Hochschule Reutlingen
  • Reutlingen, Germany
Recent publications
The general conclusion of climate change studies is the necessity of eliminating net CO2 emissions in general and from the electric power systems in particular by 2050. The share of renewable energy is increasing worldwide, but due to the intermittent nature of wind and solar power, a lack of system flexibility is already hampering the further integration of renewable energy in some countries. In this study, we analyze if and how combinations of carbon pricing and power-to-gas (PtG) generation in the form of green power-to-hydrogen followed by methanation (which we refer to as PtG throughout) using captured CO2 emissions can provide transitions to deep decarbonization of energy systems. To this end, we focus on the economics of deep decarbonization of the European electricity system with the help of an energy system model. In different scenario analyses, we find that a CO2 price of 160 €/t (by 2050) is on its own not sufficient to decarbonize the electricity sector, but that a CO2 price path of 125 (by 2040) up to 160 €/t (by 2050), combined with PtG technologies, can lead to an economically feasible decarbonization of the European electricity system by 2050. These results are robust to higher than anticipated PtG costs.
Glioblastomas are the most aggressive fast-growing primary brain cancer which originate in the glial cells of the brain. Accurate identification of the malignant brain tumor and its sub-regions is still one of the most challenging problems in medical image segmentation. The Brain Tumor Segmentation Challenge (BraTS) has been a popular benchmark for automatic brain glioblastomas segmentation algorithms since its initiation. In this year, BraTS 2021 challenge provides the largest multi-parametric (mpMRI) dataset of 2,000 pre-operative patients. In this paper, we propose a new aggregation of two deep learning frameworks namely, DeepSeg and nnU-Net for automatic glioblastoma recognition in pre-operative mpMRI. Our ensemble method obtains Dice similarity scores of 92.00, 87.33, and 84.10 and Hausdorff Distances of 3.81, 8.91, and 16.02 for the enhancing tumor, tumor core, and whole tumor regions, respectively, on the BraTS 2021 validation set, ranking us among the top ten teams. These experimental findings provide evidence that it can be readily applied clinically and thereby aiding in the brain cancer prognosis, therapy planning, and therapy response monitoring.
The strong demand for a transformation of the textile and fashion industry towards sustainability requires a continuous implementation of the guiding principle of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in education and industry [1, 2]. In a first step of the European research project "Sustainable fashion curriculum at textile Universities in Europe - Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Teaching Module for Educators" (Fashion DIET) a continuing education module shall be created to implement ESD as a guiding principle in university teaching. The research-based teaching and learning materials are delivered through an e-learning portal.
Due to its wide-ranging endocrine functions, adipose tissue influences the whole body’s metabolism. Engineering long-term stable and functional human adipose tissue is still challenging due to the limited availability of suitable biomaterials and adequate cell maturation. We used gellan gum (GG) to create manual and bioprinted adipose tissue models because of its similarities to the native extracellular matrix and its easily tunable properties. Gellan gum itself was neither toxic nor monocyte activating. The resulting hydrogels exhibited suitable viscoelastic properties for soft tissues and were stable for 98 days in vitro. Encapsulated human primary adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) were adipogenically differentiated for 14 days and matured for an additional 84 days. Live-dead staining showed that encapsulated cells stayed viable until day 98, while intracellular lipid staining showed an increase over time and a differentiation rate of 76% between days 28 and 56. After 4 weeks of culture, adipocytes had a univacuolar morphology, expressed perilipin A, and secreted up to 73% more leptin. After bioprinting establishment, we demonstrated that the cells in printed hydrogels had high cell viability and exhibited an adipogenic phenotype and function. In summary, GG-based adipose tissue models show long-term stability and allow ASCs maturation into functional, univacuolar adipocytes.
