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  • Articles  (247)
  • MDPI Publishing  (247)
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  • Articles  (247)
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  • 1
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2017-12-24
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 23: Preparation and Optimisation of Cross-Linked Enzyme Aggregates Using Native Isolate White Rot Fungi Trametes versicolor and Fomes fomentarius for the Decolourisation of Synthetic Dyes International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15010023 Authors: Martina Vršanská Stanislava Voběrková Ana Jiménez Jiménez Vladislav Strmiska Vojtěch Adam The key to obtaining an optimum performance of an enzyme is often a question of devising a suitable enzyme and optimisation of conditions for its immobilization. In this study, laccases from the native isolates of white rot fungi Fomes fomentarius and/or Trametes versicolor, obtained from Czech forests, were used. From these, cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEA) were prepared and characterised when the experimental conditions were optimized. Based on the optimization steps, saturated ammonium sulphate solution (75 wt.%) was used as the precipitating agent, and different concentrations of glutaraldehyde as a cross-linking agent were investigated. CLEA aggregates formed under the optimal conditions showed higher catalytic efficiency and stabilities (thermal, pH, and storage, against denaturation) as well as high reusability compared to free laccase for both fungal strains. The best concentration of glutaraldehyde seemed to be 50 mM and higher efficiency of cross-linking was observed at a low temperature 4 °C. An insignificant increase in optimum pH for CLEA laccases with respect to free laccases for both fungi was observed. The results show that the optimum temperature for both free laccase and CLEA laccase was 35 °C for T. versicolor and 30 °C for F. fomentarius. The CLEAs retained 80% of their initial activity for Trametes and 74% for Fomes after 70 days of cultivation. Prepared cross-linked enzyme aggregates were also investigated for their decolourisation activity on malachite green, bromothymol blue, and methyl red dyes. Immobilised CLEA laccase from Trametes versicolor showed 95% decolourisation potential and CLEA from Fomes fomentarius demonstrated 90% decolourisation efficiency within 10 h for all dyes used. These results suggest that these CLEAs have promising potential in dye decolourisation.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 2
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2017-07-31
    Description: Sensors, Vol. 17, Pages 1743: Olive Actual “on Year” Yield Forecast Tool Based on the Tree Canopy Geometry Using UAS Imagery Sensors doi: 10.3390/s17081743 Authors: Rafael Sola-Guirado Francisco Castillo-Ruiz Francisco Jiménez-Jiménez Gregorio Blanco-Roldan Sergio Castro-Garcia Jesus Gil-Ribes Olive has a notable importance in countries of Mediterranean basin and its profitability depends on several factors such as actual yield, production cost or product price. Actual “on year” Yield (AY) is production (kg tree−1) in “on years”, and this research attempts to relate it with geometrical parameters of the tree canopy. Regression equation to forecast AY based on manual canopy volume was determined based on data acquired from different orchard categories and cultivars during different harvesting seasons in southern Spain. Orthoimages were acquired with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) imagery calculating individual crown for relating to canopy volume and AY. Yield levels did not vary between orchard categories; however, it did between irrigated orchards (7000–17,000 kg ha−1) and rainfed ones (4000–7000 kg ha−1). After that, manual canopy volume was related with the individual crown area of trees that were calculated by orthoimages acquired with UAS imagery. Finally, AY was forecasted using both manual canopy volume and individual tree crown area as main factors for olive productivity. AY forecast only by using individual crown area made it possible to get a simple and cheap forecast tool for a wide range of olive orchards. Finally, the acquired information was introduced in a thematic map describing spatial AY variability obtained from orthoimage analysis that may be a powerful tool for farmers, insurance systems, market forecasts or to detect agronomical problems.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 3
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2017-09-22
    Description: Materials, Vol. 10, Pages 1111: The Application of Functionalized Pillared Porous Phosphate Heterostructures for the Removal of Textile Dyes from Wastewater Materials doi: 10.3390/ma10101111 Authors: José Jiménez-Jiménez Manuel Algarra Vanessa Guimarães Iuliu Bobos Enrique Rodríguez-Castellón A synthesized functionalized pillared porous phosphate heterostructure (PPH), surface functionalized phenyl group, has been used to remove the dye Acid Blue 113 from wastewater. X-ray photoemission spectroscopy XPS and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to study its structure. The specific surface area of this was 498 m2/g. The adsorption capacities of PPH and phenyl surface functionalized (Φ-PPH) were 0.0400 and 0.0967 mmol/g, respectively, with a dye concentration of 10−5 M when well fitted with SIPS and Langmuir isotherms respectively (pH 6.5, 25 °C). The incorporation of the dye to the adsorbent material was monitored by the S content of the dye. It is suggested as an alternative for Acid Blue 113 remediation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 4
