Abstract: Spexin, expressed in the central nervous system, has attracted much interest in feeding behavior, obesity, diabetes, energy metabolism and cardiovascular functions. Fetuin A is known as the negative acute phase reactant synthesized in the liver. Eosinophils are early indicators of cardiometabolic complications. Patients with elevated platelet count, associated with hypercoagulable state in the body, are also more liable to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). In this study, the aim is to examine the profiles of spexin and fetuin A concomitant with the course of variations detected in eosinophil as well as platelet counts in morbid obese children. 34 children with normal-body mass index (N-BMI) and 51 morbid obese (MO) children participated in the study. Written-informed consent forms were obtained prior to the study. Institutional ethics committee approved the study protocol. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used to classify healthy and obese children. Mean age ± SEM of the children were 9.3 ± 0.6 years and 10.7 ± 0.5 years in N-BMI and MO groups, respectively. Anthropometric measurements of the children were taken. BMI values were calculated from weight and height values. Blood samples were obtained after an overnight fasting. Routine hematologic and biochemical tests were performed. Within this context, fasting blood glucose (FBG), insulin (INS), triglycerides (TRG), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations were measured. Homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values were calculated. Spexin and fetuin A levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data were evaluated from the statistical point of view. Statistically significant differences were found between groups in terms of BMI, fat mass index, INS, HOMA-IR and HDL-C. In MO group, all parameters increased as HDL-C decreased. Elevated concentrations in MO group were detected in eosinophils (p < 0.05) and platelets (p > 0.05). Fetuin A levels decreased in MO group (p > 0.05). However, decrease was statistically significant in spexin levels for this group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, these results have suggested that increases in eosinophils and platelets exhibit behavior as cardiovascular risk factors. Decreased fetuin A behaved as a risk factor suitable to increased risk for cardiovascular problems associated with the severity of obesity. Along with increased eosinophils, increased platelets and decreased fetuin A, decreased spexin was the parameter, which reflects best its possible participation in the early development of CVD risk in MO children.
Abstract: Association between insulin resistance (IR) and hematological parameters has long been a matter of interest. Within this context, body mass index (BMI), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were involved in this discussion. Parameters related to platelets associated with IR may be useful indicators for the identification of IR. Platelet indices such as mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) are being questioned for their possible association with IR. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between platelet (PLT) count as well as PLT indices and the surrogate indices used to determine IR in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 167 children participated in the study. Three groups were constituted. The number of cases was 34, 97 and 36 children in the normal BMI, MO and metabolic syndrome (MetS) groups, respectively. Sex- and age-dependent BMI-based percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used for the definition of morbid obesity. MetS criteria were determined. BMI values, homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory (DONMA-lab) index values were computed. PLT count and indices were analyzed using automated hematology analyzer. Data were collected for statistical analysis using SPSS for Windows. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated. Mean values of PLT-related parameters in both control and study groups were compared by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey post hoc tests to determine whether a significant difference exists among the groups. The correlation analyses between PLT as well as IR indices were performed. Statistically significant difference was accepted as p-value < 0.05. Increased values were detected for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p > 0.05) in MO group compared to those observed in children with N-BMI. Significant increases for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p < 0.05) were observed in MetS group in comparison with the values obtained in children with N-BMI (p < 0.01). Significantly lower MPV and PDW values were obtained in MO group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). HOMA-IR (p < 0.05), DONMA-lab index (p < 0.001) and ALT/AST (p < 0.001) values in MO and MetS groups were significantly increased compared to the N-BMI group. On the other hand, DONMA-lab index values also differed between MO and MetS groups (p < 0.001). In the MO group, PLT was negatively correlated with MPV and PDW values. These correlations were not observed in the N-BMI group. None of the IR indices exhibited a correlation with PLT and PLT indices in the N-BMI group. HOMA-IR showed significant correlations both with PLT and PCT in the MO group. All of the three IR indices were well-correlated with each other in all groups. These findings point out the missing link between IR and PLT activation. In conclusion, PLT and PCT may be related to IR in addition to their identities as hemostasis markers during morbid obesity. Our findings have suggested that DONMA-lab index appears as the best surrogate marker for IR due to its discriminative feature between morbid obesity and MetS.
