Other model based approaches include deformable

Other model-based approaches include deformable models such as active contours and level sets. Snake active contours have been applied to BUS segmentation with good results. In Jumaat et al. (2011), parametric active contour models such as gradient vector flow and balloon were used in BUS mass segmentation, after pre-processing with median filtering and histogram equalization. A segmentation refinement stage was designed, integrating curvature information or even empirical knowledge to improve the initial result. Another method described by Madabhushi and Metaxas (2003) relies on the automatic definition of seed points based on empirical knowledge given by radiologists. Region growing was then applied to obtain an initial contour. Image and texture information was used to classify the pixels, and the boundary points found with a directional gradient served as an initial contour for an active contour model, which used the directional gradient as a stopping criterion.
A level set model was applied to the segmentation of lesions in BUS (Huang et al. 2007), yielding better results when compared with active contours. The initial contour was obtained through binary thresholding after use of the modified curvature tgf beta receptor equation (MCDE) to remove noise and enhance the image contours. In Chang et al. (2005), the ultrasound image was first processed using anisotropic diffusion filtering. Then, an initial contour for the level set segmentation was obtained combining the stick method with binary thresholding. Despite the good segmentation results and low noise sensitivity, segmentation using deformable models, such as active contours or level set models, has a number of significant drawbacks with respect to the automatic definition of an appropriate initial contour as well as the high sensitivity to local minima. Also, the convergence of the active deformation process may be computationally heavy.
In Chang et al. (2010), a modified watershed algorithm was used for semi-automatic contour extraction of BUS lesions. Morphologic operations were first applied to obtain more accurate contours and prevent typical watershed oversegmentation (Sarpe 2010). The watershed transform was also used in Zhang et al. (2011) for automatic lesion detection. Images were pre-processed by mean filtering and fuzzy logic histogram thresholding. In both cases, watershed segmentation achieved high accuracy, similar to that of manual segmentation.
A k-means algorithm was tested in Boukerroui et al. (1998) to achieve the segmentation of BUS images. The authors classified tissues using an adaptive method based on texture information. Even though the algorithm is simple and effective, the results were dependent on system parameters and a major problem might have arisen from eventual similarities between the mass and shadows or other artifacts in the image, which could lead to inclusion in the wrong cluster of pixels.
Classification algorithms have been widely considered as segmentation alternatives for a number of image modalities. In the specific case of BUS, several studies have used support vector machines (SVMs) and neural networks (NNs) to obtain lesion contours. In Chen et al. (2002), the authors successfully combined wavelet analysis of the image with an error retro-propagation NN, using contrast variance and autocorrelation as inputs. Another study (Huang and Chen 2004) classified BUS images employing a watershed segmentation algorithm along with a NN trained using texture descriptors. A Bayesian NN with five hidden layers was also tested in BUS image segmentation in Drukker et al. (2002). Texture, gradient and acoustic information of the images was retrieved to train the NN, which was used to validate candidate regions obtained with a region-growing algorithm, starting from points of interest defined using the image gradient. However, the method proved to be unreliable, especially where lesions were not uniform. In Shan et al. (2012), a similar seed point approach was used, along with pixel classification using NN. Multidomain features such as intensity, texture, phase in max-energy orientation and radial distance were combined. This method yielded interesting segmentation results in BUS. Su et al. (2011) applied self-organizing maps, using textural local information, to obtain an initial contour. This outline would later be segmented with active contours, culminating in a fully automated method with good accuracy. Combining SVMs with textural information, Liu et al. (2010) proposed a robust, high-precision method for mass segmentation in BUS. Although the use of classifiers for targeting ultrasound images has had promising results, the training required and the selection of an appropriate set of features for its application can make the task complicated and time consuming (Huang and Chen 2004).