Purpose Injury or inflammation of the middle ear often results in the persistent tympanic membrane (TM) perforations, leading to conductive hearing loss (HL). However, in some cases the magnitude of HL exceeds that attributable by the TM perforation alone. The aim of the study is to better understand the effects of location and size of TM perforations on the sound transmission properties of the middle ear. Methods The middle ear transfer functions (METF) of six human temporal bones (TB) were compared before and after perforating the TM at different locations (anterior or posterior lower quadrant) and to different degrees (1 mm, ¼ of the TM, ½ of the TM, and full ablation). The sound-induced velocity of the stapes footplate was measured using single-point laser-Doppler-vibrometry (LDV). The METF were correlated with a Finite Element (FE) model of the middle ear, in which similar alterations were simulated. Results The measured and calculated METF showed frequency and perforation size dependent losses at all perforation locations. Starting at low frequencies, the loss expanded to higher frequencies with increased perforation size. In direct comparison, posterior TM perforations affected the transmission properties to a larger degree than anterior perforations. The asymmetry of the TM causes the malleus-incus complex to rotate and results in larger deflections in the posterior TM quadrants than in the anterior TM quadrants. Simulations in the FE model with a sealed cavity show that small perforations lead to a decrease in TM rigidity and thus to an increase in oscillation amplitude of the TM mainly above 1 kHz. Conclusion Size and location of TM perforations have a characteristic influence on the METF. The correlation of the experimental LDV measurements with an FE model contributes to a better understanding of the pathologic mechanisms of middle-ear diseases. If small perforations with significant HL are observed in daily clinical practice, additional middle ear pathologies should be considered. Further investigations on the loss of TM pretension due to perforations may be informative.
Medical technology comprises a broad spectrum of technical devices, instruments, processes, and systems as well as their development, which are used in medicine for the purposes of prevention, diagnosis, therapy, care and rehabilitation. Key learnings from two different case studies are presented to illustrate challenges and solutions in this field.
Zusammenfassung Afrika ist ein Kontinent der Chancen, der in der künftigen weltwirtschaftlichen Arbeitsteilung eine deutlich größere Rolle spielen dürfte als bisher. Dennoch tut sich die deutsche Wirtschaft bislang schwer. Die digitale Transformation verändert die Investitions- und Innovationsbedingungen in Afrika. Daraus ergeben sich auch für deutsche Unternehmen Chancen auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent. Die Politik sollte Rahmenbedingungen für ein stärkeres privatwirtschaftliches Engagement deutscher und europäischer Unternehmen in Afrika schaffen.
The paper describes how eye-tracking can be used to explore electronic patient records (EPR) in a sterile environment. As an information display, we used a system that we developed for the presentation of patient data and for supporting surgical hand disinfection. The eye-tracking was performed using the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C, and the connection between the eye-tracker and the HTML website was realized using the Tobii EyeX Chrome Extension. Interactions with the EPR are triggered by fixations of icons. The interaction was working as intended, but test persons reported a high mental load while using the system.
With the progress of technology in modern hospitals, an intelligent perioperative situation recognition will gain more relevance due to its potential to substantially improve surgical workflows by providing situation knowledge in real-time. Such knowledge can be extracted from image data by machine learning techniques but poses a privacy threat to the staff’s and patients’ personal data. De-identification is a possible solution for removing visual sensitive information. In this work, we developed a YOLO v3 based prototype to detect sensitive areas in the image in real-time. These are then deidentified using common image obfuscation techniques. Our approach shows that it is principle suitable for de-identifying sensitive data in OR images and contributes to a privacyrespectful way of processing in the context of situation recognition in the OR.
Intraoperative imaging can assist neurosurgeons to define brain tumours and other surrounding brain structures. Interventional ultrasound (iUS) is a convenient modality with fast scan times. However, iUS data may suffer from noise and artefacts which limit their interpretation during brain surgery. In this work, we use two deep learning networks, namely UNet and TransUNet, to make automatic and accurate segmentation of the brain tumour in iUS data. Experiments were conducted on a dataset of 27 iUS volumes. The outcomes show that using a transformer with UNet is advantageous providing an efficient segmentation modelling long-range dependencies between each iUS image. In particular, the enhanced TransUNet was able to predict cavity segmentation in iUS data with an inference rate of more than 125 FPS. These promising results suggest that deep learning networks can be successfully deployed to assist neurosurgeons in the operating room.