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to investigate the formation and adhesion of a protective aluminum-oxide (Al2O3, alumina) layer on the surface of Iron-Chromium-Aluminum Alloy (Fe-Cr-Al) sintered-metal-fibers. The oxide-scale layer was developed via multi-stage thermal oxidation at 930 oC for 1 hour, followed by 1 hour at 960 oC, and finally at 990 oC for 2 hours. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images show that the multi-stage thermal oxidation resulted in the formation of predominantly Al2O3 platelets-like and whiskers. SEM images also reveal non-uniform oxide-scale growth on the surface of the fibers. Furthermore, peeling/spalling of the alumina protective layer occurred after minimum handling, which indicates weak adhesion forces between the protective layer and the base metal alloy. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis of the heat-treated Fe-Cr-Al sintered-metal-fibers confirmed the high aluminum content on the surface of the protective layer, and the low aluminum content on the exposed base metal alloy surface. In conclusion, the failure of the oxide-scale protective layer exposes the base metal alloy to further oxidation, and the fragile non-uniform oxide-scale is not suitable as a support for catalysts.
Abstract: Childhood obesity, which may lead to increased risk for heart diseases in children as well as adults, is one of the most important health problems throughout the world. Prevalences of morbid obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are being increased during childhood age group. MetS is a cluster of metabolic and vascular abnormalities including hypercoagulability and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). There are also some relations between some components of MetS and leukocytes. The aim of this study is to investigate complete blood cell count parameters that differ between morbidly obese boys and girls with MetS diagnosis. A total of 117 morbid obese children with MetS consulted to Department of Pediatrics in Faculty of Medicine Hospital at Namik Kemal University were included into the scope of the study. The study population was classified based upon their genders (60 girls and 57 boys). Their heights and weights were measured and body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Waist-to-hip and head-to-neck ratios as well as homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were calculated. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Hematological variables were measured. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p ≤ 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the ages (11.2±2.6 years vs 11.2±3.0 years) and BMIs (28.6±5.2 kg/m2 vs 29.3±5.2 kg/m2) of boys and girls (p ≥ 0.05), respectively. Significantly increased waist-to-hip ratios were obtained for boys (0.94±0.08 vs 0.91±0.06; p=0.023). Significantly elevated values of hemoglobin (13.55±0.98 vs 13.06±0.82; p=0.004), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (33.79±0.91 vs 33.21±1.14; p=0.003), eosinophils (0.300±0.253 vs 0.196±0.197; p=0.014), and platelet (347.1±81.7 vs 319.0±65.9; p=0.042) were detected for boys. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratios as well as HOMA-IR values (p ≥ 0.05). Statistically significant gender-based differences were found for hemoglobin as well as mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration and hence, separate reference intervals for two genders should be considered for these parameters. Eosinophils may contribute to the development of thrombus in acute coronary syndrome. Eosinophils are also known to make an important contribution to mechanisms related to thrombosis pathogenesis in acute myocardial infarction. Increased platelet activity is observed in patients with MetS and these individuals are more susceptible to CVDs. In our study, elevated platelets described as dominant contributors to hypercoagulability and elevated eosinophil counts suggested to be related to the development of CVDs observed in boys may be the early indicators of the future cardiometabolic complications in this gender.
Abstract: Well-defined 2D Eu+3 co-doped ZrO2: Gd+3 nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by microwave assisted solution combustion technique for luminescent applications. The present investigation reports the rapid and effective method for the synthesis of the Eu+3 co-doped ZrO2:Gd+3 nanoparticles and study of the luminescence behavior of Eu+3 ion in ZrO2:Gd+3 nanostructures. The optical properties of the prepared nanostructures were investigated by using UV-visible spectroscopy and photoluminescence spectra. The phase formation and the morphology of the nanoplatelets were studied by XRD, FESEM and HRTEM. The average grain size was found to be 45-50 nm. The presence of Gd3+ ion increases the crystallinity of the material and hence acts as a good nucleating agent. The ZrO2:Gd3+ co-doped with Eu+3 nanoplatelets gives an emission at 607 nm, a strong red emission under the excitation wavelength of 255 nm.