Liver biopsy is the gold standard to assess steatosis but

Liver biopsy is the gold standard to assess steatosis but suffers from many drawbacks and contraindications (Bravo et al. 2001). Alternative non-invasive methods, mainly involving conventional imaging, have been proposed to detect steatosis. Ultrasonography (US) is the most common liver-imaging technique because of its ease of use, accessibility and low cost (Schwenzer et al. 2009). However, its diagnostic value is controversial (Schwenzer et al. 2009) as it mglur antagonist is highly operator and machine dependent. Furthermore, it cannot quantify steatosis and can only detect steatosis when at least 30% of hepatocytes are affected (Schwenzer et al. 2009). A recent meta-analysis (Bohte et al. 2011) that compared the performances of US, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to evaluate hepatic steatosis revealed that MRI and 1H-MRS were the techniques of choice for accurate evaluation of hepatic steatosis. However, these methods are costly, are not readily available, are not standardized and cannot be used to screen for NAFLD in the general population.
Recently, a novel non-invasive parameter called the controlled attenuation parameter (CAP), has been developed to assess liver steatosis. CAP is measured with the FibroScan (Echosens, Paris, France), which is based on vibration-controlled transient elastography (VCTE), a technique initially developed to assess liver stiffness (LS), which is highly correlated with liver fibrosis (Sandrin et al. 2003). CAP is derived from the properties of ultrasonic signals acquired by the FibroScan. It uses the postulate that fat affects ultrasound propagation and is a measure of ultrasound attenuation at 3.5 MHz (i.e., the ultrasound center frequency of the FibroScan M probe).
CAP was introduced recently (Sasso et al. 2010) and has already been assessed in many clinical studies, most of them evaluating steatosis in liver biopsies as the gold standard. The performance of CAP for the detection of steatosis has been reported to be good to excellent in most studies in patients with chronic liver disease of various etiologies (Chon et al. 2014; de Ledinghen et al. 2012; Sasso et al. 2010), with viral hepatitis (Mi et al. 2015; Sasso et al. 2012) and with NAFLD (Karlas et al. 2014). In this last study, CAP performance was compared to 1H-MRS and was shown to have a comparable diagnostic value. However, in some studies dealing with overweight and obese patients (Chan et al. 2014; Myers et al. 2012a), it has been shown that CAP performance was impaired by an increased body mass index (BMI). This phenomenon is attributed to the fact that overweight or obese patients have an increased skin-to-capsula distance (SCD) resulting from a high subcutaneous fat thickness. In these cases, the region of interest for CAP on the M probe will contain not only liver parenchyma but also a portion of the subcutaneous fat layer, which causes an overestimation of CAP.
Recently, a probe dedicated to overweight and obese patients was developed by Echosens (Myers et al. 2012b). Indeed, the M probe has been shown to be inaccurate or to fail to assess LS in some patients with an increased BMI and a thick layer of subcutaneous fat (Castera et al. 2010; Foucher et al. 2006). This new probe, named the XL probe (Echosens, Paris, France), makes measurements to a greater depth in the liver (i.e., 35–75 mm vs. 25–65 mm) using a lower ultrasound frequency transducer (2.5 vs. 3.5 MHz) to increase ultrasound penetration. As LS values change as a function of frequency, the shear-wave center frequency remains unchanged (i.e., 50 Hz) with the XL probe.
The study was conducted and written according to the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (Bossuyt et al. 2003).

Materials and Methods

In the present study, the CAP was successfully implemented with the XL probe of the FibroScan. This implementation necessitated a scaling procedure to get CAP values to correspond to an attenuation around 3.5 MHz when using the XL probe of the FibroScan, whose center frequency is around 2.5 MHz. This scaling procedure was shown to be efficient in the simulations and tissue-mimicking phantoms, as well as in vivo on the whole attenuation range, from that of a normal liver (no steatosis) up to massive steatosis (100–400 dB/m at 3.5 MHz). This scaling procedure assumes that the frequency dependence of attenuation is linear with frequency. Even if this approximation is gross in the case of fatty infiltration, as suggested in Narayana and Ophir (1983), it was shown here that it did not impair the performance of the scaling procedure. This was also shown in the phantom testing because, when SCD was greater than 25 mm, measuring CAP with the M probe of the FibroScan led to overestimation (330 dB/m instead of 250 dB/m). These results are consistent with previous in vivo studies (Chan et al. 2014; Myers et al. 2012a) in which it was observed that CAP performance was downgraded when SCD was greater than 25 mm.

