficient management of groundwater at the study area. Aamir Shakoor, Zahid Mahmood Khan, Muhammad Arshad, Hafiz Umar Farid, Muhammad Sultan, Muhammad Azmat, Muhammad Adnan Shahid, and Zafar Hussain Copyright © 2017 Aamir Shakoor et al. All rights reserved. 18F-FDG Pet-Guided External Beam Radiotherapy in Iodine-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: A Pilot Study Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:23:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jtr/2017/9807543/ Introduction. To evaluate the clinical response rate after a postoperative 18F-FDG PET/CT guided external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) in Iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. Material and Methods. Patients with thyroid cancer locally recurrent after total thyroidectomy plus metabolic radiotherapy and treated with radical EBRT were included. Inclusion criteria were detectable thyroglobulin (Tg), negative postmetabolic radiotherapy whole body scintigraphy, and no surgical indications. The pretreatment 18F-FDG PET/CT resulted positive in all cases (loggia, lymph nodes, and lung). EBRT was delivered with IMRT-SIB technique. A 18F-FDG PET/CT revaluation and Tg dosage were performed 3 months after the treatment. Results. Sixteen consecutive patients were included in this analysis (median follow-up: 6–44 months). Post-EBRT 18F-FDG PET/CT showed CR in 43.7%, PR in 31.2%, SD in 25.0% patients, and PD due to lung metastases in 12.5%. Overall response rate was 75.0% (CI 95%: 41.4–93.3%). Tg levels decreased in 75.0% with a median Δ of 68.0%. Two-year PFS and OS rates were 80.0% and 93.0%, respectively. Acute G3 toxicity occurred in 18.7% and late G2 toxicity in 12.5%. Conclusions.  18F-FDG PET/CT was useful in target definition for radiotherapy planning, identifying positive areas not detected with 131I scintigraphy. IMRT based EBRT was feasible and our results encourage future prospective studies. This clinical trial is registered with ID: NCT03191643. Eleonora Farina, Fabio Monari, Paolo Castellucci, Fabrizio Romani, Andrea Repaci, Arianna Farina, Giuseppe Zanirato Rambaldi, Giovanni Frezza, Renzo Mazzarotto, Silvia Cammelli, Luca Tagliaferri, Rosa Autorino, Francesco Deodato, Gabriella Macchia, Savino Cilla, Vincenzo Valentini, Stefano Fanti, and Alessio G. Morganti Copyright © 2017 Eleonora Farina et al. All rights reserved. Purulent Appearing Material in an Endobronchial Ultrasound-Guided Transbronchial Needle Aspiration of Mediastinal Lymph Node: A Diagnostic Challenge Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:04:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripu/2017/3851849/ Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) has increasingly been performed for the diagnosis and staging of thoracic malignancies. Findings of a necrotic lymph node raise concern for infectious process and malignancy. A hypoechoic area on ultrasound/EBUS within a lymph node without blood flow is suggestive of pathologies like infections or malignancy. Inspection of the fluid could suggest a diagnosis; clear aspirates usually suggest bronchogenic or mediastinal cysts and purulent material suggests abscesses or necrotic lymph nodes. Growing tumor cells require a blood supply; if the vascular stroma is insufficient due to rapidly growing malignant tumors this could lead to large central areas of ischemic necrosis. Necrotic aspiration of lymph nodes is not always of infectious etiology. Aspiration of fluid in EBUS-TBNA is a rare occurrence, and malignancy should be considered when purulent fluid material is obtained. We present an elderly woman who underwent bronchoscopy with EBUS-TBNA for evaluation of upper lung nodule and mediastinal lymphadenopathy. Pus-like material was obtained on needle aspiration and endobronchial biopsy and mediastinal core biopsy revealed squamous cell carcinoma. Damaris Pena, Gilda Diaz-Fuentes, and Sindhaghatta Venkatram Copyright © 2017 Damaris Pena et al. All rights reserved. Numerical Analysis of Joule Heating Behavior and Residual Compressive Stress around Crack Tip under High Electric Load Thu, 19 Oct 2017 07:00:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mse/2017/3012949/ This paper discusses the Joule heating effect and residual compressive stress near the crack tip under the electro-thermo-structural coupling state. For the crack tip field, the compressive condition is important for retarding or stopping the crack growth. Thomas Jin-Chee Liu Copyright © 2017 Thomas Jin-Chee Liu. All rights reserved. The Effect of Dongeui Qigong for Prehypertension and Mild Essential Hypertension Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:35:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/4274538/ Although several previous studies have reported the effect of qigong on lowering blood pressure, rigorous trials are lacking. Studies evaluating the effect of qigong on prehypertension are also scarce. This study aimed to assess the effect of qigong on prehypertension and mild hypertension. Participants with prehypertension or mild hypertension were randomized to the Dongeui qigong group or a nontreated control group. In the qigong group, Dongeui qigong was administered 5 times/week for 12 weeks. The control group did not receive any intervention for blood pressure control. Fifty-two participants were included in this study. Even though diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced in the qigong group after 8 weeks () compared to baseline, the difference in change in blood pressure between the qigong and control groups was not significant. There were no significant differences in quality of life between the qigong and control groups. Dongeui qigong is not significantly effective in pre/mild hypertension compared with controls. This result could be due to a lack of effect of qigong or caused by other factors, such as the type of qigong, target symptoms, inappropriate sample size, and compliance of participants. Trial Registration. This trial is registered with KCT0001397 (Clinical Research Information Service). Ji-Eun Park, Jung-Eun Kim, Soyoung Jung, Aeran Kim, Hyoju Park, and Sanghoon Hong Copyright © 2017 Ji-Eun Park et al. All rights reserved. Extract of Fructus Cannabis Ameliorates Learning and Memory Impairment Induced by D-Galactose in an Aging Rats Model Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:24:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/4757520/ Hempseed (Cannabis sativa L.) has been used as a health food and folk medicine in China for centuries. In the present study, we sought to define the underlying mechanism by which the extract of Fructus Cannabis (EFC) protects against memory impairment induced by D-galactose in rats. To accelerate aging and induce memory impairment in rats, D-galactose (400 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally once daily for 14 weeks. EFC (200 and 400 mg/kg) was simultaneously administered intragastrically once daily in an attempt to slow the aging process. We found that EFC significantly increased the activity of superoxide dismutase, while lowering levels of malondialdehyde in the hippocampus. Moreover, EFC dramatically elevated the organ indices of some organs, including the heart, the liver, the thymus, and the spleen. In addition, EFC improved the behavioral performance of rats treated with D-galactose in the Morris water maze. Furthermore, EFC inhibited the activation of astrocytes and remarkably attenuated phosphorylated tau and suppressed the expression of presenilin 1 in the brain of D-galactose-treated rats. These findings suggested that EFC exhibits beneficial effects on the cognition of aging rats probably by enhancing antioxidant capacity and anti-neuroinflammation, improving immune function, and modulating tau phosphorylation and presenilin expression. Ning-Yuan Chen, Cheng-Wu Liu, Wei Lin, Yi Ding, Zhang-ya Bian, Ling Huang, Hao Huang, Kai-Hui Yu, Si-Bang Chen, Yu Sun, Lei Wei, Jun-Hua Peng, and Shang-Ling Pan Copyright © 2017 Ning-Yuan Chen et al. All rights reserved. Liveness-Based RRT Algorithm for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Motion Planning Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:20:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jat/2017/7816263/ Motion planning is a crucial, basic issue in robotics, which aims at driving vehicles or robots towards to a given destination with various constraints, such as obstacles and limited resource. This paper presents a new version of rapidly exploring random trees (RRT), that is, liveness-based RRT (Li-RRT), to address autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) motion problem. Different from typical RRT, we define an index of each node in the random searching tree, called “liveness” in this paper, to describe the potential effectiveness during the expanding process. We show that Li-RRT is provably probabilistic completeness as original RRT. In addition, the expected time of returning a valid path with Li-RRT is obviously reduced. To verify the efficiency of our algorithm, numerical experiments are carried out in this paper. Yang Li, Fubin Zhang, Demin Xu, and Jiguo Dai Copyright © 2017 Yang Li et al. All rights reserved. Location Model for Distribution Centers for Fulfilling Electronic Orders of Fresh Foods under Uncertain Demand Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:17:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sp/2017/3423562/ The problem of locating distribution centers for delivering fresh food as a part of electronic commerce is a strategic decision problem for enterprises. This paper establishes a model for locating distribution centers that considers the uncertainty of customer demands for fresh goods in terms of time-sensitiveness and freshness. Based on the methodology of robust optimization in dealing with uncertain problems, this paper optimizes the location model in discrete demand probabilistic scenarios. In this paper, an improved fruit fly optimization algorithm is proposed to solve the distribution center location problem. An example is given to show that the proposed model and algorithm are robust and can effectively handle the complications caused by uncertain demand. The model proposed in this paper proves valuable both theoretically and practically in the selection of locations of distribution centers. Hao Zhang, Ying Xiong, Mingke He, and Chongchong Qu Copyright © 2017 Hao Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Acute Right Ventricular Dysfunction in Intensive Care Unit Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:09:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/8217105/ The role of the left ventricle in ICU patients with circulatory shock has long been considered. However, acute right ventricle (RV) dysfunction causes and aggravates many common critical diseases (acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary embolism, acute myocardial infarction, and postoperative cardiac surgery). Several supportive therapies, including mechanical ventilation and fluid management, can make RV dysfunction worse, potentially exacerbating shock. We briefly review the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and recommendations to guide management of acute RV dysfunction in ICU patients. Our aim is to clarify the complex effects of mechanical ventilation, fluid therapy, vasoactive drug infusions, and other therapies to resuscitate the critical patient optimally. Juan C. Grignola and Enric Domingo Copyright © 2017 Juan C. Grignola and Enric Domingo. All rights reserved. Expression Levels and Localizations of DVL3 and sFRP3 in Glioblastoma Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:01:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2017/9253495/ The expression patterns of critical molecular components of Wnt signaling, sFRP3 and DVL3, were investigated in glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of primary brain tumors, with the aim to offer potential biomarkers. The protein expression levels and localizations in tumor tissue were revealed by immunohistochemistry and evaluated by the semiquantitative method and immunoreactivity score. Majority of glioblastomas had moderate expression levels for both DVL3 (52.4%) and sFRP3 (52.3%). Strong expression levels were observed in 23.1% and 36.0% of samples, respectively. DVL3 was localized in cytoplasm in 97% of glioblastomas, of which 44% coexpressed the protein in the nucleus. sFRP3 subcellular distribution showed that it was localized in the cytoplasm in 94% of cases. Colocalization in the cytoplasm and nucleus was observed in 50% of samples. Wilcox test indicated that the domination of the strong signal is in connection with simultaneous localization of DVL3 protein in the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Patients with strong expression of DVL3 will significantly more often have the protein in the nucleus (). No significant correlation between the two proteins was established, nor were their signal strengths correlated with epidemiological parameters. Our study contributes to better understanding of glioblastoma molecular profile. Anja Kafka, Davor Tomas, Mirna Lechpammer, Tea Gabud, Leo Pažanin, and Nives Pećina-Šlaus Copyright © 2017 Anja Kafka et al. All rights reserved. Immunization with Bivalent Flagellin Protects Mice against Fatal Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pneumonia Thu, 19 Oct 2017 02:02:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2017/5689709/ Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections present a major challenge to healthcare systems worldwide because they are commonly associated with high morbidity and mortality. Here, we demonstrate the protective efficacy of type a and b flagellins (bivalent flagellin) against acute fatal pneumonia in mice. Mice immunized intranasally with a bivalent flagellin vaccine were challenged by different flagellated strains of P. aeruginosa in an acute pneumonia model. Besides the protective effect of the vaccine, we further measured the host innate and cellular immunity responses. The immunized mice in our study were protected against both strains. Remarkably, active immunization with type a or b flagellin significantly improved survival of mice against heterologous strain compared to flagellin a or b antisera. We also showed that after an intranasal challenge by P. aeruginosa strain, neutrophils are recruited to the airways of vaccinated mice, and that the bivalent flagellin vaccine was proved to be protective by the generated CD4+IL-17+ Th17 cells. In conclusion, bivalent flagellin vaccine can confer protection against different strains of P. aeruginosa in an acute pneumonia mouse model by eliciting effective cellular and humoral immune responses, including increased IL-17 production and improved opsonophagocytic killing. Bahador Behrouz, Farhad B. Hashemi, Mohammad Javad Fatemi, Sara Naghavi, Gholamreza Irajian, Raheleh Halabian, and Abbas Ali Imani Fooladi Copyright © 2017 Bahador Behrouz et al. All rights reserved. Selective and Irreversible Induction of Necroptotic Cell Death in Lung Tumorspheres by Short-Term Exposure to Verapamil in Combination with Sorafenib Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2017/5987015/ The presence of highly resistant cancer cells and the toxicity to normal cells are key factors that limit chemotherapy. Here, we used two models of highly resistant lung cancer cells: (1) adherent cells growing under prolonged periods of serum starvation (PPSS) and (2) cells growing as floating tumorspheres (FTs) to evaluate the effect of Verapamil (VP) in combination with Sorafenib (SF). Compared to cells growing under routine culture conditions (RCCs), PPPS cells or FTs were highly sensitive to short-term exposure (24 h) to VP 100 μM + SF 5 μM (VP100 + SF5). Recovery experiments exposing cells to VP100 + SF5 for 24 h followed by incubation in drug-free media for 48 h demonstrated that while PPSS as well as FT cells were unable to recover, cancer cells and the noncancerous cell line Beas-2B growing under RCCs were less sensitive and were also able to recover significantly. VP100 + SF5 induced significant changes in the expression of protein associated with apoptosis, autophagy, and to a lesser extent necroptosis. Coincubation experiments with z-VAD-FMK, necrostatin 1, or chloroquine showed evidence that necroptosis played a central role. Our data demonstrates that highly resistant cancer cells can be selectively eliminated by VP + SF and that necroptosis plays a central role. Juan Sebastian Yakisich, Yogesh Kulkarni, Neelam Azad, and Anand Krishnan V. Iyer Copyright © 2017 Juan Sebastian Yakisich et al. All rights reserved. Early Diagnosis of HIV among Infants Born to HIV-Positive Mothers on Option-B Plus in Kampala, Uganda Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/art/2017/4654763/ Introduction. Globally, there is delay in accessing early HIV diagnosis (EID) among HIV exposed infants (HEIs). With paucity of data on EID use at Kisenyi Health Center, this study assessed factors associated with EID use among HEIs (HIV exposed infants). Method. This was a cross-sectional study of 246 HIV-positive mother-baby pairs. Data was collected by structured questionnaire, double-entered in EpiData, and analyzed with STATA using multinomial logistic regression at 5% significance level. Results. 132 (53.7%) HEIs were not tested, 60 (24.4%) tested outside EID guideline, and 54 (21.9%) tested per the guideline. Testing per guideline was associated with maternal age above 30 years (AOR = 2.75; 95% CI: 1.20–6.34; ); testing outside the guideline was associated with maternal HIV serostatus disclosure (AOR = 2.70; 95% CI: 1.10–6.63; ) and four or more antenatal care (ANC) visits (AOR = 3.25; 95% CI: 1.23–8.59; ). However, maternal knowledge of HIV transmission was associated with testing outside the guideline (AOR = 2.90; 95% CI: 1.10–7.65; ) and per the guideline (AOR = 3.70; 95% CI: 1.39–9.88; ). Conclusion. Timely EID testing was low. Improving maternal knowledge of EID during ANC visits and positive living empowerment is critical. Jonathan Izudi, Sylvia Auma, and John Bosco Alege Copyright © 2017 Jonathan Izudi et al. All rights reserved. Cryoablation of Primary Breast Cancer in Patients with Metastatic Disease: Considerations Arising from a Single-Centre Data Analysis Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/3839012/ Background. Patients presenting with stage IV breast cancer might benefit by removal of the primary tumor. We report our experience with CT-guided cryoablation of the primary tumor, with the aim of evaluating its role in this subgroup of patients. Patients and Methods. Data of 35 patients with mean age of 58 years with breast cancer at stage IV submitted to CT-guided cryoablation of the primary tumor between 2010 and 2016 were prospectively evaluated. All patients, except three, were preoperatively and postoperatively evaluated with breast MRI to assess the extent of tumor necrosis. Retreatment was performed in case of incomplete ablation. Results. Mean tumor size was 3.02 ± 1.4 cm. Six patients had multicentric disease. Complete tumor necrosis was 85.7% and 100% at 2-month and 6-month follow-up, respectively, as 5 patients with tumors > 3 cm required a redo cryoablation. No patient developed major complications. Minor side effects occurred in 30 patients (82%). All patients were discharged the same day of the procedure. During a mean follow-up of 46 months (range 3–84), 7 patients (20%) experienced local recurrences that were treated with redo cryoablation, and 7 (20%) died for disease progression. Conclusions. Our results suggest that cryoablation of the primary tumor is safe and effective in the treatment of patients presenting with stage IV breast cancer. Claudio Pusceddu, Luca Melis, Nicola Ballicu, Paolo Meloni, Valeria Sanna, Alberto Porcu, and Alessandro Fancellu Copyright © 2017 Claudio Pusceddu et al. All rights reserved. A Collaborative Approach for Monitoring Nodes Behavior during Spectrum Sensing to Mitigate Multiple Attacks in Cognitive Radio Networks Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scn/2017/3261058/ Spectrum sensing is the first step to overcome the spectrum scarcity problem in Cognitive Radio Networks (CRNs) wherein all unutilized subbands in the radio environment are explored for better spectrum utilization. Adversary nodes can threaten these spectrum sensing results by launching passive and active attacks that prevent legitimate nodes from using the spectrum efficiently. Securing the spectrum sensing process has become an important issue in CRNs in order to ensure reliable and secure spectrum sensing and fair management of resources. In this paper, a novel collaborative approach during spectrum sensing process is proposed. It monitors the behavior of sensing nodes and identifies the malicious and misbehaving sensing nodes. The proposed approach measures the node’s sensing reliability using a value called belief level. All the sensing nodes are grouped into a specific number of clusters. In each cluster, a sensing node is selected as a cluster head that is responsible for collecting sensing-reputation reports from different cognitive nodes about each node in the same cluster. The cluster head analyzes information to monitor and judge the nodes’ behavior. By simulating the proposed approach, we showed its importance and its efficiency for achieving better spectrum security by mitigating multiple passive and active attacks. Mahmoud Khasawneh and Anjali Agarwal Copyright © 2017 Mahmoud Khasawneh and Anjali Agarwal. All rights reserved. Research on Fatigue Damage of Compressor Blade Steel KMN-I Using Nonlinear Ultrasonic Testing Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2017/4568460/ The fatigue damage of compressor blade steel KMN-I was investigated using nonlinear ultrasonic testing and the relation curve between the material nonlinearity parameter β and the fatigue life was obtained. The results showed that the nonlinearity parameter increased first and then decreased with the increase of the fatigue cycles. The microstructures were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It was found that some small defects like holes and pits appeared in the material matrix with the increase of the fatigue cycles, and the nonlinearity parameter increased correspondingly. The nonlinearity parameter reached the peak value when the microcracks initiated, and the nonlinearity parameter began to decrease when the microcracks further propagated to macrocracks. Therefore, it is proved that the nonlinearity parameter can be used to characterize the initiation of microcracks at the early stage of fatigue, and a method of evaluating the fatigue life of materials by nonlinear ultrasonic testing is proposed. Pengfei Wang, Weiqiang Wang, and Jianfeng Li Copyright © 2017 Pengfei Wang et al. All rights reserved. Baduanjin Exercise for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/8378219/ Objective. To investigate the effects of Baduanjin exercise for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods. Literature retrieval was performed in several databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CNKI, Wanfang Data Information Site, CBM, and VIP from inception to April 2017. Randomized controlled trials on evaluating the effects of Baduanjin exercise were identified. The primary outcomes were glycosylated hemoglobin, fasting blood-glucose, and postprandial plasma glucose. Review Manager 5.2 (RevMan 5.2) and Stata V.13.0 software were conducted for data analysis. Results. The results of the meta-analysis indicated that the effects of type 2 diabetes mellitus were favoring Baduanjin plus conventional therapy, when compared with the routine treatment. Baduanjin plus conventional therapy lowered the level of glycosylated hemoglobin, fasting blood-glucose, postprandial plasma glucose, TC, TG, and LDL-C and improved HDL-C. Adverse events were not mentioned in all included studies. No publication bias was detected by Begg’s and Egger’s test and no single study affected the overall result by influence analysis. Conclusions. Evidence from meta-analysis suggested that Baduanjin exercise plus conventional therapy has a positive effect on type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, more rigorously designed and large sample RCTs are required to confirm the efficacy and safety in further studies. Junmao Wen, Tong Lin, Yinhe Cai, Qianying Chen, Yuexuan Chen, Yueyi Ren, Senhui Weng, Boqing Wang, Shuliang Ji, and Wei Wu Copyright © 2017 Junmao Wen et al. All rights reserved. Slower Dynamics and Aged Mitochondria in Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/9302761/ Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease corresponds to 95% of cases whose origin is multifactorial and elusive. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a major feature of Alzheimer’s pathology, which might be one of the early events that trigger downstream principal events. Here, we show that multiple genes that control mitochondrial homeostasis, including fission and fusion, are downregulated in Alzheimer’s patients. Additionally, we demonstrate that some of these dysregulations, such as diminished DLP1 levels and its mitochondrial localization, as well as reduced STOML2 and MFN2 fusion protein levels, take place in fibroblasts from sporadic Alzheimer’s disease patients. The analysis of mitochondrial network disruption using CCCP indicates that the patients’ fibroblasts exhibit slower dynamics and mitochondrial membrane potential recovery. These defects lead to strong accumulation of aged mitochondria in Alzheimer’s fibroblasts. Accordingly, the analysis of autophagy and mitophagy involved genes in the patients demonstrates a downregulation indicating that the recycling mechanism of these aged mitochondria might be impaired. Our data reinforce the idea that mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the key early events of the disease intimately related with aging. Patricia Martín-Maestro, Ricardo Gargini, Esther García, George Perry, Jesús Avila, and Vega García-Escudero Copyright © 2017 Patricia Martín-Maestro et al. All rights reserved. Rapid Detection and Identification of miRNAs by Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Using Hollow Au Nanoflowers Substrates Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2017/3659423/ MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are recognized as regulators of gene expression during the biological processes of cells as well as biomarkers of many diseases. Development of rapid and sensitive miRNA profiling methods is crucial for evaluating the pattern of miRNA expression related to normal and diseased states. This work presents a novel hollow Au nanoflowers (HAuNFs) substrate for rapid detection and identification of miRNAs by surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy. We synthesized the HAuNFs by a seed-mediated growth approach. Then, HAuNFs substrates were fabricated by depositing HAuNFs onto the surfaces of (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane- (APTES-) functionalized ITO glass. The result demonstrated that HAuNFs substrates had very good reproducibility, homogeneous SERS activity, and high SERS effect. The substrates enabled us to successfully obtain the SERS spectra of miR-10a-5p, miR-125a-5p, and miR-196a-5p. The difference spectra among the three kinds of miRNAs were studied to better interpret the spectral differences and identify miRNA expression patterns with high accuracy. The principal component analysis (PCA) of the SERS spectra was used to distinguish among the three kinds of miRNAs. Considering its time efficiency, being label-free, and its sensitivity, the SERS based on HAuNFs substrates is very promising for miRNA research and plays an important role in early disease detection and prevention. Xiaowei Cao, Min Bao, Yibo Shan, Wei Li, and Hongcan Shi Copyright © 2017 Xiaowei Cao et al. All rights reserved. Complexity and Vulnerability Analysis of Critical Infrastructures: A Methodological Approach Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/8673143/ Vulnerability analysis of network models has been widely adopted to explore the potential impacts of random disturbances, deliberate attacks, and natural disasters. However, almost all these models are based on a fixed topological structure, in which the physical properties of infrastructure components and their interrelationships are not well captured. In this paper, a new research framework is put forward to quantitatively explore and assess the complexity and vulnerability of critical infrastructure systems. Then, a case study is presented to prove the feasibility and validity of the proposed framework. After constructing metro physical network (MPN), Pajek is employed to analyze its corresponding topological properties, including degree, betweenness, average path length, network diameter, and clustering coefficient. With a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of MPN, it would be beneficial for metro system to restrain original near-miss or accidents and support decision-making in emergency situations. Moreover, through the analysis of two simulation protocols for system component failure, it is found that the MPN turned to be vulnerable under the condition that the high-degree nodes or high-betweenness edges are attacked. These findings will be conductive to offer recommendations and proposals for robust design, risk-based decision-making, and prioritization of risk reduction investment. Yongliang Deng, Liangliang Song, Zhipeng Zhou, and Ping Liu Copyright © 2017 Yongliang Deng et al. All rights reserved. Development of the Arabic Voice Pathology Database and Its Evaluation by Using Speech Features and Machine Learning Algorithms Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jhe/2017/8783751/ A voice disorder database is an essential element in doing research on automatic voice disorder detection and classification. Ethnicity affects the voice characteristics of a person, and so it is necessary to develop a database by collecting the voice samples of the targeted ethnic group. This will enhance the chances of arriving at a global solution for the accurate and reliable diagnosis of voice disorders by understanding the characteristics of a local group. Motivated by such idea, an Arabic voice pathology database (AVPD) is designed and developed in this study by recording three vowels, running speech, and isolated words. For each recorded samples, the perceptual severity is also provided which is a unique aspect of the AVPD. During the development of the AVPD, the shortcomings of different voice disorder databases were identified so that they could be avoided in the AVPD. In addition, the AVPD is evaluated by using six different types of speech features and four types of machine learning algorithms. The results of detection and classification of voice disorders obtained with the sustained vowel and the running speech are also compared with the results of an English-language disorder database, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) database. Tamer A. Mesallam, Mohamed Farahat, Khalid H. Malki, Mansour Alsulaiman, Zulfiqar Ali, Ahmed Al-nasheri, and Ghulam Muhammad Copyright © 2017 Tamer A. Mesallam et al. All rights reserved. Developmental Testicular Expression, Cloning, and Characterization of Rat HDAC6 In Silico Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/5170680/ We had previously reported presence of histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) in sperm and demonstrated its tubulin deacetylase activity and role in sperm motility in rat. In the present study we report its abundant expression in testis, epididymis, accessory sex organs, brain, and adrenal. In the testis, HDAC6 transcript and protein were observed throughout development. We therefore cloned the gene from rat testis using primers for hdac6 (accession number XM_228753.8) in order to determine the role of acetylation/deacetylation in spermatogenesis. The cloned rat hdac6 gene is ~3.5 kb with 28 exons and 1152 amino acids. We noted 4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on exons 2 (G/A), 5 (A/G), 7 (T/C), and 26 (G/T), respectively, in this sequence when compared to XM_228753.8. These were further validated at both cDNA and gene level. These SNPs resulted in 2 amino acids changes, namely, glycine → arginine and valine → phenylalanine at protein level. Cloned hdac6 overexpressed in HEK293T cells demonstrated significant overexpression by IIF. Alpha-tubulin acetylation analysis of the overexpressed cell lysate demonstrated that the protein was bioactive. This is the first study showing the ontogenic expression in the testis and reporting experimentally validated sequence of rat HDAC6 and its structural and functional annotation in silico. This sequence has been submitted to GenBank (Accession number Rattus KY009929.1). Pratibha Verma, Omshree Shetty, Sweta Parab, Karen Menezes, and Priyanka Parte Copyright © 2017 Pratibha Verma et al. All rights reserved. An Approach to Classical Quantum Field Theory Based on the Geometry of Locally Conformally Flat Space-Time Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amp/2017/8070462/ This paper gives an introduction to certain classical physical theories described in the context of locally Minkowskian causal structures (LMCSs). For simplicity of exposition we consider LMCSs which have locally Euclidean topology (i.e., are manifolds) and hence are Möbius structures. We describe natural principal bundle structures associated with Möbius structures. Fermion fields are associated with sections of vector bundles associated with the principal bundles while interaction fields (bosons) are associated with endomorphisms of the space of fermion fields. Classical quantum field theory (the Dirac equation and Maxwell’s equations) is obtained by considering representations of the structure group of a principal bundle associated with a given Möbius structure where , while being a subset of , is also isomorphic to . The analysis requires the use of an intertwining operator between the action of on and the adjoint action of on and it is shown that the Feynman slash operator, in the chiral representation for the Dirac gamma matrices, has this intertwining property. John Mashford Copyright © 2017 John Mashford. All rights reserved. Hydrochemistry and Isotope Hydrology for Groundwater Sustainability of the Coastal Multilayered Aquifer System (Zhanjiang, China) Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/geofluids/2017/7080346/ Groundwater sustainability has become a critical issue for Zhanjiang (China) because of serious groundwater level drawdown induced by overexploitation of its coastal multilayered aquifer system. It is necessary to understand the origins, material sources, hydrochemical processes, and dynamics of the coastal groundwater in Zhanjiang to support its sustainable management. To this end, an integrated analysis of hydrochemical and isotopic data of 95 groundwater samples was conducted. Hydrochemical analysis shows that coastal groundwater is fresh; however, relatively high levels of Cl−, Mg2+, and total dissolved solid (TDS) imply slight seawater mixing with coastal unconfined groundwater. Stable isotopes (δ18O and δ2H) values reveal the recharge sources of groundwater in the multilayered aquifer system. The unconfined groundwater originates from local modern precipitation; the confined groundwater in mainland originates from modern precipitation in northwestern mountain area, and the confined groundwater in Donghai and Leizhou is sourced from rainfall recharge during an older period with a colder climate. Ionic relations demonstrate that silicate weathering, carbonate dissolutions, and cation exchange are the primary processes controlling the groundwater chemical composition. Declining trends of groundwater level and increasing trends of TDS of the confined groundwater in islands reveal the landward extending tendency of the freshwater-seawater mixing zone. Pengpeng Zhou, Ming Li, and Yaodong Lu Copyright © 2017 Pengpeng Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Bifurcation of Lane Change and Control on Highway for Tractor-Semitrailer under Rainy Weather Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jat/2017/3506053/ A new method is proposed for analyzing the nonlinear dynamics and stability in lane changes on highways for tractor-semitrailer under rainy weather. Unlike most of the literature associated with a simulated linear dynamic model for tractor-semitrailers steady steering on dry road, a verified 5DOF mechanical model with nonlinear tire based on vehicle test was used in the lane change simulation on low adhesion coefficient road. According to Jacobian matrix eigenvalues of the vehicle model, bifurcations of steady steering and sinusoidal steering on highways under rainy weather were investigated using a numerical method. Furthermore, based on feedback linearization theory, taking the tractor yaw rate and joint angle as control objects, a feedback linearization controller combined with AFS and DYC was established. The numerical simulation results reveal that Hopf bifurcations are identified in steady and sinusoidal steering conditions, which translate into an oscillatory behavior leading to instability. And simulations of urgent step and single-lane change in high velocity show that the designed controller has good effects on eliminating bifurcations and improving lateral stability of tractor-semitrailer, during lane changing on highway under rainy weather. It is a valuable reference for safety design of tractor-semitrailers to improve the traffic safety with driver-vehicle-road closed-loop system. Tao Peng, Zhiwei Guan, Ronghui Zhang, Jinsong Dong, Kening Li, and Hongguo Xu Copyright © 2017 Tao Peng et al. