Consumer Preferences towards Sorbets: A Questionnaire Study
Food choice is a complex human behaviour, that is influenced by many interrelating factors. It is important to understand what consumers really want to eat. Nowadays, the growing popularity of frozen desserts is observed. Among them, sorbets are of the special interest. They are made primarily of fruit juice or fruit purée, water and sugar. A questionnaire study was done to evaluate the consumer preferences towards sorbets. A hundred respondents were included in the study. The respondents answered the questions concerning, inter alia, on the favourite taste of sorbets, additional ingredients (pieces of fruits, nuts etc.), the reason for choosing the product and also the opinion about potential purchasing or not the new product. Women, more frequently than men, indicated strawberry sorbet or the product on the basis of citrus fruits as a favourite one. In turn, 14% of men chose the apple taste. Pieces of chocolate were chosen by most of respondents. Men, more often than women, regarded raisins, alcohol and nuts as the most desirable additional ingredients of sorbets. The candied fruits and spices were indicated more frequently by women. Most of respondents indicated the taste as the major reason for sorbet buying. In turn, for 20% women the most important determinant was the care for their figure. It was observed that more than a half of women regarded sorbets as healthier than traditional ice creams. Answering the question: 'If you had the opportunity to try a new sorbet, containing the ingredient with proven healthy properties, would you buy it?', significantly more men than women answered 'yes, because I like novelty'. Meanwhile, for 14% respondents (independently of gender) it would be only a publicity stunt. Knowing what the consumers desire in selecting a product, is a very important information to design and offer them a new one. Sorbets could be an interesting alternative to ice creams.
Thermal Method Production of the Hydroxyapatite from Bone By-Products from Meat Industry
Introduction: Request for compound of phosphorus grows continuously, thus, it is searched for alternative sources of this element. One of these sources could be by-products from meat industry which contain prominent quantity of phosphorus compounds. Hydroxyapatite, which is natural component of animal and human bones, is leading material applied in bone surgery and also in stomatology. This is material, which is biocompatible, bioactive and osteoinductive. Methodology: Hydroxyapatite preparation: As a raw material was applied deproteinized and defatted bone pulp called bone sludge, which was formed as waste in deproteinization process of bones, in which a protein hydrolysate was the main product. Hydroxyapatite was received in calcining process in chamber kiln with electric heating in air atmosphere in two stages. In the first stage, material was calcining in temperature 600°C within 3 hours. In the next stage unified material was calcining in three different temperatures (750°C, 850°C and 950°C) keeping material in maximum temperature within 3.0 hours. Bone sludge: Bone sludge was formed as waste in deproteinization process of bones, in which a protein hydrolysate was the main product. Pork bones coming from the partition of meat were used as a raw material for the production of the protein hydrolysate. After disintegration, a mixture of bone pulp and water with a small amount of lactic acid was boiled at temperature 130-135°C and under pressure4 bar. After 3-3.5 hours boiled-out bones were separated on a sieve, and the solution of protein-fat hydrolysate got into a decanter, where bone sludge was separated from it. Results of the study: The phase composition was analyzed by roentgenographic method. Hydroxyapatite was the only crystalline phase observed in all the calcining products. XRD investigation was shown that crystallization degree of hydroxyapatite was increased with calcining temperature. Conclusion: The researches were shown that phosphorus content is around 12%, whereas, calcium content amounts to 28% on average. The conducted researches on bone-waste calcining at the temperatures of 750-950°C confirmed that thermal utilization of deproteinized bone-waste was possible. X-ray investigations were confirmed that hydroxyapatite is the main component of calcining products, and also XRD investigation was shown that crystallization degree of hydroxyapatite was increased with calcining temperature. Contents of calcium and phosphorus were distinctly increased with calcining temperature, whereas contents of phosphorus soluble in acids were decreased. It could be connected with higher crystallization degree of material received in higher temperatures and its stable structure. Acknowledgements: “The authors would like to thank the The National Centre for Research and Development (Grant no: LIDER//037/481/L-5/13/NCBR/2014) for providing financial support to this project”.
Various Modification of Electrochemical Barrier Layer Thinning of Anodic Aluminum Oxide
In this paper, two options of anodic alumina barrier layer thinning have been demonstrated. The approaches varied with the duration of the voltage step. It was found that too long step of the barrier layer thinning process leads to chemical etching of the nanopores on their top. At the bottoms pores are not fully opened what is disadvantageous for further applications in nanofabrication. On the other hand, while the duration of the voltage step is controlled by the current density (value of the current density cannot exceed 75% of the value recorded during previous voltage step) the pores are fully opened. However, pores at the bottom obtained with this procedure have smaller diameter, nevertheless this procedure provides electric contact between the bare aluminum (substrate) and electrolyte, what is suitable for template assisted electrodeposition, one of the most cost-efficient synthesis method in nanotechnology.
Evaluation and Selection of Construction Contractors by Polish Public Clients
Contracting authorities in the public sector are obligated to apply the principles provided for in the Polish law for the evaluation and selection of contractors. To analyze the methods of contractors, applied in practice by public clients, the notices of contract award results for construction works were analyzed. The analysis shows that the procedure selected more and more often is open to competitive bidding, where the assessment of the competence of contractors is not very precise, as well as non-competitive bidding, i.e. single source procurement. The share of procurement procedures, where the only criterion is price, is increasing. The solution to the problems existing here might be the introduction of one of the forms of pre-selection of contractors. The article also briefly discusses verification systems for companies applying for public contracts used in EU countries.
Searching for Novel Scaffolds of Triazole Non-Nucleoside Inhibitors of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase
Azoles are a promising class of the new generation of HIV-1 nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). From thousands of reported compounds, many possess the same basic structure of an aryl substituted azole ring linked by a thioglycolamide chain with another aromatic ring. To find novel extensions for this primary scaffold, we explored the 5-position substitution of triazole NNRTIs using molecular docking followed by synthesis of selected compounds. We discovered that heterocyclic substituents in 5-position of the triazole ring are detrimental to the inhibitory activity of compounds with 4-membered thioglycolamide linker. This substitution seems to be viable only for compounds with a shorter 2-membered linker such as in derivatives of 4‐benzyl‐3‐(benzyl-sulfanyl)‐5‐(thiophen‐2‐yl)‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazole reported earlier. A new scaffold of 2‐[(4‐benzyl‐5‐methyl‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazol‐3‐yl)sulfanyl]‐N‐phenylacetamide has been identified in this study.
Nanocomposite Metal Material: Study of Antimicrobial and Catalytic Properties
The aim of this study was to obtain antimicrobial material based on thin zirconium dioxide coatings on structured reactors doped with metal nanoparticles using the sonochemical sol-gel method. As a result, dense, uniform zirconium dioxide films were obtained on the kanthal sheets which can be used as support materials in antimicrobial converters with sophisticated shapes. The material was characterised by physicochemical methods, such as AFM, SEM, EDX, XRF, XRD, XPS and in situ Raman and DRIFT spectroscopy. In terms of antimicrobial activity, the material was tested by ATP/AMP method using model microbes isolated from the real systems. The results show that the material can be potentially used in the market as a good candidate for active package and as active bulkheads of climatic systems. The mechanical tests showed that the developed method is an efficient way to obtain durable converters with high antimicrobial activity against fungi and bacteria.
Technical Determinants of the Success of the Quality Management Systems Implementation in Automotive Industry
The popularity of the quality management system models continues to grow despite the transitional crisis in 2008. Their development is associated with the demands of the new requirements for entrepreneurs, such as risk analysis projects and more emphasis on supervision of outsourced processes. In parallel appropriate to focus attention on the selection of companies aspiring to quality management system. This is particularly important in the automotive supplier industry, where requirements transferred to the levels in the supply chain should be clear, transparent and fairly satisfied. The author has carried out series of researches aimed at finding the factors that allow for the effective implementation of the quality management system in automotive companies. The research was focused on four groups of companies: 1) manufacturing (parts and assemblies for the purpose of sale or for vehicle manufacturers), 2) service (repair and maintenance of the car), 3) services for the transport of goods or people, 4) commercial (auto parts and vehicles). Identified determinants were divided in two types of criteria into: internal and external, as well as: hard and soft. The article presents hard - technical factors that automotive company must meet in order to achieve the goal of the quality management system implementation.
Multiscale Computational Approach to Enhance the Understanding, Design and Development of CO₂ Catalytic Conversion Technologies
Reducing carbon dioxide, CO₂, is one of the greatest global challenges. Conversion of CO₂ for utilisation across synthetic fuel, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries offers a promising option, yet requires significant research to understanding the complex multiscale processes involved. To experimentally understand and optimize such processes at that catalytic sites and exploring the impact of the process at reactor scale, is too expensive. Computational methods offer significant insight and flexibility but require a more detailed multi-scale approach which is a significant challenge in itself. This work introduces a computational approach which incorporates detailed catalytic models, taken from experimental investigations, into a larger-scale computational flow dynamics framework. The reactor-scale species transport approach is modified near the catalytic walls to determine the influence of catalytic clustering regions. This coupling approach enables more accurate modelling of velocity, pressures, temperatures, species concentrations and near-wall surface characteristics which will ultimately enable the impact of overall reactor design on chemical conversion performance.