It is well documented that

It is well documented that about 15–40 min after food intake, hemodynamic changes occur in splanchnic vessels, with differences between healthy subjects and patients with cirrhosis (Dauzat et al. 1994; Zardi et al. 2008). Because of these changes, liver stiffness prediction with TE and ARFI methods is not reliable immediately after food intake (Arena et al. 2013; Goertz et al. 2012; Mederacke et al. 2009; Popescu et al. 2013).
Using transient elastography, Mederacke et al. (2009), in 12 apparently healthy subjects, measured an overall increase in liver stiffness of 20% immediately after a meal (from 4 ± 0.7 to 4.8 ± 0.9 kPa), with a mean peak value up to 24% after food intake (4.0 ± 0.7 to 5.1 ± 0.9 kPa).
Arena et al. (2013) found that liver stiffness increases more conspicuously in patients with cirrhosis than in healthy subjects or patients with chronic hepatitis, as predicted by TE. In the same study, mean liver stiffness values increased 30 min post-prandially by up to 24% of baseline values in patients with chronic hepatitis stage F0–F1, with mean peak values up to 33%; then, 120 min after the meal, liver stiffness returned to baseline values. In the control group, which had water instead of food, the mean values of liver stiffness were not modified at all, and the mean peak values were only 3.7% higher for all measurements (Arena et al. 2013).
Popescu et al. (2013) used ARFI elastography to analyze liver stiffness before and after a standardized meal in healthy volunteers. The authors described a significant increase in liver stiffness values (>15% of baseline values) 1 h after the meal in 45.7% of the subjects. At the same time, in 50.8% of cases, they glutamate receptor antagonist observed modest increases in liver stiffness (≤15% of baseline values). In the remaining 3.5% of cases, there were lower liver stiffness values 1 h after the meal compared with fasting conditions (>15% of baseline values). Within 3 h after the meal, liver stiffness values did not significantly differ from the values in the control study (Popescu et al. 2013); liver measurements made only under fasting conditions and 1 and 3 h after the meal and the complete curve of the liver stiffness after food intake could not be established. In the study group, mean liver stiffness before the meal was 1.27 ± 0.23 m/s, within 1 h after the meal Homeotic genes was 1.51 ± 0.40 m/s, and within 3 h after the meal, mean liver stiffness was 1.46 ± 0.51 m/s (Popescu et al. 2013). Within 1 h after the meal, mean liver stiffness measured by ARFI elastography increased by 19% compared with fasting conditions. In the control group, 1 h after the first measurement, the mean stiffness was similar to the first measurement (1.28 ± 0.21 m/s vs. 1.22 ± 0.19 m/s). It is worth noting that maintaining the same depth for each measurement per subject was not mentioned in the study design, which is an important parameter for multiple liver stiffness measurements with ARFI and 2-D shear wave elastography (SWE) (Huang et al. 2014; Potthoff et al. 2013).
In a similar study, Goertz et al. (2012) compared liver stiffness values of the same patients before and after food intake. At 30 min after the meal, the authors reported a significantly higher (≤8.74%) mean liver stiffness value (1.03 ± 0.10 m/s vs. 1.12 ± 0.11 m/s).
Two-dimensional shear-wave elastography is a relatively new elastographic ultrasound technique, with promising results in prediction, assessment and diagnosis of significant liver fibrosis (Samir et al. 2014). Liver stiffness estimation using 2-D SWE performed on the same day has been reported to have an intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) ≤0.95 (Yoon et al. 2014). This type of elastography is able to express hepatic elasticity both as the velocity of the shear wave (m/s) and in absolute elasticity modulus units (kPa).



The purpose of this study is to

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of ultrasound on the morphology and the size of particles produced using SAS technique, and to extend understanding of the crystallization mechanism in SAS. Curcumin is chosen as a model hiv protease because it is a crystal and a kind of bioactive materials. Curcumin, obtained from the Curcuma langa, has been used as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and wounding compound in pharmacy, and as food additives [26–28]. But its extremely low aqueous solubility limits the bioavailability and efficacy. The curcumin nanoparticle is expected to have high solubility [29]. Therefore, the present work is to manipulate the curcumin morphology and size distribution via the variation of ultrasound power (USP) at different pressures, and to understand the influences of USP on the mixing state and the supersaturation degree.

Materials and methods

Results and discussion

The influences of USP on the morphology and size distribution of curcumin in the SAS process have been studied. The mixing state was firstly investigated by observing the jet flow optical photos, and the result showed increasing USP can improve the mixing speed between the liquid solution and the CO2. Curcumin morphology analysis indicated that increasing USP also elevated the degree of supersaturation and thus transformed curcumin from crystal structures (needle- and rod-like) to growth-inhibited forms (irregular lumpy and spherical particles). The results further indicated that the mixing speed determined the uniformity of generated curcumin particle, whereas the supersaturation degree determined the specific shape. Therefore, the morphology of curcumin should be controlled by considering the combined effects of these two aspects. By using ultrasound in SAS, the mixing speed and the supersaturation degree can be adjusted more conveniently, and the morphology and size of crystal materials can be manipulated.

