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Electroencephalographic evidence for the involvement of mirror-neuron and error-monitoring related processes in virtual body ownership.

The illusion that an artificial or virtual object becomes part of one's body has been demonstrated and productively investigated in the past two decades. Empirical and theoretical accounts of this phenomenon suggest that the body ownership illusion relies not on a single process, but rather on the alignment of the biological and the alternative bodies across multiple aspects. However, the portrayal of these aspects and the demarcation of their neurophysiological correlates has yet to be established. Our study examines electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of two extensively studied systems in the context of virtual body ownership illusion: the mirror-neuron system (MNS) and the error-monitoring system (EMS). We designed an experimental manipulation of brief involuntary and unexpected virtual hand bounces, which triggers both systems, and examined how the response of EEG markers of these systems to this manipulation is modulated by three aspects of body ownership: agency, visuotactile synchronicity, and semantic congruence between the participant's hands and its virtual representation. We found evidence for enhanced MNS-related power suppression at the Mu band in the synchronous and semantic congruence conditions. On the other hand, the EMS-related Pe/P300 wave was reduced by semantic congruence. This Pe/P300 effect was stronger among participants who exhibited higher acceptance of the spatial illusion and an increased tendency for affective empathy. Mu power and Pe/P300 were not correlated, suggesting a dissociation between the distinct aspects of body ownership they probe. The findings suggest that synchronicity and semantic congruence induce sensorimotor sensitivity to the alternative body, whereas the latter parameter also buffers minor erroneous virtual motions. These neurophysiological markers may be added to the arsenal of body ownership probes and incorporated into VR rehabilitation protocols.

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Effect of sodium citrate /polyethylene glycol on plasticization and retrogradation of maize starch.

Maize starch was plasticized by mixtures of sodium citrate and polyethylene glycol 200 (PEG200) at varied weight ratios (citric acid/PEG200, 25/0, 20/5, 15/10, 10/15, 5/20 and 0/25). The structure and pasting, aging, moisture absorption and thermal properties of the plasticized starches were studied by means of Fourier transformed infrared, X-ray diffraction, rapid viscosity analysis, tension test and thermogravimetric analysis. Comparing with single plasticizer, co-plasticizers with appropriate proportions are more effective in hindering the retrogradation of starch paste and film. The results also showed that the mechanical property and humidity sensitivity of the starch film worsen after the introduction of PEG200 compared with sodium citrate plasticized starch, but the thermal stability and anti-aging property increase. This is consistent with the association ability of plasticizers with starch observed from FTIR. In addition to the simple additive effect of components on some properties, special formulations also show some synergistic effects, such as the co-plasticizer of 20% citric acid and 5% PEG200 has a better comprehensive property for plasticizing the maize starch bulk than sodium citrate or PEG200 alone. The mixture of sodium citrate and PEG200 can be used as a candidate plasticizer for preparing thermoplastic starch for food and packaging industries.

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Developing a simultaneously antioxidant and pH-responsive κ-carrageenan/hydroxypropyl methylcellulose film blended with Prunus maackii extract.

к-Carrageenan and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose were used as matrix materials in which the extract of Prunus maackii pomace (EPm) was added to prepare a simultaneously antioxidant and pH-responsive film. EPm effectively increased the flexibility, barrier properties, antioxidant activity and pH-responsiveness of the film. When EPm content was increased to 8%, the elongation at break, heat-sealing strength and oxygen permeability of the film could reach 43.20 ± 2.07%, 1096.39 ± 51.29 N/m and 2.23 ± 0.02 cm mm m day atm, respectively. Ultraviolet-visible spectra of EPm and the films color changed significantly in the range of pH 2.0-12.0. The κC/Hm/EPm film obviously slowed the oxidation of lard compared with commercial PE film, and exhibited visible changes from red to purple when TVB-N in the pork reached 13.18 mg/100 g which was close to the freshness limit of 15.00 mg/100 g. Therefore, the κC/Hm/EPm film can be promisingly used for extending oil shelf life and indicating the protein-rich food quality.

