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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-09-06
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 1017: Effects of Visual Stimulation with Bonsai Trees on Adult Male Patients with Spinal Cord Injury International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph14091017 Authors: Hiroko Ochiai Chorong Song Harumi Ikei Michiko Imai Yoshifumi Miyazaki Nature therapy has been demonstrated to induce physiological relaxation. The psychophysiological effects of nature therapy (stimulation with bonsai trees) on adult male patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) were examined. Oxyhemoglobin concentration changes in the prefrontal cortex were measured using near-infrared spectroscopy, and heart rate variability was analyzed. Psychological responses were evaluated using the modified semantic differential method and Profile of Mood States (POMS) subscale scores. Visual stimulation of adult male patients with SCI elicited significantly decreased left prefrontal cortex activity, increased parasympathetic nervous activity, decreased sympathetic nervous activity, increased positive feelings, and resulted in lower negative POMS subscale scores. Nature therapy can lead to a state of physiological and psychological relaxation in patients with SCI.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-05-26
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 889: Antibacterial, Hydrophilic Effect and Mechanical Properties of Orthodontic Resin Coated with UV-Responsive Photocatalyst Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11060889 Authors: Akira Kuroiwa Yoshiaki Nomura Tsuyoshi Ochiai Tomomi Sudo Rie Nomoto Tohru Hayakawa Hiroyuki Kanzaki Yoshiki Nakamura Nobuhiro Hanada Photocatalysts have multiple applications in air purifiers, paints, and self-cleaning coatings for medical devices such as catheters, as well as in the elimination of xenobiotics. In this study, a coating of a UV-responsive photocatalyst, titanium dioxide (TiO2), was applied to an orthodontic resin. The antibacterial activity on oral bacteria as well as hydrophilic properties and mechanical properties of the TiO2-coated resin were investigated. ultraviolet A (UVA) (352 nm) light was used as the light source. Antibacterial activity was examined with or without irradiation. Measurements of early colonizers and cariogenic bacterial count, i.e., colony forming units (CFU), were performed after irradiation for different time durations. Hydrophilic properties were evaluated by water contact angle measurements. While, for the assessment of mechanical properties, flexural strength was measured by the three-point bending test. In the coat(+)light(+) samples the CFU were markedly decreased compared to the control samples. Water contact angle of the coat(+)light(+) samples was decreased after irradiation. The flexural strength of the specimen irradiated for long time showed a higher value than the required standard value, indicating that the effect of irradiation was weak. We suggest that coating with the ultraviolet responsive photocatalyst TiO2 is useful for the development of orthodontic resin with antimicrobial properties.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-05-20
    Description: In order to understand the crystal chemical properties of hydrous rare-earth (RE) phosphates, REPO4,hyd, that form at ambient temperature, we have synthesized REPO4,hyd through the interaction of aqueous RE elements (REEs) with aqueous P at room temperature at pH 〈 6, where the precipitation of RE hydroxides does not occur, and performed rigorous solid characterization. The second experiment was designed identically except for using hydroxyapatite (HAP) crystals as the P source at pH constrained by the dissolved P. Hydrated RE phosphate that precipitated at pH 3 after 3 days was classified into three groups: LREPO4,hyd (La → Gd) containing each REE from La-Gd, MREPO4,hyd (Tb → Ho), and HREPO4,hyd (Er → Lu). The latter two groups included increasing fractions of an amorphous component with increasing ionic radius, which was associated with non-coordinated water. REallPO4,hyd that contains all lanthanides except Pm transformed to rhabdophane structure over 30 days of aging. In the experiments using HAP, light REEs were preferentially distributed into nano-crystals, which can potentially constrain initial RE distributions in aqueous phase. Consequently, the mineralogical properties of hydrous RE phosphates forming at ambient temperature depend on the aging, the pH of the solution, and the average ionic radii of REE, similarly to the well-crystalline RE phosphates.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-07-16
    Description: Detecting the bio-potential changes of plants would be useful for monitoring their growth and health in the field. A sensitive plant monitoring system with flexible boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes prepared from BDD powder and resin (Nafion or Vylon-KE1830) was investigated. The properties of the electrodes were compared with those of small BDD plate-type electrodes by monitoring the bioelectric potentials of potted Aloe and hybrid species in the genus Opuntia. While flexible BDD electrodes have wide potential windows, their cyclic voltammograms are different from those of the BDD plate. Further, the potential gap between a pair of electrodes attached to the plants changes as the plants are stimulated artificially with a finger touch, suggesting that the bioelectric potentials in the plant also changed, manifesting as changes in the potential gap between the electrodes. The BDD electrodes were assessed for their response reproducibility to a finger stimulus for 30 days. It was concluded that the plant monitoring system worked well with flexible BDD electrodes. Further, the electrodes were stable, and as reliable as the BDD plate electrodes in this study. Thus, a flexible and inexpensive BDD electrode system was successfully fabricated for monitoring the bioelectric potential changes in plants.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2012-05-03