Metal–organic framework materials (MOFs) are basically organized polymers formed in the simplest sense by connecting metal ions together (or metal clusters) with poly-topic organic linkers that often results in fascinating structural topologies. The organic linkers act as “struts” that bridge metal centers, acting as “joints” in the resulting MOF architecture [1]. The main two components are connected to each other by coordination bonds, together with other intermolecular interactions, to form a network with a definite topology. MOFs have been widely synthesized and investigated by many research groups [2–6].
Application of nanotechnology offers great ability to control the fabrication process of nano-features [7–9] and as a result their characteristics [10,11]. It has been shown that various physical, mechanical and biological characteristics of materials can be improved in the presence of nano-features [12–16]. Specifically, nanostructured MOFs exhibit unique shape and size dependent properties including more accessible active sites within the porous structure with ability for surface functionalization [17,18]. With appropriate choose of linkers, it would be possible to modify the size, shape and chemical functionality of these materials. This unique structural feature offers revolutionary opportunities in H2 storage, CO2 capturing, chemical sensors, pharmaceutical synthesis, delivery, and catalysis [19,20]. Thus, MOFs have been widely investigated for many applicable purposes, showing excellent characteristics for gas storage and separation of shape/size-selective solid catalysis, and controlled drug delivery [21–28].
Among hundreds types of MOFs that are synthesized and characterized in the past decades, the structural compounds with open metal ions [29] have found many promising applications [30]. The metal structure is based on coordinated carboxyl and hydroxyl groups, in which chains are connected with linkers resulting a 1-D arrangement channel. The synchronized solvent molecule (H2O) can be removed under vacuum, resulting in the formation of an activated and stable framework structure with a high concentration of coordinative unsaturated metal cations [31]. The conventional solvo-thermal method for synthesizing MOFs is a time consuming process with a long reaction time [32,33,30,34,35]. Despite the superior characteristics of nanostructured MOFs, their high cost and low production rate is an obstacle toward commercial application of these compounds. While successful synthesis of thousands of different MOFs and ZIFs materials in lab scale is reported (in micrograms to grams ranges), to the best of our knowledge, only MOF-5 has been produced yet in pilot scales, by means of straight synthesis techniques (i.e. in kg scales, BASF; Germany) at very high expenses. Besides, the average time for synthesis of most of these porous compounds is several days at relatively high crystallization temperatures of up to 250–300°C. In the past few years, several new synthesis techniques including ultrasound, [36] surfactant assisted method, [37] and microwave assisted method [38–40] as well as combined techniques [41] have been developed for more efficient synthesis of MOFs. Compared to the conventional method, the ultrasonic-assisted synthesis has attracted a great attention due to the overall processing time, high yield of final product and improved quality of the product. In this work, Ni-MOF samples were manufactured with and without ultrasound irradiation at different reaction condition in order to investigate the clearance of the ultrasonic irradiation on the Ni-MOFs properties, including pore size and structure, surface area and crystallinity. In addition, this study aim to systematically study the effect of ultrasonic irradiation parameters on the final Ni-MOF product, using the Taguchi technique.

Nowadays the contamination of receiving waters

Nowadays, the contamination of receiving waters such as rivers and lakes caused by the discharge of various industrial effluents containing organic dyes has drastically grown [1,2]. This leads to the serious environmental problems because of the toxicity and carcinogenicity of the discharged organic dyes [3]. Additionally, the self-purification capacity of colored receiving waters will be decreased because of the reduction of light penetration [4]. Due to the low biodegradability of organic dyes, the decolorization of colored solutions by physicochemical techniques has been considered instead of biological treatment processes [3]. Among different physicochemical techniques, the application of advanced DNA Damage DNA Repair Library processes (AOPs) has gained much more attention due to the generation of one of the most powerful oxidants (OH, E°=2.73V) in adequate quantities to achieve the efficient degradation of the target pollutant [5,6]. In recent decade, the application of ultrasonic irradiation as an AOP has attracted much attention because of the generation of high amounts of OH radicals due to the ultrasonic cavitation [5–8]. The ultrasonic waves result in the rapid growth and subsequently, collapse of the cavitation bubbles, which produces extremely high pressure (up to 1800atm) and temperature (as high as 5000K) in the bubbles. The high temperature, together with the high pressure, named “hot spots”, leads to the generation of OH within the gas–liquid transition zone near the bubbles and bulk solution as a result of the water dissociation [5,8,9]. It has been demonstrated that the catalytically enhanced ultrasonic irradiation based on the application of semiconductors, known as sonocatalysis, has higher degradation efficiency and lower processing time than that of sonication alone [4,6,9,10]. Among various semiconductors, nano-sized ZnO has been widely used as an efficient catalyst due to its large volume to area ratio, wide band gap (3.37eV), excellent thermal and chemical stability, long life-span and low cost [9–12]. The presence of ZnO as sonocatalyst results in faster degradation of the target pollutant due to the creation of extra nuclei to form more cavitation bubbles, leading to the generation of more OH in the aqueous phase [13]. Obviously, the application of nano-sized ZnO provides larger surface area and consequently, much more nuclei for the generation of reactive radicals. It has been observed luteinizing hormone (LH) nano-sized ZnO is more suitable for the sonocatalytic decolorization than nano-sized TiO2[14]. Due to the toxicity of ZnO nanostructures for aqueous and terrestrial environments [15], the immobilization of ZnO nanostructures on a suitable support was considered to avoid their release into the environment and enhance their reusability potential [11]. Furthermore, the immobilization of nano-sized catalyst on an appropriate support could be resulted in the enhanced catalytic activity in comparison with that of pure catalyst. Before this, various clay-like materials such as bentonite, montmorillonite and kaolinite have been successfully employed as support for the immobilization of fine catalysts [4,16–19]. However, attentions should be focused on finding new supports with suitable solid matrix, inhibiting the detachment of immobilized nanostructures and increasing their catalytic activity. Among various clay-like substances, biosilica, a microscopic siliceous material consisting of about 90% silicone dioxide [2,3], can be applied as an alternative support. The exceptional structure of the biosilica, along with its porosity and high surface area, persuaded us to evaluate its suitability for the formation and immobilization of ZnO nanostructures. In the present study, ZnO nanostructures were synthesized and immobilized on the biosilica and applied as sonocatalyst for the sonocatalysis of methylene blue (MB) dye, as model organic compound, in the aqueous phase. In the following, the efficiency of the sonocatalysis over ZnO–biosilica nanocomposite was evaluated under different operational conditions. In addition, the reusability potential of the nanocomposite was assessed from an application point of view. To the best of our knowledge, the application of ZnO–biosilica nanocomposite for the sonocatalysis of textile dyes has not reported until now.