Abstract: Bitumen has been widely used as the binder of aggregate in road pavement due to its good viscoelastic properties, as a viscous organic mixture with various chemical compositions. Bitumen is a liquid at high temperature and it becomes brittle at low temperatures, and this temperature-sensitivity can cause the rutting and cracking of the pavement and limit its application. Therefore, the properties of existing asphalt materials need to be enhanced. The pavement with polymer modified bitumen exhibits greater resistance to rutting and thermal cracking, decreased fatigue damage, as well as stripping and temperature susceptibility; however, they are expensive and their applications have disadvantages. Bituminous mixtures are composed of very irregular aggregates bound together with hydrocarbon-based asphalt, with a low volume fraction of voids dispersed within the matrix. Montmorillonite (MMT) is a layered silicate with low cost and abundance, which consists of layers of tetrahedral silicate and octahedral hydroxide sheets. Recently, the layered silicates have been widely used for the modification of polymers, as well as in many different fields. However, there are not too much studies related with the preparation of the modified asphalt with MMT, currently. In this study, organo-clay-modified bitumen, and calcareous aggregate and organo-clay blends were prepared by hot blending method with OMMT, which has been synthesized using a cationic surfactant (Cetyltrymethylammonium bromide, CTAB) and long chain hydrocarbon, and MMT. When the exchangeable cations in the interlayer region of pristine MMT were exchanged with hydrocarbon attached surfactant ions, the MMT becomes organophilic and more compatible with bitumen. The effects of the super hydrophobic OMMT onto the micro structural and mechanic properties (Marshall Stability and volumetric parameters) of the prepared blends were investigated. Stability and volumetric parameters of the blends prepared were measured using Marshall Test. Also, in order to investigate the morphological and micro structural properties of the organo-clay-modified bitumen and calcareous aggregate and organo-clay blends, their SEM and HRTEM images were taken. It was observed that the stability and volumetric parameters of the prepared mixtures improved significantly compared to the conventional hot mixes and even the stone matrix mixture. A micro structural analysis based on SEM images indicates that the organo-clay platelets dispersed in the bitumen have a dominant role in the increase of effectiveness of bitumen - aggregate interactions.
Abstract: In recent years, polymer/clay nanocomposites have generated great interest in the polymer industry as a new type of composite material because of their superior properties, which includes high heat deflection temperature, gas barrier performance, dimensional stability, enhanced mechanical properties, optical clarity and flame retardancy when compared with the pure polymer or conventional composites. The investigation of change of the tensile properties of organoclay/linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) nanocomposites with the use of Dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) (as plasticizer) and calcite (as filler) has been aimed. The composites and organoclay synthesized were characterized using the techniques such as XRD, HRTEM and FTIR techniques. The spectroscopic results indicate that platelets of organoclay were well dispersed within the polymeric matrix. The tensile properties of the composites were compared considering the stress-strain curve drawn for each composite and pure polymer. It was observed that the composites prepared by adding the plasticizer at different ratios and a certain amount of calcite exhibited different tensile behaviors compared to pure polymer.
Abstract: Since graphene nanoplatelet (GNP) is a promising material due to desirable thermal properties, this paper is related to the thermophysical and heat transfer performance of covalently functionalized GNP-based water/ethylene glycol nanofluid through an annular channel. After experimentally measuring thermophysical properties of prepared samples, a computational fluid dynamics study has been carried out to examine the heat transfer and pressure drop of well-dispersed and stabilized nanofluids. The effect of concentration of GNP and Reynolds number at constant wall temperature boundary condition under turbulent flow regime on convective heat transfer coefficient has been investigated. Based on the results, for different Reynolds numbers, the convective heat transfer coefficient of the prepared nanofluid is higher than that of the base fluid. Also, the enhancement of convective heat transfer coefficient and thermal conductivity increase with the increase of GNP concentration in base-fluid. Based on the results of this investigation, there is a significant enhancement on the heat transfer rate associated with loading well-dispersed GNP in base-fluid.
Abstract: This experimental study consists of a characterization
of epoxy grout where an amount of 2% of graphene nanoplatelets
particles were added to commercial epoxy resin to evaluate their
behavior regarding neat epoxy resin. Compressive tests, tensile tests
and flexural tests were conducted to study the effect of graphene
nanoplatelets on neat epoxy resin. By comparing graphene-based and
neat epoxy grout, there is no significant increase of strength due to
weak interface in the graphene nanoplatelets/epoxy composites.
From this experiment, the tension and flexural strength of graphenebased
epoxy grouts is slightly lower than ones of neat epoxy grout.
Nevertheless, the addition of graphene has produced more consistent
results according to a smaller standard deviation of strength.
