In this work, the effects of carbon sources and culture media on the production and structural properties of bacterial cellulose (BC) synthesized by Medusomyces gisevii have been studied. The culture medium was composed of different initial concentrations of glucose or sucrose dissolved in 0.4% extract of plain green tea. Parameters of the culture media (titratable acidity, substrate conversion degree etc.) were monitored daily for 20 days of cultivation. The BC pellicles produced on different carbon sources were characterized in terms of biomass yield, crystallinity and morphology by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), atomic force microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Our results showed that Medusomyces gisevii had higher BC yields in media with sugar concentrations close to 10 g L⁻¹ after a 18–20 days incubation period. Glucose in general lead to a higher BC yield (173 g L⁻¹) compared to sucrose (163.5 g L⁻¹). The BC crystallinity degree and surface roughness were higher in the samples synthetized from sucrose. Obtained FE-SEM micrographs show that the BC pellicles synthesized in the sucrose media contained densely packed tangles of cellulose fibrils whereas the BC produced in the glucose media displayed rather linear geometry of the BC fibrils without noticeable aggregates.
Obstacle avoidance is critical for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operating autonomously. Obstacle avoidance algorithms either rely on global environment data or local sensor data. Local path planners react to unforeseen objects and plan purely on local sensor information. Similarly, animals need to find feasible paths based on local information about their surroundings. Therefore, their behavior is a valuable source of inspiration for path planning. Bumblebees tend to fly vertically over far-away obstacles and horizontally around close ones, implying two zones for different flight strategies depending on the distance to obstacles. This work enhances the local path planner 3DVFH* with this bio-inspired strategy. The algorithm alters the goal-driven function of the 3DVFH* to climb-preferring if obstacles are far away. Prior experiments with bumblebees led to two definitions of flight zone limits depending on the distance to obstacles, leading to two algorithm variants. Both variants reduce the probability of not reaching the goal of a 3DVFH* implementation in Matlab/Simulink. The best variant, 3DVFH*b-b, reduces this probability from 70.7 to 18.6% in city-like worlds using a strong vertical evasion strategy. Energy consumption is higher, and flight paths are longer compared to the algorithm version with pronounced horizontal evasion tendency. A parameter study analyzes the effect of different weighting factors in the cost function. The best parameter combination shows a failure probability of 6.9% in city-like worlds and reduces energy consumption by 28%. Our findings demonstrate the potential of bio-inspired approaches for improving the performance of local path planning algorithms for UAV.
Traditional vulcanization mold manufacturing is complex, costly, and under pressure due to shorter product lifecycles and diverse variations. Additive manufacturing using Fused Filament Fabrication and high-performance polymers like PEEK offer a promising future in this industry. This study assesses the compressive strength of various infill structures (honeycomb, grid, triangle, cubic, and gyroid) when considering two distinct build directions (Z, XY) to enhance PEEK’s economic and resource efficiency in rapid tooling. A comparison with PETG samples shows the behavior of the infill strategies. Additionally, a proof of concept illustrates the application of a PEEK mold in vulcanization. A peak compressive strength of 135.6 MPa was attained in specimens that were 100% solid and subjected to thermal post-treatment. This corresponds to a 20% strength improvement in the Z direction. In terms of time and mechanical properties, the anisotropic grid and isotropic cubic infill have emerged for use in rapid tooling. Furthermore, the study highlights that reducing the layer thickness from 0.15 mm to 0.1 mm can result in a 15% strength increase. The study unveils the successful utilization of a room-temperature FFF-printed PEEK mold in vulcanization injection molding. The parameters and infill strategies identified in this research enable the resource-efficient FFF printing of PEEK without compromising its strength properties. Using PEEK in rapid tooling allows a cost reduction of up to 70% in tool production.
This paper contributes to the question whether plea bargaining is compatible with the inquisitorial tradition. We stylize inquisitorial criminal procedure as a sequential game with two impartial investigators, judge and prosecutor. Both agents are subject to private investigation costs and seek a correct decision over a defendant of uncertain guilt. Our analysis shows that the introduction of plea deals in courtroom helps to overcome the problem of effort coordination between the two agents. Moreover, we demonstrate that the introduction of plea deals reduces the number of wrongful convictions, but this comes at the cost of some guilty defendants getting away unpunished. Our results are robust to small decision errors by the players and attorney moral hazard. We further consider the implications of imperfect verification skills by judges, different timing of deals, or prosecutors who just seek to maximize convictions and guilty pleas.
Companies often build their businesses based on product information and therefore try to automate the process of information extraction (IE). Since the information source is usually heterogeneous and non-standardized, classic extract, transform, load techniques reach their limits. Hence, companies must implement the newest findings from research to tackle the challenges of process automation. They require a flexible and robust system that is extendable and ensures the optimal processing of the different document types. This paper provides a distributed microservice architecture pattern that enables the automated generation of IE pipelines. Since their optimal design is individual for each input document, the system ensures the ad-hoc generation of pipelines depending on specific document characteristics at runtime. Furthermore, it introduces the automated quality determination of each available pipeline and controls the integration of new microservices based on their impact on the business value. The introduced system enables fast prototyping of the newest approaches from research and supports companies in automating their IE processes. Based on the automated quality determination, it ensures that the generated pipelines always meet defined business requirements when they come into productive use.