Electronic Nose for Monitoring Fungal Deterioration of Stored Rapeseed
Investigations were performed to examine the possibility of using an electronic nose to monitor the development of fungal microflora during the first eighteen days of rapeseed storage. The Cyranose 320 device with polymer-composite sensors was used. Each sample of infected material was divided into three parts, and the degree of spoilage was measured in three ways: analysis of colony forming units (CFU), determination of ergosterol content (ERG), and measurement with the eNose. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on the generated patterns of signals, and six groups of different spoilage levels were isolated. The electronic nose with polymer-composite sensors under laboratory conditions distinguished between species of spoiled and unspoiled seeds with 100% accuracy. Despite some minor differences in the CFU and ergosterol content, the electronic nose provided responses correctly corresponding to the level of spoilage with 85% accuracy. Therefore, the main conclusion from the study is that the electronic nose is a promising tool for quick and non-destructive detection of the level of oil seed spoilage. The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
The Role of Human Resource Flexibility and Agility in Achieving Sustainable Competitiveness
Flexibility and agility constitute the most dominant features of modern human resource management systems. The former pertains to procedures, practices and competences of human resources, and the latter to the procedures and practices’ effectiveness in dealing with changing conditions in the surrounding environment. The purpose of the paper is to present the relations between the flexibility and agility of human resources and achieving sustainable competitiveness. Based upon hitherto research, we develop a conceptual model that links the constructs together. The conducted study is of theoretical and conceptual nature. Critical literature analysis and the synthesis method were applied. A premise was made that the three dimensions of HR (Human Resources) flexibility (employee skill flexibility, employee behaviour flexibility, and HR practice flexibility) and HR agility affect competitiveness, by increasing the flexibility, creativity of human resources, and improving quality performance, and exert an impact upon the quality of life of employees and social relations. In particular, the agility and flexibility of human resources contribute to the growth of adaptability and strategic orientation, which directly affects the organization's competitiveness. The research results will help to better understand the impact of flexibility and agility related to the HRM (Human Resources Management) system upon the implementation of the concept of sustainable development in the organization.
Response Evaluation of Electronic Nose with Polymer-Composite and Metal Oxide Semiconductor Sensor towards Microbiological Quality of Rapeseed
Rapeseeds were evaluated and classified by the static-headspace sampling method using electronic noses during the 25 days spoilage period. The Cyranose 320 comprising 32 polymer-composite sensors and VCA (Volatile Compound Analyzer - made in Institute of Agrophysics) built of 8 metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) sensors were used to obtain sensor response (∆R/R). Each sample of spoiled material was divided into three parts and the degree of spoilage was measured four ways: determination of ergosterol content (ERG), colony forming units (CFU) and measurement with both e-noses. The study showed that both devices responsive to changes in the fungal microflora. Cyranose and VCA registered the change of domination microflora of fungi. After 7 days of storage, typical fungi for soil disappeared and appeared typical for storeroom was observed. In both cases, response ∆R/R decreased to the end of experiment, while ERG and JTK increased. The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
Synthesis of Beetosan's Hydrogels with Yellow Tea
The aim of the study was to select the best conditions for the synthesis of Beetosan's hydrogels with yellow tea. The study determined recipe hydrogel matrix by selecting the appropriate ratio of substrates and to investigate the effect of yellow tea, on the structure and properties of the hydrogel materials. The scope of the research included both to obtain of raw materials required for the synthesis of hydrogel materials, as well as an assessment of their properties. In the first stage of research Beetosan (chitosan derived from bees), and extract the yellow tea China Kekecha was obtained. The second stage was synthesis hydrogels modified by yellow tea. The synthesis of polymeric matrix was preparation under UV radiation. Obtained hydrogel materials were investigated extensively using incubation investigations, absorption capacity, and spectroscopic (FT-IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods. Moreover, there was also performed the surface wettability test and a photomicrograph of the structure using scanning electron microscope. Analysis of the obtained results confirms that presence of yellow tea does not significantly affect the behavior of the hydrogels in the incubation fluids. The results show that hydrogel materials exhibit compatibility with the incubatory solutions and they also retain the stability in the tested liquids. Hydrogels obtained in this method might be applied in the cosmetics industry and in the field of medicine. This is possible due to the many interesting properties of tea and biocompatibility and non-toxicity hydrogel materials. The authors would like to thank the The National Centre for Research and Development (Grant no: LIDER/033/697/L-5/13/NCBR/2014) for providing financial support to this project.
The Influence of Colloidal Metal Nanoparticles on Growth and Proliferation of in Vitro Cultures of Potato
Colloidal metal nanoparticles are widely applied in various areas and have great potential in different biotechnological applications. Their particular properties associated with both the antiseptic, antioxidant and anti aging properties as well as ability to penetrate most of the biological barriers, synergy in the absorption of nutrients and nontoxic to plants. The properties make them potentially useful in the fast and safe production of healthy, certified starting material in the production of plants exposed to many pathogenic microorganisms causing serious diseases, significantly affecting yield and causing the economic losses. In this case it is crucial to provide appropriate conditions for the production, storage and distribution of the plant material. Therefore, the aim of the proposed research was to develop and identify the influence of four colloidal metal nanoparticles on growth and proliferation of in vitro cultures of potato (Solanum tuberosum) - one of the most economically important strategic crops in the world. The research on different varieties of potato was performed by placing the explants of the in vitro cultures on sterile Murashige and Skoog (MS) type medium. The influence of the nanocolloids was evaluated using the MS medium impregnated with the examinated nanoparticles. The vigour of growth and the rate of proliferation was examinated for 6-8 weeks with both night/day-length and temperature over the ranges 8/16 h and 20–22 °C respectively. The results of our preliminary work confirmed high usefulness of the nanocolloids in the safe production of the examinated in vitro cultures.
Relationship between Response of the Resistive Sensors on the Chosen Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Their Concentration
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the fungi metabolites in the gaseous form produced during improper storage of agricultural commodities (e.g. grain, food). The spoilt commodities produce a wide range of VOCs including alcohols, esters, aldehydes, ketones, alkanes, alkenes, furans, phenols etc. The characteristic VOCs and odours can be determined by using electronic nose (e-Nose) which contains a matrix of different kinds of sensors e.g. resistive sensors. The aim of the present studies was to determine relationship between response of the resistive sensors on the chosen volatiles and their concentration. According to the literature, it was chosen volatiles characteristic for the cereals: ethanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol and hexanal. Analysis of the sensor signals shows that a signal shape is different for the different substances. Moreover, each VOC signal gives information about a maximum of the normalized sensor response (R/Rmax), an impregnation time (tIM) and a cleaning time at half maximum of R/Rmax (tCL). These three parameters can be regarded as a ‘VOC fingerprint’. Seven resistive sensors (TGS2600-B00, TGS2602-B00, TGS2610-C00, TGS2611-C00, TGS2611-E00, TGS2612-D00, TGS2620-C00) produced by Figaro USA Inc., and one (AS-MLV-P2) produced by AMS AG, Austria were used. Two out of seven sensors (TGS2611-E00, TGS2612-D00) did not react to the chosen VOCs. The most responsive sensor was AS-MLV-P2.
The research was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR), Grant No. PBS2/A8/22/2013.
Low Influenza Vaccine Coverage Rates among Polish Nurses
Introduction: Influenza is an important clinical and epidemiological problem and should be considered as a possible nosocomial infection. The aim of the study was to determine the influenza vaccine coverage rates among Polish nurses and to find out drivers and barriers for influenza vaccination among this group of health care workers (HCWs). Material and methods: The self- fulfilled survey with 26 questions about the knowledge, perception, and influenza coverage rates was distributed among 461 nurses. Results: Only 15% of nurses were vaccinated against influenza in the consecutive seasons. The majority (75%) of the regularly vaccinated nurses were ambulatory careworkers. The difference between the number of vaccinated hospitals and ambulatory care nurses was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The main motivating factors for an influenza vaccination were: a fear of the illness and its complications (97%) and a free of charge vaccine available at the workplace (87%). Ambulatory care nurses more often declared that they were vaccinated mainly to protect themselves while hospital care nurses more often declared the will to protect their patients, these differences in the perception and attitudes to an influenza vaccination among hospital and ambulatory care nurses were statistically significant (p < 0.05). The main barriers for an influenza vaccination among the nursing staff were: a lack of reimbursement of the vaccine (95%), a lack of insufficient knowledge about the effectiveness, and safety of the influenza vaccine (54%). The ambulatory care nurses more often found influenza vaccination as the ethical duty compared to hospital care nurses (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The influenza vaccine coverage rates among the Polish nurses are low and must be improved in the future. More educational activities dedicated to HCWs may result in the increased awareness of influenza vaccination benefits for both medical professionals and patients.
Participatory Democracy to the Contemporary Problems of Polish Social Policy
Nowadays the participation of citizens in public life increasingly effect on management at all levels of public authority. Today, however, democratic systems in many countries, also in Poland, based on the first - on the institutions of representative democracy, which is mainly on elections, party activity, on the other hand - on the basic instruments of direct democracy, which, in particular, we can include a referendum or initiative of citizenship - although these are often rather complementary. Other forms of participatory democracy, such as deliberative democracy, participatory budgeting, public consultation in practice in many countries are still rare. Appropriate use of the potential invested in participatory democracy can bring enormous and multilateral benefits. On the one hand, local and regional communities taking an active part in public life express their needs, point out problems and thus affect the decisions of public authorities. Authorities using knowledge acquired from the citizens also implement the policy tailored to their needs, thus obtaining support in the next election. The purpose of this study is to show how the Polish citizens affect to resolve issues of social policy pursued at different levels of government. This problem is very important because today the observed changes seen in virtually all fields of life create new social problems, which nowadays are no longer only the problems of the region, the country but they are international, global issues. From such this perspective we should talk about them, discuss, try to solve at all levels. Article will be useful not only theorists involved in the management of the public, local government, or social but also practitioners - local government acting as their functions at different levels of government. Conclusions drawn from the publication will also be useful to politicians and those directly affecting for: functioning social security systems, the scope and quality of public services and the overall shape of the contemporary social policy in different countries.