Furthermore, the graphene has also improved the ductility of the
grout, hence reducing its brittle behaviour. This shows that the
performance of graphene-based grout is reliably predictable and able
to minimise sudden rupture. This is important since repair design of
damaged pipeline is of deterministic nature.
Abstract: Geopolymer composites reinforced with flax fabrics
and nanoclay are fabricated and studied for physical and mechanical
properties using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform
Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and Scanning Electron Microscope
(SEM). Nanoclay platelets at a weight of 1.0%, 2.0%, and 3.0% were
added to geopolymer pastes. Nanoclay at 2.0 wt.% was found to
improve density and decrease porosity while improving flexural
strength and post-peak toughness. A microstructural analysis
indicated that nanoclay behaves as filler and as an activator
supporting geopolymeric reaction while producing a higher content
geopolymer gel improving the microstructure of binders. The process
enhances adhesion between the geopolymer matrix and flax fibres.
Abstract: Cryogenic treatment is the process of cooling a material to extremely low temperatures to generate enhanced mechanical and physical properties. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of cryogenic treatment on the impact behavior of En 52 and 21-4N valve steels. The valve steels are subjected to shallow (193 K) and deep cryogenic treatment (85 K), and the impact behavior is compared with the valve steel materials subjected to conventional heat treatment. The impact test is carried out in accordance with the ASTM E 23-02a standard. The results show an improvement of 23 % in the impact energy for the En 52 deep cryo-treated samples when compared to that of the conventionally heat treated samples. It is revealed that during cryogenic treatment fine platelets of martensite are formed from the retained austenite, and these platelets promote the precipitation of fine carbides by a diffusion mechanism during tempering.
Abstract: The adverse effects of Clindamycin (Clind.) /
Ibuprofen (Ibu.) combination on liver, kidney, blood elements and the
significances of antioxidants (N-acetylcysteine and Zinc) against
these effects were evaluated. The study includes: Group I; control
n=30, Group II; patients on Clind.300mg/Ibu.400mg twice daily for a
week n=30, Group III; patients on Clind.300mg/Ibu.400mg+Nacetylcysteine
200mg twice daily for a week n=15 and Group IV;
patients on Clind.300mg/Ibu.400mg+Zinc50mg twice daily for a
week n=15. Serum malondialdehyde (MDA), alanine transferase
(ALT), aspartate transferase (AST), γ glutamyl transferase (GGT),
creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were measured. Applying one
way ANOVA followed by Tuckey Kramer post test, Group II showed
significant increase in ALT, AST, GGT, BUN and decrease in Hb,
RBCs, platelets than Group I. Group III showed significant decrease
in ALT, AST, GGT, BUN than Group II. Moreover, Group IV
showed significant decrease in ALT, AST, GGT and increase in Hb,
RBCs, and platelets than Group II. Conclusively, Adding Zinc or Nacetylcysteine
buffer the oxidative stress and improve the therapeutic
outcome of Clindamycin/Ibuprofen combination.
Abstract: Size based filtration is one of the common methods
employed to isolate circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from whole
blood. It is well known that this method suffers from isolation
efficiency to purity tradeoff. However, this tradeoff is poorly
understood. In this paper, we present the design and manufacturing
of a special rectangular slit filter. The filter was designed to retain
maximal amounts of nucleated cells, while minimizing the pressure
on cells, thereby preserving their morphology. The key parameter,
namely, input pressure, was optimized to retain the maximal number
of tumor cells, whilst maximizing the depletion of normal blood cells
(red and white blood cells and platelets). Our results indicate that for
a slit geometry of 5 × 40 μm on a 13 mm circular membrane with a
fill factor of 21%, a pressure of 6.9 mBar yields the optimum for
maximizing isolation of MCF-7 and depletion of normal blood cells.
Abstract: As nanotechnology advances, the use of nanotechnology for medical purposes in the field of nanomedicine seems more promising; the rise of nanorobots for medical diagnostics and treatments could be arriving in the near future. This study proposes a swarm intelligence based control mechanism for swarm nanorobots that operate as artificial platelets to search for wounds. The canonical particle swarm optimization algorithm is employed in this study. A simulation in the circulatory system is constructed and used for demonstrating the movement of nanorobots with essential characteristics to examine the performance of proposed control mechanism. The effects of three nanorobot capabilities including their perception range, maximum velocity and respond time are investigated. The results show that canonical particle swarm optimization can be used to control the early version nanorobots with simple behaviors and actions.