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Falls and Fractures in the Elderly with Sinus Node Disease: The Impact of Pacemaker Implantation” Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crp/2017/3297515/ Nazmi Krasniqi, Diana Segalada, Thomas F. Lüscher, Kurt Lippuner, Laurent Haegeli, Jan Steffel, Thomas Wolber, Corinna Brunckhorst, Johannes Holzmeister, David Hürlimann, and Firat Duru Copyright © 2017 Nazmi Krasniqi et al. All rights reserved. Deletion Involving the 7q31-32 Band at the CADPS2 Gene Locus in a Patient with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Recurrent Psychotic Syndrome Triggered by Stress Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crips/2017/4254152/ Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by impairments in social functioning, language, communication, and behavior. Recent genome-wide association studies show some microdeletions on the 7q31-32 region, including the CADPS2 locus in autistic patients. This paper reports the case of a patient with ASD and recurrent psychotic syndrome, in which a deletion on the 7q31-32 band at the CADPS2 gene locus was evidenced, as well as a brief review of the literature on the CADPS2 gene and its association with ASD. Paulo André Pera Grabowski, Alexandre Ferreira Bello, Diogo Lima Rodrigues, Murilo José Forbeci, Vinicius Motter, and Salmo Raskin Copyright © 2017 Paulo André Pera Grabowski et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Floating Memristor Emulator with Minimal Components Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/apec/2017/1609787/ A new floating emulator for the flux-controlled memristor is introduced in this paper. The proposed emulator circuit is very simple and consists of only two current feedback operational amplifiers (CFOAs), two analog multipliers, three resistors, and two capacitors. The emulator can be configured as an incremental or decremental type memristor by using an additional switch. The mathematical model of the emulator is derived to characterize its behavior. The hysteresis behavior of the emulator is discussed in detail, showing that the pinched hysteresis loops in - plane depend not only on the amplitude-to-frequency ratio of the exciting signal but also on the time constant of the emulator circuit itself. Experimental tests are provided to validate the emulator’s workability. Zhijun Li, Yicheng Zeng, and Minglin Ma Copyright © 2017 Zhijun Li et al. All rights reserved. Two-Dimensional Temperature Field Distribution Reconstruction Based on Least Square Method and Radial Basis Function Approximation Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/1213605/ The information of temperature field distribution is complex but quite important for theoretical study and industrial applications, such as burning, drying, and heating, because it can reflect the internal running state of industrial equipment, assist to develop control strategy, and ensure safety in operation. Acoustic imaging is a kind of noncontact temperature measurement technique which is able to achieve temperature field distribution reconstruction. The process of temperature field distribution reconstruction using acoustic imaging is an inverse problem and its reconstruction performance depends on reconstruction algorithm. In this paper, a modified reconstruction algorithm is investigated. Compared with other reconstruction methods of least square algorithm and radial basis function approximation, the reconstruction results indicate that the modified reconstruction algorithm occupies the best information reflection of temperature field distribution and the reconstruction accuracy is improved. Ruixi Jia and Qingyu Xiong Copyright © 2017 Ruixi Jia and Qingyu Xiong. All rights reserved. Crosstalk between Substrates and Rho-Associated Kinase Inhibitors in Cryopreservation of Tissue-Engineered Constructs Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2017/1380304/ It is documented that human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) can be differentiated into various types of cells to present a tool for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Thus, the preservation of stem cells is a crucial factor for their effective long-term storage that further facilitates their continuous supply and transportation for application in regenerative medicine. Cryopreservation is the most important, practicable, and the only established mechanism for long-term preservation of cells, tissues, and organs, and engineered tissues; thus, it is the key step for the improvement of tissue engineering. A significant portion of MSCs loses cellular viability while freeze-thawing, which represents an important technical limitation to achieving sufficient viable cell numbers for maximum efficacy. Several natural and synthetic materials are extensively used as substrates for tissue engineering constructs and cryopreservation because they promote cell attachment and proliferation. Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitors can improve the physiological function and postthaw viability of cryopreserved MSCs. This review proposes a crosstalk between substrate topology and interaction of cells with ROCK inhibitors. It is shown that incorporation of ionic nanoparticles in the presence of an external electrical field improves the generation of ROCK inhibitors to safeguard cellular viability for the enhanced cryopreservation of engineered tissues. Arindam Bit, Awanish Kumar, Abhishek Kumar Singh, Albert A. Rizvanov, Andrey P. Kiassov, Pradeep Kumar Patra, Munish Kumar, and Akalabya Bissoyi Copyright © 2017 Arindam Bit et al. All rights reserved. A Smoothing Algorithm for a New Two-Stage Stochastic Model of Supply Chain Based on Sample Average Approximation Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/5681502/ We construct a new two-stage stochastic model of supply chain with multiple factories and distributors for perishable product. By introducing a second-order stochastic dominance () constraint, we can describe the preference consistency of the risk taker while minimizing the expected cost of company. To solve this problem, we convert it into a one-stage stochastic model equivalently; then we use sample average approximation () method to approximate the expected values of the underlying random functions. A smoothing approach is proposed with which we can get the global solution and avoid introducing new variables and constraints. Meanwhile, we investigate the convergence of an optimal value from solving the transformed model and show that, with probability approaching one at exponential rate, the optimal value converges to its counterpart as the sample size increases. Numerical results show the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm and analysis. Liu Yang, Yao Xiong, and Xiao-jiao Tong Copyright © 2017 Liu Yang et al. All rights reserved. Derivation of the Mathematical Approach to the Radial Pump’s Meridional Channel Design Based on the Controlment of the Medial Axis Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/7027016/ The meridional channel is the base for designing the radial pumps, and a new design approach is proposed here. Different from the previous studies, research here tries to establish the design model simply controlled with the radial coordinate. With the combination of a series of mathematical equations, the new design approach can shape the meridional contours directly by using the initial design variables. As for the mathematical constraint in the new design approach, it was presented in two forms, and each form had its corresponding solution. For the first form (Constraint I), the midpoints of the design points on the hub and shroud contours were thought to be located on the medial axis, and the PSO algorithm was adopted to search for the suitable results. Continually, to accelerate the design process, the second form (Constraint II) to simplify the mathematical constraint was added, and the explicit mathematical expressions calculating the coordinates on the hub and shroud contours were deduced. Finally, to check out the feasibility of the design approach in engineering, it was applied to redesign some typical meridional channels proposed by previous studies, and, through comparative analysis, the effectiveness of the new approach was evaluated and demonstrated. Yeming Lu, Xiaofang Wang, and Rong Xie Copyright © 2017 Yeming Lu et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Loss Factor of Fiber-Reinforced Composite Based on Complex Modulus Method Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2017/6395739/ The identification of the loss factor of fiber-reinforced composite based on complex modulus method is presented. Firstly, the damping model of fiber-reinforced composite plate is established, and the relation between each loss factor and modal damping ratio is deduced based on the complex modulus method. Then, the least square relative error function is formed by using the modal damping ratio obtained in the experimental test, and the appropriate step-size is selected in the range of 0~10% to calculate the loss factor. Next, the identification procedure of loss factor of such composite material is summarized, and the corresponding identification procedure is realized based on self-designed MATLAB program. Finally, TC300 carbon/epoxy composite plate is taken as an example to carry out a case study, and its loss factors along the longitudinal, transverse, and shear direction are identified by the complex modulus method. By comparing the measured damping results obtained in this paper and the calculated damping results based on the Adams-Bacon model with the same loss factor, it is found that the corresponding maximum deviation between them is less than 15%, so the correctness of such identification method has been verified indirectly, which can be used to identify loss factor of fiber-reinforced composite with high precision and efficiency. Hui Li, Yi Niu, Chao Mu, and Bangchun Wen Copyright © 2017 Hui Li et al. All rights reserved. A Simplified Multipath Component Modeling Approach for High-Speed Train Channel Based on Ray Tracing Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/wcmc/2017/8517204/ High-speed train (HST) communications at millimeter-wave (mmWave) band have received a lot of attention due to their numerous high-data-rate applications enabling smart rail mobility. Accurate and effective channel models are always critical to the HST system design, assessment, and optimization. A distinctive feature of the mmWave HST channel is that it is rapidly time-varying. To depict this feature, a geometry-based multipath model is established for the dominant multipath behavior in delay and Doppler domains. Because of insufficient mmWave HST channel measurement with high mobility, the model is developed by a measurement-validated ray tracing (RT) simulator. Different from conventional models, the temporal evolution of dominant multipath behavior is characterized by its geometry factor that represents the geometrical relationship of the dominant multipath component (MPC) to HST environment. Actually, during each dominant multipath lifetime, its geometry factor is fixed. To statistically model the geometry factor and its lifetime, the dominant MPCs are extracted within each local wide-sense stationary (WSS) region and are tracked over different WSS regions to identify its “birth” and “death” regions. Then, complex attenuation of dominant MPC is jointly modeled by its delay and Doppler shift both which are derived from its geometry factor. Finally, the model implementation is verified by comparison between RT simulated and modeled delay and Doppler spreads. Jingya Yang, Bo Ai, Danping He, Longhe Wang, Zhangdui Zhong, and Andrej Hrovat Copyright © 2017 Jingya Yang et al. All rights reserved. Perforated Duodenal Diverticulum with Subtle Pneumoretroperitoneum on Abdominal X-Ray Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criem/2017/7089573/ Abdominal pain is one of the most common presenting complaints at the Emergency Department (ED). Given the myriad of possible differential diagnoses for abdominal pain, it becomes more important to diagnose conditions requiring emergent surgical intervention early. We present a case of an elderly male patient with abdominal pain secondary to perforated hollow viscus, subtle evidence of pneumoretroperitoneum on the initial supine abdominal X-ray, and review the signs of pneumoperitoneum and pneumoretroperitoneum on plain abdominal X-rays. Yuzeng Shen and Mark Kwok Fai Leong Copyright © 2017 Yuzeng Shen and Mark Kwok Fai Leong. All rights reserved. Privacy-Preserving Biometric Authentication: Challenges and Directions Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scn/2017/7129505/ An emerging direction for authenticating people is the adoption of biometric authentication systems. Biometric credentials are becoming increasingly popular as a means of authenticating people due to the wide range of advantages that they provide with respect to classical authentication methods (e.g., password-based authentication). The most characteristic feature of this authentication method is the naturally strong bond between a user and her biometric credentials. This very same advantageous property, however, raises serious security and privacy concerns in case the biometric trait gets compromised. In this article, we present the most challenging issues that need to be taken into consideration when designing secure and privacy-preserving biometric authentication protocols. More precisely, we describe the main threats against privacy-preserving biometric authentication systems and give directions on possible countermeasures in order to design secure and privacy-preserving biometric authentication protocols. Elena Pagnin and Aikaterini Mitrokotsa Copyright © 2017 Elena Pagnin and Aikaterini Mitrokotsa. All rights reserved. A Study of Traditional Chinese Medicine Body Constitution Associated with Overweight, Obesity, and Underweight Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/7361896/ Objective. The aim of the study was to investigate the associations among the nine types of body constitution in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with the outcomes of overweight, obesity, and underweight. Method. Participants aged 30 to 90 years were recruited from communities in Shanghai and assessed using a self-administered questionnaire pertaining to their demographics, lifestyles, and self-reported medical history. The data of 3748 participants with complete information was available for the analysis. Multinomial logistic regression (MLR) analysis was performed to determine the associations among the TCM constitution variables and the health outcomes. Results. The standards of classification and determination of the constitution in TCM were used to gauge the patients’ constitution type. MLR revealed independent and significant associations among the Qi_Deficient and Yang_Deficient groups with the outcomes of overweight, obesity, and underweight ( for all). MLR revealed independent and significant associations among the Qi_Deficient and Yang_Deficient groups with the outcomes of overweight, obesity, and underweight ( for all). Conclusion. Our study revealed significant negative correlations between the Qi_Deficient and Yang_Deficient groups with the outcomes of overweight, obesity, and underweight. On the other hand, positive correlations were found between Phlegm_Dampness and the outcomes of overweight and obesity. Mihui Li, Shuming Mo, Yubao Lv, Zihui Tang, and Jingcheng Dong Copyright © 2017 Mihui Li et al. All rights reserved. Proinflammatory Cytokines Are Soluble Mediators Linked with Ventricular Arrhythmias and Contractile Dysfunction in a Rat Model of Metabolic Syndrome Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/7682569/ Metabolic syndrome (MS) increases cardiovascular risk and is associated with cardiac dysfunction and arrhythmias, although the precise mechanisms are still under study. Chronic inflammation in MS has emerged as a possible cause of adverse cardiac events. Male Wistar rats fed with 30% sucrose in drinking water and standard chow for 25–27 weeks were compared to a control group. The MS group showed increased weight, visceral fat, blood pressure, and serum triglycerides. The most important increases in serum cytokines included IL-1β (7-fold), TNF-α (84%), IL-6 (41%), and leptin (2-fold), the latter also showing increased gene expression in heart tissue (35-fold). Heart function ex vivo in MS group showed a decreased mechanical performance response to isoproterenol challenge (ISO). Importantly, MS hearts under ISO showed nearly twofold the incidence of ventricular fibrillation. Healthy rat cardiomyocytes exposed to MS group serum displayed impaired contractile function and Ca2+ handling during ISO treatment, showing slightly decreased cell shortening and Ca2+ transient amplitude (23%), slower cytosolic calcium removal (17%), and more frequent spontaneous Ca2+ release events (7.5-fold). As spontaneous Ca2+ releases provide a substrate for ventricular arrhythmias, our study highlights the possible role of serum proinflammatory mediators in the development of arrhythmic events during MS. Evaristo Fernández-Sada, Alejandro Torres-Quintanilla, Christian Silva-Platas, Noemí García, B. Cicero Willis, César Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Erasmo De la Peña, Judith Bernal-Ramírez, Niria Treviño-Saldaña, Yuriana Oropeza-Almazán, Elena C. Castillo, Leticia Elizondo-Montemayor, Karla Carvajal, and Gerardo García-Rivas Copyright © 2017 Evaristo Fernández-Sada et al. All rights reserved. Highly Sensitive Reentrant Cavity-Microstrip Patch Antenna Integrated Wireless Passive Pressure Sensor for High Temperature Applications Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2017/3417562/ A novel reentrant cavity-microstrip patch antenna integrated wireless passive pressure sensor was proposed in this paper for high temperature applications. The reentrant cavity was analyzed from aspects of distributed model and equivalent lumped circuit model, on the basis of which an optimal sensor structure integrated with a rectangular microstrip patch antenna was proposed to better transmit/receive wireless signals. In this paper, the proposed sensor was fabricated with high temperature resistant alumina ceramic and silver metalization with weld sealing, and it was measured in a hermetic metal tank with nitrogen pressure loading. It was verified that the sensor was highly sensitive, keeping stable performance up to 300 kPa with an average sensitivity of 981.8 kHz/kPa at temperature 25°C, while, for high temperature measurement, the sensor can operate properly under pressure of 60–120 kPa in the temperature range of 25–300°C with maximum pressure sensitivity of 179.2 kHz/kPa. In practical application, the proposed sensor is used in a method called table lookup with a maximum error of 5.78%. Fei Lu, Yanjie Guo, Qiulin Tan, Tanyong Wei, Guozhu Wu, Haixing Wang, Lei Zhang, Xiaowei Guo, and Jijun Xiong Copyright © 2017 Fei Lu et al. All rights reserved. The Role of AChE in Swimming Behavior of Daphnia magna: Correlation Analysis of Both Parameters Affected by Deltamethrin and Methomyl Exposure Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jt/2017/3265727/ The unpredictable toxicity of insecticides may cause behavior disorder of biological organisms. In order to assess the role of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in swimming behavior of Daphnia magna, a correlation analysis of both parameters in 24 h exposure of deltamethrin (DM) and methomyl (MT) was investigated. The behavior responses of D. magna in DM (13.36 μg/L and 33.40 μg/L) and MT (19.66 μg/L and 49.15 μg/L) suggested that recovery behavior in the adjustment phase was crucial, and behavior homeostasis provided them with an optimal way to achieve a wider tolerance against environmental stress. During the experiment, positive effects on AChE activity occurred in the beginning of the exposure. Even though the de novo synthesis of AChE in D. magna might help it recover, the AChE inhibition in different treatments could be observed. Some induction effects on AChE activity at the beginning of exposure occurred, and a 50% decrease may cause toxic effects on behavior. In most treatments, the results showed that both behavior strength and AChE activity stayed in the same field within a correlation circle. These results illustrated that the environmental stress caused by both DM and MT could inhibit AChE activity and subsequently induce a stepwise behavior response, though both pesticides affect it as direct and indirect inhibitors, respectively. Qing Ren, Ruibin Zhao, Cheng Wang, Shangge Li, Tingting Zhang, Zongming Ren, Meiyi Yang, Hongwei Pan, Shiguo Xu, Jianping Zhu, and Xun Wang Copyright © 2017 Qing Ren et al. All rights reserved. A Framework for Extension of Dynamic Finite Element Formulation to Flexural Vibration Analysis of Thin Plates Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2017/5905417/ Dynamic Finite Element formulation is a powerful technique that combines the accuracy of the exact analysis with wide applicability of the finite element method. The infinite dimensionality of the exact solution space of plate equation has been a major challenge for development of such elements for the dynamic analysis of flexible two-dimensional structures. In this research, a framework for such extension based on subset solutions is proposed. An example element is then developed and implemented in MATLAB® software for numerical testing, verification, and validation purposes. Although the presented formulation is not exact, the element exhibits good convergence characteristics and can be further enriched using the proposed framework. Mohammad M. Elahi and Seyed M. Hashemi Copyright © 2017 Mohammad M. Elahi and Seyed M. Hashemi. All rights reserved. A Fast Newton-Shamanskii Iteration for a Matrix Equation Arising from M/G/1-Type Markov Chains Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/4018239/ For the nonlinear matrix equations arising in the analysis of M/G/1-type and GI/M/1-type Markov chains, the minimal nonnegative solution or can be found by Newton-like methods. We prove monotone convergence results for the Newton-Shamanskii iteration for this class of equations. Starting with zero initial guess or some other suitable initial guess, the Newton-Shamanskii iteration provides a monotonically increasing sequence of nonnegative matrices converging to the minimal nonnegative solution. A Schur decomposition method is used to accelerate the Newton-Shamanskii iteration. Numerical examples illustrate the effectiveness of the Newton-Shamanskii iteration. Pei-Chang Guo Copyright © 2017 Pei-Chang Guo. All rights reserved. Simulation of the Spatial Distribution of Hydraulic Conductivity in Porous Media through Different Methods Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/4321918/ Seepage problems exist in water conservancy projects, groundwater research, and geological research, and hydraulic conductivity is an important factor that affects the seepage field. This study investigates the heterogeneity of hydraulic conductivity. Kriging methods are used to simulate the spatial distribution of hydraulic conductivity, and the application of resistivity and grain size is used to obtain hydraulic conductivity. The results agree with the experimental pumping test results, which prove that the distribution of hydraulic conductivity can be obtained economically and efficiently and in a complex and wide area. Zengguang Xu, Xue Wang, Junrui Chai, Yuan Qin, and Yanlong Li Copyright © 2017 Zengguang Xu et al. All rights reserved. Analysis and Design of Adaptive Synchronization of a Complex Dynamical Network with Time-Delayed Nodes and Coupling Delays Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/8965124/ This paper is devoted to the study of synchronization problems in uncertain dynamical networks with time-delayed nodes and coupling delays. First, a complex dynamical network model with time-delayed nodes and coupling delays is given. Second, for a complex dynamical network with known or unknown but bounded nonlinear couplings, an adaptive controller is designed, which can ensure that the state of a dynamical network asymptotically synchronizes at the individual node state locally or globally in an arbitrary specified network. Then, the Lyapunov-Krasovskii stability theory is employed to estimate the network coupling parameters. The main results provide sufficient conditions for synchronization under local or global circumstances, respectively. Finally, two typical examples are given, using the M-G system as the nodes of the ring dynamical network and second-order nodes in the dynamical network with time-varying communication delays and switching communication topologies, which illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed controller design methods. Yu Miao, He Liang, Zhao Haiyun, Chen Zhigang, and Yi Junyan Copyright © 2017 Yu Miao et al. All rights reserved. Responses of Phospholipase D and Antioxidant System to Mechanical Wounding in Postharvest Banana Fruits Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfq/2017/8347306/ Banana fruits are susceptible to mechanical damage. The present study was to investigate the responses of phospholipase D (PLD) and antioxidant system to mechanical wounding in postharvest banana fruits. During 16 d storage at 25°C and 90% relative humidity, PLD activity in wounded fruits was significantly higher than that in control (without artificial wounding fruits). The higher value of PLD mRNA was found in wounded fruits than in control. PLD mRNA expression reached the highest peak on day 4 in both groups, but it was 2.67 times in wounded fruits compared to control at that time, indicating that PLD gene expression was activated in response to wounding stress. In response to wounding stress, the higher lipoxygenase (LOX) activity was observed and malondialdehyde (MDA) production was accelerated. The activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) in wounded fruits were significantly higher than those in control. The concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide anion () and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in fruits increased under mechanical wounding. The above results provided a basis for further investigating the mechanism of postharvest banana fruits adapting to environmental stress. Li Li, Xuemei He, Jian Sun, Changbao Li, Dongning Ling, Jinfeng Sheng, Fengjin Zheng, Guoming Liu, Jiemin Li, Yayuan Tang, Ping Yi, Ming Xin, Zhichun Li, and Zhugui Zhou Copyright © 2017 Li Li et al. All rights reserved. Fluorinated Adenosine A2A Receptor Antagonists Inspired by Preladenant as Potential Cancer Immunotherapeutics Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmc/2017/4852537/ Antagonism of the adenosine receptor on T cells blocks the hypoxia-adenosinergic pathway to promote tumor rejection. Using an in vivo immunoassay based on the Concanavalin A mouse model, a series of antagonists were studied and identified preladenant as a potent lead compound for development. Molecular modeling was employed to assist drug design and subsequent synthesis of analogs and those of tozadenant, including fluorinated polyethylene glycol PEGylated derivatives. The efficacy of the analogs was evaluated using two in vitro functional bioassays, and compound 29, a fluorinated triethylene glycol derivative of preladenant, was confirmed as a potential immunotherapeutic agent. Gengyang Yuan, Tanner C. Jankins, Christopher G. Patrick Jr., Phaethon Philbrook, Olivia Sears, Stephen Hatfield, Michail Sitkovsky, Neil Vasdev, Steven H. Liang, Mary Jo Ondrechen, Michael P. Pollastri, and Graham B. Jones Copyright © 2017 Gengyang Yuan et al. All rights reserved. Equipment Layout Improvement for Large-Scale Hot Cell Facility Logistics Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/stni/2017/4585120/ This study presents approaches to equipment layout improvement for a large-scale hot cell facility. First, the original facility layout and target process are introduced, including the basic information and specifications. Second, the flow of process materials is analyzed and the relationships are evaluated in detail using a “from-to chart” and a “relationship chart” for the original layout, and the logistics are simulated using the selected discrete event simulator to calculate the traveling distances of process materials handled by teleoperated material handling systems. Third, the original layout is modified using the total closeness rating (TCR), and the efficiency and usage of the material handling system are calculated and compared with the original case to evaluate the efficiency improvement of the modified layout. This modification process, which included load reduction, enabled those aspects of the material handling system that would need to be changed to be identified; these changes were suggested by a quantitative analysis of the logistics between each pair of stations and intuitive rearrangement based on charts and figures. These approaches could be an initial step in the large-scale hot cell design process, with future work to follow. Seungnam Yu, Jaehoon Lim, Hunsuk Im, and Hyojik Lee Copyright © 2017 Seungnam Yu et al. All rights