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Sample records for active variable stiffness

  1. A semi-active magnetorheological fluid mechanism with variable stiffness and damping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greiner-Petter, Christoph; Suryadi Tan, Aditya; Sattel, Thomas

    2014-10-01

    In this paper a semi-active fluid-mechanism is presented, which offers a variable stiffness and damping by utilizing two magnetorheological fluid valves and two springs. The study incorporates the attributes of variable damping and stiffness into one compact device. A model for the magnetical, rheological, fluidical and mechanical behaviour of the whole system is derived. An experimental setup of the proposed system and an appropriate test bench are built in order to study the variable mechanical impedance behaviour with the corresponding simulations. The results proof that the stiffness of the system can be varied among three different values, while its damping is continuously variable.

  2. Dynamically variable negative stiffness structures.

    PubMed

    Churchill, Christopher B; Shahan, David W; Smith, Sloan P; Keefe, Andrew C; McKnight, Geoffrey P

    2016-02-01

    Variable stiffness structures that enable a wide range of efficient load-bearing and dexterous activity are ubiquitous in mammalian musculoskeletal systems but are rare in engineered systems because of their complexity, power, and cost. We present a new negative stiffness-based load-bearing structure with dynamically tunable stiffness. Negative stiffness, traditionally used to achieve novel response from passive structures, is a powerful tool to achieve dynamic stiffness changes when configured with an active component. Using relatively simple hardware and low-power, low-frequency actuation, we show an assembly capable of fast (<10 ms) and useful (>100×) dynamic stiffness control. This approach mitigates limitations of conventional tunable stiffness structures that exhibit either small (<30%) stiffness change, high friction, poor load/torque transmission at low stiffness, or high power active control at the frequencies of interest. We experimentally demonstrate actively tunable vibration isolation and stiffness tuning independent of supported loads, enhancing applications such as humanoid robotic limbs and lightweight adaptive vibration isolators. PMID:26989771

  3. Performance analysis of a semi-active mount made by a new variable stiffness spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azadi, Mojtaba; Behzadipour, Saeed; Faulkner, Garry

    2011-06-01

    A new variable stiffness mount (VSM), is created and its performance is experimentally measured and analyzed. VSMs have extensive applications in the vibration control of machineries including automotive industry. The variable stiffness in this design is realized by the prestress stiffness of a cable-based mechanism at a singular configuration. Changing the prestress, through a piezo actuator and a simple on-off controller, results in significant stiffness change in short time and at low energy costs. The stiffness of the VSM is characterized through static and dynamic tests. The performance of the VSM is then evaluated and compared with an equivalent passive mount in two main areas of transmissibility and shock absorption. The response time of the semi-active VSM is also measured in a realistic scenario. A summary of the performance tests are presented at the end.

  4. Variable stiffness and damping semi-active vibration control technology based on magnetorheological fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shiyu; Deng, Huaxia; Zhang, Jin; Sun, ShuaiShuai; Li, Weihua; Wang, Lei

    2013-10-01

    Vibration is a source to induce uncertainty for the measurement. The traditional passive vibration control method has low efficiency and limited working conditions. The active vibration control method is not practical for its power demanding, complexity and instability. In this paper, a novel semi-active vibration control technology based on magnetorheological (MR) fluid is presented with dual variable stiffness and damping capability. Because of the rheological behavior depending on the magnetic field intensity, MR fluid is used in many damping semi-active vibration control systems. The paper proposed a structure to allow the both overall damping and stiffness variable. The equivalent damping and stiffness of the structure are analyzed and the influences of the parameters on the stiffness and damping changing are further discussed.

  5. Dynamically variable negative stiffness structures

    PubMed Central

    Churchill, Christopher B.; Shahan, David W.; Smith, Sloan P.; Keefe, Andrew C.; McKnight, Geoffrey P.

    2016-01-01

    Variable stiffness structures that enable a wide range of efficient load-bearing and dexterous activity are ubiquitous in mammalian musculoskeletal systems but are rare in engineered systems because of their complexity, power, and cost. We present a new negative stiffness–based load-bearing structure with dynamically tunable stiffness. Negative stiffness, traditionally used to achieve novel response from passive structures, is a powerful tool to achieve dynamic stiffness changes when configured with an active component. Using relatively simple hardware and low-power, low-frequency actuation, we show an assembly capable of fast (<10 ms) and useful (>100×) dynamic stiffness control. This approach mitigates limitations of conventional tunable stiffness structures that exhibit either small (<30%) stiffness change, high friction, poor load/torque transmission at low stiffness, or high power active control at the frequencies of interest. We experimentally demonstrate actively tunable vibration isolation and stiffness tuning independent of supported loads, enhancing applications such as humanoid robotic limbs and lightweight adaptive vibration isolators. PMID:26989771

  6. Variable stiffness torsion springs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alhorn, Dean C. (Inventor); Polites, Michael E. (Inventor)

    1994-01-01

    In a torsion spring the spring action is a result of the relationships between the torque applied in twisting the spring, the angle through which the torsion spring twists, and the modulus of elasticity of the spring material in shear. Torsion springs employed industrially have been strips, rods, or bars, generally termed shafts, capabable of being flexed by twisting their axes. They rely on the variations in shearing forces to furnish an internal restoring torque. In the torsion springs herein the restoring torque is external and therefore independent of the shearing modulus of elasticity of the torsion spring shaft. Also provided herein is a variable stiffness torsion spring. This torsion spring can be so adjusted as to have a given spring constant. Such variable stiffness torsion springs are extremely useful in gimballed payloads such as sensors, telescopes, and electronic devices on such platforms as a space shuttle or a space station.

  7. Variable stiffness torsion springs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alhorn, Dean C. (Inventor); Polites, Michael E. (Inventor)

    1995-01-01

    In a torsion spring the spring action is a result of the relationships between the torque applied in twisting the spring, the angle through which the torsion spring twists, and the modulus of elasticity of the spring material in shear. Torsion springs employed industrially have been strips, rods, or bars, generally termed shafts, capabable of being flexed by twisting their axes. They rely on the variations in shearing forces to furnish an internal restoring torque. In the torsion springs herein the restoring torque is external and therefore independent of the shearing modulus of elasticity of the torsion spring shaft. Also provided herein is a variable stiffness torsion spring. This torsion spring can be so adjusted as to have a given spring constant. Such variable stiffness torsion springs are extremely useful in gimballed payloads such as sensors, telescopes, and electronic devices on such platforms as a space shuttle or a space station.

  8. A new active variable stiffness suspension system using a nonlinear energy sink-based controller

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anubi, Olugbenga Moses; Crane, Carl D.

    2013-10-01

    This paper presents the active case of a variable stiffness suspension system. The central concept is based on a recently designed variable stiffness mechanism which consists of a horizontal control strut and a vertical strut. The horizontal strut is used to vary the load transfer ratio by actively controlling the location of the point of attachment of the vertical strut to the car body. The control algorithm, effected by a hydraulic actuator, uses the concept of nonlinear energy sink (NES) to effectively transfer the vibrational energy in the sprung mass to a control mass, thereby reducing the transfer of energy from road disturbance to the car body at a relatively lower cost compared to the traditional active suspension using the skyhook concept. The analyses and simulation results show that a better performance can be achieved by subjecting the point of attachment of a suspension system, to the chassis, to the influence of a horizontal NES system.

  9. Seismic Response Control Of Structures Using Semi-Active and Passive Variable Stiffness Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salem, Mohamed M. A.

    Controllable devices such as Magneto-Rheological Fluid Dampers, Electro-Rheological Dampers, and controllable friction devices have been studied extensively with limited implementation in real structures. Such devices have shown great potential in reducing seismic demands, either as smart base isolation systems, or as smart devices for multistory structures. Although variable stiffness devices can be used for seismic control of structures, the vast majority of research effort has been given to the control of damping. The primary focus of this dissertation is to evaluate the seismic control of structures using semi-active and passive variable stiffness characteristics. Smart base isolation systems employing variable stiffness devices have been studied, and two semi-active control strategies are proposed. The control algorithms were designed to reduce the superstructure and base accelerations of seismically isolated structures subject to near-fault and far-field ground motions. Computational simulations of the proposed control algorithms on the benchmark structure have shown that excessive base displacements associated with the near-fault ground motions may be better mitigated with the use of variable stiffness devices. However, the device properties must be controllable to produce a wide range of stiffness changes for an effective control of the base displacements. The potential of controllable stiffness devices in limiting the base displacement due to near-fault excitation without compromising the performance of conventionally isolated structures, is illustrated. The application of passive variable stiffness devices for seismic response mitigation of multistory structures is also investigated. A stiffening bracing system (SBS) is proposed to replace the conventional bracing systems of braced frames. An optimization process for the SBS parameters has been developed. The main objective of the design process is to maintain a uniform inter-story drift angle over the

  10. A novel semi-active TMD with folding variable stiffness spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafieipour, M. H.; Ghorbani-Tanha, A. K.; Rahimian, M.; Mohammadi-Ghazi, R.

    2014-09-01

    An innovative variable stiffness device is proposed and investigated based on numerical simulations. The device, called a folding variable stiffness spring (FVSS), can be widely used, especially in tuned mass dampers (TMDs) with adaptive stiffness. An important characteristic of FVSS is its capability to change the stiffness between lower and upper bounds through a small change of distance between its supports. This special feature results in lower time-lag errors and readjustment in shorter time intervals. The governing equations of the device are derived and simplified for a symmetrical FVSS with similar elements. This device is then used to control a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) structure as well as a multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) structure via a semi-active TMD. Numerical simulations are conducted to compare several control cases for these structures. To make it more realistic, a real direct current motor with its own limitations is simulated in addition to an ideal control case with no limitations and both the results are compared. It is shown that the proposed device can be effectively used to suppress undesirable vibrations of a structure and considerably improves the performance of the controller compared to a passive device.

  11. Introducing a new semi-active engine mount using force controlled variable stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azadi, Mojtaba; Behzadipour, Saeed; Faulkner, Gary

    2013-05-01

    This work introduces a new concept in designing semi-active engine mounts. Engine mounts are under continuous development to provide better and more cost-effective engine vibration control. Passive engine mounts do not provide satisfactory solution. Available semi-active and active mounts provide better solutions but they are more complex and expensive. The variable stiffness engine mount (VSEM) is a semi-active engine mount with a simple ON-OFF control strategy. However, unlike available semi-active engine mounts that work based on damping change, the VSEM works based on the static stiffness change by using a new fast response force controlled variable spring. The VSEM is an improved version of the vibration mount introduced by the authors in their previous work. The results showed significant performance improvements over a passive rubber mount. The VSEM also provides better vibration control than a hydromount at idle speed. Low hysteresis and the ability to be modelled by a linear model in low-frequency are the advantages of the VSEM over the vibration isolator introduced earlier and available hydromounts. These specifications facilitate the use of VSEM in the automotive industry, however, further evaluation and developments are needed for this purpose.

  12. Programmable variable stiffness 2D surface design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trabia, Sarah; Hwang, Taeseon; Yim, Woosoon

    2014-03-01

    Variable stiffness features can contribute to many engineering applications ranging from robotic joints to shock and vibration mitigation. In addition, variable stiffness can be used in the tactile feedback to provide the sense of touch to the user. A key component in the proposed device is the Biased Magnetorheological Elastomer (B-MRE) where iron particles within the elastomer compound develop a dipole interaction energy. A novel feature of this device is to introduce a field induced shear modulus bias via a permanent magnet which provides an offset with a current input to the electromagnetic control coil to change the compliance or modulus of a base elastomer in both directions (softer or harder). The B-MRE units can lead to the design of a variable stiffness surface. In this preliminary work, both computational and experimental results of the B-MRE are presented along with a preliminary design of the programmable variable stiffness surface design.

  13. Concept for design of variable stiffness damper

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lohr, J. J.

    1967-01-01

    Damping mechanism, containing polymeric-like materials is applicable to a wide range of shock and vibration. The polymeric-like material changes from a relatively stiff material to a relatively soft, rubbery material in the region of their glass transition temperatures. The energy absorption characteristics and stiffness are controllable with temperature.

  14. High performance composites with active stiffness control.

    PubMed

    Tridech, Charnwit; Maples, Henry A; Robinson, Paul; Bismarck, Alexander

    2013-09-25

    High performance carbon fiber reinforced composites with controllable stiffness could revolutionize the use of composite materials in structural applications. Here we describe a structural material, which has a stiffness that can be actively controlled on demand. Such a material could have applications in morphing wings or deployable structures. A carbon fiber reinforced-epoxy composite is described that can undergo an 88% reduction in flexural stiffness at elevated temperatures and fully recover when cooled, with no discernible damage or loss in properties. Once the stiffness has been reduced, the required deformations can be achieved at much lower actuation forces. For this proof-of-concept study a thin polyacrylamide (PAAm) layer was electrocoated onto carbon fibers that were then embedded into an epoxy matrix via resin infusion. Heating the PAAm coating above its glass transition temperature caused it to soften and allowed the fibers to slide within the matrix. To produce the stiffness change the carbon fibers were used as resistance heating elements by passing a current through them. When the PAAm coating had softened, the ability of the interphase to transfer load to the fibers was significantly reduced, greatly lowering the flexural stiffness of the composite. By changing the moisture content in PAAm fiber coating, the temperature at which the PAAm softens and the composites undergo a reduction in stiffness can be tuned. PMID:23978266

  15. Performance Assessment of a New Variable Stiffness Probing System for Micro-CMMs.

    PubMed

    Alblalaihid, Khalid; Kinnell, Peter; Lawes, Simon; Desgaches, Dorian; Leach, Richard

    2016-01-01

    When designing micro-scale tactile probes, a design trade-off must be made between the stiffness and flexibility of the probing element. The probe must be flexible enough to ensure sensitive parts are not damaged during contact, but it must be stiff enough to overcome attractive surface forces, ensure it is not excessively fragile, easily damaged or sensitive to inertial loads. To address the need for a probing element that is both flexible and stiff, a novel micro-scale tactile probe has been designed and tested that makes use of an active suspension structure. The suspension structure is used to modulate the probe stiffness as required to ensure optimal stiffness conditions for each phase of the measurement process. In this paper, a novel control system is presented that monitors and controls stiffness, allowing two probe stiffness values ("stiff" and "flexible") to be defined and switched between. During switching, the stylus tip undergoes a displacement of approximately 18 µm, however, the control system is able ensure a consistent flexible mode tip deflection to within 12 nm in the vertical axis. The overall uncertainty for three-dimensional displacement measurements using the probing system is estimated to be 58 nm, which demonstrates the potential of this innovative variable stiffness micro-scale probe system. PMID:27070611

  16. Variable stiffness sandwich panels using electrostatic interlocking core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heath, Callum J. C.; Bond, Ian P.; Potter, Kevin D.

    2016-04-01

    Structural topology has a large impact on the flexural stiffness of a beam structure. Reversible attachment between discrete substructures allows for control of shear stress transfer between structural elements, thus stiffness modulation. Electrostatic adhesion has shown promise for providing a reversible latching mechanism for controllable internal connectivity. Building on previous research, a thin film copper polyimide laminate has been used to incorporate high voltage electrodes to Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) sandwich structures. The level of electrostatic holding force across the electrode interface is key to the achievable level of stiffness modulation. The use of non-flat interlocking core structures can allow for a significant increase in electrode contact area for a given core geometry, thus a greater electrostatic holding force. Interlocking core geometries based on cosine waves can be Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machined from Rohacell IGF 110 Foam core. These Interlocking Core structures could allow for enhanced variable stiffness functionality compared to basic planar electrodes. This novel concept could open up potential new applications for electrostatically induced variable stiffness structures.

  17. Variable stiffness and damping suspension system for train

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Shuaishuai; Deng, Huaxia; Li, Weihua

    2014-03-01

    As the vibration of high speed train becomes fierce when the train runs at high speed, it is crucial to develop a novel suspension system to negotiate train's vibration. This paper presents a novel suspension based on Magnetorheological fluid (MRF) damper and MRF based smart air spring. The MRF damper is used to generate variable damping while the smart air spring is used to generate field-dependent stiffness. In this paper, the two kind smart devices, MRF dampers and smart air spring, are developed firstly. Then the dynamic performances of these two devices are tested by MTS. Based on the testing results, the two devices are equipped to a high speed train which is built in ADAMS. The skyhook control algorithm is employed to control the novel suspension. In order to compare the vibration suppression capability of the novel suspension with other kind suspensions, three other different suspension systems are also considered and simulated in this paper. The other three kind suspensions are variable damping with fixed stiffness suspension, variable stiffness with fixed damping suspension and passive suspension. The simulation results indicate that the variable damping and stiffness suspension suppresses the vibration of high speed train better than the other three suspension systems.

  18. Initial post-buckling of variable-stiffness curved panels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, S. C.; Raju, G.; Weaver, P. M.

    2014-11-01

    Variable-stiffness shells are curved composite structures in which the fibre-reinforcement follow curvilinear paths in space. Having a wider design space than traditional composite shells, they have the potential to improve a wide variety of weight-critical structures. In this paper, a new method for computing the initial post-buckling response of variable-stiffness cylindrical panels is presented, based on the differential quadrature method. Integro-differential governing and boundary equations governing the problem, derived with Koiter's theory (Koiter, 1945), are solved using a mixed generalised differential quadrature (GDQ) and integral quadrature (GIQ) approach. The post-buckling behaviour is determined on the basis of a quadratic expansion of the displacement fields. Orthogonality of the mode-shapes in the expansion series is ensured by a novel use of the Moore-Penrose generalised matrix inverse for solving the GDQ-GIQ equations. The new formulation is validated against benchmark analytical post-buckling results for constant stiffness plates and shells, and compared with non-linear finite-element (FE) analysis for variable-stiffness shells. Stability estimates are found to be in good agreement with incremental FE results in the vicinity of the buckling load, requiring only a fraction of the number of variables used by the current method.

  19. Analysis and Design of Variable Stiffness Composite Cylinders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tatting, Brian F.; Guerdal, Zafer

    1998-01-01

    An investigation of the possible performance improvements of thin circular cylindrical shells through the use of the variable stiffness concept is presented. The variable stiffness concept implies that the stiffness parameters change spatially throughout the structure. This situation is achieved mainly through the use of curvilinear fibers within a fiber-reinforced composite laminate, though the possibility of thickness variations and discrete stiffening elements is also allowed. These three mechanisms are incorporated into the constitutive laws for thin shells through the use of Classical Lamination Theory. The existence of stiffness variation within the structure warrants a formulation of the static equilibrium equations from the most basic principles. The governing equations include sufficient detail to correctly model several types of nonlinearity, including the formation of a nonlinear shell boundary layer as well as the Brazier effect due to nonlinear bending of long cylinders. Stress analysis and initial buckling estimates are formulated for a general variable stiffness cylinder. Results and comparisons for several simplifications of these highly complex governing equations are presented so that the ensuing numerical solutions are considered reliable and efficient enough for in-depth optimization studies. Four distinct cases of loading and stiffness variation are chosen to investigate possible areas of improvement that the variable stiffness concept may offer over traditional constant stiffness and/or stiffened structures. The initial investigation deals with the simplest solution for cylindrical shells in which all quantities are constant around the circumference of the cylinder. This axisymmetric case includes a stiffness variation exclusively in the axial direction, and the only pertinent loading scenarios include constant loads of axial compression, pressure, and torsion. The results for these cases indicate that little improvement over traditional

  20. Thermal Testing of Tow-Placed, Variable Stiffness Panels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, K. Chauncey; Guerdal, Zafer

    2001-01-01

    Commercial systems for precise placement of pre-preg composite tows are enabling technology that allows fabrication of advanced composite structures in which the tows may be precisely laid down along curvilinear paths within a given ply. For laminates with curvilinear tow paths, the fiber orientation angle varies continuously throughout the laminate, and is not required to be straight and parallel in each ply as in conventional composite laminates. Hence, the stiffness properties vary as a function of location in the laminate, and the associated composite structure is called a "variable stiffness" composite structure.

  1. Performance Assessment of a New Variable Stiffness Probing System for Micro-CMMs

    PubMed Central

    Alblalaihid, Khalid; Kinnell, Peter; Lawes, Simon; Desgaches, Dorian; Leach, Richard

    2016-01-01

    When designing micro-scale tactile probes, a design trade-off must be made between the stiffness and flexibility of the probing element. The probe must be flexible enough to ensure sensitive parts are not damaged during contact, but it must be stiff enough to overcome attractive surface forces, ensure it is not excessively fragile, easily damaged or sensitive to inertial loads. To address the need for a probing element that is both flexible and stiff, a novel micro-scale tactile probe has been designed and tested that makes use of an active suspension structure. The suspension structure is used to modulate the probe stiffness as required to ensure optimal stiffness conditions for each phase of the measurement process. In this paper, a novel control system is presented that monitors and controls stiffness, allowing two probe stiffness values (“stiff” and “flexible”) to be defined and switched between. During switching, the stylus tip undergoes a displacement of approximately 18 µm, however, the control system is able ensure a consistent flexible mode tip deflection to within 12 nm in the vertical axis. The overall uncertainty for three-dimensional displacement measurements using the probing system is estimated to be 58 nm, which demonstrates the potential of this innovative variable stiffness micro-scale probe system. PMID:27070611

  2. Variable Stiffness Spar Wind-Tunnel Model Development and Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Florance, James R.; Heeg, Jennifer; Spain, Charles V.; Ivanco, Thomas G.; Wieseman, Carol D.; Lively, Peter S.

    2004-01-01

    The concept of exploiting wing flexibility to improve aerodynamic performance was investigated in the wind tunnel by employing multiple control surfaces and by varying wing structural stiffness via a Variable Stiffness Spar (VSS) mechanism. High design loads compromised the VSS effectiveness because the aerodynamic wind-tunnel model was much stiffer than desired in order to meet the strength requirements. Results from tests of the model include stiffness and modal data, model deformation data, aerodynamic loads, static control surface derivatives, and fuselage standoff pressure data. Effects of the VSS on the stiffness and modal characteristics, lift curve slope, and control surface effectiveness are discussed. The VSS had the most effect on the rolling moment generated by the leading-edge outboard flap at subsonic speeds. The effects of the VSS for the other control surfaces and speed regimes were less. The difficulties encountered and the ability of the VSS to alter the aeroelastic characteristics of the wing emphasize the need for the development of improved design and construction methods for static aeroelastic models. The data collected and presented is valuable in terms of understanding static aeroelastic wind-tunnel model development.

  3. Development of a variable stiffness spring for adaptive vibration isolators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cronje, Johan M.; Heyns, P. S.; Theron, Nico J.; Loveday, Philip W.

    2004-07-01

    Variable stiffness springs allow vibration absorbers and isolators to adapt to changing operating conditions. This paper describes the development of such a spring. The spring was a compound leaf spring and variable stiffness was achieved by separating the two leaf springs using a wax actuator. In the selected design, each spring consisted of an outer (220mm in diameter) and an inner ring connected by three radial beams. A paraffin wax actuator was chosen to affect the separation of the leaf springs. This actuator consisted of a small copper cup containing paraffin wax. When the wax is heated, it changes from a solid to a liquid with an associated volume change that is used to drive an output shaft. A hot-air gun was used to heat and cool the wax actuator. It was found that the wax actuator could produce an 8mm separation of the springs, which increased the stiffness of the spring by 2.7 times, exceeding the typical requirement for adaptive absorbers and isolators. The loss factor, of the variable stiffness spring, was less than 0.12. The measured response times for the open-loop system were 82s and 109s for heating and cooling respectively. A linear sliding potentiometer was used to measure the spring separation and proportional and derivative feedback control was used to control the current supplied to the heating element thus reducing the response time to less than 30s for small step changes. Further improvement in response time could be achieved by more directly heating and cooling of the paraffin wax in the actuator.

  4. On a high-potential variable flexural stiffness device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henke, Markus; Gerlach, Gerald

    2013-05-01

    There are great efforts in developing effective composite structures for lightweight constructions for nearly every field of engineering. This concerns for example aeronautics and spacecrafts, but also automotive industry and energy harvesting applications. Modern concepts of lightweight components try to make use of structures with properties which can be adjusted in a controllable was. However, classic composite materials can only slightly adapt to varying environmental conditions because most materials, like carbon or glass-fiber composites show properties which are time-constant and not changeable. This contribution describes the development, the potential and the limitations of novel smart, self-controlling structures which can change their mechanical properties - e.g. their flexural stiffness - by more then one order of magnitude. These structures use a multi-layer approach with a 10-layer stack of 0.75 mm thick polycarbonate. The set-up is analytically described and its mechanical behavior is predicted by finite element analysis done with ABAQUS. The layers are braided together by an array of shape memory alloy (SMA) wires, which can be activated independently. Depending on the temperature applied by the electrical current flowing through the wires and the corresponding contraction the wires can tightly clamp the layers so that they cannot slide against each other due to friction forces. In this case the multilayer acts as rigid beam with high stiffness. If the friction-induced shear stress is smaller than a certain threshold, then the layers can slide over each other and the multilayer becomes compliant under bending load. The friction forces between the layers and, hence, the stiffness of the beam is controlled by the electrical current through the wires. The more separate parts of SMA wires the structure has the larger is the number of steps of stiffness changes of the flexural beam.

  5. Enabling variable-stiffness hand rehabilitation orthoses with dielectric elastomer transducers.

    PubMed

    Carpi, Federico; Frediani, Gabriele; Gerboni, Carlo; Gemignani, Jessica; De Rossi, Danilo

    2014-02-01

    Patients affected by motor disorders of the hand and having residual voluntary movements of fingers or wrist can benefit from self-rehabilitation exercises performed with so-called dynamic hand splints. These systems consist of orthoses equipped with elastic cords or springs, which either provide a sustained stretch or resist voluntary movements of fingers or wrist. These simple systems are limited by the impossibility of modulating the mechanical stiffness. This limitation does not allow for customizations and real-time control of the training exercise, which would improve the rehabilitation efficacy. To overcome this limitation, 'active' orthoses equipped with devices that allow for electrical control of the mechanical stiffness are needed. Here, we report on a solution that relies on compact and light-weight electroactive elastic transducers that replace the passive elastic components. We developed a variable-stiffness transducer made of dielectric elastomers, as the most performing types of electromechanically active polymers. The transducer was manufactured with a silicone film and tested with a purposely-developed stiffness control strategy that allowed for electrical modulations of the force-elongation response. Results showed that the proposed new technology is a promising and viable solution to develop electrically controllable dynamic hand orthoses for hand rehabilitation. PMID:24275560

  6. Development of a novel variable stiffness and damping magnetorheological fluid damper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Shuaishuai; Yang, Jian; Li, Weihua; Deng, Huaxia; Du, Haiping; Alici, Gursel

    2015-08-01

    This paper reports a novel magnetorheological fluid (MRF)-based damper, which synergizes the attributes of variable stiffness and damping through the compact assembly of two MRF damping units and a spring. The magnetic field densities of the two damping units were analyzed. After the prototype of the new MRF damper, a hydraulically actuated MTS machine was used to test the damper’s performance, including stiffness variability and damping variability, amplitude-dependent responses and frequency-dependent responses. A new mathematical model was developed to describe the variable stiffness and damping MRF damper. The successful development, experimental testing and modeling of this innovative variable stiffness and damping MRF damper make the true design and implementation of the concept of variable stiffness and damping feasible.

  7. Variable stiffness property study on shape memory polymer composite tube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yijin; Sun, Jian; Liu, Yanju; Leng, Jinsong

    2012-09-01

    As a typical smart material, shape memory polymers (SMPs) have the capability of variable stiffness in response to external stimuli, such as heat, electricity, magnetism and solvents. In this research, a shape memory polymer composite (SMPC) tube composed of multi-layered filament wound structures is investigated. The SMPC tube possesses considerable flexibility under high temperature and rigidity under low temperature. Significant changes in effective engineering modulus can be achieved through regulating the environment temperature. Based on the classical laminated-plate theory and Sun’s thick laminate analysis, a 3D theory method is used to study the effective engineering modulus and modulus ratio of the SMPC tube. The tensile test is conducted on the SMPC tube to verify the accuracy of the theoretical method. In addition, the effective engineering modulus and modulus ratio are discussed under different fiber-winding angles and fiber volume fractions of the SMPC tube. The presented analysis provides meaningful guidance to assist the design and manufacture of SMPC tubes in morphing skin applications.

  8. Structural Response of Compression-Loaded, Tow-Placed, Variable Stiffness Panels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, K. Chauncey; Guerdal, Zafer; Starnes, James H., Jr.

    2002-01-01

    Results of an analytical and experimental study to characterize the structural response of two compression-loaded variable stiffness composite panels are presented and discussed. These variable stiffness panels are advanced composite structures, in which tows are laid down along precise curvilinear paths within each ply and the fiber orientation angle varies continuously throughout each ply. The panels are manufactured from AS4/977-3 graphite-epoxy pre-preg material using an advanced tow placement system. Both variable stiffness panels have the same layup, but one panel has overlapping tow bands and the other panel has a constant-thickness laminate. A baseline cross-ply panel is also analyzed and tested for comparative purposes. Tests performed on the variable stiffness panels show a linear prebuckling load-deflection response, followed by a nonlinear response to failure at loads between 4 and 53 percent greater than the baseline panel failure load. The structural response of the variable stiffness panels is also evaluated using finite element analyses. Nonlinear analyses of the variable stiffness panels are performed which include mechanical and thermal prestresses. Results from analyses that include thermal prestress conditions correlate well with measured variable stiffness panel results. The predicted response of the baseline panel also correlates well with measured results.

  9. Variable stiffness and recruitment using nylon actuators arranged in a pennate configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kianzad, Soheil; Pandit, Milind; Lewis, Johnathan D.; Berlingeri, Alexander R.; Haebler, Karl J.; Madden, John D. W.

    2015-04-01

    In muscle variable impedance and ability to recruit fibers as needed helps enable actions such as walking and catching. A new biomimetic structure of nylon actuator is presented that imitates the human pennate muscle in structure, ability to vary stiffness and the ability to increase force by recruiting additional fibers. The actuator consists of 16 silver coated nylon coiled fibers attached to a central tendon at an angle of 20°. Each nylon coil produces 20 MPa of stress at constant length and nearly 20% strain at fixed load. Fibers are individually switched ON and OFF using transistors so that each element can be recruited, and the stiffness varied. The amount of input power is controlled with pulse width modulation (PWM) techniques. It is observed that the spring constant of the pennate structure varies from that of its passive state, 503 N/m and a resonance frequency of 1.4 Hz, to 1480 N/m with resonance frequency of 3.1 Hz in the active state where all the fibers are switched on under a 25 N load. Stiffness can be varied by a factor of 9.

  10. Non-crossbridge stiffness in active muscle fibres.

    PubMed

    Colombini, Barbara; Nocella, Marta; Bagni, Maria Angela

    2016-01-01

    Stretching of an activated skeletal muscle induces a transient tension increase followed by a period during which the tension remains elevated well above the isometric level at an almost constant value. This excess of tension in response to stretching has been called 'static tension' and attributed to an increase in fibre stiffness above the resting value, named 'static stiffness'. This observation was originally made, by our group, in frog intact muscle fibres and has been confirmed more recently, by us, in mammalian intact fibres. Following stimulation, fibre stiffness starts to increase during the latent period well before crossbridge force generation and it is present throughout the whole contraction in both single twitches and tetani. Static stiffness is dependent on sarcomere length in a different way from crossbridge force and is independent of stretching amplitude and velocity. Static stiffness follows a time course which is distinct from that of active force and very similar to the myoplasmic calcium concentration time course. We therefore hypothesize that static stiffness is due to a calcium-dependent stiffening of a non-crossbridge sarcomere structure, such as the titin filament. According to this hypothesis, titin, in addition to its well-recognized role in determining the muscle passive tension, could have a role during muscle activity. PMID:26792325

  11. Photoinduced variable stiffness of spiropyran-based composites

    SciTech Connect

    Samoylova, E.; Ceseracciu, L.; Allione, M.; Diaspro, A.; Barone, A. C.; Athanassiou, A.

    2011-11-14

    A quantitative demonstration of reversible stiffness upon appropriate light stimulus in a spiropyran-polymeric composite is presented. The polymeric films containing 3% wt. of the photochromic spiropyran were irradiated with alternating ultraviolet and visible light and the storage modulus was measured. A reversible change in modulus of about 7% was observed. The modulus change was attributed to an interaction of the polar merocyanine with the polymeric chains and/or to a variation of effective free volume induced by merocyanine aggregates formed in the polymer upon ultraviolet irradiation. The effect is fully reversed when the merocyanine isomers turn back to the spiropyran state after visible irradiation.

  12. Optimal semi-active damping of cables with bending stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boston, C.; Weber, F.; Guzzella, L.

    2011-05-01

    The problem of optimal semi-active damping of cables with bending stiffness is investigated with an evolutionary algorithm. The developed damping strategy is validated on a single strand cable with a linear motor attached close to the anchor position. The motor is operated in force feedback mode during free decay of cable vibrations, during which time the decay ratios of the cable modes are measured. It is shown from these experiments that the damping ratios predicted in simulation are close to those measured. The semi-active damping strategy found by the evolutionary algorithm is very similar in character to that for a cable without bending stiffness, being the superposition of an amplitude-dependent friction and negative stiffness element. However, due to the bending stiffness of the cable, the tuning of the above elements as a function of the relevant cable parameters is greatly altered, especially for damper positions close to a fixed end anchor, where the mode shape depends strongly on bending stiffness. It is furthermore demonstrated that a semi-active damper is able to dissipate significantly more energy for a cable with simply supported ends compared to fixed ends due to larger damper strokes and thereby increased energy dissipation in the device.

  13. Variable stiffness actuator based on fluidic flexible matrix composites and piezoelectric-hydraulic pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Gi-Woo; Li, Suyi; Wang, K. W.

    2010-04-01

    Recently, a new biological-inspired fluidic flexible matrix composite (in short, F2MC) concept has been developed for linear/torsional actuation and structural stiffness tailoring. Although the actuation and the variable stiffness features of the F2MC have been successfully demonstrated individually, their combined functions and full potentials were not yet manifested. In addition, the current hydraulic pressurization systems are bulky and heavy, limiting the potential of the F2MC actuator. To address these issues, we synthesize a new variable stiffness actuator concept that can provide both effective actuation and tunable stiffness (dual-mode), incorporating the F2MC with a compact piezoelectric-hydraulic pump (in short, PHP). This dual-mode mechanism will significantly enhance the potential of the F2MC adaptive structures.

  14. Smart suit with variable stiffness mechanism. 3rd report: development of a prototype and verify the effectiveness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, Toshiaki; Tanaka, Takayuki; Feng, Maria Q.; Okada, Hidetaka

    2005-12-01

    Wearable robots, especially power suits to enhance human activity are one of the most interesting and important topics. This study aims t o develop a wearable robot that is small-size, light-weight for improving human perfor- mance and reducting muscle fatigue. So we proposed smart suit with variable stiffness mechanism that utilize elastic forces for assist and make assistance control by impedance control. Because of to utilize elastic forces for assist, the capacity of the suit do not reliance on weight of actuators and their's energy source well than conventional power suits. In consequence, we think the suit can realize miniaturization and getting light-weight. In a previous study, we verified the effectiveness of smart suit with variable stiffness mechanism by experiments and simulations in order to design the suit which can tune the stiffness of joint mechanically, and had been able to confirm the effectiveness. Based on these results, we design the smart suit with variable stiffness mechanism that be able to control number of working spring by small actuator, and at any knee joint angle, elastic energy occurrence is variable by displacement angle of ankle joint. We could obtain a result of the output per a mass of the suit is more large than conventional power suits. And we confirm that reducting muscle fatigue by experiments on knee bends and walking in case that subjects wear the suit. In this paper, we show the suit that we developed and effectiveness of the suit for human working.

  15. Effective computation of stochastic protein kinetic equation by reducing stiffness via variable transformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lijin

    2016-06-01

    The stochastic protein kinetic equations can be stiff for certain parameters, which makes their numerical simulation rely on very small time step sizes, resulting in large computational cost and accumulated round-off errors. For such situation, we provide a method of reducing stiffness of the stochastic protein kinetic equation by means of a kind of variable transformation. Theoretical and numerical analysis show effectiveness of this method. Its generalization to a more general class of stochastic differential equation models is also discussed.

  16. Variable Stiffness Panel Structural Analyses With Material Nonlinearity and Correlation With Tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, K. Chauncey; Gurdal, Zafer

    2006-01-01

    Results from structural analyses of three tow-placed AS4/977-3 composite panels with both geometric and material nonlinearities are presented. Two of the panels have variable stiffness layups where the fiber orientation angle varies as a continuous function of location on the panel planform. One variable stiffness panel has overlapping tow bands of varying thickness, while the other has a theoretically uniform thickness. The third panel has a conventional uniform-thickness [plus or minus 45](sub 5s) layup with straight fibers, providing a baseline for comparing the performance of the variable stiffness panels. Parametric finite element analyses including nonlinear material shear are first compared with material characterization test results for two orthotropic layups. This nonlinear material model is incorporated into structural analysis models of the variable stiffness and baseline panels with applied end shortenings. Measured geometric imperfections and mechanical prestresses, generated by forcing the variable stiffness panels from their cured anticlastic shapes into their flatter test configurations, are also modeled. Results of these structural analyses are then compared to the measured panel structural response. Good correlation is observed between the analysis results and displacement test data throughout deep postbuckling up to global failure, suggesting that nonlinear material behavior is an important component of the actual panel structural response.

  17. Ti-Ni Rods with Variable Stiffness for Spine Stabilization: Manufacture and Biomechanical Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brailovski, Vladimir; Facchinello, Yann; Brummund, Martin; Petit, Yvan; Mac-Thiong, Jean-Marc

    2016-03-01

    A new concept of monolithic spinal rods with variable flexural stiffness is proposed to reduce the risk of adjacent segment degeneration and vertebral fracture, while providing adequate stability to the spine. The variability of mechanical properties is generated by locally annealing Ti-Ni shape memory alloy rods. Ten-minute Joule effect annealing allows the restoration of the superelasticity in the heated portion of the rod. Such processing also generates a mechanical property gradient between the heated and the unheated zones. A numerical model simulating the annealing temperature and the distributions of the mechanical properties was developed to optimize the Joule-heating strategy and to modulate the rod's overall flexural stiffness. Subsequently, the rod model was included in a finite element model of a porcine lumbar spine to study the effect of the rod's stiffness profiles on the spinal biomechanics.

  18. Active stiffness modulation of fins using macro fiber composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kancharala, Ashok K.; Philen, Michael K.

    2013-04-01

    Studies on the role of body flexibility in propulsion suggest that fish have the ability to control or modulate the stiffness of the fin for optimized propulsive performance. Fins with certain stiffness might be efficient for a particular set of operating parameters but may be inefficient for other parameters. Therefore active stiffness modulation of a fin can improve the propulsive performance for a range of operating conditions. This paper discusses the preliminary experimental work on the open loop active deformation control of heaving flexible fins using Macro Fiber Composites (MFCs). The effect of important parameters such as oscillation frequency, flexibility of the fin, applied voltage and the phase difference between applied voltage and heaving on propulsive performance are studied and reported. The results indicate that propulsive performance can be improved by active control of the fins. The mean thrust improved by 30- 38% for the fins used in the experiments. The phase difference of ~90° is found to be optimal for maximized propulsive performance for the parameters considered in the study. Furthermore, there exists an optimal voltage magnitude at which the propulsive performance is a maximum for the range of operating conditions.

  19. Trunk stiffness and dynamics during active extension exertions.

    PubMed

    Moorhouse, Kevin M; Granata, Kevin P

    2005-10-01

    Spinal stability is related to the recruitment and control of active muscle stiffness. Stochastic system identification techniques were used to calculate the effective stiffness and dynamics of the trunk during active trunk extension exertions. Twenty-one healthy adult subjects (10 males, 11 females) wore a harness with a cable attached to a servomotor such that isotonic flexion preloads of 100, 135, and 170 N were applied at the T10 level of the trunk. A pseudorandom stochastic force sequence (bandwidth 0-10 Hz, amplitude +/-30 N) was superimposed on the preload causing small amplitude trunk movements. Nonparametric impulse response functions of trunk dynamics were computed and revealed that the system exhibited underdamped second-order behavior. Second-order trunk dynamics were determined by calculating the best least-squares fit to the IRF. The quality of the model was quantified by comparing estimated and observed displacement variance accounted for (VAF), and quality of the second-order fits was calculated as a percentage and referred to as fit accuracy. Mean VAF and fit accuracy were 87.8 +/- 4.0% and 96.0 +/- 4.3%, respectively, indicating that the model accurately represented active trunk kinematic response. The accuracy of the kinematic representation was not influenced by preload or gender. Mean effective stiffness was 2.78 +/- 0.96 N/mm and increased significantly with preload (p < 0.001), but did not vary with gender (p = 0.425). Mean effective damping was 314 +/- 72 Ns/m and effective trunk mass was 37.0 +/- 9.3 kg. We conclude that stochastic system identification techniques should be used to calculate effective trunk stiffness and dynamics. PMID:16084200

  20. Synthesis, Characterization, and Modeling of Nanotube Materials with Variable Stiffness Tethers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frankland, S. J. V.; Herzog, M. N.; Odegard, G. M.; Gates, T. S.; Fay, C. C.

    2004-01-01

    Synthesis, mechanical testing, and modeling have been performed for carbon nanotube based materials. Tests using nanoindentation indicated a six-fold enhancement in the storage modulus when comparing the base material (no nanotubes) to the composite that contained 5.3 wt% of nanotubes. To understand how crosslinking the nanotubes may further alter the stiffness, a model of the system was constructed using nanotubes crosslinked with a variable stiffness tether (VST). The model predicted that for a composite with 5 wt% nanotubes at random orientations, crosslinked with the VST, the bulk Young's modulus was reduced by 30% compared to the noncrosslinked equivalent.

  1. Large strain variable stiffness composites for shear deformations with applications to morphing aircraft skins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, G. P.; Henry, C. P.

    2008-03-01

    Morphing or reconfigurable structures potentially allow for previously unattainable vehicle performance by permitting several optimized structures to be achieved using a single platform. The key to enabling this technology in applications such as aircraft wings, nozzles, and control surfaces, are new engineered materials which can achieve the necessary deformations but limit losses in parasitic actuation mass and structural efficiency (stiffness/weight). These materials should exhibit precise control of deformation properties and provide high stiffness when exercised through large deformations. In this work, we build upon previous efforts in segmented reinforcement variable stiffness composites employing shape memory polymers to create prototype hybrid composite materials that combine the benefits of cellular materials with those of discontinuous reinforcement composites. These composites help overcome two key challenges for shearing wing skins: the resistance to out of plane buckling from actuation induced shear deformation, and resistance to membrane deflections resulting from distributed aerodynamic pressure loading. We designed, fabricated, and tested composite materials intended for shear deformation and address out of plane deflections in variable area wing skins. Our designs are based on the kinematic engineering of reinforcement platelets such that desired microstructural kinematics is achieved through prescribed boundary conditions. We achieve this kinematic control by etching sheets of metallic reinforcement into regular patterns of platelets and connecting ligaments. This kinematic engineering allows optimization of materials properties for a known deformation pathway. We use mechanical analysis and full field photogrammetry to relate local scale kinematics and strains to global deformations for both axial tension loading and shear loading with a pinned-diamond type fixture. The Poisson ratio of the kinematically engineered composite is ~3x higher than

  2. Magnetorheological elastomer with stiffness-variable characteristics based on induced current applied to differential mount of vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Un-Chang; Yoon, Ji-Hyun; Yang, In-Hyung; Jeong, Jae-Eun; Kim, Jin-Su; Chung, Kyung-Ho; Oh, Jae-Eung

    2013-11-01

    A differential mount with elastomers is installed to insulate vibration transmitted from the engine to the body through the propeller shaft. Since existing differential mounts adopt an elastomer of uniform stiffness, it is difficult to meet both the requirements for steering performance and driving comfort at the same time. In order to overcome this limitation, this study suggests a magnetorheological elastomer (MRE)-based stiffness-variable differential mount which allows the mount’s stiffness to vary reversibly or instantly. The stiffness-variable differential mount was designed with a new inner structure where a magnetic field can be induced in the MRE. Further, the geometry of the MRE was optimized by means of the response surface method to achieve a targeted level of stiffness. The variable performance of the stiffness-variable differential mount was evaluated with the dynamic stiffness when a current of 3 A (0.287 T) was applied. As a result, it was found that the average increase in dynamic stiffness was 4.41 kgf mm-1 over an excitation frequency range of 60-100 Hz, a critical point of variation for dynamic stiffness, and 3.60 kgf mm-1 over an excitation frequency range of less than 100 Hz.

  3. Associations of cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, and adiposity with arterial stiffness in children.

    PubMed

    Veijalainen, A; Tompuri, T; Haapala, E A; Viitasalo, A; Lintu, N; Väistö, J; Laitinen, T; Lindi, V; Lakka, T A

    2016-08-01

    Associations of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior, and body fat percentage (BF%) with arterial stiffness and dilation capacity were investigated in 160 prepubertal children (83 girls) 6-8 years of age. We assessed CRF (watts/lean mass) by maximal cycle ergometer exercise test, total PA, structured exercise, unstructured PA, commuting to and from school, recess PA and total and screen-based sedentary behavior by questionnaire, BF% using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and arterial stiffness and dilation capacity using pulse contour analysis. Data were adjusted for sex and age. Poorer CRF (standardized regression coefficient β = -0.297, P < 0.001), lower unstructured PA (β = -0.162, P = 0.042), and higher BF% (β = 0.176, P = 0.044) were related to higher arterial stiffness. When CRF, unstructured PA, and BF% were in the same model, only CRF was associated with arterial stiffness (β = -0.246, P = 0.006). Poorer CRF was also related to lower arterial dilation capacity (β = 0.316, P < 0.001). Children with low CRF (< median) and high BF% (≥ median; P = 0.002), low CRF and low unstructured PA (< median; P = 0.006) or children with low unstructured PA and high BF% (P = 0.005) had higher arterial stiffness than children in the opposite halves of these variables. Poor CRF was independently associated with increased arterial stiffness and impaired arterial dilation capacity among children. PMID:26220100

  4. Exposure to wood smoke increases arterial stiffness and decreases heart rate variability in humans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Emissions from biomass combustion are a major source of indoor and outdoor air pollution, and are estimated to cause millions of premature deaths worldwide annually. Whilst adverse respiratory health effects of biomass exposure are well established, less is known about its effects on the cardiovascular system. In this study we assessed the effect of exposure to wood smoke on heart rate, blood pressure, central arterial stiffness and heart rate variability in otherwise healthy persons. Methods Fourteen healthy non-smoking subjects participated in a randomized, double-blind crossover study. Subjects were exposed to dilute wood smoke (mean particle concentration of 314±38 μg/m3) or filtered air for three hours during intermittent exercise. Heart rate, blood pressure, central arterial stiffness and heart rate variability were measured at baseline and for one hour post-exposure. Results Central arterial stiffness, measured as augmentation index, augmentation pressure and pulse wave velocity, was higher after wood smoke exposure as compared to filtered air (p < 0.01 for all), and heart rate was increased (p < 0.01) although there was no effect on blood pressure. Heart rate variability (SDNN, RMSSD and pNN50; p = 0.003, p < 0.001 and p < 0.001 respectively) was decreased one hour following exposure to wood smoke compared to filtered air. Conclusions Acute exposure to wood smoke as a model of exposure to biomass combustion is associated with an immediate increase in central arterial stiffness and a simultaneous reduction in heart rate variability. As biomass is used for cooking and heating by a large fraction of the global population and is currently advocated as a sustainable alternative energy source, further studies are required to establish its likely impact on cardiovascular disease. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01488500 PMID:23742058

  5. Optimal design of variable-stiffness fiber-reinforced composites using cellular automata

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Setoodeh, Shahriar

    The growing number of applications of composite materials in aerospace and naval structures along with advancements in manufacturing technologies demand continuous innovations in the design of composite structures. In the traditional design of composite laminates, fiber orientation angles are constant for each layer and are usually limited to 0, 90, and +/-45 degrees. To fully benefit from the directional properties of composite laminates, such limitations have to be removed. The concept of variable-stiffness laminates allows the stiffness properties to vary spatially over the laminate. Through tailoring of fiber orientations and laminate thickness spatially in an optimal fashion, mechanical properties of a part can be improved. In this thesis, the optimal design of variable-stiffness fiber-reinforced composite laminates is studied using an emerging numerical engineering optimization scheme based on the cellular automata paradigm. A cellular automaton (CA) based design scheme uses local update rule for both field variables (displacements) and design variables (lay-up configuration and laminate density measure) in an iterative fashion to convergence to an optimal design. In the present work, the displacements are updated based on the principle of local equilibrium and the design variables are updated according to the optimality criteria for minimum compliance design. A closed form displacement update rule for constant thickness isotropic continua is derived, while for the general anisotropic continua with variable thickness a numeric update rule is used. Combined lay-up and topology design of variable-stiffness flat laminates is performed under the action of in-plane loads and bending loads. An optimality criteria based formulation is used to obtain local design rules for minimum compliance design subject to a volume constraint. It is shown that the design rule splits into a two step application. In the first step an optimal lay-up configuration is computed and in

  6. Variable stiffness actuated prosthetic knee to restore knee buckling during stance: a modeling study.

    PubMed

    Wentink, E C; Koopman, H F J M; Stramigioli, S; Rietman, J S; Veltink, P H

    2013-06-01

    Most modern intelligent knee prosthesis use dampers to modulate dynamic behavior and prevent excessive knee flexion, but they dissipate energy and do not assist in knee extension. Energy efficient variable stiffness control (VSA) can reduce the energy consumption yet effectively modulate the dynamic behavior and use stored energy during flexion to assist in subsequent extension. A principle design of energy efficient VSA in a prosthetic knee is proposed and analyzed for the specific case of rejection of a disturbed stance phase. The concept is based on the principle that the output stiffness of a spring can be changed without changing the energy stored in the elastic elements of the spring. The usability of this concept to control a prosthetic knee is evaluated using a model. Part of the stance phase of the human leg was modeled by a double pendulum. Specifically the rejection of a common disturbance of transfemoral prosthetic gait, an unlocked knee at heel strike, was evaluated. The ranges of spring stiffnesses were determined such that the angular characteristics of a normal stance phase were preserved, but disturbances could also be rejected. The simulations predicted that energy efficient VSA can be useful for the control of prosthetic knees. PMID:23000012

  7. Internal state variable approach for predicting stiffness reductions in fibrous laminated composites with matrix cracks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Jong-Won; Allen, D. H.; Harris, C. E.

    1989-01-01

    A mathematical model utilizing the internal state variable concept is proposed for predicting the upper bound of the reduced axial stiffnesses in cross-ply laminates with matrix cracks. The axial crack opening displacement is explicitly expressed in terms of the observable axial strain and the undamaged material properties. A crack parameter representing the effect of matrix cracks on the observable axial Young's modulus is calculated for glass/epoxy and graphite/epoxy material systems. The results show that the matrix crack opening displacement and the effective Young's modulus depend not on the crack length, but on its ratio to the crack spacing.

  8. The effect of empagliflozin on arterial stiffness and heart rate variability in subjects with uncomplicated type 1 diabetes mellitus

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus are at high risk for the development of hypertension, contributing to cardiovascular complications. Hyperglycaemia-mediated neurohormonal activation increases arterial stiffness, and is an important contributing factor for hypertension. Since the sodium glucose cotransport-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor empagliflozin lowers blood pressure and HbA1c in type 1 diabetes mellitus, we hypothesized that this agent would also reduce arterial stiffness and markers of sympathetic nervous system activity. Methods Blood pressure, arterial stiffness, heart rate variability (HRV) and circulating adrenergic mediators were measured during clamped euglycaemia (blood glucose 4–6 mmol/L) and hyperglycaemia (blood glucose 9–11 mmol/L) in 40 normotensive type 1 diabetes mellitus patients. Studies were repeated after 8 weeks of empagliflozin (25 mg once daily). Results In response to empagliflozin during clamped euglycaemia, systolic blood pressure (111 ± 9 to 109 ± 9 mmHg, p = 0.02) and augmentation indices at the radial (-52% ± 16 to -57% ± 17, p = 0.0001), carotid (+1.3 ± 1 7.0 to -5.7 ± 17.0%, p < 0.0001) and aortic positions (+0.1 ± 13.4 to -6.2 ± 14.3%, p < 0.0001) declined. Similar effects on arterial stiffness were observed during clamped hyperglycaemia without changing blood pressure under this condition. Carotid-radial pulse wave velocity decreased significantly under both glycemic conditions (p ≤ 0.0001), while declines in carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity were only significant during clamped hyperglycaemia (5.7 ± 1.1 to 5.2 ± 0.9 m/s, p = 0.0017). HRV, plasma noradrenalin and adrenaline remained unchanged under both clamped euglycemic and hyperglycemic conditions. Conclusions Empagliflozin is associated with a decline in arterial stiffness in young type 1 diabetes mellitus subjects. The underlying mechanisms may relate to pleiotropic actions of SGLT2 inhibition, including glucose

  9. Does the variable-stiffness colonoscope makes colonoscopy easier? A meta-analysis of the efficacy of the variable stiffness colonoscope compared with the standard adult colonoscope

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The variable-stiffness colonoscope (VSC) appears to have advantages over the standard adult colonoscope (SAC), although data are conflicting. To provide a comprehensive up-to-date review, we conducted a meta-analysis to compare the efficacies of the VSC and SAC. Methods Electronic databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane library and the Science Citation Index, were searched to retrieve relevant trials. In addition, meeting abstracts and the reference lists of retrieved articles were reviewed for further relevant studies. Results Eight randomized controlled trials (RCTs), enrolling a total of 2033 patients, were included in the meta-analysis. There was no significant heterogeneity among these studies. The cecal intubation rate was higher with the use of VSC (RR = 1.03, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.06, 8 RCTs). The VSC was also associated with fewer position changes made during colonoscopy. Time to cecal intubation was similar with VSC and SAC (WMD −0.54, 95% CI −1.40 to 0.32) but shorter in subgroup analysis with the use of VSC (WMD = −1.36, 95% CI −2.29 to −0.43). Sedation dose used with the two types of instruments showed no evidence of differences either. For all trials, only patients were blinded because of the nature of the interventions. Conclusion Use of the VSC significantly improved the cecal intubation rate and reduced ancillary maneuvers made during the procedure. Cecal intubation time was similar for the two colonoscope types over all trials, whereas a shortened time with the use of the adult VSC was seen in subgroup analysis. PMID:23095461

  10. Derivatives of a statically reduced stiffness matrix with respect to sizing variables. [for aircraft weight minimization with flutter constraints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oconnell, R. F.; Hassig, H. J.; Radovcich, N. A.

    1976-01-01

    An expression is obtained for the first derivatives with respect to the sizing variables of a statically reduced stiffness matrix that is a nonlinear function of the sizing variables, where the unreduced stiffness matrix is a linear function of the sizing variables. An accepted procedure to reduce the number of degrees of freedom is to eliminate a number of nodal displacements from the degrees of freedom such that the accuracy of the flutter analysis is not significantly affected. In a typical optimization procedure with flutter constraints, the derivative of the stiffness matrix may be used in a form that contains the characteristic vector of the flutter matrix equation and the transpose of the characteristic vector of the adjoint flutter matrix equation corresponding to a particular solution of the flutter equation.

  11. Clipped viscous damping with negative stiffness for semi-active cable damping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, F.; Boston, C.

    2011-04-01

    This paper investigates numerically and experimentally clipped viscous damping with negative stiffness for semi-active cable damping. From simulations it is concluded that unclipped and clipped viscous damping with negative stiffness is equivalent to unclipped and clipped LQR. It is shown that optimized unclipped viscous damping with negative stiffness generates critical cable damping by an anti-node at the actuator position. The resulting curvature at the actuator position is larger than the curvature close to the anchors due to the disturbance forces which may lead to premature cable fatigue at the actuator position. Optimized clipped viscous damping with negative stiffness does not show this drawback, can be implemented using a semi-active damper and produces twice as much cable damping as optimal viscous damping. Close to the optimal tuning, it leads to approximately the same control force as optimal semi-active friction damping with negative stiffness, which explains the superior cable damping. The superior damping results from the negative stiffness that increases the damper motion. Clipped viscous damping with negative stiffness is validated on a strand cable with a magneto-rheological damper. The measured cable damping is twice that achieved by emulated viscous damping, which confirms the numerical results. A tuning rule for clipped viscous damping with negative stiffness of real cables with flexural rigidity is given.

  12. Substrate Stiffness Regulates Proinflammatory Mediator Production through TLR4 Activity in Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Previtera, Michelle L; Sengupta, Amitabha

    2015-01-01

    Clinical data show that disease adversely affects tissue elasticity or stiffness. While macrophage activity plays a critical role in driving disease pathology, there are limited data available on the effects of tissue stiffness on macrophage activity. In this study, the effects of substrate stiffness on inflammatory mediator production by macrophages were investigated. Bone marrow-derived macrophages were grown on polyacrylamide gels that mimicked the stiffness of a variety of soft biological tissues. Overall, macrophages grown on soft substrates produced less proinflammatory mediators than macrophages grown on stiff substrates when the endotoxin LPS was added to media. In addition, the pathways involved in stiffness-regulated proinflammation were investigated. The TLR4 signaling pathway was examined by evaluating TLR4, p-NF-κB p65, MyD88, and p-IκBα expression as well as p-NF-κB p65 translocation. Expression and translocation of the various signaling molecules were higher in macrophages grown on stiff substrates than on soft substrates. Furthermore, TLR4 knockout experiments showed that TLR4 activity enhanced proinflammation on stiff substrates. In conclusion, these results suggest that proinflammatory mediator production initiated by TLR4 is mechanically regulated in macrophages. PMID:26710072

  13. 'Continuous muscle fibre activity' in six dogs with episodic myokymia, stiffness and collapse.

    PubMed

    Van Ham, L; Bhatti, S; Polis, I; Fatzer, R; Braund, K; Thoonen, H

    2004-12-11

    Continuous muscle fibre activity was observed in a crossbred dog, a Yorkshire terrier, a border collie and three Jack Russell terriers. The clinical signs consisted of episodes of generalised myokymia which developed into muscle stiffness and delayed muscle relaxation and generally led to the dogs collapsing into lateral recumbency. These episodes were preceded by intense facial rubbing in three of the dogs, and were associated with severe hyperthermia in five of them. All three Jack Russell terriers showed continuous ataxia. The dogs had above normal activities of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase, but their cerebrospinal fluid was normal. Myokymic discharges were observed by electromyography in two of the dogs. Two of them were treated with membrane-stabilising agents, with variable results. PMID:15638001

  14. A variable stiffness transverse mode shape memory alloy actuator as a minimally invasive organ positioner

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, W.; Eshghinejad, A.; Azadegan, R.; Cooper, C.; Elahinia, M.

    2013-09-01

    Smart materials have gained a great deal of attention in recent years because of their unique actuation properties. Actuators are needed in the medical field where space is limited. Presented within this work is an organ positioner used to position the esophagus away from the left atrium to avoid the development of an esophageal fistula during atrial fibrillation (afib) ablation procedures. Within this work, a subroutine was implemented into the finite element framework to predict the midspan load capacity of a near equiatomic NiTi specimen in both the super elastic and shape memory regimes. The purpose of the simulations and experimental results was to develop a design envelope for the organ positioning device. The transverse loading experiments were conducted at several different temperatures leading to the ability to design a variable stiffness actuator. This is essential because the actuator must not be too stiff to injure the organ it is positioning. Extended further, geometric perturbations were applied in the virtual model and the entire design envelope was developed. Further, nitinol was tested for safety in the radio-frequency environment (to ensure that local heating will not occur in the ablation environment). With the safety of the device confirmed, a primitive prototype was manufactured and successfully tested in a cadaver. The design of the final device is also presented. The contribution of this work is the presentation of a new type of positoning device for medical purposes (NiTiBOP). In the process a comprehensive model for transverse actuation of an SMA actuator was developed and experimentally verified.

  15. Substrate Stiffness Regulates Proinflammatory Mediator Production through TLR4 Activity in Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Previtera, Michelle L.; Sengupta, Amitabha

    2015-01-01

    Clinical data show that disease adversely affects tissue elasticity or stiffness. While macrophage activity plays a critical role in driving disease pathology, there are limited data available on the effects of tissue stiffness on macrophage activity. In this study, the effects of substrate stiffness on inflammatory mediator production by macrophages were investigated. Bone marrow–derived macrophages were grown on polyacrylamide gels that mimicked the stiffness of a variety of soft biological tissues. Overall, macrophages grown on soft substrates produced less proinflammatory mediators than macrophages grown on stiff substrates when the endotoxin LPS was added to media. In addition, the pathways involved in stiffness–regulated proinflammation were investigated. The TLR4 signaling pathway was examined by evaluating TLR4, p–NF–κB p65, MyD88, and p–IκBα expression as well as p–NF–κB p65 translocation. Expression and translocation of the various signaling molecules were higher in macrophages grown on stiff substrates than on soft substrates. Furthermore, TLR4 knockout experiments showed that TLR4 activity enhanced proinflammation on stiff substrates. In conclusion, these results suggest that proinflammatory mediator production initiated by TLR4 is mechanically regulated in macrophages. PMID:26710072

  16. Liver Stiffness Is Associated With Monocyte Activation in HIV-Infected Ugandans Without Viral Hepatitis

    PubMed Central

    Wendel, Sarah K.; Grabowski, Mary K.; Ocama, Ponsiano; Kiggundu, Valerian; Bbosa, Francis; Boaz, Iga; Balagopal, Ashwin; Reynolds, Steven J.; Gray, Ronald H.; Serwadda, David; Kirk, Gregory D.; Quinn, Thomas C.; Stabinski, Lara

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A high prevalence of liver stiffness, as determined by elevated transient elastography liver stiffness measurement, was previously found in a cohort of HIV-infected Ugandans in the absence of chronic viral hepatitis. Given the role of immune activation and microbial translocation in models of liver disease, a shared immune mechanism was hypothesized in the same cohort without other overt causes of liver disease. This study examined whether HIV-related liver stiffness was associated with markers of immune activation or microbial translocation (MT). A retrospective case-control study of subjects with evidence of liver stiffness as defined by a transient elastography stiffness measurement ≥9.3 kPa (cases=133) and normal controls (n=133) from Rakai, Uganda was performed. Cases were matched to controls by age, gender, HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) status. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), endotoxin IgM antibody, soluble CD14 (sCD14), C-reactive protein (CRP), and D-dimer levels were measured. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted matched odds ratios (adjMOR) and 95% confidence intervals. Higher sCD14 levels were associated with a 19% increased odds of liver stiffness (adjMOR=1.19, p=0.002). In HIV-infected individuals, higher sCD14 levels were associated with a 54% increased odds of having liver stiffness (adjMOR=1.54, p<0.001); however, the opposite was observed in HIV-negative individuals (adjMOR=0.57, p=0.001). No other biomarker was significantly associated with liver stiffness, and only one subject was found to have detectable LPS. Liver stiffness in HIV-infected Ugandans is associated with increased sCD14 indicative of monocyte activation in the absence of viral hepatitis or microbial translocation, and suggests that HIV may be directly involved in liver disease. PMID:23548102

  17. Associations between arterial stiffness and platelet activation in normotensive overweight and obese young adults.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Jennifer N; Evans, Rhobert W; Mori Brooks, Maria; Fried, Linda; Holmes, Chris; Barinas-Mitchell, Emma; Sutton-Tyrrell, Kim

    2014-01-01

    Obese individuals have elevated platelet activation and arterial stiffness, but the strength and temporality of the relationship between these factors remain unclear. We aimed to determine the effect of increased arterial stiffness on circulating platelet activity in overweight/obese young adults. This analysis included 92 participants (mean age 40 years, 60 women) in the Slow Adverse Vascular Effects of excess weight (SAVE) trial, a clinical trial examining the effects of a lifestyle intervention with or without sodium restriction on vascular health in normotensive overweight/obese young adults. Carotid-femoral (cf), brachial-ankle (ba) and femoral-ankle (fa) pulse wave velocity (PWV) served as measures of arterial stiffness and were measured at baseline and 6, 12 and 24 months follow-up. Platelet activity was measured as plasma β-thromboglobulin (β-TG) at 24 months. Higher plasma β-TG was correlated with greater exposure to elevated cfPWV (p = 0.02) and baPWV (p = 0.04) during the preceding two years. After adjustment for serum leptin, greater exposure to elevated baPWV remained significant (p = 0.03) and exposure to elevated cfPWV marginally significant (p = 0.054) in predicting greater plasma β-TG. Greater arterial stiffness, particularly central arterial stiffness, predicts greater platelet activation in overweight/obese individuals. This relationship might partly explain the association between increased arterial stiffness and incident atherothrombotic events. PMID:23654212

  18. Active Struts With Variable Spring Stiffness and Damping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farley, Gary L.

    2006-01-01

    An ultrasonic rock-abrasion tool (URAT) was developed using the same principle of ultrasonic/sonic actuation as that of the tools described in two prior NASA Tech Briefs articles: Ultrasonic/ Sonic Drill/Corers With Integrated Sensors (NPO-20856), Vol. 25, No. 1 (January 2001), page 38 and Ultrasonic/ Sonic Mechanisms for Drilling and Coring (NPO-30291), Vol. 27, No. 9 (September 2003), page 65. Hence, like those tools, the URAT offers the same advantages of low power demand, mechanical simplicity, compactness, and ability to function with very small axial loading (very small contact force between tool and rock). Like a tool described in the second of the cited previous articles, a URAT includes (1) a drive mechanism that comprises a piezoelectric ultrasonic actuator, an amplification horn, and a mass that is free to move axially over a limited range and (2) an abrasion tool bit. A URAT tool bit is a disk that has been machined or otherwise formed to have a large number of teeth and an overall shape chosen to impart the desired shape (which could be flat or curved) to the rock surface to be abraded. In operation, the disk and thus the teeth are vibrated in contact with the rock surface. The concentrated stresses at the tips of the impinging teeth repeatedly induce microfractures and thereby abrade the rock. The motion of the tool induces an ultrasonic transport effect that displaces the cuttings from the abraded area. The figure shows a prototype URAT. A piezoelectric-stack/horn actuator is housed in a cylindrical container. The movement of the actuator and bit with respect to the housing is aided by use of mechanical sliders. A set of springs accommodates the motion of the actuator and bit into or out of the housing through an axial range between 5 and 7 mm. The springs impose an approximately constant force of contact between the tool bit and the rock to be abraded. A dust shield surrounds the bit, serving as a barrier to reduce the migration of rock debris to sensitive instrumentation or mechanisms in the vicinity. A bushing at the tool-bit end of the housing reduces the flow of dust into the actuator and retains the bit when no axial load is applied.

  19. Design of a variable-stiffness robotic hand using pneumatic soft rubber actuators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagase, Jun-ya; Wakimoto, Shuichi; Satoh, Toshiyuki; Saga, Norihiko; Suzumori, Koichi

    2011-10-01

    In recent years, Japanese society has been ageing, engendering a labor shortage of young workers. Robots are therefore expected to be useful in performing tasks such as day-to-day support for elderly people. In particular, robots that are intended for use in the field of medical care and welfare are expected to be safe when operating in a human environment because they often come into contact with people. Furthermore, robots must perform various tasks such as regrasping, grasping of soft objects, and tasks using frictional force. Given these demands and circumstances, a tendon-driven robot hand with a stiffness changing finger has been developed. The finger surface stiffness can be altered by adjusting the input pressure depending on the task. Additionally, the coefficient of static friction can be altered by changing the surface stiffness merely by adjusting the input air pressure. This report describes the basic structure, driving mechanism, and basic properties of the proposed robot hand.