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2013-11-21
    Description: In this paper we present a complete spike-based architecture: from a Dynamic Vision Sensor (retina) to a stereo head robotic platform. The aim of this research is to reproduce intended movements performed by humans taking into account as many features as possible from the biological point of view. This paper fills the gap between current spike silicon sensors and robotic actuators by applying a spike processing strategy to the data flows in real time. The architecture is divided into layers: the retina, visual information processing, the trajectory generator layer which uses a neuroinspired algorithm (SVITE) that can be replicated into as many times as DoF the robot has; and finally the actuation layer to supply the spikes to the robot (using PFM). All the layers do their tasks in a spike-processing mode, and they communicate each other through the neuro-inspired AER protocol. The open-loop controller is implemented on FPGA using AER interfaces developed by RTC Lab. Experimental results reveal the viability of this spike-based controller. Two main advantages are: low hardware resources (2% of a Xilinx Spartan 6) and power requirements (3.4 W) to control a robot with a high number of DoF (up to 100 for a Xilinx Spartan 6). It also evidences the suitable use of AER as a communication protocol between processing and actuation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 5
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2016-02-26
    Description: Liposome-based drug delivery systems hold great potential for cancer therapy. The aim of this study was to design a nanodevice for targeted anchoring of liposomes (with and without cholesterol) with encapsulated anticancer drugs and antisense N-myc gene oligonucleotide attached to its surface. To meet this main aim, liposomes with encapsulated doxorubicin, ellipticine and etoposide were prepared. They were further characterized by measuring their fluorescence intensity, whereas the encapsulation efficiency was estimated to be 16%. The hybridization process of individual oligonucleotides forming the nanoconstruct was investigated spectrophotometrically and electrochemically. The concentrations of ellipticine, doxorubicin and etoposide attached to the nanoconstruct in gold nanoparticle-modified liposomes were found to be 14, 5 and 2 µg·mL−1, respectively. The study succeeded in demonstrating that liposomes are suitable for the transport of anticancer drugs and the antisense oligonucleotide, which can block the expression of the N-myc gene.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 6
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2016-11-25
    Description: Background: We performed an epidemiologic study to analyze nationwide time trends in adult psychotropic drug use over a period from 2006 to 2012, and to identify those factors associated with the likelihood of consumption of these drugs during the study period; Methods: Cross-sectional study on psychotropic medication in the Spanish adult population. We used secondary individualized data drawn from the 2006 and 2012 Spanish National Health Surveys (SNHS). The dependent variable was the use of psychotropic drugs in the previous two weeks. Independent variables included socio-demographic characteristics, comorbidity, lifestyles and healthcare resource utilization. Using logistic multivariate regression models, we analyzed the temporal evolution of psychotropic medication consumption between 2006 and 2012 in both sexes; Results: The prevalence of psychotropic drug use was significantly greater in women (18.14% vs. 8.08% in 2012 (p 〈 0.05). In Spanish women, the variables associated with a greater probability of psychotropic use were, age, unemployment (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 1.60; 95% CI, 1.24–2.07), negative perception of health or taking non-psychotropic drugs. Among men, psychotropic use is associated with presence of chronic disease, negative perception of health (AOR, 3.27; 95% CI, 2.62–4.07 in 2012) or inactive status; Conclusions: Between 2006 and 2012, the probability of having taken psychotropic drugs increased by 16% among women. Unemployed women aged ≥45 years with a negative perception of their health constitute a clear risk profile in terms of psychotropic drug use. Inactive men who have a negative perception of their health are the group most likely to consume psychotropic drugs.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 7
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2012-03-27