reserved. Representation for Action Recognition Using Trajectory-Based Low-Level Local Feature and Mid-Level Motion Feature Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/acisc/2017/4019213/ The dense trajectories and low-level local features are widely used in action recognition recently. However, most of these methods ignore the motion part of action which is the key factor to distinguish the different human action. This paper proposes a new two-layer model of representation for action recognition by describing the video with low-level features and mid-level motion part model. Firstly, we encode the compensated flow (-flow) trajectory-based local features with Fisher Vector (FV) to retain the low-level characteristic of motion. Then, the motion parts are extracted by clustering the similar trajectories with spatiotemporal distance between trajectories. Finally the representation for action video is the concatenation of low-level descriptors encoding vector and motion part encoding vector. It is used as input to the LibSVM for action recognition. The experiment results demonstrate the improvements on J-HMDB and YouTube datasets, which obtain 67.4% and 87.6%, respectively. Xiaoqiang Li, Dan Wang, and Yin Zhang Copyright © 2017 Xiaoqiang Li et al. All rights reserved. Small Molecule Supplements Improve Cultured Megakaryocyte Polyploidization by Modulating Multiple Cell Cycle Regulators Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/2320519/ Platelets (PLTs) are produced by megakaryocytes (MKs) that completed differentiation and endomitosis. Endomitosis is an important process in which the cell replicates its DNA without cytokinesis and develops highly polyploid MK. In this study, to gain a better PLTs production, four small molecules (Rho-Rock inhibitor (RRI), nicotinamide (NIC), Src inhibitor (SI), and Aurora B inhibitor (ABI)) and their combinations were surveyed as MK culture supplements for promoting polyploidization. Three leukemia cell lines as well as primary mononuclear cells were chosen in the function and mechanism studies of the small molecules. In an optimal culture method, cells were treated with different small molecules and their combinations. The impact of the small molecules on megakaryocytic surface marker expression, polyploidy, proliferation, and apoptosis was examined for the best MK polyploidization supplement. The elaborate analysis confirmed that the combination of SI and RRI together with our MK induction system might result in efficient ploidy promotion. Our experiments demonstrated that, besides direct downregulation on the expression of cytoskeleton protein actin, SI and RRI could significantly enhance the level of cyclins through the suppression of p53 and p21. The verified small molecule combination might be further used in the in vitro PLT manufacture and clinical applications. Xiaojing Zou, Mingyi Qu, Fang Fang, Zeng Fan, Lin Chen, Wen Yue, Xiaoyan Xie, and Xuetao Pei Copyright © 2017 Xiaojing Zou et al. All rights reserved. Increased Oxidative Damage of RNA in Early-Stage Nephropathy in db/db Mice Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/2353729/ To evaluate RNA oxidation in the early stage of diabetic nephropathy, we applied an accurate method based on isotope dilution high-performance liquid chromatography-triple quadruple mass spectrometry to analyze the oxidatively generated guanine nucleosides in renal tissue and urine from db/db mice of different ages. We further investigated the relationship between these oxidative stress markers, microalbumin excretion, and histological changes. We found that the levels of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine (8-oxoGuo) and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodGuo) were increased in the urine and renal tissue of db/db mice and db/db mice with early symptoms of diabetic nephropathy suffered from more extensive oxidative damage than lean littermate control db/m mice. Importantly, in contrast to the findings in db/m mice, the 8-oxoGuo levels in the urine and renal tissue of db/db mice were higher than those of 8-oxodGuo at four weeks. These results indicate that RNA oxidation is more apparent than DNA oxidation in the early stage of diabetic nephropathy. RNA oxidation may provide new insight into the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy, and urinary 8-oxoGuo may represent a novel, noninvasive, and easily detected biomarker of diabetic kidney diseases if further study could clarify its source and confirm these results in a large population study. Wan-Xia Wang, Shun-Bin Luo, Ping Jiang, Meng-Ming Xia, Ai-lian Hei, Yong-Hui Mao, Chuan-Bao Li, Guo-Xin Hu, and Jian-Ping Cai Copyright © 2017 Wan-Xia Wang et al. All rights reserved. Bifurcations and Dynamics of the Rb-E2F Pathway Involving miR449 Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/complexity/2017/1409865/ We focused on the gene regulative network involving Rb-E2F pathway and microRNAs (miR449) and studied the influence of time delay on the dynamical behaviors of Rb-E2F pathway by using Hopf bifurcation theory. It is shown that under certain assumptions the steady state of the delay model is asymptotically stable for all delay values; there is a critical value under another set of conditions; the steady state is stable when the time delay is less than the critical value, while the steady state is changed to be unstable when the time delay is greater than the critical value. Thus, Hopf bifurcation appears at the steady state when the delay passes through the critical value. Numerical simulations were presented to illustrate the theoretical results. Lingling Li and Jianwei Shen Copyright © 2017 Lingling Li and Jianwei Shen. All rights reserved. Acute Strenuous Exercise Induces an Imbalance on Histone H4 Acetylation/Histone Deacetylase 2 and Increases the Proinflammatory Profile of PBMC of Obese Individuals Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/1530230/ This study evaluated the response of global histone H4 acetylation (H4ac), histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) activity, as well as the production of proinflammatory cytokines and monocyte phenotypes of lean and obese males after exercise. Ten lean and ten obese sedentary men were submitted to one session of strenuous exercise, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were stimulated in vitro with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Global H4ac levels, HDAC2 activity in PBMC, and IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α production were analyzed. Monocyte phenotype was determined in accordance with the expression of CD14 and CD16. At rest, obese individuals presented higher frequency of proinflammatory CD14+CD16+ monocytes. LPS induced a significant augment in global H4ac and in the production of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α mainly in obese individuals. After exercise, the increased production of IL-8 and TNF-α and peripheral frequency of CD14+CD16+ were observed in both groups. In addition, exercise also induced a significant hyperacetylation of histone H4 and decreased HDAC2 activity in both nonstimulated and LPS-stimulated PBMC of obese individuals. Our data indicate that the obesity impacts on H4ac levels and that strenuous exercise leads to an enhanced chronic low-grade inflammation profile in obesity via an imbalance on H4ac/HDAC2. Gilson P. Dorneles, Maria Carolina R. Boeira, Lucas L. Schipper, Ivy R. V. Silva, Viviane R. Elsner, Pedro Dal Lago, Alessandra Peres, and Pedro R. T. Romão Copyright © 2017 Gilson P. Dorneles et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Glycine, Pyruvate, and Resveratrol on the Regeneration Process of Postischemic Intestinal Mucosa Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/1072969/ Background. Intestinal ischemia is often caused by a malperfusion of the upper mesenteric artery. Since the intestinal mucosa is one of the most rapidly proliferating organs in human body, this tissue can partly regenerate itself after the onset of ischemia and reperfusion (I/R). Therefore, we investigated whether glycine, sodium pyruvate, and resveratrol can either support or potentially harm regeneration when applied therapeutically after reperfusion injury. Methods. I/R of the small intestine was initiated by occluding and reopening the upper mesenteric artery in rats. After 60 min of ischemia and 300 min of reperfusion, glycine, sodium pyruvate, or resveratrol was administered intravenously. Small intestine regeneration was analyzed regarding tissue damage, activity of saccharase, and Ki-67 positive cells. Additionally, systemic parameters and metabolic ones were obtained at selected periods. Results. Resveratrol failed in improving the outcome after I/R, while glycine showed a partial beneficial effect. Sodium pyruvate ameliorated metabolic acidosis, diminished histopathologic tissue injury, and increased cell proliferation in the small intestine. Conclusion. While glycine could improve in part regeneration but not proliferation, sodium pyruvate seems to be a possible therapeutic agent to facilitate proliferation and to support mucosal regeneration after I/R injury to the small intestine. Lisa Brencher, Frank Petrat, Katrin Stych, Tim Hamburger, and Michael Kirsch Copyright © 2017 Lisa Brencher et al. All rights reserved. Improved Finite Time in Eliminating Disagreement of Opinion Dynamics via Noise Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amp/2017/1098169/ We aim to refine the estimation of the finite stopping time when the disagreement in an opinion group is eliminated by a simple but novel noise intervened strategy. It has been proved that, by using this noise intervened control strategy, the divisive opinions would get synchronized in finite time. Moreover, the finite stopping time when resolving the disagreement has been clarified. The estimation of the finite stopping time will effectively reveal which factors and how they determine the consequence of intervention. However, the upper bound for the estimation of the integrable stopping time when noise is oriented has been quite conservative. In this paper, we investigate the finite stopping time of eliminating the disagreement by completely oriented noise and a much more precise formula for the estimation of the finite stopping time is obtained finally via direct calculation. Yong Ding and Lipo Mo Copyright © 2017 Yong Ding and Lipo Mo. All rights reserved. Decoding of Human Movements Based on Deep Brain Local Field Potentials Using Ensemble Neural Networks Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cin/2017/5151895/ Decoding neural activities related to voluntary and involuntary movements is fundamental to understanding human brain motor circuits and neuromotor disorders and can lead to the development of neuromotor prosthetic devices for neurorehabilitation. This study explores using recorded deep brain local field potentials (LFPs) for robust movement decoding of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Dystonia patients. The LFP data from voluntary movement activities such as left and right hand index finger clicking were recorded from patients who underwent surgeries for implantation of deep brain stimulation electrodes. Movement-related LFP signal features were extracted by computing instantaneous power related to motor response in different neural frequency bands. An innovative neural network ensemble classifier has been proposed and developed for accurate prediction of finger movement and its forthcoming laterality. The ensemble classifier contains three base neural network classifiers, namely, feedforward, radial basis, and probabilistic neural networks. The majority voting rule is used to fuse the decisions of the three base classifiers to generate the final decision of the ensemble classifier. The overall decoding performance reaches a level of agreement (kappa value) at about for decoding movement from the resting state and about for decoding left and right visually cued movements. Mohammad S. Islam, Khondaker A. Mamun, and Hai Deng Copyright © 2017 Mohammad S. Islam et al. All rights reserved. Developing a Tile-Based Rendering Method to Improve Rendering Speed of 3D Geospatial Data with HTML5 and WebGL Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2017/9781307/ A dedicated plug-in has been installed to visualize three-dimensional (3D) city modeling spatial data in web-based applications. However, plug-in methods are gradually becoming obsolete, owing to their limited performance with respect to installation errors, unsupported cross-browsers, and security vulnerability. Particularly, in 2015, the NPAPI service was terminated in most existing web browsers except Internet Explorer. To overcome these problems, the HTML5/WebGL (next-generation web standard, confirmed in October 2014) technology emerged. In particular, WebGL is able to display 3D spatial data without plug-ins in browsers. In this study, we attempted to identify the requirements and limitations of displaying 3D city modeling spatial data using HTML5/WebGL, and we propose alternative ways based on the bin-packing algorithm that aggregates individual 3D city modeling data including buildings in tile units. The proposed method reduces the operational complexity and the number and volume of transmissions required for rendering processing to improve the speed of 3D data rendering. The proposed method was validated on real data for evaluating its effectiveness in 3D visualization of city modeling data in web-based applications. Seokchan Kang and Jiyeong Lee Copyright © 2017 Seokchan Kang and Jiyeong Lee. All rights reserved. Experimental Study of Vibrational Acceleration Spread and Comparison Using Three Citrus Canopy Shaker Shaking Tines Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2017/9827926/ The goal of this article is to experimentally study how the vibrational acceleration spreads along the branch shaken by PVC tine, steel tine, and nylon tine for citrus canopy shaking harvesting and to compare the difference. PVC tine and steel tine have potential to be used as shaking rod for citrus canopy shaking harvesting. Nylon tine is a commonly used shaking rod. A tractor-mounted canopy shaker was developed to do the trial. The shaking frequency was set at 2.5 and 5 Hz. Experimental results showed that the vibrational acceleration at the shaking spot is not the highest. Spreading from shaking spot to the stem, it increases evidently. When spreading from stems of the outside subbranch to stems of the nearest inside subbranch, its average decrease percentage is 42%. The overall vibrational acceleration of shaking at 5 Hz is 1.85 times as high as shaking at 2.5 Hz. The overall vibrational acceleration exerted by straight PVC tine and steel tine is 1.77 and 1.97 times as high as that exerted by straight nylon tine, respectively. It is indicated that replacing nylon tine with steel tine or PVC tine helps remove the fruits inside the canopy. Replacing with steel tine is more effective than with PVC tine. Tian-Hu Liu, Reza Ehsani, Arash Toudeshki, Xiang-Jun Zou, and Hong-Jun Wang Copyright © 2017 Tian-Hu Liu et al. All rights reserved. Mixed Stimulus-Induced Mode Selection in Neural Activity Driven by High and Low Frequency Current under Electromagnetic Radiation Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/complexity/2017/7628537/ The electrical activities of neurons are dependent on the complex electrophysiological condition in neuronal system, the three-variable Hindmarsh-Rose (HR) neuron model is improved to describe the dynamical behaviors of neuronal activities with electromagnetic induction being considered, and the mode transition of electrical activities in neuron is detected when external electromagnetic radiation is imposed on the neuron. In this paper, different types of electrical stimulus impended with a high-low frequency current are imposed on new HR neuron model, and mixed stimulus-induced mode selection in neural activity is discussed in detail. It is found that mode selection of electrical activities stimulated by high-low frequency current, which also changes the excitability of neuron, can be triggered owing to adding the Gaussian white noise. Meanwhile, the mode selection of the neuron electrical activity is much dependent on the amplitude of the high frequency current under the same noise intensity, and the high frequency response is selected preferentially by applying appropriate parameters and noise intensity. Our results provide insights into the transmission of complex signals in nerve system, which is valuable in engineering prospective applications such as information encoding. Lulu Lu, Ya Jia, Wangheng Liu, and Lijian Yang Copyright © 2017 Lulu Lu et al. All rights reserved. Switch to Aflibercept in the Treatment of Neovascular AMD: Long-Term Results Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2017/6835782/ Purpose. To report the long-term clinical outcomes after switching from intravitreal bevacizumab or ranibizumab to aflibercept therapy in eyes with AMD. Methods. Retrospective analysis of changes in BCVA, SD-OCT image, and frequency of injections after 1, 2, and 3 years of follow-up. Results. 164 eyes were analyzed, 101 eyes switched from bevacizumab (group 1) and 63 from ranibizumab (group 2). One year after the switch, there was an overall nonsignificant mean decrease of 2 ETDRS letters in BCVA. Three years after, there was an overall mean decrease of 7 ETDRS letters, which was statistically significant. A significant improvement in the mean CRT was found at 1, 2, and 3 years. There was a significant decrease in the mean number of injections per year (7.8 to 6.5, ) between the first and third year. Conclusion. Aflibercept can be useful in the management of refractory neovascular AMD, with a good morphological response. However, in the long-term, BCVA stabilization was not achieved. Pedro Neves Cardoso, Ana Fernanda Pinheiro, Jorge Meira, Ana Catarina Pedrosa, Manuel S. Falcão, João Pinheiro-Costa, Fernando Falcão-Reis, and Ângela M. Carneiro Copyright © 2017 Pedro Neves Cardoso et al. All rights reserved. Davallia mariesii Moore Improves FcεRI-Mediated Allergic Responses in the Rat Basophilic Leukemia Mast Cell Line RBL-2H3 and Passive Cutaneous Anaphylaxis in Mice Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/8701650/ Davallia mariesii Moore (Drynaria rhizome extract (DRE)) is widely known for its efficacy in treating inflammation, arteriosclerosis, and bone injuries. This study evaluated whether treatment with DRE inhibited FcɛRI-mediated allergic responses in the RBL-2H3 mast cells and investigated the early- and late-phase mechanisms by which DRE exerts its antiallergic effects. IgE anti-DNP/DNP-HSA-sensitized RBL-2H3 mast cells were tested for cytotoxicity to DRE, followed by the assessment of β-hexosaminidase release. We measured the amounts of inflammatory mediators (e.g., histamine, PGD2, TNF-α, IL-4, and IL-6) and examined the expression of genes involved in arachidonate and FcεRI signaling pathways. In addition, we confirmed the antiallergic effects of DRE on passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) in mice. DRE inhibited RBL-2H3 mast cell degranulation and production of allergic mediators in them. In early allergic responses, DRE reduced expression of FcεRI signaling-related genes (e.g., Syk, Lyn, and Fyn) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation in mast cells. In late allergic responses, DRE reduced PGD2 release and COX-2 expression and cPLA2 phosphorylation in FcɛRI-mediated mast cells. Lastly, 250–500 mg/kg DRE significantly attenuated the IgE-induced PCA reaction in mice. These findings provide novel information on the molecular mechanisms underlying the antiallergic effects of DRE in FcɛRI-mediated allergic responses. Hyun Ju Do, Tae Woo Oh, Ju Hye Yang, Kwang Il Park, and Jin Yeul Ma Copyright © 2017 Hyun Ju Do et al. All rights reserved. Design and Evaluation of a Mathematical Optimization Model for Traffic Signal Plan Transition Based on Social Cost Function Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jat/2017/1943846/ Signal plan transition is the process of changing from one timing plan to another. It begins when the first intersection starts adjusting signal timing plans and ends when the last intersection completes adjusting signal timing plans. The transition between signal timing plans is required because traffic patterns change during the day. Therefore, it is necessary to modify signal timing parameters offset, phase split, and cycle length for different expectations of traffic volume. This paper presents an alternative and new mathematical model to enhance the performance of traffic signals coordination at intersections during the transition phase. This model is oriented to describe the transition regarding coordination parameters in all intersections of an arterial road for minimizing the social cost during the transition phase expressed in function of costs due to delays, fuel consumption, and air emissions. An ant colony algorithm was designed, coded, and simulated to find the optimal transition parameters using available data. The model was evaluated based on its ability to minimize social costs during the transition period. Results showed that the proposed method performs better than traditional ones. Rita Peñabaena-Niebles, Victor Cantillo, José Luis Moura, and Angel Ibeas Copyright © 2017 Rita Peñabaena-Niebles et al. All rights reserved. Metals in Fishes from Yongshu Island, Southern South China Sea: Human Health Risk Assessment Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jt/2017/2458293/ In order to assess the bioaccumulation of metals associated with gender, tissues, and their potential ecological risk, four species of fish were collected from the Yongshu Island in the Southern South China Sea. Metals and stable Pb isotopes in their tissues (muscle, gill, liver, intestine, and ovary) were determined. The concentrations of metals (mg/kg, dry weight) in these species were ND–21.60 (Cd), 1.21–4.87 (Cr), 0.42–22.4 (Cu), 1.01–51.8 (Mn), 0.30–3.28 (Ni), 6.04–1.29 × 103 (Zn), 14.89–1.40 × 103 (Fe), and 0.22–3.36 (Pb). In general, the liver and intestine absorbed more metals than the other tissues. Metals accumulation can be influenced by gender and feeding behavior and in fact, female fish and dietary exposure are more prone to accumulate metals. In addition, Pb isotopic ratios indicated that all species had significant biological fractionation, which may not make them good tracers for source identification. The metal concentrations of most samples were lower than the national standard values of the FAO (USA), which suggested that human consumption of these species may not cause health risks. However, since the surrounding areas are developing rapidly, the potential environmental risk of metals will intensify and should receive more attention. Zhai Wu, Ye Xu, Minggang Cai, Sha-Yen Cheng, Huorong Chen, Dongren Huang, Kai Chen, Yan Lin, Tianyao Li, Mengyang Liu, Hengxiang Deng, Minjie Ni, and Hongwei Ke Copyright © 2017 Zhai Wu et al. All rights reserved. Dynamics of Insulin Secretion from EndoC-βH1 β-Cell Pseudoislets in Response to Glucose and Other Nutrient and Nonnutrient Secretagogues Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2017/2309630/ The dynamics of insulin secretion were characterized in response to a variety of physiological and pharmacological stimulators and other compounds in perifused pseudoislets generated from cells of the EndoC-βH1 β-cell line. Perifusion of EndoC-βH1 pseudoislets with the physiological stimulus glucose (16.7 mM) induced sustained insulin secretion, which was inhibited by mannoheptulose. The adenylate cyclase activators IBMX and forskolin strongly potentiated this secretion. Glibenclamide, a Kir 6.2 potassium channel blocker, and Bay K 8644, an opener of the voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channel, also potentiated glucose-induced insulin secretion. The dynamics of insulin secretion from EndoC-βH1 pseudoislets were characterized by an insulin secretory response to glucose starting within 1-2 min and passing over without interruption into a sustained phase of insulin release for the whole stimulation period. This lack of a transient decline between the first and the second phases of insulin release is an indication for a quick supply of insulin secretory granules from the reserve pool to the docking sites below the plasma membrane. Thereby, new secretory granules are directly made available for sustained exocytosis of insulin in EndoC-βH1 β-cells. The study shows that EndoC-βH1 β-cell pseudoislets are well suited for kinetic analyses of insulin secretion. Hiroki Teraoku and Sigurd Lenzen Copyright © 2017 Hiroki Teraoku and Sigurd Lenzen. All rights reserved. Use of OCT Angiography in Choroidal Melanocytic Tumors Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2017/1573154/ Objective. To describe OCTA findings in choroidal melanocytic tumors, especially the microcirculation patterns, and to try to correlate with the histopathological studies. Methods. Cross-sectional, comparative, observational study. 70 cases, including 55 choroidal nevi and 15 choroidal melanomas. Three different observers evaluated specific variables in the choriocapillaris layer on AOCT images and searched for images which described histopathologic vascular patterns, and also, a general description of the images was made. Complementary multi-imaging studies included EDI SD-OCT, color and autofluorescence fundus imaging, Doppler ultrasound, and indocyanine/fluorescein angiography. Main Results. Good quality studies were acquired in 80% of the cases, with kappa indexes 0.768–0.958. Nevus OCTA images were described mainly as hyperreflective (72.7%), whereas choroidal melanoma as iso/hyporeflective (62.5%). Avascular areas were found in 50.96% and in 33.3% of choroidal nevus and choroidal melanomas, respectively. A neovascular membrane was found only in cases of choroidal nevus (16.3%). Only in cases of choroidal melanomas, we found vascular loops (6.6%) or vascular networks (6.6%). Conclusion. OCTA is a promising new technology that can be used to study in vivo the differential characteristics of microcirculations between posterior segment melanocytic lesions. Today, larger studies are needed to corroborate these findings and to correlate it with malignancy. Juan J. Toledo, Mónica Asencio-Duran, Jesús R. García-Martinez, and Alejandro López-Gaona Copyright © 2017 Juan J. Toledo et al. All rights reserved. Combined Treatment with an Anticoagulant and a Vasodilator Prevents Steroid-Associated Osteonecrosis of Rabbit Femoral Heads by Improving Hypercoagulability Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/1624074/ Steroid-associated osteonecrosis of the femoral head remains a challenging problem in orthopedics worldwide. One pathomechanism is ischemia of the femoral head, as a result of thrombus formation and vasoconstriction. The present study investigates the effects of combination prevention with enoxaparin and EGb 761 on steroid-associated ONFH in rabbits. Rabbits were randomly divided into 5 groups (control group, model group, enoxaparin group, ginkgo group, and combination group). With the exception of the control group, the groups of rabbits were modeled with lipopolysaccharide and methylprednisolone acetate. Starting with modeling, the enoxaparin group and ginkgo group were injected with 1 μg/kg/day enoxaparin subcutaneously and orally given 40 mg/kg/day EGb 761 for 4 weeks, respectively; the combination group received both treatments. After modeling for 6 weeks, the hematology data indicated prolonged PT and APTT in the three prevention groups. The micro-CT examination revealed higher bone density and better structure; histomorphometry revealed significant pathological changes. Immunohistochemistry revealed higher expression of BMP-2 and VEGF, thus revealing better osteogenesis and angiogenesis activities. Among the three prevention groups, the combination group had the most efficient results. In conclusion, the combined prevention with an anticoagulant and a vasodilator has the potential to decrease the incidence of steroid-associated ONFH in rabbits. Fang Cao, Ge Liu, Wei Wang, Benjie Wang, Xiaowei Wei, Faqiang Lu, Fan Yang, Kai Kang, Yongxuan Wang, Jiahui Yang, Kairong Qin, and Dewei Zhao Copyright © 2017 Fang Cao et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Insulin Receptor Isoforms in Diabetes and Its Metabolic and Vascular Complications Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2017/1403206/ The insulin receptor (IR) presents by alternative splicing two isoforms: IRA and IRB. The differential physiological and pathological role of both isoforms is not completely known, and it is determinant the different binding affinity for insulin-like growth factor. IRB is more abundant in adult tissues and it exerts mainly the metabolic actions of insulin, whereas IRA is mainly expressed in fetal and prenatal period and exerts mitogenic actions. However, the change in the expression profile of both IR isoforms and its dysregulation are associated with the development of different pathologies, such as cancer, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis. In some of them, there is a significant increase of IRA/IRB ratio conferring a proliferative and migratory advantage to different cell types and favouring IGF-II actions with a sustained detriment in the metabolic effects of insulin. This review discussed specifically the role of IR isoforms as well as IGF-IR in diabetes and its associated complications as obesity and atherosclerosis. Future research with new IR modulators might be considered as possible targets to improve the treatment of diabetes and its associated complications. O. Escribano, N. Beneit, C. Rubio-Longás, A. R. López-Pastor, and A. Gómez-Hernández Copyright © 2017 O. Escribano et al. All rights reserved. Multimodal Imaging Analysis in a Case with Congenital Fovea-Involving Retinal Macrovessel and Excellent Visual Acuity Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criopm/2017/4057615/ Purpose. Congenital retinal macrovessels (CRM) represent rare aberrant vasculature of the retinal vessels that can supply or drain the macula. In this report, the optical coherence tomography angiography features of a congenital retinal macrovessel are discussed. Methods. The history and examination findings are presented alongside swept-source OCT angiography with corresponding B scan and en face OCT imaging. Patients. The case is a 12-year-old female patient with excellent best-corrected visual acuity in both eyes. Results. Swept-source OCT angiography demonstrated considerable loss of the foveal avascular zone at the levels of the superficial and deep capillary plexus. Discussion. In this case there was no detrimental effect on vision despite anatomical loss of the foveal avascular zone. Vishal Shah, M. Ashwin Reddy, and Vasilios P. Papastefanou Copyright © 2017 Vishal Shah et al. All rights reserved. Genesis of the Zhijiadi Ag-Pb-Zn Deposit, Central North China Craton: Constraints from Fluid Inclusions and Stable Isotope Data Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/geofluids/2017/4153618/ The Zhijiadi Ag-Pb-Zn deposit is located in the central North China Craton. Fluid inclusions (FIs) studies indicate three types of FIs, including aqueous, aqueous-carbonic, and daughter mineral-bearing multiphase inclusions. The daughter minerals in FIs are mainly composed of marcasite, chalcopyrite, calcite, and dolomite. Microthermometric data show that the homogenization temperature and salinity of FIs decrease gradually from early to late stages. Homogenization temperatures from early to main to late stages span from 244 to 334°C, from 164 to 298°C, and from 111 to 174°C, respectively, while their salinities are 4.0–9.9 wt.% NaCl equiv., 0.5–12.7 wt.% NaCl equiv., and 0.2–8.8 wt.