  20. Palladin Mediates Stiffness-Induced Fibroblast Activation in the Tumor Microenvironment

    PubMed Central

    McLane, Joshua S.; Ligon, Lee A.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanical properties of the tumor microenvironment have emerged as key factors in tumor progression. It has been proposed that increased tissue stiffness can transform stromal fibroblasts into carcinoma-associated fibroblasts. However, it is unclear whether the three to five times increase in stiffness seen in tumor-adjacent stroma is sufficient for fibroblast activation. In this study we developed a three-dimensional (3D) hydrogel model with precisely tunable stiffness and show that a physiologically relevant increase in stiffness is sufficient to lead to fibroblast activation. We found that soluble factors including CC-motif chemokine ligand (CCL) chemokines and fibronectin are necessary for this activation, and the combination of C-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CCR4) chemokine receptors and β1 and β3 integrins are necessary to transduce these chemomechanical signals. We then show that these chemomechanical signals lead to the gene expression changes associated with fibroblast activation via a network of intracellular signaling pathways that include focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). Finally, we identify the actin-associated protein palladin as a key node in these signaling pathways that result in fibroblast activation. PMID:26200861

  1. Semi-active control of helicopter vibration using controllable stiffness and damping devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anusonti-Inthra, Phuriwat

    Semi-active concepts for helicopter vibration reduction are developed and evaluated in this dissertation. Semi-active devices, controllable stiffness devices or controllable orifice dampers, are introduced; (i) in the blade root region (rotor-based concept) and (ii) between the rotor and the fuselage as semi-active isolators (in the non-rotating frame). Corresponding semi-active controllers for helicopter vibration reduction are also developed. The effectiveness of the rotor-based semi-active vibration reduction concept (using stiffness and damping variation) is demonstrated for a 4-bladed hingeless rotor helicopter in moderate- to high-speed forward flight. A sensitivity study shows that the stiffness variation of root element can reduce hub vibrations when proper amplitude and phase are used. Furthermore, the optimal semi-active control scheme can determine the combination of stiffness variations that produce significant vibration reduction in all components of vibratory hub loads simultaneously. It is demonstrated that desired cyclic variations in properties of the blade root region can be practically achieved using discrete controllable stiffness devices and controllable dampers, especially in the flap and lag directions. These discrete controllable devices can produce 35--50% reduction in a composite vibration index representing all components of vibratory hub loads. No detrimental increases are observed in the lower harmonics of blade loads and blade response (which contribute to the dynamic stresses) and controllable device internal loads, when the optimal stiffness and damping variations are introduced. The effectiveness of optimal stiffness and damping variations in reducing hub vibration is retained over a range of cruise speeds and for variations in fundamental rotor properties. The effectiveness of the semi-active isolator is demonstrated for a simplified single degree of freedom system representing the semi-active isolation system. The rotor

  2. Investigation of the biomechanical effect of variable stiffness shoe on external knee adduction moment in various dynamic exercises

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The growing ageing population and high prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in athletes across nations have created a strong demand for improved non-invasive therapeutic alternatives for knee OA. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the variable stiffness shoe (VSS), a new non-invasive therapeutic approach, on external knee adduction moment (EKAM) in various dynamic exercises. EKAM is believed to have positive correlation with the progression and development of knee OA. Methods Thirty young participants (16 male and 14 female; age 22.6 ± 1.9 years) from National University of Singapore were enrolled in this study. The tested activities were walking, running, drop-landing, and lateral hopping. All the dynamic exercises were recorded simultaneously by the 8-camera VICON Motion Systems (Oxford Metric, UK) with a sampling rate of 100 Hz. Results The results showed that the EKAM was reduced in all the dynamic exercises with the use of VSS. The VSS produced significant reductions in the peak EKAM during walking (4.97%, p = 0.039), running (11.15%, p = 0.011), drop-landing (11.18%, p = 0.038) and lateral hopping (17.34%, p = 0.023) as compared to the control shoe. Conclusions The reduction of EKAM with the use of VSS in various dynamic exercises demonstrates its potential in delaying the onset and the progression of knee OA in early stage of knee OA patients. PMID:24044429

  3. Regulation of astrocyte activity via control over stiffness of cellulose acetate electrospun nanofiber.

    PubMed

    Min, Seul Ki; Jung, Sang Myung; Ju, Jung Hyeon; Kwon, Yeo Seon; Yoon, Gwang Heum; Shin, Hwa Sung

    2015-10-01

    Astrocytes are involved in neuron protection following central nervous system (CNS) injury; accordingly, engineered astrocytes have been investigated for their usefulness in cell therapy for CNS injury. Nanofibers have attracted a great deal of attention in neural tissue engineering, but their mechanical properties greatly influence physiology. Cellulose acetate (CA) has been studied for use in scaffolds owing to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and good thermal stability. In this study, stiffness of CA nanofibers controlled by heat treatment was shown to regulate astrocyte activity. Adhesion and viability increased in culture as substrate became stiffer but showed saturation at greater than 2 MPa of tensile strength. Astrocytes became more active in terms of increasing intermediate filament glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). The results of this study demonstrate the effects of stiffness alone on cellular behaviors in a three-dimensional culture and highlight the efficacy of heat-treated CA for astrocyte culture in that the simple treatment enables control of astrocyte activity. PMID:26091629

  4. The Impact of Remote Ischemic Preconditioning on Arterial Stiffness and Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Angina Pectoris

    PubMed Central

    Zagidullin, Naufal; Scherbakova, Elena; Safina, Yuliana; Zulkarneev, Rustem; Zagidullin, Shamil

    2016-01-01

    Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) is the set of ischemia episodes that protects against subsequent periods of prolonged ischemia through the cascade of adaptive responses; however, the mechanisms of RIPC are not entirely clear. Here, we aimed to study the impact of RIPC in patients with stable angina pectoris and compare it with healthy individuals with respect to arterial stiffness and heart rate variability. In the randomized, sham-controlled, crossover blind design study, a group of 30 coronary heart disease (CHD) patients (63.9 ± 1.6 years) with stable angina pectoris NYHA II-III and a control group of 20 healthy individuals (58.2 ± 2.49) were both randomly allocated for remote RIPC or sham RIPC. Arterial stiffness, pulse wave velocity (Spygmacor, Australia), and heart rate variability (HRV) were recorded before and after the procedure followed by the crossover examination. In the group of healthy individuals, RIPC showed virtually no impact on the cardiovascular parameters, while, in the CHD group, the systolic and central systolic blood pressure, central pulse pressure, and augmentation decreased, and total power of HRV improved. We conclude that ischemic preconditioning reduces not only systolic blood pressure, but also reduces central systolic blood pressure and improves arterial compliance and heart rate modulation reserve, which may be associated with the antianginal effect of preconditioning. PMID:27348009

  5. The Impact of Remote Ischemic Preconditioning on Arterial Stiffness and Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Angina Pectoris.

    PubMed

    Zagidullin, Naufal; Scherbakova, Elena; Safina, Yuliana; Zulkarneev, Rustem; Zagidullin, Shamil

    2016-01-01

    Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) is the set of ischemia episodes that protects against subsequent periods of prolonged ischemia through the cascade of adaptive responses; however, the mechanisms of RIPC are not entirely clear. Here, we aimed to study the impact of RIPC in patients with stable angina pectoris and compare it with healthy individuals with respect to arterial stiffness and heart rate variability. In the randomized, sham-controlled, crossover blind design study, a group of 30 coronary heart disease (CHD) patients (63.9 ± 1.6 years) with stable angina pectoris NYHA II-III and a control group of 20 healthy individuals (58.2 ± 2.49) were both randomly allocated for remote RIPC or sham RIPC. Arterial stiffness, pulse wave velocity (Spygmacor, Australia), and heart rate variability (HRV) were recorded before and after the procedure followed by the crossover examination. In the group of healthy individuals, RIPC showed virtually no impact on the cardiovascular parameters, while, in the CHD group, the systolic and central systolic blood pressure, central pulse pressure, and augmentation decreased, and total power of HRV improved. We conclude that ischemic preconditioning reduces not only systolic blood pressure, but also reduces central systolic blood pressure and improves arterial compliance and heart rate modulation reserve, which may be associated with the antianginal effect of preconditioning. PMID:27348009

  6. Force control compensation method with variable load stiffness and damping of the hydraulic drive unit force control system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Xiangdong; Ba, Kaixian; Yu, Bin; Cao, Yuan; Zhu, Qixin; Zhao, Hualong

    2016-05-01

    Each joint of hydraulic drive quadruped robot is driven by the hydraulic drive unit (HDU), and the contacting between the robot foot end and the ground is complex and variable, which increases the difficulty of force control inevitably. In the recent years, although many scholars researched some control methods such as disturbance rejection control, parameter self-adaptive control, impedance control and so on, to improve the force control performance of HDU, the robustness of the force control still needs improving. Therefore, how to simulate the complex and variable load characteristics of the environment structure and how to ensure HDU having excellent force control performance with the complex and variable load characteristics are key issues to be solved in this paper. The force control system mathematic model of HDU is established by the mechanism modeling method, and the theoretical models of a novel force control compensation method and a load characteristics simulation method under different environment structures are derived, considering the dynamic characteristics of the load stiffness and the load damping under different environment structures. Then, simulation effects of the variable load stiffness and load damping under the step and sinusoidal load force are analyzed experimentally on the HDU force control performance test platform, which provides the foundation for the force control compensation experiment research. In addition, the optimized PID control parameters are designed to make the HDU have better force control performance with suitable load stiffness and load damping, under which the force control compensation method is introduced, and the robustness of the force control system with several constant load characteristics and the variable load characteristics respectively are comparatively analyzed by experiment. The research results indicate that if the load characteristics are known, the force control compensation method presented in this

  7. Force control compensation method with variable load stiffness and damping of the hydraulic drive unit force control system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Xiangdong; Ba, Kaixian; Yu, Bin; Cao, Yuan; Zhu, Qixin; Zhao, Hualong

    2016-04-01

    Each joint of hydraulic drive quadruped robot is driven by the hydraulic drive unit (HDU), and the contacting between the robot foot end and the ground is complex and variable, which increases the difficulty of force control inevitably. In the recent years, although many scholars researched some control methods such as disturbance rejection control, parameter self-adaptive control, impedance control and so on, to improve the force control performance of HDU, the robustness of the force control still needs improving. Therefore, how to simulate the complex and variable load characteristics of the environment structure and how to ensure HDU having excellent force control performance with the complex and variable load characteristics are key issues to be solved in this paper. The force control system mathematic model of HDU is established by the mechanism modeling method, and the theoretical models of a novel force control compensation method and a load characteristics simulation method under different environment structures are derived, considering the dynamic characteristics of the load stiffness and the load damping under different environment structures. Then, simulation effects of the variable load stiffness and load damping under the step and sinusoidal load force are analyzed experimentally on the HDU force control performance test platform, which provides the foundation for the force control compensation experiment research. In addition, the optimized PID control parameters are designed to make the HDU have better force control performance with suitable load stiffness and load damping, under which the force control compensation method is introduced, and the robustness of the force control system with several constant load characteristics and the variable load characteristics respectively are comparatively analyzed by experiment. The research results indicate that if the load characteristics are known, the force control compensation method presented in this

  8. Abdominal wall muscle elasticity and abdomen local stiffness on healthy volunteers during various physiological activities.

    PubMed

    Tran, D; Podwojewski, F; Beillas, P; Ottenio, M; Voirin, D; Turquier, F; Mitton, D

    2016-07-01

    The performance of hernia treatment could benefit from more extensive knowledge of the mechanical behavior of the abdominal wall in a healthy state. To supply this knowledge, the antero-lateral abdominal wall was characterized in vivo on 11 healthy volunteers during 4 activities: rest, pullback loading, abdominal breathing and the "Valsalva maneuver". The elasticity of the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis, obliquus externus, obliquus internus and transversus abdominis) was assessed using ultrasound shear wave elastography. In addition, the abdomen was subjected to a low external load at three locations: on the midline (linea alba), on the rectus abdominis region and on lateral muscles region in order to evaluate the local stiffness of the abdomen, at rest and during "Valsalva maneuver". The results showed that the "Valsalva maneuver" leads to a statistically significant increase of the muscle shear modulus compared to the other activities. This study also showed that the local stiffness of the abdomen was related to the activity. At rest, a significant difference has been observed between the anterior (0.5N/mm) and the lateral abdomen locations (1N/mm). Then, during the Valsalva maneuver, the local stiffness values were similar for all locations (ranging from 1.6 to 2.2N/mm). This work focuses on the in vivo characterization of the mechanical response of the human abdominal wall and abdomen during several activities. In the future, this protocol could be helpful for investigation on herniated patients. PMID:26994992

  9. Wing Torsional Stiffness Tests of the Active Aeroelastic Wing F/A-18 Airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lokos, William A.; Olney, Candida D.; Crawford, Natalie D.; Stauf, Rick; Reichenbach, Eric Y.

    2002-01-01

    The left wing of the Active Aeroelastic Wing (AAW) F/A-18 airplane has been ground-load-tested to quantify its torsional stiffness. The test has been performed at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in November 1996, and again in April 2001 after a wing skin modification was performed. The primary objectives of these tests were to characterize the wing behavior before the first flight, and provide a before-and-after measurement of the torsional stiffness. Two streamwise load couples have been applied. The wing skin modification is shown to have more torsional flexibility than the original configuration has. Additionally, structural hysteresis is shown to be reduced by the skin modification. Data comparisons show good repeatability between the tests.

  10. Unusual Bleeding From Hepaticojejunostomy Controlled by Adult Variable Stiffness Colonoscopy: Report of a Case and Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Hiroyuki; Wakabayashi, Mai; Oba, Atsushi; Baba, Hironobu; Mitsuoka, Akito; Nakamura, Hiroshi; Sanada, Takahiro; Kuwabara, Hiroshi; Nakajima, Kazumi; Goseki, Narihide; Ishida, Hideyuki

    2014-01-01

    We herein present a case of a 59-year-old man who had undergone pylorus preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy with regional lymph node dissection prior to episodes of melena. Series of conventional endoscopic investigations failed to identify the bleeding source. Enhanced computed tomography scan revealed complete obstruction of the main portal vein with numerous collateral veins running towards the hepatic hilus. Comprehensively, hemorrhage from the jejunal varices caused by postoperative portal hypertension was highly suspected. As the jejunal loop was out of reach, adult variable-stiffness colonoscope (AVSC) was utilized to solve the Roux-en-Y anatomy. Numerous telangiectasis and small varices at hepaticojejunostomy were observed and in the mean time, bleeding was noticed and endoclips were placed without any delay. Ectopic variceal bleeding in jejunal loop after pancreaticoduodenectomy is difficult to manage. We believe that AVSC is an alternative device when specialized jejunal endoscopy is not available. PMID:25216425

  11. Different Contributions of Physical Activity on Arterial Stiffness between Diabetics and Non-Diabetics

    PubMed Central

    Ando, Jiro; Watanabe, Masafumi; Murasawa, Takahide; Komuro, Issei

    2016-01-01

    Background We compared the contribution of physical activity to the change in arterial stiffness between patients with and without diabetes in ischemic heart disease. Methods We studied 96 (diabetes) and 109 (without diabetes) patients with ischemic heart disease treated by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Arterial stiffness was assessed by cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) at the first diagnosis of significant coronary ischemia and 6 months after PCI and optimal medical therapy. Physical activity was evaluated using the long form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Results CAVI values increased more for diabetic patients than for non-diabetic. The IPAQ scores did not differ between the two groups. During follow-up, CAVI values did not significantly change in either group. In diabetic patients, the CAVI score for 48 patients did not change (NC-group) and 48 patients improved (Improved-group). Physical activity scores were 937.9 ± 923.2 and 1524.6 ± 1166.2 in the NC- and Improved-groups, respectively. IPAQ scores and uric acid levels significantly affect CAVI improvement after adjusting for age, sex, baseline CAVI, total cholesterol, and estimated glomerular filtration rate. Conclusion Determining factors influencing CAVI improvement during follow-up were significantly different between patients with and without diabetes. IPAQ scores and uric acid levels were significantly correlated with CAVI changes. PMID:27508936

  12. Active pneumatic vibration isolation system using negative stiffness structures for a vehicle seat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danh, Le Thanh; Ahn, Kyoung Kwan

    2014-02-01

    In this paper, an active pneumatic vibration isolation system using negative stiffness structures (NSS) for a vehicle seat in low excitation frequencies is proposed, which is named as an active system with NSS. Here, the negative stiffness structures (NSS) are used to minimize the vibratory attraction of a vehicle seat. Owing to the time-varying and nonlinear behavior of the proposed system, it is not easy to build an accurate dynamic for model-based controller design. Thus, an adaptive intelligent backstepping controller (AIBC) is designed to manage the system operation for high-isolation effectiveness. In addition, an auxiliary control effort is also introduced to eliminate the effect of the unpredictable perturbations. Moreover, a radial basis function neural network (RBFNN) model is utilized to estimate the optimal gain of the auxiliary control effort. Final control input and the adaptive law for updating coefficients of the approximate series can be obtained step by step using a suitable Lyapunov function. Afterward, the isolation performance of the proposed system is assessed experimentally. In addition, the effectiveness of the designed controller for the proposed system is also compared with that of the traditional backstepping controller (BC). The experimental results show that the isolation effectiveness of the proposed system is better than that of the active system without NSS. Furthermore, the undesirable chattering phenomenon in control effort is quite reduced by the estimation mechanism. Finally, some concluding remarks are given at the end of the paper.

  13. Comparison of different rowing exercises: trunk muscle activation and lumbar spine motion, load, and stiffness.

    PubMed

    Fenwick, Chad M J; Brown, Stephen H M; McGill, Stuart M

    2009-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate 3 different rowing exercises and quantify the muscle activation of the torso and the hip musculature, together with the corresponding spinal loading and stiffness. Seven healthy male subjects from a university population were instrumented to obtain surface electromyography of selected trunk and hip muscles and to obtain spine position using an electromagnetic spine position sensor, together with video analysis to calculate joint moments. The 3 rowing exercises investigated are the inverted row, standing bent-over row, and the standing 1-armed cable row. The inverted row elicited the highest activation of the latissimus dorsi muscles, upper back, and hip extensor muscles. The lower activation of the lumbar erector spinae muscles during the inverted row corresponded to the lower-spine load measured. The standing bent-over row produced large activation symmetrically across the back but produced the largest lumbar spine load. The 1-armed cable row challenged the torsional capabilities of the trunk musculature. Some "core" exercises may be better for rehabilitation (e.g., having the training goals of modest muscle activation with low spine load), while other exercises may be better for athletic training (e.g., resulting in higher muscle activation and larger spine load). When prescribing "core" exercises, those wishing to spare the low back may choose the inverted row given the lowest spine load exercise. The standing bent-over row elicited large muscle activation symmetrically from the upper to lower back, however induced larger spine loads, but not surprisingly the highest spine stiffness. If torsional endurance or strength is the training goal, the 1-armed cable row might be considered. PMID:19620925

  14. Comparison of different rowing exercises: trunk muscle activation and lumbar spine motion, load, and stiffness.

    PubMed

    Fenwick, Chad M J; Brown, Stephen H M; McGill, Stuart M

    2009-03-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate 3 different rowing exercises and quantify the muscle activation of the torso and the hip musculature, together with the corresponding spinal loading and stiffness. Seven healthy men from a university population were instrumented to obtain surface electromyography of selected trunk and hip muscles and to obtain spine position using an electromagnetic spine position sensor, together with video analysis to calculate joint moments. The 3 rowing exercises investigated were the inverted row, standing bent-over row, and standing 1-armed cable row. The inverted row elicited the highest activation of the latissimus dorsi muscles, upper-back, and hip extensor muscles. The lower activation of the lumbar erector spinae muscles during the inverted row corresponded to the lower spine load measured. The standing bent-over row produced large activation symmetrically across the back, but it produced the largest lumbar spine load. The 1-armed cable row challenged the torsional capabilities of the trunk musculature. Some core exercises may be better for rehabilitation (e.g., having the training goals of modest muscle activation with low spine load), whereas other exercises may be better for athletic training (e.g., resulting in higher muscle activation and larger spine load). When prescribing core exercises, those wishing to spare the low back may choose the inverted row, given the lowest spine load exercise. The standing bent-over row elicited large muscle activation symmetrically from the upper to lower back; it induced larger spine loads but also, not surprisingly, the highest spine stiffness. If torsional endurance or strength is the training goal, the 1-armed cable row might be considered. PMID:19197209

  15. Effects of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching on stiffness and force-producing characteristics of the ankle in active women.

    PubMed

    Rees, Sven S; Murphy, Aron J; Watsford, Mark L; McLachlan, Ken A; Coutts, Aaron J

    2007-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching on musculotendinous unit (MTU) stiffness of the ankle joint. Twenty active women were assessed for maximal ankle range of motion, maximal strength of planter flexors, rate of force development, and ankle MTU stiffness. Subjects were randomly allocated into an experimental (n = 10) group or control group (n = 10). The experimental group performed PNF stretching on the ankle joint 3 times per week for 4 weeks, with physiological testing performed before and after the training period. After training, the experimental group significantly increased ankle range of motion (7.8%), maximal isometric strength (26%), rate of force development (25%), and MTU stiffness (8.4%) (p < 0.001). Four weeks of PNF stretching contributed to an increase in MTU stiffness, which occurred concurrently with gains to ankle joint range of motion. The results confirm that MTU stiffness and joint range of motion measurements appear to be separate entities. The increased MTU stiffness after the training period is explained by adaptations to maximal isometric muscle contractions, which were a component of PNF stretching. Because a stiffer MTU system is linked with an improved the ability to store and release elastic energy, PNF stretching would benefit certain athletic performance due to a reduced contraction time or greater mechanical efficiency. The results of this study suggest PNF stretching is a useful modality at increasing a joint's range of motion and its strength. PMID:17530973

  16. Influence of recreational activity and muscle strength on ulnar bending stiffness in men

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myburgh, K. H.; Charette, S.; Zhou, L.; Steele, C. R.; Arnaud, S.; Marcus, R.

    1993-01-01

    Bone bending stiffness (modulus of elasticity [E] x moment of inertia [I]), a measure of bone strength, is related to its mineral content (BMC) and geometry and may be influenced by exercise. We evaluated the relationship of habitual recreational exercise and muscle strength to ulnar EI, width, and BMC in 51 healthy men, 28-61 yr of age. BMC and width were measured by single photon absorptiometry and EI by mechanical resistance tissue analysis. Maximum biceps strength was determined dynamically (1-RM) and grip strength isometrically. Subjects were classified as sedentary (S) (N = 13), moderately (M) (N = 18), or highly active (H) (N = 20) and exercised 0.2 +/- 0.2; 2.2 +/- 1.3; and 6.8 +/- 2.3 h.wk-1 (P < 0.001). H had greater biceps (P < 0.0005) and grip strength (P < 0.05), ulnar BMC (P < 0.05), and ulnar EI (P = 0.01) than M or S, who were similar. Amount of activity correlated with grip and biceps strength (r = 0.47 and 0.49; P < 0.001), but not with bone measurements, whereas muscle strength correlated with both EI and BMC (r = 0.40-0.52, P < 0.005). EI also correlated significantly with both BMC and ulnar width (P < 0.0001). Ulnar width and biceps strength were the only independent predictors of EI (r2 = 0.67, P < 0.0001). We conclude that levels of physical activity sufficient to increase arm strength influence ulnar bending stiffness.

  17. Arterial Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Avolio, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    Stiffness of large arteries has been long recognized as a significant determinant of pulse pressure. However, it is only in recent decades, with the accumulation of longitudinal data from large and varied epidemiological studies of morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease, that it has emerged as an independent predictor of cardiovascular risk. This has generated substantial interest in investigations related to intrinsic causative and associated factors responsible for the alteration of mechanical properties of the arterial wall, with the aim to uncover specific pathways that could be interrogated to prevent or reverse arterial stiffening. Much has been written on the haemodynamic relevance of arterial stiffness in terms of the quantification of pulsatile relationships of blood pressure and flow in conduit arteries. Indeed, much of this early work regarded blood vessels as passive elastic conduits, with the endothelial layer considered as an inactive lining of the lumen and as an interface to flowing blood. However, recent advances in molecular biology and increased technological sophistication for the detection of low concentrations of biochemical compounds have elucidated the highly important regulatory role of the endothelial cell affecting vascular function. These techniques have enabled research into the interaction of the underlying passive mechanical properties of the arterial wall with the active cellular and molecular processes that regulate the local environment of the load-bearing components. This review addresses these emerging concepts. PMID:26587425

  18. Substrate stiffness regulates B-cell activation, proliferation, class switch, and T-cell-independent antibody responses in vivo.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Yingyue; Yi, Junyang; Wan, Zhengpeng; Liu, Kai; Song, Ping; Chau, Alicia; Wang, Fei; Chang, Zai; Han, Weidong; Zheng, Wenjie; Chen, Ying-Hua; Xiong, Chunyang; Liu, Wanli

    2015-06-01

    B cells use B-cell receptors (BCRs) to sense antigens that are usually presented on substrates with different stiffness. However, it is not known how substrate stiffness affects B-cell proliferation, class switch, and in vivo antibody responses. We addressed these questions using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates with different stiffness (20 or 1100 kPa). Live cell imaging experiments suggested that antigens on stiffer substrates more efficiently trigger the synaptic accumulation of BCR and phospho-Syk molecules compared with antigens on softer substrates. In vitro expansion of mouse primary B cells shows different preferences for substrate stiffness when stimulated by different expansion stimuli. LPS equally drives B-cell proliferation on stiffer or softer substrates. Anti-CD40 antibodies enhance B-cell proliferation on stiffer substrates, while antigens enhance B-cell proliferation on softer substrates through a mechanism involving the enhanced phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt, and FoxO1. In vitro class switch differentiation of B cells prefers softer substrates. Lastly, NP67-Ficoll on softer substrates accounted for an enhanced antibody response in vivo. Thus, substrate stiffness regulates B-cell activation, proliferation, class switch, and T cell independent antibody responses in vivo, suggesting its broad application in manipulating the fate of B cells in vitro and in vivo. PMID:25756957

  19. Vitamin D3 mediated effects on postprandial leukocyte activation and arterial stiffness in men and women.

    PubMed

    Klop, B; van de Geijn, G-J M; Birnie, E; Njo, T L; Janssen, H W; Jansen, H G; Jukema, J W; Elte, J W F; Castro Cabezas, M

    2014-05-01

    Postprandial inflammation is considered to be pro-atherogenic. Vitamin D can reduce inflammation and arterial stiffness. We hypothesized that vitamin D3 improves postprandial arterial elasticity by the modulation of leukocyte activation. Healthy volunteers underwent two oral fat-loading tests (OFLTs). The augmentation index (AIx) and flow cytometric quantification of leukocyte activation markers were measured. After the first OFLT, 100 000 IU of vitamin D3 was administered and a second OFLT was carried out 7 days later. Six men and six women were included. A favorable reduction in AIx was found after vitamin D3 supplementation (P=0.042) in both genders. After vitamin D3, exclusively in women a reduction in the area under the postprandial curve for monocytes CD11b and CD35 by 10.5% (P=0.016) and 12.5% (P=0.04) and neutrophil CD11b by 17.0% (P=0.014) was observed. In conclusion, vitamin D3 probably increased postprandial arterial elasticity in men and women, but reduced postprandial leukocyte activation exclusively in women. PMID:24619107

  20. Evolution of Stiffness and Permeability in Fractures Subject to - and Mechanically-Activated Dissolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faoro, I.; Elsworth, D.; Candela, T.

    2013-12-01

    Strong feedbacks link thermal gradients (T), hydrologic flow (H), chemical alteration (C) and mechanical deformation (M) in fractured rock. These processes are strongly interconnected since one process effects the initiation and progress of another. Dissolution and precipitation of minerals are affected by temperature and stress, and can result in significant changes in permeability and solute transport characteristics. Understanding these couplings is important for oil, gas, and geothermal reservoir engineering and for waste disposal in underground repositories and reservoirs. In order to experimentally investigate the interactions between THCM processes in a natural stressed fracture, we report on heated ( up to 150C) flow-through experiments on fractured core samples of Westerly granite. These experiments are performed to examine the influence of thermally and mechanically activated dissolution on the mechanical (stress/strain) and transport (permeability) characteristics of fractures. The evolutions of both the permeability and stiffness of the sample are recorded as the experimental thermal conditions change and chemical alteration progresses. Furthermore efflux of dissolved mineral mass is measured periodically to provide a record of the net mass removal, to correlate this with observed changes in fracture aperture, defined by the flow test. During the experiments the fracture shows high hydraulic sensitivity to the changing conditions of stress and temperature. Significant variation of the effluent fluid chemistry is observed. We argue that the formation of clay (Kaolinite) is the main mechanism responsible for the permanent change in permeability recorded at higher confining stresses (40 MPa).

  1. Active noise control using noise source having adaptive resonant frequency tuning through stiffness variation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pla, Frederic G. (Inventor); Rajiyah, Harindra (Inventor); Renshaw, Anthony A. (Inventor); Hedeen, Robert A. (Inventor)

    1995-01-01

    A noise source for an aircraft engine active noise cancellation system in which the resonant frequency of a noise radiating element is tuned to permit noise cancellation over a wide range of frequencies. The resonant frequency of the noise radiating element is tuned by a plurality of force transmitting mechanisms which contact the noise radiating element. Each one of the force transmitting mechanisms includes an expandable element and a spring in contact with the noise radiating element so that excitation of the element varies the spring force applied to the noise radiating element. The elements are actuated by a controller which receives input of a signal proportional to displacement of the noise radiating element and a signal corresponding to the blade passage frequency of the engine's fan. In response, the controller determines a control signal which is sent to the elements and causes the spring force applied to the noise radiating element to be varied. The force transmitting mechanisms can be arranged to either produce bending or linear stiffness variations in the noise radiating element.

  2. The impact of change in physical activity on change in arterial stiffness in overweight or obese sedentary young adults

    PubMed Central

    Hawkins, Marquis; Gabriel, Kelley P; Cooper, Jennifer; Storti, Kristi L; Sutton-Tyrrell, Kim; Kriska, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Arterial stiffness is associated with cardiovascular events and mortality. Lifestyle factors such as physical activity may reduce arterial stiffness. The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of change in physical activity (PA) on one-year change in arterial stiffness in 274 overweight/obese sedentary young adults. The Slow Adverse Vascular Effects of excess weight (SAVE) trial was a study evaluating the relationships between weight loss, dietary sodium, and vascular health. PA was measured with the ActiGraph AM7164 accelerometer. Intensity of activity was determined using established cutpoints. Arterial stiffness was assessed by brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) using an automated device. Analysis of Covariance compared changes in total accelerometer counts, minutes/day in light intensity PA (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), and sedentary time, by categories of change in baPWV. Models were adjusted for time since baseline visit, age, sex, race, homeostatis model of assessment of insulin resistance, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and weight change. Total accelerometer counts and time spent in MVPA increased from baseline to 12 months while time spent in LPA significantly decreased. Mean baPWV was similar at each time point. Those that showed decreased baPWV also showed an increase in total accelerometer counts per day and time spent in MVPA in the fully adjusted models (p<0.001). Changes in sedentary time and time spent in LPA were not associated with changes in baPWV. These results indicate that even modest increases in MVPA can reduce arterial stiffness, a risk factor for future cardiovascular events. PMID:24879662

  3. Evaluation of stiffness and plastic deformation of active ceramic self-ligating bracket clips after repetitive opening and closure movements

    PubMed Central

    Carneiro, Grace Kelly Martins; Roque, Juliano Alves; Segundo, Aguinaldo Silva Garcez; Suzuki, Hideo

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess whether repetitive opening and closure of self-ligating bracket clips can cause plastic deformation of the clip. METHODS: Three types of active/interactive ceramic self-ligating brackets (n = 20) were tested: In-Ovation C, Quicklear and WOW. A standardized controlled device performed 500 cycles of opening and closure movements of the bracket clip with proper instruments and techniques adapted as recommended by the manufacturer of each bracket type. Two tensile tests, one before and one after the repetitive cycles, were performed to assess the stiffness of the clips. To this end, a custom-made stainless steel 0.40 x 0.40 mm wire was inserted into the bracket slot and adapted to the universal testing machine (EMIC DL2000), after which measurements were recorded. On the loading portion of the loading-unloading curve of clips, the slope fitted a first-degree equation curve to determine the stiffness/deflection rate of the clip. RESULTS: The results of plastic deformation showed no significant difference among bracket types before and after the 500 cycles of opening and closure (p = 0.811). There were significant differences on stiffness among the three types of brackets (p = 0.005). The WOW bracket had higher mean values, whereas Quicklear bracket had lower values, regardless of the opening/closure cycle. CONCLUSION: Repetitive controlled opening and closure movements of the clip did not alter stiffness or cause plastic deformation. PMID:26352844

  4. A passively tunable mechanism for a dual bimorph energy harvester with variable tip stiffness and axial load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dehghan Niri, E.; Salamone, S.

    2012-12-01

    This paper presents a novel vibration-based piezoelectric energy harvester capable of passively tuning its resonant frequency to a wide range of frequencies. The device comprises a dual bimorph with a mass at its free end. A novel sliding mechanism, consisting of two oblique springs connected to the tip mass, is proposed to widen the resonance frequency of the device even to very low frequencies. The application of two oblique springs results in an additional stiffness and axial load that are introduced within the system, such that the resonance frequency of the device is now a function of both the stiffness and axial load associated with the spring forces. An operator can manually change the resonance frequency of the harvester just by small adjustments of the sliding mechanism. Further, the device allows one to tune the resonance frequency of the beam to match very low frequencies without the requirement of having a large proof mass. The analytical solution of an axially loaded cantilevered piezoelectric energy harvester with tip stiffness, using Euler-Bernoulli beam assumptions, is presented. A parametric case study is presented to demonstrate the performance of the device.

  5. Myo1g is an active player in maintaining cell stiffness in B-lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    López-Ortega, O; Ovalle-García, E; Ortega-Blake, I; Antillón, A; Chávez-Munguía, B; Patiño-López, G; Fragoso-Soriano, R; Santos-Argumedo, L

    2016-05-01

    B-lymphocytes are migrating cells that specialize in antigen presentation, antibody secretion, and endocytosis; these processes implicate the modulation of plasma membrane elasticity. Cell stiffness is a force generated by the interaction between the actin-cytoskeleton and the plasma membrane, which requires the participation of several proteins. These proteins include class I myosins, which are now considered to play a role in controlling membrane-cytoskeleton interactions. In this study, we identified the motor protein Myosin 1g (Myo1g) as a mediator of this phenomenon. The absence of Myo1g decreased the cell stiffness, affecting cell adhesion, cell spreading, phagocytosis, and endocytosis in B-lymphocytes. The results described here reveal a novel molecular mechanism by which Myo1g mediates and regulates cell stiffness in B-lymphocytes. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27106882

  6. Hierarchies of plant stiffness.

    PubMed

    Brulé, Veronique; Rafsanjani, Ahmad; Pasini, Damiano; Western, Tamara L

    2016-09-01

    Plants must meet mechanical as well as physiological and reproductive requirements for survival. Management of internal and external stresses is achieved through their unique hierarchical architecture. Stiffness is determined by a combination of morphological (geometrical) and compositional variables that vary across multiple length scales ranging from the whole plant to organ, tissue, cell and cell wall levels. These parameters include, among others, organ diameter, tissue organization, cell size, density and turgor pressure, and the thickness and composition of cell walls. These structural parameters and their consequences on plant stiffness are reviewed in the context of work on stems of the genetic reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis), and the suitability of Arabidopsis as a model system for consistent investigation of factors controlling plant stiffness is put forward. Moving beyond Arabidopsis, the presence of morphological parameters causing stiffness gradients across length-scales leads to beneficial emergent properties such as increased load-bearing capacity and reversible actuation. Tailoring of plant stiffness for old and new purposes in agriculture and forestry can be achieved through bioengineering based on the knowledge of the morphological and compositional parameters of plant stiffness in combination with gene identification through the use of genetics. PMID:27457986

  7. Finger Stiffness.

    PubMed

    Oosterhoff, Thijs C H; Nota, Sjoerd P F T; Ring, David

    2015-06-01

    Background Finger stiffness varies substantially in patients with hand and upper extremity illness and can be notably more than expected for a given pathophysiology. In prior studies, pain intensity and magnitude of disability consistently correlate with coping strategies such as catastrophic thinking and kinesiophobia, which can be characterized as overprotectiveness. In this retrospective study we address the primary research question whether patients with finger stiffness are more often overprotective when the primary pathology is outside the hand (e.g. distal radius fracture) than when it is located within the hand. Methods In an orthopaedic hand surgery department 160 patients diagnosed with more finger stiffness than expected for a given pathophysiology or time point of recovery between December 2006 and September 2012 were analyzed to compare the proportion of patients characterized as overprotective for differences by site of pathology: (1) inside the hand, (2) outside the hand, and (3) psychiatric etiology (e.g. clenched fist). Results Among 160 subjects with more finger stiffness than expected, 132 (82 %) were characterized as overprotective including 88 of 108 (81 %) with pathology in the hand, 39 of 44 (89 %) with pathology outside the hand, and 5 of 8 (63 %) with psychiatric etiology. These differences were not significant. Conclusions Overprotectiveness is common in patients with more finger stiffness than expected regardless the site and type of primary pathology. It seems worthwhile to recognize and treat maladaptive coping strategies early during recovery to limit impairment, symptoms, and disability. PMID:26078497

  8. Association between arterial stiffness, disease activity and functional impairment in ankylosing spondylitis patients: a cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Avram, Claudiu; Drăgoi, Răzvan Gabriel; Popoviciu, Horațiu; Drăgoi, Mihai; Avram, Adina; Amaricăi, Elena

    2016-08-01

    Cardiovascular risk is an important factor for increased morbidity and mortality in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. The aim of this study is to assess arterial stiffness in relation to the disease activity and functional limitation in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Twenty-four patients (mean age 45.8 ± 11.7 years) suffering of ankylosing spondylitis (disease duration 11.1 ± 5.1 years) and 24 gender and age-matched healthy controls were included in the study. Clinical, biological, and functional status of ankylosing spondylitis patients was recorded. Arterial stiffness was assessed by measuring pulse wave velocity (PWV) and pulse wave analysis (PWA) was performed using applanation tonometry. We found significant differences between ankylosing spondylitis patients and healthy controls in regard to PWV (p = 0.047), aortic augmentation pressure-AP (p = 0.028), augmentation index-AIx (p = 0.038) and aortic augmentation index adjusted for heart rate-AIx75 (p = 0.011). PWV and AIx75 were significantly associated with the disease functioning score-BASFI (p = 0.012, r = 0.504; p = 0.041, r = 0.421). Aortic AP and augmentation indexes (AIx and AIx75) were all associated to ASDAS score (p = 0.028, r = 0.448; p = 0.005, r = 0.549; p = 0.025, r = 0.455). Our study showed that ankylosing spondylitis patients have a higher arterial stiffness than the age-matched controls, leading to an increased cardiovascular risk. We found that arterial stiffness is positively associated with disease activity and functional impairment. Chronic spondiloarthropaties should be screened for arterial stiffness, even in the absence of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, in order to benefit from primary prevention measures. PMID:27169859

  9. Physical activity is associated with lower arterial stiffness in older adults: results of the SAPALDIA 3 Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Endes, Simon; Schaffner, Emmanuel; Caviezel, Seraina; Dratva, Julia; Autenrieth, Christine Sonja; Wanner, Miriam; Martin, Brian; Stolz, Daiana; Pons, Marco; Turk, Alexander; Bettschart, Robert; Schindler, Christian; Künzli, Nino; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Schmidt-Trucksäss, Arno

    2016-03-01

    Associations of physical activity (PA) intensity with arterial stiffness in older adults at the population level are insufficiently studied. We examined cross-sectional associations of self-reported PA intensities with arterial stiffness in elderly Caucasians of the Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung and Heart Diseases in Adults. Mixed central and peripheral arterial stiffness was measured oscillometrically by the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV). The self-reported International Physical Activity Questionnaire long version was administered to classify each subject's PA level. We used univariable and multivariable mixed linear and logistic regression models for analyses in 1908 persons aged 50 years and older. After adjustment for several confounders moderate, vigorous and total PA were inversely associated with CAVI (p = 0.02-0.03). BaPWV showed negative and marginally significant associations with vigorous and moderate PA (each p = 0.06), but not with total PA (p = 0.28). Increased arterial stiffness (CAVI ≥ 9, upper tertile) was inversely and significantly associated with vigorous PA [odds ratio (OR) 0.65, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.48-0.88], and marginally significantly with total PA (OR 0.76, 95 % CI 0.57-1.02) and moderate PA (OR 0.75, 95 % CI 0.56-1.01). The odds ratio for baPWV ≥ 14.4 was 0.67 (95 % CI 0.48-0.93) across the vigorous PA levels, and was non-significant across the total (OR 0.91, 95 % CI 0.66-1.23) and moderate PA levels (OR 0.94, 95 % CI 0.69-1.28). In this general Caucasian population of older adults higher levels especially of vigorous PA were associated with lower arterial stiffness. These data support the importance of PA for improving cardiovascular health in elderly people. PMID:26220521

  10. Programmed electromyographic activity and negative incremental muscle stiffness in monkeys jumping downward.

    PubMed Central

    Dyhre-Poulsen, P; Laursen, A M

    1984-01-01

    We trained monkeys to jump down from different heights, and recorded electromyograms (e.m.g.s) in arm muscles, and ground reaction forces. The landing movements were also recorded by high-speed cinematography. The e.m.g. of the triceps began about 80 ms before landing. The initial burst lasted until about 20 ms after ground contact and was succeeded by bursts of gradually declining amplitude. These discharges were not of reflex origin, because when the monkey was deceived by a collapsible platform, they were time-locked to the expected, not to the true landing. The amplitude of the e.m.g. in the triceps increased with the height of the jump, indicating adaptive control. The timing of the e.m.g. pattern was assumed to be programmed before take off, because it was unaffected by extinction of the light during the fall. The vertical ground reaction force produced by the arms had an inflexion on its rising phase which arose from the very rapid stretch of the muscles which control the wrist. Then came a sharp peak produced mainly by stretch of the triceps. The inflexion and the sharp peak were probably produced by short-range stiffness of the muscles of the upper arm. The torque acting on the elbow joint, and the elbow joint stiffness were calculated from the ground reaction forces and the movement of the arm. The torque was high at impact and gradually declined during the landing. The force produced by the triceps increased sharply, then decreased while it continued to lengthen. Thus, the elbow joint showed high initial stiffness, which then decreased, and finally became negative. This dynamic relation between length and tension was very different from the static length-tension characteristic of skeletal muscles. The observed behaviour of the muscles presumably takes advantage of the resistance of the musculo-skeletal system to transient forces. The observed negative stiffness occurs only during submaximal contractions. We propose that the segmented pattern in the e

  11. Programmed electromyographic activity and negative incremental muscle stiffness in monkeys jumping downward.

    PubMed

    Dyhre-Poulsen, P; Laursen, A M

    1984-05-01

    We trained monkeys to jump down from different heights, and recorded electromyograms (e.m.g.s) in arm muscles, and ground reaction forces. The landing movements were also recorded by high-speed cinematography. The e.m.g. of the triceps began about 80 ms before landing. The initial burst lasted until about 20 ms after ground contact and was succeeded by bursts of gradually declining amplitude. These discharges were not of reflex origin, because when the monkey was deceived by a collapsible platform, they were time-locked to the expected, not to the true landing. The amplitude of the e.m.g. in the triceps increased with the height of the jump, indicating adaptive control. The timing of the e.m.g. pattern was assumed to be programmed before take off, because it was unaffected by extinction of the light during the fall. The vertical ground reaction force produced by the arms had an inflexion on its rising phase which arose from the very rapid stretch of the muscles which control the wrist. Then came a sharp peak produced mainly by stretch of the triceps. The inflexion and the sharp peak were probably produced by short-range stiffness of the muscles of the upper arm. The torque acting on the elbow joint, and the elbow joint stiffness were calculated from the ground reaction forces and the movement of the arm. The torque was high at impact and gradually declined during the landing. The force produced by the triceps increased sharply, then decreased while it continued to lengthen. Thus, the elbow joint showed high initial stiffness, which then decreased, and finally became negative. This dynamic relation between length and tension was very different from the static length-tension characteristic of skeletal muscles. The observed behaviour of the muscles presumably takes advantage of the resistance of the musculo-skeletal system to transient forces. The observed negative stiffness occurs only during submaximal contractions. We propose that the segmented pattern in the e

  12. Human ankle joint stiffness over the full range of muscle activation levels.

    PubMed

    Weiss, P L; Hunter, I W; Kearney, R E

    1988-01-01

    System identification techniques have been used to track changes in dynamic stiffness of the human ankle joint over a wide range of muscle contraction levels. Subjects lay supine on an experimental table with their left foot encased in a rigid, low-inertia cast which was fixed to an electro-hydraulic actuator operating as a position servo. Subjects generated tonic plantarflexor or dorsiflexor torques of different magnitudes ranging from rest to maximum voluntary contractions (MVC) during repeated presentations of a stochastic ankle angular position perturbation. Compliance impulse response functions (IRF) were determined from every 2.5 s perturbation sequence. The gain (G), natural frequency (omega n), and damping (zeta) parameters of the second-order model providing the best fit to each IRF were determined and used to compute the corresponding inertial (I), viscous (B) and elastic (K) stiffness parameters. The behaviour of these parameters with mean torque was found to follow two simple rules. First, the elastic parameter (K) increased in proportion to mean ankle torque as it was varied from rest to MVC; these changes were considerable involving increases of more than an order of magnitude. Second, the damping parameter (zeta) remained almost invariant over the entire range of contractions despite the dramatic changes in K. PMID:3410857

  13. Semi-active damping with negative stiffness for multi-mode cable vibration mitigation: approximate collocated control solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, F.; Distl, H.

    2015-11-01

    This paper derives an approximate collocated control solution for the mitigation of multi-mode cable vibration by semi-active damping with negative stiffness based on the control force characteristics of clipped linear quadratic regulator (LQR). The control parameters are derived from optimal modal viscous damping and corrected in order to guarantee that both the equivalent viscous damping coefficient and the equivalent stiffness coefficient of the semi-active cable damper force are equal to their desired counterparts. The collocated control solution with corrected control parameters is numerically validated by free decay tests of the first four cable modes and combinations of these modes. The results of the single-harmonic tests demonstrate that the novel approach yields 1.86 times more cable damping than optimal modal viscous damping and 1.87 to 2.33 times more damping compared to a passive oil damper whose viscous damper coefficient is optimally tuned to the targeted mode range of the first four modes. The improvement in case of the multi-harmonic vibration tests, i.e. when modes 1 and 3 and modes 2 and 4 are vibrating at the same time, is between 1.55 and 3.81. The results also show that these improvements are obtained almost independent of the cable anti-node amplitude. Thus, the proposed approximate real-time applicable collocated semi-active control solution which can be realized by magnetorheological dampers represents a promising tool for the efficient mitigation of stay cable vibrations.

  14. Assessing Stride Variables and Vertical Stiffness with GPS-Embedded Accelerometers: Preliminary Insights for the Monitoring of Neuromuscular Fatigue on the Field.

    PubMed

    Buchheit, Martin; Gray, Andrew; Morin, Jean-Benoit

    2015-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the ability of a GPS-imbedded accelerometer to assess stride variables and vertical stiffness (K), which are directly related to neuromuscular fatigue during field-based high-intensity runs. The ability to detect stride imbalances was also examined. A team sport player performed a series of 30-s runs on an instrumented treadmill (6 runs at 10, 17 and 24 km·h(-1)) with or without his right ankle taped (aimed at creating a stride imbalance), while wearing on his back a commercially-available GPS unit with an embedded 100-Hz tri-axial accelerometer. Contact (CT) and flying (FT) time, and K were computed from both treadmill and accelerometers (Athletic Data Innovations) data. The agreement between treadmill (criterion measure) and accelerometer-derived data was examined. We also compared the ability of the different systems to detect the stride imbalance. Biases were small (CT and K) and moderate (FT). The typical error of the estimate was trivial (CT), small (K) and moderate (FT), with nearly perfect (CT and K) and large (FT) correlations for treadmill vs. accelerometer. The tape induced very large increase in the right - left foot ∆ in CT, FT and K measured by the treadmill. The tape effect on CT and K ∆ measured with the accelerometers were also very large, but of lower magnitude than with the treadmill. The tape effect on accelerometer-derived ∆ FT was unclear. Present data highlight the potential of a GPS-embedded accelerometer to assess CT and K during ground running. Key pointsGPS-embedded tri-axial accelerometers may be used to assess contact time and vertical stiffness during ground running.These preliminary results open new perspective for the field monitoring of neuromuscular fatigue and performance in run-based sports. PMID:26664264

  15. Assessing Stride Variables and Vertical Stiffness with GPS-Embedded Accelerometers: Preliminary Insights for the Monitoring of Neuromuscular Fatigue on the Field

    PubMed Central

    Buchheit, Martin; Gray, Andrew; Morin, Jean-Benoit

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the ability of a GPS-imbedded accelerometer to assess stride variables and vertical stiffness (K), which are directly related to neuromuscular fatigue during field-based high-intensity runs. The ability to detect stride imbalances was also examined. A team sport player performed a series of 30-s runs on an instrumented treadmill (6 runs at 10, 17 and 24 km·h-1) with or without his right ankle taped (aimed at creating a stride imbalance), while wearing on his back a commercially-available GPS unit with an embedded 100-Hz tri-axial accelerometer. Contact (CT) and flying (FT) time, and K were computed from both treadmill and accelerometers (Athletic Data Innovations) data. The agreement between treadmill (criterion measure) and accelerometer-derived data was examined. We also compared the ability of the different systems to detect the stride imbalance. Biases were small (CT and K) and moderate (FT). The typical error of the estimate was trivial (CT), small (K) and moderate (FT), with nearly perfect (CT and K) and large (FT) correlations for treadmill vs. accelerometer. The tape induced very large increase in the right - left foot ∆ in CT, FT and K measured by the treadmill. The tape effect on CT and K ∆ measured with the accelerometers were also very large, but of lower magnitude than with the treadmill. The tape effect on accelerometer-derived ∆ FT was unclear. Present data highlight the potential of a GPS-embedded accelerometer to assess CT and K during ground running. Key points GPS-embedded tri-axial accelerometers may be used to assess contact time and vertical stiffness during ground running. These preliminary results open new perspective for the field monitoring of neuromuscular fatigue and performance in run-based sports PMID:26664264

  16. Development of an Experimental Model to Study the Relationship Between Day-to-Day Variability in Blood Pressure and Aortic Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Bouissou-Schurtz, Camille; Lindesay, Georges; Regnault, Véronique; Renet, Sophie; Safar, Michel E.; Molinie, Vincent; Dabire, Hubert; Bezie, Yvonnick

    2015-01-01

    We aimed to develop an animal model of long-term blood pressure variability (BPV) and to investigate its consequences on aortic damage. We hypothesized that day-to-day BPV produced by discontinuous treatment of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) by valsartan may increase arterial stiffness. For that purpose, rats were discontinuously treated, 2 days a week, or continuously treated by valsartan (30 mg/kg/d in chow) or placebo. Telemetered BP was recorded during 2 min every 15 min, 3 days a week during 8 weeks to cover the full BP variations in response to the treatment schedule. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) and aortic structure evaluated by immunohistochemistry were investigated in a second set of rats treated under the same conditions. Continuous treatment with valsartan reduced systolic BP (SBP) and reversed the aortic structural alterations observed in placebo treated SHR (decrease of medial cross-sectional area). Discontinuous treatment with valsartan decreased SBP to a similar extent but increased the day-to-day BPV, short term BPV, diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and PWV as compared with continuous treatment. Despite no modifications in the elastin/collagen ratio and aortic thickness, an increase in PWV was observed following discontinuous treatment and was associated with a specific accumulation of fibronectin and its αv-integrin receptor compared with both groups of rats. Taken together the present results indicate that a discontinuous treatment with valsartan is able to induce a significant increase in day-to-day BPV coupled to an aortic phenotype close to that observed in hypertension. This experimental model should pave the way for future experimental and clinical studies aimed at assessing how long-term BPV increases aortic stiffness. PMID:26696902

  17. Super-resolution ultrasonic imaging of stiffness variations on a microscale active metasurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lani, Shane; Sabra, Karim G.; Degertekin, F. Levent

    2016-02-01

    Surface acoustic waves propagating over an immersed membrane metasurface, such as an array of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers, can be leveraged to achieve subwavelength focusing and imaging. This is demonstrated numerically and experimentally utilizing a time reversal method on a 2D membrane array at MHz frequencies. The focusing region is a dense metasurface of CMUT membranes with 6.5 MHz resonance frequency that supports a wave field that is evanescent normal to the metasurface and capable of super-resolution along the metasurface. Electrostatically actuated membranes, spatially separate from the focusing region, are used to generate the focused wave field. Subwavelength focusing is demonstrated on the metasurface with a resolution of a single membrane resonator or λ/5. Similar techniques allow for super-resolution imaging of a subwavelength defect or change in the medium of the focusing region. A subwavelength sized imaging target, obtained by altering the stiffness of a single membrane by 1.2%, is shown to be properly imaged with subwavelength resolution. These results pave the way for practical implementation of ultrasonic super-resolution imaging systems using metasurfaces.

  18. Relationship of serum osteoprotegerin with arterial stiffness, preclinical atherosclerosis, and disease activity in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

    PubMed

    Serdaroğlu Beyazal, Münevver; Erdoğan, Turan; Türkyılmaz, Aysegül Kücükali; Devrimsel, Gül; Cüre, Medine Cumhur; Beyazal, Mehmet; Sahin, Ismail

    2016-09-01

    Patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) reportedly have a higher mortality and morbidity risk. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) was recently defined as an important cardiovascular (CV) marker in the general population. We aimed to assess the relationship of serum OPG levels with arterial stiffness, carotid intima media thickness (CIMT), and clinical and laboratory data in AS patients. We examined 60 AS patients without CV disease or risk factors and 50 healthy controls. Disease activity was evaluated using the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) and the Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS), whereas functional capacity was evaluated using the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI). Serum OPG levels were measured with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) was used as an indicator of arterial stiffness, whereas CIMT (examined via carotid ultrasonography) was used to evaluate preclinical atherosclerosis. The mean serum OPG level, PWV, and CIMT were significantly higher in AS patients than in controls (106.7 ± 50.9 vs. 58.1 ± 12.7 pg/mL; 7.4 ± 1.8 vs. 6.2 ± 1.2 m/s; 0.72 ± 0.13 vs. 0.57 ± 0.07 mm, respectively; P < 0.001 for all). In AS patients, the serum OPG levels were not significantly correlated with PWV and CIMT but were significantly correlated with erthrocyte sedimentation rate, BASFI, and ASDAS. AS patients without CV disease or risk exhibited high OPG levels and increased PWV and CIMT values. Although OPG levels were not significantly correlated with PWV or CIMT, future long-term follow-up studies will help define the predictive value of OPG in these patients. PMID:26847856

  19. Effect of High Impact or Non-impact Loading Activity on Bone Bending Stiffness and Mineral Density

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liang, Michael T. C.; Arnnud, Sara B.; Steele, Charles R.; Moreno, Alexjandro

    2003-01-01

    Material properties of conical bone, including mineral density (BMD) and its geometry is closely related to its load-carrying capacity. These two primary components determine the strength of conical bone. High impact loading involving acceleration and deceleration movements used in gymnastics induce higher BMD of the affected bone compared to the non-impact acceleration and deceleration movements used in swimming. Study of these two groups of athletes on bone bending stiffness has not been reported. The purpose of this study was to compare differences in bone bending stiffness and BMD between competitive female synchronized swimmers and female gymnasts. Thirteen world class female synchronized swimmers (SYN) and 8 female gymnasts (GYM), mean age 21 +/- 2.9 yr. were recruited for this study. We used a mechanical response tissue analyzer (Gaitscan, NJ) to calculate EI, where E is Young's modulus of elasticity and I is the cross-sectional moment of inertia. EI was obtained from tissue response to a vibration probe placed directly on the skin of the mid-region of tibia and ulna. BMD of the heel and wrist were measured with a probe densitometer (PIXI, Lunor, WI). The SYN were taller than (p < 0.05) the GYM but weighed the same as the GYM. EI obtained from tibia and ulna of the SYN (291 +/- 159 and 41 +/- 19.4, respectively) were not significantly different from thc GYM (285 +/- 140 and 44 +/- 18.3, respectively). BMD of the heel and wrist in GYM were higher than in SYN (p < 0.001). High impact weight-bearing activities promote similar bone strength but greater BMD response than non-impact activities performed in a buoyant environment.

  20. “An Impediment to Living Life”: Why and How Should We Measure Stiffness in Polymyalgia Rheumatica?

    PubMed Central

    Mackie, Sarah Louise; Hughes, Rodney; Walsh, Margaret; Day, John; Newton, Marion; Pease, Colin; Kirwan, John; Morris, Marianne

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To explore patients’ concepts of stiffness in polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), and how they think stiffness should be measured. Methods Eight focus groups were held at three centres involving 50 patients with current/previous PMR. Each group had at least one facilitator and one rapporteur making field notes. An interview schedule was used to stimulate discussion. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using an inductive thematic approach. Results Major themes identified were: symptoms: pain, stiffness and fatigue; functional impact; impact on daily schedule; and approaches to measurement. The common subtheme for the experience of stiffness was “difficulty in moving”, and usually considered as distinct from the experience of pain, albeit with a variable overlap. Some participants felt stiffness was the “overwhelming” symptom, in that it prevented them carrying out “fundamental activities” and “generally living life”. Diurnal variation in stiffness was generally described in relation to the daily schedule but was not the same as stiffness severity. Some participants suggested measuring stiffness using a numeric rating scale or a Likert scale, while others felt that it was more relevant and straightforward to measure difficulty in performing everyday activities rather than about stiffness itself. Conclusions A conceptual model of stiffness in PMR is presented where stiffness is an important part of the patient experience and impacts on their ability to live their lives. Stiffness is closely related to function and often regarded as interchangeable with pain. From the patients’ perspective, visual analogue scales measuring pain and stiffness were not the most useful method for reporting stiffness; participants preferred numerical rating scales, or assessments of function to reflect how stiffness impacts on their daily lives. Assessing function may be a pragmatic solution to difficulties in quantifying stiffness. PMID:25955770

  1. Stiffness characteristics of longwall shields

    SciTech Connect

    Bayczak, T.M.; Schwemmer, D.E.

    1988-01-01

    The stiffness characteristics of longwall shields have been investigated the this study. Since longwall strata activity is characterized by roof-to-floor and face-to-waste displacements, a model with two degrees of freedom is used to describe the load-displacement relationship of the shield structure. The model considers the support as an elastic body and relates horizontal and vertical resultant forces acting on the support to associated displacements as a function of the stiffness of the support structure. Stiffness coefficients under full canopy and base contact configurations have been determined.

  2. Stiff person syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hadavi, Shahrzad; Noyce, Alastair J; Leslie, R David; Giovannoni, Gavin

    2011-10-01

    Stiff person syndrome (SPS) is a rare disorder, characterised by fluctuating rigidity and stiffness of the axial and proximal lower limb muscles, with superimposed painful spasms and continuous motor unit activity on electromyography. Although rare in general neurology practice, once observed it is unforgettable. The general neurologist may see only one or two cases during his or her career and as such it remains underdiagnosed. Left untreated, SPS symptoms can progress to cause significant disability. Patients have a poor quality of life and an excess rate of comorbidity and mortality. The severity of symptoms and lack of public awareness of the condition create anxiety and uncertainty for people with the disease. This review aims to raise awareness of SPS and to improve the likelihood of its earlier diagnosis and treatment. PMID:21921002

  3. Positive Association Between Adipose Tissue and Bone Stiffness.

    PubMed

    Berg, R M; Wallaschofski, H; Nauck, M; Rettig, R; Markus, M R P; Laqua, R; Friedrich, N; Hannemann, A

    2015-07-01

    Obesity is often considered to have a protective effect against osteoporosis. On the other hand, several recent studies suggest that adipose tissue may have detrimental effects on bone quality. We therefore aimed to investigate the associations between body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), visceral adipose tissue (VAT) or abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), and bone stiffness. The study involved 2685 German adults aged 20-79 years, who participated in either the second follow-up of the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-2) or the baseline examination of the SHIP-Trend cohort. VAT and abdominal SAT were quantified by magnetic resonance imaging. Bone stiffness was assessed by quantitative ultrasound (QUS) at the heel (Achilles InSight, GE Healthcare). The individual risk for osteoporotic fractures was determined based on the QUS-derived stiffness index and classified in low, medium, and high risk. Linear regression models, adjusted for sex, age, physical activity, smoking status, risky alcohol consumption, diabetes, and height (in models with VAT or abdominal SAT as exposure), revealed positive associations between BMI, WC, VAT or abdominal SAT, and the QUS variables broadband-ultrasound attenuation or stiffness index. Moreover, BMI was positively associated with speed of sound. Our study shows that all anthropometric measures including BMI and, WC as well as abdominal fat volume are positively associated with bone stiffness in the general population. As potential predictors of bone stiffness, VAT and abdominal SAT are not superior to easily available measures like BMI or WC. PMID:25929703

  4. Stiffness characteristics of longwall shields

    SciTech Connect

    Barczak, T.M.; Schwemmer, D.E.

    1988-01-01

    Since longwall strata activity is characterized by roof-to-floor and face-to-waste displacements, a model with two degrees of freedom was used to describe the load-displacement relationship of the shield structure. The model considers the support as an elastic body and relates horizontal and vertical resultant forces acting on the support to associated displacements as a function of the stiffness of the support structure. Stiffness coefficients under full canopy and base contact configurations were determined by controlled displacement loading of longwall shields in the Bureau's Mine Roof Simulator. These two-legged longwall shields of different manufacture were investigated. The stiffness characteristics of these shields were evaluated relative to two parameters, namely, shield height and setting pressure. The tests results indicate a reduction in shield stiffness for increasing height. Setting pressure was found to have less of an effect on shield stiffness, producing only a slight increase in stiffness as setting pressure increased. Similar trends were observed for all three shields, indicating a similarity in stiffness characteristics for shields of the same basic configuration.

  5. Physical activity - an important preanalytical variable

    PubMed Central

    Sanchis-Gomar, Fabian; Lippi, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The concentration of several biochemical and hematological biomarkers is strongly influenced by a number of preanalytical variables. Several lines of evidence attest that short, middle, and long-term exercise, as well as the relative intensity of physical effort (from mild to strenuous), may influence a broad array of laboratory variables. The amount of extracellular release and clearance from blood of most of these biomarkers is markedly influenced by the biological characteristics of the molecule(s), level of training, type, intensity and duration of exercise, and time of recovery after training. It is hence noteworthy that test results that fall outside the conventional reference ranges in athletes not only may reflect the presence of a given disease, but may frequently mirror an adaptation to regular training or changes that have occurred during and/or following strenuous exercise, and which should be clearly acknowledged to prevent misinterpretation of laboratory data. The aim of this narrative review is to provide an update about the most significant changes of some biochemical and hematological biomarkers in response to physical exercise, for appropriate interpretation of these changes in the context of physically active subjects. PMID:24627716

  6. A rotor unbalance response based approach to the identification of the closed-loop stiffness and damping coefficients of active magnetic bearings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jin; Di, Long; Cheng, Changli; Xu, Yuanping; Lin, Zongli

    2016-01-01

    The stiffness and damping coefficients of active magnetic bearings (AMBs) have direct influence on the dynamic response of a rotor bearing system, including the bending critical speeds, modes of vibrations and stability. Rotor unbalance response is informative in the identification of these bearing support parameters. In this paper, we propose a method for identifying closed-loop AMB stiffness and damping coefficients based on the rotor unbalance response. We will use a flexible rotor-AMB test rig to help describe the proposed method as well as to validate the identification results. First, based on a rigid body model of the rotor, a formula is derived that computes the nominal values of the bearing stiffness and damping coefficients at a given rotating speed from the experimentally measured rotor unbalance response at the given speed. Then, based on a finite element model of the rotor, an error response surface is constructed for each parameter to estimate the identification errors induced by the rotor flexibility. The final identified values of the stiffness and damping coefficients equal the sums of the nominal values initially computed from the unbalance response and the identification errors determined by the error response surfaces. The proposed identification method is carried out on the rotor-AMB test rig. In order to validate the identification results, the identified values of the closed-loop AMB stiffness and damping coefficients are combined with the finite element model of the rotor to form a full model of the rotor-AMB test rig, from which the model unbalance responses at various rotating speeds are determined through simulation and compared with the experimental measurements. The close agreements between the simulation results and the measurements validate the proposed identification method.

  7. Association between bone stiffness and nutritional biomarkers combined with weight-bearing exercise, physical activity, and sedentary time in preadolescent children. A case-control study.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Diana; Pohlabeln, Hermann; Gianfagna, Francesco; Konstabel, Kenn; Lissner, Lauren; Mårild, Staffan; Molnar, Dénes; Moreno, Luis A; Siani, Alfonso; Sioen, Isabelle; Veidebaum, Toomas; Ahrens, Wolfgang

    2015-09-01

    Physical activity (PA) and micronutrients such as calcium (Ca), vitamin D (25OHD), and phosphate (PO) are important determinants of skeletal development. This case-control study examined the association of these nutritional biomarkers and different PA behaviours, such as habitual PA, weight-bearing exercise (WBE) and sedentary time (SED) with bone stiffness (SI) in 1819 2-9-year-old children from the IDEFICS study (2007-2008). SI was measured on the calcaneus using quantitative ultrasound. Serum and urine Ca and PO and serum 25OHD were determined. Children's sports activities were reported by parents using a standardised questionnaire. A subsample of 1089 children had accelerometer-based PA data (counts per minute, cpm). Moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and SED were estimated. Children with poor SI (below the 15th age-/sex-/height-specific percentile) were defined as cases (N=603). Randomly selected controls (N=1216) were matched by age, sex, and country. Odds ratios (OR) for poor SI were calculated by conditional logistic regression for all biomarkers and PA behaviour variables separately and combined (expressed as tertiles and dichotomised variables, respectively). ORs were adjusted for fat-free mass, dairy product consumption, and daylight duration. We observed increased ORs for no sports (OR=1.39, p<0.05), PA levels below 524 cpm (OR=1.85, p<0.05) and MVPA below 4.2% a day (OR=1.69, p<0.05) compared to WBE, high PA levels (<688 cpm) and high MVPA (6.7%), respectively. SED was not associated with SI. ORs were moderately elevated for low serum Ca and 25OHD. However, biomarkers were not statistically significantly associated with SI and did not modify the association between PA behaviours and SI. Although nutritional biomarkers appear to play a minor role compared to the osteogenic effect of PA and WBE, it is noteworthy that the highest risk for poor SI was observed for no sports or low MVPA combined with lower serum Ca (<2.5 mmol/l) or lower 25OHD (<43.0 nmol

  8. Stiff skin syndrome.

    PubMed

    Geng, S; Lei, X; Toyohara, J P; Zhan, P; Wang, J; Tan, S

    2006-07-01

    Stiff skin syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by pronounced skin induration, mild hypertrichosis and limited joint mobility, predominantly on the buttocks and thighs. Many heterogeneous cases have been reported under the name of stiff skin syndrome. We present a case of stiff skin syndrome from China, the diagnosis based on the patient's typical clinical and histopathological features. PMID:16836505

  9. Implementation of a 3D porcine lumbar finite element model for the simulation of monolithic spinal rods with variable flexural stiffness.

    PubMed

    Brummund, Martin; Brailovski, Vladimir; Facchinello, Yann; Petit, Yvan; Mac-Thiong, Jean-Marc

    2015-08-01

    Monolithic superelastic-elastoplastic spinal rods (MSER) are promising candidates to provide (i) dynamic stabilisation in spinal segments prone to mechanical stress concentration and adjacent segment disease and (ii) to provide fusion-ready stabilization in spinal segments at risk of implant failure. However, the stiffness distributions along the rod's longitudinal axis that best meet clinical requirements remain unknown. The present study is part of a mixed numerical experimental research project and aims at the implementation of a 3D finite element model of the porcine lumbar spine to study the role of MSER material properties and stiffness distributions on the intradiscal pressure distribution in the adjacent segment. In this paper, preliminary intradiscal pressure predictions obtained at one functional spinal unit are presented. Due to a lack of porcine material property data, these predictions were obtained on the basis of uncalibrated human vertebral disc data which were taken from the literature. The results indicate that human annulus and nucleus data predict experimental porcine in vivo and in vitro data reasonably well for the compressive forces of varying magnitudes. PMID:26736412

  10. Arterial stiffness is higher in older adults with increased perceived fatigue and fatigability during walking.

    PubMed

    Gonzales, Joaquin U; Wiberg, Matthew; Defferari, Elizabeth; Proctor, David N

    2015-01-01

    We investigated whether central and/or peripheral arterial stiffness contributes to increased perceived fatigue during walking in mobility-intact older adults. Arterial stiffness of the common carotid artery and superficial femoral artery (SFA) was measured using Doppler-ultrasound in 45 community-dwelling women and men (60-78yrs). The change in perceived fatigue was measured after a fast-pace 400meter walk test. Adults that rated feeling more tired after walking (n=10) had higher SFA stiffness (p<0.01), but not carotid artery stiffness, than adults that reported feeling more energetic after walking (n=22). The change in perceived fatigue rating was normalized to energy expenditure during walking to determine perceived fatigability. Adults were divided into lower and higher perceived fatigability groups (n=22 per group). Carotid artery stiffness was not different between perceived fatigability groups after adjusting for age, sex, body fat, systolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, daily physical activity levels, and resting diameter. However, SFA stiffness was significantly elevated in the higher as compared to lower perceived fatigability group (β-index: 20.7±1.3 vs. 15.3±1.4U; p=0.02) after adjusting for the abovementioned variables. Moreover, stepwise regression identified SFA β-index to be an independent predictor of perceived fatigability (r(2)=0.38, p<0.01). These results suggest that peripheral arterial stiffness is independently associated with perceived fatigue and fatigability in older adults. PMID:25482474

  11. Arterial stiffness in mild primary hyperparathyroidism.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Mishaela R; Maurer, Mathew S; McMahon, Donald J; Bilezikian, John P; Silverberg, Shonni J

    2005-06-01

    When primary hyperparathyroidism was a more symptomatic disease, it was often associated with increased cardiovascular risk. As the clinical manifestations of the disease have changed to a milder, more asymptomatic disorder, investigation is shifting to more subtle cardiovascular abnormalities. We measured arterial stiffness in 39 patients with mild primary hyperparathyroidism [serum calcium, 2.66 +/- 0.2 mmol/liter (10.7 +/- 0.6 mg/dl); PTH, 21.7 +/- 9.5 pmol/liter (89 +/- 39 pg/ml)] and in 134 controls. Arterial stiffness was measured mathematically at the radial artery with a noninvasive device as the "augmentation index" (AIx). The AIx measures the difference between the second and first systolic peaks in the pressure waveform and correlates with increased cardiovascular risk. When physiological variables affecting augmentation index and potentially confounding cardiovascular risk factors (age, gender, heart rate, height, blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, smoking, and hyperlipidemia) were adjusted for, primary hyperparathyroidism was an independent predictor of increased augmentation index (B = 3.37; P < 0.03). A matched-pair analysis showed that 15% of the variance in AIx was uniquely accounted for by the presence of primary hyperparathyroidism. The presence of primary hyperparathyroidism was a stronger predictor of elevated AIx than age, gender, smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, or diabetes mellitus. AIx was also directly correlated with evidence of more active parathyroid disease, including higher PTH levels (r = +0.42; P < 0.05) and lower bone mineral density at the distal one-third radius (r = -0.33; P < 0.05). The diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism was therefore an independent predictor of increased AIx, an early measure of arterial stiffness, and the increase was associated with evidence of more active parathyroid disease. PMID:15769995

  12. An analysis of traction drive torsional stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohn, D. A.; Loewenthal, S. H.

