[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate microalgae production in large scale open ponds under different climatologic conditions, a model-based framework is used to study the effect of light conditions, water temperature and reactor design on trends in algae productivity. Scenario analyses have been done for two algae species using measured weather data of the Netherlands and Algeria. The effects of temperature control, photo-inhibition and using monthly or yearly fixed biomass concentrations are estimated by a sensitivity analysis. The calculation-based results show that climate conditions such as solar irradiation and temperature dynamics play an important role in open raceway ponds. In moderate climate zones low and high temperatures over a season suppress growth. At high latitudes this effect is important as light levels vary much during the day and between seasons. Optimal biomass concentrations in ponds depend on location, pond depth and algae species. Pond design, location and algae species interact and productivity cannot be based solely on general or assumed efficiencies. It is essential to select algae species that have a suitable growth rate, light absorption coefficient and the ability to grow over a broad temperature range. The presented approach gives a framework to validate specific cultivation systems.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microalgae productivity in tubular photobioreactors depends on algae species, location, tube diameter, biomass concentration, distance between tubes and for vertically stacked systems, the number of horizontal tubes per stack. A simulation model for horizontal and vertically stacked horizontal tubular reactors was made to quantify the effect of these decision variables on production yield. The model uses reactor dimensions, dynamic sunlight patterns over the day and year, and growth characteristics of algae species as inputs. Scenario studies were done to study the effect of decision variables on reactor performance in The Netherlands, France and Algeria. Results indicate that the areal biomass productivity in vertically stacked photobioreactors is 25–70% higher than in plain horizontal systems. Reactor design is location specific because light conditions differ. In The Netherlands, the best horizontal distance between tubes is 0.05 m for horizontal and 0.25 m for vertical systems. For France and Algeria, the best horizontal distance between vertical systems is 0.20 m and 0.15 m respectively. System performance can be improved further by using light reflection materials on the ground surface. Improving the transparency properties of tube material does not significantly affect areal productivity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cells react to various forms of physical phenomena that promote and maintain the formation of tissues. The best example of this are cells of musculoskeletal origin, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which consistently proliferate or differentiate under cues from hydrostatic pressure, diffusive mass transport, shear stress, surface chemistry, mechanotransduction, and molecular kinetics. To date, no other cell type shows greater receptiveness to macroscopic and microscopic cues, highlighting the acute sensitivity of MSCs and the importance of physical principles in tissue homeostasis. In this review, we describe the literature that has shown how physical phenomena govern MSCs biology and provide insight into the mechanisms and strategies that can spur new biotechnological applications with tissue biology.
Trends in Biotechnology 09/2012; 30(11):583-90. · 9.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the challenges in genetic network reconstruction is finding experimental designs that maximize the information content in a data set. In this work, the information value of mRNA transcription time course experiments was used to compare experimental designs. The study concerns the dynamic response of genes in the XlnR regulon of Aspergillus niger, with the goal to find the best moment in time to administer an extra pulse of inducing D-xylose. Low and high D-xylose pulses were used to perturb the XlnR regulon. Evaluation of the experimental methods was based on simulation of the regulon. Models that govern the regulation of the target genes in this regulon were used for the simulations. Parameter sensitivity analysis, the Fisher Information Matrix (FIM) and the E-modified criterion were used to assess the design performances. The results show that the best time to give a second D-xylose pulse is when the D-xylose concentration from the first pulse has not yet completely faded away. Due to the presence of a repression effect the strength of the second pulse must be optimized, rather than maximized. The results suggest that the modified E-criterion is a better metric than the sum of integrals of absolute sensitivity for comparing alternative designs.
