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  • Author: Ching-Yu Lin x
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SnO2–NiO and SnO2–CoO powders mixed in a molar ratio of 92: 8 were reactively sintered for up to 200 h at 1400 °C to form composites having NiO and Co2SnO4 particles embedded in Ni- and Co-doped SnO2 grains, respectively. Analytical electron microscopic observations indicated the embedded particles remained nonepitaxial with respect to the host grains despite prolonged holding at a high homologous temperature, owing to a rather limited solid solubility and vague interfacial energy cusp. Upon cooling or solution annealing at 900 °C, the Niand Co-doped SnO2 formed {100}, {110}, {101} and/or (001)-specific Guinier–Preston zone plates and dislocations. The formation of additional commensurate superstructure in Ni- but not Co-doped SnO2 indicated a coupled atom clustering and ordering process for the former during solution annealing.


Environment-friendly green amino acid surfactants were prepared by the reaction of glutamic acid with various fatty acids (C2–C14). These green amino acid surfactants have been found to exhibit good surface activities i.e. surface tension, foaming, wetting power and emulsifying ability. The critical micelle concentration (CMC) increases with an increase of the alkyl chain of amino acid surfactants. After 5 days the biodegradation of these amino acid surfactants was larger than 60% and consequently, the surfactants should be regarded as readily biodegradable. Finally, the green amino acid surfactants were added to natural plant dyes to test their applicability for dyeing wool fibers. The surfactant developed in this study will contribute to green and sustainability chemistry.

Raman spectroscopy is a useful and non-destructive tool for the structural characterization of diamond-like carbon (DLC) films. Even though Raman spectroscopy is not a quantitative technique, the area integral intensity ratio of D and G peaks (ID/IG) derived by the fitting of separate Gaussian curves usually serves as an indicator of the quality trend of diamond-like material. However, conflicting reports still exist on the diamond-like films analyzed by the fitting method of Raman spectra. In this work we show that the quality trend of the diamond-like/graphitic carbon ratio is critically dependent upon the boundary conditions of the analytic regions. We also examine the possibility of directly applying the peak height ratio HD/HG as an alternative method to analyze Raman spectra. The method based on peak height ratios (HD/HG), and an established method using ID/IG ratios can give similar results depending on the choice, in the latter method, of the boundary conditions used for integration. However, the method based on the determination of peak heights avoids the arbitrary assignment of integral boundary conditions while additionally generating a data set that shows statistically smaller standard deviations than the commonly used integration method


Background: Aberrant DNA methylation is associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), suggesting that gene methylation could be a potential biomarker for detection of HCC. The aim of this study is to identify potential biomarkers in HCC.

Methods: We used the Infinium methylation array and a DNA-pooling strategy to analyze the genome-wide methylation profile in HCC. Quantitative methylation-specific PCR (Q-MSP) was used to validate homeobox A9 (HOXA9) methylation in 29 normal controls, 100 HCC samples and adjacent non-tumor tissues and in 74 plasma samples, including 40 patients with HCC.

Results: Ten genes (HOXA9, NEUROG1, TNFRSF10C, IRAK3, GFPT2, ZNF177, DPYSL4, ELOVL4, FSD1, and CACNA1G) showed differences in methylation between controls and HCCs. Of these, HOXA9 was significantly hypermethylated in HCCs (76.7%; 23/30) compared with controls (3.4%; 1/29). In addition, combination analysis of two- and three-gene sets for HCC detection showed greater sensitivity (90%–96.7%) and comparable specificity (93.1%–96.6%) to each individual gene (33.3%–76.7% and 55.2%–100.0%). HOXA9 methylation was further validated by Q-MSP in two independent set of clinical samples including 100 HCC and paired non-tumor tissues. Further, HOXA9 methylation could be detected in plasma from HCC patients (n=40) but not in normal plasma (n=34) (p<0.0005). Combined testing (either parameter positive) for α-fetoprotein (AFP, a plasma protein biomarker) and HOXA9 methylation showed greater sensitivity (94.6%) for detection of HCC than AFP alone (75.7%).

Conclusions: These data suggest that methylation of HOXA9 could be a helpful biomarker to assist in HCC detection.