    1983-01-01

    The tangential compliance of elastic bodies in concentrated contact applied to traction drive elements to determine their torsional stiffness was analyzed. Static loading and rotating conditions are considered. The effects of several design variables are shown. The theoretical torsional stiffness of a fixed ratio multiroller drive is computed and compared to experimental values. It is shown that the torsional compliance of the traction contacts themselves is a relatively small portion of the overall drive system compliance.

  13. Effects of the small molecule SIRT1 activator, SRT2104 on arterial stiffness in otherwise healthy cigarette smokers and subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus

    PubMed Central

    Venkatasubramanian, Sowmya; Noh, Radzi M; Daga, Shruti; Langrish, Jeremy P; Mills, Nicholas L; Waterhouse, Brian R; Hoffmann, Ethan; Jacobson, Eric W; Lang, Ninian N; Frier, Brian M; Newby, David E

    2016-01-01

    Objective Arterial stiffness increases with age, and is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcome including increased mortality. The effect of the oral small molecule SIRT1 activator, SRT2104, on arterial stiffness was examined in otherwise healthy cigarette smokers and participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods 24 otherwise healthy cigarette smokers and 15 people with stable type 2 diabetes were randomised in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial and received 28 days of oral SRT2104 (2.0 g/day) or matched placebo. Blood pressure was measured using non-invasive oscillatory sphygmomanometry. Pulse wave analysis and velocity were measured using applanation tonometry at baseline and the end of each treatment period. Owing to the small sample size and similar trends for both groups, data for the two groups were pooled (post hoc analysis). Results Compared to placebo, treatment with SRT2104 was associated with a significant reduction in augmentation pressure (p=0.0273) and a trend towards improvement in the augmentation index and corrected augmentation index (p>0.05 for both). However, no changes were observed in pulse wave velocity and time to wave reflection (p>0.05). Systolic and diastolic blood pressures remained unchanged throughout the study. Treatment by cohort interaction was not significant for any of the pulse wave parameters, suggesting that the response to SRT2104 in otherwise healthy smokers and people with diabetes was consistent. Conclusions SRT2104 may improve measures of arterial stiffness in otherwise healthy cigarette smokers and in participants with type 2 diabetes. Definitive conclusions are not possible given the small sample size and exploratory nature of this analysis. Trial registration number NCT01031108. PMID:27239324

  14. Solar Activity-driven Variability of Instrumental Data Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martayan, C.; Smette, A.; Hanuschik, R.; van Der Heyden, P.; Mieske, S.

    2016-06-01

    The unexplained variability of the data quality from Very Large Telescope instruments and the frequency of power cuts have been investigated. Origins for the variability in ambient temperature variations, software, data reduction pipelines and internal to hardware could be discarded. The most probable cause appears to be correlated with the evolution of the cosmic ray rate, and also with solar and terrestrial geomagnetic activity. We report on the consequences of such variability and describe how the observatory infrastructure, instruments and data are affected.

  15. Chronic variable stress activates hematopoietic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Courties, Gabriel; Dutta, Partha; Iwamoto, Yoshiko; Zaltsman, Alex; von zur Muhlen, Constantin; Bode, Christoph; Fricchione, Gregory L.; Denninger, John; Lin, Charles P.; Vinegoni, Claudio; Libby, Peter; Swirski, Filip K.; Weissleder, Ralph; Nahrendorf, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to psychosocial stress is a risk factor for many diseases, including atherosclerosis1,2. While incompletely understood, interaction between the psyche and the immune system provides one potential mechanism linking stress and disease inception and progression. Known crosstalk between the brain and immune system includes the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, which centrally drives glucocorticoid production in the adrenal cortex, and the sympathetic–adrenal–medullary axis, which controls stress–induced catecholamine release in support of the fight–or–flight reflex3,4. It remains unknown however if chronic stress changes hematopoietic stem cell activity. Here we show that stress increases proliferation of these most primitive progenitors, giving rise to higher levels of disease–promoting inflammatory leukocytes. We found that chronic stress induced monocytosis and neutrophilia in humans. While investigating the source of leukocytosis in mice, we discovered that stress activates upstream hematopoietic stem cells. Sympathetic nerve fibers release surplus noradrenaline, which uses the β3 adrenergic receptor to signal bone marrow niche cells to decrease CXCL12 levels. Consequently, elevated hematopoietic stem cell proliferation increases output of neutrophils and inflammatory monocytes. When atherosclerosis–prone ApoE−/− mice encounter chronic stress, accelerated hematopoiesis promotes plaque features associated with vulnerable lesions that cause myocardial infarction and stroke in humans. PMID:24952646

  16. Creatine supplementation and its effect on musculotendinous stiffness and performance.

    PubMed

    Watsford, Mark L; Murphy, Aron J; Spinks, Warwick L; Walshe, Andrew D

    2003-02-01

    Anecdotal reports suggesting that creatine (Cr) supplementation may cause side effects, such as an increased incidence of muscle strains or tears, require scientific examination. In this study, it was hypothesized that the rapid fluid retention and "dry matter growth" evident after Cr supplementation may cause an increase in musculotendinous stiffness. Intuitively, an increase in musculotendinous stiffness would increase the chance of injury during exercise. Twenty men were randomly allocated to a control or an experimental group and were examined for musculotendinous stiffness of the triceps surae and for numerous performance indices before and after Cr ingestion. The Cr group achieved a significant increase in body mass (79.7 +/- 10.8 kg vs. 80.9 +/- 10.7 kg), counter movement jump height (40.2 +/- 4.8 cm vs. 42.7 +/- 5.9 cm), and 20-cm drop jump height (32.3 +/- 3.3 cm vs. 35.1 +/- 4.8 cm) after supplementation. No increase was found for musculotendinous stiffness at any assessment load. There were no significant changes in any variables within the control group. These findings have both performance- and injury-related implications. Primarily, anecdotal evidence suggesting that Cr supplementation causes muscular strain injuries is not supported by this study. In addition, the increase in jump performance is indicative of performance enhancement in activities requiring maximal power output. PMID:12580652

  17. Direct measurement of the intrinsic ankle stiffness during standing.

    PubMed

    Vlutters, M; Boonstra, T A; Schouten, A C; van der Kooij, H

    2015-05-01

    Ankle stiffness contributes to standing balance, counteracting the destabilizing effect of gravity. The ankle stiffness together with the compliance between the foot and the support surface make up the ankle-foot stiffness, which is relevant to quiet standing. The contribution of the intrinsic ankle-foot stiffness to balance, and the ankle-foot stiffness amplitude dependency remain a topic of debate in the literature. We therefore developed an experimental protocol to directly measure the bilateral intrinsic ankle-foot stiffness during standing balance, and determine its amplitude dependency. By applying fast (40 ms) ramp-and-hold support surface rotations (0.005-0.08 rad) during standing, reflexive contributions could be excluded, and the amplitude dependency of the intrinsic ankle-foot stiffness was investigated. Results showed that reflexive activity could not have biased the torque used for estimating the intrinsic stiffness. Furthermore, subjects required less recovery action to restore balance after bilateral rotations in opposite directions compared to rotations in the same direction. The intrinsic ankle-foot stiffness appears insufficient to ensure balance, ranging from 0.93±0.09 to 0.44±0.06 (normalized to critical stiffness 'mgh'). This implies that changes in muscle activation are required to maintain balance. The non-linear stiffness decrease with increasing rotation amplitude supports the previous published research. With the proposed method reflexive effects can be ruled out from the measured torque without any model assumptions, allowing direct estimation of intrinsic stiffness during standing. PMID:25843262

  18. TEC variability over Havana for different solar activity conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazo, B.; Alazo, K.; Rodríguez, M.; Calzadilla, A.

    2004-01-01

    The variability of total electron content measured over Havana using ATS-6, SMS-1 and GOES-3 geosynchronous satellite signals has been investigated for low, middle and high solar activity periods from 1974 to 1982. The results show that the standard deviation is smooth during the nighttime hours and maximal at the noon or postnoon hours. A strong solar activity dependence of the standard deviation has been found with maximum values during periods of high solar activity.

  19. Spatial variability of the dehydrogenase activity in forest soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Błońska, Ewa; Lasota, Jarosław

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the spatial variability of the dehydrogenase activity (DH) in forest soils using geostatistics. We have studied variability soil dehydrogenase and their relationship with variability of some physic-chemical properties. Two study areas (A and B) were set up in southern Poland in the Zlotoryja Forest District. Study areas were covered by different types of vegetation (A- broadleaf forest with beech, ash and sycamore), B- coniferous forest with Norway spruce). The soils were classified as Dystric Cambisols (WRB 2006). The samples for laboratory testing were collected from 49 places on each areas. 15 cm of surface horizon of soil were taken (with previously removed litter). Dehydrogenase activity was marked with Lenhard's method according to the Casida procedure. Soil pH, nitrogen (N) and soil organic carbon (C) content (by LECO CNS 2000 carbon analyzer) was marked. C/N ratio was calculated. Particle size composition was determined using laser diffraction. Statistical analysis were performed using STATISTICA 10 software. Geostatistical analysis and mapping were done by application of GS 9+ (Gamma Design) and Surfer 11 (Golden Software). The activity of DH ranged between 5,02 and 71,20 mg TPP• kg-1 •24 h-1 on the A area and between 0,94 and 16,47 mg TPP• kg-1 •24 h-1. Differences in spatial variability of the analised features were noted. The variability of dehydrogenase activity on the A study area was described by an exponential model, whereas on the B study area the spatial correlation has not been noted. The relationship of dehydrogenase activity with the remaining parameters of soil was noted only in the case of A study area. The variability of organic carbon content on the A and B study areas were described by an exponential model. The variability of nitrogen content on both areas were described by an spherical model.

  20. Reflectional transformation for structural stiffness

    SciTech Connect

    Vashi, K.M.

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a structural reflection-related transformation for structural stiffness. The stiffness transformation addresses reflection of a structure about any of the three coordinate planes and renders the desired stiffness matrix using a stiffness matrix for the same structure before reflection. This transformation is elegant and simple, provides an efficient and technically rigorous approach to derive the required stiffness matrix without structural remodeling, and can be readily programmed to quickly perform the required matrix manipulations. 2 figs.

  1. Design and Testing of a Dynamically-Tuned Magnetostrictive Spring with Electrically-Controlled Stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scheidler, Justin; Asnani, Vivake M.; Dapino, Marcelo J.

    2015-01-01

    This paper details the development of an electrically-controlled, variable-stiffness spring based on magnetostrictive materials. The device, termed a magnetostrictive Varispring, can be applied as a semi-active vibration isolator or switched stiffness vibration controller for reducing transmitted vibrations. The Varispring is designed using 1D linear models that consider the coupled electrical response, mechanically-induced magnetic diffusion, and the effect of internal mass on dynamic stiffness. Modeling results illustrate that a Terfenol-D-based Varispring has a rise time almost an order of magnitude smaller and a magnetic diffusion cut-off frequency over two orders of magnitude greater than a Galfenol-based Varispring. The results motivate the use of laminated Terfenol-D rods for a greater stiffness tuning range and increased bandwidth. The behavior of a prototype Varispring is examined under vibratory excitation up to 6 MPa and 25 Hz using a dynamic load frame. For this prototype, stiffness is indirectly varied by controlling the excitation current. Preliminary measurements of continuous stiffness tuning via sinusoidal currents up to 1 kHz are presented. The measurements demonstrate that the Young's modulus of the Terfenol-D rod inside the Varispring can be continuously varied by up to 21.9 GPa. The observed stiffness tuning range is relatively constant up to 500 Hz, but significantly decreases thereafter. The stiffness tuning range can be greatly increased by improving the current and force control such that a more consistent current can be applied and the Varispring can be accurately tested at a more optimal bias stress.

  2. Coarse-graining stiff bonds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Español, P.; de la Torre, J. A.; Ferrario, M.; Ciccotti, G.

    2011-11-01

    The method of constraints in molecular dynamics is useful because it avoids the resolution of high frequency motions with very small time steps. However, the price to pay is that both the dynamics and the statistics of a constrained system differ from those of the unconstrained one. Instead of using constraints, we propose to dispose of high frequency motions by a coarse-graining procedure in which fast variables are eliminated. These fast variables are thus modeled as friction and thermal fluctuations. We illustrate the methodology with a simple model case, a diatomic molecule in a monoatomic solvent, in which the bond between the atoms of a diatomic molecule is stiff. Although the example is very simple and does not display the interesting effects of "wrong" statistics of the constrained system (i.e. the well-known issue connected to the Fixman potential), it is well suited to give the proof of concept of the whole procedure.

  3. ENSEMBLE VARIABILITY OF NEAR-INFRARED-SELECTED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Kouzuma, S.; Yamaoka, H. E-mail: yamaoka@phys.kyushu-u.ac.jp

    2012-03-01

    We present the properties of the ensemble variability V for nearly 5000 near-infrared active galactic nuclei (AGNs) selected from the catalog of Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei (13th Edition) and the SDSS-DR7 quasar catalog. From three near-infrared point source catalogs, namely, Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), Deep Near Infrared Survey (DENIS), and UKIDSS/LAS catalogs, we extract 2MASS-DENIS and 2MASS-UKIDSS counterparts for cataloged AGNs by cross-identification between catalogs. We further select variable AGNs based on an optimal criterion for selecting the variable sources. The sample objects are divided into subsets according to whether near-infrared light originates by optical emission or by near-infrared emission in the rest frame; and we examine the correlations of the ensemble variability with the rest-frame wavelength, redshift, luminosity, and rest-frame time lag. In addition, we also examine the correlations of variability amplitude with optical variability, radio intensity, and radio-to-optical flux ratio. The rest-frame optical variability of our samples shows negative correlations with luminosity and positive correlations with rest-frame time lag (i.e., the structure function, SF), and this result is consistent with previous analyses. However, no well-known negative correlation exists between the rest-frame wavelength and optical variability. This inconsistency might be due to a biased sampling of high-redshift AGNs. Near-infrared variability in the rest frame is anticorrelated with the rest-frame wavelength, which is consistent with previous suggestions. However, correlations of near-infrared variability with luminosity and rest-frame time lag are the opposite of these correlations of the optical variability; that is, the near-infrared variability is positively correlated with luminosity but negatively correlated with the rest-frame time lag. Because these trends are qualitatively consistent with the properties of radio-loud quasars reported

  4. Vascular stiffness in insulin resistance and obesity

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Guanghong; Aroor, Annayya R.; DeMarco, Vincent G.; Martinez-Lemus, Luis A.; Meininger, Gerald A.; Sowers, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes are associated with a substantially increased prevalence of vascular fibrosis and stiffness, with attendant increased risk of cardiovascular and chronic kidney disease. Although the underlying mechanisms and mediators of vascular stiffness are not well understood, accumulating evidence supports the role of metabolic and immune dysregulation related to increased adiposity, activation of the renin angiotensin aldosterone system, reduced bioavailable nitric oxide, increased vascular extracellular matrix (ECM) and ECM remodeling in the pathogenesis of vascular stiffness. This review will give a brief overview of the relationship between obesity, insulin resistance and increased vascular stiffness to provide a contemporary understanding of the proposed underlying mechanisms and potential therapeutic strategies. PMID:26321962

  5. Sensitivity of overall vehicle stiffness to local joint stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chon, Choon T.

    1987-01-01

    How overall vehicle stiffness is affected by local joint stiffness is discussed. By using the principle of virtual work and the minimum strain energy theorem, a closed form expression for the sensitivity coefficient was derived. The insensitivity of the vehicle stiffness to a particular joint, when its stiffness exceeds a certain value (or threshold value), was proven mathematically. In order to investigate the sensitivity of the structure to the joint stiffness, a so-called stick model was created, and the modeling technique is briefly described. Some data on joint stiffness of tested vehicles are also presented.

  6. Reduced Variability of Auditory Alpha Activity in Chronic Tinnitus

    PubMed Central

    Schecklmann, Martin; Kreuzer, Peter M.; Vielsmeier, Veronika; Poeppl, Timm B.; Langguth, Berthold

    2014-01-01

    Subjective tinnitus is characterized by the conscious perception of a phantom sound which is usually more prominent under silence. Resting state recordings without any auditory stimulation demonstrated a decrease of cortical alpha activity in temporal areas of subjects with an ongoing tinnitus perception. This is often interpreted as an indicator for enhanced excitability of the auditory cortex in tinnitus. In this study we want to further investigate this effect by analysing the moment-to-moment variability of the alpha activity in temporal areas. Magnetoencephalographic resting state recordings of 21 tinnitus subjects and 21 healthy controls were analysed with respect to the mean and the variability of spectral power in the alpha frequency band over temporal areas. A significant decrease of auditory alpha activity was detected for the low alpha frequency band (8–10 Hz) but not for the upper alpha band (10–12 Hz). Furthermore, we found a significant decrease of alpha variability for the tinnitus group. This result was significant for the lower alpha frequency range and not significant for the upper alpha frequencies. Tinnitus subjects with a longer history of tinnitus showed less variability of their auditory alpha activity which might be an indicator for reduced adaptability of the auditory cortex in chronic tinnitus. PMID:24967106

  7. Measuring graphene's bending stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blees, Melina; Barnard, Arthur; Roberts, Samantha; Kevek, Joshua W.; Ruyack, Alexander; Wardini, Jenna; Ong, Peijie; Zaretski, Aliaksandr; Wang, Siping; McEuen, Paul L.

    2013-03-01

    Graphene's unusual combination of in-plane strength and out-of-plane flexibility makes it promising for mechanical applications. A key value is the bending stiffness, which microscopic theories and measurements of phonon modes in graphite put at κ0 = 1.2 eV.1 However, theories of the effects of thermal fluctuations in 2D membranes predict that the bending stiffness at longer length scales could be orders of magnitude higher.2,3 This macroscopic value has not been measured. Here we present the first direct measurement of monolayer graphene's bending stiffness, made by mechanically lifting graphene off a surface in a liquid and observing both motion induced by thermal fluctuations and the deflection caused by gravity's effect on added weights. These experiments reveal a value κeff = 12 keV at room temperature -- four orders of magnitude higher than κ0. These results closely match theoretical predictions of the effects of thermally-induced fluctuations which effectively thicken the membrane, dramatically increasing its bending stiffness at macroscopic length scales.

  8. Objectively measured physical activity and sedentary-time are associated with arterial stiffness in Brazilian young adults

    PubMed Central

    Horta, Bernardo Lessa; Schaan, Beatriz D.; Bielemann, Renata Moraes; Vianna, Carolina Ávila; Gigante, Denise Petrucci; Barros, Fernando C.; Ekelund, Ulf; Hallal, Pedro Curi

    2015-01-01

    Objective To examine the associations between objectively measured physical activity and sedentary time with pulse wave velocity (PWV) in Brazilian young adults. Methods Cross-sectional analysis with participants of the 1982 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort who were followed-up from birth to 30 years of age. Overall physical activity (PA) assessed as the average acceleration (mg), time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA – min/day) and sedentary time (min/day) were calculated from acceleration data. Carotid-femoral PWV (m/s) was assessed using a portable ultrasound. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP), waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI) were analyzed as possible mediators. Multiple linear regression and g-computation formula were used in the analyses. Results Complete data were available for 1241 individuals. PWV was significantly lower in the two highest quartiles of overall PA (0.26 m/s) compared with the lowest quartile. Participants in the highest quartile of sedentary time had 0.39 m/s higher PWV (95%CI: 0.20; 0.57) than those in the lowest quartile. Individuals achieving ≥30 min/day in MVPA had lower PWV (β = −0.35; 95%CI: −0.56; −0.14). Mutually adjusted analyses between MVPA and sedentary time and PWV changed the coefficients, although results from sedentary time remained more consistent. WC captured 44% of the association between MVPA and PWV. DBP explained 46% of the association between acceleration and PWV. Conclusions Physical activity was inversely related to PWV in young adults, whereas sedentary time was positively associated. Such associations were only partially mediated by WC and DBP. PMID:26386211

  9. Structured variability in Purkinje cell activity during locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Sauerbrei, Britton A.; Lubenov, Evgueniy V.; Siapas, Athanassios G.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The cerebellum is a prominent vertebrate brain structure that is critically involved in sensorimotor function. During locomotion, cerebellar Purkinje cells are rhythmically active, shaping descending signals and coordinating commands from higher brain areas with the step cycle. However, the variation in this activity across steps has not been studied, and its statistical structure, afferent mechanisms, and relationship to behavior remain unknown. Here, using multi-electrode recordings in freely moving rats, we show that behavioral variables systematically influence the shape of the step-locked firing rate. This effect depends strongly on the phase of the step cycle and reveals a functional clustering of Purkinje cells. Furthermore, we find a pronounced disassociation between patterns of variability driven by the parallel and climbing fibers. These results suggest that Purkinje cell activity not only represents step phase within each cycle, but is also shaped by behavior across steps, facilitating control of movement under dynamic conditions. PMID:26291165

  10. METABOLIC SYNDROME INCREASES CAROTID ARTERY STIFFNESS: THE NORTHERN MANHATTAN STUDY

    PubMed Central

    Della-Morte, David; Gardener, Hannah; Denaro, Federica; Boden-Albala, Bernadette; Elkind, Mitchell S.V.; Paik, Myunghee C.; Sacco, Ralph L.; Rundek, Tatjana

    2010-01-01

    Background Arterial Stiffness, an intermediate pre-clinical marker of atherosclerosis, has been associated with an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The metabolic syndrome and its components are established CVD risk factors and may also increase arterial stiffness, but data on this potential relationship is limited. The goal of this study was to determine the association between the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) and carotid artery stiffness (STIFF) in an elderly multi-ethnic cohort. Methods STIFF was assessed by carotid ultrasound as part of the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), a prospective population-based cohort of stroke-free individuals. STIFF was calculated as [ln(systolicBP/diastolicBP)/Strain], where Strain was [(Systolic Diameter Diastolic Diameter)/Diastolic Diameter]. MetSyn was defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program: Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) criteria. LogSTIFF was analyzed as the dependent variable in linear regression models, adjusting for demographics, education, current smoking, presence of carotid plaque and intima-media thickness. Results STIFF was analyzed in 1133 NOMAS subjects (mean age 65±9 years; 61% women; 58% Hispanic, 22% Black, 20% White). The prevalence of MetSyn was 49%. The mean LogSTIFF was 2.01±0.61 among those with and 1.90±0.59 among those without MetSyn (p=0.003). MetSyn was significantly associated with increased logSTIFF in the final adjusted model (parameter estimate β=0.100, p=0.01). Among individual MetSyn components, waist circumference and elevated blood pressure were most significantly associated with a mean increase in logSTIFF (p<0.01). Conclusion MetSyn is significantly associated with increased carotid artery stiffness in a multiethnic population. Increased carotid artery stiffness may, in part, explain a high risk of stroke among individuals with the metabolic syndrome. PMID:20536608

  11. High-sensitivity active pixel sensor with variable threshold photodetector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, Sung-Hyun; Bae, Myunghan; Choi, Byoung-Soo; Lyu, Hong-Kun; Shin, Jang-Kyoo

    2015-05-01

    A novel high-sensitivity active pixel sensor (APS) with a variable threshold photodetector has been presented and for the first time, a simple SPICE model for the variable threshold photodetector is presented. Its SPICE model is in good agreement with measurements and is more simpler than the conventional model. The proposed APS has a gate/body-tied PMOSFET-type photodetector with an overlapping control gate that makes it possible to control the sensitivity of the proposed APS. It is a hybrid device composed of a metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), a lateral bipolar junction transistor (BJT) and a vertical BJT. Using sufficient overlapping control gate bias to operate the MOSFET in inversion mode, the variable threshold photodetector allows for increasing the photocurrent gain by 105 at low light intensities when the control gate bias is -3 V. Thus, the proposed APS with a variable threshold photodetector has better low-light-level sensitivity than the conventional APS operating mode, and it has a variable sensitivity which is determined by the control gate bias. The proposed sensor has been fabricated by using 0.35 μm 2-poly 4-metal standard complementary MOS (CMOS) process and its characteristics have been evaluated.

  12. Non-axial muscle stress and stiffness.

    PubMed

    Zahalak, G I

    1996-09-01

    A generalization is developed of the classic two-state Huxley cross-bridge model to account for non-axial active stress and stiffness. The main ingredients of the model are: (i) a relation between the general three-dimensional deformation of an element of muscle and the deformations of the cross-bridges, that assumes macroscopic deformation is transmitted to the myofibrils, (ii) radial as well as axial cross-bridge stiffness, and (iii) variations of the attachment and detachment rates with lateral filament spacing. The theory leads to a generalized Huxley rate equation on the bond-distribution function, n(zeta, theta, t), of the form [equation: see text] where the Dij are the components of the relative velocity gradient and rho and ñ are functions of the polar angle, theta, and time that describe, respectively, the deformation of the myofilament lattice and the distribution of accessible actin sites (both of these functions can be calculated from the macroscopic deformation). Explicit expressions, in terms of n, are derived for the nine components of the active stress tensor, and the 21 non-vanishing components of the active stiffness tensor; the active stress tensor is found to be unsymmetric. The theory predicts that in general non-axial deformations will modify active axial stress and stiffness, and also give rise to non-axial (e.g., shearing) components. Under most circumstances the magnitudes of the non-axial stress and stiffness components will be small compared with the axial and, further, the effects of non-axial deformation rates will be small compared with those of the axial rate. Large transverse deformations may, however, greatly reduce the axial force and stiffness. The theory suggests a significant mechanical role for the non-contractile proteins in muscle, namely that of equilibrating the unsymmetric active stresses. Some simple applications of the theory are provided to illustrate its physical content. PMID:8917737

  13. Winter Eurasian Climate Variability: Role of Cyclone and Anticyclone Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, C.; Zhang, X.; Guan, Z.

    2012-12-01

    This study investigates variability of extratropical Eurasian cyclone and anticyclone activity by using a modified automated cyclone and anticyclone identification and tracking algorithm. The cyclone and anticyclone activities are quantified by their regionally integrated intensity (CI and ACI) during 1978/79-2011/2012 winter seasons. We found that the time evolutions of the CI and ACI exhibit a general negative correlation of -0.7 between them at a significant level of 99.99%. This anticyclone (cyclone) variability contributes to the substantially large-scale sea level pressure variability over extratropical Eurasian continent, and explains the interannual fluctuation of surface air temperature over mid latitude Eurasia as well as the adjacent continents. The ACI swings from one phase to another, also producing large changes in snow cover extend, snow equivalent water as well as frequency of extreme cold events over the Eurasian continent. The strengthening of anticyclone intensity is preceded by retreated of the October sea-ice extent over Barents-Kara Sea, which associates tightly with an increasing stability at lower troposphere around the Ural Mountains and induces strengthening Eurasian anticyclones activity in the subsequent winter.

  14. Tectorial Membrane Stiffness Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Claus-Peter; Emadi, Gulam; Getnick, Geoffrey; Quesnel, Alicia; Dallos, Peter

    2007-01-01

    The mammalian inner ear processes sound with high sensitivity and fine resolution over a wide frequency range. The underlying mechanism for this remarkable ability is the “cochlear amplifier”, which operates by modifying cochlear micromechanics. However, it is largely unknown how the cochlea implements this modification. Although gradual improvements in experimental techniques have yielded ever-better descriptions of gross basilar membrane vibration, the internal workings of the organ of Corti and of the tectorial membrane have resisted exploration. Although measurements of cochlear function in mice with a gene mutation for α-tectorin indicate the tectorial membrane's key role in the mechanoelectrical transformation by the inner ear, direct experimental data on the tectorial membrane's physical properties are limited, and only a few direct measurements on tectorial micromechanics are available. Using the hemicochlea, we are able to show that a tectorial membrane stiffness gradient exists along the cochlea, similar to that of the basilar membrane. In artificial perilymph (but with low calcium), the transversal and radial driving point stiffnesses change at a rate of –4.0 dB/mm and −4.9 dB/mm, respectively, along the length of the cochlear spiral. In artificial endolymph, the stiffness gradient for the transversal component was –3.4 dB/mm. Combined with the changes in tectorial membrane dimensions from base to apex, the radial stiffness changes would be able to provide a second frequency-place map in the cochlea. Young's modulus, which was obtained from measurements performed in the transversal direction, decreased by −2.6 dB/mm from base to apex. PMID:17496047

  15. Stiffness has different meanings, I think, to everyone”. Examining Stiffness from the Perspective of People Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Orbai, Ana-Maria; Smith, Katherine C.; Bartlett, Susan J.; De Leon, Elaine; Bingham, Clifton O.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Stiffness is a well-recognized symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It is frequently queried during clinic visits as an indicator of disease activity, and was included in the 1961 and 1987 RA classification criteria. Little is known about how people with RA experience stiffness and its impact on their lives. Methods We conducted 4 focus groups with 20 people with RA (4-6 participants per group), from one academic clinical practice and one private practice, to generate accounts of stiffness experiences. Qualitative inductive thematic data analysis was conducted. Results Five overarching themes were identified: 1. Relationship of stiffness with other symptoms; 2. Exacerbating or alleviating factors and self-management; 3. Stiffness timing and location; 4. Individual meanings of stiffness experiences; 5. Impact of stiffness on daily life. Conclusion Focus group discussions revealed individual stiffness experiences as diverse and complex. Several stiffness features were endorsed by a majority of participants, but few, if any, were universally experienced, thus the significance of stiffness as an expression of the disease varied widely. Discussions yielded descriptions of how individual limits imposed by RA in general and stiffness in particular, may change over time and were intertwined with adaptations to preserve participation in valued life activities. These results concerning the diversity of the stiffness experience, consequential adaptations, and its impact suggest a more individualized approach to stiffness measurement may be needed in order to improve stiffness assessments. PMID:24891304

  16. Variables associated with patient activation in persons with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Goodworth, Marie-Christine R; Stepleman, Lara; Hibbard, Judith; Johns, Lisa; Wright, Dustin; Hughes, Mary D; Williams, Mitzi J

    2016-01-01

    Identifying variables associated with patient activation in the multiple sclerosis population could serve to facilitate better multiple sclerosis self-management behaviors. Using a cross-sectional survey design, 199 participants were recruited from a multiple sclerosis center in the Southeastern United States. Depression, multiple sclerosis quality of life, and multiple Sclerosis self-efficacy were all significantly correlated with patient activation. Results of a hierarchical regression indicated that patient activation was significantly related to educational attainment, depression, and self-efficacy but not to quality of life. The results suggest several possible targets for intervention to increase patient activation, including health literacy, depression symptoms, and self-efficacy for multiple sclerosis disease management. PMID:24591120

  17. Linking geomagnetic activity and polar surface air temperature variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seppala, Annika

    ERA-40 and ECMWF operational surface level air temperature (SAT) data sets from 1957 to 2006 were used to examine polar temperature variations during years with different levels of geomagnetic activity, as defined by the Ap index. Previous modelling work has suggested that NOx produced at high latitudes by energetic particle precipitation can eventually lead to detectable changes in polar SATs. We find that during winter months, ERA-40 and ECMWF polar SATs in years with high Ap index are different than in years with low Ap index; the differences are statistically significant at the 2-sigma level and range up to about ±4.5 K, de-pending on location. The temperature differences are larger when years with wintertime Sudden Stratospheric Warmings are excluded. Solar irradiance variations were taken into account in the analysis. Although using the re-analysis and operational data sets it was not possible to conclusively show that the polar SAT patterns are physically linked by geomagnetic activity, we conclude that geomagnetic activity likely plays a role in modulating polar wintertime surface air temperature patterns. The SAT results were tested against variation in the Quasi Biennial Oscillation (QBO), the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode n (SAM). The results suggested that these were not driving the observed polar SAT variability. However, significant uncertainty is introduced by the Northern Annular Mode (NAM) and we could not robustly exclude a chance linkage between sea surface temperature (SST) variability and geomagnetic activity. Examining the physical link between geomagnetic activity and polar surface temperature variability patterns using atmospheric models is an ongoing task.

  18. African easterly wave activity in a variable resolution GCM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moustaoui, M.; Royer, J.-F.; Chauvin, F.

    2002-03-01

    The role of large-scale conditions on African easterly waves' variability and associated rainfall is investigated in simulations with the variable resolution version of the Arpege-Climat General Circulation Model (GCM). Easterly waves are identified from the 850 hPa meridional winds. The simulated waves' characteristics and their frequency response are compared with that in the reanalyses of the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) during summer 1992. The zonal wavelength of the simulated waves increases toward the equator. This increase, found also in previous works, is explained by the increase in 850-hPa mean zonal winds toward the equator as a result of low-level monsoon flow. A pronounced seasonal variability indicating a late summer enhancement of wave activity and related precipitation is found in both simulations and reanalyses. This feature, which has been found from observation campaigns, is explained by the variability of the large-scale circulation, which gives favorable conditions for the penetration of the easterly waves into the moist layer in the late summer. A shift of the spectra towards low frequencies is found in the simulated waves when compared to the reanalysis. The shift is explained by the relatively weak westward winds within the African Easterly Jet in the model, which tend to generate waves with low phase speed and frequency. We suggest that the weakness of the winds in the jet is caused by the strong eastward monsoon flow in the model, which may be due to surface condition parameterizations.

  19. Geomagnetic activity and polar surface air temperature variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seppälä, A.; Randall, C. E.; Clilverd, M. A.; Rozanov, E.; Rodger, C. J.

    2009-10-01

    Here we use the ERA-40 and ECMWF operational surface level air temperature data sets from 1957 to 2006 to examine polar temperature variations during years with different levels of geomagnetic activity, as defined by the A p index. Previous modeling work has suggested that NO x produced at high latitudes by energetic particle precipitation can eventually lead to detectable changes in surface air temperatures (SATs). We find that during winter months, polar SATs in years with high A p index are different than in years with low A p index; the differences are statistically significant at the 2-sigma level and range up to about ±4.5 K, depending on location. The temperature differences are larger when years with wintertime Sudden Stratospheric Warmings (SSWs) are excluded. We take into account solar irradiance variations, unlike previous analyses of geomagnetic effects in ERA-40 and operational data. Although we cannot conclusively show that the polar SAT patterns are physically linked by geomagnetic activity, we conclude that geomagnetic activity likely plays a role in modulating wintertime surface air temperatures. We tested our SAT results against variation in the Quasi Biennial Oscillation, the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the Southern Annular Mode. The results suggested that these were not driving the observed polar SAT variability. However, significant uncertainty is introduced by the Northern Annular Mode, and we cannot robustly exclude a chance linkage between sea surface temperature variability and geomagnetic activity.

  20. [Variability in the flavinogenic activity of Pichia guilliermondi yeasts].

    PubMed

    Shavlovskiĭ, G M; Ksheminskaia, G P; Gumetskiĭ, R Ia

    1975-01-01

    The natural and induced variability of the flavinogenic activity was studied in the strain of Pichia guilliermondii ATCC 9058. The flavinogenic activity of the collection strain showed normal distribution; the amount of riboflavin(RF) accumulated in the medium differed several times in the extreme variants. In the clones with the maximum and minimum accumulation of RF, the distribution of the variants was asymmetric, due to the appearance of the cells with an average flavinogenic activity. The clones have acquired almost the same flavinogenic activity after being transferred eight times on a fresh medium. The asymmetric distribution of the variants according to their flavinogenic activity was found also in the case of the clones obtained from the UV-irradiated cells. The mutants have been isolated, which synthesized 3-30 times more RF than the parent strain in the presence of iron doses optimal for the growth. Five mutants that were most active in producing RF differed in the sensitivity of their flavinogenesis to high concentrations of iron, yeast autolysate, and carbon sources. PMID:1160648

  1. Kepler Observations of Rapid Optical Variability in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mushotzky, R. F.; Edelson, R.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Gandhi, P.

    2012-01-01

    Over three quarters in 2010 - 2011, Kepler monitored optical emission from four active galactic nuclei (AGN) with approx 30 min sampling, > 90% duty cycle and approx < 0.1% repeatability. These data determined the AGN optical fluctuation power spectral density functions (PSDs) over a wide range in temporal frequency. Fits to these PSDs yielded power law slopes of -2.6 to -3.3, much steeper than typically seen in the X-rays. We find evidence that individual AGN exhibit intrinsically different PSD slopes. The steep PSD fits are a challenge to recent AGN variability models but seem consistent with first order MRI theoretical calculations of accretion disk fluctuations.

  2. Molecular Stiffness of Selectins*

    PubMed Central

    Sarangapani, Krishna K.; Marshall, Bryan T.; McEver, Rodger P.; Zhu, Cheng

    2011-01-01

    During inflammation, selectin-ligand interactions provide forces for circulating leukocytes to adhere to vascular surfaces, which stretch the interacting molecules, suggesting that mechanical properties may be pertinent to their biological function. From mechanical measurements with atomic force microscopy, we analyzed the molecular characteristics of selectins complexed with ligands and antibodies. Respective stiffness of L-, E-, and P-selectins (4.2, 1.4, and 0.85 piconewton/nm) correlated inversely with the number (2, 6, and 9) of consensus repeats in the selectin structures that acted as springs in series to dominate their compliance. After reconstitution into a lipid bilayer, purified membrane P-selectin remained a dimer, capable of forming dimeric bonds with P-selectin glycoprotein ligand (PSGL)-1, endoglycan-Ig, and a dimeric form of a glycosulfopeptide modeled after the N terminus of PSGL-1. By comparison, purified membrane L- and E-selectin formed only monomeric bonds under identical conditions. Ligands and antibodies were much less stretchable than selectins. The length of endoglycan-Ig was found to be 51 ± 12 nm. These results provide a comprehensive characterization of the molecular stiffness of selectins and illustrate how mechanical measurements can be utilized for molecular analysis, e.g. evaluating the multimericity of selectins and determining the molecular length of endoglycan. PMID:21216951

  3. Investigation of x ray variability in highly active cool stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, Robert A.

    1989-01-01

    Ginga x ray observations of highly active cool star coronae were obtained and analyzed in an effort to better understand the nature of their time variability. The possible types of variability studied included x ray occultations via eclipses in a binary system, rotational modulation of x ray emission, flares, and a search for microflaring. Observation of both sigma(sup 2) CrB and Algol were performed successfully by Ginga. The sigma(sup 2) CrB observations occurred on 27 to 30 June 1988, and the Algol observations on 12 to 14 January 1989. In the sigma(sup 2) CrB observation, simultaneous IUE and Very Large Array (VLA) observations were obtained during part of the Ginga observation. Flaring activity was detected on sigma(sup 2) CrB in the Ginga 1.7 to 11 KeV band and in the IUE microwave region. A large flare on Algol which lasted well over 12 hours was detected, began with a maximum temperature of 65 MK which gradually decayed to 36 MK, and evidence was shown of highly ionized Fe line emission.

  4. Neuromuscular and stiffness adaptations in division I collegiate baseball players.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Stephen J; Swanik, Charles B; Higginson, Jill S; Kaminski, Thomas W; Swanik, Kathleen A; Kelly, John D; Nazarian, Levon N

    2013-02-01

    To compare bi-lateral shoulder EMG, active and short range glenohumeral stiffness, and examine its correlation to posterior capsule thickness (PCT) in collegiate baseball players. Surface and fine wire EMG was recorded on shoulder and scapular musculature during stiffness testing. Posterior capsule thickness was assessed separately using a diagnostic ultrasound. Serratus anterior EMG area and peak on the dominant arm was significantly greater compared to the non-dominant arm. The dominant arm had significantly greater active and short range glenohumeral stiffness compared to the non-dominant arm. Active glenohumeral stiffness was significantly correlated with PCT, however short range glenohumeral stiffness was not significantly correlated with PCT. Healthy collegiate baseball players present with adaptations of their stiffness regulation strategies. There were also correlations between stiffness and morphologic changes. Our results support the theory that PCT has an impact on the energy absorption capabilities of the shoulder during the deceleration phase of throwing. It also seems that tightening of the series elastic component within the posterior rotator cuff may be causing the increase in short range stiffness on the dominant arm. PMID:22898532

  5. Variability in Active Galactic Nuclei from Propagating Turbulent Relativistic Jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pollack, Maxwell; Pauls, David; Wiita, Paul J.

    2016-03-01

    We use the Athena hydrodynamics code to model propagating two-dimensional relativistic jets as approximations to the growth of radio-loud active galactic nuclei for various input jet velocities and jet-to-ambient matter density ratios. Using results from these simulations we estimate the changing synchrotron emission by summing the fluxes from a vertical strip of zones behind the reconfinement shock, which is nearly stationary, and from which a substantial portion of the flux variability should arise. We explore a wide range of timescales by considering two light curves from each simulation; one uses a relativistic turbulence code with bulk velocities taken from our simulations as input, while the other uses the bulk velocity data to compute fluctuations caused by variations in the Doppler boosting due to changes in the direction and the speed of the flow through all zones in the strip. We then calculate power spectral densities (PSDs) from the light curves for both turbulent and bulk velocity origins for variability. The range of the power-law slopes of the PSDs for the turbulence induced variations is -1.8 to -2.3, while for the bulk velocity produced variations this range is -2.1 to -2.9 these are in agreement with most observations. When superimposed, these power spectra span a very large range in frequency (about five decades), with the turbulent fluctuations yielding most of the shorter timescale variations and the bulk flow changes dominating the longer periods.

  6. KEPLER OBSERVATIONS OF RAPID OPTICAL VARIABILITY IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Mushotzky, R. F.; Edelson, R.; Baumgartner, W.

    2011-12-10

    Over three quarters in 2010-2011, Kepler monitored optical emission from four active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with {approx}30 minute sampling, >90% duty cycle, and {approx}<0.1% repeatability. These data determined the AGN optical fluctuation power spectral density (PSD) functions over a wide range in temporal frequency. Fits to these PSDs yielded power-law slopes of -2.6 to -3.3, much steeper than typically seen in the X-rays. We find evidence that individual AGNs exhibit intrinsically different PSD slopes. The steep PSD fits are a challenge to recent AGN variability models but seem consistent with first-order magnetorotational instability theoretical calculations of accretion disk fluctuations.

  7. Linking lake variability, climate, and human activity in Basotu, Tanzania.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, Lindsey; Westerberg, Lars-Ove; Risberg, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Lake Basotu (4.3697°S, 35.0728°E) is a crater lake in north-central Tanzania. This lake is an important source of freshwater for local people as no perennial rivers are present. Due to intensive agricultural methods and climatic factors, lake level has fluctuated greatly over time. A history of environmental variability of the past 1800 years was established using the diatom record, magnetic parameters, and carbon content from a three meter long sediment core. Fluctuations in modern lake extent (1973 - 2015) were calculated using archived Landsat images and compared to meteorological records and documents of activity around the lake to determine the greatest impacts and their consequences on this essential water resource. Variations in the paleo-record indicate that fluctuations in lake level are not abnormal, however human influence has likely increased the sensitivity of Lake Basotu to climatic fluctuations.

  8. Simvastatin Ameliorates Matrix Stiffness-Mediated Endothelial Monolayer Disruption

    PubMed Central

    Lampi, Marsha C.; Faber, Courtney J.; Huynh, John; Bordeleau, Francois; Zanotelli, Matthew R.; Reinhart-King, Cynthia A.

    2016-01-01

    Arterial stiffening accompanies both aging and atherosclerosis, and age-related stiffening of the arterial intima increases RhoA activity and cell contractility contributing to increased endothelium permeability. Notably, statins are 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors whose pleiotropic effects include disrupting small GTPase activity; therefore, we hypothesized the statin simvastatin could be used to attenuate RhoA activity and inhibit the deleterious effects of increased age-related matrix stiffness on endothelial barrier function. Using polyacrylamide gels with stiffnesses of 2.5, 5, and 10 kPa to mimic the physiological stiffness of young and aged arteries, endothelial cells were grown to confluence and treated with simvastatin. Our data indicate that RhoA and phosphorylated myosin light chain activity increase with matrix stiffness but are attenuated when treated with the statin. Increases in cell contractility, cell-cell junction size, and indirect measurements of intercellular tension that increase with matrix stiffness, and are correlated with matrix stiffness-dependent increases in monolayer permeability, also decrease with statin treatment. Furthermore, we report that simvastatin increases activated Rac1 levels that contribute to endothelial barrier enhancing cytoskeletal reorganization. Simvastatin, which is prescribed clinically due to its ability to lower cholesterol, alters the endothelial cell response to increased matrix stiffness to restore endothelial monolayer barrier function, and therefore, presents a possible therapeutic intervention to prevent atherogenesis initiated by age-related arterial stiffening. PMID:26761203

  9. Vibration control via stiffness switching of magnetostrictive transducers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheidler, Justin J.; Asnani, Vivake M.; Dapino, Marcelo J.

    2016-04-01

    In this paper, a computational study is presented of structural vibration control that is realized by switching a magneto-strictive transducer between high and low stiffness states. Switching is accomplished by either changing the applied magnetic field with a voltage excitation or changing the shunt impedance on the transducer's coil (i.e., the magneto-strictive material's magnetic boundary condition). Switched-stiffness vibration control is simulated using a lumped mass supported by a damper and the magneto-strictive transducer (mount), which is represented by a nonlinear, electromechanical model. Free vibration of the mass is calculated while varying the mount's stiffness according to a reference switched-stiffness vibration control law. The results reveal that switching the magnetic field produces the desired change in stiffness, but also an undesired actuation force that can significantly degrade the vibration control. Hence, a modified switched-stiffness control law that accounts for the actuation force is proposed and implemented for voltage-controlled stiffness switching. The influence of the magneto-mechanical bias condition is also discussed. Voltage-controlled stiffness switching is found to introduce damping equivalent to a viscous damping factor up to about 0.13; this is shown to primarily result from active vibration reduction caused by the actuation force. The merit of magneto-strictive switched-stiffness vibration control is then quantified by comparing the results of voltage- and shunt-controlled stiffness switching to the performance of optimal magneto-strictive shunt damping. For the cases considered, optimal resistive shunt damping performed considerably better than both voltage- and shunt-controlled stiffness switching.

  10. Vibration Control via Stiffness Switching of Magnetostrictive Transducers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scheidler, Justin J.; Asnani, Vivake M.; Dapino, Marcelo J.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, a computational study is presented of structural vibration control that is realized by switching a magnetostrictive transducer between high and low stiffness states. Switching is accomplished by either changing the applied magnetic field with a voltage excitation or changing the shunt impedance on the transducer's coil (i.e., the magnetostrictive material's magnetic boundary condition). Switched-stiffness vibration control is simulated using a lumped mass supported by a damper and the magnetostrictive transducer (mount), which is represented by a nonlinear, electromechanical model. Free vibration of the mass is calculated while varying the mount's stiffness according to a reference switched-stiffness vibration control law. The results reveal that switching the magnetic field produces the desired change in stiffness, but also an undesired actuation force that can significantly degrade the vibration control. Hence, a modified switched-stiffness control law that accounts for the actuation force is proposed and implemented for voltage-controlled stiffness switching. The influence of the magneto-mechanical bias condition is also discussed. Voltage-controlled stiffness switching is found to introduce damping equivalent to a viscous damping factor up to about 0.13; this is shown to primarily result from active vibration reduction caused by the actuation force. The merit of magnetostrictive switched-stiffness vibration control is then quantified by comparing the results of voltage- and shunt-controlled stiffness switching to the performance of optimal magnetostrictive shunt damping. For the cases considered, optimal resistive shunt damping performed considerably better than both voltage- and shunt-controlled stiffness switching.

  11. Boundary Stiffness Regulates Fibroblast Behavior in Collagen Gels

    PubMed Central

    John, Jeffrey; Quinlan, Angela Throm; Silvestri, Chiara; Billiar, Kristen

    2010-01-01

    Recent studies have illustrated the profound dependence of cellular behavior on the stiffness of 2D culture substrates. The goal of this study was to develop a method to alter the stiffness cells experience in a standard 3D collagen gel model without affecting the physiochemical properties of the extracellular matrix. A device was developed utilizing compliant anchors (0.048–0.64 N m−1) to tune the boundary stiffness of suspended collagen gels in between the commonly utilized free and fixed conditions (zero and infinite stiffness boundary stiffness). We demonstrate the principle of operation with finite element analyses and a wide range of experimental studies. In all cases, boundary stiffness has a strong influence on cell behavior, most notably eliciting higher basal tension and activated force (in response to KCl) and more pronounced remodeling of the collagen matrix at higher boundary stiffness levels. Measured equibiaxial forces for gels seeded with 3 million human foreskin fibroblasts range from 0.05 to 1 mN increasing monotonically with boundary stiffness. Estimated force per cell ranges from 17 to 100 nN utilizing representative volume element analysis. This device provides a valuable tool to independently study the effect of the mechanical environment of the cell in a 3D collagen matrix. PMID:20012205

  12. Stiffness adaptations in shod running.

    PubMed

    Divert, Carolyn; Baur, Heiner; Mornieux, Guillaume; Mayer, Frank; Belli, Alain

    2005-11-01

    When mechanical parameters of running are measured, runners have to be accustomed to testing conditions. Nevertheless, habituated runners could still show slight evolutions of their patterns at the beginning of each new running bout. This study investigated runners' stiffness adjustments during shoe and barefoot running and stiffness evolutions of shoes. Twenty-two runners performed two 4-minute bouts at 3.61 m.s-1 shod and barefoot after a 4-min warm-up period. Vertical and leg stiffness decreased during the shoe condition but remained stable in the barefoot condition, p < 0.001. Moreover, an impactor test showed that shoe stiffness increased significantly during the first 4 minutes, p < 0.001. Beyond the 4th minute, shoe properties remained stable. Even if runners were accustomed to the testing condition, as running pattern remained stable during barefoot running, they adjusted their leg and vertical stiffness during shoe running. Moreover, as measurements were taken after a 4-min warm-up period, it could be assumed that shoe properties were stable. Then the stiffness adjustment observed during shoe running might be due to further habituations of the runners to the shod condition. To conclude, it makes sense to run at least 4 minutes before taking measurements in order to avoid runners' stiffness alteration due to shoe property modifications. However, runners could still adapt to the shoe. PMID:16498177

  13. A Comparison of Total and Intrinsic Muscle Stiffness Among Flexors and Extensors of the Ankle, Knee and Elbow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemoine, Sandra M.

    1997-01-01

    This study examined 3 methods that assessed muscle stiffness. Muscle stiffness has been quantified by tissue reactive force (transverse stiffness), vibration, and force (or torque) over displacement. Muscle stiffness also has two components: reflex (due to muscle sensor activity) and intrinsic (tonic firing of motor units, elastic nature of actin and myosin cross bridges, and connective tissue). This study compared three methods of measuring muscle stiffness of agonist-antagonist muscle pairs of the ankle, knee and elbow.

  14. A Variable Light Domain Fluorogen Activating Protein Homodimerizes to Activate Dimethylindole Red†

    PubMed Central

    Senutovitch, Nina; Stanfield, Robyn L.; Bhattacharyya, Shantanu; Rule, Gordon S.; Wilson, Ian A.; Armitage, Bruce A.; Waggoner, Alan S.; Berget, Peter B.

    2012-01-01

    Novel fluorescent tools such as green fluorescent protein analogs and Fluorogen Activating Proteins (FAPs) are useful in biological imaging to track protein dynamics in real-time with low fluorescence background. FAPs are single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) selected from a yeast surface display library that produce fluorescence upon binding a specific dye or fluorogen that is normally not fluorescent when present in solution. FAPs generally consist of human immunoglobulin variable heavy (VH) and variable light (VL) domains covalently attached via a glycine and serine rich linker. Previously, we determined that the yeast surface clone, VH-VL M8, could bind and activate the fluorogen dimethylindole red (DIR), but that the fluorogen activation properties were localized to the M8VL domain. We report here that both NMR and X-ray diffraction methods indicate the M8VL forms non-covalent, anti-parallel homodimers that are the fluorogen activating species. The M8VL homodimers activate DIR by restriction of internal rotation of the bound dye. These structural results, together with directed evolution experiments of both VH-VL M8 and M8VL, led us to rationally design tandem, covalent homodimers of M8VL domains joined by a flexible linker that have a high affinity for DIR and good quantum yield. PMID:22390683

  15. A Variable Light Domain Fluorogen Activating Protein Homodimerizes To Activate Dimethylindole Red

    SciTech Connect

    Senutovitch, Nina; Stanfield, Robyn L.; Bhattacharyya, Shantanu; Rule, Gordon S.; Wilson, Ian A.; Armitage, Bruce A.; Waggoner, Alan S.; Berget, Peter B.

    2012-07-11

    Novel fluorescent tools such as green fluorescent protein analogues and fluorogen activating proteins (FAPs) are useful in biological imaging for tracking protein dynamics in real time with a low fluorescence background. FAPs are single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) selected from a yeast surface display library that produce fluorescence upon binding a specific dye or fluorogen that is normally not fluorescent when present in solution. FAPs generally consist of human immunoglobulin variable heavy (V{sub H}) and variable light (V{sub L}) domains covalently attached via a glycine- and serine-rich linker. Previously, we determined that the yeast surface clone, V{sub H}-V{sub L} M8, could bind and activate the fluorogen dimethylindole red (DIR) but that the fluorogen activation properties were localized to the M8V{sub L} domain. We report here that both nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray diffraction methods indicate the M8V{sub L} forms noncovalent, antiparallel homodimers that are the fluorogen activating species. The M8V{sub L} homodimers activate DIR by restriction of internal rotation of the bound dye. These structural results, together with directed evolution experiments with both V{sub H}-V{sub L} M8 and M8V{sub L}, led us to rationally design tandem, covalent homodimers of M8V{sub L} domains joined by a flexible linker that have a high affinity for DIR and good quantum yields.

  16. The acute effect of maximal exercise on central and peripheral arterial stiffness indices and hemodynamics in children and adults.

    PubMed

    Melo, Xavier; Fernhall, Bo; Santos, Diana A; Pinto, Rita; Pimenta, Nuno M; Sardinha, Luís B; Santa-Clara, Helena

    2016-03-01

    This study compared the effects of a bout of maximal running exercise on arterial stiffness in children and adults. Right carotid blood pressure and artery stiffness indices measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV), compliance and distensibility coefficients, stiffness index α and β (echo-tracking), contralateral carotid blood pressure, and upper and lower limb and central/aortic PWV (applanation tonometry) were taken at rest and 10 min after a bout of maximal treadmill running in 34 children (7.38 ± 0.38 years) and 45 young adults (25.22 ± 0.91 years) having similar aerobic potential. Two-by-two repeated measures analysis of variance and analysis of covariance were used to detect differences with exercise between groups. Carotid pulse pressure (PP; η(2) = 0.394) increased more in adults after exercise (p < 0.05). Compliance (η(2) = 0.385) decreased in particular in adults and in those with high changes in distending pressure, similarly to stiffness index α and β. Carotid PWV increased more in adults and was related to local changes in PP but not mean arterial pressure (MAP). Stiffness in the lower limbs decreased (η(2) = 0.115) but apparently only in those with small MAP changes (η(2) = 0.111). No significant exercise or group interaction effects were found when variables were adjusted to height. An acute bout of maximal exercise can alter arterial stiffness and hemodynamics in the carotid artery and within the active muscle beds. Arterial stiffness and hemodynamic response to metabolic demands during exercise in children simply reflect their smaller body size and may not indicate a particular physiological difference compared with adults. PMID:26842667

  17. Rho-kinase mediated cytoskeletal stiffness in skinned smooth muscle

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Bo; Wang, Lu; Zhang, Jenny; Pascoe, Chris D.; Norris, Brandon A.; Liu, Jeffrey C.-Y.; Solomon, Dennis; Paré, Peter D.; Deng, Linhong

    2013-01-01

    The structurally dynamic cytoskeleton is important in many cell functions. Large gaps still exist in our knowledge regarding what regulates cytoskeletal dynamics and what underlies the structural plasticity. Because Rho-kinase is an upstream regulator of signaling events leading to phosphorylation of many cytoskeletal proteins in many cell types, we have chosen this kinase as the focus of the present study. In detergent skinned tracheal smooth muscle preparations, we quantified the proteins eluted from the muscle cells over time and monitored the muscle's ability to respond to acetylcholine (ACh) stimulation to produce force and stiffness. In a partially skinned preparation not able to generate active force but could still stiffen upon ACh stimulation, we found that the ACh-induced stiffness was independent of calcium and myosin light chain phosphorylation. This indicates that the myosin light chain-dependent actively cycling crossbridges are not likely the source of the stiffness. The results also indicate that Rho-kinase is central to the ACh-induced stiffness, because inhibition of the kinase by H1152 (1 μM) abolished the stiffening. Furthermore, the rate of relaxation of calcium-induced stiffness in the skinned preparation was faster than that of ACh-induced stiffness, with or without calcium, suggesting that different signaling pathways lead to different means of maintenance of stiffness in the skinned preparation. PMID:24072407

  18. The active liquid Earth - importance of temporal and spatial variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arheimer, Berit

    2016-04-01

    The Planet Earth is indeed liquid and active - 71 percent of its surface is water-covered and this water never rests. Thanks to the water cycle, our planet's water supply is constantly moving from one place to another and from one form to another. Only 2.5% of the water is freshwater and it exists in the air as water vapor; it hits the ground as rain and snow; it flows on the surface from higher to lower altitudes in rivers, lakes, and glaciers; and it flows in the ground in soil, aquifers, and in all living organisms until it reaches the sea. On its way over the Earth's crust, some returns quickly to vapor again, while some is trapped and exposed to many "fill and spill" situations for a long journey. The variability in the water balance is crucial for hydrological understanding and modelling. The water cycle may appear simple, but magnitudes and rates in fluxes are very different from one place to another, resulting from variable drivers such as solar energy, precipitation and gravity in co-evolution with geology, soil, vegetation and fauna. The historical evolution, the temporal fluxes and diversity in space continue to fascinate hydrological scientists. Specific physical processes may be well known, but their boundary conditions, interactions and rate often remain unknown at a specific site and are difficult to monitor in nature. This results in mysterious features where trends in drivers do not match runoff, like the Sahelian Paradox or discharge to the Arctic Ocean. Humans have always interfered with the water cycle and engineering is fundamental for water regulation and re-allocation. Some 80% of the river flow from the northern part of the Earth is affected by fragmentation of the river channels by dams. In water management, there is always a tradeoff between upstream and downstream activities, not only regarding total water quantities but also for temporal patterns and water quality aspects. Sharing a water resource can generate conflicts but geopolitical

  19. Stiffness of grain-bridging elements in a monolithic alumina

    SciTech Connect

    Hay, J.C.; White, K.W.

    1997-05-01

    The postfracture tensile (PFT) technique isolates the crack wake to characterize the mechanical behavior of the grain-bridging elements as a function of crack-opening displacement. Incorporating the PFT stiffnesses into a Hooke`s law-based model provides insight to the nature of the active bridging mechanism. The conventional model, which presumes to extract prismatic grains from sockets in the mating fracture face, is not consistent with the low wake stiffnesses presented here. In conjunction with fractographic evidence, such low wake stiffnesses suggest the strong influence from other, more compliant, mechanisms such as grain rotation, asperity loading, and ligament bending.

  20. DETERIORATION IN BIOMECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF THE VAGINA FOLLOWING IMPLANTATION OF A HIGH STIFFNESS PROLAPSE MESH

    PubMed Central

    Feola, Andrew; Abramowitch, Steven; Jallah, Zegbeh; Stein, Suzan; Barone, William; Palcsey, Stacy; Moalli, Pamela

    2012-01-01

    Objective Define the impact of prolapse mesh on the biomechanical properties of the vagina by comparing the prototype Gynemesh PS (Ethicon, Somerville, NJ) to 2 new generation lower stiffness meshes, SmartMesh (Coloplast, Minneapolis, MN) and UltraPro (Ethicon). Design A study employing a non-human primate model Setting University of Pittsburgh Population 45 parous rhesus macaques Methods Meshes were implanted via sacrocolpexy after hysterectomy and compared to Sham. Because its stiffness is highly directional UltraPro was implanted in two directions: UltraPro Perpendicular (less stiff) and UltraPro Parallel (more stiff), with the indicated direction referring to the blue orientation lines. The mesh-vaginal complex (MVC) was excised en toto after 3 months. Main Outcome Measures Active mechanical properties were quantified as contractile force generated in the presence of 120 mM KCl. Passive mechanical properties (a tissues ability to resist an applied force) were measured using a multi-axial protocol. Results Vaginal contractility decreased 80% following implantation with the Gynemesh PS (p=0.001), 48% after SmartMesh (p=0.001), 68% after UltraPro parallel (p=0.001) and was highly variable after UltraPro perpendicular (p =0.16). The tissue contribution to the passive mechanical behavior of the MVC was drastically reduced for Gynemesh PS (p=0.003) but not SmartMesh (p=0.9) or UltraPro independent of the direction of implantation (p=0.68 and p=0.66, respectively). Conclusions Deterioration of the mechanical properties of the vagina was highest following implantation with the stiffest mesh, Gynemesh PS. Such a decrease associated with implantation of a device of increased stiffness is consistent with findings from other systems employing prostheses for support. PMID:23240801

  1. The association between oxidative stress, activator protein-1, inflammatory, total antioxidant status and artery stiffness and the efficacy of olmesartan in elderly patients with mild-to-moderate essential hypertension.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qunwei; Han, Limin; Du, Qiufan; Zhang, Ming; Zhou, Shenghua; Shen, Xiangqian

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the change of oxidative stress, activator protein-1 (AP-1), inflammatory, total antioxidant status (TAS) and artery stiffness, and explored the relationship between these characteristics and the efficacy of olmesartan intervention in elderly patients with mild-to-moderate essential hypertension (EH). In total, 386 elderly patients with EH and 353 normotensive controls were recruited. All study subjects had oxidative stress markers, AP-1, inflammatory factors, TAS and brancial-ankle artery pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV) measured. In total, 193 elderly patients with EH were randomized to olmesartan and were matched with 193 normotensive controls to observe the change of index above mentioned before and after the treatment. Compared with the controls, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and TAS were significantly reduced in patients with EH, and malondialdehyde (MDA), AP-1, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (Hs-CRP), Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 (MCP-1), heart rate, endothelin-1 (ET-1), TAS and ba-PWV were significantly increased (P < 0.01 for all). Pearson's correlation analysis showed that SOD and TAS were negatively related to AP-1 (P < 0.05 for all), and that blood pressure (BP), age, MDA, Hs-CRP, MCP-1, ET-1 were positively related to AP-1 (P < 0.01 for all). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that BP, SOD, MDA, AP-1, Hs-CRP, MCP-1, ET-1, TAS, heart rate and age were independent risk factors for ba-PWV. After treatment with olmesartan, SOD and TAS were increased, while BP, heart rate, AP-1 and inflammatory factors were reduced with significant improvement in ba-PWV (P < 0.05 for all). More increase of arterial stiffness was reported in elderly hypertensive patients with greater oxidative stress, inflammatory, AP-1, heart rate, and lower TAS. Higher oxidative stress, AP-1 and inflammatory may predict higher arterial stiffness. Olmesartan may increase TAS, yet inhibit oxidative stress, AP-1, inflammatory, and heart rate with

  2. Morphological Computation of Haptic Perception of a Controllable Stiffness Probe

    PubMed Central

    Sornkarn, Nantachai; Dasgupta, Prokar; Nanayakkara, Thrishantha

    2016-01-01

    When people are asked to palpate a novel soft object to discern its physical properties such as texture, elasticity, and even non-homogeneity, they not only regulate probing behaviors, but also the co-contraction level of antagonistic muscles to control the mechanical impedance of fingers. It is suspected that such behavior tries to enhance haptic perception by regulating the function of mechanoreceptors at different depths of the fingertips and proprioceptive sensors such as tendon and spindle sensors located in muscles. In this paper, we designed and fabricated a novel two-degree of freedom variable stiffness indentation probe to investigate whether the regulation of internal stiffness, indentation, and probe sweeping velocity (PSV) variables affect the accuracy of the depth estimation of stiff inclusions in an artificial silicon phantom using information gain metrics. Our experimental results provide new insights into not only the biological phenomena of haptic perception but also new opportunities to design and control soft robotic probes. PMID:27257814

  3. Morphological Computation of Haptic Perception of a Controllable Stiffness Probe.

    PubMed

    Sornkarn, Nantachai; Dasgupta, Prokar; Nanayakkara, Thrishantha

    2016-01-01

    When people are asked to palpate a novel soft object to discern its physical properties such as texture, elasticity, and even non-homogeneity, they not only regulate probing behaviors, but also the co-contraction level of antagonistic muscles to control the mechanical impedance of fingers. It is suspected that such behavior tries to enhance haptic perception by regulating the function of mechanoreceptors at different depths of the fingertips and proprioceptive sensors such as tendon and spindle sensors located in muscles. In this paper, we designed and fabricated a novel two-degree of freedom variable stiffness indentation probe to investigate whether the regulation of internal stiffness, indentation, and probe sweeping velocity (PSV) variables affect the accuracy of the depth estimation of stiff inclusions in an artificial silicon phantom using information gain metrics. Our experimental results provide new insights into not only the biological phenomena of haptic perception but also new opportunities to design and control soft robotic probes. PMID:27257814

  4. Leg stiffness of sprinters using running-specific prostheses

    PubMed Central

    McGowan, Craig P.; Grabowski, Alena M.; McDermott, William J.; Herr, Hugh M.; Kram, Rodger

    2012-01-01

    Running-specific prostheses (RSF) are designed to replicate the spring-like nature of biological legs (bioL) during running. However, it is not clear how these devices affect whole leg stiffness characteristics or running dynamics over a range of speeds. We used a simple spring–mass model to examine running mechanics across a range of speeds, in unilateral and bilateral transtibial amputees and performance-matched controls. We found significant differences between the affected leg (AL) of unilateral amputees and both ALs of bilateral amputees compared with the bioL of non-amputees for nearly every variable measured. Leg stiffness remained constant or increased with speed in bioL, but decreased with speed in legs with RSPs. The decrease in leg stiffness in legs with RSPs was mainly owing to a combination of lower peak ground reaction forces and increased leg compression with increasing speeds. Leg stiffness is an important parameter affecting contact time and the force exerted on the ground. It is likely that the fixed stiffness of the prosthesis coupled with differences in the limb posture required to run with the prosthesis limits the ability to modulate whole leg stiffness and the ability to apply high vertical ground reaction forces during sprinting. PMID:22337629

  5. ARTHROSCOPIC TREATMENT OF ELBOW STIFFNESS

    PubMed Central

    Vieira, Luis Alfredo Gómez; Dal Molin, Fabio Farina; Visco, Adalberto; Fernandes, Luis Filipe Daneu; dos Santos, Murilo Cunha Rafael; Cardozo Filho, Nivaldo Souza; Gómez Cordero, Nicolas Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    To present the arthroscopic surgical technique and the evaluation of the results from this technique for treating elbow stiffness. Methods: Between April 2007 and January 2010, ten elbows of ten patients with elbow stiffness underwent arthroscopic treatment to release the range of motion. The minimum follow-up was 11 months, with an average of 27 months. All the patients were male and their average age was 32.8 years (ranging from 22 to 48 years). After the arthroscopic treatment, they were followed up weekly in the first month and every three months thereafter. The clinical evaluation was made using the criteria of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Results: All the patients were satisfied with the results from the arthroscopic treatment. The average UCLA score was 33.8 points. Conclusion: Arthroscopic treatment for elbow stiffness is a minimally invasive surgical technique that was shown to be efficient for treating this complication. PMID:27027027

  6. Lase Ultrasonic Web Stiffness tester

    SciTech Connect

    Tim Patterson, Ph.D., IPST at Ga Tech

    2009-01-12

    The objective is to provide a sensor that uses non-contact, laser ultrasonics to measure the stiffness of paper during the manufacturing process. This will allow the manufacturer to adjust the production process in real time, increase filler content, modify fiber refining and as result produce a quality product using less energy. The sensor operates by moving back and forth across the paper web, at pre-selected locations firing a laser at the sheet, measuring the out-of-plane velocity of the sheet then using that measurement to calculate sheet stiffness.