Effect of Correlation of Random Variables on Structural Reliability Index
The problem of correlation between random variables in the structural reliability analysis has been extensively discussed in literature on the subject. The cases taken under consideration were usually related to correlation between random variables from one side of ultimate limit state: correlation between particular loads applied on structure or correlation between resistance of particular members of a structure as a system. It has been proved that positive correlation between these random variables reduces the reliability of structure and increases the probability of failure. In the paper, the problem of correlation between random variables from both side of the limit state equation will be taken under consideration. The simplest case where these random variables are of the normal distributions will be concerned. The case when a degree of that correlation is described by the covariance or the coefficient of correlation will be used. Special attention will be paid on questions: how much that correlation changes the reliability level and can it be ignored. In reliability analysis will be used well-known methods for assessment of the failure probability: based on the Hasofer-Lind reliability index and Monte Carlo method adapted to the problem of correlation. The main purpose of this work will be a presentation how correlation of random variables influence on reliability index of steel bar structures. Structural design parameters will be defined as deterministic values and random variables. The latter will be correlated. The criterion of structural failure will be expressed by limit functions related to the ultimate and serviceability limit state. In the description of random variables will be used only for the normal distribution. Sensitivity of reliability index to the random variables will be defined. If the reliability index sensitivity due to the random variable X will be low when compared with other variables, it can be stated that the impact of this variable on failure probability is small. Therefore, in successive computations, it can be treated as a deterministic parameter. Sensitivity analysis leads to simplify the description of the mathematical model, determine the new limit functions and values of the Hasofer-Lind reliability index. In the examples, the NUMPRESS software will be used in the reliability analysis.
The Effect of Colloidal Metals Nanoparticles on Quarantine Bacterium - Clavibacter michiganensis Ssp. sepedonicus
Colloidal metal nanoparticles have drawn increasing attention in the field of phytopathology because of their unique properties and possibilities of applications. Their antibacterial activity, no induction of the development of pathogen resistance and the ability to penetrate most of biological barriers make them potentially useful in the fighting against dangerous pathogens. These properties are very important in the case of protection of strategic crops in the world, like potato - fourth crop in the world - which is host to numerous pathogenic microorganisms causing serious diseases, significantly affecting yield and causing the economic losses. One of the most important and difficult to reduce pathogen of potato plant is quarantine bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis ssp. sepedonicus (Cms) responsible for ring rot disease. Control and detection of these pathogens is very complicated. Application of healthy, certified seed material as well as hygiene in potato production and storage are the most efficient ways of preventing of ring rot disease. Currently used disinfectants and pesticides, have many disadvantages, such as toxicity, low efficiency, selectivity, corrosiveness, and the inability to eliminate the pathogens in potato tissue. In this situation, it becomes important to search for new formulations based on components harmful to health, yet efficient, stable during prolonged period of time and a with wide range of biocide activity. Such capabilities are offered by the latest generation of biocidal nanoparticles such as colloidal metals. Therefore the aim of the presented research was to develop newly antibacterial preparation based on colloidal metal nanoparticles and checking their influence on the Cms bacteria. Our preliminary results confirmed high efficacy of the nano-colloids in controlling the this selected pathogen.
Improvement of the Quality Services of Social Robots by Understanding Requirements of People with Dementia
Introduction: Neurodegenerative diseases are frequently accompanied by loss and unwanted change in functional independence, social relationships, and economic circumstances. Currently, the achievements of social robots to date is being projected to improve multidimensional quality of life among people with cognitive impairment and others. Objectives: Identification of particular human needs in context of the changes occurring in course of neurodegenerative diseases. Methods: Based on the 110 surveys performed in Medical University of Lublin from medical staff, patients, and caregivers we made prioritization of the users' needs as: high, medium, and low. The issues included in the surveys concerned four aspects: user acceptance, functional requirements, design of the robotic assistant and preferred types of human-robot interaction. Results: We received completed questionnaires: 50 from medical staff, 30 from caregivers and 30 from potential users. Above 90% of the respondents from each of the three groups, accepted robotic assistant as a potential caregiver. High priority functional capability of assistive technology was to handle emergencies in a private home like recognizing life-threatening situations and reminding about medication intake. With reference to design of the robotic assistant, the majority of the respondent would like to have an anthropomorphic appearance with positive emotionally expressive face. The most important type of human-robot interaction was voice-operated system and by touchscreen. Conclusion: The results from our study might contribute to a better understanding of the system and users’ requirements for the development of a service robot intended to support patients with dementia.
Sound Source Localisation and Augmented Reality for On-Site Inspection of Prefabricated Building Components
This study presents an on-site acoustic inspection methodology for quality and performance evaluation of building components. The work focuses on global and detailed sound source localisation, by successively performing acoustic beamforming and sound intensity measurements. A portable experimental setup is developed, consisting of an omnidirectional broadband acoustic source and a microphone array and sound intensity probe. Three main acoustic indicators are of interest, namely the sound pressure distribution on the surface of components such as walls, windows and junctions, the three-dimensional sound intensity field in the vicinity of junctions, and the sound transmission loss of partitions. The measurement data is post-processed and converted into a three-dimensional numerical model of the acoustic indicators with the help of the simultaneously acquired geolocation information. The three-dimensional acoustic indicators are then integrated into an augmented reality platform superimposing them onto a real-time visualisation of the spatial environment. The methodology thus enables a measurement-supported inspection process of buildings and the correction of errors during construction and refurbishment. Two experimental validation cases are shown. The first consists of a laboratory measurement on a full-scale mockup of a room, featuring a prefabricated panel. The latter is installed with controlled defects such as lack of insulation and joint sealing material. It is demonstrated that the combined acoustic and augmented reality tool is capable of identifying acoustic leakages from the building defects and assist in correcting them. The second validation case is performed on a prefabricated room at a near-completion stage in the factory. With the help of the measurements and visualisation tools, the homogeneity of the partition installation is evaluated and leakages from junctions and doors are identified. Furthermore, the integration of acoustic indicators together with thermal and geometrical indicators via the augmented reality platform is shown.
Relationship between Prolonged Timed up and Go Test and Worse Cardiometabolic Diseases Risk Factors Profile in a Population Aged 60-65 Years
Introduction: Functional capacity is one of the basic determinants of health in older age. Functional capacity may be influenced by multiple disorders, including cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Nevertheless, there is relatively little evidence regarding the association of functional status and cardiometabolic risk factors. Aim: The aim of this research is to check possible association between functional capacity and cardiovascular risk factor in a group of younger seniors. Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 300 participants aged 60-65 years (50% were women). Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), glucose, uric acid, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and blood pressure were measured. Smoking status and physical activity level (by Seven Day Physical Activity Recall Questionnaire ) were analysed. Functional status was assessed with the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test. The data were compared according to gender, and then separately for both sexes regarding prolonged TUG score (>7 s). The limit of significance was set at p≤0.05 for all analyses. Results: Women presented with higher serum lipids and longer TUG. Men had higher blood pressure, glucose, uric acid, the prevalence of hypertension and history of heart infarct. In women group, those with prolonged TUG displayed significantly higher obesity rate (BMI, WHTR), uric acid, hypertension and ischemic heart disease (IHD), but lower physical activity level, TC or LDL-C. Men with prolonged TUG were heavier smokers, had higher TG, lower HDL and presented with higher prevalence of diabetes and IHD. Discussion: This study shows association between functional status and risk profile of cardiometabolic disorders. In women, the relationship of lower functional status to cardiometabolic diseases may be mediated by overweight/obesity. In men, locomotor problems may be related to smoking. Higher education level may be considered as a protective factor regardless of gender.
The Relationship Between Weight Gain, Cyclicality of Diabetologic Education and the Experienced Stress: A Study Involving Pregnant Women
Introduction: In recent years, there has been an intensive development of research into the physiological relationships between the experienced stress and obesity. Moreover, strong chronic stress leads to the disorganization of a person’s activeness on various levels of functioning, including the behavioral and cognitive sphere (also in one’s diet). Aim: The present work addresses the following research questions: Is there a relationship between an increase in stress related to the disease and the need for the cyclicality of diabetologic education in gestational diabetes? Are there any differences in terms of the experienced stress during the last three months of pregnancy in women with gestational diabetes and in normal pregnancy between the patients with normal weight gains and those with abnormal weight gains? Are there any differences in terms of stress coping styles in women with gestational diabetes and in normal pregnancy between the patients with normal weight gains and those with abnormal weight gains? Method: The study involved pregnant women with gestational diabetes (treated with diet, without insulin therapy) and in normal pregnancy – 206 women in total. The following psychometric tools were employed: Perceived Stress Scale (PSS; Cohen, Kamarck, Mermelstein), Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS; Endler, Parker) and authors’ own questionnaire. Gestational diabetes mellitus was diagnosed on the basis of the results of fasting oral glucose tolerance test (75 g OGTT). Body weight measurements were confirmed in a diagnostic interview, taking into account medical data. Regularities in weight gains in pregnancy were determined according to the recommendations of the Polish Gynecological Society and American norms determined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Conclusions: An increase in stress related to the disease varies in patients with differing requirements for the cyclical nature of diabetologic education (i.e. education which is systematically repeated). There are no differences in terms of recently experienced stress and stress coping styles between women with gestational diabetes and those in normal pregnancy. There is a relationship between weight gains in pregnancy and the stress experienced in life as well as stress coping styles – both in pregnancy complicated by diabetes and in physiological pregnancy. In the discussion of the obtained results, the authors refer to scientific reports from English-language magazines of international range.