% NaCl equiv., respectively. Trapping pressures drop from 203–299 MPa (the early stage) to 32–158 MPa (the main stage). The dropping of pressure and temperature and mixing and/or dilution of ore-forming fluids result in the formation of ore deposit. Combined with C-O-S-Pb isotopic compositions, the initial ore-forming fluids and materials were likely derived from a magmatic system. As a whole, we proposed that this deposit belongs to medium-low temperature hydrothermal deposit related to volcanic and subvolcanic magmatism strictly controlled by the fault zones. Tao Liu, Suo-Fei Xiong, Shao-Yong Jiang, Hua-Liang Li, Qi-Zhi Chen, and Hai Jiang Copyright © 2017 Tao Liu et al. All rights reserved. The Tenability of Vibration Parameters of a Sandwich Beam Featuring Controllable Core: Experimental Investigation Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aav/2017/5674032/ This study presents experimental results of the vibration parameters of a sandwich beam featuring magnetorheological (MR) fluid as core material. For simplicity, the sandwich beam is considered as a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) system and the governing equation is derived in time and frequency domains. Then, from the governing equation, the vibration parameters which can be controllable by external stimuli are defined or obtained. These are the field-dependent natural frequency, damping factor, loss factor, and quality factor of the sandwich beam. Subsequently, a sandwich beam incorporating with controllable MR fluid core is fabricated and tested to evaluate the vibration parameters. MR fluid is prepared using the engine oil, iron particles, and grease as an additive and it is filled into the void zone (core) of the sandwich beam. The fabricated beam is then tested at four different conditions and the vibration parameters are numerically identified at each test. It is shown that both the natural frequency and damping property can be tuned by controlling the intensity of the magnetic field applied to MR fluid domain. Shreedhar Kolekar, Krishna Venkatesh, Jeong-Seok Oh, and Seung-Bok Choi Copyright © 2017 Shreedhar Kolekar et al. All rights reserved. New Perspectives for Computer-Aided Discrimination of Parkinson’s Disease and Essential Tremor Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/complexity/2017/4327175/ Pathological tremor is a common but highly complex movement disorder, affecting ~5% of population older than 65 years. Different methodologies have been proposed for its quantification. Nevertheless, the discrimination between Parkinson’s disease tremor and essential tremor remains a daunting clinical challenge, greatly impacting patient treatment and basic research. Here, we propose and compare several movement-based and electromyography-based tremor quantification metrics. For the latter, we identified individual motor unit discharge patterns from high-density surface electromyograms and characterized the neural drive to a single muscle and how it relates to other affected muscles in 27 Parkinson’s disease and 27 essential tremor patients. We also computed several metrics from the literature. The most discriminative metrics were the symmetry of the neural drive to muscles, motor unit synchronization, and the mean log power of the tremor harmonics in movement recordings. Noteworthily, the first two most discriminative metrics were proposed in this study. We then used decision tree modelling to find the most discriminative combinations of individual metrics, which increased the accuracy of tremor type discrimination to 94%. In summary, the proposed neural drive-based metrics were the most accurate at discriminating and characterizing the two most common pathological tremor types. P. Povalej Bržan, J. A. Gallego, J. P. Romero, V. Glaser, E. Rocon, J. Benito-León, F. Bermejo-Pareja, I. J. Posada, and A. Holobar Copyright © 2017 P. Povalej Bržan et al. All rights reserved. Associations between 18F-FDG-PET, DWI, and DCE Parameters in Patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Depend on Tumor Grading Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmi/2017/5369625/ Our purpose was to analyze associations between positron emission tomography (PET), diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) imaging in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The study involved 34 patients (9 women, 25 men, mean age: years). In all patients a simultaneous 18F-FDG-PET/MR was performed. DWI was obtained by using of an axial EPI sequence. Minimal ADC values (), mean ADC values (), and maximal ADC values () were estimated. DCE MRI was performed by using dynamic T1w DCE sequence. The following parameters were estimated: ,, and . Spearman’s correlation coefficient was used to analyze associations between investigated parameters. In overall sample, correlated significantly with and , correlated with , and correlated with and . tended to correlate slightly with . In G1/2 tumors, only correlated well with and . In G3 tumors, correlated well with and . showed significant correlations with and . correlated with . was higher in cancers with N2/3 stages. Tumor metabolism, water diffusion, and tumor perfusion have complex relationships in HNSCC. Furthermore, these associations depend on tumor grading. may predict lymphonodal metastasizing. Leonard Leifels, Sandra Purz, Patrick Stumpp, Stefan Schob, Hans Jonas Meyer, Thomas Kahn, Osama Sabri, and Alexey Surov Copyright © 2017 Leonard Leifels et al. All rights reserved. A New Augmented Lagrangian Method for Equality Constrained Optimization with Simple Unconstrained Subproblem Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2017/6406514/ We propose a new method for equality constrained optimization based on augmented Lagrangian method. We construct an unconstrained subproblem by adding an adaptive quadratic term to the quadratic model of augmented Lagrangian function. In each iteration, we solve this unconstrained subproblem to obtain the trial step. The main feature of this work is that the subproblem can be more easily solved. Numerical results show that this method is effective. Hao Zhang and Qin Ni Copyright © 2017 Hao Zhang and Qin Ni. All rights reserved. Influence of Digestion Procedure and Residual Carbon on Manganese, Copper, and Zinc Determination in Herbal Matrices by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jamc/2017/6947376/ Mineralization to the complete oxidation of sample carbon component does not always assure the best analyte recovery. Particular attention should be paid to the presence of silicon in the investigated plant sample and especially in the certified reference material for which Si content is scarcely given by the providers. During mineralization without addition of the hydrofluoric acid, the residual carbon may block silica surfaces and increase availability of an analyte for its spectral determination in the solution. This issue is of particular relevance because standard protocols for digestion of plant matrices often do not support hydrofluoric acid addition. Several procedures recommended for decomposition of herbal plants were applied for the respective certified reference material and examined in detail. Manganese, copper, and zinc contents were analyzed in all samples by the flame atomic absorption spectrometry. Additionally, the residual carbon was determined in all mineralizates. Silicon content was analyzed by the X-ray fluorescence method. The best recoveries were observed for samples characterized by relatively high residual carbon. Dorota Adamczyk-Szabela, Piotr Anielak, and Wojciech M. Wolf Copyright © 2017 Dorota Adamczyk-Szabela et al. All rights reserved. The Hazard Content of Cadmium, Lead, and Other Trace Elements in Some Medicinal Herbs and Their Water Infusions Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijac/2017/6971916/ 54 samples belonging to 23 herbal species (15 individuals and 8 mixtures) were analyzed for their contents of heavy metals in the raw materials and in their water infusions. Trace and toxic elements in these samples were determined by using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) following acid digestion. The order of decreasing mean metal concentrations in raw materials (mg/kg) was found to be as follows: Fe (440) > Mn (162) > Zn (45.8) > Cu (12) > Pb (10.4) > Ni (5.4) > Cr (2.9) > Co (0.91) > Cd (0.5). It was found that 21% of the analyzed samples contain both Cd and Pb above their permissible limits. However, the infusions produced from these plants were found to contain fewer amounts of metals than the raw materials. Studied metals had the following mass transfer percentages to the infusion solutions (Fe: 3.5%, Cd: 14%, Cr: 15%, Pb: 20%, Co: 29%, Ni: 31%, Zn: 36%, Cu: 48%, and Mn: 53%). The estimated daily intake calculated for the toxic elements Pb and Cd through the consumption of herbal infusions was far below the tolerable daily intake set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Fuad A. Ababneh Copyright © 2017 Fuad A. Ababneh. All rights reserved. Mechanical Properties of Epoxy and Its Carbon Fiber Composites Modified by Nanoparticles Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2017/8146248/ Compressive properties are commonly weak parts in structural application of fiber composites. Matrix modification may provide an effective way to improve compressive performance of the composites. In this work, the compressive property of epoxies (usually as matrices of fiber composites) modified by different types of nanoparticles was firstly investigated for the following study on the compressive property of carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites. Carbon fiber/epoxy composites were fabricated by vacuum assisted resin infusion molding (VARIM) technique using stitched unidirectional carbon fabrics, with the matrices modified with nanosilica, halloysite, and liquid rubber. Testing results showed that the effect of different particle contents on the compressive property of fiber/epoxy composites was more obvious than that in epoxies. Both the compressive and flexural results showed that rigid nanoparticles (nanosilica and halloysite) have evident strengthening effects on the compression and flexural responses of the carbon fiber composite laminates fabricated from fabrics. Fang Liu, Shiqiang Deng, and Jianing Zhang Copyright © 2017 Fang Liu et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Varnish on Bearing Performance and Vibration of Rotating Machinery Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijrm/2017/9131275/ Varnish is a kind of fouling adhered on bearing inner face near the load zone. The model to analyze its influence on bearing performance and rotor vibration was set up. Pressure and temperature distribution were solved on the basis of the Reynolds equation by the iteration method simultaneously. It is found that bearing performance is changed by the step flow effect at the leading edge of the varnish. Its influence is more obvious when the rotating speed is low. Bearing varnish results in a large decrease of minimum clearance and an increase in the oil film temperature and pressure. Loading capacity of bearing is also decreased. It is harmful to the bearing. With the varnish, the minimum oil film thickness decreases. This leads to an increase of bearing stiffness and damping coefficients. Its influence is larger in the horizontal direction than that in the vertical direction. The trend of unbalance response to rotating speed is similar. There is little influence of the varnish on the modal frequency. However, system stability is improved due to the increased bearing damping coefficients. Chu Zhang, Jian-Gang Yang, Shi Liu, Qing-Shui Gao, and Yi Yang Copyright © 2017 Chu Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Biochemical and Genetical Responses of Phoenix dactylifera L. to Cadmium Stress Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/9504057/ The cadmium (Cd), a heavy metal, causes toxicity, which leads to hampering the growth and development of the plant. The molecular and biochemical approaches were used for the investigation of antioxidant system response and genotoxicity in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cv. Sagai in pot experiment having Cd. The root length was more affected than the shoot length as more accumulation of Cd occurs in roots. Fresh weights of root and shoot were reduced significantly in treated plants as compared to the control. The proline content was increased at low concentration of Cd (300 µM-CdCl2) than the medium and high concentrations (600 and 900 µM-CdCl2), respectively. The thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) content was increased at 600 and 900 µM-CdCl2 compared to the plants treated at 300 µM-CdCl2 and controls. Antioxidant enzymatic assay was performed under Cd stress and compared with control plants. The catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were found to be high in plants treated with CdCl2 at 300 µM compared to at 600 and 900 µM-CdCl2, respectively. The genotoxicity of Cd was assessed using the inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) marker where all treated and control plants were clustered into three main groups based on genetic similarity. P. dactylifera plants were found to be more divergent at high Cd stress as compared to control and plants treated at low concentration of Cd. Fahad Al-Qurainy, Salim Khan, Mohamed Tarroum, Mohammad Nadeem, Saleh Alansi, and Aref Alshameri Copyright © 2017 Fahad Al-Qurainy et al. All rights reserved. Semianalytical Solution and Parameters Sensitivity Analysis of Shallow Shield Tunneling-Induced Ground Settlement Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2017/3748658/ The influence of boundary soil properties on tunneling-induced ground settlement is generally not considered in current analytic solutions, and the hypothesis of equal initial stress in vertical and horizontal makes the application of the above solutions limited. Based on the homogeneous half-plane hypothesis, by defining the boundary condition according to the ground loss pattern in shallow tunnel, and with the use of Mohr-Coulomb plastic yielding criteria and classic Lame and Kiersch elastic equations by separating the nonuniform stress field to uniform and single-direction stress field, a semiempirical solution for ground settlement induced by single shallow circular tunnel is presented and sensitivity to the ground parameters is analyzed. The methods of settlement control are offered by influence factors analysis of semiempirical solution. A case study in Beijing Metro tunnel shows that the semiempirical solution agrees well with the in situ measured results. Jifeng Liu and Huizhi Zhang Copyright © 2017 Jifeng Liu and Huizhi Zhang. All rights reserved. A Gain-Scheduling PI Control Based on Neural Networks Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/complexity/2017/9241254/ This paper presents a gain-scheduling design technique that relies upon neural models to approximate plant behaviour. The controller design is based on generic model control (GMC) formalisms and linearization of the neural model of the process. As a result, a PI controller action is obtained, where the gain depends on the state of the system and is adapted instantaneously on-line. The algorithm is tested on a nonisothermal continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR), considering both single-input single-output (SISO) and multi-input multi-output (MIMO) control problems. Simulation results show that the proposed controller provides satisfactory performance during set-point changes and disturbance rejection. Stefania Tronci and Roberto Baratti Copyright © 2017 Stefania Tronci and Roberto Baratti. All rights reserved. Regulation of Leukocyte Recruitment to the Spleen and Peritoneal Cavity during Pristane-Induced Inflammation Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2017/9891348/ Chronic inflammation is associated with an increased number of leukocytes in the spleen, which are then redirected to the site of inflammation. However, it remains unknown how leukocyte recruitment is regulated. Herein, chronic inflammation was induced by intraperitoneal injection of pristane into mice. Leukocytes in the spleen or in the peritoneal cavity were quantified by flow cytometry. We found that the loss of IL-6 decreased macrophage recruitment to the spleen and the peritoneal cavity during pristane-induced inflammation. The loss of TNFα delayed the recruitment of neutrophils and macrophages to the spleen and inhibited the recruitment of neutrophils, macrophages, B cells, and T cells. The recruitment of neutrophils and macrophages into the spleen or peritoneal cavity was largely inhibited in the absence of LTα. The loss of TNFα receptor 1/2 resulted in reduced recruitment of neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells into the spleen, but only neutrophil recruitment was inhibited in the peritoneal cavity. Similarly, a lack of B cells significantly impeded the recruitment of neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells to the spleen. However, only macrophage recruitment was inhibited in the absence of T cells in the spleen. These data provide insight into the development of chronic inflammation induced by noninfectious substances. Yu Li, Junping Wu, Long Xu, Qi Wu, Zhen Wan, Li Li, Hongzhi Yu, Xue Li, Kuan Li, Qiuyang Zhang, Zhili Hou, Xin Sun, and Huaiyong Chen Copyright © 2017 Yu Li et al. All rights reserved. Influence of 1-Methylcyclopropene Treatment on Postharvest Quality of Four Scab (Venturia inaequalis)-Resistant Apple Cultivars Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:38:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfq/2017/5951041/ Scab (Venturia inaequalis) is a very serious disease for apples causing up to 80% of loss in yield but there are only a few studies on postharvest quality of scab-resistant cultivars. In this study we evaluated the effect of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) on fruit quality, total phenolic content, and antioxidant capacity after storage of four scab-resistant cultivars and compared to a standard cultivar, “Golden Delicious.” In general, ethylene production and respiration rates significantly differed among cultivars, between control and 1-MCP-treated fruits, and between storage duration regimes. 1-MCP treatment retarded fruit softening and lowered juice pH but storage effect on soluble solids and acidity depended on cultivar and 1-MCP treatment. Total phenolic content was significantly affected by storage duration and 1-MCP treatment. Antioxidant capacity of the four scab-resistant cultivars was either similar to or significantly higher than that of “Golden Delicious” with the 1-MCP-treated fruits having significantly higher antioxidant capacity than the nontreated fruits after storage. Our results clearly show that the quality of four scab-resistant cultivars was comparable to that of “Golden Delicious” and 1-MCP effect differed among cultivars. These differences need to be considered in developing storage regime to minimize quality deterioration during long-term storage. Moises Zucoloto, Kang-Mo Ku, Moo Jung Kim, and Mosbah M. Kushad Copyright © 2017 Moises Zucoloto et al. All rights reserved. Reliability-Based Multidisciplinary Design Optimization under Correlated Uncertainties Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:35:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/7360615/ Complex mechanical system is usually composed of several subsystems, which are often coupled with each other. Reliability-based multidisciplinary design optimization (RBMDO) is an efficient method to design such complex system under uncertainties. However, the present RBMDO methods ignored the correlations between uncertainties. In this paper, through combining the ellipsoidal set theory and first-order reliability method (FORM) for multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO), characteristics of correlated uncertainties are investigated. Furthermore, to improve computational efficiency, the sequential optimization and reliability assessment (SORA) strategy is utilized to obtain the optimization result. Both a mathematical example and a case study of an engineering system are provided to illustrate the feasibility and validity of the proposed method. Huanwei Xu, Xin Wang, Wei Li, Mufeng Li, Suichuan Zhang, and Cong Hu Copyright © 2017 Huanwei Xu et al. All rights reserved. Long-Term Effectiveness of a Stress Management Intervention at Work: A 9-Year Follow-Up Study Based on a Randomized Wait-List Controlled Trial in Male Managers Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:49:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/2853813/ Objective. Short- and medium-term effectiveness (up to 3 years) of individual level stress management interventions (SMI) at work were demonstrated, yet long-term effectiveness remains unexplored. We therefore aimed to address this research gap. Methods. 94 male middle managers participated in a randomized wait-list controlled trial between 2006 and 2008 and in a post-trial-follow-up survey in 2015. During the first two years, all received an 18-hour psychotherapeutic SMI intervention which was based on the Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) model: tackling stressor on mismatch between effort and reward and promoting recovery on overcommitment. Work stress (i.e., ERI indicators) was the primary outcome, and the secondary outcome was depressive symptoms. The long-term effectiveness of the SMI was examined by mixed modeling, using an external control group (). Results. Effort and reward were substantially improved with significant intervention time interaction effects () compared to the external control group; effects on overcommitment and depressive symptoms were also significant ( and , resp.), though their trajectories in the intervention group were less sustainable. Conclusions. The effectiveness of this psychotherapeutic SMI at work based on the ERI model was observed over a 9-year period, particularly on the effort-reward ratio. Jian Li, Natalie Riedel, Amira Barrech, Raphael M. Herr, Birgit Aust, Kathrin Mörtl, Johannes Siegrist, Harald Gündel, and Peter Angerer Copyright © 2017 Jian Li et al. All rights reserved. The Role of EUS-BD in the Management of Malignant Biliary Obstruction: The Indonesian Perspective Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:44:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dte/2017/4856276/ Aims. To evaluate the success rate and related factors of endoscopic ultrasound guided-biliary drainage (EUS-BD). Material and Methods. We conducted a retrospective study among 24 patients with malignant biliary obstruction who underwent EUS-BD after failed ERCP from January 2015 to December 2016 in a tertiary health center. The bilirubin levels before and after the procedure were used to define the clinical success rate, while the stent deployment was used to define the technical success rate. We placed either transluminal biliary stents or transpapillary biliary stents. Results. Among 24 patients, choledochoduodenostomy technique was conducted in 23 patients (95.8%) and hepaticogastrostomy technique in 1 patient (4.2%). Transluminal stent placement was conducted in 23 patients, while transpapillary stent placement was conducted in 1 patient. The clinical success rate was 78.2% (18) in choledochoduodenostomy route and 100% (1) in hepaticogastrostomy route. EUS-BD was 2.37 times and 2.11 times more likely to be successful in reducing the bilirubin level in patients with tumor of the head of pancreas and periampullary tumor, respectively, but not in cholangiocarcinoma. Conclusions. EUS-BD is an effective and efficient procedure to achieve biliary drainage among patients with malignant biliary obstruction after ERCP failure. Dadang Makmun, Achmad Fauzi, Murdani Abdullah, and Ari Fahrial Syam Copyright © 2017 Dadang Makmun et al. All rights reserved. A Compact Triple-Band Negative Permittivity Metamaterial for C, X-Band Applications Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:08:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijap/2017/7515264/ We report a new design of triple-band electric metamaterial resonator (TBEMR) based on integration of open delta loops within square ring resonator. This metamaterial resonator has three distinct -negative regions (ENG) over C, X frequency bands. The transmission and reflection response of the proposed subwavelength resonator is analyzed using full-wave electromagnetic solver Ansys HFSS to demonstrate the presence of electrical resonances within frequencies 4–12 GHz. Effective medium parameters permittivity and permeability are extracted from simulated complex scattering parameters to verify existence of ENG regions. The investigations are also carried out regarding dependence of resonant frequencies on design parameters of the TBEMR unit cell. The effective medium ratio for proposed subwavelength resonator is compared with various other metamaterial resonators to indicate its compact nature. Dushyant Marathe and Kishore Kulat Copyright © 2017 Dushyant Marathe and Kishore Kulat. All rights reserved. A Compact Difference Scheme for Solving Fractional Neutral Parabolic Differential Equation with Proportional Delay Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:06:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfs/2017/3679526/ A linearized compact finite difference scheme is constructed for solving the fractional neutral parabolic differential equation with proportional delay. By the energy method, the unconditional stability of the scheme is proved, and the convergence order of the scheme is proved to be . A numerical test is also conducted to validate the accuracy and efficiency of the numerical algorithm. Wei Gu, Yanli Zhou, and Xiangyu Ge Copyright © 2017 Wei Gu et al. All rights reserved. Recovery from Cogwheel Rigidity and Akinesia and Improvement in Vibration Sense and Olfactory Perception following Removal of an Epoxy-Oleic Acid DNA Adduct Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:05:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crim/2017/3512353/ The epoxy fatty acid cis-12,13-epoxy-oleic acid, which acts as a DNA adduct, may be generated during long-term storage of many seed oils, including those used in cooking, with frying oils and fried foods being a major source in the modern human diet. Removal of this epoxy fatty acid from the locus of the N-formyl peptide receptors was associated with recovery from cogwheel rigidity and akinesia as well as with improvement in vibration sense and olfactory perception. Jean A. Monro, John McLaren-Howard, Mussadiq Shah, Peter O. O. Julu, and Basant K. Puri Copyright © 2017 Jean A. Monro et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Cytotoxic Evaluation of Steroidal Copper (Cu (II)) Complexes Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:46:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bca/2017/4276919/ Using estrone and pregnenolone as starting materials, some steroidal copper complexes were synthesized by the condensation of steroidal ketones with thiosemicarbazide or diazanyl pyridine and then complexation of steroidal thiosemicarbazones or steroidal diazanyl pyridines with Cu (II). The complexes were characterized by IR, NMR, and HRMS. The synthesized compounds were screened for their cytotoxicity against HeLa, Bel-7404, and 293T cell lines in vitro. The results show that all steroidal copper (II) complexes display obvious antiproliferative activity against the tested cancer cells. The IC50 values of complexes 5 and 12 against Bel-7404 (human liver carcinoma) are 5.0 and 7.0 μM. Yanmin Huang, Erbin Kong, Junyan Zhan, Shuang Chen, Chunfang Gan, Zhiping Liu, Liping Pang, and Jianguo Cui Copyright © 2017 Yanmin Huang et al. All rights reserved. Atypical Histiocyte-Rich Sweet’s Syndrome Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:21:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cridm/2017/8150719/ Sweet’s Syndrome is a rare neutrophilic dermatosis thought to be a result of immune dysregulation occurring in the setting of drug exposure, recent infection, pregnancy, and underlying malignancy or idiopathic with specific and widely accepted diagnostic criteria established in the literature. Other organ systems can be involved with varying degrees of severity. An unusual case of Sweet’s Syndrome associated with myopericarditis, acral involvement, and atypical histological findings with predominance of histiocytes is described here. Sharon Chi, Marcia Leung, Mark Carmichael, Michael Royer, and Sunghun Cho Copyright © 2017 Sharon Chi et al. All rights reserved. Incidence and Risk Factors for Infections Requiring Hospitalization, Including Pneumocystis Pneumonia, in Japanese Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:03:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijr/2017/6730812/ Objective. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be complicated by different infections, but risk factors for these are not fully elucidated. Here, we assessed the incidence of and risk factors for infections requiring hospitalization (IRH) including pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in patients with RA. Methods. We retrospectively surveyed all RA patients treated at our hospital from 2009 to 2013, for whom data were available on demographic features, medications, comorbidities, and severity of RA. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for factors associated with the occurrence of IRH. Results. In a total of 9210 patient-years (2688 patients), there were 373 IRH (3.7/100 patient-years). Respiratory tract infections were most frequent (, and additionally 16 PCP), followed by urinary tract infections (). Significant factors for PCP included higher age (≥70 years; OR 3.5), male sex (6.6), underlying lung disease (3.0), use of corticosteroids (4.8), and use of biologics (5.4). Use of methotrexate (5.7) was positively associated with PCP but negatively with total infections (0.7). Additionally, functional disorders and higher RA disease activity were also related to total infections. Conclusions. Risk factors for infection should be taken into account when deciding treatment for the individual RA patient. Atsushi Hashimoto, Shiori Suto, Kouichiro Horie, Hidefumi Fukuda, Shinichi Nogi, Kanako Iwata, Hirotaka Tsuno, Hideki Ogihara, Misato Kawakami, Akiko Komiya, Hiroshi Furukawa, Toshihiro Matsui, and Shigeto Tohma Copyright © 2017 Atsushi Hashimoto et al. All rights reserved. Early Production of the Neutrophil-Derived Lipid Mediators LTB4 and LXA4 Is Modulated by Intracellular Infection with Leishmania major Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:55:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/2014583/ Recruitment of neutrophil granulocytes to sites of infectious tissue damage is an early event in innate immune responses. Following chemotactic signals neutrophils establish a first line of defense in a swarm-like manner. Intracellular pathogens such as Leishmania major can, however, evade neutrophil-mediated killing and survive inside neutrophils. To achieve this the parasites evolved potent evasion mechanisms. Since neutrophils are a major source of inflammation regulating lipid mediators, we hypothesized that intracellular infection modifies the release of pro- and anti-inflammatory lipid mediators like leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and lipoxin A4 (LXA4), respectively. In the present study, we demonstrated in vitro that L. major-infected primary human neutrophils release an increased amount of LTB4, whereas LXA4 liberation is reduced during the first hours of infection. To investigate whether lipid mediator modulation is a common feature in intracellular infections, we tested the impact of an infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Similarly to L. major, neutrophil infection with A. phagocytophilum led to an enhanced release of LTB4 and decreased LXA4 production. Together, our findings indicate that intracellular infections modulate the lipid mediator profile of neutrophils. This effect is likely to contribute to the survival of the pathogens in neutrophils and to the outcome of the infections. Michael Plagge and Tamás Laskay Copyright © 2017 Michael Plagge and Tamás Laskay. All rights reserved. Research and Analysis of Quasi-Zero-Stiffness Isolator with Geometric Nonlinear Damping Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:52:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2017/6719054/ This paper presents a novel quasi-zero-stiffness (QZS) isolator designed by combining a tension spring with a vertical linear spring. In order to improve the performance of low-frequency vibration isolation, geometric nonlinear damping is proposed and applied to a quasi-zero-stiffness (QZS) vibration isolator. Through the study of static characteristics first, the relationship between force displacement and stiffness displacement of the vibration isolation mechanism is established; it is concluded that the parameters of the mechanism have the characteristics of quasi-zero stiffness at the equilibrium position. The solutions of the QZS system are obtained based on the harmonic balance method (HBM). Then, the force transmissibility of the QZS vibration isolator is analyzed. And the results indicate that increasing the nonlinear damping can effectively suppress the transmissibility compared with the nonlinear damping system. Finally, this system is innovative for low-frequency vibration isolation of rehabilitation robots and other applications. Qingguo Meng, Xuefeng Yang, Wei Li, En Lu, and Lianchao Sheng Copyright © 2017 Qingguo Meng et al. All rights reserved. A Simple Hybrid Synchronization for a Class of Chaotic Financial Systems Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:42:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2017/9129605/ It is an important to achieve the hybrid synchronization of the chaotic financial system. Chaos synchronization is equivalent to the error system which is asymptotically stable. The hybrid synchronization for a class of finance chaotic systems is discussed. First, a simple single variable controller is obtained to synchronize two identical chaotic financial systems with different initial conditions. Second, a novel algorithm is proposed to determine the variables of the master system that should antisynchronize with corresponding variables of the slave system and use this algorithm to determine the corresponding variables in the chaotic financial systems. The hybrid synchronization of the chaotic financial systems is realized by a simple controller. At the same time, different controllers can implement the chaotic financial system hybrid synchronization. In comparison with the existing results, the obtained controllers in this paper are simpler than those of the existing results. Finally, numerical simulations show the effectiveness of the proposed results. Jiming Zheng, Xiaoshuang Li, and Yang Qiu Copyright © 2017 Jiming Zheng et al. All rights reserved. cAMP Response Element Binding Protein Expression in the Hippocampus of Rhesus Macaques with Chronic Ephedrine Addiction Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:37:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/1931204/ Background. Drug addiction is classified as a chronic relapse nature brain disease with complicated neurobiology mechanisms. There are an increasing number of researchers that are investigating the possible mechanisms for solving the thorny problem. Methods. The model of chronic addiction of rhesus monkey ephedrine was established, where changes in body weight and behavior were monitored. The expression of cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) in the hippocampus of rhesus monkeys was identified by real-time PCR and Western blot. Results. We were successful in establishing the chronic ephedrine addiction model in the rhesus macaques. They exhibited changes in body weight and behavior. Immunofluorescence showed that CREB was expressed in the nucleus of the hippocampus, and the expression of CREB mRNA and protein in the hippocampus were increased by real-time PCR and Western blot. The CREB positive expression in the hippocampus of the modeling group was significantly higher than in the control group. Conclusions. The changes of body weight and behavior of the rhesus monkeys after ephedrine chronic addiction were significant. The changes of CREB in the hippocampus of rhesus macaques with ephedrine chronic addiction are important molecular mechanisms, and the upregulation of CREB may be involved in the physiological pathology and behavior process in individuals with chronic ephedrine addiction. Zongbo Sun, Ye Ma, Shouxing Duan, Lei Xie, Junyao Lv, Jinzhuang Huang, Zhirong Lin, Ruiwei Guo, and Shuhua Ma Copyright © 2017 Zongbo Sun et al. All rights reserved. Back Analysis of Rock Hydraulic Fracturing by Coupling Numerical Model and Computational Intelligent Technology Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:33:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/geofluids/2017/5314628/ Hydraulic fracturing is widely used to determine in situ stress of rock engineering. In this paper we propose a new method for simultaneously determining the in situ stress and elastic parameters of rock. The method utilizing the hydraulic fracturing numerical model and a computational intelligent method is proposed and verified. The hydraulic fracturing numerical model provides the samples which include borehole pressure, in situ stress, and elastic parameters. A computational intelligent method is applied in back analysis. A multioutput support vector machine is used to map the complex, nonlinear relationship between the in situ stress, elastic parameters, and borehole pressure. The artificial bee colony algorithm is applied in back analysis to find the optimal in situ stress and elastic parameters. The in situ stress is determined using the proposed method and the results are compared with those of the classic breakdown formula. The proposed method provides a good estimate of the relationship between the in situ stress and borehole pressure and predicts the maximum horizontal in situ stress with high precision while considering the influence of pore pressure without the need to estimate Biot’s coefficient and other parameters. Shaojun Li, Hongbo Zhao, Xiating Feng, Quan Jiang, and Qiancheng Sun Copyright © 2017 Shaojun Li et al. All rights reserved. The Modulatory Effect of Acupuncture on the Activity of Locus Coeruleus Neuronal Cells: A Review Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:10:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/9785345/ The Locus Coeruleus (LC) is a small collection of noradrenergic neurons located in the pons. In the brain, noradrenaline (NE) is primarily produced by noradrenergic cell groups in the LC, which is the largest group of noradrenergic neurons in the central nervous system. Acupuncture, including the electroacupuncture which is a modified acupuncture method, is known to be effective in various kinds of diseases, and the involvement of noradrenergic system in the central nervous system has been reported by previous studies. However, on whether acupuncture can modulate the LC neuronal cells activities, results vary from studies to studies. In this paper, we included twelve articles, which observed the effect of acupuncture on the activities of LC in humans and animals. Our study shows that, among twelve included studies, six reported decrease of LC activities, whereas six showed increase of LC activities after acupuncture treatment. Although it is difficult to draw a firm conclusion, the authors suggest that the difference of frequencies may play an important role in the modulatory effect of acupuncture on LC. Further studies are needed to clarify the precise mechanism of acupuncture on LC, as it can lead to a new therapeutic method for various LC-NE related diseases. Gihyun Lee and Woojin Kim Copyright © 2017 Gihyun Lee and Woojin Kim. All rights reserved. Body Posture Asymmetry in Prematurely Born Children at Six Years of Age Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:04:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/9302520/ Aims. The purpose of the study was to assess body posture asymmetries in the standing and sitting position in prematurely born children at six years of age. Study Design and Subjects. We measured trunk symmetry in coronal plane. The study was carried out in a group of 101 children, aged 6-7 years, mean age of 6.63, including 50 preterm children born at gestational age <32 weeks (preterm group) and 51 full-term children (control group). Outcome Measures. Trunk symmetry in coronal plane was measured using photogrammetric technique with Mora 4G CQ Elektronik. The subjects were examined in standing and sitting position. Statistical analyses were carried out using Shapiro-Wilk -test, Student’s -test, Mann–Whitney test, and Pearson’s chi-squared test. Statistical significance was assumed at . Results. No significant differences were found between the groups in the asymmetries identified in the relevant anthropometric points, relative to the position assumed during the examination or to the subjects’ sex. Conclusions. There are no significant differences in body posture in the coronal plane, between preterm children and full-term children. Premature birth does not have adverse effects related to body posture asymmetry in preterm children at the age of six. Katarzyna Walicka-Cupryś, Justyna Drzał-Grabiec, Maciej Rachwał, Paweł Piwoński, Lidia Perenc, Łukasz Przygoda, and Katarzyna Zajkiewicz Copyright © 2017 Katarzyna Walicka-Cupryś et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:56:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cjgh/2017/6496727/ Background. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients are not routinely screened for depression and anxiety despite knowledge of an increased prevalence in people with chronic disease and negative effects on quality of life. Methods. Prevalence of anxiety and depression was assessed in IBD outpatients through retrospective chart review. The presence of anxiety and/or depression was determined using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 self-report questionnaires or by diagnosis through psychiatric interview. Patient demographics, disease characteristics, and medication information were also collected. Multivariable analysis was used to determine associations between patient factors and depression and anxiety. Results. 327 patient charts were reviewed. Rates of depression and anxiety were found to be 25.8% and 21.2%, with 30.3% of patients suffering from depression and/or anxiety. Disease activity was found to be significantly associated with depression and/or anxiety (). Females were more likely to have anxiety (). Conclusion. A significant proportion of IBD patients suffer from depression and/or anxiety. The rates of these mental illnesses would justify screening and referral for psychiatric treatment in clinics treating this population. Patients with active disease are particularly at risk for anxiety and depression. Glynis Byrne, Greg Rosenfeld, Yvette Leung, Hong Qian, Julia Raudzus, Carlos Nunez, and Brian Bressler Copyright © 2017 Glynis Byrne et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of the Performance of Urinary Mycobacterium tuberculosis Antigens Cocktail (ESAT6, CFP10, and MPT64) with Culture and Microscopy in Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:54:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmicro/2017/3259329/ Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is a major global health problem and is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Our study aimed to evaluate the performance of urinary Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) antigens cocktail (ESAT6, CFP10, and MPT64) compared with culture and microscopy. This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Dr. Hasan Sadikin General Hospital, Bandung, from January 2014 to October 2016. A total of 141 pulmonary tuberculosis patients were included. Sputum samples were examined for acid-fast bacilli (ZN stain) and mycobacterial culture (LJ); the Mtb antigens cocktail was examined in the urine sample. The positivity rate of TB detection from the three methods was as follows: AFB 52/141 (36.9%), culture 50/141 (35.5%), and urinary Mtb antigens cocktail 95/141 (67.4%). Sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of urinary Mtb antigens cocktail were 68.2%, 33%, 31.6%, and 69.6%, respectively. Validity of combination of both methods with culture as a gold standard yielded sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of 90%, 28.6%, 40.9%, and 83.8%, respectively. Combination of urinary Mtb antigens cocktail with AFB as a screening test gives a good sensitivity, although the specificity is reduced. Urinary Mtb antigens cocktail can be used as screening test for pulmonary tuberculosis. Dewi Kartika Turbawaty, Adhi Kristianto Sugianli, Arto Yuwono Soeroto, Budi Setiabudiawan, and Ida Parwati Copyright © 2017 Dewi Kartika Turbawaty et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of the Efficacy of Home Remedial Methods to Improve Drinking Water Quality in Two Major Aquifer Systems in Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:41:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2017/9478589/ Chunnakam and Vadamaradchi are two major aquifer systems in Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka. This study was performed to compare water quality in the domestic wells in these aquifers and to assess the efficacy of household water treatments for treating contaminated water. Replicate well water samples were collected from each aquifer and pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), conductivity, total dissolved solids (TDS), salinity, temperature, total solids (TS), total hardness (TH), chemical oxygen demand (COD), oil and grease (OG), nitrate N (N), and total phosphate (TP) were measured. The sampled water from the domestic wells was filtered through commercial mineral filter and Moringa oleifera leaf powder and boiled at 100°C for 10 minutes and the TH, OG, N, and TP were measured. Both OG and N in Chunnakam were significantly higher and the DO were significantly lower than those of Vadamaradchi. TH, N, and OG of some wells exceeded the drinking water quality standards established by Sri Lanka Standards Institution. Moringa oleifera leaf powder filtration reduced N significantly and filtering through commercial mineral filter reduced OG, TH, and N significantly. Boiling at 100°C could remove TH significantly but may cause significant increase in N which might result in health impacts. W. M. Dimuthu Nilmini Wijeyaratne and Suvendran Subanky Copyright © 2017 W. M. Dimuthu Nilmini Wijeyaratne and Suvendran Subanky. All rights reserved. Visual Map Construction Using RGB-D Sensors for Image-Based Localization in Indoor Environments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:10:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2017/8037607/ RGB-D sensors capture RGB images and depth images simultaneously, which makes it possible to acquire the depth information at pixel level. This paper focuses on the use of RGB-D sensors to construct a visual map which is an extended dense 3D map containing essential elements for image-based localization, such as poses of the database camera, visual features, and 3D structures of the building. Taking advantage of matched visual features and corresponding depth values, a novel local optimization algorithm is proposed to achieve point cloud registration and database camera pose estimation. Next, graph-based optimization is used to obtain the global consistency of the map. On the basis of the visual map, the image-based localization method is investigated, making use of the epipolar constraint. The performance of the visual map construction and the image-based localization are evaluated on typical indoor scenes. The simulation results show that the average position errors of the database camera and the query camera can be limited to within 0.2 meters and 0.9 meters, respectively. Guanyuan Feng, Lin Ma, and Xuezhi Tan Copyright © 2017 Guanyuan Feng et al. All rights reserved. Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells 2 Overexpression Inhibits Proinflammatory Cytokines in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Microglia Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:08:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/9340610/ Microglia play an important role in mediating inflammatory processes in the central nervous system (CNS). Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) is a microglia-specific receptor and could decrease neuropathology in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the detailed mechanism remains unclear. This study was designed to elucidate the effect of TREM2 on microglia. We showed that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation significantly increases proinflammatory cytokines and suppressed TREM2 in microglia. In addition, TREM2 overexpression inhibited LPS-induced microglia activation and elevated M2 phenotype of microglia. Together, our results demonstrate that TREM2 overexpression reduced LPS-induced proinflammatory cytokine release in microglia and increased M2 phenotype of microglia. These findings provide novel insights that the regulation of microglia polarization may be an approach for ameliorating microglia inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases. Xiaobao Zhang, Fang Yan, Jizheng Cui, Yong Wu, Hengfei Luan, Miaomiao Yin, Zhibin Zhao, Jiying Feng, and Jinwei Zhang Copyright © 2017 Xiaobao Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Rhinacanthin C Alleviates Amyloid-β Fibrils’ Toxicity on Neurons and Attenuates Neuroinflammation Triggered by LPS, Amyloid-β, and Interferon-γ in Glial Cells Wed, 18 Oct 2017 05:46:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/5414297/ Neuroinflammation plays a central role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Compounds that suppress neuroinflammation have been identified as potential therapeutic targets for AD. Rhinacanthin C (RC), a naphthoquinone ester found in Rhinacanthus nasutus Kurz (Acanthaceae), is currently proposed as an effective molecule against inflammation. However, the exact role of RC on neuroinflammation remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we investigated RC effect on modulating lipopolysaccharides (LPS), amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), or interferon-γ- (IFN-γ-) evoked pathological events in neurons and glia. Our findings demonstrated that RC prevented Aβ-induced toxicity in rat hippocampal neurons and attenuated LPS-activated nitric oxide (NO) production, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and NF-κB signaling in rat glia. Likewise, RC suppressed LPS-induced neuroinflammation by reducing NO production and iNOS, IL-1β, CCL-2, and CCL-5 mRNA levels in rat microglia. Further studies using BV-2 microglia revealed that RC inhibited LPS-, Aβ-, and IFN-γ-stimulated IL-6 and TNF-α secretion. Of note, NF-κB and ERK activation was abrogated by RC in BV-2 cell response to Aβ or IFN-γ. Moreover, RC protected neurons from Aβ-stimulated microglial conditioned media-dependent toxicity. Collectively, these data highlight the beneficial effects of RC on neuroprotection and support the therapeutic implications of RC to neuroinflammation-mediated conditions. Kai-An Chuang, Ming-Han Li, Ni-Hsuan Lin, Chih-Hsuan Chang, I-Huang Lu, I-Hong Pan, Tomoya Takahashi, Ming-Der Perng, and Shu-Fang Wen Copyright © 2017 Kai-An Chuang et al. All rights reserved. IL-33-ST2 Axis in Liver Disease: Progression and Challenge Wed, 18 Oct 2017 05:11:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/5314213/ The new member of the IL-1 family, interleukin-33 (IL-33), participates in the progression of a variety of diseases through binding with its receptor ST2. Recently, much clinical evidence and experimental data have indicated that IL-33 is associated with various liver diseases. This review primarily addresses the relationship between IL-33 and several hepatic diseases. IL-33 can alleviate high-fat diet- (HFD-) induced hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, and IL-33 acts as an alarmin, which quickly triggers the immune system to respond to virus invasion and toxic damage to the liver. However, when liver injury is chronic, IL-33 promotes Th2 reactions and hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activity, facilitating progression to liver fibrosis. The complicated functions of IL-33 should be considered before its clinical application. Zijian Sun, Binxia Chang, Miaomiao Gao, Jiyuan Zhang, and Zhengsheng Zou Copyright © 2017 Zijian Sun et al. All rights reserved. Exercise Inhibits the Effects of Smoke-Induced COPD Involving Modulation of STAT3 Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:27:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/6572714/ Purpose. Evaluate the participation of STAT3 in the effects of aerobic exercise (AE) in a model of smoke-induced COPD. Methods. C57Bl/6 male mice were divided into control, Exe, COPD, and COPD+Exe groups. Smoke were administered during 90 days. Treadmill aerobic training begun on day 61 until day 90. Pulmonary inflammation, systemic inflammation, the level of lung emphysema, and the airway remodeling were evaluated. Analysis of integral and phosphorylated expression of STAT3 by airway epithelial cells, peribronchial leukocytes, and parenchymal leukocytes was performed. Results. AE inhibited smoke-induced accumulation of total cells (), lymphocytes (), and neutrophils () in BAL, as well as BAL levels of IL-1β (), CXCL1 (), IL-17 (), and TNF-α (), while increased the levels of IL-10 (). AE also inhibited smoke-induced increases in total leukocytes (), neutrophils (), lymphocytes (), and monocytes () in blood, as well as serum levels of IL-1β (), CXCL1 (), IL-17 (), and TNF-α (), while increased the levels of IL-10 (). AE reduced smoke-induced emphysema () and collagen fiber accumulation in the airways (). AE reduced smoke-induced STAT3 and phospho-STAT3 expression in airway epithelial cells (), peribronchial leukocytes (), and parenchymal leukocytes (). Conclusions. AE reduces smoke-induced COPD phenotype involving STAT3. Maysa Alves Rodrigues Brandao-Rangel, Andre Luis Lacerda Bachi, Manoel Carneiro Oliveira-Junior, Asghar Abbasi, Adriano Silva-Renno, Auriléia Aparecida de Brito, Ana Paula Ligeiro de Oliveira, Alessandra Choqueta Toledo-Arruda, Maria Gabriela Belvisi, and Rodolfo Paula Vieira Copyright © 2017 Maysa Alves Rodrigues Brandao-Rangel et al. All rights reserved. Identification and Characterization of the Diverse Stress-Responsive R2R3-RMYB Transcription Factor from Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:16:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijg/2017/2763259/ Various regulatory proteins play a fundamental role to manage the healthy plant growth under stress conditions. Differential display reverse transcriptase PCR and random amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) was used to explore the osmotic stress-responsive transcripts. We identified and characterized the salt stress-responsive R2R3 type RMYB transcription factor from Hibiscus sabdariffa which has an open reading frame of 690 bp, encoding 229 long chain amino acids. In silico analysis confirmed the conserved R2 and R3 domain as well as an NLS-1 localization site. The deduced amino acids of RMYB shared 83, 81, 80, 79, 72, 71, and 66% homology with Arabidopsis thaliana, Glycine max, Oryza sativa, Zea maize, Malus domestica, Populus tremula × Populus alba, and Medicago sativa specific MYB family, respectively. We observed the gene upregulation in stem, leaf, and root tissue in response to abiotic stress. Furthermore, RMYB gene was cloned into plant expression vector under CaMV35S promoter and transformed to Gossypium hirsutum: a local cotton cultivar. Overexpression of RMYB was observed in transgenic plants under abiotic stresses which further suggests its regulatory role in response to stressful conditions. The RMYB transcription factor-overexpressing in transgenic cotton plants may be used as potential agent for the development of stress tolerant crop cultivars. Bahaeldeen Babikar Mohamed, Beenish Aftab, Muhammad Bilal Sarwar, Bushra Rashid, Zarnab Ahmad, Sameera Hassan, and Tayyab Husnain Copyright © 2017 Bahaeldeen Babikar Mohamed et al. All rights reserved. Oxidative Stress and Cellular Response to Doxorubicin: A Common Factor in the Complex Milieu of Anthracycline Cardiotoxicity Wed, 18 Oct 2017 03:31:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/1521020/ The production of reactive species is a core of the redox cycling profile of anthracyclines. However, these molecular characteristics can be viewed as a double-edged sword acting not only on neoplastic cells but also on multiple cellular targets throughout the body. This phenomenon translates into anthracycline cardiotoxicity that is a serious problem in the growing population of paediatric and adult cancer survivors. Therefore, better understanding of cellular processes that operate within but also go beyond cardiomyocytes is a necessary step to develop more effective tools for the prevention and treatment of progressive and often severe cardiomyopathy experienced by otherwise successfully treated oncologic patients. In this review, we focus on oxidative stress-triggered cellular events such as DNA damage, senescence, and cell death implicated in anthracycline cardiovascular toxicity. The involvement of progenitor cells of cardiac and extracardiac origin as well as different cardiac cell types is discussed, pointing to molecular signals that impact on cell longevity and functional competence. Donato Cappetta, Antonella De Angelis, Luigi Sapio, Lucia Prezioso, Michela Illiano, Federico Quaini, Francesco Rossi, Liberato Berrino, Silvio Naviglio, and Konrad Urbanek Copyright © 2017 Donato Cappetta et al. All rights reserved. Simple Quantification of Pentosidine in Human Urine and Plasma by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijac/2017/1389807/ Pentosidine is an advanced glycation end-product (AGE) and fluorescent cross-link compound. A simple high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method was developed for the detection and quantification of pentosidine in human urine and plasma. The mobile phase used a gradient system to improve separation of pentosidine from endogenous peaks, and chromatograms were monitored by fluorescent detector set at excitation and emission wavelengths of 328 and 378 nm, respectively. The retention time for pentosidine was 24.3 min and the lower limits of quantification (LLOQ) in human urine and plasma were 1 nM. The intraday assay precisions (coefficients of variation) were generally low and found to be in the range of 5.19–7.49% and 4.96–8.78% for human urine and plasma, respectively. The corresponding values of the interday assay precisions were 9.45% and 4.27%. Accuracies (relative errors) ranged from 87.9% to 115%. Pentosidine was stable in a range of pH solutions, human urine, and plasma. In summary, this HPLC method can be applied in future preclinical and clinical evaluation of pentosidine in the diabetic patients. Ji Sang Lee, Yoon-Sok Chung, Sun Young Chang, Yi-Sook Jung, and So Hee Kim Copyright © 2017 Ji Sang Lee et al. All rights reserved. Study on the Stiffness Correction Method of Novel Antivibration Bearing for Urban Rail Transit Viaduct Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2017/1402301/ A novel antivibration bearing is developed to reduce the train-induced vibrations for urban rail transit viaduct. It adopts four high-damping thick rubber blocks stacking slantingly to reduce the vibration and provide large lateral stiffness. But the existing stiffness calculation method of laminated rubber bearing aimed at horizontal seismic isolation is unsuitable for thick rubber bearing designed for vertical vibration reduction. First, the stiffness correction method has been proposed based on the characteristics of the novel bearing. Second, to validate the design method, mechanical property tests are performed on a specimen of the novel bearing with design frequency at 8 Hz and with 3500 kN bearing capacity. Third, damping effects of the novel bearing are investigated through impulse vibration tests on scaled models. Results show that the mechanical property of the novel bearing can satisfy the engineering demand, and the proposed method for calculating the stiffness agrees well with the test results. The overall insertion loss of the novel bearing is 13.49 dB which is 5.32 dB larger than that of steel bearing, showing that the novel bearing is very promising to be used in the field to mitigate train-induced vibrations. Weiping Xie, Youfu Du, Liangming Sun, Agostino Marioni, and Xu Liang Copyright © 2017 Weiping Xie et al. All rights reserved. Surface Corrosion and Microstructure Degradation of Calcium Sulfoaluminate Cement Subjected to Wet-Dry Cycles in Sulfate Solution Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2017/1464619/ The hydration products of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement are different from those of Portland cement. The degradation of CSA cement subjected to wet-dry cycles in sulfate solution was studied in this paper. The surface corrosion was recorded and the microstructures were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results show that , Na+, Mg2+, and Cl− have an effect on the stability of ettringite. In the initial period of sulfate attack, salt crystallization is the main factor leading to the degradation of CSA cement specimens. The decomposition and the carbonation of ettringite will cause long-term degradation of CSA cement specimens under wet-dry cycles in sulfate solution. The surface spalling and microstructure degradation increase significantly with the increase of wet-dry cycles, sulfate concentration, and water to cement ratio. Magnesium sulfate and sodium chloride reduce the degradation when the concentration of sulfate ions is a constant value. Wuman Zhang, Sheng Gong, and Bing Kang Copyright © 2017 Wuman Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Ginger Oleoresin Alleviated γ-Ray Irradiation-Induced Reactive Oxygen Species via the Nrf2 Protective Response in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/1480294/ Unplanned exposure to radiation can cause side effects on high-risk individuals; meanwhile, radiotherapies can also cause injury on normal cells and tissues surrounding the tumor. Besides the direct radiation damage, most of the ionizing radiation- (IR-) induced injuries were caused by generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), which possess self-renew and multilineage differentiation capabilities, are a critical population of cells to participate in the regeneration of IR-damaged tissues. Therefore, it is imperative to search effective radioprotectors for hMSCs. This study was to demonstrate whether natural source ginger oleoresin would mitigate IR-induced injuries in human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). We demonstrated that ginger oleoresin could significantly reduce IR-induced cytotoxicity, ROS generation, and DNA strand breaks. In addition, the ROS-scavenging mechanism of ginger oleoresin was also investigated. The results showed that ginger oleoresin could induce the translocation of Nrf2 to cell nucleus and activate the expression of cytoprotective genes encoding for HO-1 and NQO-1. It suggests that ginger oleoresin has a potential role of being an effective antioxidant and radioprotective agent. Kaihua Ji, Lianying Fang, Hui Zhao, Qing Li, Yang Shi, Chang Xu, Yan Wang, Liqing Du, Jinhan Wang, and Qiang Liu Copyright © 2017 Kaihua Ji et al. All rights reserved. Development and Comparison of Fiber-Optic Beta Radiation Sensors with Different Diameters of Their Sensing Probes Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2017/1452765/ A fiber-optic radiation sensor (FORS) was developed for remote and real-time measurements of beta radiation from radioactive-contaminated soil. The sensing probe consisted of a bundle of organic scintillators and a mixture of epoxy resin to improve the detection efficiency. The measurement system consisted of a sensing probe with an aluminium foil reflector, a transmitting plastic optical fiber, and a light-measuring system comprising a photomultiplier tube, a preamplifier, a multichannel analyzer, and a laptop computer. Several sensing probes, whose dead-end diameters were 26 mm (bundle type I), 36 mm (bundle type II), and 46 mm (bundle type III), were prepared and characterized to identify the best sensing probe in terms of its radiation detection efficiency. The reproducibility of the FORS for the measurement of beta radiation was confirmed using a -test. The measurements showed that the FORS sensing probe with a diameter 46 mm has the best detection performance. Rinah Kim, Sang Bin Lee, Jae Wook Kim, and Joo Hyun Moon Copyright © 2017 Rinah Kim et al. All rights reserved. 99mTc-Sestamibi/123I Subtraction SPECT/CT in Parathyroid Scintigraphy: Is Additional Pinhole Imaging Useful? Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmi/2017/2712018/ Objectives. This retrospective study evaluated whether the use of additional anterior -sestamibi/123I pinhole imaging improves the outcome of -sestamibi/123I subtraction SPECT/CT in parathyroid scintigraphy (PS). Materials and Methods. PS using simultaneous dual-isotope subtraction methods and an acquisition protocol combining SPECT/CT and planar pinhole imaging was performed for 175 patients with primary or secondary hyperparathyroidism. All patients who proceeded to surgery with complete postsurgery laboratory findings were included in this study . SPECT/CT images alone and combined with pinhole images were evaluated. Results. There were 111 enlarged parathyroid glands of which 104 and 108 glands were correctly visualized by SPECT/CT (seven false positives) or SPECT/CT with pinhole (three false positives), respectively. Both sensitivity and specificity were higher with combined SPECT/CT with pinhole than with SPECT/CT alone (97% versus 94% and 99% versus 98%, resp., not significant). The false-positive rate was 6% with SPECT/CT and decreased to 3% using combined SPECT/CT with pinhole. Conclusion. -sestamibi/123I subtraction SPECT/CT is a highly sensitive and specific protocol for PS. The use of additional anterior pinhole imaging increases both sensitivity and specificity of PS, although this increase is not statistically significant. Virpi Tunninen, Pekka Varjo, Tomi Kauppinen, Anu Holm, Hannu Eskola, and Marko Seppänen Copyright © 2017 Virpi Tunninen et al. All rights reserved. Compression of the Fourth Ventricle Using a Craniosacral Osteopathic Technique: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/2974962/ Compression of the fourth ventricle (CV4) is a well-known osteopathic procedure, utilized by osteopaths, osteopathic physicians, craniosacral therapists, physical therapists, and manual therapists as part of their healthcare practice based on some evidence suggesting impact on nervous system functions. The main objective of the study was to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the clinical benefits of CV4 and to show the evidence supporting clinical prescriptions, guides, and advice in treating. A computerized search of the PubMed, CINAHL Complete, Scopus, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect databases was performed. Two filters were used (article type: RCTs; species: humans). The methodological quality of the trials was assessed using the Downs and Black quality checklist for healthcare intervention studies. Only six studies met the inclusion criteria, of which four were RCTs and two were observational studies. The Downs and Black score ranged from 17 to 24 points out of a maximum of 27 points. The present review revealed the paucity of CV4 research in patients with different clinical problems, as five out of six included studies investigated healthy adults. According to the results of the included studies, CV4 may be beneficial for patients with different functional problems. Anna Żurowska, Roksana Malak, Anna Kołcz-Trzęsicka, Włodzimierz Samborski, and Małgorzata Paprocka-Borowicz Copyright © 2017 Anna Żurowska et al. All rights reserved. Dynamic Behavior Analysis of Touchdown Process in Active Magnetic Bearing System Based on a Machine Learning Method Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/stni/2017/1839871/ Magnetic bearings are widely applied in High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) and auxiliary bearings are important backup and safety components in AMB systems. The performance of auxiliary bearings significantly affects the reliability, safety, and serviceability of the AMB system, the rotating equipment, and the whole reactor. Research on the dynamic behavior during the touchdown process is crucial for analyzing the severity of the touchdown. In this paper, a data-based dynamic analysis method of the touchdown process is proposed. The dynamic model of the touchdown process is firstly established. In this model, some specific mechanical parameters are regarded as functions of deformation of auxiliary bearing and velocity of rotor firstly; furthermore, a machine learning method is utilized to model these function relationships. Based on the dynamic model and the Kalman filtering technique, the proposed method can offer estimation of the rotor motion state from noisy observations. In addition, the estimation precision is significantly improved compared with the method without learning. The proposed method is validated by the experimental data from touchdown experiments. Zhe Sun, Xunshi Yan, Jingjing Zhao, Xiao Kang, Guojun Yang, and Zhengang Shi Copyright © 2017 Zhe Sun et al. All rights reserved. Multiscale Thermal Hydraulic Study under the Inadvertent Safety Injection System Operation Scenario of Typical Pressurized Water Reactor Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/stni/2017/2960412/ The Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) inlet nozzles and downcomer wall in Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) may suffer serious thermal shock caused by cold water from reactor Safety Injection System (SIS) in some unexpected accident scenarios. It implies the formation of great temperature gradient on the inlet nozzles and RPV wall, leading to the localized stresses and propagation of possible flaws that appeared in the material. In this paper, the multiscale thermal hydraulic analysis was performed for Chashma Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) under the inadvertent SIS operation scenario. The primary loop and SIS were modeled using one-dimensional method, while the three-dimensional models of reactor cold leg, RPV inlet nozzles, and downcomer were established. Then, the inadvertent Safety Injection System operation scenario was simulated using RELAP5 code, providing the boundary conditions for three-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis. The fluid and solid coupling heat transfer simulation method was employed. Results show that the maximum temperature difference was about 80 K in the most conservative condition and the RPV inlet nozzle region was the most critical region during the accident. This work could provide in-depth understanding on the effect of cold coolant injection along the main pipes and RPV wall during the accident scenario. Mingjun Wang, Qiaolin Zuo, Hao Yu, Wenxi Tian, G. H. Su, and Suizheng Qiu Copyright © 2017 Mingjun Wang et al. All rights reserved. Families Living with Blood-Borne Viruses: The Case for Extending the Concept of “Serodiscordance” Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ipid/2017/4352783/ The concept of “serodiscordance” (mixed infection status) is primarily associated with epidemiological concerns about HIV transmission risk in couples. We make the case for extending this concept to include families with mixed HIV and viral hepatitis status. Social research on couples with mixed HIV and hepatitis C status has laid an important foundation for illuminating how experiences of serodiscordance within intimate partnerships are much broader than concerns about risk. This body of work attests to serodiscordance holding promise as a valuable concept for understanding viral infections as socially situated and intensely relational phenomena. However, serodiscordance is still limited as a concept because of its near universal focus on couples. It is rarely applied to wider relationships, including family networks beyond the couple. Despite evidence in the literature that families are affected by blood-borne viruses in multiple social, emotional, financial, and generational ways, the concept of serodiscordance does not capture these broader dynamics. Making serodiscordance more inclusive is an important step in recognising the diverse ways families’ everyday lives, relationships, and futures can be entangled with HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B, and for understanding how today’s era of effective treatment options might shape the “family life” of viral infections. Asha Persson, Christy E. Newman, Myra Hamilton, Joanne Bryant, Jack Wallace, and kylie valentine Copyright © 2017 Asha Persson et al. All rights reserved. Skin Immune Landscape: Inside and Outside the Organism Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/5095293/ The skin is an essential organ to the human body protecting it from external aggressions and pathogens. Over the years, the skin was proven to have a crucial immunological role, not only being a passive protective barrier but a network of effector cells and molecular mediators that constitute a highly sophisticated compound known as the “skin immune system” (SIS). Studies of skin immune sentinels provided essential insights of a complex and dynamic immunity, which was achieved through interaction between the external and internal cutaneous compartments. In fact, the skin surface is cohabited by microorganisms recognized as skin microbiota that live in complete harmony with the immune sentinels and contribute to the epithelial barrier reinforcement. However, under stress, the symbiotic relationship changes into a dysbiotic one resulting in skin disorders. Hence, the skin microbiota may have either positive or negative influence on the immune system. This review aims at providing basic background information on the cutaneous immune system from major cellular and molecular players and the impact of its microbiota on the well-coordinated immune responses in host defense. Florence Abdallah, Lily Mijouin, and Chantal Pichon Copyright © 2017 Florence Abdallah et al. All rights reserved. Isometric Tunnel Placement in Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction with Single CT Scan Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/5128639/ Background. Isometric tunnel placement for anterior bundle of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) reconstruction is mandatory for successful surgery. Purpose. This study aimed to demonstrate a useful method for identifying isometric tunnel placement using a single computed tomography (CT) scan. Study Design. Descriptive Laboratory Study. Methods. Five normal elbows were scanned at 4 different flexion angles at 45° increment. Three-dimensional models were analyzed using 2 different approaches: single and multiple CT scans methods. Ligament footprints in the humerus and the ulna were registered. Ligament length and isometric points were defined. The locations of the isometric points were imported into both methods to be compared. Results. There was no significant difference between 2 methods in calculating the length in every zone. There was also no significant difference in determining isometric ligament’s origin point, which is located approximately  mm and  mm for single and multiple CT, respectively, measured inferolaterally from medial epicondyle. Conclusions. A solid preoperative plan is critical when predicting tunnel locations due to the difficulty in finding isometric points and the individuality of optimal bone tunnel locations. Using single CT scan, optimal locations can be predicted with the same accuracy as a multiple CT scans with less radiation exposure. Erica Kholinne, Rizki Fajar Zulkarnain, Arnold Adikrishna, Bin Zhu, Han Pyo Hong, and In-Ho Jeon Copyright © 2017 Erica Kholinne et al. All rights reserved. An Automatic Tree Skeleton Extracting Method Based on Point Cloud of Terrestrial Laser Scanner Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijo/2017/5408503/ Tree skeleton could describe the shape and topological structure of a tree, which are useful to forest researchers. Terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) can scan trees with high accuracy and speed to acquire the point cloud data, which could be used to extract tree skeletons. An adaptive extracting method of tree skeleton based on the point cloud data of TLS was proposed in this paper. The point cloud data were segmented by artificial filtration and -means clustering, and the point cloud data of trunk and branches remained to extract skeleton. Then the skeleton nodes were calculated by using breadth first search (BFS) method, quantifying method, and clustering method. Based on their connectivity, the skeleton nodes were connected to generate the tree skeleton, which would be smoothed by using Laplace smoothing method. In this paper, the point cloud data of a toona tree and peach tree were used to test the proposed method and for comparing the proposed method with the shortest path method to illustrate the robustness and superiority of the method. The experimental results showed that the shape of tree skeleton extracted was consistent with the real tree, which showed the method proposed in the paper is effective and feasible. Ronghao Li, Guochao Bu, and Pei Wang Copyright © 2017 Ronghao Li et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and DFT Study of Ethyl 1-(2-(Hydroxyimino)-2-phenylethyl)-3-phenyl-1H-pyrazole-5-carboxylate Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2017/6537402/ The crystal structure of ethyl 1-(2-(hydroxyimino)-2-phenylethyl)-3-phenyl-1H-pyrazole-5-carboxylate has been determined by X-ray single crystal diffraction. The crystal of the title compound is the monoclinic space group P2/c with unit cell parameters of  Å,  Å,  Å, ,  Å3, and . The dihedral angles formed by the planes of the central pyrazole ring and the adjacent benzene rings are 73.60(7)° and 3.55(7)°, respectively. The combination of the weak intermolecular C-HO and N-HO hydrogen-bonding interactions stabilizes the crystal packing. The geometries of its Z and E isomers and the corresponding transition state (TS), as well as the dimer of its Z isomer, are optimized using the B3LYP hybrid functional coupled with def-TZVP triple-zeta polarized basis set. The bond angles and bond lengths of the optimized structure of Z dimer are very consistent with those of its single crystal parameters. Double-hybrid functional PWPB95-D3 in combination with very highly accurate basis set def2-QZVP is employed to evaluate accurate energy of each isomer and TS. The calculated equilibrium constant between Z and E isomers corresponds to the [Z]/[E] ratio of 4.29. Mulliken atomic charges and electrostatic potential (ESP) on molecular van der Waals (vdW) surface are calculated in order to study and predict the intermolecular interactions. The molecular total energies and frontier orbital analysis are also discussed. Jin-Hui Zhou, Liang-Wen Zheng, Mao-Cai Yan, Mao-Jian Shi, Jing Liu, and Guo-Qiang Shangguan Copyright © 2017 Jin-Hui Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Atypical Presentation of Sjögren-Larsson Syndrome Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripe/2017/7981750/ Sjögren-Larsson syndrome is a rare neurocutaneous disorder characterized by ichthyosis, spastic diplegia or tetraplegia, and intellectual disability. Herein, we describe a case of a Greek patient with ichthyosis and spasticity of the legs but with normal intelligence (IQ 95). This syndrome should be suspected when a child presents with ichthyosis and spastic diplegia or tetraplegia, even if intelligence is normal. D. Papathemeli, A. Mataftsi, A. Patsatsi, D. Sotiriadis, M. Samouilidou, S. Chondromatidou, and A. Evangeliou Copyright © 2017 D. Papathemeli et al. All rights reserved. Shorter Decentralized Attribute-Based Encryption via Extended Dual System Groups Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scn/2017/7323158/ Decentralized attribute-based encryption (ABE) is a special form of multiauthority ABE systems, in which no central authority and global coordination are required other than creating the common reference parameters. In this paper, we propose a new decentralized ABE in prime-order groups by using extended dual system groups. We formulate some assumptions used to prove the security of our scheme. Our proposed scheme is fully secure under the standard -Lin assumption in random oracle model and can support any monotone access structures. Compared with existing fully secure decentralized ABE systems, our construction has shorter ciphertexts and secret keys. Moreover, fast decryption is achieved in our system, in which ciphertexts can be decrypted with a constant number of pairings. Jie Zhang, Jie Chen, Aijun Ge, and Chuangui Ma Copyright © 2017 Jie Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Deep Convolutional Neural Networks for Classifying Body Constitution Based on Face Image Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmm/2017/9846707/ Body constitution classification is the basis and core content of traditional Chinese medicine constitution research. It is to extract the relevant laws from the complex constitution phenomenon and finally build the constitution classification system. Traditional identification methods have the disadvantages of inefficiency and low accuracy, for instance, questionnaires. This paper proposed a body constitution recognition algorithm based on deep convolutional neural network, which can classify individual constitution types according to face images. The proposed model first uses the convolutional neural network to extract the features of face image and then combines the extracted features with the color features. Finally, the fusion features are input to the Softmax classifier to get the classification result. Different comparison experiments show that the algorithm proposed in this paper can achieve the accuracy of 65.29% about the constitution classification. And its performance was accepted by Chinese medicine practitioners. Er-Yang Huan, Gui-Hua Wen, Shi-Jun Zhang, Dan-Yang Li, Yang Hu, Tian-Yuan Chang, Qing Wang, and Bing-Lin Huang Copyright © 2017 Er-Yang Huan et al. All rights reserved. Aristolochic Acid-Induced Autophagy Promotes Epithelial-to-Myofibroblast Transition in Human Renal Proximal Tubule Epithelial Cells Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/9596256/ Autophagy plays an essential role in cellular homeostasis in kidney. Previous studies have found that aristolochic acid (AA) can induce autophagy of renal tubular epithelial cells and epithelial-to-myofibroblast transition (EMT). However, the relationship between AA-induced autophagy and EMT is unclear. Our results showed that, after AA stimulation, the appearance of autophagy preceded EMT. Autophagy of HKC cells began to increase gradually from the 3rd hour, reached the peak at 12th hour, and then weakened gradually until 36th hour; the EMT process of HKC continued to increase from 6th hour to 36th hour after AA stimulation. The enhancement of autophagy using autophagy inducers, rapamycin or serum-free medium, led to an aggravation of EMT and upregulated expression of fibronectin, a component of extracellular matrix, in AA-treated HKC cells. In contrast, the inhibition of autophagy by autophagy inhibitor, 3-methyladenine, or by knockdown of Beclin 1 led to an attenuation of EMT and downregulated expression of fibronectin in AA-treated HKC cells. Taken together, our study suggests that, after AA stimulation, two types of cell responses of HKC cells, autophagy and EMT, will successively appear, and autophagy can promote EMT of HKC. Yu-Lin Man, Hong-Liang Rui, Yi-Pu Chen, Guo-qin Wang, Li-Jun Sun, and Hong Cheng Copyright © 2017 Yu-Lin Man et al. All rights reserved. Modeling and Error Compensation of Robotic Articulated Arm Coordinate Measuring Machines Using BP Neural Network Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/complexity/2017/5156264/ Articulated arm coordinate measuring machine (AACMM) is a specific robotic structural instrument, which uses D-H method for the purpose of kinematic modeling and error compensation. However, it is difficult for the existing error compensation models to describe various factors, which affects the accuracy of AACMM. In this paper, a modeling and error compensation method for AACMM is proposed based on BP Neural Networks. According to the available measurements, the poses of the AACMM are used as the input, and the coordinates of the probe are used as the output of neural network. To avoid tedious training and improve the training efficiency and prediction accuracy, a data acquisition strategy is developed according to the actual measurement behavior in the joint space. A neural network model is proposed and analyzed by using the data generated via Monte-Carlo method in simulations. The structure and parameter settings of neural network are optimized to improve the prediction accuracy and training speed. Experimental studies have been conducted to verify the proposed algorithm with neural network compensation, which shows that 97% error of the AACMM can be eliminated after compensation. These experimental results have revealed the effectiveness of the proposed modeling and compensation method for AACMM. Guanbin Gao, Hongwei Zhang, Hongjun San, Xing Wu, and Wen Wang Copyright © 2017 Guanbin Gao et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of CO2-Fluid-Rock Interaction in Enhanced Geothermal Systems: Field-Scale Geochemical Simulations Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/geofluids/2017/5675370/ Recent studies suggest that using supercritical CO2 (scCO2) instead of water as a heat transmission fluid in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) may improve energy extraction. While CO2-fluid-rock interactions at “typical” temperatures and pressures of subsurface reservoirs are fairly well known, such understanding for the elevated conditions of EGS is relatively unresolved. Geochemical impacts of CO2 as a working fluid (“CO2-EGS”) compared to those for water as a working fluid (H2O-EGS) are needed. The primary objectives of this study are (1) constraining geochemical processes associated with CO2-fluid-rock interactions under the high pressures and temperatures of a typical CO2-EGS site and (2) comparing geochemical impacts of CO2-EGS to geochemical impacts of H2O-EGS. The St. John’s Dome CO2-EGS research site in Arizona was adopted as a case study. A 3D model of the site was developed. Net heat extraction and mass flow production rates for CO2-EGS were larger compared to H2O-EGS, suggesting that using scCO2 as a working fluid may enhance EGS heat extraction. More aqueous CO2 accumulates within upper- and lower-lying layers than in the injection/production layers, reducing pH values and leading to increased dissolution and precipitation of minerals in those upper and lower layers. Dissolution of oligoclase for water as a working fluid shows smaller magnitude in rates and different distributions in profile than those for scCO2 as a working fluid. It indicates that geochemical processes of scCO2-rock interaction have significant effects on mineral dissolution and precipitation in magnitudes and distributions. Feng Pan, Brian J. McPherson, and John Kaszuba Copyright © 2017 Feng Pan et al. All rights reserved. Modulating Neuroinflammation to Treat Neuropsychiatric Disorders Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/5071786/ Neuroinflammation is recognised as one of the potential mechanisms mediating the onset of a broad range of psychiatric disorders and may contribute to nonresponsiveness to current therapies. Both preclinical and clinical studies have indicated that aberrant inflammatory responses can result in altered behavioral responses and cognitive deficits. In this review, we discuss the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders and ask the question if certain genetic copy-number variants (CNVs) associated with psychiatric disorders might play a role in modulating inflammation. Furthermore, we detail some of the potential treatment strategies for psychiatric disorders that may operate by altering inflammatory responses. Franziska A. Radtke, Gareth Chapman, Jeremy Hall, and Yasir A. Syed Copyright © 2017 Franziska A. Radtke et al. All rights reserved. CD80 Expressed by CD8+ T Cells Contributes to PD-L1-Induced Apoptosis of Activated CD8+ T Cells Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2017/7659462/ Tumor cells are capable of limiting antitumor CD8+ T cell responses through their cell surface expression of PD-L1. In addition to PD-1 expressed by CD8+ T cells, PD-L1 also binds to CD80 expressed by CD8+ T cells. The influence of the PD-L1/CD80 interaction on CD8+ T cell function has not been fully characterized, so we sought to investigate the impact of the PD-L1/CD80 interaction on PD-L1-induced apoptosis of activated CD8+ T cells. We found that CD8+ T cells that lacked CD80 expression got activated to the same extent as wild-type CD8+ T cells, but when cultured with anti-CD3 and PD-L1/Fc protein, activated CD8+ T cells that lacked CD80 expression survived better than activated wild-type CD8+ T cells. These findings indicate that PD-L1 induces apoptosis in activated CD8+ T cells in part by signaling through CD80. Thus, in the design and implementation of checkpoint blockade therapies that target PD-L1, it is essential that both binding partners for PD-L1, PD-1, and CD80 are considered. Meagan R. Rollins and Rachel M. Gibbons Johnson Copyright © 2017 Meagan R. Rollins and Rachel M. Gibbons Johnson. All rights reserved. Therapy Effects of Wogonin on Ovarian Cancer Cells Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/9381513/ Background. Wogonin is a plant monoflavonoid and has been reported to induce apoptosis of cancer cells and show inhibitory effect on cancer cell growth. However, the detailed and underlying molecular mechanisms are not elucidated. In this study, we investigated the molecular and biological effects of wogonin in human ovarian A2780 cancer cells. Materials and Methods. We determined the effects of wogonin on the changes of cell cycling and apoptotic responses of cells. Western blot analysis was used to measure the effects of wogonin on protein expressions. Results. Our results showed that treatment with wogonin inhibited the cancer cell proliferation, decreased the percentage of G0/G1 subpopulation, and reduced invasiveness of A2780 cells. Exposure to wogonin also resulted in downregulated protein levels of estrogen receptor alpha (ER-α), VEGF, Bcl-2, and Akt and increased expressions of Bax and p53. In addition, exposure to wogonin increased caspase-3 cleavage and induced apoptosis in A2780 cells. Our study further showed that MPP, a specific ER-α inhibitor, significantly enhanced antitumor effects of wogonin in A2780 cells. Conclusion. Our results suggest a potential clinical impact of wogonin on management of ovarian cancer. Jiang Ruibin, Jin Bo, Wan Danying, Zhu Chihong, Feng Jianguo, and Gu Linhui Copyright © 2017 Jiang Ruibin et al. All rights reserved. Analysis of Pipe-Roof in Tunnel Exiting Portal by the Foundation Elastic Model Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/9387628/ The Pasternak double-parameter elastic foundation model of pipe-roof during the construction of tunnel exits is first established. Based on the portal project of Hanjiashan highway tunnel, an inclinometer is adopted to measure the settlement deformation of a pipe-roof and demonstrates the deformation law in tunnel exiting portals. The formulas for calculating the deflection and internal forces are derived to analyze the deformation of the pipe-roof in each excavation stage, and the results are compared with field monitoring data. Finally, the influences of excavation height, excavation footage, and stiffness of the pipe-roof on the support effect are investigated. Analysis indicates that the longitudinal settlement curve shows a groove distribution, which can be divided into five stages: micro, rapid, continuous, resilience, and stable deformation. Moreover, the subsidence rate reaches its maximum at the tunnel face. The influence of tunnel excavation on the deformation mainly has a range of 1.5 times the excavation height. To control the deflection of the pipe-roof, excavation height should be controlled in the range of 3.5 m, excavation footage should be controlled in the range of 1–1.4 m, and the diameter and thickness of the selected pipe-roof should be in the ranges of 89–159 mm and 5–8 mm, respectively. Yanbin Luo, Jianxun Chen, Bao Liu, Lijun Chen, and Jiangtao Xie Copyright © 2017 Yanbin Luo et al. All rights reserved. Superinfection of a Dead Hepatic Echinococcal Cyst with a Cutaneous Fistulization Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crira/2017/9393462/ Cystic echinococcosis (CE), also known as “hydatid disease” (HD), is a zoonotic infection caused by the larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus, which infects humans as intermediate hosts through the orofecal route. Carried by the intestinal venous blood, the embryos released by the eggs of the tapeworms can reach every organ, especially the liver, turning into a hydatid cyst. Usually asymptomatic, the cysts can be incidentally detected through radiological examinations performed for other reasons. We show an unusual case of superinfection of a hydatid cyst with typical radiological features of inactivity (WHO-type CE5) with an even rarer skin fistulization passing through a subcutaneous-abdominal abscess involving the right iliac muscle. Giuseppe Cicero, Alfredo Blandino, Giorgio Ascenti, Tommaso D’Angelo, Luciano Frosina, Carmela Visalli, Ignazio Salamone, Maria Adele Marino, Marco Cavallaro, and Silvio Mazziotti Copyright © 2017 Giuseppe Cicero et al. All rights reserved. Crosstalk between the Androgen Receptor and PPAR Gamma Signaling Pathways in the Prostate Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ppar/2017/9456020/ Nuclear receptors are a superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors that play critical roles in the regulation of normal biological processes and several disease states. Of the nuclear receptors expressed within the prostate, the androgen receptor (AR) promotes the differentiation of prostatic epithelial cells and stimulates production of enzymes needed for liquefaction of semen. Multiple forms of AR also promote the growth of both early and late stage prostate cancers. As a result, drugs that target the AR signaling pathway are routinely used to treat patients with advanced forms of prostate cancer. Data also suggest that a second member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR), is a tumor suppressor that regulates growth of normal prostate and prostate cancers. Recent studies indicate there is a bidirectional interaction between AR and PPAR, with each receptor influencing the expression and/or activity of the other within prostatic tissues. In this review, we examine how AR and PPAR each regulate the growth and development of normal prostatic epithelial cells and prostate cancers. We also discuss interactions between the AR and PPAR signaling pathways and how those interactions may influence prostate biology. Emuejevoke Olokpa, Patrice E. Moss, and LaMonica V. Stewart Copyright © 2017 Emuejevoke Olokpa et al. All rights reserved. Physiological Roles of DNA Double-Strand Breaks Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jna/2017/6439169/ Genomic integrity is constantly threatened by sources of DNA damage, internal and external alike. Among the most cytotoxic lesions is the DNA double-strand break (DSB) which arises from the cleavage of both strands of the double helix. Cells boast a considerable set of defences to both prevent and repair these breaks and drugs which derail these processes represent an important category of anticancer therapeutics. And yet, bizarrely, cells deploy this very machinery for the intentional and calculated disruption of genomic integrity, harnessing potentially destructive DSBs in delicate genetic transactions. Under tight spatiotemporal regulation, DSBs serve as a tool for genetic modification, widely used across cellular biology to generate diverse functionalities, ranging from the fundamental upkeep of DNA replication, transcription, and the chromatin landscape to the diversification of immunity and the germline. Growing evidence points to a role of aberrant DSB physiology in human disease and an understanding of these processes may both inform the design of new therapeutic strategies and reduce off-target effects of existing drugs. Here, we review the wide-ranging roles of physiological DSBs and the emerging network of their multilateral regulation to consider how the cell is able to harness DNA breaks as a critical biochemical tool. Farhaan A. Khan and Syed O. Ali Copyright © 2017 Farhaan A. Khan and Syed O. Ali. All rights reserved. Rheumatoid Arthritis Affecting the Upper Cervical Spine: Biomechanical Assessment of the Stabilizing Ligaments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/6131703/ Diameters of anterior and posterior atlantodental intervals (AADI and PADI) are diagnostically conclusive regarding ongoing neurological disorders in rheumatoid arthritis. MRI and X-ray are mostly used for patients’ follow-up. This investigation aimed at analyzing these intervals during motion of cervical spine, when transverse and alar ligaments are damaged. AADI and PADI of 10 native, human cervical spines were measured using lateral fluoroscopy, while the spines were assessed in neutral position first, in maximal inclination second, and in maximal extension at last. First, specimens were evaluated under intact conditions, followed by analysis after transverse and alar ligaments were destroyed. Damage of the transverse ligament leads to an increase of the AADI’s diameter about 0.65 mm in flexion and damage of alar ligaments results in significant enhancement of 3.59 mm at mean. In extension, the AADI rises 0.60 mm after the transverse ligament was cut and 0.90 mm when the alar ligaments are damaged. After all ligaments are destroyed, AADI assessed in extension closely resembles AADI at neutral position. Ligamentous damage showed an average significant decrease of the PADI of 1.37 mm in the first step and of 3.57 mm in the second step in flexion, while it is reduced about 1.61 mm and 0.41 mm in the extended and similarly in the neutrally positioned spine. Alar and transverse ligaments are both of obvious importance in order to prevent AAS and movement-related spinal cord compression. Functional imaging is necessary at follow-up in order to identify patients having an advanced risk of neurological disorders. Carolin Meyer, Jan Bredow, Elisa Heising, Peer Eysel, Lars Peter Müller, and Gregor Stein Copyright © 2017 Carolin Meyer et al. All rights reserved. Compact Implicit Integration Factor Method for the Nonlinear Dirac Equation Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2017/3634815/ A high-order accuracy numerical method is proposed to solve the -dimensional nonlinear Dirac equation in this work. We construct the compact finite difference scheme for the spatial discretization and obtain a nonlinear ordinary differential system. For the temporal discretization, the implicit integration factor method is applied to deal with the nonlinear system. We therefore develop two implicit integration factor numerical schemes with full discretization, one of which can achieve fourth-order accuracy in both space and time. Numerical results are given to validate the accuracy of these schemes and to study the interaction dynamics of the nonlinear Dirac solitary waves. Jing-Jing Zhang, Xiang-Gui Li, and Jing-Fang Shao Copyright © 2017 Jing-Jing Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Three Different Methods for New Soliton Solutions of the Generalized NLS Equation Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2017/5137946/ Three different methods are applied to construct new types of solutions of nonlinear evolution equations. First, the Csch method is used to carry out the solutions; then the Extended Tanh-Coth method and the modified simple equation method are used to obtain the soliton solutions. The effectiveness of these methods is demonstrated by applications to the RKL model, the generalized derivative NLS equation. The solitary wave solutions and trigonometric function solutions are obtained. The obtained solutions are very useful in the nonlinear pulse propagation through optical fibers. Anwar Ja’afar Mohamad Jawad Copyright © 2017 Anwar Ja’afar Mohamad Jawad. All rights reserved. How Influential Are Mental Models on Interaction Performance? Exploring the Gap between Users’ and Designers’ Mental Models through a New Quantitative Method Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ahci/2017/3683546/ The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of the gap between two different mental models on interaction performance through a quantitative way. To achieve that, an index called mental model similarity and a new method called path diagram to elicit mental models were introduced. There are two kinds of similarity: directionless similarity calculated from card sorting and directional similarity calculated from path diagram. An experiment was designed to test their influence. A total of 32 college students participated and their performance was recorded. Through mathematical analysis of the results, three findings were derived. Frist, the more complex the information structures, the lower the directional similarity. Second, directional similarity (rather than directionless similarity) had significant influence on user performance, indicating that it is more effective in eliciting mental models using path diagram than card sorting. Third, the relationship between information structures and user performance was partially mediated by directional similarity. Our findings provide practitioners with a new perspective of bridging the gap between users’ and designers’ mental models. Bingjun Xie, Jia Zhou, and Huilin Wang Copyright © 2017 Bingjun Xie et al. All rights reserved. Implementing an Oxygen Supplementation and Monitoring Protocol on Inpatient Pediatric Bronchiolitis: An Exercise in Deimplementation Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijpedi/2017/3169098/ Aim. Our goal in this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of our oxygen () protocol to reduce length of stay (LOS) for children hospitalized with bronchiolitis. Methods. In this retrospective cohort study, the outcomes of children ≤ 24 months old that were admitted with bronchiolitis and placed on the protocol were compared to historical controls. The primary outcome was hospital length of stay. Secondary outcomes were duration of supplementation, rates of pediatric intensive care unit transfer, and readmission. Results. Groups were not significantly different in age, gender, and rates of respiratory distress score assessment. Significantly more severely ill patients were in the protocol group. There were no significant differences between control and protocol groups with regard to mean LOS, rates of pediatric intensive care unit transfer, or seven-day readmission rates. By multiple regression analysis, the use of the protocol was associated with a nearly 20% significant decrease in the length of hospitalization (). Conclusion. Use of supplementation protocol increased LOS in the more ill patients with bronchiolitis but decreased overall LOS by having a profound effect on patients with mild bronchiolitis. Brian LeCleir, Leslie Jurecko, Alan T. Davis, Nicholas J. Andersen, Dominic Sanfilippo, Surender Rajasekaran, and Anthony Olivero Copyright © 2017 Brian LeCleir et al. All rights reserved. MR Assessment of Acute Pathologic Process after Myocardial Infarction in a Permanent Ligation Mouse Model: Role of Magnetic Nanoparticle-Contrasted MRI Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmi/2017/2870802/ We evaluated the relationship between myocardial infarct size and inflammatory response using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) in an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) mouse model. Myocardial infarction (MI) was induced in 14 mice by permanent ligation of the left anterior descending artery. Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE), manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI), and magnetofluorescent nanoparticle MRI (MNP-MRI) were performed 1, 2, and 3 days after MI, respectively. The size of the enhanced lesion was quantitatively determined using Otsu’s thresholding method in area-based and sector-based approaches and was compared statistically. Linear correlation between the enhanced lesion sizes was evaluated by Pearson’s correlation coefficients. Differences were compared using Bland-Altman analysis. The size of the inflammatory area determined by MNP-MRI (57.1 ± 10.1%) was significantly larger than that of the infarct area measured by LGE (40.8 ± 11.7%, ) and MEMRI (44.1 ± 14.9%, ). There were significant correlations between the sizes of the infarct and inflammatory lesions (MNP-MRI versus LGE: , ; MNP-MRI versus MEMRI: , ). MNP-MRI provides information about inflammatory responses in a mouse model of AMI. Thus, MNP-MRI associated with LGE and MEMRI may play an important role in monitoring the disease progression in MI. Cheongsoo Park, Eun-Hye Park, Jongeun Kang, Javeria Zaheer, Hee Gu Lee, Chul-Ho Lee, Kiyuk Chang, and Kwan Soo Hong Copyright © 2017 Cheongsoo Park et al. All rights reserved. Traumatic Haemorrhagic Cervical Lymphadenopathy with Underlying Infectious Mononucleosis Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crira/2017/3097414/ A 16-year-old male presented to the Emergency Department with a painful 3 × 3 cm left-sided neck swelling six hours following blunt trauma to the neck from a heavy swinging door. A CT angiogram was performed which revealed a large haemorrhagic lymph node as well as generalised cervical lymphadenopathy. The patient was eventually diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis. This case report describes a rare case of traumatic haemorrhagic cervical lymphadenopathy with an underlying diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis. George Rahmani and Sarah Power Copyright © 2017 George Rahmani and Sarah Power. All rights reserved. Application of Real-Time 3D Navigation System in CT-Guided Percutaneous Interventional Procedures: A Feasibility Study Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/rrp/2017/3151694/ Introduction. To evaluate the accuracy of a quantitative 3D navigation system for CT-guided interventional procedures in a two-part study. Materials and Methods. Twenty-two procedures were performed in abdominal and thoracic phantoms. Accuracies of the 3D anatomy map registration and navigation were evaluated. Time used for the navigated procedures was recorded. In the IRB approved clinical evaluation, 21 patients scheduled for CT-guided thoracic and hepatic biopsy and ablations were recruited. CT-guided procedures were performed without following the 3D navigation display. Accuracy of navigation as well as workflow fitness of the system was evaluated. Results. In phantoms, the average 3D anatomy map registration error was 1.79 mm. The average navigated needle placement accuracy for one-pass and two-pass procedures, respectively, was  mm and  mm in the liver and  mm and  mm in the lung. The average accuracy of the 3D navigation system in human subjects was 4.6 mm ± 3.1 for all procedures. The system fits the existing workflow of CT-guided interventions with minimum impact. Conclusion. A 3D navigation system can be performed along the existing workflow and has the potential to navigate precision needle placement in CT-guided interventional procedures. Priya Bhattacharji and William Moore Copyright © 2017 Priya Bhattacharji and William Moore. All rights reserved. Survey of Extent of Translation of Oral Healthcare Guidelines for ICU Patients into Clinical Practice by Nursing Staff Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ccrp/2017/1348372/ Nosocomial infections in critically ill/ventilated patients result from bacterial load in oropharyngeal regions. Oral decontamination serves as the easiest effective means of controlling infections. Knowledge, attitude, and practices followed by healthcare personnel in intensive care settings need to be assessed to implement concrete measures in health-care. Survey questionnaire was constructed and implemented following its validation on seventy nursing and paramedical staff working in government and private intensive care units throughout Lucknow city. 21-item questionnaire consisted of three parts of seven questions each. 78% of respondents had knowledge regarding oral care and its importance in critical settings but 44% of respondents considered it to be unpleasant task. 36% of respondents claimed to have provided oral care to all patients in ICU. Uniform guidelines for translation of oral healthcare in ICU settings are not being implemented. Previous studies in literature from various geographic diverse regions also point out to similar lacunae. Based on present survey, most respondents were aware of importance of oral care with protocols covered in academic curriculum. Attitude towards oral care is positive but respondents feel a need for specialised training. Practice for oral care is not sufficient and needs improvement and proper implementation. Vivek Agarwal, Rameshwari Singhal, Richa Khanna, Pavitra Rastogi, Avinash Agarwal, and Shuchi Tripathi Copyright © 2017 Vivek Agarwal et al. All rights reserved. Two-Stage Dynamic Pricing and Advertising Strategies for Online Video Services Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2017/1349315/ As the demands for online video services increase intensively, the selection of business models has drawn the great attention of online providers. Among them, pay-per-view mode and advertising mode are two important resource modes, where the reasonable fee charge and suitable volume of ads need to be determined. This paper establishes an analytical framework studying the optimal dynamic pricing and advertising strategies for online providers; it shows how the strategies are influenced by the videos available time and the viewers’ emotional factor. We create the two-stage strategy of revenue models involving a single fee mode and a mixed fee-free mode and find out the optimal fee charge and advertising level of online video services. According to the results, the optimal video price and ads volume dynamically vary over time. The viewer’s aversion level to advertising has direct effects on both the volume of ads and the number of viewers who have selected low-quality content. The optimal volume of ads decreases with the increase of ads-aversion coefficient, while increasing as the quality of videos increases. The results also indicate that, in the long run, a pure fee mode or free mode is the optimal strategy for online providers. Zhi Li and De-qing Tan Copyright © 2017 Zhi Li and De-qing Tan. All rights reserved. Categorization of Chinese Dry-Cured Ham Based on Three Sticks’ Method by Multiple Sensory Technologies Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfq/2017/1701756/ Odor profiles of three grades of Jinhua, Xuanwei, and Rugao dry-cured hams were analyzed and distinguished by both the electronic nose and the sensory evaluation. The odor was absorbed by bamboo sticks, which is the most traditional absorption method to classify different ham grades. Then data from electronic nose was analyzed by discriminant function analysis (DFA) and cluster analysis (CA), compared with that from sensory evaluation by principal component analysis (PCA). Results showed that different grades of Jinhua, Xuanwei, and Rugao dry-cured hams could be distinguished effectively by the DFA results of electronic nose. However, sensory evaluation could not perform as well as electronic nose. It was demonstrated that intelligent sensory technology has higher sensitivity and reliability in classifying producing regions and grades of dry-cured ham. Dong Xia, Dan Ni Zhang, Shao Ting Gao, Le Chen, Nan Li, Fu Ping Zheng, and Yuan Liu Copyright © 2017 Dong Xia et al. All rights reserved. First-Line Helicobacter pylori Eradication with Vonoprazan, Clarithromycin, and Metronidazole in Patients Allergic to Penicillin Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2017/2019802/ Aim. To assess the efficacy of 7-day first-line Helicobacter pylori eradication with vonoprazan (VPZ), clarithromycin (CAM), and metronidazole (MNZ) in patients with penicillin allergy. Methods. Patients with penicillin allergy, diagnosed with Helicobacter pylori infection and did not have history of Helicobacter pylori eradication, were eligible for the study. Twenty patients were prospectively treated with 20 mg VPZ twice daily, 200 or 400 mg CAM twice daily, and 250 mg MNZ twice daily for 7 days. We also collected the data from 30 patients retrospectively treated with proton pump inhibitor (PPI), CAM, and MNZ. Safety was evaluated in patients completing an adverse effect questionnaire. Results. Both the intention-to-treat and per-protocol effectiveness of VPZ-based eradication were 100% (95% CI: 86.1–100%; ). The eradication rates of PPI-based regimen were 83.3% (95% CI: 65.3–94.4%) in the ITT and 82.7% (95% CI: 64.2–94.2%) in the PP analyses. Abdominal fullness was more frequent in VCM compared to PCM. However, all patients with VCM regimen had taken 100% of their course of medication. Conclusion. Triple therapy with VPZ, CAM, and MNZ is well tolerated and effective for eradicating Helicobacter pylori in patients allergic to penicillin. This study was registered in the UMIN Clinical Trials Registry as UMIN000016335. Soichiro Sue, Nobumi Suzuki, Wataru Shibata, Tomohiko Sasaki, Hiroaki Yamada, Hiroaki Kaneko, Toshihide Tamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Masaaki Kondo, and Shin Maeda Copyright © 2017 Soichiro Sue et al. All rights reserved. Antioxidative Effects of Natural Products on Diabetic Cardiomyopathy Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2017/2070178/ Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a common and severe complication of diabetes and results in high mortality. It is therefore imperative to develop novel therapeutics for the prevention or inhibition of the progression of DCM. Oxidative stress is a key mechanism by which diabetes induces DCM. Hence, targeting of oxidative stress-related processes in DCM could be a promising therapeutic strategy. To date, a number of studies have shown beneficial effects of several natural products on the attenuation of DCM via an antioxidative mechanism of action. The aim of the present review is to provide a comprehensive and concise overview of the previously reported antioxidant natural products in the inhibition of DCM progression. Clinical trials of the antioxidative natural products in the management of DCM are included. In addition, discussion and perspectives are further provided in the present review. Bingdi Yan, Jin Ren, Qinghua Zhang, Rong Gao, Fenglian Zhao, Junduo Wu, and Junling Yang Copyright © 2017 Bingdi Yan et al. All rights reserved. Calcium Ionophore, Calcimycin, Kills Leishmania Promastigotes by Activating Parasite Nitric Oxide Synthase Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/1309485/ Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. There is no vaccine against human leishmaniasis and the treatment of the disease would benefit from a broader spectrum and a higher efficacy of leishmanicidal compounds. We analyzed the leishmanicidal activity and the mechanism of action of the calcium ionophore, calcimycin. L. major promastigotes were coincubated with calcimycin and the viability of the cells was assessed using resazurin assay. Calcimycin displayed dose-dependent effect with IC50 = 0.16 μM. Analysis of propidium iodide/LDS-751 stained promastigotes revealed that lower concentrations of calcimycin had cytostatic effect and higher concentrations had cytotoxic effect. To establish the mechanism of action of calcimycin, which is known to stimulate activity of mammalian constitutive nitric oxide synthase (NOS), we coincubated L. major promastigotes with calcimycin and selective NOS inhibitors ARL-17477 or L-NNA. Addition of these inhibitors substantially decreased the toxicity of calcimycin to Leishmania promastigotes. In doing so, we demonstrated for the first time that calcimycin has a direct leishmanicidal effect on L. major promastigotes. Also, we showed that Leishmania constitutive Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent nitric oxide synthase is involved in the parasite cell death. These data suggest activation of Leishmania nitric oxide synthase as a new therapeutic approach. Igor Grekov, António R. Pombinho, Tatyana Kobets, Petr Bartůněk, and Marie Lipoldová Copyright © 2017 Igor Grekov et al. All rights reserved. Influence of Dexamethasone on Some Reproductive Hormones and Uterine Progesterone Receptor Localization in Pregnant Yankasa Sheep in Semiarid Zones of Nigeria Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jvm/2017/9514861/ Dexamethasone is widely used in both veterinary and human medical practices. However, it seems to cause some deleterious effects on pregnancy probably by causing changes in the reproductive hormone levels and their corresponding receptor concentrations. This study investigated the effects of dexamethasone on these parameters. Twenty healthy adult Yankasa sheep comprising 18 ewes and 2 rams were used for this study. Pregnancies were achieved by natural mating after estrus synchronization. Dexamethasone was administered at 0.25 mg/kg body weight on days 1, 3, and 5 during first trimester; days 51, 53, and 55 during second trimester; and days 101, 103, and 105 during the third trimester. Blood samples were collected biweekly for hormonal assay. Uterine biopsies were harvested through caesarean section for immunohistochemical analysis. Results showed that dexamethasone significantly () decreased progesterone concentrations and caused abortion in Yankasa sheep but had no significant () effect on estrogen, while progesterone receptors (PR) were upregulated. The abortion could probably be due to decreased progesterone concentrations as a consequence of the adverse effects on placenta. The PR upregulation may be a compensatory mechanism to increase progesterone sensitivity. It was concluded that dexamethasone should not be used in advanced pregnancy in Yankasa sheep. Dauda Yahi, Nicholas Adetayo Ojo, and Gideon Dauda Mshelia Copyright © 2017 Dauda Yahi et al. All rights reserved. Effect of C/N on Water State during Composting of Kitchen Waste and Vegetable Waste Mixture Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2017/9409145/ The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the C/N ratio on the water state changes during the composting of kitchen waste (KW) and vegetable waste (VW) mixtures. The C/N ratios in KW and VW were 50.70 and 27.07, respectively, and the VW was added to the KW to amend the C/N ratio. Five composting treatments were used, R1 with 0% KW, R2 with 25% KW, R3 with 50% KW, R4 with 75% KW, and R5 with 100% KW, and the initial C/N ratios increased in the order R1 < R2 < R3 < R4 < R5. As the composting process progressed, the capillary water (CW) and multi-molecular-layer water (MMLW) were changed into entrapped water (EW), and a high C/N ratio could delay the changes in the water state. The percentage of EW and CW significantly positively correlated with the C/N ratio during the composting of KW. The composting process performed better in treatments R2 and R3 than in the other treatments, and it was found that treatments R2 and R3 each had a lag phase of around 4 d until the water states started to change. Yuyang Long, Weijia Liu, Yuqiang Yang, and Dongsheng Shen Copyright © 2017 Yuyang Long et al. All rights reserved. Linear Kalman Filter for Attitude Estimation from Angular Rate and a Single Vector Measurement Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2017/9560108/ In this paper, a new Kalman filtering scheme is designed in order to give the optimal attitude estimation with gyroscopic data and a single vector observation. The quaternion kinematic equation is adopted as the state model while the quaternion of the attitude determination from a strapdown sensor is treated as the measurement. Derivations of the attitude solution from a single vector observation along with its variance analysis are presented. The proposed filter is named as the Single Vector Observation Linear Kalman filter (SVO-LKF). Flexible design of the filter facilitates fast execution speed with respect to other filters with linearization. Simulations and experiments are conducted in the presence of large external acceleration and magnetic distortion. The results show that, compared with representative filtering methods and attitude observers, the SVO-LKF owns the best estimation accuracy and it consumes much less time in the fusion process. Shangqiu Shan, Zhongxi Hou, and Jin Wu Copyright © 2017 Shangqiu Shan et al. All rights reserved. The Evidence of Cooperative Binding of a Ligand to G4 DNA Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jamc/2017/6780521/ Intrinsic constants of the ligand binding with G4 DNA (guanine-rich DNA sequence) using quantitative standards can be convenient providing the assessment for elucidating the possibility of such structures participation in biochemical processes. In the present communication, the hard + soft modelling approach to calculate intrinsic constants of a ligand binding with short DNA molecule, particularly such as G4 DNA, has been proposed. The suggested approach has focused upon the quantitative evaluating of a mutual influence between sites and between bound ligands. The cross-validation between a new hard + soft modelling and conventional stepwise complex formation algorithm has been conducted. A number of simulated examples will illustrate the methodology. The experimental mole-ratio titration of TMPyP4 by G4 DNA [(CG3)2CGC(AG3)2G] has been reexamined. The [(CG3)2CGC(AG3)2G] that folds from a G-rich sequence found in the promoter region of c-kit oncogene can be considered as a molecule with two equivalent mutually influence binding sites. A. G. Kudrev Copyright © 2017 A. G. Kudrev. All rights reserved. The Cascadic Multigrid Method of the Weak Galerkin Method for Second-Order Elliptic Equation Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/7912845/ This paper is devoted to the analysis of the cascadic multigrid algorithm for solving the linear system arising from the weak Galerkin finite element method. The proposed cascadic multigrid method is optimal for conjugate gradient iteration and quasi-optimal for Jacobi, Gauss-Seidel, and Richardson iterations. Numerical results are also provided to validate our theoretical analysis. Shi Sun, Ziping Huang, Cheng Wang, and Liming Guo Copyright © 2017 Shi Sun et al. All rights reserved. Review of Natural Product-Derived Compounds as Potent Antiglioblastoma Drugs Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/8139848/ Common care for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a surgical resection followed by radiotherapy and temozolomide- (TMZ-) based chemotherapy. Unfortunately, these therapies remain inadequate involving severe mortality and recurrence. Recently, new approaches discovering combinations of multiple inhibitors have been proposed along with the identification of key driver mutations that are specific to each patient. To date, this approach is still limited by the lack of effective therapy. Hopefully, novel compounds derived from natural products are suggested as potential solutions. Inhibitory effects of natural products on angiogenesis and metastasis and cancer suppressive effect of altering miRNA expression are provident discoveries. Angelica sinensis accelerates apoptosis by their key substances influencing factors of apoptosis pathways. Brazilin displays antitumor features by making influence on reactive oxygen species (ROS) intensity. Sargassum serratifolium, flavonoids, and so on have antimetastasis effect. Ficus carica controls miRNA that inhibits translation of certain secretory pathway proteins during the UPR. Serratia marcescens and patupilone (EPO 906) are physically assessed materials through clinical trials related to GBM progression. Consequently, our review puts emphasis on the potential of natural products in GBM treatment by regulating multiple malignant cancer-related pathway solving pending problem such as reducing toxicity and side effect. Moon Nyeo Park, Hyo Sook Song, Myungsun Kim, Min-Jung Lee, Whisung Cho, Hyun-Jin Lee, Cho-Hyun Hwang, Soojong Kim, Yechae Hwang, Beomku Kang, and Bonglee Kim Copyright © 2017 Moon Nyeo Park et al. All rights reserved. A New Method to Analyze the Security of Protocol Implementations Based on Ideal Trace Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scn/2017/7042835/ The security analysis of protocols on theory level cannot guarantee the security of protocol implementations. To solve this problem, researchers have done a lot, and many achievements have been reached in this field, such as model extraction and code generation. However, the existing methods do not take the security of protocol implementations into account. In this paper, we have proposed to exploit the traces of function return values to analyze the security of protocol implementations at the source code level. Taking classic protocols into consideration, for example (like the Needham-Schroeder protocol and the Diffie-Hellman protocol, which cannot resist man-in-the-middle attacks), we have analyzed man-in-the-middle attacks during the protocol implementations and have carried out experiments. It has been shown in the experiments that our new method works well. Different from other methods of analyzing the security of protocol implementations in the literatures, our new method can avoid some flaws of program languages (like C language memory access, pointer analysis, etc.) and dynamically analyze the security of protocol implementations. Fusheng Wu, Huanguo Zhang, Wengqing Wang, Jianwei Jia, and Shi Yuan Copyright © 2017 Fusheng Wu et al. All rights reserved. Research on the Field Dynamic Balance Technologies for Large Diesel Engine Crankshaft System Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2017/7150472/ In order to reduce the unbalancing mass and the accompanying unbalancing vibration of diesel engine crankshaft system, the field dynamic balancing method and its key technologies are presented in the paper. In order to separate the unbalancing vibration signal from the total vibration signal of crankshaft system, the fundamental frequency signal fitting principle based on the least square method was introduced firstly, and then wavelet noise reduction method was applied to improve the signal fitting precision of least square method. Based on the unbalancing vibration signal analysis and assessment of crankshaft system, the influence coefficient method was applied to calculate the value and phase of the equivalent unbalancing mass in flywheel. To easily correct the unbalancing condition of crankshaft system, the unbalancing adjustment equipment was designed based on the flywheel structure. The balancing effect of field dynamic balancing system designed for the large diesel engine has been verified by field experiments. Shihai Zhang and Zimiao Zhang Copyright © 2017 Shihai Zhang and Zimiao Zhang. All rights reserved. The Jump Size Distribution of the Commodity Spot Price and Its Effect on Futures and Option Prices Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2017/3286549/ In this paper, we analyze the role of the jump size distribution in the US natural gas prices when valuing natural gas futures traded at New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and we observe that a jump-diffusion model always provides lower errors than a diffusion model. Moreover, we also show that although the Normal distribution offers lower errors for short maturities, the Exponential distribution is quite accurate for long maturities. We also price natural gas options and we see that, in general, the model with the Normal jump size distribution underprices these options with respect to the Exponential distribution. Finally, we obtain the futures risk premia in both cases and we observe that for long maturities the term structure of the risk premia is negative. Moreover, the Exponential distribution provides the highest premia in absolute value. L. Gómez-Valle, Z. Habibilashkary, and J. Martínez-Rodríguez Copyright © 2017 L. Gómez-Valle et al. All rights reserved. Anxiolytic Effect of Citrus aurantium L. in Crack Users Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2017/7217619/ The objective of this study was to investigate the anxiolytic effects of the essential oil (EO) of Citrus aurantium L. in patients experiencing crack withdrawal. This was developed with internal users in therapeutic communities in Paraíba, Brazil. The test population consisted of 51 volunteers, subdivided into three groups. To elicit anxiety, the Simulated Public Speaking (SPS) method was used. Physiological measures were assessed at specific phases during the experiment using appropriate equipment. Psychological measures of anxiety were assessed using the Trait-State Anxiety Inventory (IDATE) and the Analog Smoke Scale (HAS). EO was administered by nebulization. The experiment was developed in individual sessions and consolidated to four phases. The results demonstrated that the test subjects in the groups that were given the EO maintained controlled anxiety levels during SPS, when compared to the Control Group (no treatment). Subjects who used the EO also maintained levels of “discomfort” and “cognitive impairment” during SPS. It was concluded that individuals who are experiencing internal crack cocaine withdrawal present high anxiety traits and that nebulization of the EO of Citrus aurantium L. provided an acute anxiolytic effect in crack cocaine users exposed to SPS. Gabriel Chaves Neto, João Euclides Fernandes Braga, Mateus Feitosa Alves, Liana Clébia de Morais Pordeus, Sócrates Golzio dos Santos, Marcus Tullius Scotti, Reinaldo N. Almeida, and Margareth de Fátima Formiga Melo Diniz Copyright © 2017 Gabriel Chaves Neto et al. All rights reserved. High-Dose Compound Heat Map for 3D-Cultured Glioblastoma Multiforme Cells in a Micropillar and Microwell Chip Platform Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/7218707/ Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is recognized as the most common and lethal form of central nervous system cancer. To cure GBM patients, many target-specific chemotherapeutic agents have been developing. However, 2D monolayer cell-based toxicity and efficacy tests did not efficiently screen agents due to the pool reflection of in vivo microenvironments (cell-to-cell and cell-to-extracellular matrix interaction). In this study, we used a 3D cell-based, high-throughput screening method reflecting the microenvironments using a micropillar and microwell chip platform to draw a high-dose heat map of the cytotoxicity and efficacy of 70 compounds, with two DMSO controls. Moreover, the high-dose heat map model compared the responses of four 3D-cultured patient-derived GBM cells and astrocytes to high dosages of compounds with respect to efficacy and cytotoxicity, respectively, to discern the most efficacious drug for GBM. Among the 70 compounds tested, cediranib (a potent inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinases) exhibited the lowest cytotoxicity to astrocytes and high efficacy to GBM cells in a high-dose heat map model. Dong Woo Lee, Sang-Yun Lee, Il Doh, Gyu Ha Ryu, and Do-Hyun Nam Copyright © 2017 Dong Woo Lee et al. All rights reserved. Long-Term Properties of Cement-Based Composites Incorporating Natural Zeolite as a Feature of Progressive Building Material Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2017/7139481/ This study is aimed at the utilization of natural zeolite as a prospective type of Supplementary Cementitious Material in connection with the innovations of construction solutions through the materials. The influence of zeolite on several properties of cement-based composites is studied. Basic characteristics of input powdery materials as well as the technological parameters of zeolite tested on mortar containing 50% of cement replacement are presented. The technical parameters of concrete containing 8, 13, and 25% of cement replacement by zeolite are presented as well. The paper is valuable due to the three-year testing period. The density of the hardened concrete was found to be decreasing with increasing zeolite content. While no significant differences in compressive strength were found after 28 days, differences between individual samples were clear after the long-term period. The presence of zeolite influenced the compressive strength positively in the case of the 8% and 13% replacement, while the higher proportion of natural zeolite (25%) caused lower compressive strength after 28 days but was similar to the reference concrete after three years. A major increase in strength was detected for all samples in the long-term period. It confirms the long-term potential of zeolite for strength improvement. Alena Sičáková, Matej Špak, Mária Kozlovská, and Marek Kováč Copyright © 2017 Alena Sičáková et al. All rights reserved. Application of 19F NMR Spectroscopy for Content Determination of Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jamc/2017/9206297/ A simple, rapid, and selective quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic method was evaluated for the determination of the content of fluorinated pharmaceuticals. 