Amino acid‐based surfactants are valuable compounds for cosmetic formulations. The chemical synthesis of acyl‐amino acids is conventionally performed by the Schotten‐Baumann reaction using fatty acyl chlorides, but aminoacylases have also been investigated for use in biocatalytic synthesis with free fatty acids. Aminoacylases and their properties are diverse; they belong to different peptidase families and show differences in substrate specificity and biocatalytic potential. Bacterial aminoacylases capable of synthesis have been isolated from Burkholderia , Mycolicibacterium , and Streptomyces . Although several proteases and peptidases from S. griseus have been described, no aminoacylases from this species have been identified yet. In this study, we investigated two novel enzymes produced by S. griseus DSM 40236 T . We identified and cloned the respective genes and recombinantly expressed an α‐aminoacylase (EC 18.104.22.168), designated SgAA, and an ε‐lysine acylase (EC 22.214.171.124), designated SgELA, in S. lividans TK23. The purified aminoacylase SgAA was biochemically characterized, focusing on its hydrolytic activity to determine temperature‐ and pH optima and stabilities. The aminoacylase could hydrolyze various acetyl‐amino acids at the N α ‐position with a broad specificity regarding the sidechain. Substrates with longer acyl chains, like lauroyl‐amino acids, were hydrolyzed to a lesser extent. Purified aminoacylase SgELA specific for the hydrolysis of N ε ‐acetyl‐L‐lysine was unstable and lost its enzymatic activity upon storage for a longer period but could initially be characterized. The pH optimum of SgELA was pH 8.0. While synthesis of acyl‐amino acids was not observed with SgELA, SgAA catalyzed the synthesis of lauroyl‐methionine.
Background Hip fractures are a common and costly health problem, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality, as well as high costs for healthcare systems, especially for the elderly. Implementing surgical preventive strategies has the potential to improve the quality of life and reduce the burden on healthcare resources, particularly in the long term. However, there are currently limited guidelines for standardizing hip fracture prophylaxis practices. Methods This study used a cost-effectiveness analysis with a finite-state Markov model and cohort simulation to evaluate the primary and secondary surgical prevention of hip fractures in the elderly. Patients aged 60 to 90 years were simulated in two different models (A and B) to assess prevention at different levels. Model A assumed prophylaxis was performed during the fracture operation on the contralateral side, while Model B included individuals with high fracture risk factors. Costs were obtained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and transition probabilities and health state utilities were derived from available literature. The baseline assumption was a 10% reduction in fracture risk after prophylaxis. A sensitivity analysis was also conducted to assess the reliability and variability of the results. Results With a 10% fracture risk reduction, model A costs between $8,850 and $46,940 per quality-adjusted life-year ($/QALY). Additionally, it proved most cost-effective in the age range between 61 and 81 years. The sensitivity analysis established that a reduction of ≥ 2.8% is needed for prophylaxis to be definitely cost-effective. The cost-effectiveness at the secondary prevention level was most sensitive to the cost of the contralateral side’s prophylaxis, the patient’s age, and fracture treatment cost. For high-risk patients with no fracture history, the cost-effectiveness of a preventive strategy depends on their risk profile. In the baseline analysis, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio at the primary prevention level varied between $11,000/QALY and $74,000/QALY, which is below the defined willingness to pay threshold. Conclusion Due to the high cost of hip fracture treatment and its increased morbidity, surgical prophylaxis strategies have demonstrated that they can significantly relieve the healthcare system. Various key assumptions facilitated the modeling, allowing for adequate room for uncertainty. Further research is needed to evaluate health-state-associated risks.
The concept of energy conversion into platform chemicals using bioelectrochemical systems (BES) has gained increasing attention in recent years, as the technology simultaneously provides an opportunity for sustainable chemical production and tackles the challenge of Power‐to‐X technologies. There are many approaches to realize the industrial scale of BES. One concept is to equip standard bioreactors with static electrodes. However, large installations resulted in a negative influence on various reactor parameters. In this study, we present a new single‐chamber BES based on a stirred tank reactor in which the stirrer was replaced by a carbon fiber brush, performing the functions of the working electrode and the stirrer. The reactor is characterized in abiotic studies and electro‐fermentations with Clostridium acetobutylicum . Compared to standard reactors an increase in butanol production of 20.14±3.66 % shows that the new BES can be efficiently used for bioelectrochemical processes.