Concept of Using an Indicator to Describe the Quality of Fit of Clothing to the Body Using a 3D Scanner and CAD System
The objective of this research is to develop an algorithm, taking into account material type and body type that will describe the fabric properties and quality of fit of a garment to the body. One of the objectives of this research is to develop a new algorithm to simulate cloth draping within CAD/CAM software. Existing virtual fitting does not accurately simulate fabric draping behaviour. Part of the research into virtual fitting will focus on the mechanical properties of fabrics. Material behaviour depends on many factors including fibre, yarn, manufacturing process, fabric weight, textile finish, etc. For this study, several different fabric types with very different mechanical properties will be selected and evaluated for all of the above fabric characteristics. These fabrics include woven thick cotton fabric which is stiff and non-bending, woven with elastic content, which is elastic and bends on the body. Within the virtual simulation, the following mechanical properties can be specified: shear, bending, weight, thickness, and friction. To help calculate these properties, the KES system (Kawabata) can be used. This system was originally developed to calculate the mechanical properties of fabric. In this research, the author will focus on three properties: bending, shear, and roughness. This study will consider current research using the KES system to understand and simulate fabric folding on the virtual body. Testing will help to determine which material properties have the largest impact on the fit of the garment. By developing an algorithm which factors in body type, material type, and clothing function, it will be possible to determine how a specific type of clothing made from a particular type of material will fit on a specific body shape and size. A fit indicator will display areas of stress on the garment such as shoulders, chest waist, hips. From this data, CAD/CAM software can be used to develop garments that fit with a very high degree of accuracy. This research, therefore, aims to provide an innovative solution for garment fitting which will aid in the manufacture of clothing. This research will help the clothing industry by cutting the cost of the clothing manufacturing process and also reduce the cost spent on fitting. The manufacturing process can be made more efficient by virtual fitting of the garment before the real clothing sample is made. Fitting software could be integrated into clothing retailer websites allowing customers to enter their biometric data and determine how the particular garment and material type would fit their body.
Fuzzy Expert Approach for Risk Mitigation on Functional Urban Areas Affected by Anthropogenic Ground Movements
A number of European cities are strongly affected by ground movements caused by anthropogenic activities or post-anthropogenic metamorphosis. Those are mainly water pumping, current mining operation, the collapse of post-mining underground voids or mining-induced earthquakes. These activities lead to large and small-scale ground displacements and a ground ruptures. The ground movements occurring in urban areas could considerably affect stability and safety of structures and infrastructures. The complexity of the ground deformation phenomenon in relation to the structures and infrastructures vulnerability leads to considerable constraints in assessing the threat of those objects. However, the increase of access to the free software and satellite data could pave the way for developing new methods and strategies for environmental risk mitigation and management. Open source geographical information systems (OS GIS), may support data integration, management, and risk analysis. Lately, developed methods based on fuzzy logic and experts methods for buildings and infrastructure damage risk assessment could be integrated into OS GIS. Those methods were verified base on back analysis proving their accuracy. Moreover, those methods could be supported by ground displacement observation. Based on freely available data from European Space Agency and free software, ground deformation could be estimated. The main innovation presented in the paper is the application of open source software (OS GIS) for integration developed models and assessment of the threat of urban areas. Those approaches will be reinforced by analysis of ground movement based on free satellite data. Those data would support the verification of ground movement prediction models. Moreover, satellite data will enable our mapping of ground deformation in urbanized areas. Developed models and methods have been implemented in one of the urban areas hazarded by underground mining activity. Vulnerability maps supported by satellite ground movement observation would mitigate the hazards of land displacements in urban areas close to mines.
Prevalence of Cyp2d6 and Its Implications for Personalized Medicine in Saudi Arabs
Background: CYP2D6 is a member of the cytochrome P450 mixed-function oxidase system. The enzyme is responsible for the metabolism and elimination of approximately 25% of clinically used drugs, especially in breast cancer and psychiatric therapy. Different phenotypes have been described displaying alleles that lead to a complete loss of enzyme activity, reduced function (poor metabolizers – PM), hyperfunctionality (ultrarapid metabolizers–UM) and therefore drug intoxication or loss of drug effect. The prevalence of these variants may vary among different ethnic groups. Furthermore, the xTAG system has been developed to categorized all patients into different groups based on their CYP2D6 substrate metabolization. Aim of the study: To determine the prevalence of the different CYP2D6 variants in our population, and to evaluate their clinical relevance in personalized medicine. Methodology: We used the Luminex xMAP genotyping system to sequence 305 Saudi individuals visiting the Blood Bank of our Institution and determine which polymorphisms of CYP2D6 gene are prevalent in our region. Results: xTAG genotyping showed that 36.72% (112 out of 305 individuals) carried the CYP2D6_*2. Out of the 112 individuals with the *2 SNP, 6.23% had multiple copies of *2 SNP (19 individuals out of 305 individuals), resulting in an UM phenotype. About 33.44% carried the CYP2D6_*41, which leads to decreased activity of the CYP2D6 enzyme. 19.67% had the wild-type alleles and thus had normal enzyme function. Furthermore, 15.74% carried the CYP2D6_*4, which is the most common nonfunctional form of the CYP2D6 enzyme worldwide. 6.56% carried the CYP2D6_*17, resulting in decreased enzyme activity. Approximately 5.73% carried the CYP2D6_*10, consequently decreasing the enzyme activity, resulting in a PM phenotype. 2.30% carried the CYP2D6_*29, leading to decreased metabolic activity of the enzyme, and 2.30% carried the CYP2D6_*35, resulting in an UM phenotype, 1.64% had a whole-gene deletion CYP2D6_*5, thus resulting in the loss of CYP2D6 enzyme production, 0.66% carried the CYP2D6_*6 variant. One individual carried the CYP2D6_*3(B), producing an inactive form of the enzyme, which leads to decrease of enzyme activity, resulting in a PM phenotype. Finally, one individual carried the CYP2D6_*9, which decreases the enzyme activity. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that different CYP2D6 variants are highly prevalent in ethnic Saudi Arabs. This finding sets a basis for informed genotyping for these variants in personalized medicine. The study also suggests that xTAG is an appropriate procedure for genotyping the CYP2D6 variants in personalized medicine.
Synthesis and Catalytic Activity of N-Heterocyclic Carbene Copper Catalysts Supported on Magnetic Nanoparticles
Carbenes - species which possess neutral carbon atom with two shared and two unshared valence electrons, are known for their high reactivity and instability. Nevertheless, it is also known, that some carbenes i.e. N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), can form stable crystals. The usability of NHCs in organic synthesis was studied. Due to their exceptional properties (high nucleophilicity) NHCs are commonly used as organocatalysts and also as ligands in transition metal complexes. NHC ligands possess better electron-donating properties than phosphines. Moreover, they exhibit lower toxicity. Due to these features, phosphines are frequently replaced by NHC ligands. In this research is discussed the synthesis of five-membered NHCs which are mainly obtained by deprotonation of azolium salts, e.g., imidazolium or imidazolinium salts. Some of them are immobilized on a solid support what leads to formation of heterogeneous, recyclable catalysts. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are often used as a solid support for catalysts. MNPs can be easily separated from the reaction mixture using an external magnetic field. Due to their low size and high surface to volume ratio, they are a good choice for immobilization of catalysts. Herein is presented synthesis of N-heterocyclic carbene copper complexes directly on the surface of magnetic nanoparticles. Formation of four different catalysts is discussed. They vary in copper oxidation state (Cu(I) and Cu(II)) and structure of NHC ligand. Catalysts were tested in Huisgen reaction, a type of copper catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. Huisgen reaction represents one of the few universal and highly efﬁcient reactions in which 1,2,3-triazoles can be obtained. The catalytic activity of all synthesized catalysts was compared with activity of commercially available ones. Different reaction conditions (solvent, temperature, the addition of reductant) and reusability of the obtained catalysts were investigated and are discussed. The project was financially supported by National Science Centre, Poland, grant no. 2016/21/N/ST5/01316. Analyses were performed in Centre of Synthesis and Analyses BioNanoTechno of University of Bialystok. The equipment in the Centre of Synthesis and Analysis BioNanoTechno of University of Bialystok was funded by EU, as a part of the Operational Program Development of Eastern Poland 2007-2013, project: POPW.01.03.00-20-034/09-00 and POPW.01.03.00-20-004/11.
Isotope Effects on Inhibitors Binding to HIV Reverse Transcriptase
In order to understand in details the interactions between ligands and the enzyme isotope effects were studied between clinically used drugs that bind in the active site of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Reverse Transcriptase, HIV-1 RT, as well as triazole-based inhibitor that binds in the allosteric pocket of this enzyme. The magnitudes and origins of the resulting binding isotope effects were analyzed. Subsequently, binding isotope effect of the same triazole-based inhibitor bound in the active site were analyzed and compared. Together, these results show differences in binding origins in two sites of the enzyme and allow to analyze binding mode and place of newly synthesized inhibitors. Typical protocol is described below on the example of triazole ligand in the allosteric pocket. Triazole was docked into allosteric cavity of HIV-1 RT with Glide using extra-precision mode as implemented in Schroedinger software. The structure of HIV-1 RT was obtained from Protein Data Bank as structure of PDB ID 2RKI. The pKa for titratable amino acids was calculated using PROPKA software, and in order to neutralize the system 15 Cl- were added using tLEaP package implemented in AMBERTools ver.1.5. Also N-terminals and C-terminals were build using tLEaP. The system was placed in 144x160x144Å3 orthorhombic box of water molecules using NAMD program. Missing parameters for triazole were obtained at the AM1 level using Antechamber software implemented in AMBERTools. The energy minimizations were carried out by means of a conjugate gradient algorithm using NAMD. Then system was heated from 0 to 300 K with temperature increment 0.001 K. Subsequently 2 ns Langevin−Verlet (NVT) MM MD simulation with AMBER force field implemented in NAMD was carried out. Periodic Boundary Conditions and cut-offs for the nonbonding interactions, range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å, are used. After 2 ns relaxation 200 ps of QM/MM MD at 300 K were simulated. The triazole was treated quantum mechanically at the AM1 level, protein was described using AMBER and water molecules were described using TIP3P, as implemented in fDynamo library. Molecules 20 Å apart from the triazole were kept frozen, with cut-offs established on range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å. In order to describe interactions between triazole and RT free energy of binding using Free Energy Perturbation method was done. The change in frequencies from ligand in solution to ligand bounded in enzyme was used to calculate binding isotope effects.