  7. Relationships Between Lower-Body Muscle Structure and, Lower-Body Strength, Explosiveness and Eccentric Leg Stiffness in Adolescent Athletes

    PubMed Central

    Secomb, Josh L.; Nimphius, Sophia; Farley, Oliver R.L.; Lundgren, Lina E.; Tran, Tai T.; Sheppard, Jeremy M.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine whether any relationships were present between lower-body muscle structure and, lower-body strength, variables measured during a countermovement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ), and eccentric leg stiffness, in adolescent athletes. Thirty junior male (n = 23) and female (n = 7) surfing athletes (14.8 ± 1.7 y; 1.63 ± 0.09 m; 54.8 ± 12.1 kg) undertook lower-body muscle structure assessment with ultrasonography and performed a; CMJ, SJ and an isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP). In addition, eccentric leg stiffness was calculated from variables of the CMJ and IMTP. Moderate to very large relationships (r = 0.46-0.73) were identified between the thickness of the vastus lateralis (VL) and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) muscles, and VL pennation angle and; peak force (PF) in the CMJ, SJ and IMTP. Additionally, moderate to large relationships (r = 0.37-0.59) were found between eccentric leg stiffness and; VL and LG thickness, VL pennation angle, and LG fascicle length, with a large relationship (r = 0.59) also present with IMTP PF. These results suggest that greater thickness of the VL and LG were related to improved maximal dynamic and isometric strength, likely due to increased hypertrophy of the extensor muscles. Furthermore, this increased thickness was related to greater eccentric leg stiffness, as the associated enhanced lower-body strength likely allowed for greater neuromuscular activation, and hence less compliance, during a stretch-shortening cycle. Key points Greater thickness of the VL and LG muscles were significantly related to an enhanced ability to express higher levels of isometric and dynamic strength, and explosiveness in adolescent athletes. Isometric strength underpinned performance in the CMJ and SJ in these athletes. Greater lower-body isometric strength was significantly related to eccentric leg stiffness, which is potentially the result of greater neuromuscular activation in the muscle-tendon unit. PMID

  8. Use of component analyses to identify active variables in treatment packages for children with feeding disorders.

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, L J; Wacker, D P; McComas, J J; Brown, K; Peck, S M; Richman, D; Drew, J; Frischmeyer, P; Millard, T

    1995-01-01

    We evaluated the separate components in treatment packages for food refusal of 4 young children. First, treatment packages were implemented until food acceptance improved. Next, a component analysis was conducted within a multielement or reversal design to identify the active components that facilitated food acceptance. The results indicated that escape extinction was always identified as an active variable when assessed; however, other variables, including positive reinforcement and noncontingent play, were also identified as active variables for 2 of the children. The results suggest that the component analysis was useful for identifying variables that affected food acceptance. PMID:7601802

  9. Diagnostic for two-mode variable valve activation device

    SciTech Connect

    Fedewa, Andrew M

    2014-01-07

    A method is provided for diagnosing a multi-mode valve train device which selectively provides high lift and low lift to a combustion valve of an internal combustion engine having a camshaft phaser actuated by an electric motor. The method includes applying a variable electric current to the electric motor to achieve a desired camshaft phaser operational mode and commanding the multi-mode valve train device to a desired valve train device operational mode selected from a high lift mode and a low lift mode. The method also includes monitoring the variable electric current and calculating a first characteristic of the parameter. The method also includes comparing the calculated first characteristic against a predetermined value of the first characteristic measured when the multi-mode valve train device is known to be in the desired valve train device operational mode.

  10. Composite sizing and ply orientation for stiffness requirements using a large finite element structural model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Radovcich, N. A.; Gentile, D. P.

    1989-01-01

    A NASTRAN bulk dataset preprocessor was developed to facilitate the integration of filamentary composite laminate properties into composite structural resizing for stiffness requirements. The NASCOMP system generates delta stiffness and delta mass matrices for input to the flutter derivative program. The flutter baseline analysis, derivative calculations, and stiffness and mass matrix updates are controlled by engineer defined processes under an operating system called CBUS. A multi-layered design variable grid system permits high fidelity resizing without excessive computer cost. The NASCOMP system uses ply layup drawings for basic input. The aeroelastic resizing for stiffness capability was used during an actual design exercise.

  11. Modulation of ankle stiffness during postural sway.

    PubMed

    Lang, Christopher B; Kearney, Robert E

    2014-01-01

    Ankle stiffness is a nonlinear, time-varying system which contributes to the control of human upright stance. This study sought to examine the nature of the contribution of stiffness to postural control by determining how intrinsic and reflex stiffnesses varied with sway. Subjects were instructed to stand quietly on a bilateral electro-hydraulic actuator while perturbations were applied about the ankle. Subjects performed three types of trials: normal stance, forward lean, and backward lean. Position, torque, and EMGs from the tibialis anterior and triceps surae were recorded. Background torque, intrinsic stiffness and reflex stiffness were calculated for each perturbation. Intrinsic and reflex stiffnesses were heavily modulated by postural sway. Moreover, they were modulated in a complimentary manner; intrinsic stiffness was lowest when reflex gain was highest, and vice versa. These findings suggest that intrinsic stiffness is modulated simultaneously with reflex stiffness to optimize the control of balance. PMID:25570884

  12. Bending Stiffness of Multiwall Sandwich

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blosser, M. L.

    1983-01-01

    An analytical and experimental study was carried out to understand the extensional and flexural behavior of multiwall sandwich, a metallic insulation composed of alternate layers of flat and dimpled foil. The multiwall sandwich was structurally analyzed by using several simplifying assumptions combined with a finite element analysis. The simplifying assumptions made in this analysis were evaluated by bending and tensile tests. Test results validate the assumption that flat sheets in compression do not significantly contribute to the flexural stiffness of multiwall sandwich for the multiwall geometry tested. However, calculations show that thicker flat sheets may contribute significantly to bending stiffness and cannot be ignored. Results of this analytical approach compare well with test data; both show that the extensional stiffness of the dimpled sheet in he 0 deg direction is about 30 percent of that for a flat sheet, and that in the 45 deg direction, it is about 10 percent. The analytical and experimental multiwall bending stiffness showed good agreement for the particular geometry tested.

  13. Variability of the Lyman alpha flux with solar activity

    SciTech Connect

    Lean, J.L.; Skumanich, A.

    1983-07-01

    A three-component model of the solar chromosphere, developed from ground based observations of the Ca II K chromospheric emission, is used to calculate the variability of the Lyman alpha flux between 1969 and 1980. The Lyman alpha flux at solar minimum is required in the model and is taken as 2.32 x 10/sup 11/ photons/cm/sup 2//s. This value occurred during 1975 as well as in 1976 near the commencement of solar cycle 21. The model predicts that the Lyman alpha flux increases to as much as 5 x 10/sup 11/ photons/cm/sup 2//s at the maximum of the solar cycle. The ratio of the average fluxes for December 1979 (cycle maximum) and July 1976 (cycle minimum) is 1.9. During solar maximum the 27-day solar rotation is shown to cause the Lyman alpha flux to vary by as much as 40% or as little as 5%. The model also shows that the Lyman alpha flux varies over intermediate time periods of 2 to 3 years, as well as over the 11-year sunspot cycle. We conclude that, unlike the sunspot number and the 10.7-cm radio flux, the Lyman alpha flux had a variability that was approximately the same during each of the past three cycles. Lyman alpha fluxes calculated by the model are consistent with measurements of the Lyman alpha flux made by 11 of a total of 14 rocket experiments conducted during the period 1969--1980. The model explains satisfactorily the absolute magnitude, long-term trends, and the cycle variability seen in the Lyman alpha irradiances by the OSO 5 satellite experiment. The 27-day variability observed by the AE-E satellite experiment is well reproduced. However, the magntidue of the AE-E 1 Lyman alpha irradiances are higher than the model calculations by between 40% and 80%. We suggest that the assumed calibration of the AE-E irradiances is in error.

  14. Recent and Past Musical Activity Predicts Cognitive Aging Variability: Direct Comparison with General Lifestyle Activities

    PubMed Central

    Hanna-Pladdy, Brenda; Gajewski, Byron

    2012-01-01

    Studies evaluating the impact of modifiable lifestyle factors on cognition offer potential insights into sources of cognitive aging variability. Recently, we reported an association between extent of musical instrumental practice throughout the life span (greater than 10 years) on preserved cognitive functioning in advanced age. These findings raise the question of whether there are training-induced brain changes in musicians that can transfer to non-musical cognitive abilities to allow for compensation of age-related cognitive declines. However, because of the relationship between engagement in general lifestyle activities and preserved cognition, it remains unclear whether these findings are specifically driven by musical training or the types of individuals likely to engage in greater activities in general. The current study controlled for general activity level in evaluating cognition between musicians and nomusicians. Also, the timing of engagement (age of acquisition, past versus recent) was assessed in predictive models of successful cognitive aging. Seventy age and education matched older musicians (>10 years) and non-musicians (ages 59–80) were evaluated on neuropsychological tests and general lifestyle activities. Musicians scored higher on tests of phonemic fluency, verbal working memory, verbal immediate recall, visuospatial judgment, and motor dexterity, but did not differ in other general leisure activities. Partition analyses were conducted on significant cognitive measures to determine aspects of musical training predictive of enhanced cognition. The first partition analysis revealed education best predicted visuospatial functions in musicians, followed by recent musical engagement which offset low education. In the second partition analysis, early age of musical acquisition (<9 years) predicted enhanced verbal working memory in musicians, while analyses for other measures were not predictive. Recent and past musical activity, but not

  15. BIOLOGICAL VARIABILITY AND THE INFLUENCE OF STRESS ON CHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Normal activity of brain and plasma cholinesterase in higher vertebrates is known to be affected by age, genetics, circadian rhythms, sex, endocrine function, and reproductive status. arious stressors (e.g., nutritional plane, ambient temperature, disease) have also been demonstr...

  16. Spontaneous prejudice in context: variability in automatically activated attitudes.

    PubMed

    Wittenbrink, B; Judd, C M; Park, B

    2001-11-01

    The goal of the research reported in this article was to examine whether automatic group attitudes and stereotypes, commonly thought to be fixed responses to a social category cue, are sensitive to changes in the situational context. Two experiments demonstrated such variability of automatic responses due to changes in the stimulus context. In Study 1 White participants' implicit attitudes toward Blacks varied as a result of exposure to either a positive (a family barbecue) or a negative (a gang incident) stereotypic situation. Study 2 demonstrated similar context effects under clearly automatic processing conditions. Here, the use of different background pictures (church interior vs. street corner) for Black and White face primes affected participants' racial attitudes as measured by a sequential priming task. Implications for the concept of automaticity in social cognition are discussed. PMID:11708559

  17. Diabetes and Risk of Arterial Stiffness: A Mendelian Randomization Analysis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Min; Huang, Ya; Xie, Lan; Peng, Kui; Ding, Lin; Lin, Lin; Wang, Po; Hao, Mingli; Chen, Yuhong; Sun, Yimin; Qi, Lu; Wang, Weiqing; Ning, Guang; Bi, Yufang

    2016-06-01

    We aimed to explore the causal association between type 2 diabetes (T2D) and increased arterial stiffness. We performed a Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis in 11,385 participants from a well-defined community study in Shanghai during 2011-2013. We genotyped 34 T2D-associated common variants identified in East Asians and created a genetic risk score (GRS). We assessed arterial stiffness noninvasively with the measurement of brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV). We used the instrumental variable (IV) estimator to qualify the causal relationship between T2D and increased arterial stiffness. We found each 1-SD increase in T2D_GRS was associated with 6% higher risk in increased arterial stiffness (95% CI 1.01, 1.12), after adjustment of other metabolic confounders. Using T2D_GRS as the IV, we demonstrated a causal relationship between T2D and arterial stiffening (odds ratio 1.24, 95% CI 1.06, 1.47; P = 0.008). When categorizing the genetic loci according to their effect on insulin secretion or resistance, we found genetically determined decrease in insulin secretion was associated with increase in baPWV (βIV = 122.3 cm/s, 95% CI 41.9, 204.6; P = 0.0005). In conclusion, our results provide evidence supporting a causal association between T2D and increased arterial stiffness in a Chinese population. PMID:26953161

  18. Severity of Osteoarthritis Is Associated with Increased Arterial Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Kals, Jaak; Zilmer, Mihkel; Paapstel, Kaido; Märtson, Aare

    2016-01-01

    Objective. Osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with increased cardiovascular comorbidity and mortality. Evidence is lacking about whether arterial stiffness is involved in OA. The objective of our study was to find out associations between OA, arterial stiffness, and adipokines. Design. Seventy end-stage knee and hip OA patients (age 62 ± 7 years) and 70 asymptomatic controls (age 60 ± 7 years) were investigated using the applanation tonometry to determine their parameters of arterial stiffness. Serum adiponectin, leptin, and matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP-3) levels were determined using the ELISA method. Correlation between variables was determined using Spearman's rho. Multiple regression analysis with a stepwise selection procedure was employed. Results. Radiographic OA grade was positively associated with increased carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cf-PWV) (r = 0.272, p = 0.023). We found that OA grade was also associated with leptin and MMP-3 levels (rho = −0.246, p = 0.040 and rho = 0.235, p = 0.050, resp.). In addition, serum adiponectin level was positively associated with augmentation index and inversely with large artery elasticity index (rho = 0.293, p = 0.006 and rho = −0.249, p = 0.003, resp.). Conclusions. Our results suggest that OA severity is independently associated with increased arterial stiffness and is correlated with expression of adipokines. Thus, increased arterial stiffness and adipokines might play an important role in elevated cardiovascular risk in end-stage OA. PMID:27493667

  19. Direct measurement of human ankle stiffness during quiet standing: the intrinsic mechanical stiffness is insufficient for stability

    PubMed Central

    Loram, Ian D; Lakie, Martin

    2002-01-01

    During quiet standing the human ‘inverted pendulum’ sways irregularly. In previous work where subjects balanced a real inverted pendulum, we investigated what contribution the intrinsic mechanical ankle stiffness makes to achieve stability. Using the results of a plausible model, we suggested that intrinsic ankle stiffness is inadequate for providing stability. Here, using a piezo-electric translator we applied small, unobtrusive mechanical perturbations to the foot while the subject was standing freely. These short duration perturbations had a similar size and velocity to movements which occur naturally during quiet standing, and they produced no evidence of any stretch reflex response in soleus, or gastrocnemius. Direct measurement confirms our earlier conclusion; intrinsic ankle stiffness is not quite sufficient to stabilise the body or pendulum. On average the directly determined intrinsic stiffness is 91 ± 23 % (mean ± s.d.) of that necessary to provide minimal stabilisation. The stiffness was substantially constant, increasing only slightly with ankle torque. This stiffness cannot be neurally regulated in quiet standing. Thus we attribute this stiffness to the foot, Achilles’ tendon and aponeurosis rather than the activated calf muscle fibres. Our measurements suggest that the triceps surae muscles maintain balance via a spring-like element which is itself too compliant to guarantee stability. The implication is that the brain cannot set ankle stiffness and then ignore the control task because additional modulation of torque is required to maintain balance. We suggest that the triceps surae muscles maintain balance by predictively controlling the proximal offset of the spring-like element in a ballistic-like manner. PMID:12482906

  20. Age-Related Variability in Cortical Activity during Language Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fridriksson, Julius; Morrow, K. Leigh; Moser, Dana; Baylis, Gordon C.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The present study investigated the extent of cortical activity during overt picture naming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Method: Participants comprised 20 healthy, adult participants with ages ranging from 20 to 82 years. While undergoing fMRI, participants completed a picture-naming task consisting of 60…

  1. Order stars and stiff integrators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hairer, Ernst; Wanner, Gerhard

    2000-12-01

    Order stars, introduced in G. Wanner, E. Hairer, S.P. Nørsett (Order stars and stability theorems, BIT 18 (1978) 475-489), have become a fundamental tool for the understanding of order and stability properties of numerical methods for stiff differential equations. This survey retraces their discovery and their principal achievements. We also sketch some later extensions and describe some recent developments.

  2. Reduced variability of ongoing and evoked cortical activity leads to improved behavioral performance.

    PubMed

    Ledberg, Anders; Montagnini, Anna; Coppola, Richard; Bressler, Steven L

    2012-01-01

    Sensory responses of the brain are known to be highly variable, but the origin and functional relevance of this variability have long remained enigmatic. Using the variable foreperiod of a visual discrimination task to assess variability in the primate cerebral cortex, we report that visual evoked response variability is not only tied to variability in ongoing cortical activity, but also predicts mean response time. We used cortical local field potentials, simultaneously recorded from widespread cortical areas, to gauge both ongoing and visually evoked activity. Trial-to-trial variability of sensory evoked responses was strongly modulated by foreperiod duration and correlated both with the cortical variability before stimulus onset as well as with response times. In a separate set of experiments we probed the relation between small saccadic eye movements, foreperiod duration and manual response times. The rate of eye movements was modulated by foreperiod duration and eye position variability was positively correlated with response times. Our results indicate that when the time of a sensory stimulus is predictable, reduction in cortical variability before the stimulus can improve normal behavioral function that depends on the stimulus. PMID:22937021

  3. A NASTRAN DMAP alter for determining a local stiffness modification to obtain a specified eigenvalue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Case, W. R., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    A technique is described which has been programmed as a DMAP Alter to Rigid Format 3, for determining a stiffness matrix modification to obtain a specified eigenvalue for a structure. The stiffness matrix modifications allowable are those that can be described as the product of a single scalar variable and a matrix of constant coefficients input by the user. The program solves for the scalar variable multiplier which will yield a specified eigenvalue for the complete structure (provided it exists), makes the modification to the stiffness matrix, and proceeds in Rigid Format 3 to obtain the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of the modified structure.

  4. Influence of Passive Stiffness of Hamstrings on Postural Stability

    PubMed Central

    Kuszewski, Michał; Gnat, Rafał; Sobota, Grzegorz; Myśliwiec, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to explore whether passive stiffness of the hamstrings influences the strategy of maintaining postural stability. A sample of 50 subjects was selected; the final analyses were based on data of 41 individuals (33 men, 8 women) aged 21 to 29 (mean = 23.3, SD = 1.1) years. A quasi- experimental ex post facto design with repeated measures was used. Categories of independent variables were obtained directly prior to the measurement of the dependent variables. In stage one of the study, passive knee extension was measured in the supine position to assess hamstring stiffness. In stage two, the magnitude of postural sway in antero-posterior direction was measured, while varying the body position on a stabilometric platform, both with and without visual control. The margin of safety was used as a measure of postural control. The magnitude of the margin of safety increased significantly between the open-eye and closed-eye trials. However, although we registered a visible tendency for a larger increase of the margin of safety associated with lower levels of passive hamstrings stiffness, no significant differences were found. Therefore, this study demonstrated that hamstring stiffness did not influence the strategy used to maintain postural stability. PMID:25964809

  5. Exploratory factor analysis for differentiating sensory and mechanical variables related to muscle-tendon unit elongation

    PubMed Central

    Chagas, Mauro H.; Magalhães, Fabrício A.; Peixoto, Gustavo H. C.; Pereira, Beatriz M.; Andrade, André G. P.; Menzel, Hans-Joachim K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background Stretching exercises are able to promote adaptations in the muscle-tendon unit (MTU), which can be tested through physiological and biomechanical variables. Identifying the key variables in MTU adaptations is crucial to improvements in training. Objective To perform an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) involving the variables often used to evaluate the response of the MTU to stretching exercises. Method Maximum joint range of motion (ROMMAX), ROM at first sensation of stretching (FSTROM), peak torque (torqueMAX), passive stiffness, normalized stiffness, passive energy, and normalized energy were investigated in 36 participants during passive knee extension on an isokinetic dynamometer. Stiffness and energy values were normalized by the muscle cross-sectional area and their passive mode assured by monitoring the EMG activity. Results EFA revealed two major factors that explained 89.68% of the total variance: 53.13% was explained by the variables torqueMAX, passive stiffness, normalized stiffness, passive energy, and normalized energy, whereas the remaining 36.55% was explained by the variables ROMMAX and FSTROM. Conclusion This result supports the literature wherein two main hypotheses (mechanical and sensory theories) have been suggested to describe the adaptations of the MTU to stretching exercises. Contrary to some studies, in the present investigation torqueMAX was significantly correlated with the variables of the mechanical theory rather than those of the sensory theory. Therefore, a new approach was proposed to explain the behavior of the torqueMAX during stretching exercises. PMID:27437715

  6. A novel, variable angle guide grid for neuronal activity studies

    PubMed Central

    Talbot, Thomas; Ide, David; Liu, Ning; Turchi, Janita

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: Surgically implanted chambers with removable grids are routinely used for studying patterns of neuronal activity in primate brains; however, accessing target tissues is significantly constrained by standard grid designs. Typically, grids are configured with a series of guide holes drilled vertically, parallel to the walls of the chamber, thus targeted sites are limited to those in line vertically with one of the guide holes. Methods: By using the three-dimensional modeling software, a novel grid was designed to reach the targeted sites far beyond the standard reach of the chamber. The grid was fabricated using conventional machining techniques and three-dimensional printing. Results: A pilot study involving microinjection of the magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agent gadolinium into the discrete regions of interest (ROIs) in the temporal cortex of an awake, behaving monkey demonstrated the effectiveness of this new design of the guide grid. Using multiple different angles of approach, we were readily able to access 10 injection sites, which were up to 5 mm outside the traditional, orthogonal reach of the chamber. PMID:22319479

  7. Increased Post-Operative Stiffness after Arthroscopic Suprapectoral Biceps Tenodesis

    PubMed Central

    Werner, Brian C.; Pehlivan, Hakan C.; Hart, Joseph M.; Carson, Eric W.; Diduch, David R.; Miller, Mark D.; Brockmeier, Stephen F.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Biceps tenodesis can be performed open or arthroscopically and can be positioned in a suprapectoral or subpectoral position. Suprapectoral tenodesis can be carried out arthroscopically, whereas the subpectoral tenodesis is performed as an open procedure. The goal of this study is to compare the incidence of postoperative stiffness between arthroscopic suprapectoral and open subpectoral biceps tenodesis and evaluate risk factors for its occurrence. Methods: Study Design: The charts of all patients who underwent arthroscopic or open biceps tenodesis who were a minimum of two years post-procedure were reviewed. Patients with preoperative frozen shoulder, prior shoulder surgery, or massive rotator cuff tears which required longer post-operative immobilization were excluded. Post-operative stiffness was defined as persistent range of motion deficit (<100oof forward flexion and abduction; <40o of internal or external rotation) and pain resulting in a diagnosis of post-operative frozen shoulder and requiring either an injection, lysis of adhesions/manipulation, or both. Analysis: Means were calculated for continuous variables and compared using Students t test. Frequencies for categorical variables were compared using chi square tests. Results: We identified 249 consecutive biceps tenodeses from 2008-11 (106 arthroscopic, 143 open) that met inclusion and exclusion criteria. A significantly increased incidence of post-operative stiffness was found in the arthroscopic tenodesis cohort as compared to the open cohort (17.9% vs. 5.6%, p=0.002). The groups were otherwise well matched. (Table I). Further analysis was performed comparing patients with and without post-operative stiffness within the arthroscopic cohort. (Table II) Female gender (63.2% vs 33.3%, p = 0.016) and smoking (36.8% vs 16.1%, p = 0.040) were independent risk factors for post-operative stiffness after arthroscopic tenodesis. Location of the tenodesis from the top of the humeral head as measured

  8. The Use of Polyacrylamide Hydrogels to Study the Effects of Matrix Stiffness on Nuclear Envelope Properties.

    PubMed

    Minaisah, Rose-Marie; Cox, Susan; Warren, Derek T

    2016-01-01

    Matrix-derived mechanical cues influence cell proliferation, motility, and differentiation. Recent findings clearly demonstrate that the nuclear envelope (NE) adapts and remodels in response to mechanical signals, including matrix stiffness, yet a plethora of studies have been performed on tissue culture plastic or glass that have a similar stiffness to cortical bone. Using methods that allow modulation of matrix stiffness will provide further insight into the role of the NE in physiological conditions and the impact of changes in stiffness observed during ageing and disease on cellular function. In this chapter, we describe the polyacrylamide hydrogel system, which allows fabrication of hydrogels with variable stiffness to better mimic the environment experienced by cells in most tissues of the body. PMID:27147046

  9. Effects of substrate stiffness and cell-cell contact on mesenchymal stem cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Mao, Angelo S; Shin, Jae-Won; Mooney, David J

    2016-08-01

    The mechanical properties of the microenvironment and direct contact-mediated cell-cell interactions are two variables known to be important in the determination of stem cell differentiation fate, but little is known about the interplay of these cues. Here, we use a micropatterning approach on polyacrylamide gels of tunable stiffnesses to study how homotypic cell-cell contacts and mechanical stiffness affect different stages of osteogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Nuclear localization of transcription factors associated with osteogenesis depended on substrate stiffness and was independent of the degree of cell-cell contact. However, expression of alkaline phosphatase, an early protein marker for osteogenesis, increased only in cells with both direct contact with neighboring cells and adhesion to stiffer substrates. Finally, mature osteogenesis, as assessed by calcium deposition, was low in micropatterned cells, even on stiff substrates and in multicellular clusters. These results indicate that substrate stiffness and the presence of neighboring cells regulate osteogenesis in MSCs. PMID:27203745

  10. Tissue stiffness dictates development, homeostasis, and disease progression.

    PubMed

    Handorf, Andrew M; Zhou, Yaxian; Halanski, Matthew A; Li, Wan-Ju

    2015-01-01

    Tissue development is orchestrated by the coordinated activities of both chemical and physical regulators. While much attention has been given to the role that chemical regulators play in driving development, researchers have recently begun to elucidate the important role that the mechanical properties of the extracellular environment play. For instance, the stiffness of the extracellular environment has a role in orienting cell division, maintaining tissue boundaries, directing cell migration, and driving differentiation. In addition, extracellular matrix stiffness is important for maintaining normal tissue homeostasis, and when matrix mechanics become imbalanced, disease progression may ensue. In this article, we will review the important role that matrix stiffness plays in dictating cell behavior during development, tissue homeostasis, and disease progression. PMID:25915734

  11. Variability-based active galactic nucleus selection using image subtraction in the SDSS and LSST era

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, Yumi; Gibson, Robert R.; Becker, Andrew C.; Ivezić, Željko; Connolly, Andrew J.; Ruan, John J.; Anderson, Scott F.; MacLeod, Chelsea L.

    2014-02-10

    With upcoming all-sky surveys such as LSST poised to generate a deep digital movie of the optical sky, variability-based active galactic nucleus (AGN) selection will enable the construction of highly complete catalogs with minimum contamination. In this study, we generate g-band difference images and construct light curves (LCs) for QSO/AGN candidates listed in Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82 public catalogs compiled from different methods, including spectroscopy, optical colors, variability, and X-ray detection. Image differencing excels at identifying variable sources embedded in complex or blended emission regions such as Type II AGNs and other low-luminosity AGNs that may be omitted from traditional photometric or spectroscopic catalogs. To separate QSOs/AGNs from other sources using our difference image LCs, we explore several LC statistics and parameterize optical variability by the characteristic damping timescale (τ) and variability amplitude. By virtue of distinguishable variability parameters of AGNs, we are able to select them with high completeness of 93.4% and efficiency (i.e., purity) of 71.3%. Based on optical variability, we also select highly variable blazar candidates, whose infrared colors are consistent with known blazars. One-third of them are also radio detected. With the X-ray selected AGN candidates, we probe the optical variability of X-ray detected optically extended sources using their difference image LCs for the first time. A combination of optical variability and X-ray detection enables us to select various types of host-dominated AGNs. Contrary to the AGN unification model prediction, two Type II AGN candidates (out of six) show detectable variability on long-term timescales like typical Type I AGNs. This study will provide a baseline for future optical variability studies of extended sources.

  12. Rapid X-Ray Variability of Active Galaxies. Ph.D. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tennant, A. F., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei are luminous sources of X-rays. The thesis that the X-rays are generated within 10 gravitational radii from the central object is tested. A very sensitive search for rapid ( 1 day) X-ray variability from active galaxies was made.

  13. Isoconversion effective activation energy profiles by variable temperature diffuse reflection infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    White, Daniel R; White, Robert L

    2008-01-01

    Thermal process characterization based on calculating effective activation energies from variable temperature diffuse reflection infrared spectroscopy (VT-DRIFTS) measurements is demonstrated. Experimental factors that affect the accuracies of activation energy values are outlined. Infrared radiation scattering efficiency, thermal conductivity, and inertness towards chemical reactions are factors that should be considered when selecting an appropriate diluent for preparing samples. The Kubelka-Munk representation is superior to apparent absorbance when baseline variations in spectra measured at different temperatures can be minimized. Variable-temperature infrared spectral features, such as integrated absorption band area, can be used to compute isoconversion effective activation energies, provided that measured quantities are proportional to species concentrations. PMID:18230216

  14. Left anterior cingulate activity predicts intra-individual reaction time variability in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Beth P; Pinar, Ari; Fornito, Alex; Nandam, L Sanjay; Hester, Robert; Bellgrove, Mark A

    2015-06-01

    Within-subject, or intra-individual, variability in reaction time (RT) is increasingly recognised as an important indicator of the efficiency of attentional control, yet there have been few investigations of the neural correlates of trial-to-trial RT variability in healthy adults. We sought to determine the neural correlates of intra-individual RT variability during a go/no-go response inhibition task in 27 healthy, male participants. We found that reduced trial-to-trial RT variability (i.e. greater response stability) was significantly associated with greater activation in the left pregenual anterior cingulate. These results support the role of the left anterior cingulate in the dynamic control of attention and efficient response selection. Greater understanding of intra-individual RT variability and top-down attentional control in healthy adults may help to inform disorders that impact executive/attentional control, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia. PMID:25791710

  15. Symmetric ambulatory arterial stiffness index in the young.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Minh B; Singer, Pamela; Kaskel, Fredrick; Mahgerefteh, Joseph

    2016-06-01

    The ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI) and the symmetric ambulatory arterial stiffness index (s-AASI) have been shown to correlate to arterial stiffness in adults. This study assesses these indices with anthropometric and blood pressure (BP) measures in children. A total of 102 children at a pediatric hypertension clinic who had ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) done from 2009 to 2013 were included (75% males, 7-22yo, 47% hypertensive, 24% prehypertensive, and 34% white-coat hypertensives). AASI is 1 minus the regression slope of diastolic BP values on systolic BP values from a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. s-AASI is the symmetric regression of AASI. Obese patients had a significantly higher AASI. s-AASI correlated with systolic BP variability. In multivariable regression, BP variability independently correlated with AASI and s-AASI. s-AASI is related to systolic dipping.AASI and s-AASI are highly dependent on BP variability in children. Further studies are necessary to assess their utility. PMID:27118486

  16. Leg and Joint Stiffness in Children with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy during Level Walking

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ting-Ming; Huang, Hsing-Po; Li, Jia-Da; Hong, Shih-Wun; Lo, Wei-Ching; Lu, Tung-Wu

    2015-01-01

    Individual joint deviations are often identified in the analysis of cerebral palsy (CP) gait. However, knowledge is limited as to how these deviations affect the control of the locomotor system as a whole when striving to meet the demands of walking. The current study aimed to bridge the gap by describing the control of the locomotor system in children with diplegic CP in terms of their leg stiffness, both skeletal and muscular components, and associated joint stiffness during gait. Twelve children with spastic diplegia CP and 12 healthy controls walked at a self-selected pace in a gait laboratory while their kinematic and forceplate data were measured and analyzed during loading response, mid-stance, terminal stance and pre-swing. For calculating the leg stiffness, each of the lower limbs was modeled as a non-linear spring, connecting the hip joint center and the corresponding center of pressure, with varying stiffness that was calculated as the slope (gradient) of the axial force vs. the deformation curve. The leg stiffness was further decomposed into skeletal and muscular components considering the alignment of the lower limb. The ankle, knee and hip of the limb were modeled as revolute joints with torsional springs whose stiffness was calculated as the slope of the moment vs. the angle curve of the joint. Independent t-tests were performed for between-group comparisons of all the variables. The CP group significantly decreased the leg stiffness but increased the joint stiffness during stance phase, except during terminal stance where the leg stiffness was increased. They appeared to rely more on muscular contributions to achieve the required leg stiffness, increasing the muscular demands in maintaining the body posture against collapse. Leg stiffness plays a critical role in modulating the kinematics and kinetics of the locomotor system during gait in the diplegic CP. PMID:26629700

  17. Variables associated with upper extremity function in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Janssen, Mariska M H P; Hendriks, Jan C M; Geurts, Alexander C H; de Groot, Imelda J M

    2016-09-01

    Preserving upper extremity (UE) function in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is extremely important as it is related to independence and quality of life. For clinical decision making, knowledge of variables associated with UE function is necessary. This knowledge is, however, limited. Therefore, this study aims to gain more insight into the variables associated with UE function in DMD. Data from an international web-based questionnaire on UE function, obtained from 213 DMD patients, were used. Six dependent variables regarding UE function were used in multivariable linear regression analyses. In addition, 26 independent variables regarding patient characteristics, medication, therapy, supportive aids, pain, stiffness and participation were used. Twelve independent variables showed a significant relation to UE function. Variables with a negative relation to UE function were: later disease stage, occurrence of scoliosis, higher age, use of UE splints, more frequent stiffness complaints, more limitations due to stiffness, more frequent elbow pain, and having physical therapy. A positive relation with UE function was seen for going to school or work, use of corticosteroids, higher BMI, and higher age at diagnosis. These variables explained 56-81 % of the variation of the different measures of UE function. Knowledge of variables associated with UE function is very important in the clinical management of DMD patients. The results of this study suggest that corticosteroid use and participation in school and work related activities are positively related to UE function in DMD patients, as well as reducing pain and stiffness and preventing scoliosis. PMID:27314968

  18. Piezoelectric resonance shifting using tunable nonlinear stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reissman, Timothy; Wolff, Eric M.; Garcia, Ephrahim

    2009-03-01

    Piezoelectric cantilever devices for energy harvesting purposes have typically been tuned by manipulating beam dimensions or by placement of a tip mass. While these techniques do lend themselves well to designing a highly tuned resonance, the design is fixed and causes each system to be unique to a specific driving frequency. In this work, we demonstrate the design of a nonlinear tuning technique via a variable external, attractive magnetic force. With this design, the resonance of the piezoelectric energy harvester is able to be tuned with the adjustment of a slider mechanism. The magnetic design uses the well of attraction principle in order to create a varying nonlinear stiffness, which shifts the resonance of the coupled piezoelectric beam. The significance of this work is the design of a piezoelectric energy harvesting system with a variable resonance frequency that can be adjusted for changes in the driving frequencies over a wide range without the replacement of any system components; thus, extending the usefulness of these vibration energy harvesting devices over a larger frequency span.

  19. The solar magnetic activity band interaction and instabilities that shape quasi-periodic variability.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, Scott W; Leamon, Robert J; Krista, Larisza D; Title, Alan M; Hudson, Hugh S; Riley, Pete; Harder, Jerald W; Kopp, Greg; Snow, Martin; Woods, Thomas N; Kasper, Justin C; Stevens, Michael L; Ulrich, Roger K

    2015-01-01

    Solar magnetism displays a host of variational timescales of which the enigmatic 11-year sunspot cycle is most prominent. Recent work has demonstrated that the sunspot cycle can be explained in terms of the intra- and extra-hemispheric interaction between the overlapping activity bands of the 22-year magnetic polarity cycle. Those activity bands appear to be driven by the rotation of the Sun's deep interior. Here we deduce that activity band interaction can qualitatively explain the 'Gnevyshev Gap'—a well-established feature of flare and sunspot occurrence. Strong quasi-annual variability in the number of flares, coronal mass ejections, the radiative and particulate environment of the heliosphere is also observed. We infer that this secondary variability is driven by surges of magnetism from the activity bands. Understanding the formation, interaction and instability of these activity bands will considerably improve forecast capability in space weather and solar activity over a range of timescales. PMID:25849045

  20. The solar magnetic activity band interaction and instabilities that shape quasi-periodic variability

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, Scott W.; Leamon, Robert J.; Krista, Larisza D.; Title, Alan M.; Hudson, Hugh S.; Riley, Pete; Harder, Jerald W.; Kopp, Greg; Snow, Martin; Woods, Thomas N.; Kasper, Justin C.; Stevens, Michael L.; Ulrich, Roger K.

    2015-01-01

    Solar magnetism displays a host of variational timescales of which the enigmatic 11-year sunspot cycle is most prominent. Recent work has demonstrated that the sunspot cycle can be explained in terms of the intra- and extra-hemispheric interaction between the overlapping activity bands of the 22-year magnetic polarity cycle. Those activity bands appear to be driven by the rotation of the Sun's deep interior. Here we deduce that activity band interaction can qualitatively explain the ‘Gnevyshev Gap'—a well-established feature of flare and sunspot occurrence. Strong quasi-annual variability in the number of flares, coronal mass ejections, the radiative and particulate environment of the heliosphere is also observed. We infer that this secondary variability is driven by surges of magnetism from the activity bands. Understanding the formation, interaction and instability of these activity bands will considerably improve forecast capability in space weather and solar activity over a range of timescales. PMID:25849045

  1. Experimental stiffness of tapered bore seals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleming, D. P.

    1985-01-01

    The stiffness of tapered-bore ring seals was measured with air as the sealed fluid. Static stiffness agreed fairly well with results of a previous analysis. Cross-coupled stiffness due to shaft rotation was much less than predicted. It is suggested that part of the disparity may be due to simplifying assumptions in the analysis; however, these do not appear to account for the entire difference observed.

  2. Variables associated with children's physical activity levels during recess: the A-CLASS project

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background School recess provides a daily opportunity for children to engage in physically active behaviours. However, few studies have investigated what factors may influence children's physical activity levels in this context. Such information may be important in the development and implementation of recess interventions. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between a range of recess variables and children's sedentary, moderate and vigorous physical activity in this context. Methods One hundred and twenty-eight children (39% boys) aged 9-10 years old from 8 elementary schools had their physical activity levels observed during school recess using the System for Observing Children's Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP). Playground variables data were also collected at this time. Multilevel prediction models identified variables that were significantly associated with children's sedentary, moderate and vigorous physical activity during recess. Results Girls engaged in 13.8% more sedentary activity and 8.2% less vigorous activity than boys during recess. Children with no equipment provision during recess engaged in more sedentary activity and less moderate activity than children provided with equipment. In addition, as play space per child increased, sedentary activity decreased and vigorous activity increased. Temperature was a significant negatively associated with vigorous activity. Conclusions Modifiable and unmodifiable factors were associated with children's sedentary, moderate and vigorous physical activity during recess. Providing portable equipment and specifying areas for activities that dominate the elementary school playground during recess may be two approaches to increase recess physical activity levels, though further research is needed to evaluate the short and long-term impact of such strategies. PMID:20937142

  3. Contractile Equilibration of Single Cells to Step Changes in Extracellular Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Crow, Ailey; Webster, Kevin D.; Hohlfeld, Evan; Ng, Win Pin; Geissler, Phillip; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular stiffness has been shown to alter long timescale cell behaviors such as growth and differentiation, but the cellular response to changes in stiffness on short timescales is poorly understood. By studying the contractile response of cells to dynamic stiffness conditions using an atomic force microscope, we observe a seconds-timescale response to a step change in extracellular stiffness. Specifically, we observe acceleration in contraction velocity (μm/min) and force rate (nN/min) upon a step decrease in stiffness and deceleration upon a step increase in stiffness. Interestingly, this seconds-timescale response to a change in extracellular stiffness is not altered by inhibiting focal adhesion signaling or stretch-activated ion channels and is independent of cell height and contraction force. Rather, the response timescale is altered only by disrupting cytoskeletal mechanics and is well described by a simple mechanical model of a constant velocity actuator pulling against an internal cellular viscoelastic network. Consistent with the predictions of this model, we find that an osmotically expanding hydrogel responds to step changes in extracellular stiffness in a similar manner to cells. We therefore propose that an initial event in stiffness sensing is establishment of a mechanical equilibrium that balances contraction of the viscoelastic cytoskeleton with deformation of the extracellular matrix. PMID:22325266

  4. Extracellular matrix stiffness dictates Wnt expression through integrin pathway

    PubMed Central

    Du, Jing; Zu, Yan; Li, Jing; Du, Shuyuan; Xu, Yipu; Zhang, Lang; Jiang, Li; Wang, Zhao; Chien, Shu; Yang, Chun

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness plays a significant role in regulating the phenotypes and behaviors of many cell types. However, the mechanism underlying the sensing of mechanical cues and subsequent elasticity-triggered pathways remains largely unknown. We observed that stiff ECM significantly enhanced the expression level of several members of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in both bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and primary chondrocytes. The activation of β-catenin by stiff ECM is not dependent on Wnt signals but is elevated by the activation of integrin/ focal adhesion kinase (FAK) pathway. The accumulated β-catenin then bound to the wnt1 promoter region to up-regulate the gene transcription, thus constituting a positive feedback of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. With the amplifying effect of positive feedback, this integrin-activated β-catenin/Wnt pathway plays significant roles in mediating the enhancement of Wnt signal on stiff ECM and contributes to the regulation of mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and primary chondrocyte phenotype maintenance. The present integrin-regulated Wnt1 expression and signaling contributes to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of cell behaviors by ECM elasticity. PMID:26854061

  5. Extracellular matrix stiffness dictates Wnt expression through integrin pathway.

    PubMed

    Du, Jing; Zu, Yan; Li, Jing; Du, Shuyuan; Xu, Yipu; Zhang, Lang; Jiang, Li; Wang, Zhao; Chien, Shu; Yang, Chun

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness plays a significant role in regulating the phenotypes and behaviors of many cell types. However, the mechanism underlying the sensing of mechanical cues and subsequent elasticity-triggered pathways remains largely unknown. We observed that stiff ECM significantly enhanced the expression level of several members of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in both bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and primary chondrocytes. The activation of β-catenin by stiff ECM is not dependent on Wnt signals but is elevated by the activation of integrin/ focal adhesion kinase (FAK) pathway. The accumulated β-catenin then bound to the wnt1 promoter region to up-regulate the gene transcription, thus constituting a positive feedback of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. With the amplifying effect of positive feedback, this integrin-activated β-catenin/Wnt pathway plays significant roles in mediating the enhancement of Wnt signal on stiff ECM and contributes to the regulation of mesenchymal stem cell differentiation and primary chondrocyte phenotype maintenance. The present integrin-regulated Wnt1 expression and signaling contributes to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of cell behaviors by ECM elasticity. PMID:26854061

  6. Arthroscopic Treatment of Stiff Elbow

    PubMed Central

    Blonna, Davide; Bellato, Enrico; Marini, Eleonora; Scelsi, Michele; Castoldi, Filippo

    2011-01-01

    Contracture of the elbow represents a disabling condition that can impair a person's quality of life. Regardless of the event that causes an elbow contracture, the conservative or surgical treatment is usually considered technically difficult and associated with complications. When the conservative treatment fails to restore an acceptable range of motion in the elbow, open techniques have been shown to be successful options. More recently the use of arthroscopy has become more popular for several reasons. These reasons include better visualization of intra-articular structures, less tissue trauma from open incisions, and potentially the ability to begin early postoperative motion. The purpose of this paper is to review the indications, complications, and results of arthroscopic management of a stiff elbow. PMID:22084755

  7. Chromospherically active stars. II - HD 82558, a young single BY Draconis variable

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fekel, Francis C.; Bopp, Bernard W.; Africano, John L.; Goodrich, Bret D.; Palmer, Leigh Hunter

    1986-01-01

    It is presently noted that the HD 82558 chromospherically active star is a young and rapidly rotating K2 V single BY Draconis variable with very strong far-UV emission features and an H-alpha line filled to the continuum level by emission. HD 82558 has constant velocity and is not a member of the Hyades Supercluster. Its light curve behavior, which appears to have been stable for several hundred rotation cycles, is reminiscent of that of the young, rapidly rotating, single K V variable H II 1883 in the Pleiades; this stability may be characteristic of young, single, chromospherically active stars.

  8. Load to Failure and Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Esquivel, Amanda O.; Duncan, Douglas D.; Dobrasevic, Nikola; Marsh, Stephanie M.; Lemos, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Rotator cuff tendinopathy is a frequent cause of shoulder pain that can lead to decreased strength and range of motion. Failures after using the single-row technique of rotator cuff repair have led to the development of the double-row technique, which is said to allow for more anatomical restoration of the footprint. Purpose: To compare 5 different types of suture patterns while maintaining equality in number of anchors. The hypothesis was that the Mason-Allen–crossed cruciform transosseous-equivalent technique is superior to other suture configurations while maintaining equality in suture limbs and anchors. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: A total of 25 fresh-frozen cadaveric shoulders were randomized into 5 suture configuration groups: single-row repair with simple stitch technique; single-row repair with modified Mason-Allen technique; double-row Mason-Allen technique; double-row cross-bridge technique; and double-row suture bridge technique. Load and displacement were recorded at 100 Hz until failure. Stiffness and bone mineral density were also measured. Results: There was no significant difference in peak load at failure, stiffness, maximum displacement at failure, or mean bone mineral density among the 5 suture configuration groups (P < .05). Conclusion: According to study results, when choosing a repair technique, other factors such as number of sutures in the repair should be considered to judge the strength of the repair. Clinical Relevance: Previous in vitro studies have shown the double-row rotator cuff repair to be superior to the single-row repair; however, clinical research does not necessarily support this. This study found no difference when comparing 5 different repair methods, supporting research that suggests the number of sutures and not the pattern can affect biomechanical properties. PMID:26665053

  9. Acute exercise modifies titin phosphorylation and increases cardiac myofilament stiffness.

    PubMed

    Müller, Anna E; Kreiner, Matthias; Kötter, Sebastian; Lassak, Philipp; Bloch, Wilhelm; Suhr, Frank; Krüger, Martina

    2014-01-01

    Titin-based myofilament stiffness is largely modulated by phosphorylation of its elastic I-band regions N2-Bus (decreases passive stiffness, PT) and PEVK (increases PT). Here, we tested the hypothesis that acute exercise changes titin phosphorylation and modifies myofilament stiffness. Adult rats were exercised on a treadmill for 15 min, untrained animals served as controls. Titin phosphorylation was determined by Western blot analysis using phosphospecific antibodies to Ser4099 and Ser4010 in the N2-Bus region (PKG and PKA-dependent. respectively), and to Ser11878 and Ser 12022 in the PEVK region (PKCα and CaMKIIδ-dependent, respectively). Passive tension was determined by step-wise stretching of isolated skinned cardiomyocytes to sarcomere length (SL) ranging from 1.9 to 2.4 μm and showed a significantly increased PT from exercised samples, compared to controls. In cardiac samples titin N2-Bus phosphorylation was significantly decreased by 40% at Ser4099, however, no significant changes were observed at Ser4010. PEVK phosphorylation at Ser11878 was significantly increased, which is probably mediated by the observed exercise-induced increase in PKCα activity. Interestingly, relative phosphorylation of Ser12022 was substantially decreased in the exercised samples. Surprisingly, in skeletal samples from acutely exercised animals we detected a significant decrease in PEVK phosphorylation at Ser11878 and an increase in Ser12022 phosphorylation; however, PKCα activity remained unchanged. In summary, our data show that a single exercise bout of 15 min affects titin domain phosphorylation and titin-based myocyte stiffness with obviously divergent effects in cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. The observed changes in titin stiffness could play an important role in adapting the passive and active properties of the myocardium and the skeletal muscle to increased physical activity. PMID:25477822

  10. Acute exercise modifies titin phosphorylation and increases cardiac myofilament stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Anna E.; Kreiner, Matthias; Kötter, Sebastian; Lassak, Philipp; Bloch, Wilhelm; Suhr, Frank; Krüger, Martina

    2014-01-01

    Titin-based myofilament stiffness is largely modulated by phosphorylation of its elastic I-band regions N2-Bus (decreases passive stiffness, PT) and PEVK (increases PT). Here, we tested the hypothesis that acute exercise changes titin phosphorylation and modifies myofilament stiffness. Adult rats were exercised on a treadmill for 15 min, untrained animals served as controls. Titin phosphorylation was determined by Western blot analysis using phosphospecific antibodies to Ser4099 and Ser4010 in the N2-Bus region (PKG and PKA-dependent. respectively), and to Ser11878 and Ser 12022 in the PEVK region (PKCα and CaMKIIδ-dependent, respectively). Passive tension was determined by step-wise stretching of isolated skinned cardiomyocytes to sarcomere length (SL) ranging from 1.9 to 2.4 μm and showed a significantly increased PT from exercised samples, compared to controls. In cardiac samples titin N2-Bus phosphorylation was significantly decreased by 40% at Ser4099, however, no significant changes were observed at Ser4010. PEVK phosphorylation at Ser11878 was significantly increased, which is probably mediated by the observed exercise-induced increase in PKCα activity. Interestingly, relative phosphorylation of Ser12022 was substantially decreased in the exercised samples. Surprisingly, in skeletal samples from acutely exercised animals we detected a significant decrease in PEVK phosphorylation at Ser11878 and an increase in Ser12022 phosphorylation; however, PKCα activity remained unchanged. In summary, our data show that a single exercise bout of 15 min affects titin domain phosphorylation and titin-based myocyte stiffness with obviously divergent effects in cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues. The observed changes in titin stiffness could play an important role in adapting the passive and active properties of the myocardium and the skeletal muscle to increased physical activity. PMID:25477822

  11. Ensemble spectral variability study of Active Galactic Nuclei from the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serafinelli, R.; Vagnetti, F.; Middei, R.

    2016-02-01

    The variability of the X-Ray spectra of active galactic nuclei (AGN) usually includes a change of the spectral slope. This has been investigated for a small sample of local AGNs by Sobolewska and Papadakis [1], who found that slope variations are well correlated with flux variations, and that the spectra are typically steeper in the bright phase (softer when brighter behaviour). Not much information is available for the spectral variability of high-luminosity AGNs and quasars. In order to investigate this phenomenon, we use data from the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue, Data Release 5, which contains X- Ray observations for a large number of active galactic nuclei in a wide luminosity and redshift range, for several different epochs. This allows to perform an ensemble analysis of the spectral variability for a large sample of quasars. We quantify the spectral variability through the spectral variability parameter β, defined by Trevese and Vagnetti [2] as the ratio between the change in spectral slope and the corresponding logarithmic flux variation. We find that the spectral variability of quasars has a softer when brighter behaviour, similarly to local AGNs.

  12. Variability of foE in the equatorial ionosphere with solar activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abe, O. E.; Rabiu, A. B.; Adeniyi, J. O.

    2013-01-01

    This research examined the variability of foE in the equatorial ionosphere with solar activity within the equatorial ionospheric anomaly region. Ionosonde data recorded at Ouagadougou (lat. 12.4°N, long. 1.5°W and magnetic dip 1.43°N) were engaged to study the transient variations of the critical frequency of the E-layer (foE) and its dependence on solar activity. The study revealed that foE increases with the increase in solar intensity of the sun. The variability of the foE decreases with increases in the solar activity. The maximum value of the foE is at local noon when the ionosphere is stable; the variability at this local time is minimal. The minimum value of the foE is at sunrise and sunset, at this period on local time the equatorial ionosphere recorded its maxima variability. Irrespective of the degree of solar activity, foE is observed to be maximum in June solstice, followed by the equinoxes and minimum in December solstice. Equinoctial asymmetry occurred in the variation of the relative standard deviation of foE with maximum in September/March equinox for low/high solar activity.

  13. Spatial variability of microbial activity and substrate utilization patterns in top- and subsoils under European beech

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niebuhr, Jana; Heinze, Stefanie; Mikutta, Robert; Mueller, Carsten W.; Preusser, Sebastian; Marschner, Bernd

    2014-05-01

    The role of subsoils in the global carbon cycle is poorly understood and probably underestimated. This is due to an incomplete understanding of processes and mechanisms that influence carbon storage and decomposition in deeper soil horizons. Microbial communities play an important role in these processes, as their presence, structure and function are crucial for the decomposition and/or stabilization of organic compounds. In this study, carried out in a European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forest on a podzolic Cambisol near Hannover, the spatial variability of microbial activity and substrate utilization patterns were investigated in the subsoil. For this purpose, samples were taken from regular grids at dm distances in three soil profiles of 1.85 m depth and 3.15 m length, totaling 192 soil samples. Activities of 9 extracellular enzymes of the C-, S-, P- and N-cycle were determined with a multi-substrate enzymatic assay and for substrate utilization patterns the MicroRespTM method was applied. The results showed a strong decline of microbial activity from topsoil to subsoil. Enzyme activities varied greatly at the dm scale. The correlation of the variability of both microbial activity and substrate utilization patterns with depth and soil parameters such as pH, soil water content, total and dissolved organic carbon was tested with a principal component analysis. Existing dependencies of the variabilities on these parameters help to verify the hypotheses that microbial activity is spatially highly variable in the subsoil and this variability is due to the existence of certain hot spots of substrate availability and that outside these 'hot spots' the microbial activity and thus the decomposition of SOM are mainly limited by substrate availability.

  14. X-ray spectra and time variability of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mushotzky, R. F.

    1984-01-01

    The X-ray spectra of broad line active galactic nuclei (AGN) of all types (Seyfert I's, NELG's, broadline radio galaxies) are well fit by a power law in the .5 to 100 keV band of man energy slope alpha = .68 + or - .15. There is, as yet, no strong evidence for time variability of this slope in a given object. The constraints that this places on simple models of the central energy source are discussed. BL Lac objects have quite different X-ray spectral properties and show pronounced X-ray spectral variability. On time scales longer than 12 hours most radio quiet AGN do not show strong, delta I/I .5, variability. The probability of variability of these AGN seems to be inversely related to their luminosity. However characteristics timescales for variability have not been measured for many objects. This general lack of variability may imply that most AGN are well below the Eddington limit. Radio bright AGN tend to be more variable than radio quiet AGN on long, tau approx 6 month, timescales.

  15. Arterial stiffness of lifelong Japanese female pearl divers.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Hirofumi; Tomoto, Tsubasa; Kosaki, Keisei; Sugawara, Jun

    2016-05-15

    Japanese female pearl divers called Ama specialize in free diving in the cold sea for collecting foods and pearls in oysters. Exercising in the water combined with marked bradycardia and pressor responses provides a circulatory challenge to properly buffer or cushion elevated cardiac pulsations. Because Ama perform repeated free dives throughout their lives, it is possible that they may have adapted similar arterial structure and function to those seen in diving mammals. We compared arterial stiffness of lifelong Japanese pearl divers with age-matched physically inactive adults living in the same fishing villages. A total of 115 Japanese female pearl divers were studied. Additionally, 50 physically inactive adults as well as 33 physically active adults (participating in community fitness programs) living in the same coastal villages were also studied. There were no differences in age (∼65 yr), body mass index, and brachial blood pressure between the groups. Measures of arterial stiffness, cardio-ankle vascular index and β-stiffness index were lower (P < 0.05) in pearl divers and physically active adults than in their physically inactive peers. Augmentation pressure and augmentation index adjusted for the heart rate of 75 beats/min were lower (P < 0.05) in pearl divers than in other groups. These results indicate that lifelong Japanese pearl divers demonstrate reduced arterial stiffness and arterial wave reflection compared with age-matched physically inactive peers living in the same fishing villages. PMID:26984889

  16. Chromospheric activity in Delta Scuti stars - The suspected variable Tau Cygni

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fracassini, M.; Pasinetti Fracassini, L. E.; Mariani, A.; Pastori, L.; Teays, T. J.

    1991-01-01

    High-resolution IUE spectra of the suspected variable Tau Cyg were obtained to search for a possible variability of the Mg II h, k double-peaked emission. The observations, spanning an interval of about 6.3 h, have shown flux excursions within or just near 15 percent, a value suggested as the detection limit of actual variations with IUE spectra. A variability, difficult to explain, could be present in the ratios Fk2v/Fk2r. The emission fluxes seem to be higher than those of the Delta Scuti variables Rho Pup and Beta Cas. This comparison could give some insights on the possible role of the convection on the pulsational and chromospheric activities of Tau Cyg. A positive correlation between the total emission fluxes and the rotational velocities of these stars was found.

  17. Gulf Coast hurricane activity and climate variability during the last half of the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lane, P.; Donnelly, J. P.

    2011-12-01

    The dominant timescales of variability in a 4500-year sediment-based storm chronology from the northeastern Gulf of Mexico are identified, and relationships between storm frequency and climate are explored. Changes in the frequency of large storm surge deposits in the record likely represent variability in the intensity distribution of hurricanes impacting the site during the late Holocene. Significant variability at approximately 200 and 1000-year timescales that was detected in the storm record is shared by numerous Holocene climate records including reconstructions of Loop Current penetration into the Gulf of Mexico. Intense storm landfalls were most frequent around 3.7 ka, between 2.7 and 2.4 ka, and around 0.7 ka when foraminiferal proxies of mixed layer depth indicate a more permanent residence of the Loop Current within the northeastern Gulf. Migrations of the Loop Current would exercise control over regional hurricane activity by changing the thermal structure of the upper ocean and influencing the role of storm-induced upwelling on hurricane intensification. Other factors that influenced regional and Atlantic basin-wide hurricane activity include the El Niño/Southern Oscillation and the position of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. Many authors have suggested that bicentennial and millennial-scale climate variability may have been driven ultimately by changes in solar irradiance. Thus, low-frequency variability in Atlantic hurricane activity may be an expression of the climate system's response to exogenous forcing.

  18. Anatomic and Pathologic Variability During Radiotherapy for a Hybrid Active Breath-Hold Gating Technique

    SciTech Connect

    Glide-Hurst, Carri K.; Gopan, Ellen; Hugo, Geoffrey D.

    2010-07-01

    Purpose: To evaluate intra- and interfraction variability of tumor and lung volume and position using a hybrid active breath-hold gating technique. Methods and Materials: A total of 159 repeat normal inspiration active breath-hold CTs were acquired weekly during radiotherapy for 9 lung cancer patients (12-21 scans per patient). A physician delineated the gross tumor volume (GTV), lungs, and spinal cord on the first breath-hold CT, and contours were propagated semiautomatically. Intra- and interfraction variability of tumor and lung position and volume were evaluated. Tumor centroid and border variability were quantified. Results: On average, intrafraction variability of lung and GTV centroid position was <2.0 mm. Interfraction population variability was 3.6-6.7 mm (systematic) and 3.1-3.9 mm (random) for the GTV centroid and 1.0-3.3 mm (systematic) and 1.5-2.6 mm (random) for the lungs. Tumor volume regressed 44.6% {+-} 23.2%. Gross tumor volume border variability was patient specific and demonstrated anisotropic shape change in some subjects. Interfraction GTV positional variability was associated with tumor volume regression and contralateral lung volume (p < 0.05). Inter-breath-hold reproducibility was unaffected by time point in the treatment course (p > 0.1). Increases in free-breathing tidal volume were associated with increases in breath-hold ipsilateral lung volume (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The breath-hold technique was reproducible within 2 mm during each fraction. Interfraction variability of GTV position and shape was substantial because of tumor volume and breath-hold lung volume change during therapy. These results support the feasibility of a hybrid breath-hold gating technique and suggest that online image guidance would be beneficial.

  19. An acoustic startle alters knee joint stiffness and neuromuscular control.

    PubMed

    DeAngelis, A I; Needle, A R; Kaminski, T W; Royer, T R; Knight, C A; Swanik, C B

    2015-08-01

    Growing evidence suggests that the nervous system contributes to non-contact knee ligament injury, but limited evidence has measured the effect of extrinsic events on joint stability. Following unanticipated events, the startle reflex leads to universal stiffening of the limbs, but no studies have investigated how an acoustic startle influences knee stiffness and muscle activation during a dynamic knee perturbation. Thirty-six individuals were tested for knee stiffness and muscle activation of the quadriceps and hamstrings. Subjects were seated and instructed to resist a 40-degree knee flexion perturbation from a relaxed state. During some trials, an acoustic startle (50 ms, 1000 Hz, 100 dB) was applied 100 ms prior to the perturbation. Knee stiffness, muscle amplitude, and timing were quantified across time, muscle, and startle conditions. The acoustic startle increased short-range (no startle: 0.044 ± 0.011 N·m/deg/kg; average startle: 0.047 ± 0.01 N·m/deg/kg) and total knee stiffness (no startle: 0.036 ± 0.01 N·m/deg/kg; first startle 0.027 ± 0.02 N·m/deg/kg). Additionally, the startle contributed to decreased [vastus medialis (VM): 13.76 ± 33.6%; vastus lateralis (VL): 6.72 ± 37.4%] but earlier (VM: 0.133 ± 0.17 s; VL: 0.124 ± 0.17 s) activation of the quadriceps muscles. The results of this study indicate that the startle response can significantly disrupt knee stiffness regulation required to maintain joint stability. Further studies should explore the role of unanticipated events on unintentional injury. PMID:25212407

  20. Relative stiffness of flat-conductor cable

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hankins, J. D.

    1977-01-01

    Bending moment data were taken on ten different cable samples and normalized to express all stiffness factors in terms of cable 5.1 cm in width. Relative stiffness data and nominal physical characteristics are tabulated and presented in graphical form for designers who may be interested in finding torques exerted on critical components by short lengths of cable.

  1. Nonparticipatory Stiffness in the Male Perioral Complex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chu, Shin-Ying; Barlow, Steven M.; Lee, Jaehoon

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The objective of this study was to extend previous published findings in the authors' laboratory using a new automated technology to quantitatively characterize nonparticipatory perioral stiffness in healthy male adults. Method: Quantitative measures of perioral stiffness were sampled during a nonparticipatory task using a…

  2. The posttraumatic stiff elbow: an update.

    PubMed

    Mellema, Jos J; Lindenhovius, Anneluuk L C; Jupiter, Jesse B

    2016-06-01

    Posttraumatic elbow stiffness is a disabling condition that remains challenging to treat despite improvement of our understanding of the pathogenesis of posttraumatic contractures and new treatment regimens. This review provides an update and overview of the etiology of posttraumatic elbow stiffness, its classification, evaluation, nonoperative and operative treatment, and postoperative management. PMID:26984466

  3. Cerebral Small Vessel Disease and Arterial Stiffness: Tsunami Effect in the Brain?

    PubMed Central

    Saji, Naoki; Toba, Kenji; Sakurai, Takashi

    2016-01-01

    Background Cerebral small vessel diseases, including silent lacunar infarcts, white matter hyperintensities, and microbleeds, pose a risk for cerebrovascular disease, cognitive impairment, and the geriatric syndrome via effects on arterial stiffness. However, the vascular, physiological, and metabolic roles of arterial stiffness in cerebral small vessel diseases remain unclear. Summary Arterial stiffness can be assessed using various indicators such as the ankle-brachial index, pulse wave velocity, cardio-ankle vascular index, and augmentation index. Arterial stiffness is independently associated with all components of cerebral small vessel disease including silent lacunar infarcts, white matter hyperintensities, and microbleeds, although there are some methodological differences between the various surrogate markers. Evidence of arterial stiffness indicates microvessel arteriosclerosis presenting with vascular endothelial dysfunction. Further, vascular narrowing due to atherosclerosis and vascular stiffness due to lipohyalinosis can accelerate the pulse waves. This hemodynamic stress, pulsatile pressure, or blood pressure variability can cause a ‘tsunami effect’ towards the cerebral parenchyma and lead to cerebral small vessel disease. Previous studies have shown that silent lacunar infarcts and white matter hyperintensities are strongly associated with arterial stiffness. However, the association between microbleeds and arterial stiffness remains controversial, as there are two vessel mechanisms related to microbleeds: cerebral amyloid angiopathy and hypertensive small vessel disease. Key Messages Cerebral small vessel disease with associated arterial stiffness is a risk factor for silent cerebral lesions, stroke, and cognitive impairment. Improvement of the living environment, management of risk factors, and innovation and development of novel drugs that improve arterial stiffness may suppress the progression of cerebral small vessel disease, and may reduce

  4. Sources and magnitude of variability in pedometer-determined physical activity levels of youth

    PubMed Central

    Kim, So-Yeun; Park, Hye-Sang

    2015-01-01

    This study examined sources of variability in habitual physical activity of children, and the minimum number of days required for estimating children’s habitual physical activity levels using pedometers. A total of 31 children wore two pedometers during five weekdays and four weekend days. A two random facet completely crossed design was conducted with two-way analysis of variances across weekdays, weekends, and weekdays and weekend days combined. Moderate/high generalizability coefficients were estimated across all days. Primary sources of variability were variance components of the person and person by day interaction. Minimum numbers of days required for estimating habitual physical activity levels using a pedometer were five during weekdays. However, estimating habitual physical activity levels during weekends, and weekdays and weekend days combined was impractical. PMID:26730388

  5. Negative-stiffness-mechanism vibration isolation systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Platus, David L.

    1992-02-01

    A new type of vibration isolation system offers significant improvement in performance compared with current state-of-the-art systems. The system uses negative-stiffness mechanisms to cancel the stiffness of a spring suspension. Reduction in stiffness magnifies the damping inherent in the system creating a practical means for achieving high hysteretic damping. The result is a simple, compact 6-DOF passive isolation system capable of system resonant frequencies below 0.2 Hz and first isolator resonances above 100 Hz. Resonant transmissibilities below 1.4 can be achieved with transmissibilities at the higher frequencies close to that of the ideal undamped system. The negative-stiffness mechanisms can cancel the stiffness of power cables, hoses or other lines connected to payloads. This paper develops the theory, describes typical configurations and summarizes test data with prototype systems.

  6. Rolling Element Bearing Stiffness Matrix Determination (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, Y.; Parker, R.

    2014-01-01

    Current theoretical bearing models differ in their stiffness estimates because of different model assumptions. In this study, a finite element/contact mechanics model is developed for rolling element bearings with the focus of obtaining accurate bearing stiffness for a wide range of bearing types and parameters. A combined surface integral and finite element method is used to solve for the contact mechanics between the rolling elements and races. This model captures the time-dependent characteristics of the bearing contact due to the orbital motion of the rolling elements. A numerical method is developed to determine the full bearing stiffness matrix corresponding to two radial, one axial, and two angular coordinates; the rotation about the shaft axis is free by design. This proposed stiffness determination method is validated against experiments in the literature and compared to existing analytical models and widely used advanced computational methods. The fully-populated stiffness matrix demonstrates the coupling between bearing radial, axial, and tilting bearing deflections.

  7. The Main Sources of Intersubject Variability in Neuronal Activation for Reading Aloud

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kherif, Ferath; Josse, Goulven; Seghier, Mohamed L.; Price, Cathy J.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to find the most prominent source of intersubject variability in neuronal activation for reading familiar words aloud. To this end, we collected functional imaging data from a large sample of subjects (n = 76) with different demographic characteristics such as handedness, sex, and age, while reading. The…

  8. Gender Differences in Leg Stiffness and Stiffness Recruitment Strategy During Two-Legged Hopping

    PubMed Central

    Padua, Darin A.; Arnold, Brent L.; Carcia, Christopher R.; Granata, Kevin P.

    2006-01-01

    The authors compared leg stiffness (KVERT), muscle activation, and joint movement patterns between 11 men and 10 women during hopping. Physically active and healthy men and women performed continuous 2-legged hopping at their preferred rate and at 3.0 Hz. Compared with men, women demonstrated decreased KVERT; however, after the authors normalized for body mass, gender differences in KVERT were eliminated. In comparison with men, women also demonstrated increased quadriceps and soleus activity, as well as greater quadriceps-to-hamstrings coactivation ratios. There were no significant gender differences for joint movement patterns (p > .05). The relationship between the observed gender differences in muscle recruitment and the increased risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury in women requires further study. PMID:15730945

  9. Physical Activity of Malaysian Primary School Children: Comparison by Sociodemographic Variables and Activity Domains.