19F NMR spectra were either obtained in dimethylsulfoxide-d6 or aqueous buffer, using trifluoroacetic acid as internal standard. Quantification of 13 fluorine-containing pharmaceuticals spanning various pharmacological classes was accomplished using the proposed method. The method was found to be fit for purpose (interday precision 1.2% relative standard deviation) and may thus be applied for routine analysis and quality control of fluorine-containing pharmaceuticals due to its simplicity, nondestructive sample measurement, reliability, and high specificity. Therefore, 19F NMR may serve as a suitable analytical tool for the identification and selective determination of fluorinated pharmaceuticals used as reference materials and bulk samples. Alex O. Okaru, Tobias S. Brunner, Svenja M. Ackermann, Thomas Kuballa, Stephan G. Walch, Matthias Kohl-Himmelseher, and Dirk W. Lachenmeier Copyright © 2017 Alex O. Okaru et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Temperature and pH on Immobilized Laccase Activity in Conjugated Methacrylate-Acrylate Microspheres Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijps/2017/5657271/ Immobilization of laccase on the functionalized methacrylate-acrylate copolymer microspheres was studied. Poly(glycidyl methacrylate-co-n-butyl acrylate) microspheres consisting of epoxy groups were synthesized using facile emulsion photocuring technique. The epoxy groups in poly(GMA-co-nBA) microspheres were then converted to amino groups. Laccase immobilization is based on covalent binding via amino groups on the enzyme surface and aldehyde group on the microspheres. The FTIR spectra showed peak at 1646 cm−1 assigned to the conformation of the polymerization that referred to GMA and nBA monomers, respectively. After modification of the polymer, intensity of FTIR peaks assigned to the epoxy ring at 844 cm−1 and 904 cm−1 was decreased. The results obtained from FTIR exhibit a good agreement with the epoxy content method. The activity of laccase-immobilized microspheres increased upon increasing the epoxy content. Furthermore, poly(GMA-co-nBA) microspheres revealed uniform size below 2 µm that contributes to large surface area of the microspheres to be used as a matrix, thus increasing the enzyme capacity and enzymatic reaction. Immobilized enzyme also shifted to higher pH and temperature compared to free enzyme. Siti Zulaikha Mazlan and Sharina Abu Hanifah Copyright © 2017 Siti Zulaikha Mazlan and Sharina Abu Hanifah. All rights reserved. A New Type-2 Soft Set: Type-2 Soft Graphs and Their Applications Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/afs/2017/6162753/ The correspondence between a vertex and its neighbors has an essential role in the structure of a graph. Type-2 soft sets are also based on the correspondence of primary parameters and underlying parameters. In this study, we present an application of type-2 soft sets in graph theory. We introduce vertex-neighbors based type-2 soft sets over (set of all vertices of a graph) and (set of all edges of a graph). Moreover, we introduce some type-2 soft operations in graphs by presenting several examples to demonstrate these new concepts. Finally, we describe an application of type-2 soft graphs in communication networks and present procedure as an algorithm. Khizar Hayat, Muhammad Irfan Ali, Bing-Yuan Cao, and Xiao-Peng Yang Copyright © 2017 Khizar Hayat et al. All rights reserved. Growth Differentiation Factor-15 Is a Predictor of Mortality in Critically Ill Patients with Sepsis Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2017/5271203/ Growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) is a member of the transforming growth factor-β superfamily related to inflammation and macrophage activation. Serum concentrations of GDF-15 can predict poor survival in chronic diseases, but its role in sepsis is obscure. Therefore, we investigated GDF-15 as a prognostic biomarker in critically ill patients. We measured GDF-15 levels in 219 critically ill patients (146 with sepsis, 73 without sepsis) upon admission to the intensive care unit (ICU), in comparison to 66 healthy controls. GDF-15 levels were significantly increased in ICU patients compared to controls. GDF-15 was further increased in sepsis and showed a strong association with organ dysfunction (kidney, liver and lactate) and disease severity (APACHE II and SOFA score). High GDF-15 concentrations at admission independently predicted ICU (HR 3.42; 95% CI 1.33–8.78) and overall mortality (HR 2.02, 95% CI 1.02–3.88) in all ICU critically ill patients as well as in a large subgroup of sepsis patients (ICU mortality: HR 3.16; 95% CI 1.10–9.07; overall mortality: HR 2.62; 95% CI 1.14–6.02). Collectively, serum GDF-15 levels are significantly increased in critically ill patients, associated with sepsis, organ failure, and disease severity. High GDF-15 levels at ICU admission predict short- and long-term mortality risk. Lukas Buendgens, Eray Yagmur, Jan Bruensing, Ulf Herbers, Christer Baeck, Christian Trautwein, Alexander Koch, and Frank Tacke Copyright © 2017 Lukas Buendgens et al. All rights reserved. Preoperative C-Reactive Protein as a Risk Factor for Postoperative Delirium in Elderly Patients Undergoing Laparoscopic Surgery for Colon Carcinoma Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/5635640/ Background. Postoperative delirium (POD) is a very common complication in operative disciplines, especially in those elderly patients after cardiac surgery. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between C-reactive protein (CRP) and POD in elderly patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery for colon carcinoma. Methods. 160 elderly patients scheduled to undergo selective laparoscopic surgery for colon carcinoma were prospectively recruited in this present study. The preoperative demographic and medical characteristics, intraoperative variables, and postoperative complications were all recorded in detail. POD assessment was performed once a day for the first 3 days and at 7th day after surgery, respectively. CRP concentrations preoperatively and on postoperative days 1, 2, and 3 were measured by using human enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results. Of all the 160 enrolled patients, 39 had suffered POD with a POD incidence of 24.4% within the first week after the operation. The univariate analysis and multiple logistic regression analysis suggested preoperative CRP concentrations as the only independent predicator for POD in patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery for colon carcinoma (OR: 5.87; 95% CI: 2.22–11.4; ). Conclusions. This present study highlighted the predictive role of preoperative CRP concentrations for POD in elderly patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery for colon carcinoma. Dong Xiang, Hailin Xing, Huiyu Tai, and Guozhu Xie Copyright © 2017 Dong Xiang et al. All rights reserved. Development of an Omnidirectional-Image-Based Data Model through Extending the IndoorGML Concept to an Indoor Patrol Service Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2017/5379106/ Different indoor representation methods have been studied for their ability to provide indoor location-based services (LBS). Among them, omnidirectional imaging is one of the most typical and simple methods for representing an indoor space. However, a georeferenced omnidirectional image cannot be used for simple attribute searches, spatial queries, and spatial awareness analyses. To perform these functions, topological data are needed to define the features of and spatial relationships among spatial objects including indoor spaces as well as facilities like CCTV cameras considered in patrol service applications. Therefore, this study proposes an indoor space application data model for an indoor patrol service that can implement functions suited to linking indoor space data and service objects. In order to do this, the study presents a method for linking data between omnidirectional images representing indoor spaces and topological data on indoor spaces based on the concept of IndoorGML. Also, we conduct an experimental implementation of the integrated 3D indoor navigation model for patrol service using GIS data. Based on the results, we evaluate the benefits of using such a 3D data fusion method that integrates omnidirectional images with vector-based topological data models based on IndoorGML for providing indoor LBS in built environments. Hyo-jin Jung and Jiyeong Lee Copyright © 2017 Hyo-jin Jung and Jiyeong Lee. All rights reserved. Neural Plasticity Is Involved in Physiological Sleep, Depressive Sleep Disturbances, and Antidepressant Treatments Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2017/5870735/ Depression, which is characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood and anhedonia, greatly impacts patients, their families, and society. The associated and recurring sleep disturbances further reduce patient’s quality of life. However, therapeutic sleep deprivation has been regarded as a rapid and robust antidepressant treatment for several decades, which suggests a complicated role of sleep in development of depression. Changes in neural plasticity are observed during physiological sleep, therapeutic sleep deprivation, and depression. This correlation might help us to understand better the mechanism underlying development of depression and the role of sleep. In this review, we first introduce the structure of sleep and the facilitated neural plasticity caused by physiological sleep. Then, we introduce sleep disturbances and changes in plasticity in patients with depression. Finally, the effects and mechanisms of antidepressants and therapeutic sleep deprivation on neural plasticity are discussed. Meng-Qi Zhang, Rui Li, Yi-Qun Wang, and Zhi-Li Huang Copyright © 2017 Meng-Qi Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Bilateral Tubal Pregnancy without Known Risk Factor Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criog/2017/4356036/ Spontaneous bilateral ectopic gestation is very rare. The authors report a case diagnosed and taken care of at Yalgado Ouedraogo Teaching Hospital, Ouagadougou. It was a 30-year-old patient with no known pathological history. She had presented at the obstetric emergencies with a state of hypovolemic shock by haemoperitoneum with digestive disorders, pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, and a mention of delayed menstruation. The ultrasound coupled with the urinary immunological pregnancy test confirmed the diagnosis of ruptured ectopic pregnancy and a bilateral form was suspected. A laparotomy in emergency confirmed the diagnosis of bilateral ectopic gestation with a right ampullary unruptured pregnancy and a left isthmic ruptured gestation. A bilateral salpingectomy was performed and counseling was made for the use of medical help of procreation in case of future need of pregnancy. Hyacinthe Zamané, Barnabé Yameogo, Paul Dantola Kain, François Gueswendé Xavier Kaboré, Yobi Alexis Sawadogo, Sibraogo Kiemtoré, Sidbewenné Yacinthe Kaboré, and Blandine Bonané Thiéba Copyright © 2017 Hyacinthe Zamané et al. All rights reserved. Ischaemic Preconditioning Suppresses Necrosis of Adipocutaneous Flaps in a Diabetic Rat Model Regardless of the Manner of Preischaemia Induction Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/drp/2017/4137597/ Ischaemic insult in the skin flaps is a major problem in reconstructive surgery particularly in patients with diabetes mellitus. Here, we sought to investigate the effectiveness of ischaemic preconditioning (IP) on diabetic skin flaps in rat animal model. Hundred Wistar rats (90 streptozotocin treated animals and 10 nondiabetic controls) were used. Diabetes mellitus was confirmed by measuring glucose level in blood, HbA1c, and ketonuria. We used blood vessel clamping, hind limb tourniquet, and NO donors (Spermine/NO complex) to induce short-term ischaemia of tissues that will be excised for skin flaps. Animals were followed for 5 days. Flaps were photographed at day 5 and percent of necrosis was determined using planimetry. Significant decrease in percent of necrotic tissue in all groups that received preconditioning was observed. Results show that ischaemic preconditioning suppresses flap necrosis in diabetic rats irrespective of direct or remote tissue IP and irrespective of chemically or physically induced preischaemia. Spermine/NO complex treatment 10 minutes after the flap ischaemia suppressed tissue necrosis. Treatment with NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME reversed effects of IP showing importance of NO for this process. We show that IP is a promising approach for suppression of tissue necrosis in diabetic flaps and potential of NO pathway as therapeutic target in diabetic flaps. Christian Ottomann, Marcus Küntscher, Bernd Hartmann, and Vlado Antonic Copyright © 2017 Christian Ottomann et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Electrospun Nanofiber-Anchored Silicone for the Degenerative Intervertebral Disc Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jhe/2017/5283846/ The nucleus pulposus (NP) substitution by polymeric gel is one of the promising techniques for the repair of the degenerative intervertebral disc (IVD). Silicone gel is one of the potential candidates for a NP replacement material. Electrospun fiber anchorage to silicone disc, referred as ENAS disc, may not only improve the biomechanical performances of the gel but it can also improve restoration capability of the gel, which is unknown. This study successfully produced a novel process to anchor any size and shape of NP gel with electrospun fiber mesh. Viscoelastic properties of silicone and ENAS disc were measured using standard experimental techniques and compared with the native tissue properties. Ex vivo mechanical tests were conducted on ENAS disc-implanted rabbit tails to the compare the mechanical stability between intact and ENAS implanted spines. This study found that viscoelastic properties of ENAS disc are higher than silicone disc and comparable to the viscoelastic properties of human NP. The ex vivo studies found that the ENAS disc restore the mechanical functionality of rabbit tail spine, after discectomy of native NP and replacing the NP by ENAS disc. Therefore, the PCL ENF mesh anchoring technique to a NP implant can have clinical potential. M. Khandaker and S. Riahanizad Copyright © 2017 M. Khandaker and S. Riahanizad. All rights reserved. Theranostic Probes for Cancer Imaging Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmi/2017/1863803/ Fu Wang, Lei Zhu, Kai Yang, and Dongkyoo Park Copyright © 2017 Fu Wang et al. All rights reserved. In What Ways Do Synthetic Nucleotides and Natural Base Lesions Alter the Structural Stability of G-Quadruplex Nucleic Acids? Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jna/2017/1641845/ Synthetic analogs of natural nucleotides have long been utilized for structural studies of canonical and noncanonical nucleic acids, including the extensively investigated polymorphic G-quadruplexes (GQs). Dependence on the sequence and nucleotide modifications of the folding landscape of GQs has been reviewed by several recent studies. Here, an overview is compiled on the thermodynamic stability of the modified GQ folds and on how the stereochemical preferences of more than 70 synthetic and natural derivatives of nucleotides substituting for natural ones determine the stability as well as the conformation. Groups of nucleotide analogs only stabilize or only destabilize the GQ, while the majority of analogs alter the GQ stability in both ways. This depends on the preferred syn or anti N-glycosidic linkage of the modified building blocks, the position of substitution, and the folding architecture of the native GQ. Natural base lesions and epigenetic modifications of GQs explored so far also stabilize or destabilize the GQ assemblies. Learning the effect of synthetic nucleotide analogs on the stability of GQs can assist in engineering a required stable GQ topology, and exploring the in vitro action of the single and clustered natural base damage on GQ architectures may provide indications for the cellular events. Janos Sagi Copyright © 2017 Janos Sagi. All rights reserved. Carlina vulgaris L. as a Source of Phytochemicals with Antioxidant Activity Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/1891849/ The methanol extracts from three populations of Carlina vulgaris L. were examined for the chlorogenic acid content, mineral content, total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), and antioxidant activity. Two populations originated from natural nonmetallicolous habitats (NN (populations from Nasiłów) and NP (populations from Pińczów)), and one metallicolous population (MB) was collected from Bolesław waste heap localized at the place of former open-cast mining of Ag-Pb and Zn-Pb ores dating back to the 13th century and 18th century, respectively. The level of Zn, Pb, Cd, Fe, Ni, and Mn was significantly higher in the root and leaves of MB plants as a result of soil contaminations compared to those of the NN and NP ones. The highest antioxidant potency has been showed by the plants growing in a nonmetallicolous habitat. The flower head extracts obtained from the nonmetallicolous populations also contained the largest amount of chlorogenic acid, whereas the lowest was determined in the roots (ca. 2–3.5 mg/g and 0.2–0.4 mg/g of air-dry weight, resp.). These studies provide important information on the influence of a habitat on the quality of herbal materials and the content of the biologically active primary and secondary metabolites. Maciej Strzemski, Magdalena Wójciak-Kosior, Ireneusz Sowa, Daniel Załuski, Wojciech Szwerc, Jan Sawicki, Ryszard Kocjan, Marcin Feldo, and Sławomir Dresler Copyright © 2017 Maciej Strzemski et al. All rights reserved. (2 + 1)-Dimensional Coupled Model for Envelope Rossby Solitary Waves and Its Solutions as well as Chirp Effect Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2017/1378740/ Using the method of multiple scales and perturbation method, a set of coupled models describing the envelope Rossby solitary waves in ()-dimensional condition are obtained, also can be called coupled NLS (CNLS) equations. Following this, based on trial function method, the solutions of the NLS equation are deduced. Moreover, the modulation instability of coupled envelope Rossby waves is studied. We can find that the stable feature of coupled envelope Rossby waves is decided by the value of . Finally, learning from the concept of chirp in the optical soliton communication field, we study the chirp effect caused by nonlinearity and dispersion in the propagation of Rossby waves. Xin Chen, Hongwei Yang, Min Guo, and Baoshu Yin Copyright © 2017 Xin Chen et al. All rights reserved. Study on Shale Adsorption Equation Based on Monolayer Adsorption, Multilayer Adsorption, and Capillary Condensation Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2017/1496463/ Shale gas is an effective gas resource all over the world. The evaluation of pore structure plays a critical role in exploring shale gas efficiently. Nitrogen adsorption experiment is one of the significant approaches to analyze pore size structure of shale. Shale is extremely heterogeneous due to component diversity and structure complexity. Therefore, adsorption isotherms for homogeneous adsorbents and empirical isotherms may not apply to shale. The shape of adsorption-desorption curve indicates that nitrogen adsorption on shale includes monolayer adsorption, multilayer adsorption, and capillary condensation. Usually, Langmuir isotherm is a monolayer adsorption model for ideal interfaces; BET (Brunauer, Emmett, Teller) adsorption isotherm is a multilayer adsorption model based on specific assumptions; Freundlich isotherm is an empirical equation widely applied in liquid phase adsorption. In this study, a new nitrogen adsorption isotherm is applied to simultaneously depict monolayer adsorption, multilayer adsorption, and capillary condensation, which provides more real and accurate representation of nitrogen adsorption on shale. In addition, parameters are discussed in relation to heat of adsorption which is relevant to the shape of the adsorption isotherm curve. The curve fitting results indicate that our new nitrogen adsorption isotherm can appropriately describe the whole process of nitrogen adsorption on shale. Qing Chen, Yuanyuan Tian, Peng Li, Changhui Yan, Yu Pang, Li Zheng, Hucheng Deng, Wen Zhou, and Xianghao Meng Copyright © 2017 Qing Chen et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Heating Rate on the Dynamic Tensile Mechanical Properties of Coal Sandstone during Thermal Treatment Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2017/4137805/ The effects of coal layered combustion and the heat injection rate on adjacent rock were examined in the process of underground coal gasification and coal-bed methane mining. Dynamic Brazilian disk tests were conducted on coal sandstone at 800°C and slow cooling from different heating rates by means of a Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar (SHPB) test system. It was discovered that thermal conditions had significant effects on the physical and mechanical properties of the sandstone including longitudinal wave velocity, density, and dynamic linear tensile strength; as the heating rates increased, the thermal expansion of the sandstone was enhanced and the damage degree increased. Compared with sandstone at ambient temperature, the fracture process of heat-treated sandstone was more complicated. After thermal treatment, the specimen had a large crack in the center and cracks on both sides caused by loading; the original cracks grew and mineral particle cracks, internal pore geometry, and other defects gradually appeared. With increasing heating rates, the microscopic fracture mode transformed from ductile fracture to subbrittle fracture. It was concluded that changes in the macroscopic mechanical properties of the sandstone were result from changes in the composition and microstructure. Ming Li, Xianbiao Mao, Hai Pu, Yanlong Chen, Yu Wu, and Lianying Zhang Copyright © 2017 Ming Li et al. All rights reserved. Molecular Mechanisms Responsible for Increased Vulnerability of the Ageing Oocyte to Oxidative Damage Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2017/4015874/ In their midthirties, women experience a decline in fertility, coupled to a pronounced increase in the risk of aneuploidy, miscarriage, and birth defects. Although the aetiology of such pathologies are complex, a causative relationship between the age-related decline in oocyte quality and oxidative stress (OS) is now well established. What remains less certain are the molecular mechanisms governing the increased vulnerability of the aged oocyte to oxidative damage. In this review, we explore the reduced capacity of the ageing oocyte to mitigate macromolecular damage arising from oxidative insults and highlight the dramatic consequences for oocyte quality and female fertility. Indeed, while oocytes are typically endowed with a comprehensive suite of molecular mechanisms to moderate oxidative damage and thus ensure the fidelity of the germline, there is increasing recognition that the efficacy of such protective mechanisms undergoes an age-related decline. For instance, impaired reactive oxygen species metabolism, decreased DNA repair, reduced sensitivity of the spindle assembly checkpoint, and decreased capacity for protein repair and degradation collectively render the aged oocyte acutely vulnerable to OS and limits their capacity to recover from exposure to such insults. We also highlight the inadequacies of our current armoury of assisted reproductive technologies to combat age-related female infertility, emphasising the need for further research into mechanisms underpinning the functional deterioration of the ageing oocyte. Bettina P. Mihalas, Kate A. Redgrove, Eileen A. McLaughlin, and Brett Nixon Copyright © 2017 Bettina P. Mihalas et al. All rights reserved. Mental Task Evaluation for Hybrid NIRS-EEG Brain-Computer Interfaces Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cin/2017/3524208/ Based on recent electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) studies that showed that tasks such as motor imagery and mental arithmetic induce specific neural response patterns, we propose a hybrid brain-computer interface (hBCI) paradigm in which EEG and NIRS data are fused to improve binary classification performance. We recorded simultaneous NIRS-EEG data from nine participants performing seven mental tasks (word generation, mental rotation, subtraction, singing and navigation, and motor and face imagery). Classifiers were trained for each possible pair of tasks using () EEG features alone, () NIRS features alone, and () EEG and NIRS features combined, to identify the best task pairs and assess the usefulness of a multimodal approach. The NIRS-EEG approach led to an average increase in peak kappa of 0.03 when using features extracted from one-second windows (equivalent to an increase of 1.5% in classification accuracy for balanced classes). The increase was much stronger (0.20, corresponding to an 10% accuracy increase) when focusing on time windows of high NIRS performance. The EEG and NIRS analyses further unveiled relevant brain regions and important feature types. This work provides a basis for future NIRS-EEG hBCI studies aiming to improve classification performance toward more efficient and flexible BCIs. Hubert Banville, Rishabh Gupta, and Tiago H. Falk Copyright © 2017 Hubert Banville et al. All rights reserved. Deterministic and Stochastic Study for an Infected Computer Network Model Powered by a System of Antivirus Programs Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2017/3540278/ We investigate the various conditions that control the extinction and stability of a nonlinear mathematical spread model with stochastic perturbations. This model describes the spread of viruses into an infected computer network which is powered by a system of antivirus software. The system is analyzed by using the stability theory of stochastic differential equations and the computer simulations. First, we study the global stability of the virus-free equilibrium state and the virus-epidemic equilibrium state. Furthermore, we use the Itô formula and some other theoretical theorems of stochastic differential equation to discuss the extinction and the stationary distribution of our system. The analysis gives a sufficient condition for the infection to be extinct (i.e., the number of viruses tends exponentially to zero). The ergodicity of the solution and the stationary distribution can be obtained if the basic reproduction number is bigger than , and the intensities of stochastic fluctuations are small enough. Numerical simulations are carried out to illustrate the theoretical results. Youness El Ansari, Ali El Myr, and Lahcen Omari Copyright © 2017 Youness El Ansari et al. All rights reserved. Overt Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding and Pseudotumor: A Rare Presentation of Cytomegalovirus Infection Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crim/2017/9732967/ Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a ubiquitous organism which can infect multiple organs of the body. In an immunocompromised patient, it can have a myriad of gastrointestinal manifestations. We report a case of recurrent hematochezia and concomitant pseudotumor in an AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) patient attributable to CMV infection. A 62-year-old man with a history of AIDS, noncompliant with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), presented with bright red blood per rectum. Index colonoscopy showed presence of multiple ulcers, colonic stenosis, and mass-like appearing lesion. Biopsy confirmed CMV infection and ruled out malignancy. Cessation of dual antiplatelet therapy and compliance with HAART lead to clinical cessation of bleeding and endoscopic healing of ulcers with complete resolution of colon mass on follow-up colonoscopy. Akanksha Agrawal, Deepanshu Jain, and Sameer Siddique Copyright © 2017 Akanksha Agrawal et al. All rights reserved. Microarray Analysis Reveals a Potential Role of lncRNA Expression in 3,4-Benzopyrene/Angiotensin II-Activated Macrophage in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2017/9495739/ Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a fatal disease, and exposure to 3,4-benzopyrene (Bap) is closely related to the development of AAA. We have found that Bap could impair the biological function of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), which are associated with the occurrence of AAA. We have also demonstrated that macrophage activation plays a key role in Bap-induced AAA, but the mechanism is unknown. Here, we used a mouse lncRNA array to investigate the expression signatures of lncRNAs and mRNAs in Bap-activated macrophage. A total of 457 lncRNAs and 219 mRNAs were found to be differentially expressed. The function of differential mRNAs was determined by pathway and Gene Ontology analysis. Eight pathways associated with inflammation were upregulated, and seven pathways including cell apoptosis were downregulated. It was worth noting that AGE-RAGE pathway, which was involved in Bap-induced EPC dysfunction, was significantly upregulated in Bap-activated macrophage and may contribute to AAA formation. Thus, lncRNAs may exert a key role in activated macrophages and intervene the core lncRNAs and may inhibit the occurrence of a series of cascade reactions in the macrophages, which may provide potential targets for AAA caused by smoking. Yingying Zhou, Jiaoni Wang, Yangjing Xue, Aili Fang, Shaoze Wu, Kaiyu Huang, Luyuan Tao, Jie Wang, Yigen Shen, Jinsheng Wang, Lulu Pan, Lei Li, and Kangting Ji Copyright © 2017 Yingying Zhou et al. All rights reserved. A Case of Invasive Pneumococcal Infection with Septic Shock and Rare Complications Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cricc/2017/9503654/ Invasive pneumococcus is a serious illness with potentially devastating outcomes. A 64-year-old female with a medical history of psoriatic arthritis and diabetes was transferred from an outside hospital for ventilator dependent respiratory failure and altered mental status. She initially presented with worsening back pain and was found to have leukocytosis with bandemia and acute renal failure but she was in septic shock upon arrival to our tertiary care center. Her blood cultures grew Streptococcus pneumoniae and MRI of the brain revealed pus within the posterior lateral ventricles and multiple infarcts. MRI of the spine revealed a psoas abscess. Transesophageal echocardiogram revealed mitral valve vegetation and her right eye developed endogenous endophthalmitis. She was treated with intravenous and intravitreal antibiotics and underwent drainage of the abscess with no improvement in mental status. Repeat imaging revealed multiple new thalamic, basal ganglia, and parietal lobe infarcts likely from septic emboli. After a protracted ICU stay, the patient’s family opted for comfort care. The incidence of invasive pneumococcal infections has declined rapidly since the advent of antibiotics and vaccines. With the growing incidence of antibiotic resistance as well as the emergence of new immunomodulating drugs for various pathologies, there is a concern that invasive infections will reemerge. Ventriculitis and endogenous endophthalmitis are very rare complications of pneumococcal bacteremia. John R. Woytanowski, Nausheen Hakim, Caytlin Deering, and Sara Shultz Copyright © 2017 John R. Woytanowski et al. All rights reserved. Hands-On Math and Art Exhibition Promoting Science Attitudes and Educational Plans Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2017/9132791/ The current science, technology, engineering, art, math education (STEAM) approach emphasizes integration of abstract science and mathematical ideas for concrete solutions by art. The main aim was to find out how experience of learning mathematics differed between the contexts of school and an informal Math and Art Exhibition. The study participants () were 12-13 years old from Finland. Several valid questionnaires and tests were applied (e.g., SRQ-A, RAVEN) in pre- and postdesign showing a good reliability. The results based on General Linear Modeling and Structural Equation Path Modeling underline the motivational effects. The experience of the effectiveness of hands-on learning at school and at the exhibition was not consistent across the subgroups. The lowest achieving group appreciated the exhibition alternative for math learning compared to learning math at school. The boys considered the exhibition to be more useful than the girls as it fostered their science and technology attitudes. However, for the girls, the attractiveness of the exhibition, the experienced situation motivation, was much more strongly connected to the attitudes on science and technology and the worthiness of mathematics. Interestingly, the pupils experienced that even this short informal learning intervention affected their science and technology attitudes and educational plans. Helena Thuneberg, Hannu Salmi, and Kristof Fenyvesi Copyright © 2017 Helena Thuneberg et al. All rights reserved. Irreversible Thermodynamic Description of Dark Matter and Radiation Creation during Inflationary Reheating Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ahep/2017/7650238/ We investigate matter creation processes during the reheating period of the early Universe, by using the thermodynamic of open systems. The Universe is assumed to consist of the inflationary scalar field, which, through its decay, generates relativistic matter and pressureless dark matter. The inflationary scalar field transfers its energy to the newly created matter particles, with the field energy decreasing to near zero. The equations governing the irreversible matter creation are obtained by combining the thermodynamics description of the matter creation and the gravitational field equations. The role of the different inflationary scalar field potentials is analyzed by using analytical and numerical methods. The values of the energy densities of relativistic matter and dark matter reach their maximum when the Universe is reheated up to the reheating temperature, which is obtained as a function of the scalar field decay width, the scalar field particle mass, and the cosmological parameters. Particle production leads to the acceleration of the Universe during the reheating phase, with the deceleration parameter showing complex dynamics. Once the energy density of the scalar field becomes negligible with respect to the matter densities, the expansion of the Universe decelerates, and inflation has a graceful exit. Juntong Su, Tiberiu Harko, and Shi-Dong Liang Copyright © 2017 Juntong Su et al. All rights reserved.