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Preparation and characterization of a novel colorimetric indicator film based on gelatin/polyvinyl alcohol incorporating mulberry anthocyanin extracts for monitoring fish freshness.

This work aimed to develop a novel colorimetric indicator film for monitoring of food freshness based on gelatin/polyvinyl alcohol matrix incorporated with anthocyanin extracts from mulberry. The color of anthocyanin extracts solutions obviously changed from bright red to dark green in the pH range of 2.0-11.0. FTIR spectra and isothermal titration calorimetry showed that the anthocyanin extracts were successfully combined with gelatin/polyvinyl alcohol matrix by hydrogen binding and electrostatic interaction, which enhanced the stability of anthocyanin. The scanning electric microscopy showed that the compatibility between polyvinyl alcohol and gelatin were improved owing to the addition of anthocyanin extracts. With the anthocyanin extracts addition from 0 to 45 mg/100 mL mixed solution, the tensile strength decreased from 30.80 to 21.01 MPa and the elongation at break increased from 589.22% to 905.86%. The color response of film in buffer solution of different pH were in accordance with anthocyanin extracts solutions, and its color changes were clearly visible with naked eye. Finally, the film was evaluated by a test on monitoring fish spoilage, which presented visible color changes due to volatile nitrogenous compounds formed over time. These results showed that this developed film could be used as an effective method for the monitoring of food freshness.

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Development and characterization of chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol polymer material with elastolytic and collagenolytic activities.

The biologically active polymeric material with entrapped peptidase Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis with caseinolytic, collagenase and elastase activities was developed as a promising product for medical use. We have evaluated and reported here the following physical-chemical and biochemical characteristics of entrapped enzyme: peptidase/polymer interaction and morphology analyses, film thickness, water content, time of dissolution in water and physiological saline, kinetic of casein hydrolysis and pH- and thermoprofiles of proteolytic activity. Scanning electron microscopy images shows the relative uniformity of the film surface with entrapped peptidase. The released peptidase was characterized by increased proteolytic activity in the acidic (14%-35%) and alkaline (7%-32%) regions. After nine months of storage, peptidase in chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol films retains more than 95% of its initial proteolytic activity. We consider this film as a perspective biotechnological agent in medicine.

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Polydatin Inhibits NLRP3 Inflammasome in Dry Eye Disease by Attenuating Oxidative Stress and Inhibiting the NF-κB Pathway.

Polydatin (also named pieceid, (E)-piceid, (E)-polydatin, trans-polydatin, or 3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene-3-b-D-glucoside) is a monocrystalline compound isolated from the root and rhizome of Sieb. et Zucc. (Polygonaceae). A previous study showed that polydatin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the effect of polydatin in dry eye disease (DED) has not been elucidated. DED rat models were induced by exorbital lacrimal gland-excision. In vivo, the present study showed that the excision of lacrimal glands induced changes such as reduced tear fluid, severe corneal irregularity, damage, tear film break, and goblet cell loss as well as increased inflammation cytokine and NLRP3 expression in conjunctival tissue. However, these changes were restored by polydatin eye dropping. In vitro, polydatin inhibited hyperosmolar stress-induced inflammation through attenuation of the translocation of NF-κB to the nucleus and the mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, and MMP9. In addition, the hyperosmolar stress-induced NLRP3 inflammasome pathway and ROS production were inhibited by polydatin. Our findings provided insight into the effect of polydatin as a candidate reagent for the treatment of DED.

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Flexible Piezoresistive Sensor with the Microarray Structure Based on Self-Assembly of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes.