    PubMed

    Wong, Jyh Eiin; Parikh, Panam; Poh, Bee Koon; Deurenberg, Paul

    2016-07-01

    This study describes the physical activity of primary school children according to sociodemographic characteristics and activity domains. Using the Malaysian South East Asian Nutrition Surveys data, 1702 children aged 7 to 12 years were included in the analysis. Physical activity was reported as a total score and categorized into low, medium, and high levels based on Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children. Higher overall activity scores were found in boys, younger age, non-Chinese ethnicity, and normal body mass index category. Sex, age, and ethnicity differences were found in structured or organized, physical education, and outside-of-school domain scores. Transport-related scores differed by age group, ethnicity, household income, and residential areas but not among the three physical activity levels. Participation of girls, Chinese, and older children were low in overall and almost all activity domains. Sociodemographic characteristics are important factors to consider in increasing the different domains of physical activity among Malaysian children. PMID:27257293

  10. Stiffness control of balance in quiet standing.

    PubMed

    Winter, D A; Patla, A E; Prince, F; Ishac, M; Gielo-Perczak, K

    1998-09-01

    Our goal was to provide some insights into how the CNS controls and maintains an upright standing posture, which is an integral part of activities of daily living. Although researchers have used simple performance measures of maintenance of this posture quite effectively in clinical decision making, the mechanisms and control principles involved have not been clear. We propose a relatively simple control scheme for regulation of upright posture that provides almost instantaneous corrective response and reduces the operating demands on the CNS. The analytic model is derived and experimentally validated. A stiffness model was developed for quiet standing. The model assumes that muscles act as springs to cause the center-of-pressure (COP) to move in phase with the center-of-mass (COM) as the body sways about some desired position. In the sagittal plane this stiffness control exists at the ankle plantarflexors, in the frontal plane by the hip abductors/adductors. On the basis of observations that the COP-COM error signal continuously oscillates, it is evident that the inverted pendulum model is severely underdamped, approaching the undamped condition. The spectrum of this error signal is seen to match that of a tuned mass, spring, damper system, and a curve fit of this "tuned circuit" yields omega n the undamped natural frequency of the system. The effective stiffness of the system, Ke, is then estimated from Ke = I omega n2, and the damping B is estimated from B = BW X I, where BW is the bandwidth of the tuned response (in rad/s), and I is the moment of inertia of the body about the ankle joint. Ten adult subjects were assessed while standing quietly at three stance widths: 50% hip-to-hip distance, 100 and 150%. Subjects stood for 2 min in each position with eyes open; the 100% stance width was repeated with eyes closed. In all trials and in both planes, the COP oscillated virtually in phase (within 6 ms) with COM, which was predicted by a simple 0th order spring

  11. Assessing the impact of climate variability and human activity to streamflow variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, J.; Zhang, H.; Wang, Y.; Zhu, Y.

    2015-06-01

    Water resources in river systems have been changing under the impacts of both climate variability and human activities. Assessing the respective impacts on decadal streamflow variation is important for water resources management. By using an elasticity-based method, calibrated TOPMODEL and VIC hydrologic models, we have quantitatively isolated the relative contributions that human activity and climate variability made to decadal streamflow changes in Jinhe basin located in northwest of China. This is an important watershed of Shaanxi Province that supplies drinking water for a population of over 6 million. The results from the three methods show that both human activity and climatic differences can have major effects on catchment streamflow, and the estimates of climate variability impacts from the hydrological models are similar to those from the elasticity-based method. Compared with the baseline period of 1960-1970, streamflow greatly decreased during 2001-2010. The change impacts of human activity and climate variability in 2001-2010 were about 83.5 and 16.5% of the total reduction respectively when averaged over the three methods. The maximum contribution value of human activity was appeared in 1981-1990 due to the effects of soil and water conservation measures and irrigation water withdrawal, which was 95, 112.5 and 92.4% from TOPMODEL, VIC model and elasticity-based method respectively. The maximum value of the aridity index (E0/P) was 1.91 appeared in 1991-2000. Compared with 1960-1970 baseline period, climate variability made the greatest contributions reduction in 1991-2000, which was 47.4, 43.9 and 29.9% from TOPMODEL, VIC model and elasticity-based method respectively. We emphasized various source of errors and uncertainties that may occurre in the hydrological model (parameter and structural uncertainty) and elasticity-based method (model parameter) in climate change impact studies.

  12. Effect of ATP on actin filament stiffness.

    PubMed

    Janmey, P A; Hvidt, S; Oster, G F; Lamb, J; Stossel, T P; Hartwig, J H

    1990-09-01

    Actin is an adenine nucleotide-binding protein and an ATPase. The bound adenine nucleotide stabilizes the protein against denaturation and the ATPase activity, although not required for actin polymerization, affects the kinetics of this assembly Here we provide evidence for another effect of adenine nucleotides. We find that actin filaments made from ATP-containing monomers, the ATPase activity of which hydrolyses ATP to ADP following polymerization, are stiff rods, whereas filaments prepared from ADP-monomers are flexible. ATP exchanges with ADP in such filaments and stiffens them. Because both kinds of actin filaments contain mainly ADP, we suggest the alignment of actin monomers in filaments that have bound and hydrolysed ATP traps them conformationally and stores elastic energy. This energy would be available for release by actin-binding proteins that transduce force or sever actin filaments. These data support earlier proposals that actin is not merely a passive cable, but has an active mechanochemical role in cell function. PMID:2168523

  13. Intersubject variability in fearful face processing: the link between behavior and neural activation.

    PubMed

    Doty, Tracy J; Japee, Shruti; Ingvar, Martin; Ungerleider, Leslie G

    2014-12-01

    Stimuli that signal threat show considerable variability in the extents to which they enhance behavior, even among healthy individuals. However, the neural underpinning of this behavioral variability is not well understood. By manipulating expectation of threat in an fMRI study of fearful versus neutral face categorization, we uncovered a network of areas underlying variability in threat processing in healthy adults. We explicitly altered expectations by presenting face images at three different expectation levels: 80 %, 50 %, and 20 %. Subjects were instructed to report as quickly and accurately as possible whether the face was fearful (signaled threat) or not. An uninformative cue preceded each face by 4 s. By taking the difference between reaction times (RTs) to fearful and neutral faces, we quantified an overall fear RT bias (i.e., faster to fearful than to neutral faces) for each subject. This bias correlated positively with late-trial fMRI activation (8 s after the face) during unexpected-fearful-face trials in bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the left subgenual cingulate cortex, and the right caudate nucleus, and correlated negatively with early-trial fMRI activation (4 s after the cue) during expected-neutral-face trials in bilateral dorsal striatum and the right ventral striatum. These results demonstrate that the variability in threat processing among healthy adults is reflected not only in behavior, but also in the magnitude of activation in medial prefrontal and striatal regions that appear to encode affective value. PMID:24841078

  14. Use of Variable Pressure Suits, Intermittent Recompression and Nitrox Breathing Mixtures during Lunar Extravehicular Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gernhardt, Michael L.; Abercromby, Andrew F.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of variable pressure suits, intermittent recompression and Nitrox breathing mixtures to allow for multiple short extravehicular activities (EVAs) at different locations in a day. This new operational concept of multiple short EVAs requires short purge times and shorter prebreathes to assure rapid egress with a minimal loss of the vehicular air. Preliminary analysis has begun to evaluate the potential benefits of the intermittent recompression, and Nitrox breathing mixtures when used with variable pressure suits to enable reduce purges and prebreathe durations.

  15. Timing and Variability of Galactose Metabolic Gene Activation Depend on the Rate of Environmental Change

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Bo; Ott, William; Josić, Krešimir; Bennett, Matthew R.

    2015-01-01

    Modulation of gene network activity allows cells to respond to changes in environmental conditions. For example, the galactose utilization network in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is activated by the presence of galactose but repressed by glucose. If both sugars are present, the yeast will first metabolize glucose, depleting it from the extracellular environment. Upon depletion of glucose, the genes encoding galactose metabolic proteins will activate. Here, we show that the rate at which glucose levels are depleted determines the timing and variability of galactose gene activation. Paradoxically, we find that Gal1p, an enzyme needed for galactose metabolism, accumulates more quickly if glucose is depleted slowly rather than taken away quickly. Furthermore, the variability of induction times in individual cells depends non-monotonically on the rate of glucose depletion and exhibits a minimum at intermediate depletion rates. Our mathematical modeling suggests that the dynamics of the metabolic transition from glucose to galactose are responsible for the variability in galactose gene activation. These findings demonstrate that environmental dynamics can determine the phenotypic outcome at both the single-cell and population levels. PMID:26200924

  16. Passive and Variable Active Switching Control by Mechanical Energy with Dual Structural Mass Damper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abe, Naoto; Nishioka, Nobuhiro

    Switching vibration control between dynamic absorber and active control has been proposed for the dual structural vibration device on the basis of the kinetic energy as the threshold. For the active control with a fixed feedback gain, the threshold of switching should be set conservative and the effect of the active control was not enough. Therefore, a variable feedback gain control is introduced, which is assumed the mechanical energy as an indicator. It is expected that the actuator moves in a stroke range as possible and the performance will be better than the conventional switching control. In this paper, the effective variable feedback and switching control on the basis of mechanical energy as the two threshold are considered by experimental results.

  17. Musculotendinous stiffness of triceps surae, maximal rate of force development, and vertical jump performance.

    PubMed

    Driss, Tarak; Lambertz, Daniel; Rouis, Majdi; Jaafar, Hamdi; Vandewalle, Henry

    2015-01-01

    The relationships between ankle plantar flexor musculotendinous stiffness (MTS) and performance in a countermovement vertical jump (CMJ) and maximal rate of torque development (MRTD) were studied in 27 active men. MTS was studied by means of quick releases at 20 (S0.2), 40 (S0.4), 60 (S0.6), and 80% (S0.8) of maximal voluntary torque (T(MVC)). CMJ was not correlated with strength indices but was positively correlated with MRTD/BM, S 0.4/BM. The slope α 2 and intercept β 2 of the torque-stiffness relationships from 40 to 80% T(MVC) were correlated negatively (α 2) and positively (β 2) with CMJ. The different stiffness indices were not correlated with MRTD. The prediction of CMJ was improved by the introduction of MRTD in multiple regressions between CMJ and stiffness. CMJ was also negatively correlated with indices of curvature of the torque-stiffness relationship. The subjects were subdivided in 3 groups in function of CMJ (groups H, M, and L for high, medium, and low performers, resp.). There was a downward curvature of the torque-stiffness relationship at high torques in group H or M and the torque-stiffness regression was linear in group L only. These results suggested that torque-stiffness relationships with a plateau at high torques are more frequent in the best jumpers. PMID:25710026

  18. Musculotendinous Stiffness of Triceps Surae, Maximal Rate of Force Development, and Vertical Jump Performance

    PubMed Central

    Driss, Tarak; Rouis, Majdi; Jaafar, Hamdi; Vandewalle, Henry

    2015-01-01

    The relationships between ankle plantar flexor musculotendinous stiffness (MTS) and performance in a countermovement vertical jump (CMJ) and maximal rate of torque development (MRTD) were studied in 27 active men. MTS was studied by means of quick releases at 20 (S0.2), 40 (S0.4), 60 (S0.6), and 80% (S0.8) of maximal voluntary torque (TMVC). CMJ was not correlated with strength indices but was positively correlated with MRTD/BM, S0.4/BM. The slope α2 and intercept β2 of the torque-stiffness relationships from 40 to 80% TMVC were correlated negatively (α2) and positively (β2) with CMJ. The different stiffness indices were not correlated with MRTD. The prediction of CMJ was improved by the introduction of MRTD in multiple regressions between CMJ and stiffness. CMJ was also negatively correlated with indices of curvature of the torque-stiffness relationship. The subjects were subdivided in 3 groups in function of CMJ (groups H, M, and L for high, medium, and low performers, resp.). There was a downward curvature of the torque-stiffness relationship at high torques in group H or M and the torque-stiffness regression was linear in group L only. These results suggested that torque-stiffness relationships with a plateau at high torques are more frequent in the best jumpers. PMID:25710026

  19. A computational model of the response of adherent cells to stretch and changes in substrate stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Lutchen, Kenneth R.; Suki, Béla

    2014-01-01

    Cells in the body exist in a dynamic mechanical environment where they are subject to mechanical stretch as well as changes in composition and stiffness of the underlying extracellular matrix (ECM). However, the underlying mechanisms by which cells sense and adapt to their dynamic mechanical environment, in particular to stretch, are not well understood. In this study, we hypothesized that emergent phenomena at the level of the actin network arising from active structural rearrangements driven by nonmuscle myosin II molecular motors play a major role in the cellular response to both stretch and changes in ECM stiffness. To test this hypothesis, we introduce a simple network model of actin-myosin interactions that links active self-organization of the actin network to the stiffness of the network and the traction forces generated by the network. We demonstrate that such a network replicates not only the effect of changes in substrate stiffness on cellular traction and stiffness and the dependence of rate of force development by a cell on the stiffness of its substrate, but also explains the physical response of adherent cells to transient and cyclic stretch. Our results provide strong indication that network phenomena governed by the active reorganization of the actin-myosin structure plays an important role in cellular mechanosensing and response to both changes in ECM stiffness and externally applied mechanical stretch. PMID:24408996

  20. Dynamic stiffness formulation for free orthotropic plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghorbel, O.; Casimir, J. B.; Hammami, L.; Tawfiq, I.; Haddar, M.

    2015-06-01

    This paper presents a procedure for developing the dynamic stiffness matrix of a free orthotropic Kirchhoff plate. The dynamic stiffness matrix is computed for free edge boundary conditions of the plate that allow assembly procedures. The method is based on a strong formulation of Kirchhoff plate equations and series solutions, taking advantage of the symmetry and Gorman type decomposition of the free boundary conditions. The performances of the so-called Dynamic Stiffness Method (DSM) are evaluated by comparing the harmonic responses of an orthotropic Kirchhoff plate with those obtained from the Finite Element Method using four noded quadrilateral elements.

  1. Materials analogue of zero-stiffness structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Arun; Subramaniam, Anandh

    2011-04-01

    Anglepoise lamps and certain tensegrities are examples of zero-stiffness structures. These structures are in a state of neutral equilibrium with respect to changes in configuration of the system. Using Eshelby's example of an edge dislocation in a thin plate that can bend, we report the discovery of a non-trivial new class of material structures as an analogue to zero-stiffness structures. For extended positions of the edge dislocation in these structures, the dislocation experiences a zero image force. Salient features of these material structures along with the key differences from conventional zero-stiffness structures are pointed out.

  2. Effects of antihypertensive drugs on arterial stiffness.

    PubMed

    Dudenbostel, Tanja; Glasser, Stephen P

    2012-01-01

    In this review, we discuss the possible pathophysiological mechanisms and the role of arterial stiffness as a biomarker, a blood pressure-independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The effects of different antihypertensive drug classes on noninvasively assessed markers of arterial stiffness are also discussed. Current evidence will be reviewed regarding the effect of drugs on arterial stiffness, including the peripheral and central effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor antagonists, dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, beta blockers (including vasodilating beta blockers), diuretics, and mineralocorticoid antagonists. PMID:22573107

  3. Physiotherapy assessment of shoulder stiffness and how it influences management

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Common causes of shoulder stiffness include osteoarthritis, trauma, rheumatological conditions and stiffness secondary to soft tissue adaptation. Physiotherapy assessment of the stiff shoulder aims to ascertain the key causative factors of stiffness to inform effective management planning. Identification of whether a patient presents with pain or stiffness as their predominant symptom further guides treatment selection. The current evidence base underpins a management algorithm which has been developed to guide the assessment and management of patients presenting with shoulder stiffness.

  4. “Smooth Muscle Cell Stiffness Syndrome”—Revisiting the Structural Basis of Arterial Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Sehgel, Nancy L.; Vatner, Stephen F.; Meininger, Gerald A.

    2015-01-01

    In recent decades, the pervasiveness of increased arterial stiffness in patients with cardiovascular disease has become increasingly apparent. Though, this phenomenon has been well documented in humans and animal models of disease for well over a century, there has been surprisingly limited development in a deeper mechanistic understanding of arterial stiffness. Much of the historical literature has focused on changes in extracellular matrix proteins—collagen and elastin. However, extracellular matrix changes alone appear insufficient to consistently account for observed changes in vascular stiffness, which we observed in our studies of aortic stiffness in aging monkeys. This led us to examine novel mechanisms operating at the level of the vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC)—that include increased cell stiffness and adhesion to extracellular matrix—which that may be interrelated with other mechanisms contributing to arterial stiffness. We introduce these observations as a new concept—the Smooth Muscle Cell Stiffness Syndrome (SMCSS)—within the field of arterial stiffness and posit that stiffening of vascular cells impairs vascular function and may contribute stiffening to the vasculature with aging and cardiovascular disease. Importantly, this review article revisits the structural basis of arterial stiffness in light of these novel findings. Such classification of SMCSS and its contextualization into our current understanding of vascular mechanics may be useful in the development of strategic therapeutics to directly target arterial stiffness. PMID:26635621

  5. Long-term variability of active galactic nuclei from the "Planck" catalog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volvach, A. E.; Kardashev, N. S.; Larionov, M. G.; Volvach, L. N.

    2016-07-01

    A complete sample of 104 bright active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from the "Planck" catalog (early results) were observed at 36.8 GHz with the 22-m radio telescope of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO).Variability indices of the sources at this frequency were determined based on data from theWMAP space observatory, theMetsa¨ hovi RadioObservatory (Finland), and the CrimeanAstrophysical Observatory. New observational results confirm that the variability of these AGNs is stronger in the millimeter than at other radio wavelengths. The variability indices probably change as a result of the systematic decrease in the AGN flux densities in the transition to the infrared. Some radio sources demonstrate significant flux-density variations, including decreases, which sometimes cause them to fall out of the analysed sample. The change of the variability index in the millimeter is consistent with the suggestion that this variability is due to intrinsic processes in binary supermassive black holes at an evolutionary stage close to coalescence. All 104 of the sources studied are well known objects that are included in various radio catalogs and have flux densities exceeding 1 Jy at 36.8 GHz.

  6. RMS Spectral Modelling - a powerful tool to probe the origin of variability in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallick, Labani; Dewangan, Gulab chand; Misra, Ranjeev

    2016-07-01

    The broadband energy spectra of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are very complex in nature with the contribution from many ingredients: accretion disk, corona, jets, broad-line region (BLR), narrow-line region (NLR) and Compton-thick absorbing cloud or TORUS. The complexity of the broadband AGN spectra gives rise to mean spectral model degeneracy, e.g, there are competing models for the broad feature near 5-7 keV in terms of blurred reflection and complex absorption. In order to overcome the energy spectral model degeneracy, the most reliable approach is to study the RMS variability spectrum which connects the energy spectrum with temporal variability. The origin of variability could be pivoting of the primary continuum, reflection and/or absorption. The study of RMS (Root Mean Square) spectra would help us to connect the energy spectra with the variability. In this work, we study the energy dependent variability of AGN by developing theoretical RMS spectral model in ISIS (Interactive Spectral Interpretation System) for different input energy spectra. In this talk, I would like to present results of RMS spectral modelling for few radio-loud and radio-quiet AGN observed by XMM-Newton, Suzaku, NuSTAR and ASTROSAT and will probe the dichotomy between these two classes of AGN.

  7. Cross-Linked Nanotube Materials with Variable Stiffness Tethers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frankland, Sarah-Jane V.; Odegard, Gregory M.; Herzog, Matthew N.; Gates, Thomas S.; Fay, Catherine C.

    2004-01-01

    The constitutive properties of a cross-linked single-walled carbon nanotube material are predicted with a multi-scale model. The material is modeled as a transversely isotropic solid using concepts from equivalent-continuum modeling. The elastic constants are determined using molecular dynamics simulation. Some parameters of the molecular force field are determined specifically for the cross-linker from ab initio calculations. A demonstration of how the cross-linked nanotubes may affect the properties of a nanotube/polyimide composite is included using a micromechanical analysis.

  8. 3D Printing Variable Stiffness Foams Using Viscous Thread Instability

    PubMed Central

    Lipton, Jeffrey I.; Lipson, Hod

    2016-01-01

    Additive manufacturing of cellular structures has numerous applications ranging from fabrication of biological scaffolds and medical implants, to mechanical weight reduction and control over mechanical properties. Various additive manufacturing processes have been used to produce open regular cellular structures limited only by the resolution of the printer. These efforts have focused on printing explicitly designed cells or explicitly planning offsets between strands. Here we describe a technique for producing cellular structures implicitly by inducing viscous thread instability when extruding material. This process allows us to produce complex cellular structures at a scale that is finer than the native resolution of the printer. We demonstrate tunable effective elastic modulus and density that span two orders of magnitude. Fine grained cellular structures allow for fabrication of foams for use in a wide range of fields ranging from bioengineering, to robotics to food printing. PMID:27503148

  9. 3D Printing Variable Stiffness Foams Using Viscous Thread Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipton, Jeffrey I.; Lipson, Hod

    2016-08-01

    Additive manufacturing of cellular structures has numerous applications ranging from fabrication of biological scaffolds and medical implants, to mechanical weight reduction and control over mechanical properties. Various additive manufacturing processes have been used to produce open regular cellular structures limited only by the resolution of the printer. These efforts have focused on printing explicitly designed cells or explicitly planning offsets between strands. Here we describe a technique for producing cellular structures implicitly by inducing viscous thread instability when extruding material. This process allows us to produce complex cellular structures at a scale that is finer than the native resolution of the printer. We demonstrate tunable effective elastic modulus and density that span two orders of magnitude. Fine grained cellular structures allow for fabrication of foams for use in a wide range of fields ranging from bioengineering, to robotics to food printing.

  10. 3D Printing Variable Stiffness Foams Using Viscous Thread Instability.

    PubMed

    Lipton, Jeffrey I; Lipson, Hod

    2016-01-01

    Additive manufacturing of cellular structures has numerous applications ranging from fabrication of biological scaffolds and medical implants, to mechanical weight reduction and control over mechanical properties. Various additive manufacturing processes have been used to produce open regular cellular structures limited only by the resolution of the printer. These efforts have focused on printing explicitly designed cells or explicitly planning offsets between strands. Here we describe a technique for producing cellular structures implicitly by inducing viscous thread instability when extruding material. This process allows us to produce complex cellular structures at a scale that is finer than the native resolution of the printer. We demonstrate tunable effective elastic modulus and density that span two orders of magnitude. Fine grained cellular structures allow for fabrication of foams for use in a wide range of fields ranging from bioengineering, to robotics to food printing. PMID:27503148

  11. Controls on interannual variability in lightning-caused fire activity in the western US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abatzoglou, John T.; Kolden, Crystal A.; Balch, Jennifer K.; Bradley, Bethany A.

    2016-04-01

    Lightning-caused wildfires account for a majority of burned area across the western United States (US), yet lightning remains among the more unpredictable spatiotemporal aspects of the fire environment and a challenge for both modeling and managing fire activity. A data synthesis of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes, climate and fire data across the western US from 1992 to 2013 was conducted to better understand geographic variability in lightning-caused wildfire and the factors that influence interannual variability in lightning-caused wildfire at regional scales. Distinct geographic variability occurred in the proportion of fires and area burned attributed to lightning, with a majority of fires in the interior western US attributed to lightning. Lightning ignition efficiency was highest across the western portion of the region due to the concomitance of peak lightning frequency and annual nadir in fuel moisture in mid-to-late summer. For most regions the number of total and dry lightning strikes exhibited strong interannual correlation with the number of lightning-caused fires, yet were a poor predictor of area burned at regional scales. Commonality in climate–fire relationships for regional annual area burned by lightning- versus human-ignited fires suggests climate conditions, rather than lightning activity, are the predominant control of interannual variability in area burned by lightning-caused fire across much of the western US.

  12. A time to search: finding the meaning of variable activation energy.

    PubMed

    Vyazovkin, Sergey

    2016-07-28

    This review deals with the phenomenon of variable activation energy frequently observed when studying the kinetics in the liquid or solid phase. This phenomenon commonly manifests itself through nonlinear Arrhenius plots or dependencies of the activation energy on conversion computed by isoconversional methods. Variable activation energy signifies a multi-step process and has a meaning of a collective parameter linked to the activation energies of individual steps. It is demonstrated that by using appropriate models of the processes, the link can be established in algebraic form. This allows one to analyze experimentally observed dependencies of the activation energy in a quantitative fashion and, as a result, to obtain activation energies of individual steps, to evaluate and predict other important parameters of the process, and generally to gain deeper kinetic and mechanistic insights. This review provides multiple examples of such analysis as applied to the processes of crosslinking polymerization, crystallization and melting of polymers, gelation, and solid-solid morphological and glass transitions. The use of appropriate computational techniques is discussed as well. PMID:27137352

  13. Early and current physical activity: relationship with intima-media thickness and metabolic variables in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Lima, Manoel C S; Barbosa, Maurício F; Diniz, Tiego A; Codogno, Jamile S; Freitas Júnior, Ismael F; Fernandes, Rômulo A

    2014-08-29

    Background: It is unclear whether early physical activity has a greater influence on intima-media thickness and metabolic variables than current physical activity. Objective: To analyze the relationship between current and early physical activity, metabolic variables, and intima-media thickness measures in adults. Method: The sample was composed of 55 healthy subjects of both sexes (33 men and 22 women). Total body fat and trunk fat were estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Carotid and femoral intima-media thickness were measured using a Doppler ultrasound device. A 12-hour fasting blood sample collection was taken (fasting glucose and lipid profile). Early physical activity was assessed through face-to-face interview, and the current physical activity was assessed by pedometer (Digi-Walker Yamax, SW200), which was used for a period of seven days. Results: Current physical activity was negatively related to total cholesterol (rho=-0.31), while early physical activity was negatively related to triglycerides (rho=-0.42), total cholesterol (rho=-0.28), very low density lipoprotein (rho=-0.44), and carotid intima-media thickness (rho=-0.50). In the multivariate model, subjects engaged in sports activities during early life had lower values of very low density lipoprotein (b=-8.74 [b=-16.1; -1.47]) and carotid intima-media thickness (b=-0.17 [95%CI: -0.28; -0.05]). Conclusion: Early 95%CI physical activity has a significant influence on carotid intima-media thickness, regardless of the current physical activity. PMID:25185030

  14. Early and current physical activity: relationship with intima-media thickness and metabolic variables in adulthood

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Manoel C. S.; Barbosa, Maurício F.; Diniz, Tiego A.; Codogno, Jamile S.; Freitas, Ismael F.; Fernandes, Rômulo A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: It is unclear whether early physical activity has a greater influence on intima-media thickness and metabolic variables than current physical activity. Objective: To analyze the relationship between current and early physical activity, metabolic variables, and intima-media thickness measures in adults. Method: The sample was composed of 55 healthy subjects of both sexes (33 men and 22 women). Total body fat and trunk fat were estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Carotid and femoral intima-media thickness were measured using a Doppler ultrasound device. A 12-hour fasting blood sample collection was taken (fasting glucose and lipid profile). Early physical activity was assessed through face-to-face interview, and the current physical activity was assessed by pedometer (Digi-Walker Yamax, SW200), which was used for a period of seven days. Results: Current physical activity was negatively related to total cholesterol (rho=-0.31), while early physical activity was negatively related to triglycerides (rho=-0.42), total cholesterol (rho=-0.28), very low density lipoprotein (rho=-0.44), and carotid intima-media thickness (rho=-0.50). In the multivariate model, subjects engaged in sports activities during early life had lower values of very low density lipoprotein (b=-8.74 [b=-16.1; -1.47]) and carotid intima-media thickness (b=-0.17 [95%CI: -0.28; -0.05]). Conclusion: Early 95%CI physical activity has a significant influence on carotid intima-media thickness, regardless of the current physical activity. PMID:25372009

  15. Magnetic bearing stiffness control using frequency band filtering

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, H. Ming

    1989-01-01

    Active magnetic bearings can be implemented with frequency band-reject filtering that decreases the bearing stiffness and damping at a small bandwidth around a chosen frequency. The control scheme was used for reducing a rotor dynamic force, such as an imbalance force, transmitted to the bearing stator. The scheme creates additional system vibration modes at the same frequency. It also shows that the amount of force reduction is limited by the stability requirement of these modes.

  16. Compact, Stiff, Remotely-Actuable Quick-Release Clamp

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsai, Ted W. (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

    The present invention provides a clamp that is compact and lightweight, yet provides high holding strength and stiffness or rigidity. The clamp uses a unique double slant interface design which provides mechanical advantages to resist forces applied to the clamp member as the load increases. The clamp allows for rapid and remote-activated release of the clamp jaws by applying only a small operating force to an over-center lock/release mechanism, such as by pulling a manual tether.

  17. Matrix Stiffness Modulates Proliferation, Chemotherapeutic Response and Dormancy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Schrader, Jörg; Gordon-Walker, Timothy T; Aucott, Rebecca L; van Deemter, Mariëlle; Quaas, Alexander; Walsh, Shaun; Benten, Daniel; Forbes, Stuart J; Wells, Rebecca G; Iredale, John P

    2010-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that the physical environment is a critical mediator of tumor behavior. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) develops within an altered biomechanical environment and increasing matrix stiffness is a strong predictor of HCC development. The aim of this study was to establish whether changes in matrix stiffness, which are characteristic of inflammation and fibrosis, regulate HCC cell proliferation and chemotherapeutic response. Using an in vitro system of “mechanically-tunable” matrix-coated polyacrylamide gels, matrix stiffness was modeled across a pathophysiologically-relevant range, corresponding to values encountered in normal and fibrotic livers. Results Increasing matrix stiffness was found to promote HCC cell proliferation. The proliferative index (assessed by Ki67 staining) of Huh7 and HepG2 cells was 2.7-fold and 12.2-fold higher, respectively, when the cells were cultured on stiff (12kPa) versus soft (1kPa) supports. This was associated with stiffness-dependent regulation of basal and HGF-stimulated mitogenic signaling through extracellular regulated kinase (ERK), protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). β1-integrin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) were found to modulate stiffness-dependent HCC cell proliferation. Following treatment with cisplatin, we observed reduced apoptosis in HCC cells cultured on a stiff versus soft (physiological) supports. Interestingly, however, surviving cells from soft supports had significantly higher clonogenic capacity than surviving cells from a stiff microenvironment. This was associated with enhanced expression of cancer stem cell markers, including CD44, CD133, c-kit, CXCR4, octamer-4 (OCT4) and NANOG. Conclusion Increasing matrix stiffness promotes proliferation and chemotherapeutic resistance, whereas a soft environment induces reversible cellular dormancy and stem cell characteristics in HCC. This has implications for both the treatment of

  18. A new method of measuring the stiffness of astronauts' EVA gloves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mousavi, Mehdi; Appendino, Silvia; Battezzato, Alessandro; Bonanno, Alberto; Chen Chen, Fai; Crepaldi, Marco; Demarchi, Danilo; Favetto, Alain; Pescarmona, Francesco

    2014-04-01

    Hand fatigue is one of the most important problems of astronauts during their missions to space. This fatigue is due to the stiffness of the astronauts' gloves known as Extravehicular Activity (EVA) gloves. The EVA glove has a multilayered, bulky structure and is pressurized against the vacuum of space. In order to evaluate the stiffness of EVA gloves, different methods have been proposed in the past. In particular, the effects of wearing an EVA glove on the performance of the hands have been published by many researchers to represent the stiffness of the EVA glove. In this paper, a new method for measuring the stiffness of EVA gloves is proposed. A tendon-actuated finger probe is designed and used as an alternative to the human index finger in order to be placed inside an EVA glove and measure its stiffness. The finger probe is equipped with accelerometers, which work as tilt sensors, to measure the angles of its phalanges. The phalanges are actuated by applying different amount of torque using the tendons of the finger probe. Moreover, a hypobaric glove box is designed and realized to simulate the actual operating pressure of the EVA glove and to measure its stiffness in both pressurized and non-pressurized conditions. In order to prove the right performance of the proposed finger probe, an Orlam-DM EVA glove is used to perform a number of tests. The equation of stiffness for the PIP joint of this glove is extracted from the results acquired from the tests. This equation presents the torque required to flex the middle phalanx of the glove. Then, the effect of pressurization on the stiffness is highlighted in the last section. This setup can be used to measure the stiffness of different kinds of EVA gloves and allows direct, numerical comparison of their stiffness.

  19. Assessing the impact of climate variability and human activities on streamflow variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Jianxia; Zhang, Hongxue; Wang, Yimin; Zhu, Yuelu

    2016-04-01

    Water resources in river systems have been changing under the impact of both climate variability and human activities. Assessing the respective impact on decadal streamflow variation is important for water resource management. By using an elasticity-based method and calibrated TOPMODEL and VIC hydrological models, we quantitatively isolated the relative contributions that human activities and climate variability made to decadal streamflow changes in the Jinghe basin, located in the northwest of China. This is an important watershed of the Shaanxi province that supplies drinking water for a population of over 6 million people. The results showed that the maximum value of the moisture index (E0/P) was 1.91 and appeared in 1991-2000, and the decreased speed of streamflow was higher since 1990 compared with 1960-1990. The average annual streamflow from 1990 to 2010 was reduced by 26.96 % compared with the multiyear average value (from 1960 to 2010). The estimates of the impacts of climate variability and human activities on streamflow decreases from the hydrological models were similar to those from the elasticity-based method. The maximum contribution value of human activities was 99 % when averaged over the three methods, and appeared in 1981-1990 due to the effects of soil and water conservation measures and irrigation water withdrawal. Climate variability made the greatest contribution to streamflow reduction in 1991-2000, the values of which was 40.4 %. We emphasized various source of errors and uncertainties that may occur in the hydrological model (parameter and structural uncertainty) and elasticity-based method (model parameter) in climate change impact studies.

  20. Assessing the impact of climate variability and human activities on streamflow variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, J.; Zhang, H.; Wang, Y.; Zhu, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Water resources in river systems have been changing under the impact of both climate variability and human activities. Assessing the respective impact on decadal streamflow variation is important for water resource management. By using an elasticity-based method and calibrated TOPMODEL and VIC hydrological models, we quantitatively isolated the relative contributions that human activities and climate variability made to decadal streamflow changes in Jinghe basin, located in the northwest of China. This is an important watershed of Shaanxi Province that supplies drinking water for a population of over 6 million people. The results showed that the maximum value of the moisture index (E0/P) was 1.91 and appeared in 1991-2000 and that the decreased speed of streamflow was higher since 1990. The average annual streamflow from 1990 to 2010 was reduced by 26.96 % compared with the multi-year average value. The estimates of climate variability and the impact of human activities on streamflow decreases from the hydrological models were similar to those from the elasticity-based method. The maximum contribution value of human activities was appeared in 1981-1990 due to the effects of soil and water conservation measures and irrigation water withdrawal. Climate variability made the greatest contribution to reduction in 1991-2000, the values of which were 99 and 40.4 % when averaged over the three methods. We emphasized various source of errors and uncertainties that may occur in the hydrological model (parameter and structural uncertainty) and elasticity-based method (model parameter) in climate change impact studies.

  1. Diet composition and feeding activity of larval spring-spawning herring: Importance of environmental variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arula, T.; Kotta, J.; Lankov, A.; Simm, M.; Põlme, S.

    2012-02-01

    Availability of suitable prey in sufficient quantities during the shift to exogenous feeding is an important factor determining survival and growth of larval fish. The question of what factors regulate prey consumption in larval fish has remained a focus of fisheries oceanography. In this paper feeding ecology of the larval spring-spawning herring Clupea harengus membras was studied in relation to selected environmental abiotic and biotic parameters in the shallow sheltered Pärnu Bay during the 1970s and 2000s. The copepod Eurytemora affinis was the strongly dominating dietary item during all the years while other prey items were ingested only sporadically. Feeding activity of herring larvae was governed by different environmental variables and the relationships varied amongst the size classes of herring larvae. The studied abiotic (i.e., wind speed, water temperature, water transparency) or biotic variables (i.e., density of copepod nauplii, copepodite stages I-V and adults of E. affinis, mean developmental stage of copepods and density of fish larvae) had no significant effects on the feeding activity of small larvae. The feeding activity of medium larvae was only affected by water transparency and that of large larvae by a combination of water temperature, wind speed and the structure of local copepod community, respectively. On the other hand, the diet composition of all herring larvae was best described by the density of copepod nauplii. In addition, the density of fish larvae improved the model of small larvae and the density of adult copepods that of medium larvae, respectively. Time was significant for the feeding activity of medium larvae indicating some unexplained variability that was not taken into account by the studied abiotic and biotic variables.

  2. Active galactic nucleus X-ray variability in the XMM-COSMOS survey

    SciTech Connect

    Lanzuisi, G.; Ponti, G.; Salvato, M.; Brusa, M.; Nandra, P. K.; Merloni, A.; Rosario, D.; Hasinger, G.; Sanders, D.; Cappelluti, N.; Comastri, A.; Gilli, R.; Bongiorno, A.; Lusso, E.; Steinhardt, C.; Silverman, J.; Schramm, M.; Trump, J.; and others

    2014-02-01

    We used the observations carried out by XMM in the COSMOS field over 3.5 yr to study the long term variability of a large sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) (638 sources) in a wide range of redshifts (0.1 < z < 3.5) and X-ray luminosities (10{sup 41} < L {sub 0.5-10} <10{sup 45.5}). Both a simple statistical method to assess the significance of variability and the Normalized Excess Variance (σ{sub rms}{sup 2}) parameter were used to obtain a quantitative measurement of the variability. Variability is found to be prevalent in most AGNs, whenever we have good statistics to measure it, and no significant differences between type 1 and type 2 AGNs were found. A flat (slope –0.23 ± 0.03) anti-correlation between σ{sub rms}{sup 2} and X-ray luminosity is found when all significantly variable sources are considered together. When divided into three redshift bins, the anti-correlation becomes stronger and evolving with z, with higher redshift AGNs being more variable. We prove, however, that this effect is due to the pre-selection of variable sources: when considering all of the sources with an available σ{sub rms}{sup 2} measurement, the evolution in redshift disappears. For the first time, we were also able to study long term X-ray variability as a function of M {sub BH} and Eddington ratio for a large sample of AGNs spanning a wide range of redshifts. An anti-correlation between σ{sub rms}{sup 2} and M {sub BH} is found, with the same slope of anti-correlation between σ{sub rms}{sup 2} and X-ray luminosity, suggesting that the latter may be a by-product of the former. No clear correlation is found between σ{sub rms}{sup 2} and the Eddington ratio in our sample. Finally, no correlation is found between the X-ray σ{sub rms}{sup 2} and optical variability.

  3. On the achievable performance using variable geometry active secondary suspension systems in commercial vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evers, Willem-Jan; Besselink, Igo; Teerhuis, Arjan; Nijmeijer, Henk

    2011-10-01

    There is a need to further improve driver comfort in commercial vehicles. The variable geometry active suspension offers an interesting option to achieve this in an energy efficient way. However, the optimal control strategy and the overal performance potential remains unclear. The aim of this paper is to quantify the level of performance improvement that can theoretically be obtained by replacing a conventional air sprung cabin suspension design with a variable geometry active suspension. Furthermore, the difference between the use of a linear quadratic (LQ) optimal controller and a classic skyhook controller is investigated. Hereto, an elementary variable geometry actuator model and experimentally validated four degrees of freedom quarter truck model are adopted. The results show that the classic skyhook controller gives a relatively poor performance while a comfort increase of 17-28% can be obtained with the LQ optimal controller, depending on the chosen energy weighting. Furthermore, an additional 75% comfort increase and 77% energy cost reduction can be obtained, with respect to the fixed gain energy optimal controller, using condition-dependent control gains. So, it is concluded that the performance potential using condition-dependent controllers is huge, and that the use of the classic skyhook control strategy should, in general, be avoided when designing active secondary suspensions for commercial vehicles.

  4. Predicting passive and active tissue:plasma partition coefficients: interindividual and interspecies variability.

    PubMed

    Ruark, Christopher D; Hack, C Eric; Robinson, Peter J; Mahle, Deirdre A; Gearhart, Jeffery M

    2014-07-01

    A mechanistic tissue composition model incorporating passive and active transport for the prediction of steady-state tissue:plasma partition coefficients (K(t:pl)) of chemicals in multiple mammalian species was used to assess interindividual and interspecies variability. This approach predicts K(t:pl) using chemical lipophilicity, pKa, phospholipid membrane binding, and the unbound plasma fraction, together with tissue fractions of water, neutral lipids, neutral and acidic phospholipids, proteins, and pH. Active transport K(t:pl) is predicted using Michaelis-Menten transport parameters. Species-specific biological properties were identified from 126 peer reviewed journal articles, listed in the Supporting Information, for mouse, rat, guinea pig, rabbit, beagle dog, pig, monkey, and human species. Means and coefficients of variation for biological properties were used in a Monte Carlo analysis to assess variability. The results show K(t:pl) interspecies variability for the brain, fat, heart, kidney, liver, lung, muscle, red blood cell, skin, and spleen, but uncertainty in the estimates obscured some differences. Compounds undergoing active transport are shown to have concentration-dependent K(t:pl). This tissue composition-based mechanistic model can be used to predict K(t:pl) for organic chemicals across eight species and 10 tissues, and can be an important component in drug development when scaling K(t:pl) from animal models to humans. PMID:24832575

  5. EPSPS variability, gene expression, and enzymatic activity in glyphosate-resistant biotypes of Digitaria insularis.

    PubMed

    Galeano, E; Barroso, A A M; Vasconcelos, T S; López-Rubio, A; Albrecht, A J P; Victoria Filho, R; Carrer, H

    2016-01-01

    Weed resistance to herbicides is a natural phenomenon that exerts selection on individuals in a population. In Brazil, glyphosate resistance was recently detected in Digitaria insularis. The objective of this study was to elucidate mechanisms of weed resistance in this plant, including genetic variability, allelism, amino acid substitutions, gene expression, and enzymatic activity levels. Most of these have not previously been studied in this species. D. insularis DNA sequences were used to analyze genetic variability. cDNA from resistant and susceptible plants was used to identify mutations, alleles, and 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) expression, using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. In addition, EPSPS activity was measured. We found a decrease in genetic variability between populations related to glyphosate application. Substitutions from proline to threonine and tyrosine to cysteine led to a decrease in EPSPS affinity for the glyphosate. In addition, the EPSPS enzymatic activity was slightly higher in resistant plants, whereas EPSPS gene expression was almost identical in both biotypes, suggesting feedback regulation at different levels. To conclude, our results suggest new molecular mechanisms used by D. insularis to increase glyphosate resistance. PMID:27525929

  6. Stiffness and Confinement Ratios of SMA Wire Jackets for Confining Concrete

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Eunsoo; Kim, Dong Joo; Youn, Heejung

    2014-07-01

    This article discusses the effects of the stiffness and confinement ratios of shape memory alloy (SMA) wire jackets on the behavior of confined concrete. SMA wire jackets are an effective confining material to improve concrete behavior; for example, by increasing peak strength and failure strain. The stiffness and confinement ratios of fiber-reinforced polymer jackets have been extensively discussed and their effects are well known. However, assessment of the stiffness and confinement ratios of SMA wire jackets has not previously been conducted. In this study, we investigate the effects of the stiffness and confinement ratios of steel jackets, and then compare the results with those of SMA wire jackets. In general, the stiffness ratios of SMA wire jackets are relatively smaller than those of steel jackets, and most of them have lower stiffness ratios because the Young's moduli of the SMAs are relatively small. The active confining pressure of the SMA wires does not improve the lower stiffness-ratio effect since the amount of active confining pressure is not sufficiently large.

  7. The role of passive muscle stiffness in symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage.

    PubMed

    McHugh, M P; Connolly, D A; Eston, R G; Kremenic, I J; Nicholas, S J; Gleim, G W

    1999-01-01

    We examined whether passive stiffness of an eccentrically exercising muscle group affects the subsequent symptoms of muscle damage. Passive hamstring muscle stiffness was measured during an instrumented straight-leg-raise stretch in 20 subjects (11 men and 9 women) who were subsequently classified as "stiff" (N = 7), "normal" (N = 6), or "compliant" (N = 7). Passive stiffness was 78% higher in the stiff subjects (36.2 +/- 3.3 N.m.rad(-1)) compared with the compliant subjects (20.3 +/- 1.8 N.m.rad(-1)). Subjects then performed six sets of 10 isokinetic (2.6 rad.s(-1)) submaximal (60% maximal voluntary contraction) eccentric actions of the hamstring muscle group. Symptoms of muscle damage were documented by changes in isometric hamstring muscle strength, pain, muscle tenderness, and creatine kinase activity on the following 3 days. Strength loss, pain, muscle tenderness, and creatine kinase activity were significantly greater in the stiff compared with the compliant subjects on the days after eccentric exercise. Greater symptoms of muscle damage in subjects with stiffer hamstring muscles are consistent with the sarcomere strain theory of muscle damage. The present study provides experimental evidence of an association between flexibility and muscle injury. Muscle stiffness and its clinical correlate, static flexibility, are risk factors for more severe symptoms of muscle damage after eccentric exercise. PMID:10496575

  8. Effect of long-term isometric training on core/torso stiffness.

    PubMed

    Lee, Benjamin C Y; McGill, Stuart M

    2015-06-01

    Although core stiffness enhances athletic performance traits, controversy exists regarding the effectiveness of isometric vs. dynamic core training methods. This study aimed to determine whether long-term changes in stiffness can be trained, and if so, what is the most effective method. Twenty-four healthy male subjects (23 ± 3 years; 1.8 ± 0.06 m; 77.5 ± 10.8 kg) were recruited for passive and active stiffness measurements before and after a 6-week core training intervention. Twelve subjects (22 ± 2 years; 1.8 ± 0.08 m; 78.3 ± 12.3 kg) were considered naive to physical and core exercise. The other 12 subjects (24 ± 3 years; 1.8 ± 0.05 m; 76.8 ± 9.7 kg) were Muay Thai athletes (savvy). A repeated-measures design compared core training methods (isometric vs. dynamic, with a control group) and subject training experience (naive vs. savvy) before and after a 6-week training period. Passive stiffness was assessed on a "frictionless" bending apparatus and active stiffness assessed through a quick release mechanism. Passive stiffness increased after the isometric training protocol. Dynamic training produced a smaller effect, and as expected, there was no change in the control group. Active stiffness did not change in any group. Comparisons between subject and training groups did not reveal any interactions. Thus, an isometric training approach was superior in terms of enhancing core stiffness. This is important since increased core stiffness enhances load bearing ability, arrests painful vertebral micromovements, and enhances ballistic distal limb movement. This may explain the efficacy reported for back and knee injury reduction. PMID:26010794

  9. Dynamic influences of changing gear tooth stiffness

    SciTech Connect

    Morguel, O.K.; Esat, I.

    1997-07-01

    One of the principal sources of vibratory excitation of gear a system is due to the angular speed fluctuation of meshing gears due to non-linearities and profile errors and tooth and supporting bearings flexibility. The transmission error is also influenced by the varying force at the contact point of the meshing gear teeth. The varying contact force itself is influenced by the varying tooth stiffness due to change of orientation of teeth relative to each other, during the contact phase of each pair. This paper presents a simplified single degree of freedom gear system. It is assumed that one member of the gear pair is rigid and flexibility of the gear tooth is attributed only to one section of the gear system. This enables the equation to be simplified to a single degree of freedom system. The resulting non-linear equation is solved iteratively by employing a method which combines piecewise linearization for the stiffness and resulting contact orientation shift due to shaft and tooth flexibility. The contact shift will be referred as the phase shift in this report. The early finding indicates that there are significant differences between the response of the system incorporating three different tooth stiffness, namely, constant tooth stiffness, rectangular wave tooth stiffness and sinusoidal tooth stiffness. The results also implies that any design specification associated with gears has to include gear tooth influences, especially if the excitation is of a major concern. The rectangular stiffness variation which most accurately describes the tooth stiffness gives a response fluctuation, studied in the frequency domain shows that the effective natural frequencies fluctuates between certain upper and lower limits. Thus the paper suggest that any design study should consider these limits.

  10. Information content of neural networks with self-control and variable activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bollé, D.; Amari, S. I.; Dominguez Carreta, D. R. C.; Massolo, G.

    2001-02-01

    A self-control mechanism for the dynamics of neural networks with variable activity is discussed using a recursive scheme for the time evolution of the local field. It is based upon the introduction of a self-adapting time-dependent threshold as a function of both the neural and pattern activity in the network. This mechanism leads to an improvement of the information content of the network as well as an increase of the storage capacity and the basins of attraction. Different architectures are considered and the results are compared with numerical simulations.

  11. OroSTIFF: Face-referenced measurement of perioral stiffness in health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Shin-Ying; Kieweg, Douglas; Lee, Jaehoon

    2010-01-01

    A new device and automated measurement technology known as OroSTIFF is described to characterize non-participatory perioral stiffness in healthy adults for eventual application to patients with orofacial movement disorders associated with neuromotor disease, traumatic injury, or congenital clefts of the upper lip. Previous studies of perioral biomechanics required head stabilization for extended periods of time during measurement which precluded sampling patients with involuntary body/head movements (dyskinesias), or pediatric subjects. The OroSTIFF device is face-referenced and avoids the complications associated with head-restraint. Supporting data of non-participatory perioral tissue stiffness using OroSTIFF are included from 10 male and 10 female healthy subjects. The OroSTIFF device incorporates a pneumatic glass air cylinder actuator instrumented for pressure, and an integrated subminiature displacement sensor to encode lip aperture. Perioral electromyograms were simultaneously sampled to confirm passive muscle state for the superior and inferior divisions of the orbicularis oris muscles. Perioral stiffness, derived as a quotient from resultant force (ΔF) and interangle span (ΔX), was modeled with multilevel regression techniques. Real-time calculation of the perioral stiffness function demonstrated a significant quadratic relation between imposed interangle stretch and resultant force. This stiffness growth function also differed significantly between males and females. This study demonstrates the OroSTIFF ‘proof-of-concept’ for cost-effective non-invasive stimulus generation and derivation of perioral stiffness in a group of healthy unrestrained adults, and a case study to illustrate the dose-dependent effects of Levodopa on perioral stiffness in an individual with advanced Parkinson’s disease who exhibited marked dyskinesia and rigidity. PMID:20185131

  12. Stiffness of Railway Soil-Steel Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machelski, Czesław

    2015-12-01

    The considerable influence of the soil backfill properties and that of the method of compacting it on the stiffness of soil-steel structures is characteristic of the latter. The above factors (exhibiting randomness) become apparent in shell deformation measurements conducted during construction and proof test loading. A definition of soil-shell structure stiffness, calculated on the basis of shell deflection under the service load, is proposed in the paper. It is demonstrated that the stiffness is the inverse of the deflection influence function used in structural mechanics. The moving load methodology is shown to be useful for testing, since it makes it possible to map the shell deflection influence line also in the case of group loads (concentrated forces), as in bridges. The analyzed cases show that the shell's span, geometry (static scheme) and the height of earth fill influence the stiffness of the structure. The soil-steel structure's characteristic parameter in the form of stiffness k is more suitable for assessing the quality of construction works than the proposed in code geometric index ω applied to beam structures. As shown in the given examples, parameter k is more effective than stiffness parameter λ used to estimate the deformation of soil-steel structures under construction. Although the examples concern railway structures, the methodology proposed in the paper is suitable also for road bridges.

  13. Stiff limb syndrome: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Stiff limb syndrome is a clinical feature of the stiff person syndrome, which is a rare and disabling neurologic disorder characterized by muscle rigidity and episodic spasms that involve axial and limb musculature. It is an autoimmune disorder resulting in a malfunction of aminobutyric acid mediated inhibitory networks in the central nervous system. We describe a patient diagnosed by neurological symptoms of stiff limb syndrome with a good outcome after treatment, and a review of the related literature. Case presentation A 49-year-old male patient presented with a progressive stiffness and painful spasms of his both legs resulting in a difficulty of standing up and walking. The diagnosis of stiff limb syndrome was supported by the dramatically positive response to treatment using diazepam 25 mg/day and baclofen 30 mg/day. Conclusion This clinical case highlights the importance of a therapeutic test to confirm the diagnosis of stiff limb syndrome especially when there is a high clinical suspicion with unremarkable electromyography PMID:20205913

  14. Ensemble X-ray variability of active galactic nuclei from serendipitous source catalogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vagnetti, F.; Turriziani, S.; Trevese, D.

    2011-12-01

    Context. The X-ray variability of the active galactic nuclei (AGN) has been most often investigated with studies of individual, nearby sources, and only a few ensemble analyses have been applied to large samples in wide ranges of luminosity and redshift. Aims: We aim to determine the ensemble variability properties of two serendipitously selected AGN samples extracted from the catalogues of XMM-Newton and Swift, with redshift between ~0.2 and ~4.5, and X-ray luminosities, in the 0.5-4.5 keV band, between ~1043 erg/s and ~1046 erg/s. Methods: We used the structure function (SF), which operates in the time domain, and allows for an ensemble analysis even when only a few observations are available for individual sources and the power spectral density (PSD) cannot be derived. The SF is also more appropriate than fractional variability and excess variance, because these parameters are biased by the duration of the monitoring time interval in the rest-frame, and therefore by cosmological time dilation. Results: We find statistically consistent results for the two samples, with the SF described by a power law of the time lag, approximately as SF ∝ τ0.1. We do not find evidence of the break in the SF, at variance with the case of lower luminosity AGNs. We confirm a strong anti-correlation of the variability with X-ray luminosity, accompanied by a change of the slope of the SF. We find evidence in support of a weak, intrinsic, average increase of X-ray variability with redshift. Conclusions: The change of amplitude and slope of the SF with X-ray luminosity provides new constraints on both single oscillator models and multiple subunit models of variability. Tables 1 and 2 are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  15. Inferior frontal cortex activity is modulated by reward sensitivity and performance variability.

    PubMed

    Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Ávila, César; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Costumero, Víctor; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Bustamante, Juan Carlos; Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2016-02-01

    High reward sensitivity has been linked with motivational and cognitive disorders related with prefrontal and striatal brain function during inhibitory control. However, few studies have analyzed the interaction among reward sensitivity, task performance and neural activity. Participants (N=57) underwent fMRI while performing a Go/No-go task with Frequent-go (77.5%), Infrequent-go (11.25%) and No-go (11.25%) stimuli. Task-associated activity was found in inhibition-related brain regions, with different activity patterns for right and left inferior frontal gyri (IFG): right IFG responded more strongly to No-go stimuli, while left IFG responded similarly to all infrequent stimuli. Reward sensitivity correlated with omission errors in Go trials and reaction time (RT) variability, and with increased activity in right and left IFG for No-go and Infrequent-go stimuli compared with Frequent-go. Bilateral IFG activity was associated with RT variability, with reward sensitivity mediating this association. These results suggest that reward sensitivity modulates behavior and brain function during executive control. PMID:26772873

  16. Active optics: variable curvature mirrors for ELT laser guide star refocusing systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Challita, Zalpha; Hugot, Emmanuel; Madec, Fabrice; Ferrari, Marc; Le Mignant, David; Vivès, Sébastien; Cuby, Jean-Gabriel

    2011-10-01

    The future generation of Extremely Large Telescopes will require a complex combination of technologies for adaptive optics (AO) systems assisted by laser guide stars (LGS). In this context, the distance from the LGS spot to the telescope pupil ranges from about 80 to 200 km, depending on the Sodium layer altitude and the elevation of the telescope. This variation leads to a defocusing effect on the LGS wave-front sensor which needs to be compensated. We propose an active mirror able to compensate for this variation, based on an original optical design including this active optics component. This LGS Variable Curvature Mirror (LGS-VCM) is a 120 mm spherical active mirror able to achieve 820 μm deflection sag with an optical quality better than 150 nm RMS, allowing the radius of curvature variation from F/12 to F/2. Based on elasticity theory, the deformation of the metallic mirror is provided by an air pressure applied on a thin meniscus with a variable thickness distribution. In this article, we detail the analytical development leading to the specific geometry of the active component, the results of finite element analysis and the expected performances in terms of surface error versus the range of refocalisation. Three prototypes have been manufactured to compare the real behavior of the mirror and the simulations data. Results obtained on the prototypes are detailed, showing that the deformation of the VCM is very close to the simulation, and leads to a realistic active concept.

  17. Treatment and Rehabilitation of Knee Joints Straight Stiffness After Burns.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jinshu; Xu, Minghuo; Wu, Wenwen; Hu, Yuan; Shi, Xiuxiu; Hou, Shuxun

    2015-12-01

    The knee release surgery and postoperative rehabilitation of patients after burns and knee straight stiffness were investigated. Eleven patients were treated for 16 side burns and knee stiffness who consisted of nine males and two females, aged 19 to 54 years (mean = 33.2). The duration of the patients' knee stiffness ranged from 8 to 26 months, with an average of 12.6 months. Their preoperative flexion ranged from 5° to 50°, with an average of 26.2°. Their preoperative Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) knee scores ranged from 46 to 72 points, with an average of 55.8 points. All stiff knees were treated with release surgery, along with total release of intra-articular adhesion and excision of vastus intermedius. After the arthrolysis of the stiff knee joint, the tight skin was completely loose in the adhesions. The soft tissue contracture was not grafted, but the shade fascia was freed to increase skin ductility. All knee joints were released to more than 90° of flexion in the operation, and reversed fascia flaps were used to suture the loss of the deep fascia at the position of flexion of 90°. After the operation, the knee joint was fixed in flexion for 72 h while being actively cared for by early rehabilitation. Subsequently, the patient's skin coverage, joint motion, and joint function recovery were observed. Based on the follow-up of the patients for the following 16 to 36 months (mean = 25.7), the knee flexion of the patients ranged from 110° to 135°, with an average of 122.2° and 96° increase (P < 0.01). Furthermore, the patients had better skin ductility to meet the increase in joint flexion. HSS knee function scores at the end of follow-up ranged from 93 to 100 points, with an average of 97.5 points and an increase of 41.7 points (P < 0.01). The joint function improved significantly. The arthrolysis of straight stiff knee joints after burns can ease muscle contracture and free the shade fascia, thus avoiding the need to

  18. A NEW COSMOLOGICAL DISTANCE MEASURE USING ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEUS X-RAY VARIABILITY

    SciTech Connect

    Franca, Fabio La; Bianchi, Stefano; Branchini, Enzo; Matt, Giorgio; Ponti, Gabriele

    2014-05-20

    We report the discovery of a luminosity distance estimator using active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We combine the correlation between the X-ray variability amplitude and the black hole (BH) mass with the single-epoch spectra BH mass estimates which depend on the AGN luminosity and the line width emitted by the broad-line region. We demonstrate that significant correlations do exist that allow one to predict the AGN (optical or X-ray) luminosity as a function of the AGN X-ray variability and either the Hβ or the Paβ line widths. In the best case, when the Paβ is used, the relationship has an intrinsic dispersion of ∼0.6 dex. Although intrinsically more disperse than supernovae Ia, this relation constitutes an alternative distance indicator potentially able to probe, in an independent way, the expansion history of the universe. With respect to this, we show that the new mission concept Athena should be able to measure the X-ray variability of hundreds of AGNs and then constrain the distance modulus with uncertainties of 0.1 mag up to z ∼ 0.6. We also discuss how our estimator has the prospect of becoming a cosmological probe even more sensitive than the current supernovae Ia samples by using a new dedicated wide-field X-ray telescope able to measure the variability of thousands of AGNs.

  19. Optimal strategies for observation of active galactic nuclei variability with Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giomi, Matteo; Gerard, Lucie; Maier, Gernot

    2016-07-01

    Variable emission is one of the defining characteristic of active galactic nuclei (AGN). While providing precious information on the nature and physics of the sources, variability is often challenging to observe with time- and field-of-view-limited astronomical observatories such as Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs). In this work, we address two questions relevant for the observation of sources characterized by AGN-like variability: what is the most time-efficient way to detect such sources, and what is the observational bias that can be introduced by the choice of the observing strategy when conducting blind surveys of the sky. Different observing strategies are evaluated using simulated light curves and realistic instrument response functions of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), a future gamma-ray observatory. We show that strategies that makes use of very small observing windows, spread over large periods of time, allows for a faster detection of the source, and are less influenced by the variability properties of the sources, as compared to strategies that concentrate the observing time in a small number of large observing windows. Although derived using CTA as an example, our conclusions are conceptually valid for any IACTs facility, and in general, to all observatories with small field of view and limited duty cycle.

  20. Broad Hβ Emission-line Variability in a Sample of 102 Local Active Galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Runco, Jordan N.; Cosens, Maren; Bennert, Vardha N.; Scott, Bryan; Komossa, S.; Malkan, Matthew A.; Lazarova, Mariana S.; Auger, Matthew W.; Treu, Tommaso; Park, Daeseong

    2016-04-01

    A sample of 102 local (0.02 ≤ z ≤ 0.1) Seyfert galaxies with black hole masses MBH > 107M⊙ was selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and observed using the Keck 10 m telescope to study the scaling relations between MBH and host galaxy properties. We study profile changes of the broad Hβ emission line within the three to nine year time frame between the two sets of spectra. The variability of the broad Hβ emission line is of particular interest, not only because it is used to estimate MBH, but also because its strength and width are used to classify Seyfert galaxies into different types. At least some form of broad-line variability (in either width or flux) is observed in the majority (∼66%) of the objects, resulting in a Seyfert-type change for ∼38% of the objects, likely driven by variable accretion and/or obscuration. The broad Hβ line virtually disappears in 3/102 (∼3%) extreme cases. We discuss potential causes for these changing look active galactic nuclei. While similar dramatic transitions have previously been reported in the literature, either on a case-by-case basis or in larger samples focusing on quasars at higher redshifts, our study provides statistical information on the frequency of Hβ line variability in a sample of low-redshift Seyfert galaxies.

  1. Quantification of Myocardial Stiffness using Magnetic Resonance Elastography in Right Ventricular Hypertrophy: Initial Feasibility in Dogs

    PubMed Central

    da Silveira, Juliana S; Scansen, Brian A; Wassenaar, Peter A; Raterman, Brian; Eleswarpu, Chethan; Jin, Ning; Mo, Xiaokui; White, Richard D; Bonagura, John D; Kolipaka, Arunark

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Myocardial stiffness is an important determinant of cardiac function and is currently invasively and indirectly assessed by catheter angiography. This study aims to demonstrate the feasibility of quantifying right ventricular (RV) stiffness noninvasively using cardiac magnetic resonance elastography (CMRE) in dogs with severe congenital pulmonary valve stenosis (PVS) causing RV hypertrophy, and compare it to remote myocardium in the left ventricle (LV). Additionally, correlations between stiffness and selected pathophysiologic indicators from transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging were explored. Methods In-vivo CMRE was performed on nine dogs presenting severe congenital PVS using a 1.5T MRI scanner. T1-MOLLI, T2-prepared-bSSFP, gated-cine GRE-MRE and LGE (PSIR) sequences were used to acquire a basal short-axis slice. RV and LV-free-wall (FW) stiffness measurements were compared against each other and also correlated to ventricular mass, RV and LV FW thickness, T1 and T2 relaxation times, and extracellular volume fraction (ECV). Peak transpulmonary pressure gradient and myocardial strain were also acquired on eight dogs by TTE and correlated to RV-FW systolic stiffness. Potential correlations were evaluated by Spearman’s rho (rs). Results RV-FW stiffness was found to be significantly higher than the LV-FW stiffness both during end-systole (ES) (p=0.002) and end-diastole (ED) (p=0.029). Significant correlations were observed between RV-FW ES and LV-FW ED stiffness versus ECV (rs=0.75; p-value=0.05). Non-significant moderate correlations were found between LV-FW ES (rs=0.54) and RV-FW ED (rs=0.61) versus ECV. Furthermore, non-significant correlations were found between RV or LV-FW stiffness and the remaining variables (rs<0.54; p-value>0.05). Conclusion This study demonstrates the feasibility of determining RV stiffness. The positive correlations between stiffness and ECV might indicate some interdependence between

  2. Revisiting a possible relationship between solar activity and Earth rotation variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abarca del Rio, R.; Gambis, D.

    2011-10-01

    A variety of studies have searched to establish a possible relationship between the solar activity and earth variations (Danjon, 1958-1962; Challinor, 1971; Currie, 1980, Gambis, 1990). We are revisiting previous studies (Bourget et al, 1992, Abarca del Rio et al, 2003, Marris et al, 2004) concerning the possible relationship between solar activity variability and length of day (LOD) variations at decadal time scales. Assuming that changes in AAM for the entire atmosphere are accompanied by equal, but opposite, changes in the angular momentum of the earth it is possible to infer changes in LOD from global AAM time series, through the relation : delta (LOD) (ms) = 1.68 10^29 delta(AAM) (kgm2/s) (Rosen and Salstein, 1983), where δ(LOD) is given in milliseconds. Given the close relationship at seasonal to interannual time's scales between LOD and the Atmospheric Angular Momentum (AAM) (see Abarca del Rio et al., 2003) it is possible to infer from century long atmospheric simulations what may have been the variability in the associated LOD variability throughout the last century. In the absence of a homogeneous century long LOD time series, we take advantage of the recent atmospheric reanalyzes extending since 1871 (Compo, Whitaker and Sardeshmukh, 2006). The atmospheric data (winds) of these reanalyzes allow computing AAM up to the top of the atmosphere; though here only troposphere data (up to 100 hPa) was taken into account.

  3. Multi-flexible-body dynamics capturing motion-induced stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banerjee, Arun K.; Lemak, Mark E.; Dickens, John M.

    1989-01-01

    A multi-flexible-body dynamics formulation incorporating a recently developed theory for capturing motion induced stiffness for a arbitrary structure undergoing large rotation and translation accompanied by small vibrations is presented. In essence, the method consists of correcting prematurely linearized dynamical equations for an arbitrary flexible body with generalized active forces due to geometric stiffness corresponding to a system of twelve inertia forces and nine inertia couples distributed over the body. Equations of motion are derived by means of Kane's method. A useful feature of the formulation is its treatment of prescribed motions and interaction forces. Results of simulations of motions of three flexible spacecraft, involving stiffening during spinup motion, dynamic buckling, and a repositioning maneuver, demonstrate the validity and generality of the theory.

  4. Relation between QT interval variability and muscle sympathetic nerve activity in normal subjects.

    PubMed

    El-Hamad, Fatima; Lambert, Elisabeth; Abbott, Derek; Baumert, Mathias

    2015-10-01

    Beat-to-beat variability of the QT interval (QTV) is sought to provide an indirect noninvasive measure of sympathetic nerve activity, but a formal quantification of this relationship has not been provided. In this study we used power contribution analysis to study the relationship between QTV and muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA). ECG and MSNA were recorded in 10 healthy subjects in the supine position and after 40° head-up tilt. Power spectrum analysis was performed using a linear autoregressive model with two external inputs: heart period (RR interval) variability (RRV) and MSNA. Total and low-frequency power of QTV was decomposed into contributions by RRV, MSNA, and sources independent of RRV and MSNA. Results show that the percentage of MSNA power contribution to QT is very small and does not change with tilt. RRV power contribution to QT power is notable and decreases with tilt, while the greatest percentage of QTV is independent of RRV and MSNA in the supine position and after 40° head-up tilt. In conclusion, beat-to-beat QTV in normal subjects does not appear to be significantly affected by the rhythmic modulations in MSNA following low to moderate orthostatic stimulation. Therefore, MSNA oscillations may not represent a useful surrogate for cardiac sympathetic nerve activity at moderate levels of activation, or, alternatively, sympathetic influences on QTV are complex and not quantifiable with linear shift-invariant autoregressive models. PMID:26276814

  5. Variability and Stability in Daily Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity among 10 Year Old Children.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Sara; Gomes, Thayse Natacha; Borges, Alessandra; Santos, Daniel; Souza, Michele; dos Santos, Fernanda K; Chaves, Raquel N; Katzmarzyk, Peter T; Maia, José A R

    2015-08-01

    Day-to-day variability and stability of children's physical activity levels across days of the week are not well understood. Our aims were to examine the day-to-day variability of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), to determine factors influencing the day-to-day variability of MVPA and to estimate stability of MVPA in children. The sample comprises 686 Portuguese children (10 years of age). MVPA was assessed with an accelerometer, and BMI was computed from measured height and weight. Daily changes in MVPA and their correlates (gender, BMI, and maturity) were modeled with a multilevel approach, and tracking was calculated using Foulkes & Davies γ. A total of 51.3% of boys and 26.2% of girls achieved 60 min/day of MVPA on average. Daily MVPA was lower during the weekend (23.6% of boys and 13.6% of girls comply with the recommended 60 min/day of MVPA) compared to weekdays (60.8% and 35.4%, boys and girls, respectively). Normal weight children were more active than obese children and no effect was found for biological maturation. Tracking is low in both boys (γ = 0.59 ± 0.01) and girls (γ = 0.56 ± 0.01). Children's MVPA levels during a week are highly unstable. In summary, boys are more active than girls, maturation does not affect their MVPA, and obese children are less likely to meet 60 min/day of MVPA. These results highlight the importance of providing opportunities for increasing children's daily MVPA on all days of week, especially on the weekend. PMID:26262632

  6. Variability and Stability in Daily Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity among 10 Year Old Children

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Sara; Gomes, Thayse Natacha; Borges, Alessandra; Santos, Daniel; Souza, Michele; dos Santos, Fernanda K.; Chaves, Raquel N.; Katzmarzyk, Peter T.; Maia, José A. R.