    Description: This study investigated the relationship between eating behavior and childhood overweight among population-based elementary schoolchildren in Japan. Data was collected from fourth graders (9 or 10 years of age) from Ina Town, Saitama Prefecture, Japan from 1999 to 2009. Information about subjects’ sex, age, and lifestyle, including eating behaviors (eating until full and chewing thoroughly), was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire, and height and weight were measured directly. Overweight was determined according to the definition established by the International Obesity Task Force. Data from 4027 subjects (2079 boys and 1948 girls) were analyzed. Chewing thoroughly was associated with a significantly decreased odds ratio (OR) for being overweight, whereas eating until full significantly increased the OR for being overweight (OR: 1.50, 95% confidence interval: 1.16–1.94) among boys. However, eating until full was not associated with a significantly increased OR for being overweight among the group that reported chewing thoroughly, whereas it was associated with a significantly increased OR for being overweight (2.02, 1.38–2.94) among boys who did not chew thoroughly. In conclusion, eating until full or not chewing thoroughly was associated with being overweight among elementary schoolchildren. Results of this study suggest that chewing thoroughly may be an avenue to explore childhood overweight prevention efforts.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2012-05-03
    Description: This article reports our novel idea about the thermal stimulation of seabed hydrate reservoirs for the purpose of natural gas production. Our idea is to use submarine heat pumps, which are to be placed near the hydrate reservoir and work to recover thermal energy from the surrounding seawater and supply it into the reservoir. Although the heat pumps need an electricity supply from the sea surface level, they can provide thermal energy which is several times that of the consumed electricity in quantity. As a consequence, the use of submarine heat pumps has a distinct thermodynamic advantage over other thermal stimulation techniques already proposed in the literature.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2012-03-03
    Description: This article reports our novel idea about the thermal stimulation of seabed hydrate reservoirs for the purpose of natural gas production. Our idea is to use submarine heat pumps, which are to be placed near the hydrate reservoir and work to recover thermal energy from the surrounding seawater and supply it into the reservoir. Although the heat pumps need an electricity supply from the sea surface level, they can provide thermal energy which is several times that of the consumed electricity in quantity. As a consequence, the use of submarine heat pumps has a distinct thermodynamic advantage over other thermal stimulation techniques already proposed in the literature.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2012-04-17
    Description: This study investigated the relationship between eating behavior and childhood overweight among population-based elementary schoolchildren in Japan. Data was collected from fourth graders (9 or 10 years of age) from Ina Town, Saitama Prefecture, Japan from 1999 to 2009. Information about subjects’ sex, age, and lifestyle, including eating behaviors (eating until full and chewing thoroughly), was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire, and height and weight were measured directly. Overweight was determined according to the definition established by the International Obesity Task Force. Data from 4027 subjects (2079 boys and 1948 girls) were analyzed. Chewing thoroughly was associated with a significantly decreased odds ratio (OR) for being overweight, whereas eating until full significantly increased the OR for being overweight (OR: 1.50, 95% confidence interval: 1.16–1.94) among boys. However, eating until full was not associated with a significantly increased OR for being overweight among the group that reported chewing thoroughly, whereas it was associated with a significantly increased OR for being overweight (2.02, 1.38–2.94) among boys who did not chew thoroughly. In conclusion, eating until full or not chewing thoroughly was associated with being overweight among elementary schoolchildren. Results of this study suggest that chewing thoroughly may be an avenue to explore childhood overweight prevention efforts.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2015-02-26
    Description: Time spent walking and relaxing in a forest environment (“forest bathing” or “forest therapy”) has well demonstrated anti-stress effects in healthy adults, but benefits for ill or at-risk populations have not been reported. The present study assessed the physiological and psychological effects of forest therapy (relaxation and stress management activity in the forest) on middle-aged males with high-normal blood pressure. Blood pressure and several physiological and psychological indices of stress were measured the day before and approximately 2 h following forest therapy. Both pre- and post-treatment measures were conducted at the same time of day to avoid circadian influences. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), urinary adrenaline, and serum cortisol were all significantly lower than baseline following forest therapy (p 〈 0.05). Subjects reported feeling significantly more “relaxed” and “natural” according to the Semantic Differential (SD) method. Profile of Mood State (POMS) negative mood subscale scores for “tension-anxiety,” “confusion,” and “anger-hostility,” as well as the Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) score were significantly lower following forest therapy. These results highlight that forest is a promising treatment strategy to reduce blood pressure into the optimal range and possibly prevent progression to clinical hypertension in middle-aged males with high-normal blood pressure.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
    Published by MDPI Publishing
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2015-10-27
    Description: We describe a sensitive plant monitoring system by the detection of the bioelectric potentials in plants with boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes. For sensor electrodes, we used commercially available BDD, Ag, and Pt plate electrodes. We tested this approach on a hybrid species in the genus Opuntia (potted) and three different trees (ground-planted) at different places in Japan. For the Opuntia, we artificially induced bioelectric potential changes by the surface potential using the fingers. We detected substantial changes in bioelectric potentials through all electrodes during finger touches on the surface of potted Opuntia hybrid plants, although the BDD electrodes were several times more sensitive to bioelectric potential change compared to the other electrodes. Similarly for ground-planted trees, we found that both BDD and Pt electrodes detected bioelectric potential change induced by changing environmental factors (temperature and humidity) for months without replacing/removing/changing electrodes, BDD electrodes were 5–10 times more sensitive in this detection than Pt electrodes. Given these results, we conclude that BDD electrodes on live plant tissue were able to consistently detect bioelectrical potential changes in plants.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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