The Relationship between Environmental Factors and Purchasing Decisions in the Residential Market in Sweden
The Swedish Green Building Council (SGBC) was established in 2009. Since then, over 1000 buildings have been certified, of which approximately 600 are newly produced and 340 are residential buildings. During that time, approximately 2000 apartment buildings have been built in Sweden. This means that over a five- year period 17% of residential buildings have been certified according to the environmental building scheme. The certification of the building is not a guarantee of environmental progress but it gives us an indication of the extent of the progress. The overarching aim of this study is to investigate the factors behind the relatively slow evolution of the green residential housing market in Sweden. The intention is to examine stated willingness to pay (WTP) for green and low energy apartments, and to explore which factors have a significant effect on stated WTP among apartment owners. A green building was defined as a building certified according to the environmental scheme and a low energy building as a building designed and constructed with high energy efficiency goals. Data for this study were collected through a survey conducted among occupants of comparable apartment buildings: two green and one conventional. The total number of received responses was 429: green A (N=160), response rate 42%; green B (N=138) response rate 35%, and conventional (N=131) response rate 43%. The study applied a quasi-experimental method. Survey responses regarding factors affecting purchase of apartment, stated WTP and environmental literacy have been analysed using descriptive statistics, the Mann–Whitney (rank sum) test and logistic models. Comments received from respondents have been used for further interpretation of results. Results indicate that environmental education has a significant effect on stated WTP. Occupants who declared higher WTP showed a higher level of environmental literacy and indicated that energy efficiency was one of the important factors that affected their decision to buy an apartment. Generally, the respondents were more likely to pay more for low energy buildings than for green buildings. This is to a great extent a consequence of rational customer behaviour and difficulty in apprehending the meaning of green building certification. The analysis shows that people living in green buildings indicate higher WTP for both green and low energy buildings, the difference being statistically significant. It is concluded that growth in the green housing market in Sweden might be achieved if policymakers and developers engage in active education in the environmental labelling system. The demand for green buildings is more likely to increase when the difference between green and conventional buildings is easily understood and information is not only delivered by the estate agent, but is part of an environmental education programme.
Association of Nuclear – Mitochondrial Epistasis with BMI in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Patients
Obesity results from an imbalance between energy intake and its expenditure. Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) analyses have led to discovery of only about 100 variants influencing body mass index (BMI), which explain only a small portion of genetic variability. Analysis of gene epistasis gives a chance to discover another part. Since it was shown that interaction and communication between nuclear and mitochondrial genome are indispensable for normal cell function, we have looked for epistatic interactions between the two genomes to find their correlation with BMI. Methods: The analysis was performed on 366 T1DM patients using Illumina Infinium OmniExpressExome-8 chip and followed by imputation on Michigan Imputation Server. Only genes which influence mitochondrial functioning (listed in Human MitoCarta 2.0) were included in the analysis – variants of nuclear origin (MAF > 5%) in 1140 genes and 42 mitochondrial variants (MAF > 1%). Gene expression analysis was performed on GTex data. Association analysis between genetic variants and BMI was performed with the use of Linear Mixed Models as implemented in the package 'GENESIS' in R. Analysis of association between mRNA expression and BMI was performed with the use of linear models and standard significance tests in R. Results: Among variants involved in epistasis between mitochondria and nucleus we have identified one in mitochondrial transcription factor, TFB2M (rs6701836). It interacted with mitochondrial variants localized to MT-RNR1 (p=0.0004, MAF=15%), MT-ND2 (p=0.07, MAF=5%) and MT-ND4 (p=0.01, MAF=1.1%). Analysis of the interaction between nuclear variant rs6701836 (nuc) and rs3021088 localized to MT-ND2 mitochondrial gene (mito) has shown that the combination of the two led to BMI decrease (p=0.024). Each of the variants on its own does not correlate with higher BMI [p(nuc)=0.856, p(mito)=0.116)]. Although rs6701836 is intronic, it influences gene expression in the thyroid (p=0.000037). rs3021088 is a missense variant that leads to alanine to threonine substitution in the MT-ND2 gene which belongs to complex I of the electron transport chain. The analysis of the influence of genetic variants on gene expression has confirmed the trend explained above – the interaction of the two genes leads to BMI decrease (p=0.0308). Each of the mRNAs on its own is associated with higher BMI (p(mito)=0.0244 and p(nuc)=0.0269). Conclusıons: Our results show that nuclear-mitochondrial epistasis can influence BMI in T1DM patients. The correlation between transcription factor expression and mitochondrial genetic variants will be subject to further analysis.
Study of Mechanical Properties of Large Scale Flexible Silicon Solar Modules on the Various Substrates
Crystalline silicon (Si) solar cells are the main product in the market among the various photovoltaic technologies concerning such advantages as: material richness, high carrier mobilities, broad spectral absorption range and established technology. However, photovoltaic technology on the stiff substrates are heavier, more fragile and less cost-effective than devices on the flexible substrates to be applied in special applications. The main goal of our work was to incorporate silicon solar cells into various fabric, without any change of the electrical and mechanical parameters of devices. This work is realized for the GEKON project (No. GEKON2/O4/268473/23/2016) sponsored by The National Centre for Research and Development and The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. In our work, the polyamide or polyester fabrics were used as a flexible substrate in the created devices. Applied fabrics differ in tensile and tear strength. All investigated polyamide fabrics are resistant to weathering and UV, while polyester ones is resistant to ozone, water and ageing. The examined fabrics are tight at 100 cm water per 2 hours. In our work, commercial silicon solar cells with the size 156 × 156 mm were cut into nine parts (called single solar cells) by diamond saw and laser. Gap and edge after cutting of solar cells were checked by transmission electron microscope (TEM) to study morphology and quality of the prepared single solar cells. Modules with the size of 160 × 70 cm (containing about 80 single solar cells) were created and investigated by electrical and mechanical methods. Weight of constructed module is about 1.9 kg. Three types of solar cell architectures such as: -fabric/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/film for lamination, -backsheet PET/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/film for lamination, -fabric/EVA/Si solar cell/EVA/tempered glass, were investigated taking into consideration type of fabric and lamination process together with the size of solar cells. In investigated devices EVA, it is ethylene-vinyl acetate, while PET - polyethylene terephthalate. Depend on the lamination process and compatibility of textile with solar cell an efficiency of investigated flexible silicon solar cells was in the range of 9.44-16.64 %. Multi folding and unfolding of flexible module has no impact on its efficiency as was detected by Instron equipment. Power (P) of constructed solar module is 30 W, while voltage about 36 V. Finally, solar panel contains five modules with the polyamide fabric and tempered glass will be produced commercially for different applications (dual use).
Autophagy in the Midgut Epithelium of Spodoptera exigua Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Larvae Exposed to Various Cadmium Concentration - 6-Generational Exposure
Autophagy is a form of cell remodeling in which an internalization of organelles into vacuoles that are called autophagosomes occur. Autophagosomes are the targets of lysosomes, thus causing digestion of cytoplasmic components. Eventually, it can lead to the death of the entire cell. However, in response to several stress factors, e.g., starvation, heavy metals (e.g., cadmium) autophagy can also act as a pro-survival factor, protecting the cell against its death. The main aim of our studies was to check if the process of autophagy, which could appear in the midgut epithelium after Cd treatment, can be fixed during the following generations of insects. As a model animal, we chose the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a well-known polyphagous pest of many vegetable crops. We analyzed specimens at final larval stage (5th larval stage), due to its hyperfagy, resulting in great amount of cadmium assimilate. The culture consisted of two strains: a control strain (K) fed a standard diet, and a cadmium strain (Cd), fed on standard diet supplemented with cadmium (44 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food) for 146 generations, both strains. In addition, the control insects were transferred to the Cd supplemented diet (5 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food, 10 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food, 20 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food, 44 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food). Therefore, we obtained Cd1, Cd2, Cd3 and KCd experimental groups. Autophagy has been examined using transmission electron microscope. During this process, degenerated organelles were surrounded by a membranous phagophore and enclosed in an autophagosome. Eventually, after the autophagosome fused with a lysosome, an autolysosome was formed and the process of the digestion of organelles began. During the 1st year of the experiment, we analyzed specimens of 6 generations in all the lines. The intensity of autophagy depends significantly on the generation, tissue and cadmium concentration in the insect rearing medium. In the Ist, IInd, IIIrd, IVth, Vth and VIth generation the intensity of autophagy in the midguts from cadmium-exposed strains decreased gradually according to the following order of strains: Cd1, Cd2, Cd3 and KCd. The higher amount of cells with autophagy was observed in Cd1 and Cd2. However, it was still higher than the percentage of cells with autophagy in the same tissues of the insects from the control and multigenerational cadmium strain. This may indicate that during 6-generational exposure to various Cd concentration, a preserved tolerance to cadmium was not maintained. The study has been financed by the National Science Centre Poland, grant no 2016/21/B/NZ8/00831.