    2015-01-01

    Day-to-day variability and stability of children’s physical activity levels across days of the week are not well understood. Our aims were to examine the day-to-day variability of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), to determine factors influencing the day-to-day variability of MVPA and to estimate stability of MVPA in children. The sample comprises 686 Portuguese children (10 years of age). MVPA was assessed with an accelerometer, and BMI was computed from measured height and weight. Daily changes in MVPA and their correlates (gender, BMI, and maturity) were modeled with a multilevel approach, and tracking was calculated using Foulkes & Davies γ. A total of 51.3% of boys and 26.2% of girls achieved 60 min/day of MVPA on average. Daily MVPA was lower during the weekend (23.6% of boys and 13.6% of girls comply with the recommended 60 min/day of MVPA) compared to weekdays (60.8% and 35.4%, boys and girls, respectively). Normal weight children were more active than obese children and no effect was found for biological maturation. Tracking is low in both boys (γ = 0.59 ± 0.01) and girls (γ = 0.56 ± 0.01). Children’s MVPA levels during a week are highly unstable. In summary, boys are more active than girls, maturation does not affect their MVPA, and obese children are less likely to meet 60 min/day of MVPA. These results highlight the importance of providing opportunities for increasing children’s daily MVPA on all days of week, especially on the weekend. PMID:26262632

  7. Social desirability is associated with some physical activity, psychosocial variables and sedentary behavior but not self-reported physical activity among adolescent males

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study examined whether controlling for social desirability improved the association between self-reported and objectively measured physical activity among adolescent males and the extent that psychosocial variables predict physical activity after controlling for social desirability. Participant...

  8. Waves in geomaterials exhibiting negative stiffness behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esin, Maxim; Dyskin, Arcady; Pasternak, Elena

    2016-04-01

    Negative stiffness denotes the type of material behaviour when the force applied to the body decreases the body's deformation increases. Some geomaterials, for instance, rocks, demonstrate behaviour of this type at certain loads: during the compression tests the loading curves exhibit descending branch (post-peak softening). One of the possible mechanisms of the negative stiffness appearance in geomaterials is rotation of non-spherical grains. It is important to emphasize that in this case the descending branch may be reversible given that the testing machine is stiff enough (in general case it means an importance of boundary conditions). Existence of geomaterials with a negative modulus associated with rotations may have significant importance. In particular, important is understanding of the wave propagation in such materials. We study the stability of geomaterials with negative stiffness inclusions and wave propagation in it using two approaches: Cosserat continuum and discrete mass-spring models. In both cases we consider the rotational degrees of freedom in addition to the conventional translational ones. We show that despite non positiveness of the energy the materials with negative stiffness elements can be stable if certain conditions are met. In the case of Cosserat continuum the Cosserat shear modulus (the modulus relating the non-symmetrical part of shear stress and internal rotations) is allowed to assume negative values as long as its value does not exceed the value of the standard (positive) shear modulus. In the case of discrete mass-spring systems (with translational and rotational springs) the concentration of negative stiffness springs and the absolute values of negative spring stiffness are limited. The critical concentration when the system loses stability and the amplitude of the oscillations tends to infinity is equal to 1/2 and 3/5 for two- and three-dimensional cases respectively.

  9. Determination of the Rubbing Location in a Multi-Disk Rotor System by Means of Dynamic Stiffness Identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    CHU, F.; LU, W.

    2001-11-01

    The rotor-to-stator rub is one of the main serious malfunctions that often occur in rotating machinery. Previous research has provided enough tools to judge the existence of this fault. However, it is still a difficult task to detect the rubbing position in a multi-disk rotor system. In this paper, the stiffness is considered as variable and the rub-impact effect is included in this dynamic stiffness. Based on simulation data the least-square method is used to identify the dynamic stiffness at different positions along the rotor. It is found that the dynamic stiffness at the position where the rub-impact occurs is increasing as the rubbing develops and this stiffness at other positions shows very little change. The damping coefficients have similar trends. This method is found to be very effective in detecting the rubbing position.

  10. The photometric variability of the chromospherically active binary star HD 80715

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strassmeier, Klaus G.; Hooten, James T.; Hall, Douglas S.; Fekel, Francis C.

    1989-01-01

    Differential UBVRI photometry of the double-lined BY Dra system HD 80715 (K3 V + K3 V) obtained in December 1987 is presented. The star is found to be a variable with a full amplitude of 0.06 mag in V and a period similar or equal to the orbital period of 3.804 days. The mechanism of the variability is interpreted as rotational modulation due to dark starspots. In an attempt to detect chromospheric activity, high-resolution CCD spectra were obtained at Ca II H and K and at Fe I 6430 A and Ca I 6439 A, the photospheric lines normally used for Doppler imaging. HD 80715 shows double H and K emission features at a constant flux level for each component.

  11. Activation of peripheral opioid receptors has no effect on heart rate variability.

    PubMed

    Ellidokuz, Ender; Kaya, Dayimi; Uslan, Ihsan; Celik, Ataç; Esen, Ali Metin; Barutça, Irfan

    2008-06-01

    Opioid receptors involved in regulating the motility of the gastrointestinal tract have been localized in both contractile and neuronal tissues. Trimebutine, a peripheral opioid receptor agonist, modulates gastrointestinal motor activity in both directions and also may act on cardiac tissue. This study investigated the effects of trimebutine in clinical doses on cardiac autonomic functions with heart rate variability. The effect of trimebutine on cardiac autonomic outflows was evaluated in 11 healthy subjects. Trimebutine (200 mg) or placebo was administered orally at random in a double-blind, cross-over manner. Continuous electrocardiography recordings were obtained before and after drug administration during three states: rest, controlled breathing, and a hand grip exercise. Heart rate variability analysis showed that there was no significant difference between subjects administered with placebo or trimebutine throughout rest, controlled breathing, or the hand grip exercise. We concluded that trimebutine, in clinical doses, has no significant effect on cardiac autonomic functions. PMID:18449593

  12. Bubble mass center and fluid feedback force fluctuations activated by constant lateral impulse with variable thrust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hung, R. J.; Long, Y. T.

    1995-01-01

    Sloshing dynamics within a partially filled rotating dewar of superfluid helium 2 are investigated in response to constant lateral impulse with variable thrust. The study, including how the rotating bubble of superfluid helium 2 reacts to the constant impulse with variable time period of thrust action in microgravity, how amplitudes of bubble mass center fluctuates with growth and decay of disturbances, and how fluid feedback forces fluctuates in activating on the rotating dewar through the dynamics of sloshing waves are investigated. The numerical computation of sloshing dynamics is based on the non-inertial frame spacecraft bound coordinate with lateral impulses actuating on the rotating dewar in both inertial and non-inertial frames of thrust. Results of the simulations are illustrated.

  13. Variability and trends in Southern Ocean eddy activity in 1/12° ocean model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patara, Lavinia; Böning, Claus W.; Biastoch, Arne

    2016-05-01

    The response of eddy kinetic energy (EKE) to the strengthening of Southern Hemisphere winds occurring since the 1950s is investigated with a global ocean model having a resolution of 1/12° in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current domain. The simulations expose regional differences in the relative importance of stochastic and wind-related contributions to interannual EKE changes. In the Pacific and Indian sectors the model captures the EKE variability observed since 1993 and confirms previous hypotheses of a lagged response to regional wind stress anomalies. Here the multidecadal trend in wind stress is reflected in an increase in EKE typically exceeding 5 cm2 s-2 decade-1. In the western Atlantic, EKE variability is mostly stochastic, is weakly correlated with wind fluctuations, and its multidecadal trends are close to zero. The nonuniform distribution of wind-related changes in the eddy activity could affect the regional patterns of ocean circulation and biogeochemical responses to future climate change.

  14. Short term and multi-band variability of the active nucleus of IC310

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenacher, Dorit; Colin, Pierre; Lombardi, Saverio; Sitarek, Julian; Zandanel, Fabio; MAGIC Collaboration; Paneque, David; Fermi-LAT Collaboration; Dauser, Thomas; Krauß, Felicia; Wilbert, Sven; Kadler, Matthias; Schulz, Robert; Wilms, Joern; Bach, Uwe; Ros, Eduardo

    2012-12-01

    The MAGIC Telescopes detected the active galaxy IC 310 at very high energies (VHE, >100 GeV) during observations of the Perseus cluster in 2009 and 2010. This source had originally been classified as a head-tail radio galaxy. By contrast, recent high-resolution radio images obtained with the VLBA reveal the blazar-like structure of IC 310 on parsec scales. This object is also investigated in terms of its variability at X-ray and gamma-ray energies. Studies of the multi-band flux variability at different time periods are presented. The spectral evolution seems to be different in the VHE gamma-ray and X-ray bands.

  15. Modeling and simulating the neuromuscular mechanisms regulating ankle and knee joint stiffness during human locomotion.

    PubMed

    Sartori, Massimo; Maculan, Marco; Pizzolato, Claudio; Reggiani, Monica; Farina, Dario

    2015-10-01

    This work presents an electrophysiologically and dynamically consistent musculoskeletal model to predict stiffness in the human ankle and knee joints as derived from the joints constituent biological tissues (i.e., the spanning musculotendon units). The modeling method we propose uses electromyography (EMG) recordings from 13 muscle groups to drive forward dynamic simulations of the human leg in five healthy subjects during overground walking and running. The EMG-driven musculoskeletal model estimates musculotendon and resulting joint stiffness that is consistent with experimental EMG data as well as with the experimental joint moments. This provides a framework that allows for the first time observing 1) the elastic interplay between the knee and ankle joints, 2) the individual muscle contribution to joint stiffness, and 3) the underlying co-contraction strategies. It provides a theoretical description of how stiffness modulates as a function of muscle activation, fiber contraction, and interacting tendon dynamics. Furthermore, it describes how this differs from currently available stiffness definitions, including quasi-stiffness and short-range stiffness. This work offers a theoretical and computational basis for describing and investigating the neuromuscular mechanisms underlying human locomotion. PMID:26245321

  16. Experimental measure of arm stiffness during single reaching movements with a time-frequency analysis

    PubMed Central

    Pierobon, Alberto; DiZio, Paul; Lackner, James R.

    2013-01-01

    We tested an innovative method to estimate joint stiffness and damping during multijoint unfettered arm movements. The technique employs impulsive perturbations and a time-frequency analysis to estimate the arm's mechanical properties along a reaching trajectory. Each single impulsive perturbation provides a continuous estimation on a single-reach basis, making our method ideal to investigate motor adaptation in the presence of force fields and to study the control of movement in impaired individuals with limited kinematic repeatability. In contrast with previous dynamic stiffness studies, we found that stiffness varies during movement, achieving levels higher than during static postural control. High stiffness was associated with elevated reflexive activity. We observed a decrease in stiffness and a marked reduction in long-latency reflexes around the reaching movement velocity peak. This pattern could partly explain the difference between the high stiffness reported in postural studies and the low stiffness measured in dynamic estimation studies, where perturbations are typically applied near the peak velocity point. PMID:23945781

  17. Temporal and spatial variability of soil biological activity at European scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallast, Janine; Rühlmann, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    The CATCH-C project aims to identify and improve the farm-compatibility of Soil Management Practices including to promote productivity, climate change mitigation and soil quality. The focus of this work concentrates on turnover conditions for soil organic matter (SOM). SOM is fundamental for the maintenance of quality and functions of soils while SOM storage is attributed a great importance in terms of climate change mitigation. The turnover conditions depend on soil biological activity characterized by climate and soil properties. Soil biological activity was investigated using two model concepts: a) Re_clim parameter within the ICBM (Introductory Carbon Balance Model) (Andrén & Kätterer 1997) states a climatic factor summarizing soil water storage and soil temperature and its influence on soil biological activity. b) BAT (biological active time) approach derived from model CANDY (CArbon and Nitrogen Dynamic) (Franko & Oelschlägel 1995) expresses the variation of soil moisture, soil temperature and soil aeration as a time scale and an indicator of biological activity for soil organic matter (SOM) turnover. During an earlier stage both model concepts, Re_clim and BAT, were applied based on a monthly data to assess spatial variability of turnover conditions across Europe. This hampers the investigation of temporal variability (e.g. intra-annual). The improved stage integrates daily data of more than 350 weather stations across Europe presented by Klein Tank et al. (2002). All time series data (temperature, precipitation and potential evapotranspiration and soil texture derived from the European Soil Database (JRC 2006)), are used to calculate soil biological activity in the arable layer. The resulting BAT and Re_clim values were spatio-temporal investigated. While "temporal" refers to a long-term trend analysis, "spatial" includes the investigation of soil biological activity variability per environmental zone (ENZ, Metzger et al. 2005 representing similar

  18. Impacts of Climate Change/Variability and Human Activities on Contemporary Vegetation Productivity across Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugbaje, S. U.; Odeh, I. A.; Bishop, T.

    2015-12-01

    Vegetation productivity is increasingly being impacted upon by climate change/variability and anthropogenic activities, especially in developing countries, where many livelihoods depend on the natural resource base. Despite these impacts, the individual and combined roles of climate and anthropogenic factors on vegetation dynamics have rarely been quantified in many ecosystems and regions of the world. This paper analyzes recent trend in vegetation productivity across Africa and quantified the relative roles of climate change/variability and human activities in driving this trend over 2000-2014 using net primary productivity (NPP) as an indicator. The relative roles of these factors to vegetation productivity change were quantified by comparing the trend slope (p<0.1) and total change in interannual actual NPP (NPPA), potential NPP (NPPP), and human appropriated NPP (NPPH). NPP significantly increased across Africa relative to NPP decline, though the extent of NPP decline is also quite appreciable. Whereas estimated NPP declined by 207 Tg C over 140 X 104 km of land area, vegetation productivity was estimated to improve by 1415 Tg C over 786 X 104 km of land area. NPP improvement is largely concentrated in equatorial and northern hemispheric Africa, while subequatorial Africa exhibited the most NPP decline. Generally, anthropogenic activities dominated climate change/variability in improving or degrading vegetation productivity. Of the estimated total NPP gained over the study period, 32.6, 8.8, and 58.6 % were due to individual human, climate and combined impacts respectively. The contributions of the factors to NPP decline in the same order are: 50.7, 16.0 and 33.3 %. The Central Africa region is where human activities had the greatest impact on NPP improvement; whereas the Sahel and the coastlines of west northern Africa are areas associated with the greatest influence of climate-driven NPP gain. Areas with humans dominating NPP degradation include eastern

  19. Stiffness matrix determination of composite materials using lamb wave group velocity measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putkis, O.; Croxford, A. J.

    2013-04-01

    The use of Lamb waves in Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is gaining popularity due to their ability to travel long distances without significant attenuation, therefore offering large area inspections with a small number of sensors. The design of a Lamb-wave-based NDE/SHM system for composite materials is more complicated than for metallic materials due to the directional dependence of Lamb wave propagation characteristics such as dispersion and group velocity. Propagation parameters can be theoretically predicted from known material properties, specifically the stiffness matrix and density. However, in practice it is difficult to obtain the stiffness matrix of a particular material or structure with high accuracy, hence introducing errors in theoretical predictions and inaccuracies in the resulting propagation parameters. Measured Lamb wave phase velocities can be used to infer the stiffness matrix, but the measurements are limited to the principal directions due to the steering effect (different propagation directions of phase and corresponding group velocities). This paper proposes determination of the stiffness matrix from the measured group velocities, which can be unambiguously measured in any direction. A highly anisotropic carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer plate is chosen for the study. The influence of different stiffness matrix elements on the directional group velocity profile is investigated. Thermodynamic Simulated Annealing (TSA) is used as a tool for inverse, multi variable inference of the stiffness matrix. A good estimation is achieved for particular matrix elements.

  20. Musculoskeletal stiffness changes linearly in response to increasing load during walking gait.

    PubMed

    Caron, Robert R; Lewis, Cara L; Saltzman, Elliot; Wagenaar, Robert C; Holt, Kenneth G

    2015-04-13

    Development of biologically inspired exoskeletons to assist soldiers in carrying load is a rapidly expanding field. Understanding how the body modulates stiffness in response to changing loads may inform the development of these exoskeletons and is the purpose of the present study. Seventeen subjects walked on a treadmill at a constant preferred walking velocity while nine different backpack loading conditions ranging from 12.5% to 40% bodyweight (BW) were introduced in an ascending and then descending order. Kinematic data were collected using Optotrak, a 3D motion analysis system, and used to estimate the position of the center of mass (COM). Two different estimates of stiffness were computed for the stance phase of gait. Both measures of stiffness were positively and linearly related to load magnitudes, with the slopes of the relationships being larger for the descending than the ascending conditions. These results indicate that changes in mechanical stiffness brought about in the musculoskeletal system vary systematically during increases in load to ensure that critical kinematic variables measured in a previous publication remain invariant (Caron et al., 2013). Changes in stiffness and other kinematics measured at the 40% BW condition suggest a boundary in which gait stiffness control limit is reached and a new gait pattern is required. Since soldiers are now carrying up to 96% of body weight, the need for research with even heavier loads is warranted. These findings have implications on the development of exoskeletons to assist in carrying loads. PMID:25678200

  1. Investigation of In Vivo skin stiffness anisotropy in breast cancer related lymphoedema.

    PubMed

    Coutts, L V; Miller, N R; Mortimer, P S; Bamber, J C

    2016-01-01

    There is a limited range of suitable measurement techniques for detecting and assessing breast cancer related lymphoedema (BCRL). This study investigated the suitability of using skin stiffness measurements, with a particular focus on the variation in stiffness with measurement direction (known as anisotropy). In addition to comparing affected tissue with the unaffected tissue on the corresponding site on the opposite limb, volunteers without BCRL were tested to establish the normal variability in stiffness anisotropy between these two corresponding regions of skin on each opposite limb. Multi-directional stiffness was measured with an Extensometer, within the higher stiffness region that skin typically displays at high applied strains, using a previously established protocol developed by the authors. Healthy volunteers showed no significant difference in anisotropy between regions of skin on opposite limbs (mean decrease of 4.7 +/-2.5% between non-dominant and dominant arms), whereas BCRL sufferers showed a significant difference between limbs (mean decrease of 51.0+/-16.3% between unaffected and affected arms). A large difference in anisotropy was apparent even for those with recent onset of the condition, indicating that the technique may have potential to be useful for early detection. This difference also appeared to increase with duration since onset. Therefore, measurement of stiffness anisotropy has potential value for the clinical assessment and diagnosis of skin conditions such as BCRL. The promising results justify a larger study with a larger number of participants. PMID:26684433

  2. Association between Heart Rate Variability, Blood Pressure and Autonomic Activity in Cyclic Alternating Pattern during Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Hideaki; Ozone, Motohiro; Ohki, Noboru; Sagawa, Yohei; Yamamichi, Keiichirou; Fukuju, Mitsuki; Yoshida, Takeshi; Nishi, Chikako; Kawasaki, Akiko; Mori, Kaori; Kanbayashi, Takashi; Izumi, Motomori; Hishikawa, Yasuo; Nishino, Seiji; Shimizu, Tetsuo

    2014-01-01

    Study Objectives: Cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) is frequently followed by changes in heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), but the sequential associations between CAP and autonomic nerve activity have not been studied. The study aimed to reveal the precise changes in heart rate variability (HRV) during phase A of the CAP cycle. Design: Polysomnography was recorded according to the CAP Atlas (Terzano, 2002), and BP and electrocardiogram were simultaneously recorded. The complex demodulation method was used for analysis of HRV and evaluation of autonomic nerve activity. Setting: Academic sleep laboratory. Participants: Ten healthy males. Measurements and Results: The increase in HR (median [first quartile – third quartile]) for each subtype was as follows: A1, 0.64 (-0.30 to 1.69), A2, 1.44 (0.02 to 3.79), and A3, 6.24 (2.53 to 10.76) bpm (A1 vs. A2 P < 0.001, A1 vs. A3 P < 0.001, A2 vs. A3 P < 0.001). The increase in BP for each subtype was as follows: A1, 1.23 (-2.04 to 5.75), A2, 1.76 (-1.46 to 9.32), and A3, 12.51 (4.75 to 19.94) mm Hg (A1 vs. A2 P = 0.249, A1 vs. A3 P < 0.001, A2 vs. A3 P < 0.001). In all of phase A, the peak values for HR and BP appeared at 4.2 (3.5 to 5.4) and 8.4 (7.0 to 10.3) seconds, respectively, after the onset of phase A. The area under the curve for low-frequency and high-frequency amplitude significantly increased after the onset of CAP phase A (P < 0.001) and was higher in the order of subtype A3, A2, and A1 (P < 0.001). Conclusions: All phase A subtypes were accompanied with increased heart rate variability, and the largest heart rate variability was seen in subtype A3, while a tendency for less heart rate variability was seen in subtype A1. Citation: Kondo H; Ozone M; Ohki N; Sagawa Y; Yamamichi K; Fukuju M; Yoshida T; Nishi C; Kawasaki; Mori; Kanbayashi T; Izumi M; Hishikawa Y; Nishino S; Shimizu T. Association between heart rate variability, blood pressure and autonomic activity in cyclic alternating pattern during sleep

  3. Intra-Individual Variability of Physical Activity in Older Adults With and Without Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Lesa; Templin, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Physical activity shows promise for protection against cognitive decline in older adults with and without Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To better understand barriers to adoption of physical activity in this population, a clear understanding of daily and weekly activity patterns is needed. Most accelerometry studies report average physical activity over an entire wear period without considering the potential importance of the variability of physical activity. This study evaluated individual differences in the amount and intra-individual variability of physical activity and determined whether these differences could be predicted by AD status, day of wear, age, gender, education, and cardiorespiratory capacity. Physical activity was measured via accelerometry (Actigraph GT3X+) over one week in 86 older adults with and without AD (n = 33 and n = 53, respectively). Mixed-effects location-scale models were estimated to evaluate and predict individual differences in the amount and intra-individual variability of physical activity. Results indicated that compared to controls, participants with AD averaged 21% less activity, but averaged non-significantly greater intra-individual variability. Women and men averaged similar amounts of physical activity, but women were significantly less variable. The amount of physical activity differed significantly across days of wear. Increased cardiorespiratory capacity was associated with greater average amounts of physical activity. Investigation of individual differences in the amount and intra-individual variability of physical activity provided insight into differences by AD status, days of monitor wear, gender, and cardiovascular capacity. All individuals regardless of AD status were equally consistent in their physical activity, which may have been due to a highly sedentary sample and/or the early disease stage of those participants with AD. These results highlight the value of considering individual differences in both the amount

  4. Dynamic control of muscle stiffness and H reflex modulation during hopping and jumping in man.

    PubMed Central

    Dyhre-Poulsen, P; Simonsen, E B; Voigt, M

    1991-01-01

    1. The objective of the study was to evaluate the functional effects of reflexes on muscle mechanics during natural voluntary movements. The excitability of the H (Hoffmann) reflex was used as a measure of the excitability of the central component of the stretch reflex. 2. We recorded EMG, ground reaction forces and the H reflex in the soleus muscle in humans while landing from a downward jump, during drop jumping and during hopping. The movements were also recorded by high-speed cinematography. 3. The EMG pattern was adapted to the motor task. When landing the EMG in the soleus muscle and in the anterior tibial muscle showed preinnervation and alternating activity after touch down. When hopping there was little preinnervation in the soleus muscle, and the activity was initiated about 45 ms after touch down by a peak and continued unbroken until lift off. In the drop jumps the EMG pattern depended on the jumping style used by the subject. 4. The H reflex in the soleus muscle was strongly modulated in a manner appropriate to the requirements of the motor task. During landing from a downward jump the H reflex was low at touch down whereas while hopping it was high at touch down. During drop jumping it was variable and influenced by the jumping technique. 5. Muscle stiffness in the ankle joint was negative after touch down when landing, but always positive when hopping. 6. It is suggested that during landing the alternating EMG pattern after touch down was programmed and little influenced by reflexes. During hopping reflexes could contribute to the initial peak and the EMG during lift off. 7. The programmed EMG activity and the suppression of the H reflex while landing probably contribute to the development of the negative stiffness and change the muscles from a spring to a damping unit. PMID:1890636

  5. Vascular Smooth Muscle Sirtuin-1 Protects Against Diet-Induced Aortic Stiffness.

    PubMed

    Fry, Jessica L; Al Sayah, Leona; Weisbrod, Robert M; Van Roy, Isabelle; Weng, Xiang; Cohen, Richard A; Bachschmid, Markus M; Seta, Francesca

    2016-09-01

    Arterial stiffness, a major cardiovascular risk factor, develops within 2 months in mice fed a high-fat, high-sucrose (HFHS) diet, serving as a model of human metabolic syndrome, and it is associated with activation of proinflammatory and oxidant pathways in vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cells. Sirtuin-1 (SirT1) is an NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase regulated by the cellular metabolic status. Our goal was to study the effects of VSM SirT1 on arterial stiffness in the context of diet-induced metabolic syndrome. Overnight fasting acutely decreased arterial stiffness, measured in vivo by pulse wave velocity, in mice fed HFHS for 2 or 8 months, but not in mice lacking SirT1 in VSM (SMKO). Similarly, VSM-specific genetic SirT1 overexpression (SMTG) prevented pulse wave velocity increases induced by HFHS feeding, during 8 months. Administration of resveratrol or S17834, 2 polyphenolic compounds known to activate SirT1, prevented HFHS-induced arterial stiffness and were mimicked by global SirT1 overexpression (SirT1 bacterial artificial chromosome overexpressor), without evident metabolic improvements. In addition, HFHS-induced pulse wave velocity increases were reversed by 1-week treatment with a specific, small molecule SirT1 activator (SRT1720). These beneficial effects of pharmacological or genetic SirT1 activation, against HFHS-induced arterial stiffness, were associated with a decrease in nuclear factor kappa light chain enhancer of activated B cells (NFκB) activation and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1) and p47phox protein expressions, in aorta and VSM cells. In conclusion, VSM SirT1 activation decreases arterial stiffness in the setting of obesity by stimulating anti-inflammatory and antioxidant pathways in the aorta. SirT1 activators may represent a novel therapeutic approach to prevent arterial stiffness and associated cardiovascular complications in overweight/obese individuals with metabolic syndrome. PMID:27432859

  6. Post-traumatic elbow rotational stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Samuel KK; Faan, Yan Sui; Lui, Paulina WY; Ngai, Wai Kit

    2014-01-01

    Background The elbow is an important but complex structure, with movement in both the sagittal plane in flexion and extension, as well as the rotational plane in forearm supination and pronation. Trauma is a common cause of elbow stiffness, which significantly hampers daily function. There are currently no gold-standard management guidelines for post-traumatic elbow stiffness, and most of the published literature focuses solely on the sagittal plane of motion. Methods This is a retrospective case series reviewing all patients who underwent a surgical release for treatment of post-traumatic elbow stiffness during a 36-month period. Motion range and the shortened version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand scores were serially measured and analyzed. Results The results obtained showed that both the sagittal and rotational range of motion directly influenced upper limb function; however, the relationship between these two motion planes was weak, meaning that both sagittal and rotational motion in the elbow need be addressed individually. Post-traumatic elbow stiffness could be aptly managed by various surgical approaches, including arthroscopic-assisted procedures; these were all effective in increasing both the sagittal and rotational range of motion. More importantly, this gain in range translated to a statistically significant improvement in upper limb function. Conclusions Management of elbow stiffness needs to be tackled in both the sagittal and rotational motion planes.

  7. Arterial stiffness response to exercise in persons with and without Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hu, Min; Yan, Huimin; Ranadive, Sushant M; Agiovlasitis, Stamatis; Fahs, Christopher A; Atiq, Muhammed; Atique, Nazia; Fernhall, Bo

    2013-10-01

    This study compared arterial stiffness and wave reflection at rest and following maximal exercise between individuals with and without Down syndrome (DS), and the influence of body mass index (BMI), peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) on changes in arterial stiffness. Twelve people with DS (26.6 ± 2.6 yr) and 15 healthy controls (26.2 ± 0.6 yr) completed this study. Intima-media thickness (IMT) and stiffness of common carotid artery was examined. Hemodynamic and arterial variables were measured before and 3-min after exercise. Persons with DS had higher BMI and lower VO 2 peak than controls. IMT did not differ between groups. At rest, carotid β stiffness was significantly higher in persons with DS (P<0.05) but there was no difference in between groups for any of the other arterial stiffness measures. After exercise, persons with DS exhibited attenuated arterial stiffness responses in AIx-75, carotid β stiffness and Ep in contrast with controls (significant group-by-time interactions). When controlling for BMI and VO 2 peak, the interactions disappeared. In both groups combined, BMI was correlated significantly with carotid Ep and β at rest. VO 2 peak correlated significantly with AIx-75 and its pre-post change (r=-0.45, P=0.029; r=0.47, P=0.033, respectively). The arterial stiffness responses to maximal exercise in persons with DS were blunted, potentially reflecting diminished vascular reserve. Obesity and particularly VO 2 peak influenced these findings. These results suggest impaired vascular function in people with DS. PMID:23883823

  8. Fullerenol Nanoparticles with Structural Activity Induce Variable Intracellular Actin Filament Morphologies.

    PubMed

    Jin, Junjiang; Dong, Ying; Wang, Ying; Xia, Lin; Gu, Weihong; Bai, Xue; Chang, Yanan; Zhang, Mingyi; Chen, Kui; Li, Juan; Zhao, Lina; Xing, Gengmei

    2016-06-01

    Fullerenol nanoparticles are promising for various biological applications; many studies have shown that they induce variable and diverse biological effects including side effects. Separation and purification of two fractions of fullerenols has demonstrated that they have varied chemical structures on the surfaces of their carbon cages. Actin is an important structural protein that is able to transform functional structures under varied physiological conditions. We assessed the abilities of the two fractions of fullerenols to attach to actin and induce variable morphological features in actin filament structures. Specifically the fullerenol fraction with a surface electric charge of -1.913 ± 0.008q (x10(-6) C) has percentages of C-OH and C=O on the carbon cage of 16.14 ± 0.60 and 17.55 ± 0.69. These features allow it to form intermolecular hydrogen bonds with actin at a stoichiometric ratio of four fullerenols per actin subunit. Molecular simulations revealed these specific binding sites and binding modes in atomic details in the interaction between the active fullerenol and actin filament. Conversely, these interactions were not possible for the other fraction of fullerenol with that percentages of C-OH and C=O on the carbon cage were 15.59 ± 0.01 and 1.94 ± 0.11. Neither sample induced appreciable cytotoxicity or acute cell death. After entering cells, active fullerenol binding to actin induces variable morphological features and may transform ATP-actin to ADP-actin. These changes facilitate the binding of ADF/cofilin, allowing cofilin to sever actin filaments to form cofilin/actin/fullerenol rods. Our findings suggest that fullerenol with structural activity binding disturbs actin filament structure, which may inhibit locomotion of cell or induce chronic side effects in to cells. PMID:27319217

  9. Linking systemic arterial stiffness among adolescents to adverse childhood experiences.

    PubMed

    Klassen, Stephen A; Chirico, Daniele; O'Leary, Deborah D; Cairney, John; Wade, Terrance J

    2016-06-01

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been linked with cardiovascular disease and early mortality among adults. Most research examines this relationship retrospectively. Examining the association between ACEs and children's cardiovascular health is required to understand the time course of this association. We examined the relationship between ACEs exposure and ECG-to-toe pulse wave velocity (PWV), a measure of systemic arterial stiffness that is strongly related to cardiovascular mortality among adults. PWV (distance/transit time; m/s) was calculated using transit times from the ECG R-wave to the pulse wave contour at the toe. Transit times were collected over 15 heartbeats and the distance from the sternal notch to the left middle toe was used. A total of 221 children (119 females) aged 10-14 years participated in data collection of PWV, hemodynamic and anthropometric variables. Parents of these children completed a modified inventory of ACEs taken from the Childhood Trust Events Survey. Multivariable regression assessed the relationship between ACEs group (<4 ACEs versus ≥4 ACEs) and PWV. Analyses yielded an ACEs group by sex interaction, with males who experienced four or more ACEs having higher PWV (p<0.01). This association was independent of hemodynamic, anthropometric and sociodemographic variables (R(2)=0.346; p<0.01). Four or more ACEs is associated with greater arterial stiffness in male children aged 10-14 years. Addressing stress and trauma exposure in childhood is an important target for public health interventions to reduce early cardiovascular risk. PMID:27107504

  10. Effects of inorganic phosphate analogues on stiffness and unloaded shortening of skinned muscle fibres from rabbit.

    PubMed Central

    Chase, P B; Martyn, D A; Kushmerick, M J; Gordon, A M

    1993-01-01

    1. We examined the effects of aluminofluoride (AlFx) and orthovanadate (Vi), tightly binding analogues of orthophosphate (Pi), on the mechanical properties of glycerinated fibres from rabbit psoas muscle. Maximum Ca(2+)-activated force, stiffness, and unloaded shortening velocity (Vus) were measured under conditions of steady-state inhibition (up to 1 mM of inhibitor) and during the recovery from inhibition. 2. Stiffness was measured using either step or sinusoidal (1 kHz) changes in fibre length. Sarcomere length was monitored continuously by helium-neon laser diffraction during maximum Ca2+ activation. Stiffness was determined from the changes in sarcomere length and the corresponding changes in force. Vus was measured using the slack test method. 3. AlF chi and Vi each reversibly inhibited force, stiffness and Vus. Actively cycling cross-bridges were required for reversal of these inhibitory effects. Recovery from inhibition by AlF chi was 3- to 4-fold slower than that following removal of V1. 4. At various degrees of inhibition, AlF chi and Vi both inhibited steady-state isometric force more than either Vus or stiffness. For both AlF chi and Vi, the relatively greater inhibition of force over stiffness persisted during recovery from steady-state inhibition. We interpret these results to indicate that the cross-bridges with AlF chi or Vi bound are analogous to those which occur early in the cross-bridge cycle. PMID:8487194

  11. Variability in AIRS CO2 during active and break phases of Indian summer monsoon.

    PubMed

    Revadekar, J V; Ravi Kumar, K; Tiwari, Yogesh K; Valsala, Vinu

    2016-01-15

    Due to human activities, the atmospheric concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has been rising extensively since the Industrial Revolution. Indian summer monsoon (ISM) has a dominant westerly component from ocean to land with a strong tendency to ascend and hence may have role in CO2 distribution in lower and middle troposphere over Indian sub-continent. A substantial component of ISM variability arises from the fluctuations on the intra-seasonal scale between active and break phases which correspond to strong and weak monsoon circulation. In view of the above, an attempt is made in this study to examine the AIRS/AQUA satellite retrieved CO2 distribution in response to atmospheric circulation with focus on active and break phase. Correlation analysis indicates the increase in AIRS CO2 linked with strong monsoon circulation. Study also reveals that anomalous circulation pattern during active and break phase show resemblance with high and low values of AIRS CO2. Homogeneous monsoon regions of India show substantial increase in CO2 levels during active phase. Hilly regions of India show strong contrast in CO2 and vertical velocity during active and break phases. PMID:26476061

  12. Hyper-damping properties of a stiff and stable linear oscillator with a negative stiffness element

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniadis, I.; Chronopoulos, D.; Spitas, V.; Koulocheris, D.

    2015-06-01

    A simple, stiff, statically and dynamically stable linear oscillator incorporating a negative stiffness element is used as a template to provide a generic theoretical basis for a novel vibration damping and isolation concept. This oscillator is designed to present the same overall static stiffness, the same mass and to use the same damping element as a reference classical linear SDoF oscillator. Thus, no increase of the structure mass or the viscous damping is needed, as in the case of a traditional linear isolator, no decrease of the overall structure stiffness is required as in the case of 'zero-stiffness' oscillators with embedded negative stiffness elements. The difference from these two templates consists entirely in the proper redistribution and reallocation of the stiffness and the damping elements of the system. Once such an oscillator is optimally designed, it is shown to exhibit an extraordinary apparent damping ratio, which is even several orders of magnitude higher than that of the original SDoF system, especially in cases where the original damping of the SDoF system is extremely low. This extraordinary damping behavior is a result of the phase difference between the positive and the negative stiffness elastic forces, which is in turn a consequence of the proper redistribution of the stiffness and the damping elements. This fact ensures that an adequate level of elastic forces exists throughout the entire frequency range, able to counteract the inertial and the excitation forces. Consequently, a resonance phenomenon, which is inherent in the original linear SDoF system, cannot emerge in the proposed oscillator. The optimal parameter selection for the design of the negative stiffness oscillator is discussed. To further exhibit the advantages that such a design can generate, the suggested oscillator is implemented within a periodic acoustic metamaterial structure, inducing a radical increase in the damping of the propagating acoustic waves. The concept

  13. Mechanochemical model of cell migration on substrates of varying stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Tanny; Chiam, K.-H.

    2011-12-01

    Cells propel themselves along a substrate by organizing structures at the leading edge called lamellipodia that contain the actin network, myosin, integrin, and other proteins. In this article, we describe a quantitative model that couples the response of stretch-sensitive proteins in the lamellipodia to the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton, therefore allowing the cell to respond to different substrate stiffnesses. Using this model, we predict the various phases of dynamics possible, including continuous protrusion, unstable retractions leading to ruffling, and periodic protrusion-retraction cycles. We explain the necessary conditions for each type of migratory behavior to occur. In particular, we show that, for periodic protrusion-retraction cycles to occur, the stiffness of the substrate must be high, the myosin-dependent maturation rate of nascent to focal adhesions must be high, and the myosin-independent integrin activation rate must be low. In addition, we also predict the dynamics expected at a given substrate stiffness, leading to a quantitative explanation of experimental data that showed that periodic protrusion-retraction cycles disappear when cells are placed on soft substrates. We also suggest experiments with downregulating α actinin and/or talin and upregulating p130Cas and make predictions on what types of migratory dynamics will be observed.

  14. Nanoscale directional motion towards regions of stiffness.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tienchong; Zhang, Hongwei; Guo, Zhengrong; Guo, Xingming; Gao, Huajian

    2015-01-01

    How to induce nanoscale directional motion via some intrinsic mechanisms pertaining to a nanosystem remains a challenge in nanotechnology. Here we show via molecular dynamics simulations that there exists a fundamental driving force for a nanoscale object to move from a region of lower stiffness toward one of higher stiffness on a substrate. Such nanoscale directional motion is induced by the difference in effective van der Waals potential energy due to the variation in stiffness of the substrate; i.e., all other conditions being equal, a nanoscale object on a stiffer substrate has lower van der Waals potential energy. This fundamental law of nanoscale directional motion could lead to promising routes for nanoscale actuation and energy conversion. PMID:25615480

  15. Nanoscale Directional Motion towards Regions of Stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Tienchong; Zhang, Hongwei; Guo, Zhengrong; Guo, Xingming; Gao, Huajian

    2015-01-01

    How to induce nanoscale directional motion via some intrinsic mechanisms pertaining to a nanosystem remains a challenge in nanotechnology. Here we show via molecular dynamics simulations that there exists a fundamental driving force for a nanoscale object to move from a region of lower stiffness toward one of higher stiffness on a substrate. Such nanoscale directional motion is induced by the difference in effective van der Waals potential energy due to the variation in stiffness of the substrate; i.e., all other conditions being equal, a nanoscale object on a stiffer substrate has lower van der Waals potential energy. This fundamental law of nanoscale directional motion could lead to promising routes for nanoscale actuation and energy conversion.

  16. Active Learning to Overcome Sample Selection Bias: Application to Photometric Variable Star Classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, Joseph W.; Starr, Dan L.; Brink, Henrik; Miller, Adam A.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Butler, Nathaniel R.; James, J. Berian; Long, James P.; Rice, John

    2012-01-01

    Despite the great promise of machine-learning algorithms to classify and predict astrophysical parameters for the vast numbers of astrophysical sources and transients observed in large-scale surveys, the peculiarities of the training data often manifest as strongly biased predictions on the data of interest. Typically, training sets are derived from historical surveys of brighter, more nearby objects than those from more extensive, deeper surveys (testing data). This sample selection bias can cause catastrophic errors in predictions on the testing data because (1) standard assumptions for machine-learned model selection procedures break down and (2) dense regions of testing space might be completely devoid of training data. We explore possible remedies to sample selection bias, including importance weighting, co-training, and active learning (AL). We argue that AL—where the data whose inclusion in the training set would most improve predictions on the testing set are queried for manual follow-up—is an effective approach and is appropriate for many astronomical applications. For a variable star classification problem on a well-studied set of stars from Hipparcos and Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment, AL is the optimal method in terms of error rate on the testing data, beating the off-the-shelf classifier by 3.4% and the other proposed methods by at least 3.0%. To aid with manual labeling of variable stars, we developed a Web interface which allows for easy light curve visualization and querying of external databases. Finally, we apply AL to classify variable stars in the All Sky Automated Survey, finding dramatic improvement in our agreement with the ASAS Catalog of Variable Stars, from 65.5% to 79.5%, and a significant increase in the classifier's average confidence for the testing set, from 14.6% to 42.9%, after a few AL iterations.

  17. ACTIVE LEARNING TO OVERCOME SAMPLE SELECTION BIAS: APPLICATION TO PHOTOMETRIC VARIABLE STAR CLASSIFICATION

    SciTech Connect

    Richards, Joseph W.; Starr, Dan L.; Miller, Adam A.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Butler, Nathaniel R.; Berian James, J.; Brink, Henrik; Long, James P.; Rice, John

    2012-01-10

    Despite the great promise of machine-learning algorithms to classify and predict astrophysical parameters for the vast numbers of astrophysical sources and transients observed in large-scale surveys, the peculiarities of the training data often manifest as strongly biased predictions on the data of interest. Typically, training sets are derived from historical surveys of brighter, more nearby objects than those from more extensive, deeper surveys (testing data). This sample selection bias can cause catastrophic errors in predictions on the testing data because (1) standard assumptions for machine-learned model selection procedures break down and (2) dense regions of testing space might be completely devoid of training data. We explore possible remedies to sample selection bias, including importance weighting, co-training, and active learning (AL). We argue that AL-where the data whose inclusion in the training set would most improve predictions on the testing set are queried for manual follow-up-is an effective approach and is appropriate for many astronomical applications. For a variable star classification problem on a well-studied set of stars from Hipparcos and Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment, AL is the optimal method in terms of error rate on the testing data, beating the off-the-shelf classifier by 3.4% and the other proposed methods by at least 3.0%. To aid with manual labeling of variable stars, we developed a Web interface which allows for easy light curve visualization and querying of external databases. Finally, we apply AL to classify variable stars in the All Sky Automated Survey, finding dramatic improvement in our agreement with the ASAS Catalog of Variable Stars, from 65.5% to 79.5%, and a significant increase in the classifier's average confidence for the testing set, from 14.6% to 42.9%, after a few AL iterations.

  18. The compressive stiffness of human pediatric heads.

    PubMed

    Loyd, Andre Matthew; Nightingale, Roger W; Luck, Jason F; Song, Yin; Fronheiser, Lucy; Cutcliffe, Hattie; Myers, Barry S; Dale Bass, Cameron R

    2015-11-01

    Head injury is a persistent and costly problem for both children and adults. Globally, approximately 10 million people are hospitalized each year for head injuries. Knowing the structural properties of the head is important for modeling the response of the head in impact, and for providing insights into mechanisms of head injury. Hence, the goal of this study was to measure the sub-injurious structural stiffness of whole pediatric heads. 12 cadaveric pediatric (20-week-gestation to 16 years old) heads were tested in a battery of viscoelastic compression tests. The heads were compressed in both the lateral and anterior-posterior directions to 5% of gauge length at normalized deformation rates of 0.0005/s, 0.01/s, 0.1/s, and 0.3/s. Because of the non-linear nature of the response, linear regression models were used to calculate toe region (<2.5%) and elastic region (>2.5%) stiffness separately so that meaningful comparisons could be made across rate, age, and direction. The results showed that age was the dominant factor in predicting the structural stiffness of the human head. A large and statistically significant increase in the stiffness of both the toe region and the elastic region was observed with increasing age (p<0.0001), but no significant difference was seen across direction or normalized deformation rate. The stiffness of the elastic region increased from as low as 5 N/mm in the neonate to >4500 N/mm in the 16 year old. The changes in stiffness with age may be attributed to the disappearance of soft sutures and the thickening of skull bones with age. PMID:26476760

  19. Arterial stiffness, pulse pressure, and the kidney.

    PubMed

    Safar, Michel E; Plante, Gérard E; Mimran, Albert

    2015-05-01

    Classical studies indicate that the contribution of kidneys to hypertension is almost exclusively related to the association between mean arterial pressure (MAP) and vascular resistance. Recent reports including estimates of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) have shown that pulse pressure (PP) and pulse wave velocity, 2 major indices of arterial stiffness, now emerge as significant predictors of cardiovascular risk and age-associated decline in GFR. Such findings are mainly observed in patients with hypertension and renal failure and in atherosclerotic subjects undergoing coronary angiography. In such patients, amplification of PP between ascending and terminal aorta at the renal site is constantly increased over 10mm Hg (P < 0.001), whereas MAP level remains continuously unmodified. This PP amplification is significantly associated with presence of proteinuria. Furthermore, increases in plasma creatinine and aortic stiffness are independently and positively correlated (P < 0.001) both in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. All these relationships associating PP, arterial stiffness, and renal function are mainly observed in patients 60 years of age or older. Furthermore, in renal transplant patients and their donors, subjects have been recruited for evaluations of arterial stiffness and posttransplant decline in GFR. Determinants of GFR decline were evaluated 1 and 9 years after transplantation. The first year GFR decline was related to smoking and acute rejection, whereas the later was significantly and exclusively associated with donor age and aortic stiffness. Thus, in hypertensive humans, the observed association between PP and GFR suggests that the 2 parameters are substantially mediated by arterial stiffness, not exclusively by vascular resistance. PMID:25480804

  20. Variable Camber Continuous Aerodynamic Control Surfaces and Methods for Active Wing Shaping Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Nhan T. (Inventor)

    2016-01-01

    An aerodynamic control apparatus for an air vehicle improves various aerodynamic performance metrics by employing multiple spanwise flap segments that jointly form a continuous or a piecewise continuous trailing edge to minimize drag induced by lift or vortices. At least one of the multiple spanwise flap segments includes a variable camber flap subsystem having multiple chordwise flap segments that may be independently actuated. Some embodiments also employ a continuous leading edge slat system that includes multiple spanwise slat segments, each of which has one or more chordwise slat segment. A method and an apparatus for implementing active control of a wing shape are also described and include the determination of desired lift distribution to determine the improved aerodynamic deflection of the wings. Flap deflections are determined and control signals are generated to actively control the wing shape to approximate the desired deflection.

  1. Leisure time physical activity, screen time, social background, and environmental variables in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Mota, Jorge; Gomes, Helena; Almeida, Mariana; Ribeiro, José Carlos; Santos, Maria Paula

    2007-08-01

    This study analyzes the relationships between leisure time physical activity (LTPA), sedentary behaviors, socioeconomic status, and perceived environmental variables. The sample comprised 815 girls and 746 boys. In girls, non-LTPA participants reported significantly more screen time. Girls with safety concerns were more likely to be in the non-LTPA group (OR = 0.60) and those who agreed with the importance of aesthetics were more likely to be in the active-LTPA group (OR = 1.59). In girls, an increase of 1 hr of TV watching was a significant predictor of non-LTPA (OR = 0.38). LTPA for girls, but not for boys, seems to be influenced by certain modifiable factors of the built environment, as well as by time watching TV. PMID:18019587

  2. Essential Oil Composition of Phagnalon sordidum (L.) from Corsica, Chemical Variability and Antimicrobial Activity.

    PubMed

    Brunel, Marion; Vitrac, Caroline; Costa, Jean; Mzali, Fatima; Vitrac, Xavier; Muselli, Alain

    2016-03-01

    The chemical composition of Phagnalon sordidum (L.) essential oil was investigated for the first time using gas chromatography and chromatography/mass spectrometry. Seventy-six compounds, which accounted for 87.9% of the total amount, were identified in a collective essential oil of P. sordidum from Corsica. The main essential oil components were (E)-β-caryophyllene (14.4%), β-pinene (11.0%), thymol (9.0%), and hexadecanoic acid (5.3%). The chemical compositions of essential oils from 19 Corsican locations were investigated. The study of the chemical variability using statistical analysis allowed identifying direct correlation between the three populations of P. sordidum widespread in Corsica and the essential oil compositions they produce. The in vitro antimicrobial activity of P. sordidum essential oil was evaluated and it exhibited a notable activity on a large panel of clinically significant microorganisms. PMID:26916729

  3. Characterizing biological variability in livestock blood cholinesterase activity for biomonitoring organophosphate nerve agent exposure.

    PubMed

    Halbrook, R S; Shugart, L R; Watson, A P; Munro, N B; Linnabary, R D

    1992-09-01

    A biomonitoring protocol, using blood cholinesterase (ChE) activity in livestock as a monitor of potential organophosphate nerve agent exposure during the planned destruction of US unitary chemical warfare agent stockpiles, is described. The experimental design included analysis of blood ChE activity in individual healthy sheep, horses, and dairy and beef cattle during a 10- to 12-month period. Castrated and sexually intact males, pregnant and lactating females, and adult and immature animals were examined through at least one reproductive cycle. The same animals were used throughout the period of observation and were not exposed to ChE-inhibiting organophosphate or carbamate compounds. A framework for an effective biomonitoring protocol within a monitoring area includes establishing individual baseline blood ChE activity for a sentinel group of 6 animals on the bases of blood samples collected over a 6-month period, monthly collection of blood samples for ChE-activity determination during monitoring, and selection of adult animals as sentinels. Exposure to ChE-inhibiting compounds would be suspected when all blood ChE activity of all animals within the sentinel group are decreased greater than 20% from their own baseline value. Sentinel species selection is primarily a logistical and operational concern; however, sheep appear to be the species of choice because within-individual baseline ChE activity and among age and gender group ChE activity in sheep had the least variability, compared with data from other species. This protocol provides an effective and efficient means for detecting abnormal depressions in blood ChE activity in livestock and can serve as a valuable indicator of the extent of actual plume movement and/or deposition in the event of organophosphate nerve agent release. PMID:1399773

  4. Characterizing biological variability in livestock blood cholinesterase activity for biomonitoring organophosphate nerve agent exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Halbrook, R.S.; Shugart, L.R.; Watson, A.P.; Munro, N.B.; Linnabary, R.D. )

    1992-09-01

    A biomonitoring protocol, using blood cholinesterase (ChE) activity in livestock as a monitor of potential organophosphate nerve agent exposure during the planned destruction of US unitary chemical warfare agent stockpiles, is described. The experimental design included analysis of blood ChE activity in individual healthy sheep, horses, and dairy and beef cattle during a 10- to 12-month period. Castrated and sexually intact males, pregnant and lactating females, and adult and immature animals were examined through at least one reproductive cycle. The same animals were used throughout the period of observation and were not exposed to ChE-inhibiting organophosphate or carbamate compounds. A framework for an effective biomonitoring protocol within a monitoring area includes establishing individual baseline blood ChE activity for a sentinel group of 6 animals on the bases of blood samples collected over a 6-month period, monthly collection of blood samples for ChE-activity determination during monitoring, and selection of adult animals as sentinels. Exposure to ChE-inhibiting compounds would be suspected when all blood ChE activity of all animals within the sentinel group are decreased greater than 20% from their own baseline value. Sentinel species selection is primarily a logistical and operational concern; however, sheep appear to be the species of choice because within-individual baseline ChE activity and among age and gender group ChE activity in sheep had the least variability, compared with data from other species. This protocol provides an effective and efficient means for detecting abnormal depressions in blood ChE activity in livestock and can serve as a valuable indicator of the extent of actual plume movement and/or deposition in the event of organophosphate nerve agent release.

  5. Changes in the Hurst Exponent of Heart Rate Variability during Physical Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aoyagi, Naoko; Kiyono, Ken; Struzik, Zbigniew R.; Yamamoto, Yoshiharu

    2005-08-01

    We examine fractal scaling properties of heart rate variability using detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA), during physical activity in healthy subjects. We analyze 11 records of healthy subjects, which include both usual daily activity and experimental exercise. The subjects were asked to ride on a bicycle ergometer for 2.5 hours, and maintained a heartbeat interval of 500-600 ms. In order to estimate the long-range correlation in the series of heartbeat intervals during controlled physical activity, we apply DFA to the data set with the third-order polynomial trend removed. For all records during exercise, we observe a characteristic crossover phenomenon at ≈ 300 beats. The scaling exponent in the range > 300 beats (> 3 minutes) during exercise decreases and tends to be closer to white noise (≈ 0.5), which corresponds to uncorrelated behavior. The long-range scaling exponent during exercise is significantly lower than that during daily activity in this range. Contrary to the currently held view, our results indicate a breakdown in long-range correlations and 1/f-like scaling, rather than the increase in the Hurst exponent characteristic of a (congestive) increase in afterload and observed, e.g., in congestive heart failure (CHF) patients. Further, our results suggest an increased load imbalance induced departure from critical-like behavior, which has recently been reported in healthy human heart rate during daily activity.

  6. Elastic-Stiffness Coefficients of Titanium Diboride

    PubMed Central

    Ledbetter, Hassel; Tanaka, Takaho

    2009-01-01

    Using resonance ultrasound spectroscopy, we measured the monocrystal elastic-stiffness coefficients, the Voigt Cij, of TiB2. With hexagonal symmetry, TiB2 exhibits five independent Cij: C11, C33, C44, C12, C13. Using Voigt-Reuss-Hill averaging, we converted these monocrystal values to quasiisotropic (polycrystal) elastic stiffnesses. Briefly, we comment on effects of voids. From the Cij, we calculated the Debye characteristic temperature, the Grüneisen parameter, and various sound velocities. Our study resolves the enormous differences between two previous reports of TiB2’s Cij.

  7. Hydrostatic bearing arrangement for high stiffness support of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neill, Douglas R.; Krabbendam, Victor L.; Romero, Mario; Olsson, Karl-Olof; Benigni, Thomas G.

    2008-07-01

    Meeting the stringent slew and settling requirements of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will require an exceptionally stiff mount. The unique three mirror design and large, 64 cm diameter, focal plane preclude the use of a fast steering mirror or active focal plane. Consequently, a smooth (low vibrations) drive and bearing system is also required. This combination of smooth motion and high stiffness is best achieved with hydrostatic bearings. Hydrostatic bearings have historically proven use for the support of azimuth and elevation axes of telescopes due to these performance advantages. In addition to the known benefit of mount stiffness and tracking accuracy from exceedingly low friction, the hydrostatic bearing provides a wide range of geometric possibilities for large telescopes, reference 1. This paper analyzes various bearing arrangements for the azimuth and elevation axes of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope to conceptualize the greatest stiffness for the mount and provide data to determine system performance.

  8. IMEX Runge-Kutta Schemes and Hyperbolic Systems of Conservation Laws with Stiff Diffusive Relaxation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boscarino, S.; Pareschi, L.; Russo, G.

    2009-09-01

    Hyperbolic system of conservation laws often have relaxation terms that, under a suitable scaling, lead to a reduced system of parabolic or hyperbolic type. The development of numerical methods to solve systems of this form his an active area of research. These systems in addition to the stiff relaxation term have the convection term stiff too. In this paper we will mainly concentrate on the study of the stiff regime. In fact in this stiff regime most of the popular methods for the solution of these system fail to capture the correct behavior of the relaxation limit unless the small relaxation rate is numericaly resolved. We will show how to overcome this difficulties and how to construct numerical schemes with the correct asymnptotic limit, i.e., the correct zero-relaxation limit should be preserved at a discrete level.

  9. Effect of process variables on the production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates by activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Mokhtarani, Nader; Ganjidoust, Hossein; Vasheghani Farahani, Ebrahim

    2012-01-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates are known to be temporarily stored by microorganisms in activated sludge, especially in anaerobic-aerobic processes. Due to the problems resulted from the disposals of plastic wastes and excess sludge of wastewater treatment plants, the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates by treating activated sludge and determining the effect of process variables were the main issues of this paper. In this research, an anaerobic-aerobic sequencing batch reactor was used to make microorganism adapted and a batch aerobic reactor was used for enriching them. The variables affecting polyhydroxyalkanoates production including aeration time, sludge retention time, and volatile fatty acids concentration of the influent in sequencing batch reactor, and also carbon to nitrogen ratio and cultivation time in polymer production reactor, were investigated using Taguchi statistical approach to determine optimum conditions. The maximum polymer production of 29% was achieved at sludge retention time of 5-10 days, aeration time of 2 hours, supplementation of 40% of volatile fatty acids in the influent and increasing of carbon to nitrogen ratio of polymer production reactor to above 25 g/g. Based on the results, in optimum conditions, the volatile fatty acids concentration which increased the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates up to 49% was the most effective variable. Carbon to nitrogen ratio, sludge retention time and aeration time were ranked as the next affecting parameters. Although the polyhydroxyalkanoates content achieved in present study is much lower than that by pure culture, but the proposed method may still serve well as an environmental friendly means to convert waste into valuable product. PMID:23369512

  10. Physical activity, mindfulness meditation, or heart rate variability biofeedback for stress reduction: a randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    van der Zwan, Judith Esi; de Vente, Wieke; Huizink, Anja C; Bögels, Susan M; de Bruin, Esther I

    2015-12-01

    In contemporary western societies stress is highly prevalent, therefore the need for stress-reducing methods is great. This randomized controlled trial compared the efficacy of self-help physical activity (PA), mindfulness meditation (MM), and heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) in reducing stress and its related symptoms. We randomly allocated 126 participants to PA, MM, or HRV-BF upon enrollment, of whom 76 agreed to participate. The interventions consisted of psycho-education and an introduction to the specific intervention techniques and 5 weeks of daily exercises at home. The PA exercises consisted of a vigorous-intensity activity of free choice. The MM exercises consisted of guided mindfulness meditation. The HRV-BF exercises consisted of slow breathing with a heart rate variability biofeedback device. Participants received daily reminders for their exercises and were contacted weekly to monitor their progress. They completed questionnaires prior to, directly after, and 6 weeks after the intervention. Results indicated an overall beneficial effect consisting of reduced stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, and improved psychological well-being and sleep quality. No significant between-intervention effect was found, suggesting that PA, MM, and HRV-BF are equally effective in reducing stress and its related symptoms. These self-help interventions provide easily accessible help for people with stress complaints. PMID:26111942

  11. On heart rate variability and autonomic activity in homeostasis and in systemic inflammation.

    PubMed

    Scheff, Jeremy D; Griffel, Benjamin; Corbett, Siobhan A; Calvano, Steve E; Androulakis, Ioannis P

    2014-06-01

    Analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) is a promising diagnostic technique due to the noninvasive nature of the measurements involved and established correlations with disease severity, particularly in inflammation-linked disorders. However, the complexities underlying the interpretation of HRV complicate understanding the mechanisms that cause variability. Despite this, such interpretations are often found in literature. In this paper we explored mathematical modeling of the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and the heart, incorporating basic mechanisms such as perturbing mean values of oscillating autonomic activities and saturating signal transduction pathways to explore their impacts on HRV. We focused our analysis on human endotoxemia, a well-established, controlled experimental model of systemic inflammation that provokes changes in HRV representative of acute stress. By contrasting modeling results with published experimental data and analyses, we found that even a simple model linking the autonomic nervous system and the heart confound the interpretation of HRV changes in human endotoxemia. Multiple plausible alternative hypotheses, encoded in a model-based framework, equally reconciled experimental results. In total, our work illustrates how conventional assumptions about the relationships between autonomic activity and frequency-domain HRV metrics break down, even in a simple model. This underscores the need for further experimental work towards unraveling the underlying mechanisms of autonomic dysfunction and HRV changes in systemic inflammation. Understanding the extent of information encoded in HRV signals is critical in appropriately analyzing prior and future studies. PMID:24680646

  12. On heart rate variability and autonomic activity in homeostasis and in systemic inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Scheff, Jeremy D.; Griffel, Benjamin; Corbett, Siobhan A.; Calvano, Steve E.; Androulakis, Ioannis P.

    2014-01-01

    Analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) is a promising diagnostic technique due to the noninvasive nature of the measurements involved and established correlations with disease severity, particularly in inflammation-linked disorders. However, the complexities underlying the interpretation of HRV complicate understanding the mechanisms that cause variability. Despite this, such interpretations are often found in literature. In this paper we explored mathematical modeling of the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and the heart, incorporating basic mechanisms such as perturbing mean values of oscillating autonomic activities and saturating signal transduction pathways to explore their impacts on HRV. We focused our analysis on human endotoxemia, a well-established, controlled experimental model of systemic inflammation that provokes changes in HRV representative of acute stress. By contrasting modeling results with published experimental data and analyses, we found that even a simple model linking the autonomic nervous system and the heart confound the interpretation of HRV changes in human endotoxemia. Multiple plausible alternative hypotheses, encoded in a model-based framework, equally reconciled experimental results. In total, our work illustrates how conventional assumptions about the relationships between autonomic activity and frequency-domain HRV metrics break down, even in a simple model. This underscores the need for further experimental work towards unraveling the underlying mechanisms of autonomic dysfunction and HRV changes in systemic inflammation. Understanding the extent of information encoded in HRV signals is critical in appropriately analyzing prior and future studies. PMID:24680646

  13. Application of a local linearization technique for the solution of a system of stiff differential equations associated with the simulation of a magnetic bearing assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kibler, K. S.; Mcdaniel, G. A.

    1981-01-01

    A digital local linearization technique was used to solve a system of stiff differential equations which simulate a magnetic bearing assembly. The results prove the technique to be accurate, stable, and efficient when compared to a general purpose variable order Adams method with a stiff option.

  14. Cancer cell stiffness: integrated roles of three-dimensional matrix stiffness and transforming potential.

    PubMed

    Baker, Erin L; Lu, Jing; Yu, Dihua; Bonnecaze, Roger T; Zaman, Muhammad H

    2010-10-01

    While significant advances have been made toward revealing the molecular mechanisms that influence breast cancer progression, much less is known about the associated cellular mechanical properties. To this end, we use particle-tracking microrheology to investigate the interplay among intracellular mechanics, three-dimensional matrix stiffness, and transforming potential in a mammary epithelial cell (MEC) cancer progression series. We use a well-characterized model system where human-derived MCF10A MECs overexpress either ErbB2, 14-3-3ζ, or both ErbB2 and 14-3-3ζ, with empty vector as a control. Our results show that MECs possessing ErbB2 transforming potential stiffen in response to elevated matrix stiffness, whereas non-transformed MECs or those overexpressing only 14-3-3ζ do no exhibit this response. We further observe that overexpression of ErbB2 alone is associated with the highest degree of intracellular sensitivity to matrix stiffness, and that the effect of transforming potential on intracellular stiffness is matrix-stiffness-dependent. Moreover, our intracellular stiffness measurements parallel cell migration behavior that has been previously reported for these MEC sublines. Given the current knowledge base of breast cancer mechanobiology, these findings suggest that there may be a positive relationship among intracellular stiffness sensitivity, cell motility, and perturbed mechanotransduction in breast cancer. PMID:20923638

  15. Differentiation between non-neural and neural contributors to ankle joint stiffness in cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Spastic paresis in cerebral palsy (CP) is characterized by increased joint stiffness that may be of neural origin, i.e. improper muscle activation caused by e.g. hyperreflexia or non-neural origin, i.e. altered tissue viscoelastic properties (clinically: “spasticity” vs. “contracture”). Differentiation between these components is hard to achieve by common manual tests. We applied an assessment instrument to obtain quantitative measures of neural and non-neural contributions to ankle joint stiffness in CP. Methods Twenty-three adolescents with CP and eleven healthy subjects were seated with their foot fixated to an electrically powered single axis footplate. Passive ramp-and-hold rotations were applied over full ankle range of motion (RoM) at low and high velocities. Subject specific tissue stiffness, viscosity and reflexive torque were estimated from ankle angle, torque and triceps surae EMG activity using a neuromuscular model. Results In CP, triceps surae reflexive torque was on average 5.7 times larger (p = .002) and tissue stiffness 2.1 times larger (p = .018) compared to controls. High tissue stiffness was associated with reduced RoM (p < .001). Ratio between neural and non-neural contributors varied substantially within adolescents with CP. Significant associations of SPAT (spasticity test) score with both tissue stiffness and reflexive torque show agreement with clinical phenotype. Conclusions Using an instrumented and model based approach, increased joint stiffness in CP could be mainly attributed to higher reflexive torque compared to control subjects. Ratios between contributors varied substantially within adolescents with CP. Quantitative differentiation of neural and non-neural stiffness contributors in CP allows for assessment of individual patient characteristics and tailoring of therapy. PMID:23880287

  16. Variability in Shallow Subduction Zone Locking Inferred From Earthquake Activity Near Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, A.; Newman, A. V.; Thomas, A. M.; Farmer, G. T.

    2006-12-01

    At the collisional plate interface of subduction zones, the majority of the world's large and great earthquakes are produced. Thus, to understand the processes that control earthquake generation here, it is important to improve our characterization of activity along the interface. We evaluate ~1000 earthquakes recorded in the shallow subduction environment of the Middle America Trench (MAT) near Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, in terms of its frequency-magnitude distribution (Log10N=a-bM) of the microseismicity. Globally, earthquake distributions have b-values near 1, meaning a 10-fold decrease in activity with each unit magnitude, M increase, and can be used to characterize the strength of locking. The unique geometry of Nicoya over the active seismogenic interface gives us a rare opportunity to explore the region with unparalleled precision. From more than 7000 earthquakes recorded by the 1999-2001 CRSEIZE project, we estimated magnitudes, and precisely relocated events using a locally derived 3D V_p and V_p/V_s velocity model (DeShon et al., 2006). Using geometric constraints and events with lowest horizontal error (<2 km σ), we created a subset of best resolved slab and interface activity. Using a methodology similar to Wiemer et al. (2001), we determined the mean and spatial variability of b. We find that generally the interface below Nicoya has b=1.4, much higher than subduction zone averages of b=0.5 to 0.8 ( Bayrak et al., 2002), thus inferring a generally weak interface. More interestingly, there was strong spatial variability in b (and hence coupling). A well resolved zone of lower b (~1), is observed offshore the central Nicoya coast, in a region previously identified as strongly coupled by modeling of GPS observed deformation (Norabuena et al., 2004). Extremely high values are on either side (b > 2), near previous large interface earthquakes in 1990 and 1992. We infer that the low b-value area offshore central Nicoya identifies a more strongly

  17. Geographic Variability and Anti-Staphylococcal Activity of the Chrysophaentins and Their Synthetic Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Keffer, Jessica L.; Hammill, Jared T.; Lloyd, John R.; Plaza, Alberto; Wipf, Peter; Bewley, Carole A.

    2012-01-01

    Drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a continuing public health concern, both in the hospital and community settings. Antibacterial compounds that possess novel structural scaffolds and are effective against multiple S. aureus strains, including current drug-resistant ones, are needed. Previously, we have described the chrysophaentins, a family of bisdiarylbutene macrocycles from the chrysophyte alga Chrysophaeum taylori that inhibit the growth of S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). In this study we have analyzed the geographic variability of chrysophaentin production in C. taylori located at different sites on the island of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, and identified two new linear chrysophaentin analogs, E2 and E3. In addition, we have expanded the structure activity relationship through synthesis of fragments comprising conserved portions of the chrysophaentins, and determined the antimicrobial activity of natural chrysophaentins and their synthetic analogs against five diverse S. aureus strains. We find that the chrysophaentins show similar activity against all S. aureus strains, regardless of their drug sensitivity profiles. The synthetic chrysophaentin fragments indeed mimic the natural compounds in their spectrum of antibacterial activity, and therefore represent logical starting points for future medicinal chemistry studies of the natural products and their analogs. PMID:22822360

  18. Computer program performs stiffness matrix structural analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bamford, R.; Batchelder, R.; Schmele, L.; Wada, B. K.

    1968-01-01

    Computer program generates the stiffness matrix for a particular type of structure from geometrical data, and performs static and normal mode analyses. It requires the structure to be modeled as a stable framework of uniform, weightless members, and joints at which loads are applied and weights are lumped.