High-performance flexible pressure sensors have great application prospects in numerous fields, including the robot skin, intelligent prosthetic hands and wearable devices. In the present study, a novel type of flexible piezoresistive sensor is presented. The proposed sensor has remarkable superiorities, including high sensitivity, high repeatability, a simple manufacturing procedure and low initial cost. In this sensor, multi-walled carbon nanotubes were assembled onto a polydimethylsiloxane film with a pyramidal microarray structure through a layer-by-layer self-assembly system. It was found that when the applied external pressure deformed the pyramid microarray structure on the surface of the polydimethylsiloxane film, the resistance of the sensor varied linearly as the pressure changed. Tests that were performed on sensor samples with different self-assembled layers showed that the pressure sensitivity of the sensor could reach - 2.65     kPa - 1 , which ensured the high dynamic response ability and the high stability of the sensor. Moreover, it was proven that the sensor could be applied as a strain sensor under the tensile force to reflect the stretching extent or the bending object. Finally, a flexible pressure sensor was installed on five fingers and the back of the middle finger of a glove. The obtained results from grabbing different weights and different shapes of objects showed that the flexible pressure sensor not only reflected the change in the finger tactility during the grasping process, but also reflected the bending degree of fingers, which had a significant practical prospect.

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Gradient Crystal Plasticity: A Grain Boundary Model for Slip Transmission.

Interaction between dislocations and grain boundaries (GBs) in the forms of dislocation absorption, emission, and slip transmission at GBs significantly affects size-dependent plasticity in fine-grained polycrystals. Thus, it is vital to consider those GB mechanisms in continuum plasticity theories. In the present paper, a new GB model is proposed by considering slip transmission at GBs within the framework of gradient polycrystal plasticity. The GB model consists of the GB kinematic relations and governing equations for slip transmission, by which the influence of geometric factors including the misorientation between the incoming and outgoing slip systems and GB orientation, GB defects, and stress state at GBs are captured. The model is numerically implemented to study a benchmark problem of a bicrystal thin film under plane constrained shear. It is found that GB parameters, grain size, grain misorientation, and GB orientation significantly affect slip transmission and plastic behaviors in fine-grained polycrystals. Model prediction qualitatively agrees with experimental observations and results of discrete dislocation dynamics simulations.

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Photophysical Properties of Spirobifluorene-Based -Carboranyl Compounds Altered by Structurally Rotating the Carborane Cages.

9,9'-Spirobifluorene-based -carboranyl compounds and were prepared and fully characterized by multinuclear nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and elemental analysis. The solid-state structure of was also determined by single-crystal X-ray diffractometry. The two carboranyl compounds display major absorption bands that are assigned to -* transitions involving their spirobifluorene groups, as well as weak intramolecular charge-transfer (ICT) transitions between the -carboranes and their spirobifluorene groups. While only exhibited high-energy emissions (λ = ca. 350 nm) in THF at 298 K due to locally excited (LE) states assignable to -* transitions involving the spirobifluorene group alone, a remarkable emission in the low-energy region was observed in the rigid state, such as in THF at 77 K or the film state. Furthermore, displays intense dual emissive patterns in both high- and low-energy regions in all states. Electronic transitions that were calculated by time-dependent-DFT (TD-DFT) for each compound based on ground (S) and first-excited (S) state optimized structures clearly verify that the low-energy emissions are due to ICT-based radiative decays. Calculated energy barriers that are based on the relative energies associated with changes in the dihedral angle around the -carborane cages in and clearly reveal that the -carborane cage in rotates more freely than that in . All of the molecular features indicate that ICT-based radiative decay is only available to the rigid state in the absence of structural fluctuations, in particular the free-rotation of the -carborane cage.

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Fabrication of Ag and Mn Co-Doped CuZnSnS Thin Film.

Ag and Mn dopants were incorporated into CuZnSnS thin film to reduce defects in thin film and improve thin film properties. Sol-gel and spin-coating techniques were employed to deposit Ag and Mn co-doped CuZnSnS thin films. The structures, compositions, morphologies, and optical properties of the co-doped thin films were characterized. The experimental results indicate the formation of kesterite structure without Ag and Mn secondary phases. The amount of Ag in the thin films is close to that in the sols. The co-doped CuZnSnS thin films have an absorption coefficient of larger than 1.3 × 10 cm, a direct optical band gap of 1.54-2.14 eV, and enhanced photoluminescence. The nonradiative recombination in CuZnSnS thin film is reduced by Ag and Mn co-doping. The experimental results show that Ag and Mn incorporation can improve the properties of CuZnSnS thin film.

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