No-Par Shares Working in European LLCs
Capital companies are based on monetary capital. In the traditional model, the capital is the sum of the nominal values of all shares issued. For a few years within the European countries, the limited liability companies’ (LLC) regulations are leaning towards liberalization of the capital structure in order to provide higher degree of autonomy regarding the intra-corporate governance. Reforms were based primarily on the legal system of the USA. In the USA, the tradition of no-par shares is well-established. Thus, as a point of reference, the American legal system is being chosen. Regulations of Germany, Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Finland, Poland and the USA will be taken into consideration. The analysis of the share capital is important for the development of science not only because the capital structure of the corporation has significant impact on the shareholders’ rights, but also it reflects on relationships between creditors of the company and the company itself. Multi-level comparative approach towards the problem will allow to present a wide range of the possible outcomes stemming from the novelization. The dogmatic method was applied. The analysis was based on the statutes, secondary sources and judicial awards. Both the substantive and the procedural aspects of the capital structure were considered. In Germany, as a result of the regulatory competition, typical for the EU, the structure of LLCs was reshaped. New LLC – Unternehmergesellschaft, which does not require a minimum share capital, was introduced. The minimum share capital for Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung was lowered from 25 000 to 10 000 euro. In France the capital structure of corporations was also altered. In 2003, the minimum share capital of société à responsabilité limitée (S.A.R.L.) was repealed. In 2009, the minimum share capital of société par actions simplifiée – in the “simple” version of S.A.R.L. was also changed – there is no minimum share capital required by a statute. The company has to, however, indicate a share capital without the legislator imposing the minimum value of said capital. In Netherlands the reform of the Besloten Vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid (B.V.) was planned with the following change: repeal of the minimum share capital as the answer to the need for higher degree of autonomy for shareholders. It, however, preserved shares with nominal value. In Finland the novelization of yksityinen osakeyhtiö took place in 2006 and as a result the no-par shares were introduced. Despite the fact that the statute allows shares without face value, it still requires the minimum share capital in the amount of 2 500 euro. In Poland the proposal for the restructuration of the capital structure of the LLC has been introduced. The proposal provides among others: devaluation of the capital to 1 PLN or complete liquidation of the minimum share capital, allowing the no-par shares to be issued. In conclusion: American solutions, in particular, balance sheet test and solvency test provide better protection for creditors; European no-par shares are not the same as American and the existence of share capital in Poland is crucial.
The Effects of Heavy Metal and Aromatic Hydrocarbon Pollution on Bees
Bees are effective pollinators of plants using by humans. However, there is a concern about the fate different species due to their recently decline. Pollution of the environment is described in the literature as one of the causes of this phenomenon. Due to human activities, heavy metals and aromatic hydrocarbons can occur in bee organisms in high concentrations. The presented study aims to provide information on how pollution affects bee quality, taking into account, also the biological differences between various groups of bees. Understanding the consequences of environmental pollution on bees can help to create and promote bee friendly habitats and actions. The analyses were carried out using two contamination gradients with 5 sites on each. The first, mainly heavy metal polluted gradient is stretching approx. 30km from the Bukowno Zinc smelter near Olkusz in the Lesser Poland Voivodship, to the north. The second cuts through the agglomeration of Kraków up to the southern borders of the Ojców National Park. The gradient near Olkusz is a well-described pollution gradient contaminated mainly by zinc, lead, and cadmium. The second gradient cut through the agglomeration of Kraków and end below the Ojców National Park. On each gradient, two bee species were installed: red mason bees (Osmia bicornis) and honey bees (Apis mellifera). Red mason bee is a polylectic, solitary bee species, widely distributed in Poland. Honey bees are a highly social species of bees, with clearly defined casts and roles in the colony. Before installing the bees in the field, samples of imagos of red mason bees and samples of pollen and imagos from each honey bee colony were analysed for zinc, lead cadmium, polycyclic and monocyclic hydrocarbons levels. After collecting the bees from the field, samples of bees and pollen samples for each site were prepared for heavy metal, monocyclic hydrocarbon, and polycyclic hydrocarbon analysis. Analyses of aromatic hydrocarbons were performed with gas chromatography coupled with a headspace sampler (HP 7694E) and mass spectrometer (MS) as detector. Monocyclic compounds were injected into column with headspace sampler while polycyclic ones with manual injector (after solid-liquid extraction with hexane). The heavy metal content (zinc, lead and cadmium) was assessed with flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS AAnalyst 300 Perkin Elmer spectrometer) according to the methods for honey and bee products described in the literature. Pollution levels found in bee bodies and imago body masses in both species, and proportion of sex in case of red mason bees were correlated with pollution levels found in pollen for each site and colony or trap nest. An attempt to pinpoint the most important form of contamination regarding bee health was also be undertaken based on the achieved results.
The Location of Park and Ride Facilities Using the Fuzzy Inference Model
Contemporary cities are facing serious congestion and parking problems. In urban transport policy the introduction of the park and ride system (P&R) is an increasingly popular way of limiting vehicular traffic. The determining of P&R facilities location is a key aspect of the system. Criteria for assessing the quality of the selected location are formulated generally and descriptively. The research outsourced to specialists are expensive and time consuming. The most focus is on the examination of a few selected places. The practice has shown that the choice of the location of these sites in a intuitive way without a detailed analysis of all the circumstances, often gives negative results. Then the existing facilities are not used as expected. Methods of location as a research topic are also widely taken in the scientific literature. Built mathematical models often do not bring the problem comprehensively, e.g. assuming that the city is linear, developed along one important communications corridor. The paper presents a new method where the expert knowledge is applied to fuzzy inference model. With such a built system even a less experienced person could benefit from it, e.g. urban planners, officials. The analysis result is obtained in a very short time, so a large number of the proposed location can also be verified in a short time. The proposed method is intended for testing of car parks location in a city. The paper will show selected examples of locations of the P&R facilities in cities planning to introduce the P&R. The analysis of existing objects will also be shown in the paper and they will be confronted with the opinions of the system users, with particular emphasis on unpopular locations. The research are executed using the fuzzy inference model which was built and described in more detail in the earlier paper of the authors. The results of analyzes are compared to documents of P&R facilities location outsourced by the city and opinions of existing facilities users expressed on social networking sites. The research of existing facilities were conducted by means of the fuzzy model. The results are consistent with actual users feedback. The proposed method proves to be good, but does not require the involvement of a large experts team and large financial contributions for complicated research. The method also provides an opportunity to show the alternative location of P&R facilities. The performed studies show that the method has been confirmed. The method can be applied in urban planning of the P&R facilities location in relation to the accompanying functions. Although the results of the method are approximate, they are not worse than results of analysis of employed experts. The advantage of this method is ease of use, which simplifies the professional expert analysis. The ability of analyzing a large number of alternative locations gives a broader view on the problem. It is valuable that the arduous analysis of the team of people can be replaced by the model's calculation. According to the authors, the proposed method is also suitable for implementation on a GIS platform.
Technology for Biogas Upgrading with Immobilized Algae Biomass
Technologies of biogas upgrading are now perceived as competitive solution combustion and production of electricity and heat. Biomethane production will ensure broader application as energy carrier than biogas. Biomethane can be used as fuel in internal combustion engines or introduced into the natural gas transmission network. Therefore, there is a need to search for innovative, economically and technically justified methods for biogas enrichment. The aim of this paper is to present a technology solution for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass. Reactor for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass can be used for removing CO₂ from the biogas, flue gases and the waste gases especially coming from different industry sectors, e.g. from the food industry from yeast production process, biogas production systems, liquid and gaseous fuels combustion systems, hydrocarbon processing technology. The basis for the technological assumptions of presented technology were laboratory works and analyses that tested technological variants of biogas upgrading. The enrichment of biogas with a methane content of 90-97% pointed to technological assumptions for installation on a technical scale. Reactor for biogas upgrading with algae biomass is characterized by a significantly lower cubature in relation to the currently used solutions which use CO₂ removal processes. The invention, by its structure, assumes achieving a very high concentration of biomass of algae through its immobilization in capsules. This eliminates the phenomenon of lowering the pH value, i.e. acidification of the environment in which algae grow, resulting from the introduction of waste gases at a high CO₂ concentration. The system for introducing light into algae capsules is characterized by a higher degree of its use, due to lower losses resulting from the phenomenon of absorption of light energy by water. The light from the light source is continuously supplied to the formed biomass of algae or cyanobacteria in capsules by the light tubes. The light source may be sunlight or a light generator of a different wavelength of light from 300 nm to 800 nm. A portion of gas containing CO₂, accumulated in the tank and conveyed by the pump is periodically introduced into the housing of the photobioreactor tank. When conveying the gas that contains CO₂, it penetrates the algal biomass in capsules through the outer envelope, displacing, from the algal biomass, gaseous metabolic products which are discharged by the outlet duct for gases. It contributes to eliminating the negative impact of this factor on CO₂ binding processes. As a result of the cyclic dosing of gases containing carbon dioxide, gaseous metabolic products of algae are displaced and removed outside the technological system. Technology for biogas upgrading with immobilized algae biomass is suitable for the small biogas plant. The advantages of this technology are high efficiency as well as useful algae biomass which can be used mainly as animal feed, fertilizers and in the power industry. The construction of the device allows effective removal of carbon dioxide from gases at a high CO₂ concentration.