  19. Dynamic stiffness removal for direct numerical simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Tianfeng; Law, Chung K.; Yoo, Chun Sang; Chen, Jacqueline H.

    2009-08-15

    A systematic approach was developed to derive non-stiff reduced mechanisms for direct numerical simulations (DNS) with explicit integration solvers. The stiffness reduction was achieved through on-the-fly elimination of short time-scales induced by two features of fast chemical reactivity, namely quasi-steady-state (QSS) species and partial-equilibrium (PE) reactions. The sparse algebraic equations resulting from QSS and PE approximations were utilized such that the efficiency of the dynamic stiffness reduction is high compared with general methods of time-scale reduction based on Jacobian decomposition. Using the dimension reduction strategies developed in our previous work, a reduced mechanism with 52 species was first derived from a detailed mechanism with 561 species. The reduced mechanism was validated for ignition and extinction applications over the parameter range of equivalence ratio between 0.5 and 1.5, pressure between 10 and 50 atm, and initial temperature between 700 and 1600 K for ignition, and worst-case errors of approximately 30% were observed. The reduced mechanism with dynamic stiffness removal was then applied in homogeneous and 1-D ignition applications, as well as a 2-D direct numerical simulation of ignition with temperature inhomogeneities at constant volume with integration time-steps of 5-10 ns. The integration was numerically stable and good accuracy was achieved. (author)

  20. [Anaesthetic management of Stiff Man syndrome].

    PubMed

    Marín, T; Hernando, D; Kinast, N; Churruca, I; Sabate, S

    2015-04-01

    Stiff Man syndrome or stiff-person syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder. It is characterized by increased axial muscular tone and limb musculature, and painful spasms triggered by stimulus. The case is presented of a 44-year-old man with stiff-person syndrome undergoing an injection of botulinum toxin in the urethral sphincter under sedation. Before induction, all the surgical team were ready in order to minimise the anaesthetic time. The patient was monitored by continuous ECG, SpO2 and non-invasive blood pressure. He was induced with fractional dose of propofol 150 mg, fentanyl 50 μg and midazolam 1mg. Despite careful titration, the patient had an O2 saturation level of 90%,which was resolved by manual ventilation. There was no muscle rigidity or spasm during the operation. Post-operative recovery was uneventful and the patient was discharged 2 days later. A review of other cases is presented. The anaesthetic concern in patients with stiff-person syndrome is the interaction between the anaesthetic agents, the preoperative medication, and the GABA system. For a safe anaesthetic management, total intravenous anaesthesia is recommended instead of inhalation anaesthetics, as well as the close monitoring of the respiratory function and the application of the electrical nerve stimulator when neuromuscular blockers are used. PMID:25060949

  1. Vibrating Beam With Spatially Periodic Stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, John S.

    1989-01-01

    Report presents theoretical analysis of vibrations of simply supported beam, bending stiffness varying about steady value, sinusoidally with position along length. Problem of practical importance because related to vibrations of twisted-pair electric-power transmission lines. Twists promote nonuniform shedding of vortexes and prevents resonant accumulation of vibrational energy from wind.

  2. 49 CFR 213.359 - Track stiffness.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TRACK SAFETY STANDARDS Train Operations at Track Classes 6 and Higher § 213.359 Track stiffness. (a) Track shall have a sufficient vertical strength to withstand the maximum vehicle loads generated at maximum permissible train speeds, cant deficiencies and surface defects. For...

  3. 49 CFR 213.359 - Track stiffness.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TRACK SAFETY STANDARDS Train Operations at Track Classes 6 and Higher § 213.359 Track stiffness. (a) Track shall have a sufficient vertical strength to withstand the maximum vehicle loads generated at maximum permissible train speeds, cant deficiencies and surface defects. For...

  4. 49 CFR 213.359 - Track stiffness.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TRACK SAFETY STANDARDS Train Operations at Track Classes 6 and Higher § 213.359 Track stiffness. (a) Track shall have a sufficient vertical strength to withstand the maximum vehicle loads generated at maximum permissible train speeds, cant deficiencies and surface defects. For...

  5. 49 CFR 213.359 - Track stiffness.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TRACK SAFETY STANDARDS Train Operations at Track Classes 6 and Higher § 213.359 Track stiffness. (a) Track shall have a sufficient vertical strength to withstand the maximum vehicle loads generated at maximum permissible train speeds, cant deficiencies and surface defects. For...

  6. 49 CFR 213.359 - Track stiffness.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TRACK SAFETY STANDARDS Train Operations at Track Classes 6 and Higher § 213.359 Track stiffness. (a) Track shall have a sufficient vertical strength to withstand the maximum vehicle loads generated at maximum permissible train speeds, cant deficiencies and surface defects. For...

  7. Assessment of Liver and Spleen Stiffness in Patients With Myelofibrosis Using FibroScan and Shear Wave Elastography.

    PubMed

    Webb, Muriel; Shibolet, Oren; Halpern, Zamir; Nagar, Meital; Amariglio, Ninette; Levit, Stella; Steinberg, David M; Santo, Erwin; Salomon, Ophira

    2015-09-01

    Liver stiffness and spleen stiffness in patients with myelofibrosis have traditionally been assessed through manual palpation and thus influenced by interobserver variability. In this article, for the first time, liver stiffness and spleen stiffness of patients with myelofibrosis were evaluated through FibroScan and shear wave elastography (SWE). Nine patients with myelofibrosis comprised the study group. They were compared with 11 patients with liver cirrhosis and 8 healthy volunteers. Before the FibroScan study, all patients underwent ultrasound study to delineate the left intercostal space for validated measurements. In patients with myelofibrosis, the mean stiffness of the spleen was 41.3 and 32.9 kilopascals (kPa) through FibroScan and SWE, respectively. The mean stiffness of the liver was 7.8 kPa through FibroScan and 10.4 kPa through SWE. The stiffness of the spleen in patients with cirrhosis was even higher, reaching a mean of 58.5 kPa through FibroScan and 40.5 kPa through SWE. The means were considerably lower among the healthy controls (13.5 and 18.1 kPa, respectively). The correlation between spleen stiffness among the patients with cirrhosis is negative and opposite in direction (r = -0.35) in comparison with the patients with myelofibrosis (r = 0.78). Among the patients with liver cirrhosis and myelofibrosis, spleen size was weakly related to spleen stiffness as assessed through SWE (r = 0.49) but had almost no relation to the FibroScan measure (r = 0.13). The FibroScan and SWE of the spleen have little ability to distinguish between the patients with myelofibrosis and cirrhosis, but they do differentiate both patient groups from the healthy controls. The stiffness of spleen and liver as measured through FibroScan and SWE was not correlated to the longevity of myelofibrosis. PMID:26366688

  8. MEASURING X-RAY VARIABILITY IN FAINT/SPARSELY SAMPLED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Allevato, V.; Paolillo, M.; Papadakis, I.; Pinto, C.

    2013-07-01

    We study the statistical properties of the normalized excess variance of variability process characterized by a ''red-noise'' power spectral density (PSD), as in the case of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We perform Monte Carlo simulations of light curves, assuming both a continuous and a sparse sampling pattern and various signal-to-noise ratios (S/Ns). We show that the normalized excess variance is a biased estimate of the variance even in the case of continuously sampled light curves. The bias depends on the PSD slope and on the sampling pattern, but not on the S/N. We provide a simple formula to account for the bias, which yields unbiased estimates with an accuracy better than 15%. We show that the normalized excess variance estimates based on single light curves (especially for sparse sampling and S/N < 3) are highly uncertain (even if corrected for bias) and we propose instead the use of an ''ensemble estimate'', based on multiple light curves of the same object, or on the use of light curves of many objects. These estimates have symmetric distributions, known errors, and can also be corrected for biases. We use our results to estimate the ability to measure the intrinsic source variability in current data, and show that they could also be useful in the planning of the observing strategy of future surveys such as those provided by X-ray missions studying distant and/or faint AGN populations and, more in general, in the estimation of the variability amplitude of sources that will result from future surveys such as Pan-STARRS and LSST.

  9. A standardized approach to study human variability in isometric thermogenesis during low-intensity physical activity

    PubMed Central

    Sarafian, Delphine; Miles-Chan, Jennifer L.; Yepuri, Gayathri; Montani, Jean-Pierre; Schutz, Yves; Dulloo, Abdul G.

    2013-01-01

    Limitations of current methods: The assessment of human variability in various compartments of daily energy expenditure (EE) under standardized conditions is well defined at rest [as basal metabolic rate (BMR) and thermic effect of feeding (TEF)], and currently under validation for assessing the energy cost of low-intensity dynamic work. However, because physical activities of daily life consist of a combination of both dynamic and isometric work, there is also a need to develop standardized tests for assessing human variability in the energy cost of low-intensity isometric work. Experimental objectives: Development of an approach to study human variability in isometric thermogenesis by incorporating a protocol of intermittent leg press exercise of varying low-intensity isometric loads with measurements of EE by indirect calorimetry. Results: EE was measured in the seated position with the subject at rest or while intermittently pressing both legs against a press-platform at 5 low-intensity isometric loads (+5, +10, +15, +20, and +25 kg force), each consisting of a succession of 8 cycles of press (30 s) and rest (30 s). EE, integrated over each 8-min period of the intermittent leg press exercise, was found to increase linearly across the 5 isometric loads with a correlation coefficient (r) > 0.9 for each individual. The slope of this EE-Load relationship, which provides the energy cost of this standardized isometric exercise expressed per kg force applied intermittently (30 s in every min), was found to show good repeatability when assessed in subjects who repeated the same experimental protocol on 3 separate days: its low intra-individual coefficient of variation (CV) of ~ 10% contrasted with its much higher inter-individual CV of 35%; the latter being mass-independent but partly explained by height. Conclusion: This standardized approach to study isometric thermogenesis opens up a new avenue for research in EE phenotyping and metabolic predisposition to obesity

  10. LONG-TERM OPTICAL CONTINUUM COLOR VARIABILITY OF NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Sakata, Yu; Minezaki, Takeo; Yoshii, Yuzuru; Uchimoto, Yuka Katsuno; Sugawara, Shota; Kobayashi, Yukiyasu; Koshida, Shintaro; Aoki, Tsutomu; Tomita, Hiroyuki; Enya, Keigo; Suganuma, Masahiro

    2010-03-01

    We examine whether the spectral energy distribution of optical continuum emission of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) changes during flux variation, based on accurate and frequent monitoring observations of 11 nearby Seyfert galaxies and QSOs carried out in the B, V, and I bands for seven years by the MAGNUM telescope. The multi-epoch flux data in any two different bands obtained on the same night show a very tight linear flux-to-flux relationship for all target AGNs. The flux of the host galaxy within the photometric aperture is carefully estimated by surface brightness fitting to available high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope images and MAGNUM images. The flux of narrow emission lines in the photometric bands is also estimated from available spectroscopic data. We find that the non-variable component of the host galaxy plus narrow emission lines for all target AGNs is located on the fainter extension of the linear regression line of multi-epoch flux data in the flux-to-flux diagram. This result strongly indicates that the spectral shape of AGN continuum emission in the optical region ({approx}4400-7900 A) does not systematically change during flux variation. The trend of spectral hardening that optical continuum emission becomes bluer as it becomes brighter, which has been reported by many studies, is therefore interpreted as the domination of the variable component of the nearly constant spectral shape of an AGN as it brightens over the non-variable component of the host galaxy plus narrow lines, which is usually redder than AGN continuum emission.

  11. The variability in DMSP content and DMSP lyase activity in marine dinoflagellates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caruana, Amandine M. N.; Malin, Gill

    2014-01-01

    More than 20 years ago Maureen Keller and co-workers published a study that identified dinoflagellates as an important marine phytoplankton group with respect to the production of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP). Here, we present a synthesis and analysis of all the DMSP and DMSP lyase activity (DLA) measurements currently available for dinoflagellates. The data cover 110 species and strains and reveal over 6 orders of magnitude variability in intracellular DMSP concentrations and substantial variations in DLA in 23 strains. Inter-specific variability was explored with reference to a range of biological characteristics. The presence of a theca did not appear to be related to DMSP concentration but there was a potential relationship with toxicity (P = 0.06) and bioluminescent species produced significantly lower concentrations (P < 0.01) than non-bioluminescent ones. DMSP concentrations were related to plastid types (P < 0.05); dinoflagellates with haptophyte-like plastids contained lower amounts of DMSP than those with peridinin plastids (P < 0.01), whereas those containing cryptomonad-like plastids tended to have higher DMSP concentrations. Heterotrophic dinoflagellates were also considered given their importance in the natural environment. They are the only heterotrophs known to synthesise DMSP and this ability may support the theory that they are of photosynthetic origin. However, the heterotrophic species investigated so far suggest wide variability in DMSP content and the species Oxyrrhis marina had no detectable DMSP. The oceanic province of origin significantly affected the DMSP concentrations (P < 0.05) with higher DMSP content observed in dinoflagellates from the Mediterranean province, the Kuroshio Current province and the East Coastal Australian province. Overall this study supports the concept that DMSP-containing dinoflagellates are an important potential source of DMS to the global atmosphere and highlights current gaps in knowledge.

  12. Controlling Knee Swing Initiation and Ankle Plantarflexion With an Active Prosthesis on Level and Inclined Surfaces at Variable Walking Speeds

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Ann M.; Young, Aaron J.; Hargrove, Levi J.

    2014-01-01

    Improving lower-limb prostheses is important to enhance the mobility of amputees. The purpose of this paper is to introduce an impedance-based control strategy (consisting of four novel algorithms) for an active knee and ankle prosthesis and test its generalizability across multiple walking speeds, walking surfaces, and users. The four algorithms increased ankle stiffness throughout stance, decreased knee stiffness during terminal stance, as well as provided powered ankle plantarflexion and knee swing initiation through modifications of equilibrium positions of the ankle and knee, respectively. Seven amputees (knee disarticulation and transfemoral levels) walked at slow, comfortable, and hurried speeds on level and inclined (10°) surfaces. The prosthesis was tuned at their comfortable level ground walking speed. We further quantified trends in prosthetic knee and ankle kinematics, and kinetics across conditions. Subjects modulated their walking speed by ±25% (average) from their comfortable speeds. As speed increased, increasing ankle angles and velocities as well as stance phase ankle power and plantarflexion torque were observed. At slow and comfortable speeds, plantarflexion torque was increased on the incline. At slow and comfortable speeds, stance phase positive knee power was increased and knee torque more flexor on the incline. As speed increased, knee torque became less flexor on the incline. These algorithms were shown to generalize well across speed, produce gait mechanics that compare favorably with non-amputee data, and display evidence of scalable device function. They have the potential to reduce the challenge of clinically configuring such devices and increase their viability during daily use. PMID:27170878

  13. Ankle Bracing and the Neuromuscular Factors Influencing Joint Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Zinder, Steven M; Granata, Kevin P; Shultz, Sandra J; Gansneder, Bruce M

    2009-01-01

    Context: Health care professionals commonly prescribe external stabilization to decrease the incidence and severity of ankle sprains. The mechanism for this decrease is not clearly understood. Examining the effects of ankle bracing on biomechanical stability and influencing factors may provide important information regarding the neuromuscular effects of bracing. Objective: To study the effects of 2 different ankle braces on the neuromuscular factors influencing ankle stiffness. Design: Mixed-model repeated-measures design. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-eight physically active participants composing 2 groups: 14 with unilateral functional ankle instability (age  =  26.19 ± 6.46 years, height  =  166.07 ± 12.90 cm, mass  =  69.90 ± 13.46 kg) and 14 with bilaterally stable ankles (age  =  23.76 ± 5.82 years, height  =  174.00 ± 11.67 cm, mass  =  68.60 ± 13.12 kg). Intervention(s): Participants were fitted with surface electromyography electrodes over the peroneus longus, peroneus brevis, tibialis anterior, and soleus muscles. Each participant received transient motion oscillations to his or her ankle on a custom-built medial-lateral swaying cradle in each of 3 conditions: no ankle brace (NB), lace-up brace (LU), and semirigid brace (SR). Main Outcome Measure(s): Ankle stiffness as measured by the cradle and preactivation levels (percentage of maximal voluntary isometric contraction) of the 4 test muscles. Results: Stiffness levels increased across brace conditions (NB  =  24.79 ± 6.59 Nm/rad, LU  =  28.29 ± 7.05 Nm/rad, SR  =  33.22 ± 8.78 Nm/rad; F2,52  =  66.185, P < .001). No differences were found between groups for rotational stiffness (stable  =  27.36 ± 6.17 Nm/rad, unstable  =  30.18 ± 8.21 Nm/rad; F1,26  =  1.084, P  =  .307). Preactivation levels did not change for any of the tested muscles with the application of an ankle brace (F2,52  =  1.326, P

  14. Arterial Stiffness and Chronic Kidney Disease

    PubMed Central

    Garnier, Anne-Sophie; Briet, Marie

    2016-01-01

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major public health concern due to the high prevalence of associated cardiovascular (CV) disease. CV mortality is 10-30 times higher in end-stage renal disease patients than in the age-adjusted general population. The last 20 years have been marked by a huge effort in the characterization of the vascular remodeling process associated with CKD and its consequences on the renal, CV and general prognosis. By comparison with patients with normal renal function, with or without hypertension, an increase in large artery stiffness has been described in end-stage renal disease as well as in CKD stages 2-5. Most clinical studies are consistent with the observation that damage to large arteries may contribute to the high incidence of CV disease. By contrast, the impact of large artery stiffening and remodeling on CKD progression is still a matter of debate. Concomitant exposure to other CV risk factors, including diabetes, seems to play a major role in the association between aortic stiffness and estimated GFR. The conflicting results obtained from longitudinal studies designed to evaluate the impact of baseline aortic stiffness on GFR progression are detailed in the present review. Only pulse pressure, central and peripheral, is almost constantly associated with incident CKD and GFR decline. Kidney transplantation improves patients’ CV prognosis, but its impact on arterial stiffness is still controversial. Donor age, living kidney donation and mean blood pressure appear to be the main determinants of improvement in aortic stiffness after kidney transplantation. PMID:27195244

  15. Intraseasonal variability of wintertime frontal activity and its relationship with precipitation anomalies in the vicinity of South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blázquez, Josefina; Solman, Silvina A.

    2016-04-01

    The intraseasonal variability of the frontal activity and its connection with the variability of the atmospheric circulation and precipitation in the Southern Hemisphere is studied. The frontal activity is defined as the relative vorticity times the local temperature gradient. A band-pass filter was applied to retain the intraseasonal timescales. An empirical orthogonal function analysis was applied to the filtered frontal activity anomalies. The two main modes show positive and negative centers located mainly over the southern Pacific Ocean and South American sector and are in quadrature with each other. A similar pattern was found when the main modes of intraseasonal variability of the 500 hPa geopotential height were projected on the frontal activity, suggesting that the variability of fronts are influenced by the variability of the large scale atmospheric circulation. Moreover, the precipitation anomalies projected on the main modes of both frontal activity and 500 hPa geopotential height show similar structures, especially over the southern Pacific Ocean and South America, which may indicate that the variability of fronts controls the variability of precipitation. The lagged regression of the time series of the frontal activity areally-averaged over one of the centers of action against the frontal activity anomaly field shows at lags -8 and 8 a similar pattern, suggesting a period of around 17 days for each mode. Moreover, lagged regression between times series of frontal activity and precipitation anomalies reveals an opposite pattern between southeastern South America and southern Chile, being precipitation anomalies over these two regions anti-correlated due to the frontal activity.

  16. Investigating the Variability of Active Galactic Nuclei Using Combined Multi-quarter Kepler Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Revalski, Mitchell; Nowak, Dawid; Wiita, Paul J.; Wehrle, Ann E.; Unwin, Stephen C.

    2014-04-01

    We used photometry from the Kepler satellite to characterize the variability of four radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGNs) on timescales from years to minutes. The Kepler satellite produced nearly continuous high precision data sets which provided better temporal coverage than possible with ground based observations. We have now accumulated 11 quarters of data, eight of which were reported in our previous paper. In addition to constructing power spectral densities (PSDs) and characterizing the variability of the last three quarters, we have linked together the individual quarters using a multiplicative scaling process, providing data sets spanning ~2.8 yr with >98% coverage at a 30 minute sampling rate. We compute PSDs on these connected data sets that yield power law slopes at low frequencies in the approximate range of -1.5 to -2.0, with white noise seen at higher frequencies. These PSDs are similar to those of both the individual quarters and to those of ground-based optical observations of other AGNs. We also have explored a PSD binning method intended to reduce a bias toward shallow slope fits by evenly distributing the points within the PSDs. This tends to steepen the computed PSD slopes, especially when the low frequencies are relatively poorly fit. We detected flares lasting several days in which the brightness increased by ~15%-20% in one object, as well a smaller flare in another. Two AGNs showed only small, ~1%-2%, fluctuations in brightness.

  17. Single-trial prediction of reaction time variability from MEG brain activity.

    PubMed

    Ohata, Ryu; Ogawa, Kenji; Imamizu, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Neural activity prior to movement onset contains essential information for predictive assistance for humans using brain-machine-interfaces (BMIs). Even though previous studies successfully predicted different goals for upcoming movements, it is unclear whether non-invasive recording signals contain the information to predict trial-by-trial behavioral variability under the same movement. In this paper, we examined the predictability of subsequent short or long reaction times (RTs) from magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals in a delayed-reach task. The difference in RTs was classified significantly above chance from 550 ms before the go-signal onset using the cortical currents in the premotor cortex. Significantly above-chance classification was performed in the lateral prefrontal and the right inferior parietal cortices at the late stage of the delay period. Thus, inter-trial variability in RTs is predictable information. Our study provides a proof-of-concept of the future development of non-invasive BMIs to prevent delayed movements. PMID:27250872

  18. Single-trial prediction of reaction time variability from MEG brain activity

    PubMed Central

    Ohata, Ryu; Ogawa, Kenji; Imamizu, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Neural activity prior to movement onset contains essential information for predictive assistance for humans using brain-machine-interfaces (BMIs). Even though previous studies successfully predicted different goals for upcoming movements, it is unclear whether non-invasive recording signals contain the information to predict trial-by-trial behavioral variability under the same movement. In this paper, we examined the predictability of subsequent short or long reaction times (RTs) from magnetoencephalography (MEG) signals in a delayed-reach task. The difference in RTs was classified significantly above chance from 550 ms before the go-signal onset using the cortical currents in the premotor cortex. Significantly above-chance classification was performed in the lateral prefrontal and the right inferior parietal cortices at the late stage of the delay period. Thus, inter-trial variability in RTs is predictable information. Our study provides a proof-of-concept of the future development of non-invasive BMIs to prevent delayed movements. PMID:27250872

  19. Investigating the variability of active galactic nuclei using combined multi-quarter Kepler data

    SciTech Connect

    Revalski, Mitchell; Nowak, Dawid; Wiita, Paul J.; Wehrle, Ann E.; Unwin, Stephen C.

    2014-04-10

    We used photometry from the Kepler satellite to characterize the variability of four radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGNs) on timescales from years to minutes. The Kepler satellite produced nearly continuous high precision data sets which provided better temporal coverage than possible with ground based observations. We have now accumulated 11 quarters of data, eight of which were reported in our previous paper. In addition to constructing power spectral densities (PSDs) and characterizing the variability of the last three quarters, we have linked together the individual quarters using a multiplicative scaling process, providing data sets spanning ∼2.8 yr with >98% coverage at a 30 minute sampling rate. We compute PSDs on these connected data sets that yield power law slopes at low frequencies in the approximate range of –1.5 to –2.0, with white noise seen at higher frequencies. These PSDs are similar to those of both the individual quarters and to those of ground-based optical observations of other AGNs. We also have explored a PSD binning method intended to reduce a bias toward shallow slope fits by evenly distributing the points within the PSDs. This tends to steepen the computed PSD slopes, especially when the low frequencies are relatively poorly fit. We detected flares lasting several days in which the brightness increased by ∼15%-20% in one object, as well a smaller flare in another. Two AGNs showed only small, ∼1%-2%, fluctuations in brightness.

  20. Effect of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy on Incident AIDS Using Calendar Period as an Instrumental Variable

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Stephen R.; Greenland, Sander; Brown, Todd T.; Chmiel, Joan S.; Kingsley, Lawrence; Detels, Roger

    2009-01-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) researchers often use calendar periods as an imperfect proxy for highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) when estimating the effect of HAART on HIV disease progression. The authors report on 614 HIV-positive homosexual men followed from 1984 to 2007 in 4 US cities. During 5,321 person-years, 268 of 614 men incurred acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, 49 died, and 90 were lost to follow-up. Comparing the pre-HAART calendar period (<1996) with the HAART calendar period (≥1996) resulted in a naive rate ratio of 3.62 (95% confidence limits: 2.67, 4.92). However, this estimate is likely biased because of misclassification of HAART use by calendar period. Simple calendar period approaches may circumvent confounding by indication at the cost of inducing exposure misclassification. To correct this misclassification, the authors propose an instrumental-variable estimator analogous to ones previously used for noncompliance corrections in randomized clinical trials. When the pre-HAART calendar period was compared with the HAART calendar period, the instrumental-variable rate ratio was 5.02 (95% confidence limits: 3.45, 7.31), 39% higher than the naive result. Weighting by the inverse probability of calendar period given age at seroconversion, race/ethnicity, and time since seroconversion did not appreciably alter the results. These methods may help resolve discrepancies between observational and randomized evidence. PMID:19318615

  1. Changing Stiffnesses Of Truss Members For Vibration Tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wada, Ben K.

    1994-01-01

    Extension of active-member method of vibration testing of trusses and similar structures proposed to obtain additional data for refinement of finite-element mathematical models of vibrational properties of structures. Active truss members not only used in vibration tests to excite and measure vibrations of structures, but also made to have different effective stiffnesses in some tests, enabling excitation of different vibrational modes yielding additional data. Aspects of active-member method of vibration testing described previously in articles in NASA Tech Briefs including "Two Techniques for Suppressing Vibrations in Structures" (NPO-17889), "Active Suppression of Vibrations in a Truss" (NPO-18305), and "Active Members Excite and Measure Vibrations in Trusses" (NPO-18353).

  2. Active imaging lens with real-time variable resolution and constant field of view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parent, Jocelyn; Thibault, Simon

    2010-08-01

    We present a lens with a constant total field of view and real-time variable resolution in certain zones of interest. This smart imaging lens uses an active optical element to modify as desired the local distortion. This way, while keeping the total field of view constant, the resolution can be increased in a zone of interest, at the expense of decreasing it somewhere in the remaining part of the field of view. We first present the concept of this lens, using a deformable mirror as the active surface. Computer simulations are done with Zemax in which a magnifying power of 2 in a zone of interest representing 10% of the full field of view is achieved, using a f=12.5 mm lens and a F/# of 18. Different combinations of theses parameters would allow different performances and results. We then present experimental results of this lens with a prototype built using a ferrofluidic deformable mirror as the active element. Experimental results of a zone of increased resolution with a magnification of 1.32 and a zone of decreased resolution with a magnification of 0.80 are obtained.

  3. Interspecific variability of antioxidant activities and phenolic composition in Mesembryanthemum genus.

    PubMed

    Hanen, Falleh; Riadh, Ksouri; Samia, Oueslati; Sylvain, Guyot; Christian, Magné; Chedly, Abdelly

    2009-09-01

    In the present study, shoot extracts from edible halophytic Mesembryanthemum species were evaluated for their effects against O(2)(-), DPPH, and ABTS radicals. The reducing power, chelating ability, inhibition of lipid peroxidation and of beta-carotene bleaching were also evaluated. Moreover, the total phenolic, flavonoid, and condensed tannin contents were determined. In vitro biotests showed a significant difference in the antioxidant capacities of the species studied. Mesembryanthemum edule was found to exhibit the higher antioxidant activity, except for the iron-chelating test where M. crystallinum showed the best activity with the lowest EC(50) value (2.13 mg ml(-1)). Accordingly, M. edule exhibited high phenolic levels, especially in total phenols (70mg of gallic acid equivalents/g dry weight), while no significant difference was found between M. crystallinum and M. nodiflorum (1.4 and 1.7 mg GAE g(-1)DW, respectively). Due to its strong antioxidant activities and high levels of phenols, M. edule was further studied for its phenolic constituents. HPLC analysis revealed 12 compounds, mainly flavonoids, with phloretin, quercitrin, and avicularin as the most abundant (1, 0.84 and 0.66 mg g(-1) DW, respectively). These results evidenced the great variability in antioxidant capacities of these halophytes and suggested that M. edule might be an important source of functional phenolic compounds. PMID:19540899

  4. Theorems and Application of Local Activity of CNN with Five State Variables and One Port

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Gang; Dong, Xisong; Xie, Li; Yang, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Coupled nonlinear dynamical systems have been widely studied recently. However, the dynamical properties of these systems are difficult to deal with. The local activity of cellular neural network (CNN) has provided a powerful tool for studying the emergence of complex patterns in a homogeneous lattice, which is composed of coupled cells. In this paper, the analytical criteria for the local activity in reaction-diffusion CNN with five state variables and one port are presented, which consists of four theorems, including a serial of inequalities involving CNN parameters. These theorems can be used for calculating the bifurcation diagram to determine or analyze the emergence of complex dynamic patterns, such as chaos. As a case study, a reaction-diffusion CNN of hepatitis B Virus (HBV) mutation-selection model is analyzed and simulated, the bifurcation diagram is calculated. Using the diagram, numerical simulations of this CNN model provide reasonable explanations of complex mutant phenomena during therapy. Therefore, it is demonstrated that the local activity of CNN provides a practical tool for the complex dynamics study of some coupled nonlinear systems. PMID:22611440

  5. A new approach to the variability characterization of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middei, R.; Vagnetti, F.; Antonucci, M.; Serafinelli, R.

    2016-02-01

    The normalized excess variance is a popular method used by many authors to estimate the variability of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), especially in the X-ray band. We show that this estimator is affected by the cosmological time dilation, so that it should be appropriately corrected when applied to AGN samples distributed in wide redshift intervals. We propose a formula to modify this estimator, based on the use of the structure function. To verify the presence of the cosmological effect and the reliability of the proposed correction, we use data extracted from the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue, data release 5 (XMMSSC-DR5), and cross-matched with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasar catalogue, of data release 7 and 12.

  6. The role of physical activity and heart rate variability for the control of work related stress

    PubMed Central

    Tonello, Laís; Rodrigues, Fábio B.; Souza, Jeniffer W. S.; Campbell, Carmen S. G.; Leicht, Anthony S.; Boullosa, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Physical activity (PA) and exercise are often used as tools to reduce stress and therefore the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Meanwhile, heart rate variability (HRV) has been utilized to assess both stress and PA or exercise influences. The objective of the present review was to examine the current literature in regards to workplace stress, PA/exercise and HRV to encourage further studies. We considered original articles from known databases (PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge) over the last 10 years that examined these important factors. A total of seven studies were identified with workplace stress strongly associated with reduced HRV in workers. Longitudinal workplace PA interventions may provide a means to improve worker stress levels and potentially cardiovascular risk with mechanisms still to be clarified. Future studies are recommended to identify the impact of PA, exercise, and fitness on stress levels and HRV in workers and their subsequent influence on cardiovascular health. PMID:24600407

  7. Variability in automatic activation as an unobtrusive measure of racial attitudes: a bona fide pipeline?

    PubMed

    Fazio, R H; Jackson, J R; Dunton, B C; Williams, C J

    1995-12-01

    The research examines an unobtrusive measure of racial attitudes based on the evaluations that are automatically activated from memory on the presentation of Black versus White faces. Study 1, which concerned the technique's validity, obtained different attitude estimates for Black and White participants and also revealed that the variability among White participants was predictive of other race-related judgments and behavior. Study 2 concerned the lack of correspondence between the unobtrusive estimates and Modern Racism Scale (MRS) scores. The reactivity of the MRS was demonstrated in Study 3. Study 4 observed an interaction between the unobtrusive estimates and an individual difference in motivation to control prejudiced reactions when predicting MRS scores. The theoretical implications of the findings for consideration of automatic and controlled components of racial prejudice are discussed, as is the status of the MRS. PMID:8531054

  8. A flexible active and reactive power control strategy for a variable speed constant frequency generating system

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Y.; Xu, L.

    1995-07-01

    Variable-speed constant-frequency generating systems are used in wind power, hydro power, aerospace, and naval power generations to enhance efficiency and reduce friction. In these applications, an attractive candidate is the slip power recovery system comprising of doubly excited induction machine or doubly excited brushless reluctance machine and PWM converters with a dc link. In this paper, a flexible active and reactive power control strategy is developed, such that the optimal torque-speed profile of the turbine can be followed and overall reactive power can be controlled, while the machine copper losses have been minimized. At the same time, harmonics injected into the power network has also been minimized. In this manner, the system can function as both a high-efficient power generator and a flexible reactive power compensator.

  9. Study of stiffness effects of poly(amidoamine)-poly(n-isopropyl acrylamide) hydrogel on wound healing.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shixuan; Shi, Junbin; Xu, Xiaolin; Ding, Jianyang; Zhong, Wen; Zhang, Lu; Xing, Malcolm; Zhang, Lin

    2016-04-01

    The mechanical miss-match between the host and an implanted foreign body is one of the primary causes for implantation failure. To enhance the efficacy in wound repair, we developed stiffness-tunable temperature-sensitive hydrogels composed of poly(amidoamine) (PAA)-based poly(n-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAM). PNIPAM-PAA hydrogels with three different stiffness fabricated by varying the concentrations of poly(amidoamine) were chosen for morphology and rheology tests. The degradation rate and cell compatibility of gels were also characterized. The PAA-PNIPAM hydrogels were then tested in a wound healing model of mice with full-thickness skin loss. We found that the stiffness of hydrogels has an impact on the wound healing process mainly by regulating the cell activities in the proliferation phase. PNIPAM-PAA hydrogels with appropriate stiffness reduce scar formation and improve wound healing by promoting myofibroblast transformation, keratinocytes proliferation, extracellular matrix synthesis and remodeling. Moreover, the stiffness of hydrogels impact on the secretion of TGF-β1 and bFGF, which play an important role in skin wound healing. These results suggest that the therapeutic effects of hydrogels in skin wound healing can by regulated by hydrogels' stiffness. PMID:26628331

  10. Mechanical phenotype of cancer cells: cell softening and loss of stiffness sensing.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hsi-Hui; Lin, Hsiu-Kuan; Lin, I-Hsuan; Chiou, Yu-Wei; Chen, Horn-Wei; Liu, Ching-Yi; Harn, Hans I-Chen; Chiu, Wen-Tai; Wang, Yang-Kao; Shen, Meng-Ru; Tang, Ming-Jer

    2015-08-28

    The stiffness sensing ability is required to respond to the stiffness of the matrix. Here we determined whether normal cells and cancer cells display distinct mechanical phenotypes. Cancer cells were softer than their normal counterparts, regardless of the type of cancer (breast, bladder, cervix, pancreas, or Ha-RasV12-transformed cells). When cultured on matrices of varying stiffness, low stiffness decreased proliferation in normal cells, while cancer cells and transformed cells lost this response. Thus, cancer cells undergo a change in their mechanical phenotype that includes cell softening and loss of stiffness sensing. Caveolin-1, which is suppressed in many tumor cells and in oncogene-transformed cells, regulates the mechanical phenotype. Caveolin-1-upregulated RhoA activity and Y397FAK phosphorylation directed actin cap formation, which was positively correlated with cell elasticity and stiffness sensing in fibroblasts. Ha-RasV12-induced transformation and changes in the mechanical phenotypes were reversed by re-expression of caveolin-1 and mimicked by the suppression of caveolin-1 in normal fibroblasts. This is the first study to describe this novel role for caveolin-1, linking mechanical phenotype to cell transformation. Furthermore, mechanical characteristics may serve as biomarkers for cell transformation. PMID:26189182

  11. Comparative study of a muscle stiffness sensor and electromyography and mechanomyography under fatigue conditions.

    PubMed

    Han, Hyonyoung; Jo, Sungho; Kim, Jung

    2015-07-01

    This paper proposes the feasibility of a stiffness measurement for muscle contraction force estimation under muscle fatigue conditions. Bioelectric signals have been widely studied for the estimation of the contraction force for physical human-robot interactions, but the correlation between the biosignal and actual motion is decreased under fatigue conditions. Muscle stiffness could be a useful contraction force estimator under fatigue conditions because it measures the same physical quantity as the muscle contraction that generates the force. Electromyography (EMG), mechanomyography (MMG), and a piezoelectric resonance-based active muscle stiffness sensor were used to analyze the biceps brachii under isometric muscle fatigue conditions with reference force sensors at the end of the joint. Compared to EMG and MMG, the change in the stiffness signal was smaller (p < 0.05) in the invariable contraction force generation test until failure. In addition, in the various contraction level force generation tests, the stiffness signal under the fatigue condition changed <10% (p < 0.05) compared with the signal under non-fatigue conditions. This result indicates that the muscle stiffness signal is less sensitive to muscle fatigue than other biosignals. This investigation provides insights into methods of monitoring and compensating for muscle fatigue. PMID:25752771

  12. Efficacy of Carraguard®-Based Microbicides In Vivo Despite Variable In Vitro Activity

    PubMed Central

    Turville, Stuart G.; Aravantinou, Meropi; Miller, Todd; Kenney, Jessica; Teitelbaum, Aaron; Hu, Lieyu; Chudolij, Anne; Zydowsky, Tom M.; Piatak, Michael; Bess, Julian W.; Lifson, Jeffrey D.; Blanchard, James; Gettie, Agegnehu; Robbiani, Melissa

    2008-01-01

    Anti-HIV microbicides are being investigated in clinical trials and understanding how promising strategies work, coincident with demonstrating efficacy in vivo, is central to advancing new generation microbicides. We evaluated Carraguard® and a new generation Carraguard-based formulation containing the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) MIV-150 (PC-817). Since dendritic cells (DCs) are believed to be important in HIV transmission, the formulations were tested for the ability to limit DC-driven infection in vitro versus vaginal infection of macaques with RT-SHIV (SIVmac239 bearing HIV reverse transcriptase). Carraguard showed limited activity against cell-free and mature DC-driven RT-SHIV infections and, surprisingly, low doses of Carraguard enhanced infection. However, nanomolar amounts of MIV-150 overcame enhancement and blocked DC-transmitted infection. In contrast, Carraguard impeded infection of immature DCs coincident with DC maturation. Despite this variable activity in vitro, Carraguard and PC-817 prevented vaginal transmission of RT-SHIV when applied 30 min prior to challenge. PC-817 appeared no more effective than Carraguard in vivo, due to the limited activity of a single dose of MIV-150 and the dominant barrier effect of Carraguard. However, 3 doses of MIV-150 in placebo gel at and around challenge limited vaginal infection, demonstrating the potential activity of a topically applied NNRTI. These data demonstrate discordant observations when comparing in vitro and in vivo efficacy of Carraguard-based microbicides, highlighting the difficulties in testing putative anti-viral strategies in vitro to predict in vivo activity. This work also underscores the potential of Carraguard-based formulations for the delivery of anti-viral drugs to prevent vaginal HIV infection. PMID:18776937

  13. Personal Exposure to Household Particulate Matter, Household Activities and Heart Rate Variability among Housewives

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ya-Li; Chen, Hua-Wei; Han, Bor-Cheng; Liu, Chien-Wei; Chuang, Hsiao-Chi; Lin, Lian-Yu; Chuang, Kai-Jen

    2014-01-01

    Background The association between indoor air pollution and heart rate variability (HRV) has been well-documented. Little is known about effects of household activities on indoor air quality and HRV alteration. To investigate changes in HRV associated with changes in personal exposure to household particulate matter (PM) and household activities. Methods We performed 24-h continuous monitoring of electrocardiography and measured household PM exposure among 50 housewives. The outcome variables were log10-transformed standard deviation of normal-to-normal (NN) intervals (SDNN) and the square root of the mean of the sum of the squares of differences between adjacent NN intervals (r-MSSD). Household PM was measured as the mass concentration of PM with an aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm (PM2.5). We used mixed-effects models to examine the association between household PM2.5 exposure and log10-transformed HRV indices. Results After controlling for potential confounders, an interquartile range change in household PM2.5 with 1- to 4-h mean was associated with 1.25–4.31% decreases in SDNN and 0.12–3.71% decreases in r-MSSD. Stir-frying, cleaning with detergent and burning incense may increase household PM2.5 concentrations and modify the effects of household PM2.5 on HRV indices among housewives. Conclusions Indoor PM2.5 exposures were associated with decreased SDNN and r-MSSD among housewives, especially during stir-frying, cleaning with detergent and burning incense. PMID:24594880

  14. Variable X-Ray and UV emission from AGB stars: Accretion activity associated with binarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahai, Raghvendra; Sanz-Forcada, Jorge; Sánchez Contreras, Carmen

    2016-07-01

    Almost all of our current understanding of the late evolutionary stages of (1 — 8) Mʘ stars is based on single-star models. However, binarity can drastically affect late stellar evolution, producing dramatic changes in the history and geometry of mass loss that occurs in stars as they evolve off the AGB to become planetary nebulae (PNe). A variety of binary models have been proposed, which can lead to the generation of accretion disks and magnetic fields, which in turn produce the highly collimated jets that have been proposed as the primary agents for the formation of bipolar and multipolar PNe. However, observational evidence of binarity in AGB stars is sorely lacking simply these stars are very luminous and variable, invalidating standard techniques for binary detection. Using an innovative technique of searching for UV emission from AGB stars with GALEX, we have identified a class of AGB stars with far- ultraviolet excesses (fuvAGB stars), that are likely candidates for active accretion associated with a binary companion. We have carried out a pilot survey for X-ray emission from fuvAGB stars. The X-ray fluxes are found to vary in a stochastic or quasi-periodic manner on roughly hour-long times-scales, and simultaneous UV observations show similar variations in the UV fluxes. We discuss several models for the X-ray emission and its variability and find that the most likely scenario for the origin of the X-ray (and FUV) emission involves accretion activity around a main-sequence companion star, with confinement by strong magnetic fields associated with the companion and/or an accretion disk around it.

  15. Cell stiffness is a biomarker of the metastatic potential of ovarian cancer cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Wenwei; Mezencev, Roman; Kim, Byungkyu; Wang, Lijuan; McDonald, John; Sulchek, Todd; Sulchek Team; McDonald Team

    2013-03-01

    The metastatic potential of cells is an important parameter in the design of optimal strategies for the personalized treatment of cancer. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM), we show that ovarian cancer cells are generally softer and display lower intrinsic variability in cell stiffness than non-malignant ovarian epithelial cells. A detailed study of highly invasive ovarian cancer cells (HEY A8) and their less invasive parental cells (HEY), demonstrates that deformability can serve as an accurate biomarker of metastatic potential. Comparative gene expression profiling indicate that the reduced stiffness of highly metastatic HEY A8 cells is associated with actin cytoskeleton remodeling, microscopic examination of actin fiber structure in these cell lines is consistent with this prediction. Our results indicate that cell stiffness not only distinguishes ovarian cancer cells from non-malignant cells, but may also be a useful biomarker to evaluate the relative metastatic potential of ovarian and perhaps other types of cancer cells.

  16. The method of patches for solving stiff nonlinear differential equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brydon, David Van George, Jr.

    1998-12-01

    This dissertation describes a new method for solving very stiff sets of ordinary differential equations. The basic idea is to replace the original nonlinear equations with a set of equally stiff equations that are piecewise linear, and therefore can be solved exactly. We demonstrate the value of the method on small systems of equations for which some other methods are inefficient or produce spurious solutions, estimate error bounds, and discuss extensions of the method to larger systems of equations and to partial differential equations. Putzer's method is developed in a novel way for efficient and accurate solution of dx/dt = Ax+b. The physical problem of interest is spatial pattern formation in open reaction-diffusion chemical systems, as studied in the experiments of Kyoung Lee, Harry Swinney, et al. I develop a new experiment model that agrees reasonably well with experimental results. I solve the model, applying the new method to the two-variable Gaspar- Showalter chemical kinetics in two space dimensions. Because of time and computer limitations, only preliminary pattern-formation results are achieved and reported.

  17. Confinement and controlling the effective compressive stiffness of carbyne

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocsis, Ashley J.; Aditya Reddy Yedama, Neta; Cranford, Steven W.

    2014-08-01

    Carbyne is a one-dimensional chain of carbon atoms, consisting of repeating sp-hybridized groups, thereby representing a minimalist molecular rod or chain. While exhibiting exemplary mechanical properties in tension (a 1D modulus on the order of 313 nN and a strength on the order of 11 nN), its use as a structural component at the molecular scale is limited due to its relative weakness in compression and the immediate onset of buckling under load. To circumvent this effect, here, we probe the effect of confinement to enhance the mechanical behavior of carbyne chains in compression. Through full atomistic molecular dynamics, we characterize the mechanical properties of a free (unconfined chain) and explore the effect of confinement radius (R), free chain length (L) and temperature (T) on the effective compressive stiffness of carbyne chains and demonstrate that the stiffness can be tuned over an order of magnitude (from approximately 0.54 kcal mol-1 Å2 to 46 kcal mol-1 Å2) by geometric control. Confinement may inherently stabilize the chains, potentially providing a platform for the synthesis of extraordinarily long chains (tens of nanometers) with variable compressive response.

  18. Physical Activity Is Linked to Greater Moment-To-Moment Variability in Spontaneous Brain Activity in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.; Wong, Chelsea N.; Voss, Michelle W.; Cooke, Gillian E.; Gothe, Neha P.; Fanning, Jason; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2015-01-01

    Higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and physical activity (PA) in old age are associated with greater brain structural and functional integrity, and higher cognitive functioning. However, it is not known how different aspects of lifestyle such as sedentariness, light PA (LI-PA), or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MV-PA) relate to neural activity in aging. In addition, it is not known whether the effects of PA on brain function differ or overlap with those of CRF. Here, we objectively measured CRF as oxygen consumption during a maximal exercise test and measured PA with an accelerometer worn for 7 days in 100 healthy but low active older adults (aged 60–80 years). We modeled the relationships between CRF, PA, and brain functional integrity using multivariate partial least squares analysis. As an index of functional brain integrity we used spontaneous moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD), known to be associated with better cognitive functioning in aging. We found that older adults who engaged more in LI-PA and MV-PA had greater SDBOLD in brain regions that play a role in integrating segregated functional domains in the brain and benefit from greater CRF or PA, such as precuneus, hippocampus, medial and lateral prefrontal, and temporal cortices. Our results suggest that engaging in higher intensity PA may have protective effects on neural processing in aging. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater overall WM microstructure were those showing more LI-PA and MV-PA and greater SDBOLD. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising correlate of functional brain health in aging. Future analyses will evaluate whether SDBOLD is modifiable with interventions aimed to increase PA and CRF in older adults. PMID:26244873

  19. Physical Activity Is Linked to Greater Moment-To-Moment Variability in Spontaneous Brain Activity in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Voss, Michelle W; Cooke, Gillian E; Gothe, Neha P; Fanning, Jason; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2015-01-01

    Higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and physical activity (PA) in old age are associated with greater brain structural and functional integrity, and higher cognitive functioning. However, it is not known how different aspects of lifestyle such as sedentariness, light PA (LI-PA), or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MV-PA) relate to neural activity in aging. In addition, it is not known whether the effects of PA on brain function differ or overlap with those of CRF. Here, we objectively measured CRF as oxygen consumption during a maximal exercise test and measured PA with an accelerometer worn for 7 days in 100 healthy but low active older adults (aged 60-80 years). We modeled the relationships between CRF, PA, and brain functional integrity using multivariate partial least squares analysis. As an index of functional brain integrity we used spontaneous moment-to-moment variability in the blood oxygenation level-dependent signal (SDBOLD), known to be associated with better cognitive functioning in aging. We found that older adults who engaged more in LI-PA and MV-PA had greater SDBOLD in brain regions that play a role in integrating segregated functional domains in the brain and benefit from greater CRF or PA, such as precuneus, hippocampus, medial and lateral prefrontal, and temporal cortices. Our results suggest that engaging in higher intensity PA may have protective effects on neural processing in aging. Finally, we demonstrated that older adults with greater overall WM microstructure were those showing more LI-PA and MV-PA and greater SDBOLD. We conclude that SDBOLD is a promising correlate of functional brain health in aging. Future analyses will evaluate whether SDBOLD is modifiable with interventions aimed to increase PA and CRF in older adults. PMID:26244873

  20. Can Indian Ocean SST variability impact TC activity in the South Pacific? A Spatial Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magee, Andrew D.; Verdon-Kidd, Danielle C.; Kiem, Anthony S.

    2015-04-01

    Tropical Cyclones (TCs) represent a significant natural hazard to the 15 island nations and 2.7 million inhabitants of the South Pacific, accounting for 76% of reported disasters in the region since 1950. This vast area, dominated by the coupled ocean-atmosphere interactions of the South Pacific fuels the highly variable nature of TCs (both spatially and temporally), leading to difficulties in planning for and responding to these extreme events. While it is well known that the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) plays a significant role in modulating the background state on which TCs form, there are other large-scale climate drivers operating on annual timescales or longer within the South Pacific (e.g. ENSO Modoki and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation) and outside the Pacific Basin (e.g. the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode) that may also influence TC formation. In response to this issue, the impact of these large-scale climate drivers upon the spatial characteristics of tropical cyclogenesis is assessed for the South Pacific region (5o-35oS, 145oE-130oW) over a 67-year period (1945-2011). It is shown, that in addition to the impact of 'Pacific-centric' climate drivers, eastern Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures significantly impact the spatial characteristics of tropical cyclogenesis in the South Pacific. In particular, warming (cooling) in the eastern Indian Ocean is found to result in an eastward (westward) shift in the average location of tropical cyclogenesis in the South Pacific (up to 712km between extreme phases). One mechanism that may account for this east/west modulation of TC activity in the South Pacific is the propagation of warmer water from the Timor Sea through the Coral Sea to the Pacific, resulting in a strengthening of the Pacific Warm Pool and associated meteorological characteristics connected with tropical cyclogenesis. Understanding how other large-scale climate modes interact with Indian Ocean processes is important

  1. Heart Rate Variability in Adolescents – Normative Data Stratified by Sex and Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Vivek Kumar; Arunachalam, Vinayathan; Rajendran, Rajathi

    2015-01-01

    Background Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to the beat-to-beat fluctuations in the cardiac rhythm occurring due to modulation of the pacemaker (sinoatrial node) activity of the heart by the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. Nowadays, cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors are increasingly occurring at a younger age (children and adolescents) and recording of HRV in them will help us to identify cardiovascular autonomic derangement earlier. However, to be used clinically, normative data has to be established in this age group considering other major factors that can influence HRV such as sex, physical activity, and BMI. Materials and Methods Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology has provided the standards for measurement of heart rate variability and we have followed the same. In the present study, we have described the normative data for HRV in the adolescent in the age group of 12-17 years, stratified based on sex and physical activity. Results Data given below are expressed as median with interquartile range (Median (IQR)) in the following order: non-athlete girls, non athlete boys, athlete girls and athlete boys. Time domain indices - SDNN - 66.35 (40.78), 63.20 (36.20), 113.00 (31.40) and 94.20 (35.55); RMSSD – 69.00 (50.55), 58.70 (43.40), 94.90 (42.10) and 100.30 (47.50); NN50 - 137.50 (100.25), 116.00 (90.50), 137.00 (81.00) and 156.00 (81.50). The frequency domain indices – LF power 1015.00 (1098.75), 945.00 (831.00), 1465 (642.25), and 1211.00 (811.37); HF power – 1324.00 (1707.00), 988.00 (1426.50), 2409.00 (1387.50), and 2219.00 (1752.00); Total power – 3374.50 (3094.25), 2757.00 (2641.00), 5202.00 (2501.50) and 5273.00 (3507.50); LFnu – 45.44 (16.61), 47.63 (29.98), 38.59 (11.81) and 37.10 (11.21); HFnu – 54.56 (16.61), 52.37 (29.98), 61.41 (11.81) and 62.90 (11.21). Conclusion We have given sex and physical activity

  2. Human motor control consequences of thixotropic changes in muscular short-range stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Axelson, H W; Hagbarth, K-E

    2001-01-01

    The primary aim of the present study was to explore whether in healthy subjects the muscle contractions required for unrestrained voluntary wrist dorsiflexions are adjusted in strength to thixotropy-dependent variations in the short-range stiffness encountered in measurements of passive torque resistance to imposed wrist dorsiflexions. After a period of rest, only the first movement in a series of passive wrist dorsiflexions of moderate amplitude exhibited clear signs of short-range stiffness in the torque response. During analogous types of voluntary movements, the extensor EMG during the first movement after rest showed a steep initial rise of activity, which apparently served to compensate for the short-range stiffness. The passive torque resistance to minute repetitive wrist dorsiflexions (within the range of short-range stiffness) was markedly reduced after various types of mechanical agitation. During analogous low-amplitude voluntary wrist dorsiflexions the extensor EMG signals were weaker after than before agitation. Mechanical agitation also led to enhancement of passive dorsiflexion movements induced by weak constant torque pulses. In an analogous way, the movement-generating capacity of weak voluntary extensor activations (as determined by EMG recordings) was greatly enhanced by mechanical agitation. The signals from a force transducer probe pressed against the wrist flexor tendons - during passive wrist dorsiflexions - revealed short-range stiffness responses which highly resembled those observed in the torque measurements, suggesting that the latter to a large extent emanated from the stretched, relaxed flexor muscles. During repetitive stereotyped voluntary wrist dorsiflexions, a close correspondence was observed between the degree of short-range stiffness as sensed by the wrist flexor tension transducer and the strength of the initial extensor activation required for movement generation. The results provide evidence that the central nervous system in

  3. Multijoint arm stiffness during movements following stroke: implications for robot therapy

    PubMed Central

    Piovesan, D.; Casadio, M.; Mussa-Ivaldi, F. A.; Morasso, P.G

    2015-01-01

    Impaired arm movements in stroke appear as a set of stereotypical kinematic patterns, characterized by abnormal joint coupling, which have a direct consequence on arm mechanics and can be quantified by the net arm stiffness at the hand. The current available measures of arm stiffness during functional tasks have limited clinical use, since they require several repetitions of the same test movement in many directions. Such procedure is difficult to obtain in stroke survivors who have lower fatigue threshold and increased variability compared to unimpaired individuals. The present study proposes a novel, fast quantitative measure of arm stiffness during movements by means of a Time-Frequency technique and the use of a reassigned spectrogram, applied on a trial-by-trial basis with a single perturbation. We tested the technique feasibility during robot mediated therapy, where a robot helped stroke survivors to regain arm mobility by providing assistive forces during a hitting task to 13 targets covering the entire reachable workspace. The endpoint stiffness of the paretic arm was estimated at the end of each hitting movements by suddenly switching of the assistive forces and observing the ensuing recoil movements. In addition, we considered how assistive forces influence stiffness. This method will provide therapists with improved tools to target the treatment to the individual’s specific impairment and to verify the effects of the proposed exercises. PMID:22275576

  4. Efficient Estimation of Time-Varying Intrinsic and Reflex Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Ludvig, Daniel; Perreault, Eric J.; Kearney, Robert E.

    2013-01-01

    Dynamic joint stiffness defines the dynamic relationship between the position of the joint and the torque acting about it; hence it is important in the control of movement and posture. Joint stiffness consists of two components: intrinsic stiffness and reflex stiffness. Measuring intrinsic and reflex torques directly is not possible, thus estimating intrinsic and reflex stiffness is challenging. A further complication is that both intrinsic and reflex stiffness vary with joint position and torque. Thus, the measurement of dynamic joint stiffness during movement requires a time-varying algorithm. Recently we described an algorithm to estimate time-varying intrinsic and reflex stiffness and demonstrated its application. This paper describes modifications to that algorithm that significantly improves the accuracy of the estimates it generates while increasing its computational efficiency by a factor of seven. PMID:22255247

  5. A review on in situ stiffness adjustment methods in MEMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Laat, M. L. C.; Pérez Garza, H. H.; Herder, J. L.; Ghatkesar, M. K.

    2016-06-01

    In situ stiffness adjustment in microelectromechanical systems is used in a variety of applications such as radio-frequency mechanical filters, energy harvesters, atomic force microscopy, vibration detection sensors. In this review we provide designers with an overview of existing stiffness adjustment methods, their working principle, and possible adjustment range. The concepts are categorized according to their physical working principle. It is concluded that the electrostatic adjustment principle is the most applied method, and narrow to wide ranges in stiffness can be achieved. But in order to obtain a wide range in stiffness change, large, complex devices were designed. Mechanical stiffness adjustment is found to be a space-effective way of obtaining wide changes in stiffness, but these methods are often discrete and require large tuning voltages. Stiffness adjustment through stressing effects or change in Young’s modulus was used only for narrow ranges. The change in second moment of inertia was used for stiffness adjustment in the intermediate range.

  6. Monocyte activation is a feature of common variable immunodeficiency irrespective of plasma lipopolysaccharide levels

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, R R; Silva, S P; Silva, S L; Tendeiro, R; Melo, A C; Pedro, E; Barbosa, M P; Santos, M C P; Victorino, R M M; Sousa, A E

    2012-01-01

    Common variable immunodeficiency disorders (CVID), the most frequent cause of symptomatic primary immunodeficiency, are defined by impaired antibody production. Notwithstanding, T cell activation and granulomatous manifestations represent the main causes of CVID morbidity even in patients receiving immunoglobulin (Ig) G replacement therapy. Additionally, gut pathology is a frequent feature of CVID. In this study, we investigated monocyte imbalances and their possible relationship with increased microbial translocation in CVID patients. Monocyte subsets were defined according to CD14 and CD16 expression levels and evaluated in terms of human leucocyte antigen D-related (HLA-DR), CD86 and programmed death-1 molecule ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression by flow cytometry, in parallel with the quantification of plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and serum levels of soluble CD14 (sCD14), LPS-binding protein (LBP) and anti-LPS antibodies. CVID patients (n = 31) featured significantly increased levels of serum sCD14 and an expansion of CD14brightCD16+ monocytes in direct correlation with T cell and B cell activation, the latter illustrated by the frequency of the CD21lowCD38low subset. Such alterations were not observed in patients lacking B cells due to congenital agammaglobulinaemia (n = 4). Moreover, we found no significant increase in circulating LPS or LBP levels in CVID patients, together with a relative preservation of serum anti-LPS antibodies, in agreement with their presence in commercial IgG preparations. In conclusion, CVID was associated with monocyte imbalances that correlated directly with T cell activation markers and with B cell imbalances, without an association with plasma LPS levels. The heightened monocyte activated state observed in CVID may represent an important target for complementary therapeutic strategies. PMID:22861366

  7. Assessing the contribution of climate variability and human activity to runoff variation in Jinghe basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yimin; wei, Jie

    2015-04-01

    Hydrological processes in river systems have been changing under the impacts of both climate variability and human activities. Assessing the respective impacts on decadal streamflow variation is important for water resources management. By using an elasticity-based method, a calibrated TOPMODEL and VIC model, we have quantitatively isolated the relative contributions that human activities and climate change made to decadal streamflow changes in Jinhe basin located in northwest of China. This is an important watershed of Shaanxi Province that supplies drinking water for population over 6 million. The results from the three methods show that both human activities and climatic differences can have major effects on catchment streamflow, and the estimates of climate change impacts from the hydrological models are similar to those from the elasticity-based method. Compared with the baseline period of 1960-1970, streamflow greatly decreased during 2001-2010. The change impacts of ∆QH and ∆QC in 2001-2010 were about 83.5% and 16.5% of the total reduction, and the contribution ratios of ∆QH and ∆QC during 1971-2010 are 78.3% and 21.7% respectively when averaged over the three methods. The maximum contribution value of human activities was appeared in 1981-1990 due to the effects of soil and water conservation measures and irrigation water withdrawal, which was 95%, 112.5% and 92.4% from TOPMODEL, VIC model and elasticity-based method respectively. The maximum value of the moisture index (E0/ P) was 1.91 appeared in 1991-2000. Compared with 1960-1970 baseline period, climate change made the greatest contributions reduction in 1991-2000, which was 47.4%, 43.9% and 29.9% from TOPMODEL, VIC model and elasticity-based method respectively. We analyzed the source of errors and uncertainties which may occur in the different approaches.

  8. Muscle activation, blood lactate, and perceived exertion responses to changing resistance training programming variables.

    PubMed

    Hiscock, Daniel J; Dawson, Brian; Donnelly, Cyril J; Peeling, Peter

    2016-08-01

    Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE: 0-10) during resistance training with varying programming demands were examined. Blood lactate (BLa) and muscle activation (using surface electromyography: EMG) were measured as potential mediators of RPE responses. Participants performed three sets of single arm (preferred side) bicep curls at 70% of 1 repetition maximum over 4 trials: Trial (A) 3 sets × 8 repetitions × 120 s recovery between sets; (B) 3 sets × 8 repetitions × 240 s recovery; (C) 3 sets × maximum number of repetitions (MNR) × 120 s recovery; (D) 3 sets × MNR × 240 s recovery. Overall body (RPE-O) and active muscle (RPE-AM) perceptual responses were assessed following each set in each trial. Biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscle EMG was measured during each set for each trial. RPE-O and RPE-AM were not different between Trial A (3.5 ± 1 and 6 ± 1, respectively) and Trial B (3.5 ± 1 and 5.5 ± 1, respectively) (p < .05). However, RPE-AM was significantly greater in Trial C (7.5 ± 1.5) and Trial D (7.5 ± 1.5) than in Trial B (p < .05). There were no significant differences in muscle activation or BLa between trials; however, work rate (tonnage/min) was greater in Trials C and D compared to Trial B. In conclusion, BLa and muscle activation were not related to RPE, but resistance training variables, such as work rate, may impact on RPE when intensity (%1RM) and the number of sets completed remain constant. PMID:26267339

  9. Does short-term whole-body vibration training affect arterial stiffness in chronic stroke? A preliminary study

    PubMed Central

    Yule, Christie E.; Stoner, Lee; Hodges, Lynette D.; Cochrane, Darryl J.

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] Previous studies have shown that stroke is associated with increased arterial stiffness that can be diminished by a program of physical activity. A novel exercise intervention, whole-body vibration (WBV), is reported to significantly improve arterial stiffness in healthy men and older sedentary adults. However, little is known about its efficacy in reducing arterial stiffness in chronic stroke. [Subjects and Methods] Six participants with chronic stroke were randomly assigned to 4 weeks of WBV training or control followed by cross-over after a 2-week washout period. WBV intervention consisted of 3 sessions of 5 min intermittent WBV per week for 4 weeks. Arterial stiffness (carotid arterial stiffness, pulse wave velocity [PWV], pulse and wave analysis [PWA]) were measured before/after each intervention. [Results] No significant improvements were reported with respect to carotid arterial stiffness, PWV, and PWA between WBV and control. However, carotid arterial stiffness showed a decrease over time following WBV compared to control, but this was not significant. [Conclusion] Three days/week for 4 weeks of WBV seems too short to elicit appropriate changes in arterial stiffness in chronic stroke. However, no adverse effects were reported, indicating that WBV is a safe and acceptable exercise modality for people with chronic stroke. PMID:27134400

  10. Does short-term whole-body vibration training affect arterial stiffness in chronic stroke? A preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Yule, Christie E; Stoner, Lee; Hodges, Lynette D; Cochrane, Darryl J

    2016-03-01

    [Purpose] Previous studies have shown that stroke is associated with increased arterial stiffness that can be diminished by a program of physical activity. A novel exercise intervention, whole-body vibration (WBV), is reported to significantly improve arterial stiffness in healthy men and older sedentary adults. However, little is known about its efficacy in reducing arterial stiffness in chronic stroke. [Subjects and Methods] Six participants with chronic stroke were randomly assigned to 4 weeks of WBV training or control followed by cross-over after a 2-week washout period. WBV intervention consisted of 3 sessions of 5 min intermittent WBV per week for 4 weeks. Arterial stiffness (carotid arterial stiffness, pulse wave velocity [PWV], pulse and wave analysis [PWA]) were measured before/after each intervention. [Results] No significant improvements were reported with respect to carotid arterial stiffness, PWV, and PWA between WBV and control. However, carotid arterial stiffness showed a decrease over time following WBV compared to control, but this was not significant. [Conclusion] Three days/week for 4 weeks of WBV seems too short to elicit appropriate changes in arterial stiffness in chronic stroke. However, no adverse effects were reported, indicating that WBV is a safe and acceptable exercise modality for people with chronic stroke. PMID:27134400

  11. Roche tomography of cataclysmic variables - VII. The long-term magnetic activity of AE Aqr

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, C. A.; Watson, C. A.; Steeghs, D.; Dhillon, V. S.; Shahbaz, T.

    2016-06-01

    We present a long-term study of the secondary star in the cataclysmic variable AE Aqr, using Roche tomography to indirectly image starspots on the stellar surface spanning 8 years of observations. The seven maps show an abundance of spot features at both high and low latitudes. We find that all maps have at least one large high-latitude spot region, and we discuss its complex evolution between maps, as well as its compatibility with current dynamo theories. Furthermore, we see the apparent growth in fractional spot coverage, fs, around 45° latitude over the duration of observations, with a persistently high fs near latitudes of 20°. These bands of spots may form as part of a magnetic activity cycle, with magnetic flux tubes emerging at different latitudes, similar to the `butterfly' diagram for the Sun. We discuss the nature of flux tube emergence in close binaries, as well as the activity of AE Aqr in the context of other stars.

  12. Viscous shock anomaly in a variable-viscosity Burgers flow with an active scalar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Talbot, B.; Mammeri, Y.; Bedjaoui, N.

    2015-12-01

    This paper examines the effect of viscosity variability on the formation of shocklets (small transient shocks) through the inhomogeneity in composition of the propagating medium. For this purpose, both analytical estimates and numerical spectral method are applied to a Burgers’ equation—where viscosity is a space-time function depending on a coupled advection-diffusion equation for the local mass fraction. The coefficient of viscosity thus behaves as an active scalar. The inhomogeneous shocklet is modeled by a fixed sine wave for the initial velocity profile while different sine waves of higher frequency are used for the initial embedded distribution of scalar. The initial kinematic viscosity ratio {R}ν ={ν }{max}/{ν }{min} ranges from 1 to 4. It is found that, surprisingly, for all conditions at Rν > 1, i.e., for waves becoming more and more viscous on average, there was (1) a steeper maximum gradient in the shock transition zone, and consequently (2) velocity spectra extended toward the finest small scales, and (3) an enhanced energy dissipation rate is observed at the time of peak energy dissipation. These results will be useful to the understanding of small-scale dynamics for one-dimensional shocklets propagating in multi-component gas mixtures where noticeable active scalar effects are present.

  13. Variability in Saponin Content, Cancer Antiproliferative Activity and Physicochemical Properties of Concentrated Agave Sap.

    PubMed

    Santos-Zea, Liliana; Rosas-Pérez, Aratza Mireya; Leal-Díaz, Ana María; Gutiérrez-Uribe, Janet A

    2016-08-01

    Concentrated agave sap (CAS) has gained popularity as an unrefined sweetener. It is obtained by boiling "aguamiel" that contains phytochemicals with diverse bioactivities. Saponins have been the most widely studied agave phytochemicals due to their cancer antiproliferative effect but their concentration may vary due to maturity of the agave plant and collection site. In this study, 18 CAS samples produced in different states of Mexico were analyzed using multivariate methods to determine which physicochemical or phytochemical parameters were responsible for variation. Additionally, extracts with different saponin profiles were tested to determine possible correlations with antiproliferative activity. Total soluble solids, pH, and water activity were similar to those reported for other agave sweeteners. Antioxidant capacity of samples was correlated to browning index. Eleven steroidal saponins were found in CAS samples and they were the main source of variability. Magueyoside B, a kammogenin tetraglycoside, was the most abundant saponin in all samples. With respect to bioactivity, multivariate analysis indicated that magueyoside B and a gentrogenin tetraglycoside were compounds strongly related with bioactivity. CAS from Hidalgo, Puebla, and Veracruz had higher concentration of magueyoside B than from the other kamogenin tetraglycoside found in the samples from other Mexican states. These results could be used as a first approach to characterize and standardize CAS to validate the potential health benefits derived from its consumption. PMID:27376349

  14. Variable Activation of the DNA Damage Response Pathways in Patients Undergoing SPECT Myocardial Perfusion Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shijun; Liang, Grace; Ong, Sang-Ging; Han, Leng; Sanchez-Freire, Veronica; Lee, Andrew S.; Vasanawala, Minal; Segall, George; Wu, Joseph C.