Results proved that sonication has a significant effect

Results proved that sonication has a significant effect both on the size of NCC particles and their natural antibiotics present in the suspension. As the length of sonication was increased from 0 to 10min, the size of particles (Dv50) decreased from 14.7 to 2.23μm, respectively. Even a short 1min sonication was very effective in disintegrating the large aggregates and resulted in considerably smaller particles with a median size of 4.3μm. They consisted of nanowhiskers with a length and width of 171±57 and 17±4nm, respectively. However, the longest sonication (i.e. 10min) slightly degraded the nanowhiskers and yielded shorter and thinner NCC particles. The ultrasound-assisted disintegration to nano-sized cellulose whiskers (or at least to smaller aggregates) considerably decreased the optical haze of the suspensions. The stability of the suspensions was provided by the negatively charged surface of NCC, which was quantified by the zeta potential values ranged from −35.6mV to -−27.7mV.
Flat, smooth and colourless films with excellent barrier properties (OTR<6.9cm3/m2day) could be cast from each of the NCC suspensions. However, the film prepared from the non-sonicated NCC suspension was less transparent and homogeneous than those prepared from the sonicated samples. The tensile strength increased gradually by 8%, 16%, 38% and 57% with increasing the length of sonication (for 1, 2, 5 and 10min, respectively). On the other hand, thermal behaviour of the NCC films is significantly poorer than that of the ground bleached cotton. The best quality film with an averaged thickness of 48μm was obtained after 10min of sonication and could be characterised by a haze index of 22.2%; a tensile strength of 32.9MPa; an elongation of 2.1%; an oxygen transmission rate of 6.7cm3/m2day and a Tonset of 203°C.

Metal oxide surface coatings find use in several applications such as corrosion protection, catalysis, and solar cells. One practical route for the preparation of metal oxide surfaces is the sol–gel coating technique. In sol–gel coating process, reactive sol particles (sols) applied on the surfaces undergo gelation and yield metal oxide networks [1,2]. Various methods such as dip-, spin-, spray-, and brush-coating are in wide use for the preparation of sol-based coatings. Each of these methods has certain advantages, but poor interfacial adhesion, cracking, and peeling are their common shortcomings [3,4]. Ultrasound-assisted deposition (USAD) of sols is promising to overcome listed problems. Since the coating process already takes place under a chemically harsh and physically agitated environment, USAD of sols realizes inherently stable metal oxide coatings.
When high-intensity ultrasound is applied to a liquid medium, ultrasonic energy converts to mechanical and thermal energy through the cavitation process. Ultrasonic cavitation process initiates with density oscillations in the liquid medium due to the oscillating pressure of acoustic waves [5–7]. Dissolved gas molecules and the vapor of the liquid medium itself trigger the nucleation of bubbles (cavities) in multiple locations and nucleated bubbles grow with the oscillating field until reaching an unstable size [7,8]. Unstable bubbles implosively collapse resulting in local and transient hot spots of high temperature (>5000K) and pressure (>100bar) [8–10]. In addition, collapsing events taking place near the solid surfaces trigger the formation of high-velocity liquid microjets (>300m/s) that can accelerate dispersed particles [11–13]. Hot spot and microjet formation processes are considered to act as the fundamental driving forces of USAD.
Previous studies showed USAD of various inorganic micro/nanoparticles including metal oxides on a wide range substrates such as silica spheres [14], titania particles [15], poly(methyl methacrylate) chips/spheres [16], bare [17,18] and Parylene-modified [19] glass slides, stainless steel plates [20], cellulosic papers [21–23], cotton fabrics [24], polymeric tubings [25], and polyester fibers [26]. Those studies collectively established USAD technique as a promising way of surface modification. Nevertheless, the coating processes mainly relied on the physical embedding of nonreactive particles rather than the formation of chemical bonds between the particles and the substrates. In accordance, the resulting coatings were often patched lacking conformity and stability. The use of in situ synthesized and surfactant-stabilized titanium oxide sols in USAD by Perkas et al. made a progress in addressing these problems [27]. However, the substrates were glass slides modified with Parylene, a soft polymer with high chemical inertness [28,29]. Thus, despite the use of reactive sol particles, no chemical bonds expectedly formed between the substrates and the coatings.