IEEE/ACM transactions on computational biology and bioinformatics / IEEE, ACM 04/2012; · 2.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aspergillus niger is an important organism for the production of industrial enzymes such as hemicellulases and pectinases. The xylan-backbone monomer, d-xylose, is an inducing substance for the coordinate expression of a large number of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes. In this study, the responses of 22 genes to low (1 mM) and high (50 mM) d-xylose concentrations were investigated. These 22 genes encode enzymes that function as xylan backbone-degrading enzymes, accessory enzymes, cellulose-degrading enzymes, or enzymes involved in the pentose catabolic pathway in A. niger. Notably, genes encoding enzymes that have a similar function (e.g., xylan backbone degradation) respond in a similar manner to different concentrations of d-xylose. Although low d-xylose concentrations provoke the greatest change in transcript levels, in particular, for hemicellulase-encoding genes, transcript formation in the presence of high concentrations of d-xylose was also observed. Interestingly, a high d-xylose concentration is favorable for certain groups of genes. Furthermore, the repressing influence of CreA on the transcription and transcript levels of a subset of these genes was observed regardless of whether a low or high concentration of d-xylose was used. Interestingly, the decrease in transcript levels of certain genes on high d-xylose concentrations is not reflected by the transcript level of their activator, XlnR. Regardless of the d-xylose concentration applied and whether CreA was functional, xlnR was constitutively expressed at a low level.
Applied and environmental microbiology 02/2012; 78(9):3145-55. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This work presents a mixed integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) formulation for the design of energy-efficient multistage adsorption dryers within constraints on product temperature and moisture content. Apart from optimizing temperatures and flows, the aim is to select the most efficient adsorbent per stage and product to air flow configuration. Superstructure models consisting of commonly used adsorbents such as zeolite, alumina, and silica-gel are developed and optimized for a two-stage, low-temperature, adsorption drying system. Results show that the optimal configuration is a hybrid system with zeolite as the first-stage adsorbent and silica-gel as the second-stage adsorbent in counter-current flow between drying air and product. A specific energy consumption of 2,275 kJ/kg is achieved, which reduces to 1,730 kJ/kg with heat recovery by a heat exchanger. Compared to a conventional two-stage dryer at the same drying temperature, this represents a 59% reduction in energy consumption. The optimal system ensures the exhaust air temperature of the first-stage regenerator is high enough to regenerate the second-stage adsorbent so no utility energy is spent in the second stage. A higher second-stage adsorbent wheel speed favors energy performance as it becomes optimized for energy recovery while the first is optimized for dehumidification. Although this work considers three candidate adsorbents in a two-stage system, the same reasoning can be applied to systems with more stages and adsorbents. The developed superstructure optimization methodology can, by extension, be applied to optimize multistage hybrid drying systems in general for any objective.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Moisture diffusion in porous broccoli florets and stalks is modeled using the free volume and Maxwell-Eucken theories. These theories are based on the mobility of water and concern the variation of the effective diffusion coefficient for a wide range of temperature and moisture content during product drying. Mass and heat transport, shrinkage, and vitamin C degradation during drying of broccoli are simulated by a spatial model. The effective diffusion coefficient varies strongly with product moisture content and temperature. Vitamin C degradation is high at moisture contents around 2 kg water/kg dry matter. The influence of the size of broccoli on the drying rate is evaluated for several types of broccoli florets and stalks.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nutritional requirements of stem cells have not been determined; in particular, the amino acid metabolism of stem cells is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the amino acid metabolism of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), with focus on two questions: Which amino acids are consumed and/or secreted by hMSCs and at what rates? To answer these questions, hMSCs were cultured on tissue culture plastic and in a bioreactor, and their amino acid profile was analyzed. The results showed that the kinetics of hMSCs growth and amino acid metabolism were significantly higher for hMSCs in tissue culture plastic than in the bioreactor. Despite differences in culture conditions, 8 essential and 6 nonessential amino acids were consumed by hMSCs in both tissue culture plastic and bioreactor cultures. Glutamine was the most consumed amino acid with significantly higher rates than for any other amino acid. The metabolism of nonessential amino acids by hMSCs deviated significantly from that of other cell lines. The secretion of alanine, glycine, glutamate, and ornithine by hMSCs showed that there is a strong overflow metabolism that can be due to the high concentrations of amino acids provided in the medium. In addition, the data showed that there is a metabolic pattern for proliferating hMSCs, which can contribute to the design of medium without animal serum for stem cells. Further, this study shows how to implement amino acid rates and metabolic principles in three-dimensional stem cell biology.