Activation of Apoptosis in the Midgut Epithelium of Spodoptera exigua Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) Exposed to Various Cadmium Concentration
The digestive system of insects is composed of three distinct regions: fore-, mid- and hingut. The middle region (the midgut) is treated as one of the barriers which protects the organism against any stressors which originate from external environment, e.g. toxic metals. Such factors can activate the cell death in epithelial cells to preserve the entire tissue/organs against the degeneration. Different mechanisms involved in homeostasis maintenance have been described, but the studies of animals under field conditions do not give the opportunity to conclude about potential ability of subsequent generation to inherit the tolerance mechanisms. It is possible only by a multigenerational strain of an animal led under laboratory conditions, exposed to a selected toxic factor, present also in polluted ecosystems. The main purpose of the project was to check if changes, which appear in the midgut epithelium after Cd treatment, can be fixed during the following generations of insects with the special emphasis on apoptosis. As the animal for these studies we chose 5th larval stage of the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), which is one of pest of many vegetable crops. Animals were divided into some experimental groups: K, Cd, KCd, Cd1, Cd2, Cd3. A control group (K) fed a standard diet, and was conducted for XX generations, a cadmium group (Cd), fed on standard diet supplemented with cadmium (44 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food) for XXX generations. A reference Cd group (KCd) has been initiated: control insects were fed with Cd supplemented diet (44 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food). Experimental groups Cd1, Cd2, Cd3 developed from the control one: 5 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food, 10 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food, 20 mg Cd per kg of dry weight of food. We were interested in the activation of apoptosis during following generations in all experimental groups. Therefore, during the 1st year of the experiment, the measurements were done for 6 generations in all experimental group. The intensity and the course of apoptosis have been examined using transmission electron microscope (TEM), confocal microscope and flow cytometry. During apoptosis the cell started to shrink, extracellular spaces appeared between digestive and neighboring cells, the nucleus achieved a lobular shape. Eventually, the apoptotic cells was discharged into the midgut lumen. A quantitative analysis revealed that the number of apoptotic cells depends significantly on the generation, tissue and cadmium concentration in the insect rearing medium. In the following 6 generations, we observed that the percentage of apoptotic cells in the midguts from cadmium-exposed groups decreased gradually according to the following order of strains: Cd1, Cd2, Cd3 and KCd. At the same time, it was still higher than the percentage of apoptotic cells in the same tissues of the insects from the control and multigenerational cadmium strain. The results of our studies suggest that changes caused by cadmium treatment were preserved during 6-generational development of lepidopteran larvae. The study has been financed by the National Science Centre Poland, grant no 2016/21/B/NZ8/00831.
Computer Aided Design Solution Based on Genetic Algorithms for FMEA and Control Plan in Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is one of the most important industries in the world that concerns not only the economy, but also the world culture. In the present financial and economic context, this field faces new challenges posed by the current crisis, companies must maintain product quality, deliver on time and at a competitive price in order to achieve customer satisfaction. Two of the most recommended techniques of quality management by specific standards of the automotive industry, in the product development, are Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Control Plan. FMEA is a methodology for risk management and quality improvement aimed at identifying potential causes of failure of products and processes, their quantification by risk assessment, ranking of the problems identified according to their importance, to the determination and implementation of corrective actions related. The companies use Control Plans realized using the results from FMEA to evaluate a process or product for strengths and weaknesses and to prevent problems before they occur. The Control Plans represent written descriptions of the systems used to control and minimize product and process variation. In addition Control Plans specify the process monitoring and control methods (for example Special Controls) used to control Special Characteristics. In this paper we propose a computer-aided solution with Genetic Algorithms in order to reduce the drafting of reports: FMEA analysis and Control Plan required in the manufacture of the product launch and improved knowledge development teams for future projects. The solution allows to the design team to introduce data entry required to FMEA. The actual analysis is performed using Genetic Algorithms to find optimum between RPN risk factor and cost of production. A feature of Genetic Algorithms is that they are used as a means of finding solutions for multi criteria optimization problems. In our case, along with three specific FMEA risk factors is considered and reduce production cost. Analysis tool will generate final reports for all FMEA processes. The data obtained in FMEA reports are automatically integrated with other entered parameters in Control Plan. Implementation of the solution is in the form of an application running in an intranet on two servers: one containing analysis and plan generation engine and the other containing the database where the initial parameters and results are stored. The results can then be used as starting solutions in the synthesis of other projects. The solution was applied to welding processes, laser cutting and bending to manufacture chassis for buses. Advantages of the solution are efficient elaboration of documents in the current project by automatically generating reports FMEA and Control Plan using multiple criteria optimization of production and build a solid knowledge base for future projects. The solution which we propose is a cheap alternative to other solutions on the market using Open Source tools in implementation.
PARP1 Links Transcription of a Subset of RBL2-Dependent Genes with Cell Cycle Progression
Apart from protecting genome, PARP1 has been documented to regulate many intracellular processes inter alia gene transcription by physically interacting with chromatin bound proteins and by their ADP-ribosylation. Our recent findings indicate that expression of PARP1 decreases during the differentiation of human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells to monocytes as a consequence of differentiation-associated cell growth arrest and formation of E2F4-RBL2-HDAC1-SWI/SNF repressive complex at the promoter of this gene. Since the RBL2 complexes repress genes in a E2F-dependent manner and are widespread in the genome in G0 arrested cells, we asked (a) if RBL2 directly contributes to defining monocyte phenotype and function by targeting gene promoters and (b) if RBL2 controls gene transcription indirectly by repressing PARP1. For identification of genes controlled by RBL2 and/or PARP1,we used primer libraries for surface receptors and TLR signaling mediators, genes were silenced by siRNA or shRNA, analysis of gene promoter occupation by selected proteins was carried out by ChIP-qPCR, while statistical analysis in GraphPad Prism 5 and STATISTICA, ChIP-Seq data were analysed in Galaxy 22.214.171.124. On the list of 28 genes regulated by RBL2, we identified only four solely repressed by RBL2-E2F4-HDAC1-BRM complex. Surprisingly, 24 out of 28 emerged genes controlled by RBL2 were co-regulated by PARP1 in six different manners. In one mode of RBL2/PARP1 co-operation, represented by MAP2K6 and MAPK3, PARP1 was found to associate with gene promoters upon RBL2 silencing, which was previously shown to restore PARP1 expression in monocytes. PARP1 effect on gene transcription was observed only in the presence of active EP300, which acetylated gene promoters and activated transcription. Further analysis revealed that PARP1 binding to MA2K6 and MAPK3 promoters enabled recruitment of EP300 in monocytes, while in proliferating cancer cell lines, which actively transcribe PARP1, this protein maintained EP300 at the promoters of MA2K6 and MAPK3. Genome-wide analysis revealed a similar distribution of PARP1 and EP300 around transcription start sites and the co-occupancy of some gene promoters by PARP1 and EP300 in cancer cells. Here, we described a new RBL2/PARP1/EP300 axis which controls gene transcription regardless of the cell type. In this model cell, cycle-dependent transcription of PARP1 regulates expression of some genes repressed by RBL2 upon cell cycle limitation. Thus, RBL2 may indirectly regulate transcription of some genes by controlling the expression of EP300-recruiting PARP1. Acknowledgement: This work was financed by Polish National Science Centre grants nr DEC-2013/11/D/NZ2/00033 and DEC-2015/19/N/NZ2/01735. L.V. is funded by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office grants GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00020 TUMORDNS, GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00048-STAYALIVE and OTKA K112336. AR is supported by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education 776/STYP/11/2016.
Socio-Economic Determinants of Physical Activity of Non-Manual Workers, Including the Early Senior Group, from the City of Wroclaw in Poland
Physical activity as a part of people’s everyday life reduces the risk of many diseases, including those induced by lifestyle, e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, degenerative arthritis, and certain types of cancer. That refers particularly to professionally active people, including the early senior group working on non-manual positions. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between physical activity and the socio-economic status of non-manual workers from Wroclaw—one of the biggest cities in Poland, a model setting for such investigations in this part of Europe. The crucial problem in the research is to find out the percentage of respondents who meet the health-related recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning the volume, frequency, and intensity of physical activity, as well as to establish if the most important socio-economic factors, such as gender, age, education, marital status, per capita income, savings and debt, determine the compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations. During the research, conducted in 2013, 1,170 people (611 women and 559 men) aged 21–60 years were examined. A diagnostic poll method was applied to collect the data. Physical activity was measured with the use of the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire with extended socio-demographic questions, i.e. concerning gender, age, education, marital status, income, savings or debts. To evaluate the relationship between physical activity and selected socio-economic factors, logistic regression was used (odds ratio statistics). Statistical inference was conducted on the adopted ex ante probability level of p<0.05. The majority of respondents met the volume of physical effort recommended for health benefits. It was particularly noticeable in the case of the examined men. The probability of compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations was highest for workers aged 21–30 years with secondary or higher education who were single, received highest incomes and had savings. The results indicate the relations between physical activity and socio-economic status in the examined women and men. People with lower socio-economic status (e.g. manual workers) are physically active primarily at work, whereas those better educated and wealthier implement physical effort primarily in their leisure time. Among the investigated subjects, the youngest group of non-manual workers have the best chances to meet the WHO standards of physical activity. The study also confirms that secondary education has a positive effect on the public awareness on the role of physical activity in human life. In general, the analysis of the research indicates that there is a relationship between physical activity and some socio-economic factors of the respondents, such as gender, age, education, marital status, income per capita, and the possession of savings. Although the obtained results cannot be applied for the general population, they show some important trends that will be verified in subsequent studies conducted by the authors of the paper.