Many researchers have demonstrated reduced effects on

Many researchers have demonstrated reduced effects on quality or nutritional parameters including grapefruit juice [11], melon juice [12], apple juice [13,14], strawberry juice [15] and cranberry juice [16–18]. In order to observe changes of thermosonicated fruit juices and achieve inactivation of microorganisms, it is necessary to understand the mechanical, chemical, physical and sensorial changes in treated media. Thermosonication can be used to inactivate microorganism and specific attention is needed to avoid aromatic, sensorial and organoleptic changes in food. Today, am580 make demands on the quality, flavour and taste of different kinds of fruit juices [1,22,23]. It is important to keep very high quality standards of products including the taste and to make sure that juices and nectars meet predefined chemical and physical parameters. For this purpose, it is important to use sophisticated equipment and technical expertise in sample preparation and analysis and one of it are electronic nose and tongue [24–26]. In the study by Dias et al. [25] the electronic tongue was successfully applied for semi-quantitative discrimination of real juice soft drinks, based on the added fruit level. Non-specific lipo/polymeric membranes were am580 used for the first time, to perform quantitative determination of two major compounds present in those beverages, fructose and glucose. For sensory analysis, industry needs trained panellists, including a substantial amount of resources, time and cost [26–29]. It is important to quickly develop and test new methodologies that will ensure low-cost and reliable alternative to these costly and lengthy procedures. Electronic tongues of several types (potentiometric, voltammetric and impedance) may represent such alternatives. They have many applications and have been used to test several juices with a combination of a gas sensor array and voltammetric electronic tongue [13,25,27]. An electronic tongue functions by combining signals from non-specific and overlapping sensors with pattern recognition methods [25,26,30]. For an electronic tongue, the sample handling and delivery system is a trivial issue, and interfacing and conditioning circuits are handled by computer software. Our previous work was done on aromatic profiling of sonicated apple juice and usage of sonication in inactivation of microorganism [13,31].
The cranberry belongs to the same genus as the blueberry, Vaccinium. Cranberry has special combination of phenolic, proanthocyanidin, anthocyanin, flavonoid, and triterpenoid antioxidants [19–21]. There is special combination of three antioxidant nutrients in cranberry: resveratrol, piceatannol, and pterostilbene. The phytonutrients in cranberry provide maximal antioxidant benefits only when consumed in combination with each other, and also only when consumed alongside of conventional antioxidant nutrients present in cranberry like manganese and vitamin C.

Materials and methods

Results and discussion
For the treated samples of cranberry juice, according to the Table 1, cell plate is evident that for ultrasonic treatment B1.5 is invested the largest power (81W), and the lowest in the treatment of B1.9 (43W). The highest intensity of ultrasonic treatment was observed in samples B1.5 (63.94Wcm−2), and the lowest in the treatment of B1.9 (33.94Wcm−2). For the treated samples of cranberries nectar (Table 1), it is evident that for the treatment of B2.5 is invested highest power (82W) in the ultrasonic treatment, and the lowest in the treatment of B2.1 (43W). The highest intensity of ultrasonic treatment was observed in samples B2.5 (64.73Wcm−2), and the lowest in the treatment of B2.1 (33.94Wcm−2).

Principle component analysis (PCA) plot shows that some ultrasound-treated samples were different as sensed by electronic tongue compared to the untreated and pasteurised samples. Pasteurised samples are also different compared to untreated and ultrasound treated samples and this is qualitative difference. It can be concluded from the sensory evaluation that ultrasonically treated and pasteurised juices were evaluated with lower scores in comparison with the untreated samples. The best accepted are ultrasonically treated cranberry juice (sample B1.10) treated at the amplitude of 60μm for 6min and 40°C and cranberry nectar sample B2.6 treated at amplitude 120μm for 3min and 20°C. From the results in can be concluded that ultrasound and pasteurised samples were accepted from panellists. The scores were equal. This work demonstrates that sonication influences the aroma profile of cranberry juices and nectars, sensory properties and colour parameters. The process of thermosonication may be used to optimize critical process parameters to obtain juices that mostly retain original properties, and to be used as a possible alternative technique to pasteurisation.

The proposed piezoelectric wafer may be obtained

The proposed piezoelectric wafer may be obtained by means of cutting a type of single crystal, Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3–PbTiO3 (PMN–PT), in a special direction, shown as Fig. 1, in which [hkl] in crystallography denotes a direction and (hkl) a plane orthogonal to the direction [hkl]. The PMN–PT crystal first is orientated in a Cartesian coordinate system with crystal growth direction parallel to z axis. Then the PMN–PT crystal is poled in the [011] direction, and the wafer is cut in the plane (011). Zhang et al. [12] gives an example of this buy EDC.HCl piezoelectric constant matrix as following:where d36 is more than four times of d31 and d32. Generally, conventional d31 type piezoelectric wafer is able to excite Lamb waves (includes A0 and S0 modes) on the thin plate. Thanks to the shear deformation induced by d36, the proposed piezoelectric wafer is expected to excite both Lamb waves and shear horizontal waves.
When the piezoelectric wafer is used routinely, the direction of external electric field E is usually along the z-axis and is perpendicular to the surface of the wafer, which is bonded on the surface of plate structure. For the moment, only d36 is considered, and then Eq. (5) can be simplified as:
For a free d36 type piezoelectric wafer without in-plane external electric field and applied stress, the induced in-plane strain by applying a voltage across the z-direction can be expressed as:where is the thickness of the wafer. Fig. 1(b) shows the deformation of a d36 type piezoelectric wafer placed on the surface of a plate. The deformation can be considered due to a pair of shear strains, and . Moreover, the wafer can be equivalent to a group of line force, which is along the four edges of the wafer, applied on the plate. The induced pure shear deformation along the edges results in the guided waves in the plate.