Tissue Engineering Part A 09/2011; 18(5-6):654-64. · 4.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conventionally, energy-saving techniques in drying technology are sequential in nature. First, the dryer is optimized without heat recovery and then, based on the obtained process conditions, heat recovery possibilities are explored. This work presents a methodology for energy-efficient adsorption dryer design that considers sensible and latent heat recovery as an integral part of drying system design. A one-step pinch-based optimization problem is formulated to determine the operating conditions for optimal energy performance of such an integrated system subject to product quality. Because the inlet and target stream properties of the heat recovery network are determined by the adsorption drying conditions, they are unknown a priori and thus are determined simultaneously within the overall optimization using the pinch location method. Energy balances are written above and below the various pinch point possibilities and the optimal pinch point is that which minimizes the amount of external heating utility required while satisfying drying and thermodynamic constraints. Results for a single-stage zeolite adsorption drying process with simultaneous heat recovery optimization show a 15% improvement in efficiency compared to a sequentially optimized system. The improvement is traceable to alterations in enthalpy-related variables like temperatures and flow rates. The discrepancy in optimal operating conditions between the sequential and simultaneous cases underscores the need to change system operating conditions when retrofitting for heat recovery because previous optimal conditions become suboptimal when heat recovery is introduced. Also, compared to a conventional dryer (without an adsorption process) operating under similar conditions, energy consumption is reduced by about 55%.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evaluation of the potential of algae production for biofuel and other products at various locations throughout the world requires assessment of algae productivity under varying light conditions and different reactor layouts. A model was developed to predict algae biomass production in flat panel photobioreactors using the interaction between light and algae growth for the algae species Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana. The effect of location, variable sunlight and reactor layout on biomass production in single standing and parallel positioned flat panels was considered. Three latitudes were studied representing the Netherlands, France and Algeria. In single standing reactors the highest yearly biomass production is achieved in Algeria. During the year biomass production fluctuates the most in the Netherlands, while it is almost constant in Algeria. Several combinations of path lengths and biomass concentrations can result in the same optimal biomass production. The productivity in parallel place flat panels is strongly influenced by shading and diffuse light penetration between the panels. Panel orientation has a large effect on productivity and at higher latitudes the difference between north–south and east–west orientation may go up to 50%.
Applied Energy - APPL ENERG. 01/2011; 88(10):3342-3353.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper the dynamics of the transcription-translation system for XlnR regulon in Aspergillus niger is modeled. The model is based on Hill regulation functions and uses ordinary differential equations. The network response to a trigger of D-xylose is considered and stability analysis is performed. The activating, repressive feedback, and the combined effect of the two feedbacks on the network behavior are analyzed.
Simulation and systems analysis showed significant influence of activating and repressing feedback on metabolite expression profiles. The dynamics of the D-xylose input function has an important effect on the profiles of the individual metabolite concentrations. Variation of the time delay in the feedback loop has no significant effect on the pattern of the response. The stability and existence of oscillatory behavior depends on which proteins are involved in the feedback loop.