Morphological imaging using MRI is essential for brain tumour diagnostics. Dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) perfusion-weighted MRI (PWI), as well as amino acid PET, may provide additional information in ambiguous cases. Since PWI is often unavailable in patients referred for amino acid PET, we explored whether maps of relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) in brain tumours can be extracted from the early phase of PET using O-(2-18F-fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine (18F-FET). Using a hybrid brain PET/MRI scanner, PWI and dynamic 18F-FET PET were performed in 33 patients with cerebral glioma and four patients with highly vascularized meningioma. The time interval from 0 to 2 min p.i. was selected to best reflect the blood pool phase in 18F-FET PET. For each patient, maps of MR-rCBV, early 18F-FET PET (0–2 min p.i.) and late 18F-FET PET (20–40 min p.i.) were generated and coregistered. Volumes of interest were placed on the tumour (VOI-TU) and normal-appearing brain (VOI-REF). The correlation between tumour-to-brain ratios (TBR) of the different parameters was analysed. In addition, three independent observers evaluated MR-rCBV and early 18F-FET maps (18F-FET-rCBV) for concordance in signal intensity, tumour extent and intratumoural distribution. TBRs calculated from MR-rCBV and 18F-FET-rCBV showed a significant correlation (r = 0.89, p < 0.001), while there was no correlation between late 18F-FET PET and MR-rCBV (r = 0.24, p = 0.16) and 18F-FET-rCBV (r = 0.27, p = 0.11). Visual rating yielded widely agreeing findings or only minor differences between MR-rCBV maps and 18F-FET-rCBV maps in 93 % of the tumours (range of three independent raters 91–94%, kappa among raters 0.78–1.0). Early 18F-FET maps (0–2 min p.i.) in gliomas provide similar information to MR-rCBV maps and may be helpful when PWI is not possible or available. Further studies in gliomas are needed to evaluate whether 18F-FET-rCBV provides the same clinical information as MR-rCBV.
With the prevalence of glucosamine- and chondroitin-containing dietary supplements for people with osteoarthritis in the marketplace, it is important to have an accurate and reproducible analytical method for the quantitation of these compounds in finished products. NMR spectroscopic method based both on low- (80 MHz) and high- (500–600 MHz) field NMR instrumentation was established, compared and validated for the determination of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine in dietary supplements. The proposed method was applied for analysis of 20 different dietary supplements. In the majority of cases, quantification results obtained on the low-field NMR spectrometer are similar to those obtained with high-field 500–600 MHz NMR devices. Validation results in terms of accuracy, precision, reproducibility, limit of detection and recovery demonstrated that the developed method is fit for purpose for the marketed products. The NMR method was extended to the analysis of methylsulfonylmethane, adulterant maltodextrin, acetate and inorganic ions. Low-field NMR can be a quicker and cheaper alternative to more expensive high-field NMR measurements for quality control of the investigated dietary supplements. High-field NMR instrumentation can be more favorable for samples with complex composition due to better resolution, simultaneously giving the possibility of analysis of inorganic species such as potassium and chloride. Graphical abstract
The first additive manufacturing process at atmospheric pressure using a coaxial microwave (MW) plasma jet at 2.45 GHz is presented in this article. The wire is transported coaxially through the hollowed electrode, directly into the hottest area of the plasma at the tip of the electrode. The topology of the jet is presented along with a detailed description of the process. The jet is combined with a standard 3-D printing kinematic for a triaxial nozzle manipulation. A custom wire feeder prototype is constructed using a stepper motor. For the experiments, a test stand is built, including the programming of a custom software to control the MW amplifier, the gas flow controllers, the $XYZ$ movements, and the wire feeder. Investigations with a high-speed camera reveal the cause of sparks originating from the formation of a molten metal sphere at the tip of the wire. A process is developed to compensate this effect. In addition, an image processing software is programed to observe the metal sphere and optimize the drop creation. Modifications on computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) data are automatically generated to create the 3-D models. Experiments with single dot are presented on different metallic substrates as well as a print of a melting track on a steel substrate. An analysis of the printed dots using micrograph imaging is also presented.
The number of electronic vehicles increase steadily while the space for extending the charging infrastructure is limited. In particular in urban areas, where parking spaces in attractive areas are famous, opportunities to setup new charging stations is very limited. This leads to an overload of some very attractive charging stations and an underutilization of less attractive ones. Against this background, the paper at hand presents the design of an e-vehicle reservation system that aims at distributing the utilization of the charging infrastructure, particularly in urban areas. By applying a design science approach, the requirements for a reservation-based utilization approach are elicited and a model for a suitable distribution approach and its instantiation are developed. The artefact is evaluated by simulating the distribution effects based on data of real charging station utilizations.
Software development projects often fail because of insufficient code quality. It is now well documented that the task of testing software, for example, is perceived as uninteresting and rather boring, leading to poor software quality and major challenges to software development companies. One promising approach to increase the motivation for considering software quality is the use of gamification. Initial research works already investigated the effects of gamification on software developers and come to promising. Nevertheless, a lack of results from field experiments exists, which motivates the chapter at hand. By conducting a gamification experiment with five student software projects and by interviewing the project members, the chapter provides insights into the changing programming behavior of information systems students when confronted with a leaderboard. The results reveal a motivational effect as well as a reduction of code smells.
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