Experimental investigations

This paper examines the fundamental characteristics of a new d36 type piezoelectric transducer, made from a PMN–PT crystal. Specifically the tuning frequency characteristics and directionality for the piezoelectric wafer are investigated in application of guided waves generation and sensing. According to the guided wave theory, the SH0 wave mode is a non-dispersive, which has many advantages for structural damage detection. The PMN–PT wafer has been demonstrated that it is capable of generating and detecting SH0 wave mode. Due to its materials anisotropy, the SH0 wave mode exhibits wave directionally. In the preliminarily FEM analyses, it proves above points based on the displacement components generated by the d36 type piezoelectric wafer, and then voltage responses show further that SH0 wave mode is dominant at 0°, but negligible small at 45°; while the A0 and S0 wave mode show the reverse trend.
Experiments were conducted to investigate both the tuning frequency characteristics and wave mode directionality for the proposed wafer. Based on wave amplitudes obtained, the following conclusions are drawn:

The financial support from the National Key Technology R&D Program under Grant No. 2011BAK02B02 & 2014BAG05B07, and the National Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 50908066 is gratefully appreciated.

The thermal effects of delivering large amounts of acoustic energy through a focused ultrasound configuration in biological tissue (in vitro and in vivo) was first observed in 1942 [1]. Later on extensive animal studies [2] with focused ultrasound (FUS), demonstrated the reversibility of induced neurological dysfunction below certain temperature threshold and recognized the important technical and safety issues needed to overcome before employing the FUS in a clinical setting. The absence of imaging modalities capable of tissue temperature monitoring, delayed the development of FUS into a controlled, precise and safe tissue ablating therapy. The introduction of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with their fast technological advancement made image-guided focused ultrasound therapy a reality. The unsurpassed soft tissue contrast and its temperature sensitivity set MRI as the optimal imaging modality [3–5].

Elastic modules density film thickness and its

Elastic modules, density, film thickness and its changes for different values of humidity are determined from fitting the calculated and experimental data using corresponding equivalent circuits, Kirghoff’s equations and the least-square method [21,22]. The results of the theoretical analysis are also presented on Fig. 2. It has been found that unperturbed value of density ρ at RH=0.47% is equal to be 850kg/m3.
The change in the density Δρ/ρ due to humidity adsorption have not been measured by the method, but its maximum value ignoring mass of adsorbed water species is estimated from increase of the film thickness as Δρ/ρ=(hRH=0%–h)/h. This value is used in the paper to deduce the cholesterol absorption inhibitor contribution to the SAW humidity response.
Results of the measurements are presented in Table 1. They show that, the elastic modules of GO film are decreased and the film thickness is increased when humidity is grown up. The reducing the modules may be explained by penetration of the water molecules into interflake space and formation of H-binding between water molecules and groups C-OH, CO in GO film [7,11]. After reducing humidity to zero (last three lines of Table 1) the shear elastic module returns to its initial value within 30min, while the longitudinal one does not. This result may be explained by more fast desorption of water molecules from interflake space than from H-bindings.
Basing on data presented in Table 1, the SAW humidity response was evaluated using expression [23] connecting the SAW response Δv/vo with thickness h of a sorbent film, wavelength λ, electromechanical coupling coefficient k2, coefficients A, B, C dependent on the wave, and the changes in density Δρ/ρ, elastic modules ΔC11/C11, ΔC44/C44, conductivity Δσ/σ, capacitance per unit length CS2 and temperature ΔT produced in the film by a gas adsorption:
For particular case, when RH=67%, Δρ/ρ=−0.6, ΔC11/C11=−0.28, ΔC44/C44=−0.69 (Table 1), h=2μm, λ=105μm, the substrate is ST, x-quartz (Euler angles 0°, 132.75°, 0°), and A=2.85, B=1.26, C=0.26 [23], Eq. (1) gives that the part of response related with elastic contributions is equal to Δv/v0≈ 45ppm. At the same time, the SAW response measured experimentally for the same GO film, substrate material, and relative humidity by method [24] and network analyzer Keysight E5061B is turned to be one order of value larger: Δφ/φo=−Δv/vo=−550ppm (φ is a SAW phase detected by analyzer). Therefore, it was concluded that elastic variations in GO film are not dominant in the SAW humidity response. Other contributions could be originated from the changes either in film conductivity Δσ or temperature ΔT.
To clarify the role of conductivity the GO film was deposited both on weak (ST, x-quartz) and strong (128°Y-LiNbO3) piezoelectric substrates of the acoustic delay line (Fig. 3, Table 2). The sensitivities of the film towards humidity are evaluated from the changes in acoustic wave phases Δφ measured at room temperatures (20°C) and central frequencies f (Table 1) using a network analyser (HP 8753E, Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA) operating in phase format. In order to avoid dependence of the measurements on the distance between transducers (LIDT) and frequency (f) the measured Δφ are normalized to the total phases φo=2πL/λ=2πLf/v acquiring the waves from input to output transducers [4]. In order to avoid dependence of the measurements on the length of GO film (LGO) the values Δφ/φo are normalized to (LIDT/LGO). As a result, the normalized responses S=(Δφ/φ0)×(LIDT/LGO) could be compared with each other for different waves and various substrates as determined at identical experimental conditions.
The quartz-based structure is measured to have much lower sensitivity than the lithium niobate-base counterpart. For example, for RH=18% the normalized SAW responses were S=−376 and −1440ppm, respectively. Therefore, we conclude that it is just the change in GO film conductivity that is responsible for the SAW humidity response most of all. This conclusion agrees with the other paper [16] where S0 Lamb wave having large coupling constant k2 demonstrated higher humidity response than A0 wave having small k2[25,26].