This study aims to fabricate far-infrared (FIR)/electromagnetic shielding composite fabric and its composite yarn. Five types of composite yarns with different sheath components were made by using bamboo charcoal (BC) fibers, phase change material (PCM) roving and stainless steel (SS) fibers via a ring spinning frame, and then fabricated into five elastic warp-knitted fabrics with different weft yarns using a crochet knitting machine. The mechanical properties of different constituents of composite yarns and their fabrics, as well as FIR emissivity and electromagnetic shielding effectiveness (EMSE) of resulting fabrics were evaluated. The results show that BC/SS composite yarns and their fabricated warp-knitted fabrics display the highest tensile strength. Warp-knitted fabrics containing BC fibers possess the highest FIR emissivity. EMSE of the fabricated warp-knitted fabrics improves proportionally with the number of the lamination layers. The resulting multifunctional elastic knitted fabrics apply as athletic clothing, underwear, socks, protective or healthcare products in the future.


Plasma decompositions of n-butanol (n-b) in air over working gases of air (n-b/air with 21 vol.% O2) and Ar (nb/ air/Ar with 5 vol.% O2) were studied using an atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ) reactor with and without Pt/Al2O3 catalyst. The utilization of catalytic APPJ (CAPPJ) shows excellent performance in terms of the conversion of n-butanol in n-b/air of 94.7% and n-b/air/Ar of 99.5% at plasma energy density = 3.75 kJ L-1 and space velocity = 17,400 h-1. By comparing the working gases of air and Ar, the results indicate that n-b/air/Ar system exhibits slightly better performance than n-b/air system in APPJ and CAPPJ, suggesting that energetic primary electrons from Ar discharge would sufficiently retain the plasma reactive species for facilitating the decomposition of n-butanol. The proposed kinetic models show good agreement with the experimental data of APPJ and CAPPJ. The information obtained is useful for the operation, design and analysis of plasma system.


Multifunction elastic warp-knitted fabrics were fabricated on a crochet machine with the use of metal composite yarns/viscose yarn and bamboo polyester/ crisscross-section polyester hybrid yarns as the front face and back face of the knitted fabric structure, respectively. We investigated the effect of the blend ratio of bamboo charcoal/ crisscross-section polyester multiply yarns on the fabric's moisture comfort properties, such as water vapour transmission (WVT), water evaporation rate (WER), and water absorbency. The results showed that blending ratio significantly influenced WVT and WER. Moreover, antibacterial activity of the elastic warp- knitted fabric was tested against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in accordance with AATCC 90-2011. Finally, the extension- stress value curves were used to analyse the elastic stretching property, and the fabric exhibited greater breaking elongation and lower stress value in the walewise than in the weft direction.


Background: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is usually estimated by the Friedewald formula (FF) calculated from three parameters, namely, total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). We aimed to develop a new and simple formula (NF) for LDL-C estimation.

Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled two study populations (a testing group, n=16,749, and a validation group, n=4940). Linear regression analysis was used in the testing group to investigate the association between measured LDL-C (mLDL-C) and TC concentration, and was verified in the validation group.

Results: The NF yielded an estimated LDL-C (eLDL-C) equal to 0.75×total cholesterol–0.6465 (mmol/L). For the subjects with TC between 2.58 and 7.74 mmol/L, the difference between mLDL-C and eLDL-C using the NF was less than that from the FF (testing group: –0.04 to –0.20 vs. –0.28 to –0.38 mmol/L; validation group: 0.01 to –0.12 vs. –0.23 to –0.30 mmol/L; p<0.001, respectively). The predictability of the NF was not inferior to that of the FF in subjects with different triglyceride and HDL-C concentrations, and was not affected by diabetes diagnosis and statin use. However, the NF performed similar to or worse than the FF at TC concentrations <2.58 mmol/L and >7.74 mmol/L, respectively.

Conclusions: In the Chinese population, the accuracy of eLDL-C measurement with the NF was better than that with the FF, especially in subjects with TC levels between 2.58 and 7.74 mmol/L. The NF is simple and may be used for screening as well as for follow-up of patients on lipid lowering agents.