Diamond-Like Carbon-Based Structures as Functional Layers on Shape-Memory Alloy for Orthopedic Applications
NiTi alloys, possessing unique mechanical properties such as pseudoelasticity and shape memory effect (SME), are suitable for many applications, including implantology and biomedical devices. Additionally, these alloys have similar values of elastic modulus to those of human bones, what is very important in orthopedics. Unfortunately, the environment of physiological fluids in vivo causes unfavorable release of Ni ions, which in turn may lead to metalosis as well as allergic reactions and toxic effects in the body. For these reasons, the surface properties of NiTi alloys should be improved to increase corrosion resistance, taking into account biological properties, i.e., excellent biocompatibility. The prospective in this respect are layers based on DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) structures, which are an attractive solution for many applications in implanthology. These coatings (DLC), usually obtained by PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) and PA CVD (Plasma Activated Chemical Vapour Deposition) methods, can also be modified by doping with other elements like silicon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, titanium and silver. These methods, in combination with a suitably designed structure of the layers, allow the possibility of co-decide about physicochemical and biological properties of modified surfaces. Mentioned techniques provide specific physicochemical properties of substrates surface in a single technological process. In this work, the following types of layers based on DLC structures (incl. Si-DLC or Si/N-DLC) were proposed as prospective and attractive approach in surface functionalization of shape memory alloy. Nitinol substrates were modified in plasma conditions, using RF CVD (Radio Frequency Chemical Vapour Deposition). The influence of plasma treatment on the useful properties of modified substrates after deposition DLC layers doped with silica and/or nitrogen atoms, as well as only pre-treated in O₂-NH₃ plasma atmosphere in an RF reactor was determined. The microstructure and topography of the modified surfaces were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Furthermore, the atomic structure of coatings was characterized by IR and Raman spectroscopy. The research also included the evaluation of surface wettability, surface energy as well as the characteristics of selected mechanical and biological properties of the layers. In addition, the corrosion properties of alloys after and before modification in the physiological saline were also investigated. In order to determine the corrosion resistance of NiTi in the Ringer solution, the potentiodynamic polarization curves (LSV - Linear Sweep Voltamperometry) were plotted. Furthermore, the evolution of corrosion potential versus immersion time of TiNi alloy in Ringer solution was performed. Based on all carried out research, the usefullness of proposed modifications of nitinol for medical applications was assessed. It was shown, inter alia, that the obtained Si-DLC layers on the surface of NiTi alloy exhibit a characteristic complex microstructure, increased surface development, which is an important aspect in improving the osteointegration of an implant. Furthermore, the modified alloy exhibits biocompatibility, the transfer of the metal (Ni, Ti) to Ringer’s solution is clearly limited. This work has been supported by the European Union and Ministry of Science and Higher Education project 'Najlepsi z najlepszych 3.0'.
Biocellulose as Platform for the Development of Multifunctional Materials
Nowadays the interest on green nanocomposites and on the development of more environmental friendly products has been increased. Bacterial cellulose has been recently investigated as an attractive environmentally friendly material for the preparation of low-cost nanocomposites. The formation of cellulose by laboratory bacterial cultures is an interesting and attractive biomimetic access to obtain pure cellulose with excellent properties. Additionally, properties as molar mass, molar mass distribution, and the supramolecular structure could be control using different bacterial strain, culture mediums and conditions, including the incorporation of different additives. This kind of cellulose is a natural nanomaterial, and therefore, it has a high surface-to-volume ratio which is highly advantageous in composites production. Such property combined with good biocompatibility, high tensile strength, and high crystallinity makes bacterial cellulose a potential material for applications in different fields. The aim of this investigation work was the fabrication of novel hybrid inorganic-organic composites based on bacterial cellulose, cultivated in our laboratory, as a template. This kind of biohybrid nanocomposites gathers together excellent properties of bacterial cellulose with the ones displayed by typical inorganic nanoparticles like optical, magnetic and electrical properties, luminescence, ionic conductivity and selectivity, as well as chemical or biochemical activity. In addition, the functionalization of cellulose with inorganic materials opens new pathways for the fabrication of novel multifunctional hybrid materials with promising properties for a wide range of applications namely electronic paper, flexible displays, solar cells, sensors, among others. In this work, different pathways for fabrication of multifunctional biohybrid nanopapers with tunable properties based on BC modified with amphiphilic poly(ethylene oxide-b-propylene oxide-b-ethylene oxide) (EPE) block copolymer, sol-gel synthesized nanoparticles (titanium, vanadium and a mixture of both oxides) and functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles will be presented. In situ (biosynthesized) and ex situ (at post-production level) approaches were successfully used to modify BC membranes. Bacterial cellulose based biocomposites modified with different EPE block copolymer contents were developed by in situ technique. Thus, BC growth conditions were manipulated to fabricate EPE/BC nanocomposite during the biosynthesis. Additionally, hybrid inorganic/organic nanocomposites based on BC membranes and inorganic nanoparticles were designed via ex-situ method, by immersion of never-dried BC membranes into different nanoparticle solutions. On the one hand, sol-gel synthesized nanoparticles (titanium, vanadium and a mixture of both oxides) and on the other hand superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION), Fe2O3-PEO solution. The morphology of designed novel bionanocomposites hybrid materials was investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In order to characterized obtained materials from the point of view of future applications different techniques were employed. On the one hand, optical properties were analyzed by UV-vis spectroscopy and spectrofluorimetry and on the other hand electrical properties were studied at nano and macroscale using electric force microscopy (EFM), tunneling atomic force microscopy (TUNA) and Keithley semiconductor analyzer, respectively. Magnetic properties were measured by means of magnetic force microscopy (MFM). Additionally, mechanical properties were also analyzed.
The Impact of Efflux Pump Inhibitor on the Activity of Benzosiloxaboroles and Benzoxadiboroles against Gram-Negative Rods
1,3-dihydro-1-hydroxy-2,1-benzoxaborole and its derivatives are a particularly interesting group of synthetic agents and were successfully employed in supramolecular chemistry medicine. The first important compounds, 5-fluoro-1,3-dihydro-1-hydroxy-2,1-benzoxaborole and 5-chloro-1,3-dihydro-1-hydroxy-2,1-benzoxaborole were identified as potent antifungal agents. In contrast, (S)-3-(aminomethyl)-7-(3-hydroxypropoxy)-1-hydroxy-1,3-dihydro-2,1-benzoxaborole hydrochloride is in the second phase of clinical trials as a drug for the treatment of Gram-negative bacterial infections of the Enterobacteriaceae family and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Equally important and difficult task is to search for compounds active against Gram-negative bacilli, which have multi-drug-resistance efflux pumps actively removing many of the antibiotics from bacterial cells. We have examined whether halogen-substituted benzoxaborole-based derivatives and their analogues possess antibacterial activity and are substrates for multi-drug-resistance efflux pumps. The antibacterial activity of 1,3-dihydro-3-hydroxy-1,1-dimethyl-1,2,3-benzosiloxaborole and 10 halogen-substituted its derivatives, as well as 1,2-phenylenediboronic acid and 3 synthesised fluoro-substituted its analogs, were evaluated. The activity against the reference strains of Gram-positive (n=5) and Gram-negative bacteria (n=10) was screened by the disc-diffusion test (0.4 mg of tested compounds was applied onto paper disc). The minimal inhibitory concentration values and the minimal bactericidal concentration values were estimated according to The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute and The European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing recommendations. During the minimal inhibitory concentration values determination with or without phenylalanine-arginine beta-naphthylamide (50 mg/L) efflux pump inhibitor, the concentrations of tested compounds ranged 0.39-400 mg/L in the broth medium supplemented with 1 mM magnesium sulfate. Generally, the studied benzosiloxaboroles and benzoxadiboroles showed a higher activity against Gram-positive cocci than against Gram-negative rods. Moreover, benzosiloxaboroles have the higher activity than benzoxadiboroles compounds. In this study, we demonstrated that substitution (mono-, di- or tetra-) of 1,3-dihydro-3-hydroxy-1,1-dimethyl-1,2,3-benzosiloxaborole with halogen groups resulted in an increase in antimicrobial activity as compared to the parent substance. Interestingly, the 6,7-dichloro-substituted parent substance was found to be the most potent against Gram-positive cocci: Staphylococcus sp. (minimal inhibitory concentration 6.25 mg/L) and Enterococcus sp. (minimal inhibitory concentration 25 mg/L). On the other hand, mono- and dichloro-substituted compounds were the most actively removed by efflux pumps present in Gram-negative bacteria mainly from Enterobacteriaceae family. In the presence of efflux pump inhibitor the minimal inhibitory concentration values of chloro-substituted benzosiloxaboroles decreased from 400 mg/L to 3.12 mg/L. Of note, the highest increase in bacterial susceptibility to tested compounds in the presence of phenylalanine-arginine beta-naphthylamide was observed for 6-chloro-, 6,7-dichloro- and 6,7-difluoro-substituted benzosiloxaboroles. In the case of Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae and P. aeruginosa strains at least a 32-fold decrease in the minimal inhibitory concentration values of these agents were observed. These data demonstrate structure-activity relationships of the tested derivatives and highlight the need for further search for benzoxaboroles and related compounds with significant antimicrobial properties. Moreover, the influence of phenylalanine-arginine beta-naphthylamide on the susceptibility of Gram-negative rods to studied benzosiloxaboroles indicate that some tested agents are substrates for efflux pumps in Gram-negative rods.