From our experimental observation we deduce

From our experimental observation we deduce that water molecules, each with a molecular mass of 18Da, move an RMS distance of ∼1Å for each e−/Å2. A typical cryoEM exposure having 25e−/Å2 will therefore result in a RMS displacement of water molecules by ∼5Å. In the same way as the thermal motion of water molecules results in Brownian motion, the beam-induced motion of water molecules will also be expected to displace embedded protein molecules. In a 25e−/Å2 exposure a protein molecule of 100kDa, such as hexokinase, embedded in this film of randomly diffusing molecules would be expected to have an RMS displacement of ∼1.0Å (hexokinase with a of 100kDa has a 20–40× smaller purchase Cy5.5 hydrazide coefficient than water, and so should move ∼4–6× less, according to the Stokes-Einstein equation for diffusion [19] in which the diffusion coefficient varies as ). For a protein molecule of 25kDa, the beam-induced random motion would be higher at ∼1.5Å, and for a ribosome of 2.5MDa somewhat lower at ∼0.7Å. This additional random motion produces image blurring that can be represented by an extra B-factor, which for hexokinase would correspond to ∼25Å2, on top of that resulting from other effects such as intrinsic radiation damage to the macromolecular assembly. We can thus conclude that random, Brownian type of beam-induced motion of biological structures is unlikely to be one of the limiting factors in attaining high-resolution structures using single particle cryoEM approaches. Only for very small particles at resolutions of 2Å or beyond is this type of beam-induced motion likely to be a fundamental limitation.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Medical Research Council, Grant no. U105184322. We would also like to thank Garib Murshudov and Nigel Unwin for their helpful comments.

Since the sixties, quartz tuning forks (QTF) have been widely used in watches and other electronic devices as frequency standard mainly because of the stability of their mechanical properties with temperature fluctuations [1,2]. More recently, their high resonance frequency, quality factor and spring constant as well as their self-sensing capacity, thanks to the piezoelectricity of quartz, motivated their implementation in many scanning probe microscopy techniques such as scanning near field microscopy [3,4], scanning near-field acoustic microscopy [5] and magnetic force microscopy [6,7]. This has made QTF based sensors a very important tool for different scientific communities [6].
QTF were also implemented in atomic force microscopy (AFM) to serve as both actuator and sensor for tip-sample interactions which eliminated the need for optics and allowed low oscillation amplitude operations [6]. However, the gluing of a metallic tip to the QTF and the interactions with the surface induced break of the QTF symmetry resulting in low scanning speed and resolution. The qPlus sensor (QPS) introduced by Giessibl [8] gave a simple and efficient solution for these problems. In this design, one of the QTF prongs is firmly fixed to a supporting structure (ceramic) and a metallic tip (usually tungsten) is glued to the free prong using epoxy [1,8]. In this configuration, only one prong is deflected during scanning of a surface and the QTF is behaving essentially as a self-sensing cantilever which makes fast scanning possible and easy to interpret [1,8]. Since its introduction, the QPS attracted increasing attention and atomic resolution at low temperature in non-contact AFM (NC-AFM) mode is now routinely achieved by different groups [8–10].
Despite their wide use and commercialization, QPS are still handmade and suffer from decreased resonance frequency and quality factor when compared to the bare QPS (without tip) due to the mass load induced by the relatively large and heavy tungsten tip fixed to the free prong using conductive epoxy [8,2,11,12]. Moreover, it is impossible to know exactly the added mass, the amount of epoxy used and the position of the tip on the free prong. These imprecisions result in a large spread of the mechanical properties from one fabricated sensor to another and make it very difficult to calibrate the spring constant (stiffness) [12]. Even the type of epoxy used was shown to induce significant difference [13].