Rational behavior is a standard assumption in science. Indeed, rationality is required for environmental action towards net-zero emissions or public health interventions during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Yet, little is known about the elements of rationality. This paper explores a dualism of rationality comprised of optimality and consistency. By designing a new guessing game, we experimentally uncover and disentangle two building blocks of human rationality: the notions of optimality and consistency. We find evidence that rationality is largely associated to optimality and weakly to consistency. Remarkably, under uncertainty, rationality gradually shifts to a heuristic notion. Our findings provide insights to better understand human decision making.
Zusammenfassung Hintergrund Endoskopische Operationsverfahren haben sich als Goldstandard in der Nasennebenhöhlen (NNH)-Chirurgie etabliert. Den sich daraus ergebenden Herausforderungen für die chirurgische Ausbildung kann durch den Einsatz von Virtuelle-Realität (VR)-Trainingssimulatoren begegnet werden. Bislang wurde eine Reihe von Simulatoren für NNH-Operationen entwickelt. Frühere Studien im Hinblick auf den Trainingseffekt wurden jedoch nur mit medizinisch vorgebildeten Probanden durchgeführt oder es wurde nicht über dessen zeitlichen Verlauf berichtet. Methoden Ein NNH-CT-Datensatz wurde nach der Segmentierung in ein 3-dimensionales, polygonales Oberflächenmodell überführt und mithilfe von originalem Fotomaterial texturiert. Die Interaktion mit der virtuellen Umgebung erfolgte über ein haptisches Eingabegerät. Während der Simulation wurden die Parameter Eingriffsdauer und Fehleranzahl erfasst. Zehn Probanden absolvierten jeweils eine Trainingseinheit bestehend aus je 5 Übungsdurchläufen an 10 aufeinanderfolgenden Tagen. Ergebnisse Vier Probanden verringerten die benötigte Zeit um mehr als 60% im Verlauf des Übungszeitraums. Vier der Probanden verringerten ihre Fehleranzahl um mehr als 60%. Acht von 10 Probanden zeigten eine Verbesserung bezüglich beider Parameter. Im Median wurde im gesamten gemessenen Zeitraum die Dauer des Eingriffs um 46 Sekunden und die Fehleranzahl um 191 reduziert. Die Überprüfung eines Zusammenhangs zwischen den 2 Parametern ergab eine positive Korrelation. Schlussfolgerung Zusammenfassend lässt sich feststellen, dass das Training am NNH-Simulator auch bei unerfahrenen Personen die Performance beträchtlich verbessert, sowohl in Bezug auf die Dauer als auch auf die Genauigkeit des Eingriffs.
The combination of sensor technology and textiles substantially extends the range of textile applications. Smart textiles, especially clothing, might increasingly be equipped with pressure sensors. They could be used in the sports or health sector to measure body activities or other activities which are close to the body. Therefore, it is essential to develop flexible sensors which allow to adapt to the properties of textile materials which are in contact with the body or surrounding it. In this paper a pressure sensor based on piezoresistive ink and conductive fabric with high flexibility is reported. Preliminary pressure sensors have been fabricated and tested on a universal testing machine. The sensors show to be functional, but also showing some aspects to improve, such as its hysteretic behaviour.
Silicon photonic micro-ring resonators (MRR) developed on the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform, owing to their high sensitivity and small footprint, show great potential for many chemical and biological sensing applications such as label-free detection in environmental monitoring, biomedical engineering, and food analysis. In this tutorial, we provide the theoretical background and give design guidelines for SOI-based MRR as well as examples of surface functionalization procedures for label-free detection of molecules. After introducing the advantages and perspectives of MRR, fundamentals of MRR are described in detail, followed by an introduction to the fabrication methods, which are based on a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. Optimization of MRR for chemical and biological sensing is provided, with special emphasis on the optimization of waveguide geometry. At this point, the difference between chemical bulk sensing and label-free surface sensing is explained, and definitions like waveguide sensitivity, ring sensitivity, overall sensitivity as well as the limit of detection (LoD) of MRR are introduced. Further, we show and explain chemical bulk sensing of sodium chloride (NaCl) in water and provide a recipe for label-free surface sensing.
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2,616 members
Marc Brecht
  • Department of Applied Chemistry
Jürgen Münch
  • Department of Business Informatics
Natividad Martínez Madrid
  • School of Informatics
Cristóbal Curio
  • Department of Informatics
Marco Kuhrmann
  • Department of Business Informatics
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