    Description: In this paper we present a neuro-inspired spike-based close-loop controller written in VHDL and implemented for FPGAs. This controller has been focused on controlling a DC motor speed, but only using spikes for information representation, processing and DC motor driving. It could be applied to other motors with proper driver adaptation. This controller architecture represents one of the latest layers in a Spiking Neural Network (SNN), which implements a bridge between robotics actuators and spike-based processing layers and sensors. The presented control system fuses actuation and sensors information as spikes streams, processing these spikes in hard real-time, implementing a massively parallel information processing system, through specialized spike-based circuits. This spike-based close-loop controller has been implemented into an AER platform, designed in our labs, that allows direct control of DC motors: the AER-Robot. Experimental results evidence the viability of the implementation of spike-based controllers, and hardware synthesis denotes low hardware requirements that allow replicating this controller in a high number of parallel controllers working together to allow a real-time robot control.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 8
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2014-10-02
    Description: In a global context in which obtaining new energy sources is of paramount importance, the production of biodiesel from plant crops is a potentially viable alternative to the use of fossil fuels. Among the species used to produce the raw material for biodiesel, Jatropha curcas L. (JCL) has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years, due partly to its ability to grow in degraded zones and under arid and semi-arid conditions. The present study evaluates the potential for JCL production under irrigation with non-conventional water resources in abandoned agricultural soils of the island of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands, Spain), which is one of the most arid parts of the European Union. JCL growth and productivity are compared during the first 39 months of cultivation in two soil types (clay-loam and sandy-loam) and with two irrigation water qualities: recycled urban wastewater (RWW) and desalinated brackish water (DBW). The results indicate that JCL growth (in terms of plant height and stem diameter) was significantly influenced both by soil type and water quality, with better development observed in the sandy-loam soil under RWW irrigation. Productivity, measured as cumulative seed production, was not affected by soil type but was affected by water quality. Production under RWW irrigation was approximately seven times greater than with DBW (mean ~2142 vs. 322 kg·ha−1). The higher nutrient content, especially P, K and Mg, and lower B content of the RWW were found to be key factors in the greater productivity observed under irrigation with this type of water.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 9
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2014-11-05
    Description: We present a global stability analysis of a Curzon–Ahlborn heat engine considering different regimes of performance. The stability theory is used to construct the Lyapunov functions to prove the asymptotic stability behavior around the steady state of internal temperatures. We provide a general analytic procedure for the description of the global stability by considering internal irreversibilities and a linear heat transfer law at the thermal couplings. The conditions of the global stability are explored for three regimes of performance: maximum power (MP), efficient power (EP) and the so-called ecological function (EF). Moreover, the analytical results were corroborated by means of numerical integrations, which fully validate the properties of the global asymptotic stability.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 10
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Sensors
    Publication Date: 2014-11-28
    Description: With the development of wearable devices that have several embedded sensors, it is possible to collect data that can be analyzed in order to understand the user’s needs and provide personalized services. Examples of these types of devices are smartphones, fitness-bracelets, smartwatches, just to mention a few. In the last years, several works have used these devices to recognize simple activities like running, walking, sleeping, and other physical activities. There has also been research on recognizing complex activities like cooking, sporting, and taking medication, but these generally require the installation of external sensors that may become obtrusive to the user. In this work we used acceleration data from a wristwatch in order to identify long-term activities. We compare the use of Hidden Markov Models and Conditional Random Fields for the segmentation task. We also added prior knowledge into the models regarding the duration of the activities by coding them as constraints and sequence patterns were added in the form of feature functions. We also performed subclassing in order to deal with the problem of intra-class fragmentation, which arises when the same label is applied to activities that are conceptually the same but very different from the acceleration point of view.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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