The dynamics in the regulation properties of the network are dictated mainly by the transcription and translation degradation rate parameters, and by the D-xylose consumption profile. This holds true with and without feedback in the network. Feedback was found to significantly influence the expression dynamics of genes and proteins. Feedback increases the metabolite abundance, changes the steady state values, alters the time trajectories and affects the response oscillatory behavior and stability conditions. The modeling approach provides insight into network behavioral dynamics particularly for small-sized networks. The analysis of the network dynamics has provided useful information for experimental design for future in vitro experimental work.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The internal moisture distribution that arise in food products during drying, is a key factor for the retention of quality attributes. To reveal the course of moisture content in a product, internal moisture profiles in broccoli florets are measured by MRI imaging during drying experiments with controlled air flow and temperature. The 3D images concern a matrix size of 64×64×64 elements. Signal intensity is converted to product moisture content with a linear relationship, while taking a minimum detectable moisture content of 0.3 kg water/ kg dry matter into account. Moisture content as a function of time is presented for a 2D cross sectional area in the middle of a broccoli sample.The average moisture contents for the cross sectional area obtained from the MRI imaging are compared with spatial model simulations for the moisture distribution. In that model the effective diffusion coefficient is based on the Free Volume Theory. This theory has the advantage that the changed mobility of water in the product during drying is taken into account and the theory also predicts the moisture transport in the porous broccoli floret. Key parameters for the Free Volume Theory are estimated by fitting to the experimental MRI results and the effective diffusion coefficient is given as a function of the product water content.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of drying conditions on the color of tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus L.) leaves was studied. Tarragon leaves were dried at temperatures of 40 to 90°C with a constant airflow of 0.6m/s. The
samples were collected at 7%, 10%, 20%, and 30% moisture content wet basis for evaluation of the color change. The color parameters
of fresh and dried leaves were measured by a colorimeter. The individual parameters of L*a*b* and L*C*h° color systems were evaluated and h° proved to be the best parameter to monitor color change. The smallest change of the color parameters was observed at 40°C,
in which temperature was low, and also at 90°C, when drying time was short. The biggest change occurred at the temperatures
of 50 to 70°C. Most of the color change happened before the material reaches 35% moisture content. The combination of drying
time and temperature defines the change of color.
–Color–Drying–French Tarragon–Russian Tarragon
Food and Bioprocess Technology 01/2011; 4(7):1281-1287. · 4.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper the dynamics of the transcription-translation system for XlnR regulon in Aspergillus niger is modeled. The simulations are based on Hill regulation functions and ordinary differential equations. The response to a single trigger of D-xylose to the system is considered, stability analysis is performed and the effects of activating and repressive feedback are also con-sidered. Simulation and systems analysis showed significant influence on metabolite expressions, the effect of the combined activating and repressing feedback was significant on influencing the ex-pression outputs. The responses for genes and proteins can be understood through modeling system dynamics like we have shown.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multistage adsorption drying with zeolite is experimentally evaluated for a single- and a two-stage dryer. For a 1:1 ratio between air flows for drying and regeneration, the energy efficiency for a single-stage system 50–54% and for the two-stage system 63%. Calculations with a calibrated model show that the two-stage system achieves a 4:1 ratio between the air flows an efficiency of 85%, 12% above that of a single-stage system. A sensitivity analysis shows the influence of operational conditions on the energy efficiency. Options to realize multistage adsorption dryer systems and to control such systems as well as the economic aspects are discussed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The shear stresses in printed scaffold systems for tissue engineering depend on the flow properties and void volume in the scaffold. In this work, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used to simulate flow fields within porous scaffolds used for cell growth. From these models the shear stresses acting on the scaffold fibres are calculated. The results led to the conclusion that the Darcian (k(1)) permeability constant is a good predictor for the shear stresses in scaffold systems for tissue engineering. This permeability constant is easy to calculate from the distance between and thickness of the fibres used in a 3D printed scaffold. As a consequence computational effort and specialists for CFD can be circumvented by using this permeability constant to predict the shear stresses. If the permeability constant is below a critical value, cell growth within the specific scaffold design may cause a significant increase in shear stress. Such a design should therefore be avoided when the shear stress experienced by the cells should remain in the same order of magnitude.
Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology 05/2009; 8(6):499-507. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This work discusses the evaluation of multi-stage adsorption dryers with air dehumidification by zeolite and alumina pillared clay. In a multi-stage dryer, product is dried in succeeding stages while air leaving a stage is fed to the next stage after dehumidification by an adsorbent. Energy efficiency of the drying system is evaluated for low-temperature drying (10–50°C) and compared with conventional condenser drying. Results showed that the efficiency of the multi-stage adsorption dryers increases with the number of stages. For low drying temperatures, zeolite is most favorable; for drying temperatures 40–50°C, alumina pillared clay needs less cooling and deserves preference.