    2015-01-01

    Background Although single photon emission computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging (SPECT MPI) has improved the diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with suspected coronary artery disease, it remains a primary source of low dose radiation exposure for cardiac patients. To determine the biological effects of low dose radiation from SPECT MPI, we measured the activation of the DNA damage response pathways using quantitative flow cytometry and single cell gene expression profiling. Methods and Results Blood samples were collected from patients before and after SPECT MPI (n=63). Overall, analysis of all recruited patients showed no marked differences in the phosphorylation of proteins (H2AX, p53, and ATM) following SPECT. The majority of patients also had either down-regulated or unchanged expression in DNA damage response genes at both 24 and 48 hours post-SPECT. Interestingly, a small subset of patients with increased phosphorylation also had significant up-regulation of genes associated with DNA damage, whereas those with no changes in phosphorylation had significant down-regulation or no difference, suggesting that some patients may potentially be more sensitive to low dose radiation exposure. Conclusions Our findings showed that SPECT MPI resulted in a variable activation of the DNA damage response pathways. Although only a small subset of patients had increased protein phosphorylation and elevated gene expression post-imaging, continued care should be taken to reduce radiation exposure to both patients and operators. PMID:25609688

  15. The geovisualisation window of the temporal and spatial variability for Volunteered Geographic Information activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medynska-Gulij, Beata; Myszczuk, Miłosz

    2012-11-01

    This study presents an attempt to design geographical visualisation tools that allow to tackle the immensity of spatial data provided by Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), both in terms of temporal and spatial aspects. In accordance with the assumptions made at the conceptual stage, the final action was the implementation of the window entitled ‘Geovisualisation of the Panoramio.com Activities in District of Poznan 2011’ into the web browser. The concept has been based on a division of the geovisualisation window into three panels, of which the most important - in order to capture spatial variability - have statistical maps at the general level (dot map and choropleth map), while at the detailed level - a dot map on a topographic reference map or tourist map. For two ranges, temporal variability is presented by graphs, while a review of attributes of individual activities of the social website in question is set forward in the table panel. The element that visually interlinks all of the panels is the emphasised individual activity. Problemem podjetym w tych badaniach stało sie wykorzystanie metod z nurtu geograficznej wizualizacji do wskazania cech fenomenu VGI w zakresie zmiennosci czasowo-przestrzennej. Zgodnie z załozeniami poczynionymi w etapie koncepcyjnym finalnym działaniem stało sie zaimplementowanie do przegladarki internetowej okna pod tytułem: ”Geowizualizacja aktywnosci społecznosci Panoramio.com w powiecie poznanskim w 2011 roku”. Koncepcja została oparta na podziale okna geowizualizacji na trzy panele, z których najwazniejsze znaczenie dla uchwycenia zmiennosci przestrzennej na poziomie ogólnym ma kartogram, natomiast na poziomie szczegółowym mapa kropkowa wyswietlana na podkładzie mapy topograficznej lub turystycznej. Zmiennosc czasowa w dwóch zakresach prezentuja wykresy, a przeglad atrybutów poszczególnych aktywnosci prezentowanego portalu społecznosciowego zapewnia tabela. Elementem spajajacym wizualnie wszystkie

  16. Chain stiffness regulates entropy-templated perfect mixing at single-nanoparticle level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Zihan; Lu, Ce; Dong, Bojun; Xu, Guoxi; Ji, Chengcheng; Zhao, Kongyin; Yan, Li-Tang

    2015-12-01

    The mixing on a single-particle level of chemically incompatible nanoparticles is an outstanding challenge for many applications. Burgeoning research activity suggests that entropic templating is a potential strategy to address this issue. Herein, using systematic computer simulations of model nanoparticle systems, we show that the entropy-templated interfacial organization of nanoparticles significantly depends on the stiffness of tethered chains. Unexpectedly, the optimal chain stiffness can be identified wherein a system exhibits the most perfect mixing for a certain compression ratio. Our simulations demonstrate that entropic templating regulated by chain stiffness precisely reflects various entropic repulsion states that arise from typical conformation regimes of semiflexible chains. The physical mechanism of the chain stiffness effect is revealed by analyzing the entropic repulsion states of tethered chains and quantitatively estimating the resulting entropy penalties, which provides direct evidence that supports the key role of entropic transition in the entropic templating strategy, as suggested in experiments. Moreover, the model nanoparticle systems are found to evolve into binary nanoparticle superlattices by remixing at extremely high stiffness. The findings facilitate the wide application of the entropic templating strategy in creating interfacially reactive nanomaterials with ordered structures on the single-nanoparticle level as well as mechanomutable responses.The mixing on a single-particle level of chemically incompatible nanoparticles is an outstanding challenge for many applications. Burgeoning research activity suggests that entropic templating is a potential strategy to address this issue. Herein, using systematic computer simulations of model nanoparticle systems, we show that the entropy-templated interfacial organization of nanoparticles significantly depends on the stiffness of tethered chains. Unexpectedly, the optimal chain stiffness can

  17. Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior: Independent Associations With Body Composition Variables in Brazilian Children.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Gerson Luis de Moraes; Oliveira, Luis Carlos; Araujo, Timoteo Leandro; Matsudo, Victor; Barreira, Tiago V; Tudor-Locke, Catrine; Katzmarzyk, Peter

    2015-08-01

    This study aimed to analyze the independent associations of accelerometer-determined sedentary behavior, physical activity, and steps/day with body composition variables in Brazilian children. 485 children wore accelerometers for 7 days. Variables included time in sedentary behavior and different physical activity intensities (light, moderate, vigorous, or moderate-to-vigorous) and steps/day. Body fat percentage was measured using a bioelectrical impedance scale, and BMI was calculated. Children spent 55.7% of the awake portion of the day in sedentary behavior, 37.6% in light physical activity, 4.6% in moderate physical activity, and 1.9% in vigorous physical activity. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and steps/day were negatively associated with body composition (BMI and body fat percentage) variables, independent of sex and sedentary behavior. Beta values were higher for vigorous physical activity than moderate physical activity. Vigorous physical activity was negatively associated with BMI (β-.1425) and body fat percentage (β-.3082; p < .0001). In boys, there were significant negative associations between moderate, vigorous, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and steps/day with body composition, and in girls, there was only a negative association with vigorous physical activity, independent of sedentary behavior. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and steps/day (in boys), but especially vigorous physical activity (in boys and girls), are associated with body composition, independent of sedentary behavior. Sedentary behavior was not related with any of the body composition variables once adjusted for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. PMID:25902556

  18. Titin stiffness modifies the force-generating region of muscle sarcomeres.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong; Lang, Patrick; Linke, Wolfgang A

    2016-01-01

    The contractile units of striated muscle, the sarcomeres, comprise the thick (myosin) and thin (actin) filaments mediating active contraction and the titin filaments determining "passive" elasticity. We hypothesized that titin may be more active in muscle contraction by directly modulating thick-filament properties. We used single-myofibril mechanical measurements and atomic force microscopy of individual sarcomeres to quantify the effects of sarcomere strain and titin spring length on both the inter-filament lattice spacing and the lateral stiffness of the actin-myosin overlap zone (A-band). We found that strain reduced the lattice spacing similarly in sarcomeres with stiff (rabbit psoas) or compliant titin (rabbit diaphragm), but increased A-band lateral stiffness much more in psoas than in diaphragm. The strain-induced alterations in A-band stiffness that occur independently of lattice spacing effects may be due to titin stiffness-sensing by A-band proteins. This mechanosensitivity could play a role in the physiologically important phenomenon of length-dependent activation of striated muscle. PMID:27079135

  19. Titin stiffness modifies the force-generating region of muscle sarcomeres

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yong; Lang, Patrick; Linke, Wolfgang A.

    2016-01-01

    The contractile units of striated muscle, the sarcomeres, comprise the thick (myosin) and thin (actin) filaments mediating active contraction and the titin filaments determining “passive” elasticity. We hypothesized that titin may be more active in muscle contraction by directly modulating thick-filament properties. We used single-myofibril mechanical measurements and atomic force microscopy of individual sarcomeres to quantify the effects of sarcomere strain and titin spring length on both the inter-filament lattice spacing and the lateral stiffness of the actin-myosin overlap zone (A-band). We found that strain reduced the lattice spacing similarly in sarcomeres with stiff (rabbit psoas) or compliant titin (rabbit diaphragm), but increased A-band lateral stiffness much more in psoas than in diaphragm. The strain-induced alterations in A-band stiffness that occur independently of lattice spacing effects may be due to titin stiffness-sensing by A-band proteins. This mechanosensitivity could play a role in the physiologically important phenomenon of length-dependent activation of striated muscle. PMID:27079135

  20. Spatial and temporal variability in microbial activities of coastal acid saline soils of Goa, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahajan, G. R.; Manjunath, B. L.; Latare, A. M.; D'Souza, R.; Vishwakarma, S.; Singh, N. P.

    2015-11-01

    The aim of the present investigation was to study the spatio-temporal variability of the microbial activities in coastal saline soils (locally called Khazan) of Goa, India (west coast region). The coastal soil salinity is a major constraint for reduced crop yields and abandonment of farming in these areas. Three replicated global positioning based soil samples (0-0.20 m depth) from each of four salinity groups i.e. non-saline (EC=0.08±0.06 dS m-1), weakly saline (EC=2.04±0.06 dS m-1), moderately saline (EC=3.50±0.57 dS m-1) and strongly saline (EC=5.49±0.49 dS m-1) during three seasons-monsoon, post-monsoon and pre-monsoon were collected. Soil microbial activity in terms of soil microbial carbon (MBC), MBC as a fraction of soil organic carbon (SOC) (MBC/SOC), basal soil respiration (BSR), metabolic quotient (qCO2) and soil enzyme activities-dehydrogenase, phosphatase and urease was tested. In all the seasons, the soil cationic composition depended significantly (p<0.01) on salinity levels and the exchangeable sodium (Na) was the second most dominant among the tested cations. The MBC, MBC/SOC and BSR reduced significantly with increasing salinity, whereas qCO2 increased with increased salinity levels. In general, MBC, MBC/SOC and BSR and soil enzyme activities were observed as: salinity levels-strongly saline < moderately saline < weakly saline < non-saline and season-post-monsoon > monsoon > during pre-monsoon season. The mean MBC and MBC/SOC of non-saline soils were 1.61 and 2.28 times higher than that of strongly saline soils, whereas qCO2 of strongly saline soils was 2.4 times higher than that of non-saline soils. This indirectly indicates the salinity stress on the soil microorganisms. Irrespective of season, the soil enzyme activities decreased significantly (p<0.05) with increasing salinity levels. Suitable countermeasures needs to be taken up to alleviate the depressive salinity effect on the microbial and activity for the sustainable crop production in

  1. Stiffness and mass matrices for shells of revolution (SAMMSOR II)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tillerson, J. R.; Haisler, W. E.

    1974-01-01

    Utilizing element properties, structural stiffness and mass matrices are generated for as many as twenty harmonics and stored on magnetic tape. Matrices generated constitute input data to be used by other stiffness of revolution programs. Variety of boundary and loading conditions can be employed without having to create new mass and stiffness matrices for each case.

  2. Effect of chain stiffness on polymer properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luettmer-Strathmann, Jutta

    2008-03-01

    Static and dynamic properties of polymers are affected by the stiffness of the chains. In this work, we investigate structural and thermodynamic properties of a lattice model for semiflexible polymer chains. The model is an extension of Shaffer's bond- fluctuation model and includes attractive interactions between monomers and an adjustable bending penalty that determines the Kuhn segment length. For isolated chains, a competition between monomer-monomer interactions and bending penalties determines the chain conformations at low temperatures. For dense melts, packing effects play an important role in the structure and thermodynamics of the polymeric liquid. In order to investigate static properties as a function of temperature and chain stiffness, we perform Wang-Landau type simulations and construct densities of states over the two-dimensional state space of monomer-monomer and bending contributions to the internal energy.

  3. Electron profile stiffness and critical gradient studies

    SciTech Connect

    DeBoo, J. C.; Petty, C. C.; Burrell, K. H.; Smith, S. P.; White, A. E.; Doyle, E. J.; Hillesheim, J. C.; Rhodes, T. L.; Schmitz, L.; Wang, G.; Zeng, L.; Holland, C.; McKee, G. R.

    2012-08-15

    Electron profile stiffness was studied in DIII-D L-mode discharges by systematically varying the heat flux in a narrow region with electron cyclotron heating and measuring the local change produced in {nabla}T{sub e}. Electron stiffness was found to slowly increase with toroidal rotation velocity. A critical inverse temperature gradient scale length 1/L{sub C} {approx} 3 m{sup -1} was identified at {rho}=0.6 and found to be independent of rotation. Both the heat pulse diffusivity and the power balance diffusivity, the latter determined by integrating the measured dependence of the heat pulse diffusivity on -{nabla}T{sub e}, were fit reasonably well by a model containing a critical inverse temperature gradient scale length and varying linearly with 1/L{sub T} above the threshold.

  4. Drivers of Time-Activity Budget Variability during Breeding in a Pelagic Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Rishworth, Gavin M.; Tremblay, Yann; Green, David B.; Connan, Maëlle; Pistorius, Pierre A.

    2014-01-01

    During breeding, animal behaviour is particularly sensitive to environmental and food resource availability. Additionally, factors such as sex, body condition, and offspring developmental stage can influence behaviour. Amongst seabirds, behaviour is generally predictably affected by local foraging conditions and has therefore been suggested as a potentially useful proxy to indicate prey state. However, besides prey availability and distribution, a range of other variables also influence seabird behavior, and these need to be accounted for to increase the signal-to-noise ratio when assessing specific characteristics of the environment based on behavioural attributes. The aim of this study was to use continuous, fine-scale time-activity budget data from a pelagic seabird (Cape gannet, Morus capensis) to determine the influence of intrinsic (sex and body condition) and extrinsic (offspring and time) variables on parent behaviour during breeding. Foraging trip duration and chick provisioning rates were clearly sex-specific and associated with chick developmental stage. Females made fewer, longer foraging trips and spent less time at the nest during chick provisioning. These sex-specific differences became increasingly apparent with chick development. Additionally, parents in better body condition spent longer periods at their nests and those which returned later in the day had longer overall nest attendance bouts. Using recent technological advances, this study provides new insights into the foraging behaviour of breeding seabirds, particularly during the post-guarding phase. The biparental strategy of chick provisioning revealed in this study appears to be an example where the costs of egg development to the female are balanced by paternal-dominated chick provisioning particularly as the chick nears fledging. PMID:25551620

  5. Actively Heated Fiber Optics for Distributed Soil Moisture Measurements: Addressing Field Calibration and Spatial Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayde, C.; Moreno, D.; Benitez-buelga, J.; Dong, J.; Ochsner, T. E.; Steele-Dunne, S. C.; Rodriguez-Sinobas, L.; Selker, J. S.

    2015-12-01

    The Actively Heated Fiber Optics (AHFO) method has the potential to measure soil water content at high temporal (<1hr) and spatial (every 0.25 m) resolutions along buried fiber optics (FO) cables multiple kilometers in length. This game-changing method can capture soil water dynamics over four orders of magnitude in spatial scale (0.1-1000 m). However, many challenges remain to resolve for the practical applicability of the AHFO at the field scale. In particular, cost effective distributed calibration method that accounts for the spatial variability of the soil thermal properties is still lacking. In fact, AHFO infers soil water content from observing the thermal response of the soil to a heat pulse injected along the fiber optic cable. For a particular location, the temporal variation of the soil thermal response depends mainly on the soil moisture content. Across the field the variability of thermal response will also be a function of the soil thermal properties which change with the soil mineralogy and bulk density. Here we present various strategies for distributed calibration of the AHFO method based on numerical simulation, direct field observation, and/or laboratory experimentation. In particular we will present a novel approach for mapping the soil thermal behavior by conducting AHFO measurements at strategic soil water conditions such as near saturation and dry conditions. We will show results from a large scale deployment at the MOISST site in Stillwater, Oklahoma where 4900 m of fiber optic soil moisture sensing cables are providing daily soil moisture measurements at >39,000 locations in the field. The material is based upon work supported by NASA under award NNX12AP58G, with equipment and assistance also provided by CTEMPs.org with support from the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1129003. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views

  6. Variability in Obtaining Institutional Review Board Approval for Quality Improvement Activities in Residency Programs

    PubMed Central

    Conforti, Lisa N.; Hess, Brian J.; Ross, Kathryn M.; Lynn, Lorna A.; Holmboe, Eric S.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Quality improvement (QI) activities are an important part of residency training. National studies are needed to inform best practices in QI training and experience for residents. The impact of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process on such studies is not well described. Methods This observational study looked at time, length, comfort level, and overall quality of experience for 42 residency training programs in obtaining approval or exemption for a nationally based educational QI study. Results For the 42 programs in the study, the time period to IRB approval/exemption was highly variable, ranging from less than 1 week to 56.5 weeks; mean and median time was approximately 18 weeks (SD, 10.8). Greater reported comfort with the IRB process was associated with less time to obtain approval (r  =  −.50; P < .01; 95% CI, −0.70 to −0.23). A more positive overall quality of experience with the IRB process was also associated with less time to obtain IRB approval (r  =  −.60; P < .01; 95% CI, −0.74 to −0.36). Discussion The IRB process for residency programs initiating QI studies shows considerable variance that is not explained by attributes of the projects. New strategies are needed to assist and expedite IRB processes for QI research in educational settings and reduce interinstitutional variability and increase comfort level among educators with the IRB process. PMID:23451318

  7. Background gravity wave activity and its variability as determined from Dynasonde data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Negrea, C.; Zabotin, N. A.; Bullett, T. W.; Rietveld, M.

    2014-12-01

    The importance of gravity waves for the dynamics of the thermosphere-ionosphere system is a well-known fact. Numerical models of the thermosphere-ionosphere must account for gravity wave effects by using various parameterization schemes with currently unknown levels of accuracy. There are several existing methods allowing for the detection of individual instances of gravity wave manifestations. However, little information exists regarding the background wave spectrum and its variability in the thermosphere. We employ Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances (TID's) as tracers for gravity wave propagation, using results of Dynasonde data analysis as the starting point in our calculations. Data from the Wallops Island (VA), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Boulder (CO), Tromso and Svalbard (Norway) instruments are used. The interval between the sounding sessions is 2 minutes and the NeXtYZ inversion procedure (a part of the Dynasonde software package) allows us to obtain a vertical resolution for the parameters of ionospheric plasma in real height better than 1 km. The full output of the inversion procedure consists of height profiles of electron density, X (East-West) and Y (North-South) tilts of the constant plasma density contours and Doppler velocities, all of which showing persistent signs of gravity wave induced TID's. We demonstrate using a few examples that the characteristics of the observed TID's are in good agreement with the dispersion relation describing gravity waves. The ionospheric tilt measurements allow for determination of the direction of propagation for every wave mode. For each calendar month of 2013, the tilt spectra is obtained as a function of altitude using a Lomb-Scargle Welch implementation. The analysis is applied to all 6 stations proving unprecedented geographical coverage. The result is a complete picture of the altitude, temporal and location variability of gravity wave activity in the accessible thermospheric altitude interval with included

  8. Drivers of time-activity budget variability during breeding in a pelagic seabird.

    PubMed

    Rishworth, Gavin M; Tremblay, Yann; Green, David B; Connan, Maëlle; Pistorius, Pierre A

    2014-01-01

    During breeding, animal behaviour is particularly sensitive to environmental and food resource availability. Additionally, factors such as sex, body condition, and offspring developmental stage can influence behaviour. Amongst seabirds, behaviour is generally predictably affected by local foraging conditions and has therefore been suggested as a potentially useful proxy to indicate prey state. However, besides prey availability and distribution, a range of other variables also influence seabird behavior, and these need to be accounted for to increase the signal-to-noise ratio when assessing specific characteristics of the environment based on behavioural attributes. The aim of this study was to use continuous, fine-scale time-activity budget data from a pelagic seabird (Cape gannet, Morus capensis) to determine the influence of intrinsic (sex and body condition) and extrinsic (offspring and time) variables on parent behaviour during breeding. Foraging trip duration and chick provisioning rates were clearly sex-specific and associated with chick developmental stage. Females made fewer, longer foraging trips and spent less time at the nest during chick provisioning. These sex-specific differences became increasingly apparent with chick development. Additionally, parents in better body condition spent longer periods at their nests and those which returned later in the day had longer overall nest attendance bouts. Using recent technological advances, this study provides new insights into the foraging behaviour of breeding seabirds, particularly during the post-guarding phase. The biparental strategy of chick provisioning revealed in this study appears to be an example where the costs of egg development to the female are balanced by paternal-dominated chick provisioning particularly as the chick nears fledging. PMID:25551620

  9. X-ray variability and the inner region in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Mohan, P.; Mangalam, A. E-mail: mangalam@iiap.res.in

    2014-08-20

    We present theoretical models of X-ray variability attributable to orbital signatures from an accretion disk including emission region size, quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs), and its quality factor Q, and the emergence of a break frequency in the power spectral density shape. We find a fractional variability amplitude of F{sub var}∝M{sub ∙}{sup −0.4}. We conduct a time series analysis on X-ray light curves (0.3-10 keV) of a sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). A statistically significant bend frequency is inferred in 9 of 58 light curves (16%) from 3 AGNs for which the break timescale is consistent with the reported BH spin but not with the reported BH mass. Upper limits of 2.85 × 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉} in NGC 4051, 8.02 × 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉} in MRK 766, and 4.68 × 10{sup 7} M {sub ☉} in MCG-6-30-15 are inferred for maximally spinning BHs. For REJ 1034+396 where a QPO at 3733 s was reported, we obtain an emission region size of (6-6.5) M and a BH spin of a ≲ 0.08. The relativistic inner region of a thin disk, dominated by radiation pressure and electron scattering, is likely to host the orbital features as the simulated Q ranges from 6.3 × 10{sup –2} to 4.25 × 10{sup 6}, containing the observed Q. The derived value of Q ∼ 32 for REJ 1034+396 therefore suggests that the AGN hosts a thin disk.

  10. Stiff modes in spinvalve simulations with OOMMF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitropoulos, Spyridon; Tsiantos, Vassilis; Ovaliadis, Kyriakos; Kechrakos, Dimitris; Donahue, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Micromagnetic simulations are an important tool for the investigation of magnetic materials. Micromagnetic software uses various techniques to solve differential equations, partial or ordinary, involved in the dynamic simulations. Euler, Runge-Kutta, Adams, and BDF (Backward Differentiation Formulae) are some of the methods used for this purpose. In this paper, spinvalve simulations are investigated. Evidence is presented showing that these systems have stiff modes, and that implicit methods such as BDF are more effective than explicit methods in such cases.

  11. Microbial contribution to carbon biogeochemistry in the Central Mediterranean Sea: Variability of activities and biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Ferla, Rosabruna; Azzaro, Filippo; Azzaro, Maurizio; Caruso, Gabriella; Decembrini, Franco; Leonardi, Marcella; Maimone, Giovanna; Monticelli, Luis S.; Raffa, Francesco; Santinelli, Chiara; Zaccone, Renata; Ribera d'Alcalà, Maurizio

    2005-08-01

    This paper concerns the current debate as to whether oceans are heterotrophic or autotrophic environments. Microbes are responsible for the assimilation and remineralization of CO 2 in the sea and microbial processes are involved in the Earth climatic change. The variability of microbial biomass and activities were studied in the Mediterranean Sea which represents a suitable basin for mapping the trophic regimes by the study of biogeochemical processes. The surveys were carried out in the epi-, meso- and bathy-pelagic zones of the Central Mediterranean Sea from 1996 to 2002. Bacterial abundance, leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) and β-glucosidase (β-GLU) activities, bacterial carbon production (BCP), community respiration (R) and primary production (PP) were the main parameters investigated. Biomass and activities seasonally varied in epipelagic and, to some extent, in meso- and bathy-pelagic layers too and several trophic ratios were determined, showing different scenarios in the different areas and seasons. In the euphotic layer, bacterial growth efficiency (BGE) widely ranged between 4% and 50% showing a decreasing trend from estuaries towards pelagic areas in alignment with the trophic gradient from the Northern Adriatic to the Ionian Sea. However, BGE did not correlate to PP and temperature. The Central Mediterranean Sea showed different trophic regimes in the examined areas and seasons. In the Northern Adriatic Sea in winter, the trophic balance appeared to move towards autotrophy and a positive C budget resulted. An opposite scenario happened in summer when the trophic balance moved to heterotrophy and a negative C budget occurred. In the Ionian Sea, the overall balance turned always towards remineralization. However, on annual time scale, the Central Mediterranean Sea seems to show a tendency towards a heterotrophic system.

  12. Variability in Physical Activity Assessed with Accelerometer Is an Independent Predictor of Mortality in CHF Patients

    PubMed Central

    Melin, Michael; Hagerman, Inger; Gonon, Adrian; Gustafsson, Thomas; Rullman, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Aims Patients with heart failure often display a distinct pattern of walking characterized by short step-length and frequent short pauses. In the current study we sought to explore if qualitative aspects of movement have any additive value to established factors to predict all-cause mortality in patients with advanced heart failure. Methods and results 60 patients with advanced heart failure (NYHA III, peak VO2 <20 ml/kg and LVEF <35%) underwent symptom-limited CPX, echocardiography and routine chemistry. Physical activity was assessed using an accelerometer worn attached to the waist during waking hours for 7 consecutive days. The heart-failure survival score (HFSS) was calculated for each patient. All accelerometer-derived variables were analyzed with regard to all-cause mortality and added to a baseline model utilizing HFSS scores. HFSS score was significantly associated with the incidence of death (P<0.001; c-index 0.71; CI, 0.67–0.73). The addition of peak skewness to the HFSS model significantly improved the predictive ability with an increase in c-index to 0.74 (CI, 0.69–0.78), likelihood ratio P<0.02, establishing skewness as a predictor of increased event rates when accounting for baseline risk. Conclusion The feature skewness, a measure of asymmetry in the intensity level of periods of high physical activity, was identified to be predictive of all-cause mortality independent of the established prognostic model–HFSS and peak VO2. The findings from the present study emphasize the use of accelerometer analysis in clinical practice to make more accurate prognoses in addition to extract features of physical activity relevant to functional classification. PMID:27054323

  13. Autonomic nervous system activity assessment by heart rate variability in experimental bladder outlet obstruction.

    PubMed

    Dobrek, Łukasz; Baranowska, Agnieszka; Skowron, Beata; Thor, Piotr J

    2013-01-01

    A syndrome with urgency, with or without associated urine incontinence and usually accompanied by higher urinary frequency and nocturia has been named "overactive bladder; OAB". OAB is an entity with complex pathophysiology, involving both myogenic and neurogenic (afferent / efferent bladder innervation) disturbances. OAB symptoms accompany benign prostatic hypertrophy--BPH ("obstructive OAB"). The aim of the study was to estimate the autonomic nervous system activity (ANS) in the experimental bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) which was an animal model of the human BPH. The study was conducted using 30 female rats, divided into two groups: BOO animals (n=15), with surgically induced BOO (by partial ligation of the proximal urethra) and control ones (n=15), which underwent sham procedure (without urethral ligation). Two weeks after the surgery, in both groups, ANS activity was estimated using time- and spectral analysis of the heart rate variability recordings. The bladder overactivity in BOO animals was confirmed using urodynamic recordings and bladder histological assessment, juxtaposed against the results of the control group. The key finding of our study was the development of autonomic disturbances in bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) rats. Our study revealed that BOO animals were characterised by diminished rMSSD and spectral HRV parameters: TP, LF and HF, in comparison with the control group. The normalised nLF and nHF parameters did not differ significantly in both groups, although slight changes in the nLF (increased) and nHF (decreased) were noted in BOO group. The absolute VLF value was almost the same in both studied populations, however, the percentage part of this component in the appropriate HRV spectrum differed considerably in both studied groups. In BOO animals, VLF percentage amounted to about 90%, whereas in control animals this parameter reached only about 53% of the total power spectrum. Thus, to sum up, our findings suggest autonomic imbalance

  14. Exchange stiffness of Ca-doped YIG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avgin, I.; Huber, D. L.

    1994-05-01

    An effective medium theory for the zero-temperature exchange stiffness of uncompensated Ca-doped YIG is presented. The theory is based on the assumption that the effect of the Ca impurities is to produce strong, random ferromagnetic interactions between spins on the a and d sublattices. In the simplest version of the theory, a fraction, x, of the ad exchange integrals are large and positive, x being related to the Ca concentration. The stiffness is calculated as function of x for arbitrary perturbed ad exchange integral, Jxad. For Jxad≳(1/5)‖8Jaa+3Jdd‖, with Jaa and Jdd denoting the aa and dd exchange integrals, respectively, there is a critical concentration, Xc, such that when x≳Xc, the stiffness is complex. It is suggested that Xc delineates the region where there are significant departures from colinearity in the ground state of the Fe spins. Extension of the theory to a model where the Ca doping is assumed to generate Fe4+ ions on the tetrahedral sites is discussed. Possible experimental tests of the theory are mentioned.

  15. Activity in a Cortical-Basal Ganglia Circuit for Song Is Required for Social Context-Dependent Vocal Variability

    PubMed Central

    Stepanek, Laurie

    2010-01-01

    Variability in adult motor output is important for enabling animals to respond to changing external conditions. Songbirds are useful for studying variability because they alter the amount of variation in their song depending on social context. When an adult zebra finch male sings to a female (“directed”), his song is highly stereotyped, but when he sings alone (“undirected”), his song varies across renditions. Lesions of the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN), the output nucleus of a cortical-basal ganglia circuit for song, reduce song variability to that of the stereotyped “performance” state. However, such lesions not only eliminate LMAN's synaptic input to its targets, but can also cause structural or physiological changes in connected brain regions, and thus cannot assess whether the acute activity of LMAN is important for social modulation of adult song variability. To evaluate the effects of ongoing LMAN activity, we reversibly silenced LMAN in singing zebra finches by bilateral reverse microdialysis of the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol. We found that LMAN inactivation acutely reduced undirected song variability, both across and even within syllable renditions, to the level of directed song variability in all birds examined. Song variability returned to pre-muscimol inactivation levels after drug washout. However, unlike LMAN lesions, LMAN inactivation did not eliminate social context effects on song tempo in adult birds. These results indicate that the activity of LMAN neurons acutely and actively generates social context-dependent increases in adult song variability but that social regulation of tempo is more complex. PMID:20884763

  16. Spatio-temporal variability of phytoplankton photosynthetic activity in a macrotidal ecosystem (the Strait of Dover, eastern English Channel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houliez, Emilie; Lizon, Fabrice; Artigas, Luis Felipe; Lefebvre, Sébastien; Schmitt, François G.

    2013-09-01

    Photosynthetic parameters, phytoplankton assemblages and physicochemical parameters were analysed in the Strait of Dover along an inshore-offshore transect between September 2008 and December 2009. The samples were collected weekly at 9 stations only at the surface or at both surface and depth. The photosynthetic activity was obtained by measuring Rapid Light Curves (RLC) using Pulse Amplitude Modulated (PAM) fluorometry. Temporal variability of the maximal light utilization efficiency (α), maximum electron transport rate (ETRm) and light saturation coefficient (Ek) were greater than spatial variability (in horizontal and vertical dimensions) whereas temporal variability of the maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm) was of the same order of magnitude as its spatial variability within the water column (in the vertical dimension). ETRm and α were positively correlated and the slope of the relation varied significantly between the different depths and seasons. The highest values of ETRm and α were obtained in summer (June) and late autumn - early winter (September-October & December) and the lowest in spring (March-April). The spatial variability of these parameters was greater vertically than horizontally. Differences between depths were particularly pronounced at the station nearest to the coast where photosynthetic response seems to be controlled by the light history of the cells. Seasonal variability in photosynthetic activity was mostly related to phytoplankton assemblages, light and temperature whereas the light history of the cells within the water column could be the most important factor in depth variability.

  17. Familial influences on the full range of variability in attention and activity levels during adolescence: A longitudinal twin study.

    PubMed

    Peng, Chun-Zi; Grant, Julia D; Heath, Andrew C; Reiersen, Angela M; Mulligan, Richard C; Anokhin, Andrey P

    2016-05-01

    To investigate familial influences on the full range of variability in attention and activity across adolescence, we collected maternal ratings of 339 twin pairs at ages 12, 14, and 16, and estimated the transmitted and new familial influences on attention and activity as measured by the Strengths and Weaknesses of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms and Normal Behavior Scale. Familial influences were substantial for both traits across adolescence: genetic influences accounted for 54%-73% (attention) and 31%-73% (activity) of the total variance, and shared environmental influences accounted for 0%-22% of the attention variance and 13%-57% of the activity variance. The longitudinal stability of individual differences in attention and activity was largely accounted for by familial influences transmitted from previous ages. Innovations over adolescence were also partially attributable to familial influences. Studying the full range of variability in attention and activity may facilitate our understanding of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder's etiology and intervention. PMID:26612434

  18. Hydrothermal activity at slow-spreading ridges: variability and importance of magmatic controls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escartin, Javier

    2016-04-01

    Hydrothermal activity along mid-ocean ridge axes is ubiquitous, associated with mass, chemical, and heat exchanges between the deep lithosphere and the overlying envelopes, and sustaining chemiosynthetic ecosystems at the seafloor. Compared with hydrothermal fields at fast-spreading ridges, those at slow spreading ones show a large variability as their location and nature is controlled or influenced by several parameters that are inter-related: a) tectonic setting, ranging from 'volcanic systems' (along the rift valley floor, volcanic ridges, seamounts), to 'tectonic' ones (rift-bounding faults, oceanic detachment faults); b) the nature of the host rock, owing to compositional heterogeneity of slow-spreading lithosphere (basalt, gabbro, peridotite); c) the type of heat source (magmatic bodies at depth, hot lithosphere, serpentinization reactions); d) and the associated temperature of outflow fluids (high- vs.- low temperature venting and their relative proportion). A systematic review of the distribution and characteristics of hydrothermal fields along the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge suggests that long-lived hydrothermal activity is concentrated either at oceanic detachment faults, or along volcanic segments with evidence of robust magma supply to the axis. A detailed study of the magmatically robust Lucky Strike segment suggests that all present and past hydrothermal activity is found at the center of the segment. The association of these fields to central volcanos, and the absence of indicators of hydrothermal activity along the remaining of the ridge segment, suggests that long-lived hydrothermal activity in these volcanic systems is maintained by the enhanced melt supply and the associated magma chamber(s) required to build these volcanic edifices. In this setting, hydrothermal outflow zones at the seafloor are systematically controlled by faults, indicating that hydrothermal fluids in the shallow crust exploit permeable fault zones to circulate. While

  19. Where's the Noise? Key Features of Spontaneous Activity and Neural Variability Arise through Learning in a Deterministic Network.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Christoph; Lazar, Andreea; Nessler, Bernhard; Triesch, Jochen

    2015-12-01

    Even in the absence of sensory stimulation the brain is spontaneously active. This background "noise" seems to be the dominant cause of the notoriously high trial-to-trial variability of neural recordings. Recent experimental observations have extended our knowledge of trial-to-trial variability and spontaneous activity in several directions: 1. Trial-to-trial variability systematically decreases following the onset of a sensory stimulus or the start of a motor act. 2. Spontaneous activity states in sensory cortex outline the region of evoked sensory responses. 3. Across development, spontaneous activity aligns itself with typical evoked activity patterns. 4. The spontaneous brain activity prior to the presentation of an ambiguous stimulus predicts how the stimulus will be interpreted. At present it is unclear how these observations relate to each other and how they arise in cortical circuits. Here we demonstrate that all of these phenomena can be accounted for by a deterministic self-organizing recurrent neural network model (SORN), which learns a predictive model of its sensory environment. The SORN comprises recurrently coupled populations of excitatory and inhibitory threshold units and learns via a combination of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms. Similar to balanced network architectures, units in the network show irregular activity and variable responses to inputs. Additionally, however, the SORN exhibits sequence learning abilities matching recent findings from visual cortex and the network's spontaneous activity reproduces the experimental findings mentioned above. Intriguingly, the network's behaviour is reminiscent of sampling-based probabilistic inference, suggesting that correlates of sampling-based inference can develop from the interaction of STDP and homeostasis in deterministic networks. We conclude that key observations on spontaneous brain activity and the variability of neural responses can be

  20. Where’s the Noise? Key Features of Spontaneous Activity and Neural Variability Arise through Learning in a Deterministic Network

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Christoph; Lazar, Andreea; Nessler, Bernhard; Triesch, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    Even in the absence of sensory stimulation the brain is spontaneously active. This background “noise” seems to be the dominant cause of the notoriously high trial-to-trial variability of neural recordings. Recent experimental observations have extended our knowledge of trial-to-trial variability and spontaneous activity in several directions: 1. Trial-to-trial variability systematically decreases following the onset of a sensory stimulus or the start of a motor act. 2. Spontaneous activity states in sensory cortex outline the region of evoked sensory responses. 3. Across development, spontaneous activity aligns itself with typical evoked activity patterns. 4. The spontaneous brain activity prior to the presentation of an ambiguous stimulus predicts how the stimulus will be interpreted. At present it is unclear how these observations relate to each other and how they arise in cortical circuits. Here we demonstrate that all of these phenomena can be accounted for by a deterministic self-organizing recurrent neural network model (SORN), which learns a predictive model of its sensory environment. The SORN comprises recurrently coupled populations of excitatory and inhibitory threshold units and learns via a combination of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms. Similar to balanced network architectures, units in the network show irregular activity and variable responses to inputs. Additionally, however, the SORN exhibits sequence learning abilities matching recent findings from visual cortex and the network’s spontaneous activity reproduces the experimental findings mentioned above. Intriguingly, the network’s behaviour is reminiscent of sampling-based probabilistic inference, suggesting that correlates of sampling-based inference can develop from the interaction of STDP and homeostasis in deterministic networks. We conclude that key observations on spontaneous brain activity and the variability of neural responses can be

  1. Bending stiffness of conical and standard external fixator pins.

    PubMed

    Oni, O O; Capper, M; Soutis, C

    1993-10-01

    The bending stiffnesses of a conical and a standard external fixator pin have been compared. The pins were inserted into pilot holes in a piece of teak hardwood and loads of different magnitudes were applied at a fixed moment arm. Force-deflection curves were obtained for each pin, and stiffness (newtons per metre) and percentage stiffness reduction were calculated for each pilot hole size. The results show that deflection increased (i.e. stiffness decreased) with increasing force or diameter of pilot hole. This loss of stiffness was linear for the standard pin but was bimodal for the conical pin. PMID:8286671

  2. Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Stiffness as a Mechanism for Increased Aortic Stiffness with Aging

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Hongyu; Zhu, Yi; Sun, Zhe; Trzeciakowski, Jerome P.; Gansner, Meredith; Depre, Christophe; Resuello, Ranillo R.G.; Natividad, Filipinas F.; Hunter, William C.; Genin, Guy M.; Elson, Elliot L.; Vatner, Dorothy E.; Meininger, Gerald A.; Vatner, Stephen F.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale Increased aortic stiffness, an important feature of many vascular diseases, e.g., aging, hypertension, atherosclerosis and aortic aneurysms, is assumed due to changes in extracellular matrix (ECM). Objective We tested the hypothesis that the mechanisms also involve intrinsic stiffening of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Methods and Results Stiffness was measured in vitro both by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and in a reconstituted tissue model, using VSMCs from aorta of young versus old male monkeys (Macaca fascicularis, n=7/group), where aortic stiffness increases by 200 % in vivo. The apparent elastic modulus was increased (P<0.05) in old VSMCs (41.7±0.5 kPa) versus young (12.8±0.3 kPa), but not after disassembly of the actin cytoskeleton with cytochalasin D. Stiffness of the VSMCs in the reconstituted tissue model was also higher (P<0.05) in old (23.3±3.0 kPa) than in young (13.7±2.4 kPa). Conclusions These data support the novel concept, not appreciated previously, that increased vascular stiffness with aging is due not only to changes in ECM, but also to intrinsic changes in VSMCs. PMID:20634486

  3. Cosmology with a stiff matter era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavanis, Pierre-Henri

    2015-11-01

    We consider the possibility that the Universe is made of a dark fluid described by a quadratic equation of state P =K ρ2 , where ρ is the rest-mass density and K is a constant. The energy density ɛ =ρ c2+K ρ2 is the sum of two terms: a rest-mass term ρ c2 that mimics "dark matter" (P =0 ) and an internal energy term u =K ρ2=P that mimics a "stiff fluid" (P =ɛ ) in which the speed of sound is equal to the speed of light. In the early universe, the internal energy dominates and the dark fluid behaves as a stiff fluid (P ˜ɛ , ɛ ∝a-6). In the late universe, the rest-mass energy dominates and the dark fluid behaves as pressureless dark matter (P ≃0 , ɛ ∝a-3). We provide a simple analytical solution of the Friedmann equations for a universe undergoing a stiff matter era, a dark matter era, and a dark energy era due to the cosmological constant. This analytical solution generalizes the Einstein-de Sitter solution describing the dark matter era, and the Λ CDM model describing the dark matter era and the dark energy era. Historically, the possibility of a primordial stiff matter era first appeared in the cosmological model of Zel'dovich where the primordial universe is assumed to be made of a cold gas of baryons. A primordial stiff matter era also occurs in recent cosmological models where dark matter is made of relativistic self-gravitating Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs). When the internal energy of the dark fluid mimicking stiff matter is positive, the primordial universe is singular like in the standard big bang theory. It expands from an initial state with a vanishing scale factor and an infinite density. We consider the possibility that the internal energy of the dark fluid is negative (while, of course, its total energy density is positive), so that it mimics anti-stiff matter. This happens, for example, when the BECs have an attractive self-interaction with a negative scattering length. In that case, the primordial universe is nonsingular and

  4. Temporal variability of glucocorticoid receptor activity is functionally important for the therapeutic action of fluoxetine in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Lee, M-S; Kim, Y-H; Park, W-S; Park, O-K; Kwon, S-H; Hong, K S; Rhim, H; Shim, I; Morita, K; Wong, D L; Patel, P D; Lyons, D M; Schatzberg, A F; Her, S

    2016-02-01

    Previous studies have shown inconsistent results regarding the actions of antidepressants on glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signalling. To resolve these inconsistencies, we used a lentiviral-based reporter system to directly monitor rat hippocampal GR activity during stress adaptation. Temporal GR activation was induced significantly by acute stress, as demonstrated by an increase in the intra-individual variability of the acute stress group compared with the variability of the non-stress group. However, the increased intra-individual variability was dampened by exposure to chronic stress, which was partly restored by fluoxetine treatment without affecting glucocorticoid secretion. Immobility in the forced-swim test was negatively correlated with the intra-individual variability, but was not correlated with the quantitative GR activity during fluoxetine therapy; this highlights the temporal variability in the neurobiological links between GR signalling and the therapeutic action of fluoxetine. Furthermore, we demonstrated sequential phosphorylation between GR (S224) and (S232) following fluoxetine treatment, showing a molecular basis for hormone-independent nuclear translocation and transcriptional enhancement. Collectively, these results suggest a neurobiological mechanism by which fluoxetine treatment confers resilience to the chronic stress-mediated attenuation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. PMID:25330740

  5. Imaging active layer and permafrost variability in the Arctic using electromagnetic induction data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dafflon, B.; Hubbard, S. S.; Ulrich, C.; Peterson, J. E.; Wu, Y.; Chen, J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2012-12-01

    Characterizing the spatial variability of active layer and permafrost properties is critical for gaining an understanding of Arctic ecosystem functioning and for parameterizing process-rich models that simulate feedbacks to a changing climate. Due to the sensitivity of electrical conductivity measurements to moisture content, salinity and freeze state in the active layer and permafrost and the ease of collecting electromagnetic induction (EMI) data with portable tools over large regions, EMI holds great potential for characterization of permafrost systems. However, inversion of such EMI data to estimate the subsurface electrical conductivity distribution is challenging. The challenges are due to the insufficient amount of information (even when using multiple configurations that vary coil spacing, orientation and elevation and signal frequency) needed to find a unique solution. The non-uniqueness problem is typically approached by invoking prior information, such as inversion constraints and initial models. Unfortunately, such prior information can significantly influence the obtained inversion result. We describe the development and implementation of a new grid search based method for estimating electrical conductivity from EMI data that evaluates the influence of priors and the information contained in such data. The new method can be applied to investigate two or three layer 1-D models reproducing the recorded data within a specified range of uncertainty at each measurement location over a large surveyed site. Importantly, the method can quickly evaluate multiple priors and data from numerous measurement locations, since the time-consuming simulation of the EMI signals from the multi-dimension search grid needs to be performed only once. We applied the developed approach to EMI data acquired in Barrow, AK at the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE Arctic) study site on the Barrow Environmental Observatory. Our specific focus was on a 475-meter linear

  6. Matrix stiffness exerts biphasic control over monocyte-endothelial adhesion via Rho-mediated ICAM-1 clustering.

    PubMed

    Scott, Harry A; Quach, Boi; Yang, Xiao; Ardekani, Soroush; Cabrera, Andrea P; Wilson, Randall; Messaoudi-Powers, Ilhem; Ghosh, Kaustabh

    2016-08-01

    Leukocyte-endothelial adhesion is a critical early step in chronic vascular inflammation associated with diabetes, emphysema, and aging. Importantly, these conditions are also marked by abnormal subendothelial matrix crosslinking (stiffness). Yet, whether and how abnormal matrix stiffness contributes to leukocyte-endothelial adhesion remains poorly understood. Using a co-culture of human monocytic cells and human microvascular endothelial cells (ECs) grown on matrices of tunable stiffness, we demonstrate that matrix stiffness exerts biphasic control over monocyte-EC adhesion, with both matrix softening and stiffening eliciting a two-fold increase in this adhesive interaction. This preferential endothelial adhesivity on softer and stiffer matrices was consistent with a significant increase in α-actinin-4-associated endothelial ICAM-1 clustering, a key determinant of monocyte-EC adhesion. Further, the enhanced ICAM-1 clustering on soft and stiff matrices correlated strongly with an increase in Rho activity and ROCK2 expression. Importantly, inhibition of Rho/ROCK activity blocked the effects of abnormal matrix stiffness on ICAM-1 clustering and monocyte-EC adhesion. Thus, these findings implicate matrix stiffness-dependent ICAM-1 clustering as an important regulator of vascular inflammation and provide the rationale for closely examining mechanotransduction pathways as new molecular targets for anti-inflammatory therapy. PMID:27444067

  7. Exceptional Amyloid β Peptide Hydrolyzing Activity of Nonphysiological Immunoglobulin Variable Domain Scaffolds*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Taguchi, Hiroaki; Planque, Stephanie; Sapparapu, Gopal; Boivin, Stephane; Hara, Mariko; Nishiyama, Yasuhiro; Paul, Sudhir

    2008-01-01

    Nucleophilic sites in the paired variable domains of the light and heavy chains (VL and VH domains) of Ig can catalyze peptide bond hydrolysis. Amyloid β (Aβ)-binding Igs are under consideration for immunotherapy of Alzheimer disease. We searched for Aβ-hydrolyzing human IgV domains (IgVs) in a library containing a majority of single chain Fv clones mimicking physiological VL-VH-combining sites and minority IgV populations with nonphysiological structures generated by cloning errors. Random screening and covalent selection of phage-displayed IgVs with an electrophilic Aβ analog identified rare IgVs that hydrolyzed Aβ mainly at His14-Gln15. Inhibition of IgV catalysis and irreversible binding by an electrophilic hapten suggested a nucleophilic catalytic mechanism. Structural analysis indicated that the catalytic IgVs are nonphysiological structures, a two domain heterodimeric VL (IgVL2-t) and single domain VL clones with aberrant polypeptide tags (IgVL-t′). The IgVs hydrolyzed Aβ at rates superior to naturally occurring Igs by 3-4 orders of magnitude. Forced pairing of the single domain VL with VH or VL domains resulted in reduced Aβ hydrolysis, suggesting catalysis by the unpaired VL domain.Ångstrom level amino acid displacements evident in molecular models of the two domain and unpaired VL domain clones explain alterations of catalytic activity. In view of their superior catalytic activity, the VL domain IgVs may help attain clearance of medically important antigens more efficiently than natural Igs. PMID:18974093

  8. Regional Heat Sources and the Active and Break Phases of Boreal Summer Intraseasonal Variability

    SciTech Connect

    Annamalai, H; Sperber, K R

    2003-12-15

    The boreal summer intraseasonal variability (BSISV) associated with the 30-50 day mode is represented by the co-existence of three components, poleward propagation of convection over the Indian and tropical west Pacific longitudes and eastward propagation along the equator. The hypothesis that the three components influence each other has been investigated using observed OLR, NCEP-NCAR reanalysis, and solutions from an idealized linear model. The null hypothesis is that the three components are mutually independent. Cyclostationary EOF (CsEOF) analysis is applied on filtered OLR to extract the life-cycle of the BSISV. The dominant mode of CsEOF is significantly tied to observed rainfall over the Indian subcontinent. The components of the heating patterns from CsEOF analysis serve as prescribed forcings for the linear model. This allows us to ascertain which heat sources and sinks are instrumental in driving the large-scale monsoon circulation during the BSISV life-cycle. We identify three new findings: (1) the circulation anomalies that develop as a Rossby wave response to suppressed convection over the equatorial Indian Ocean associated with the previous break phase of the BSISV precondition the ocean-atmosphere system in the western Indian Ocean and trigger the next active phase of the BSISV, (2) the development of convection over the tropical west Pacific forces descent anomalies to the west. This, in conjunction with the weakened cross-equatorial flow due to suppressed convective anomalies over the equatorial Indian Ocean reduce the tropospheric moisture over the Arabian Sea, and promote westerly wind anomalies that do not recurve over India. As a result the low-level cyclonic vorticity shifts from India to southeast Asia and break conditions are initiated over India, and (3) the circulation anomalies forced by equatorial Indian Ocean convective anomalies significantly influence the active/break phases over the tropical west Pacific. Our model solutions support

  9. The contribution of pre-stimulus neural oscillatory activity to spontaneous response time variability.

    PubMed

    Bompas, Aline; Sumner, Petroc; Muthumumaraswamy, Suresh D; Singh, Krish D; Gilchrist, Iain D

    2015-02-15

    Large variability between individual response times, even in identical conditions, is a ubiquitous property of animal behavior. However, the origins of this stochasticity and its relation to action decisions remain unclear. Here we focus on the state of the perception-action network in the pre-stimulus period and its influence on subsequent saccadic response time and choice in humans. We employ magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a correlational source reconstruction approach to identify the brain areas where pre-stimulus oscillatory activity predicted saccadic response time to visual targets. We find a relationship between future response time and pre-stimulus power, but not phase, in occipital (including V1), parietal, posterior cingulate and superior frontal cortices, consistently across alpha, beta and low gamma frequencies, each accounting for between 1 and 4% of the RT variance. Importantly, these correlations were not explained by deterministic sources of variance, such as experimental factors and trial history. Our results further suggest that occipital areas mainly reflect short-term (trial to trial) stochastic fluctuations, while the frontal contribution largely reflects longer-term effects such as fatigue or practice. Parietal areas reflect fluctuations at both time scales. We found no evidence of lateralization: these effects were indistinguishable in both hemispheres and for both saccade directions, and non-predictive of choice - a finding with fundamental consequences for models of action decision, where independent, not coupled, noise is normally assumed. PMID:25482267

  10. OBLIQUE SHOCKS AS THE ORIGIN OF RADIO TO GAMMA-RAY VARIABILITY IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Hughes, Philip A.; Aller, Margo F.; Aller, Hugh D. E-mail: mfa@umich.edu

    2011-07-10

    The 'shock in jet' model for centimeter-waveband blazar variability is revisited, allowing for arbitrary shock orientation with respect to the jet flow direction, and both random and ordered magnetic field. It is shown that oblique shocks can explain events with swings in polarization position angle much less than the 90{sup 0} associated with transverse structures, while retaining the general characteristics of outbursts, including spectral behavior and level of peak percentage polarization. Models dominated by a force-free, minimum energy magnetic field configuration (essentially helical) display a shallow rise in percentage polarization and frequency-dependent swing in polarization position angle not in agreement with the results of single-dish monitoring observations, implying that the field is predominantly random in the quiescent state. Outbursts well explained by the 'shock in jet' model are present during {gamma}-ray flaring in several sources, supporting the idea that shock events are responsible for activity from the radio to {gamma}-ray bands.

  11. Low-mass Active Galactic Nuclei with Rapid X-Ray Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Luis C.; Kim, Minjin

    2016-04-01

    We present a detailed study of the optical spectroscopic properties of 12 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with candidate low-mass black holes (BHs) selected by Kamizasa et al. through rapid X-ray variability. The high-quality, echellette Magellan spectra reveal broad Hα emission in all the sources, allowing us to estimate robust virial BH masses and Eddington ratios for this unique sample. We confirm that the sample contains low-mass BHs accreting at high rates: the median MBH = 1.2 × 106 M⊙ and median Lbol/LEdd = 0.44. The sample follows the MBH–σ* relation, within the considerable scatter typical of pseudobulges, the probable hosts of these low-mass AGNs. Various lines of evidence suggest that ongoing star formation is prevalent in these systems. We propose a new strategy to estimate star formation rates in AGNs hosted by low-mass, low-metallicity galaxies, based on modification of an existing method using the strength of [O ii] λ3727, [O iii] λ5007, and X-rays.

  12. Regional brain stiffness changes across the Alzheimer's disease spectrum☆

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Matthew C.; Jones, David T.; Jack, Clifford R.; Glaser, Kevin J.; Senjem, Matthew L.; Manduca, Armando; Felmlee, Joel P.; Carter, Rickey E.; Ehman, Richard L.; Huston, John

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is an MRI-based technique to noninvasively measure tissue stiffness. Currently well established for clinical use in the liver, MRE is increasingly being investigated to measure brain stiffness as a novel biomarker of a variety of neurological diseases. The purpose of this work was to apply a recently developed MRE pipeline to measure regional brain stiffness changes in human subjects across the Alzheimer's disease (AD) spectrum, and to gain insights into the biological processes underlying those stiffness changes by correlating stiffness with existing biomarkers of AD. The results indicate that stiffness changes occur mostly in the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes, in accordance with the known topography of AD pathology. Furthermore, stiffness in those areas correlates with existing imaging biomarkers of AD including hippocampal volumes and amyloid PET. Additional analysis revealed preliminary but significant evidence that the relationship between brain stiffness and AD severity is nonlinear and non-monotonic. Given that similar relationships have been observed in functional MRI experiments, we used task-free fMRI data to test the hypothesis that brain stiffness was sensitive to structural changes associated with altered functional connectivity. The analysis revealed that brain stiffness is significantly and positively correlated with default mode network connectivity. Therefore, brain stiffness as measured by MRE has potential to provide new and essential insights into the temporal dynamics of AD, as well as the relationship between functional and structural plasticity as it relates to AD pathophysiology. PMID:26900568

  13. Extreme damping in composite materials with negative-stiffness inclusions.

    PubMed

    Lakes, R S; Lee, T; Bersie, A; Wang, Y C

    2001-03-29

    When a force deforms an elastic object, practical experience suggests that the resulting displacement will be in the same direction as the force. This property is known as positive stiffness. Less familiar is the concept of negative stiffness, where the deforming force and the resulting displacement are in opposite directions. (Negative stiffness is distinct from negative Poisson's ratio, which refers to the occurrence of lateral expansion upon stretching an object.) Negative stiffness can occur, for example, when the deforming object has stored (or is supplied with) energy. This property is usually unstable, but it has been shown theoretically that inclusions of negative stiffness can be stabilized within a positive-stiffness matrix. Here we describe the experimental realization of this composite approach by embedding negative-stiffness inclusions of ferroelastic vanadium dioxide in a pure tin matrix. The resulting composites exhibit extreme mechanical damping and large anomalies in stiffness, as a consequence of the high local strains that result from the inclusions deforming more than the composite as a whole. Moreover, for certain temperature ranges, the negative-stiffness inclusions are more effective than diamond inclusions for increasing the overall composite stiffness. We expect that such composites could be useful as high damping materials, as stiff structural elements or for actuator-type applications. PMID:11279490

  14. Hypertension and arterial stiffness in heart transplantation patients

    PubMed Central

    de Souza-Neto, João David; de Oliveira, Ítalo Martins; Lima-Rocha, Hermano Alexandre; Oliveira-Lima, José Wellington; Bacal, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Post-transplantation hypertension is prevalent and is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and subsequent graft dysfunction. The present study aimed to identify the factors associated with arterial stiffness as measured by the ambulatory arterial stiffness index. METHODS: The current study used a prospective, observational, analytical design to evaluate a group of adult heart transplantation patients. Arterial stiffness was obtained by monitoring ambulatory blood pressure and using the ambulatory arterial stiffness index as the surrogate outcome. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to control confounding. RESULTS: In a group of 85 adult heart transplantation patients, hypertension was independently associated with arterial stiffness (OR 4.98, CI 95% 1.06-23.4) as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure averages and nighttime descent. CONCLUSIONS: Measurement of ambulatory arterial stiffness index is a new, non-invasive method that is easy to perform, may contribute to better defining arterial stiffness prognosis and is associated with hypertension.

  15. Dynamic behavior of stay cables with passive negative stiffness dampers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Xiang; Zhu, Songye; Li, Jin-Yang; Spencer, Billie F., Jr.

    2016-07-01

    This paper systematically investigates the dynamic behavior of stay cables with passive negative stiffness dampers (NSD) installed close to the cable end. A passive NSD is modeled as a combination of a negative stiffness spring and a viscous damper. Through both analytical and numerical approaches, parametric analysis of negative stiffness and viscous damping are conducted to systematically evaluate the vibration control performance of passive NSD on stay cables. Since negative stiffness is an unstable element, the boundary of passive negative stiffness for stay cables to maintain stability is also derived. Results reveal that the asymptotic approach is only applicable to passive dampers with positive or moderate negative stiffness, and loses its accuracy when a passive NSD possesses significant negative stiffness. It has been found that the performance of passive NSD can be much better than those of conventional viscous dampers. The superior control performance of passive NSD in cable vibration mitigation is validated through numerical simulations of a full-scale stay cable.

  16. Nanocharacterization of the negative stiffness of ferroelectric materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alipour Skandani, A.; Ctvrtlik, R.; Al-Haik, M.

    2014-08-01

    Phase changing materials such as ferroelectric materials could exhibit negative stiffness under certain thermomechanical environments. This negative stiffness is embodied by a deflection along the opposite direction of the applied load. So far negative stiffness materials were investigated with the specific morphology of embedded inclusions in stiff matrices then the resulting composite is studied to measure the behavior of each constituent indirectly. In this study, a modified nonisothermal nanoindentation method is developed to measure the negative stiffness of triglycine sulfate single crystal directly. This in-situ method is intended to first demonstrate the feasibility of detecting the negative stiffness via nanoindentation and nanocreep of a ferroelectric material at its Curie point and then to quantify the negative stiffness without the need for embedding the crystal within a stiffer matrix.

  17. Rapid, low-level X-ray variability in active late-type dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ambruster, Carol W.; Sciortino, Salvatore; Golub, L.

    1987-01-01

    A sensitive new statistical analysis method was used to establish certain properties of quiescent X-ray variability in a sample of 19 late-type dwarfs. Sixteen stars proved to be significantly variable. The typical amplitude of the fluctuations was about 30 percent. Variability time scales ranged from about 150 s for 40 Eri C to lower limits as large as 2000 s. Neither the amplitudes nor the time scales of the X-ray variability appeared to depend on position along the main sequence.

  18. Dielectrophoresis-Mediated Electrodeformation as a Means of Determining Individual Platelet Stiffness.

    PubMed

    Leung, Siu Ling; Lu, Yi; Bluestein, Danny; Slepian, Marvin J

    2016-04-01

    Platelets, essential for hemostasis, are easily activated via biochemical and mechanical stimuli. Cell stiffness is a vital parameter modulating the mechano-transduction of exogenous mechanical stimuli. While methods exist to measure cell stiffness, no ready method exists for measuring platelet stiffness that is both minimally-contacting, imparting minimal exogenous force and non-activating. We developed a minimal-contact methodology capable of trapping and measuring the stiffness of individual platelets utilizing dielectrophoresis (DEP)-mediated electrodeformation. Parametric studies demonstrate a non-uniform electric field in the MHz frequency range (0.2-20 MHz) is required for generating effective DEP forces on platelets, suspended in isotonic buffer with conductivity ~100-200 μS/cm. A nano-Newton DEP force (0.125-4.5 nN) was demonstrated to be essential for platelet electrodeformation, which could be generated with an electric field with strength of 1.5-9 V/μm. Young's moduli of platelets were calculated using a Maxwell stress tensor model and stress-deformation relationship. Platelet stiffness was determined to be in the range of 3.5 ± 1.4 and 8.5 ± 1.5 kPa for resting and 0.4% paraformaldehyde-treated cells, respectively. The developed methodology fills a gap in approaches of measuring individual platelet stiffness, free of inadvertent platelet activation, which will facilitate further studies of mechanisms involved in mechanically-mediated platelet activation. PMID:26202677

  19. Variability Selected Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei in the 4 Ms Chandra Deep Field-South

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, M.; Brandt, W. N.; Xue, Y. Q.; Paolillo, D. M.; Alexander, F. E.; Bauer, F. E.; Lehmer, B. D.; Luo, B.; Shemmer, O.; Schneider, D. P.; Vignail, C.

    2012-01-01

    The 4 Ms Chandra Deep Field-South (CDF-S) and other deep X-ray surveys have been highly effective at selecting active galactic nuclei (AGN). However, cosmologically distant low-luminosity AGN (LLAGN) have remained a challenge to identify due to significant contribution from the host galaxy. We identify long-term X ray variability (approx. month years, observed frame) in 20 of 92 CDF-S galaxies spanning redshifts approx equals 00.8 - 1.02 that do not meet other AGN selection criteria. We show that the observed variability cannot be explained by X-ray binary populations or ultraluminous X-ray sources, so the variability is most likely caused by accretion onto a supermassive black hole. The variable galaxies are not heavily obscured in general, with a stacked effective power-law photon index of Gamma(sub Stack) approx equals 1.93 +/- 0.13, and arc therefore likely LLAGN. The LLAGN tend to lie it factor of approx equal 6-89 below the extrapolated linear variability-luminosity relation measured for luminous AGN. This may he explained by their lower accretion rates. Variability-independent black-hole mass and accretion-rate estimates for variable galaxies show that they sample a significantly different black hole mass-accretion-rate space, with masses a factor of 2.4 lower and accretion rates a factor of 22.5 lower than variable luminous AGNs at the same redshift. We find that an empirical model based on a universal broken power-law power spectral density function, where the break frequency depends on SMBH mass and accretion rate, roughly reproduces the shape, but not the normalization, of the variability-luminosity trends measured for variable galaxies and more luminous AGNs.

  20. Increased topographical variability of task-related activation in perceptive and motor associative regions in adult autistics

    PubMed Central

    Poulin-Lord, Marie-Pier; Barbeau, Elise B.; Soulières, Isabelle; Monchi, Oury; Doyon, Julien; Benali, Habib; Mottron, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Background An enhanced plasticity is suspected to play a role in various microstructural alterations, as well as in regional cortical reallocations observed in autism. Combined with multiple indications of enhanced perceptual functioning in autism, and indications of atypical motor functioning, enhanced plasticity predicts a superior variability in functional cortical allocation, predominant in perceptual and motor regions. Method To test this prediction, we scanned 23 autistics and 22 typical participants matched on age, FSIQ, Raven percentile scores and handedness during a visuo-motor imitation task. For each participant, the coordinates of the strongest task-related activation peak were extracted in the primary (Brodmann area 4) and supplementary (BA 6) motor cortex, the visuomotor superior parietal cortex (BA 7), and the primary (BA 17) and associative (BAs 18 + 19) visual areas. Mean signal changes for each ROI in both hemispheres, and the number of voxels composing the strongest activation cluster were individually extracted to compare intensity and size of the signal between groups. For each ROI, in each hemisphere, and for every participant, the distance from their respective group average was used as a variable of interest to determine group differences in localization variability using repeated measures ANOVAs. Between-group comparison of whole-brain activation was also performed. Results Both groups displayed a higher mean variability in the localization of activations in the associative areas compared to the primary visual or motor areas. However, despite this shared increased variability in associative cortices, a direct between-group comparison of the individual variability in localization of the activation revealed a significantly greater variability in the autistic group than in the typical group in the left visuo-motor superior parietal cortex (BA 7) and in the left associative visual areas (BAs 18 + 19). Conclusion Different and possibly

  1. Right Ventricular Myocardial Stiffness in Experimental Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Rain, Silvia; Andersen, Stine; Najafi, Aref; Gammelgaard Schultz, Jacob; da Silva Gonçalves Bós, Denielli; Handoko, M. Louis; Bogaard, Harm-Jan; Vonk-Noordegraaf, Anton; Andersen, Asger; van der Velden, Jolanda; Ottenheijm, Coen A.C.

    2016-01-01

    Background— The purpose of this study was to determine the relative contribution of fibrosis-mediated and myofibril-mediated stiffness in rats with mild and severe right ventricular (RV) dysfunction. Methods and Results— By performing pulmonary artery banding of different diameters for 7 weeks, mild RV dysfunction (Ø=0.6 mm) and severe RV dysfunction (Ø=0.5 mm) were induced in rats. The relative contribution of fibrosis- and myofibril-mediated RV stiffness was determined in RV trabecular strips. Total myocardial stiffness was increased in trabeculae from both mild and severe RV dysfunction in comparison to controls. In severe RV dysfunction, increased RV myocardial stiffness was explained by both increased fibrosis-mediated stiffness and increased myofibril-mediated stiffness, whereas in mild RV dysfunction, only myofibril-mediated stiffness was increased in comparison to control. Histological analyses revealed that RV fibrosis gradually increased with severity of RV dysfunction, whereas the ratio of collagen I/III expression was only elevated in severe RV dysfunction. Stiffness measurements in single membrane-permeabilized RV cardiomyocytes demonstrated a gradual increase in RV myofibril stiffness, which was partially restored by protein kinase A in both mild and severe RV dysfunction. Increased expression of compliant titin isoforms was observed only in mild RV dysfunction, whereas titin phosphorylation was reduced in both mild and severe RV dysfunction. Conclusions— RV myocardial stiffness is increased in rats with mild and severe RV dysfunction. In mild RV dysfunction, stiffness is mainly determined by increased myofibril stiffness. In severe RV dysfunction, both myofibril- and fibrosis-mediated stiffness contribute to increased RV myocardial stiffness. PMID:27370069

  2. Assessment of the variability of vastii myoelectric activity in young healthy females during walking: a statistical gait analysis.

    PubMed

    Di Nardo, Francesco; Maranesi, Elvira; Mengarelli, Alessandro; Ghetti, Giacomo; Burattini, Laura; Fioretti, Sandro

    2015-10-01

    The study was designed to assess the natural variability of the activation modalities of vastus medialis (VM) and vastus lateralis (VL) during walking at a self-selected speed and cadence of 30 young, healthy, females. This was achieved by conducting statistical gait analysis on the surface electromyographic signals from hundreds of strides for each subject. Results revealed variability in the number of activations, occurrence frequency, and onset-offset instants across the thousands of strides analyzed. However, despite the variability, there was one activation occurrence which remained consistent across subjects for both VM and VL. This occurred from terminal swing to the following loading response (observed in 100% of strides). A second, less frequent, activation occurred between mid-stance up to pre-swing (observed in 39.3±22.4% of strides for VM and in 35.1±20.6% for VL). No significant differences (p>0.05) were observed in the onset-offset instants or in the occurrence frequency, which suggest a simultaneous recruitment of VM and VL. This "normality" pattern represents the first attempt at developing a reference frame for vastii sEMG activity during walking, that is able to include the physiological variability of the phenomenon and control the confounding effects of age and gender. PMID:26198265

  3. Impact of climate variability and anthropogenic activity on streamflow in the Three Rivers Headwater Region, Tibetan Plateau, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Chong; Li, Daiqing; Gao, Yanni; Liu, Wenfeng; Zhang, Linbo

    2016-05-01

    Under the impacts of climate variability and human activities, there is violent fluctuation for streamflow in the large basins in China. Therefore, it is crucial to separate the impacts of climate variability and human activities on streamflow fluctuation for better water resources planning and management. In this study, the Three Rivers Headwater Region (TRHR) was chosen as the study area. Long-term hydrological data for the TRHR were collected in order to investigate the changes in annual runoff during the period of 1956-2012. The nonparametric Mann-Kendall test, moving t test, Pettitt test, Mann-Kendall-Sneyers test, and the cumulative anomaly curve were used to identify trends and change points in the hydro-meteorological variables. Change point in runoff was identified in the three basins, which respectively occurred around the years 1989 and 1993, dividing the long-term runoff series into a natural period and a human-induced period. Then, the hydrologic sensitivity analysis method was employed to evaluate the effects of climate variability and human activities on mean annual runoff for the human-induced period based on precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. In the human-induced period, climate variability was the main factor that increased (reduced) runoff in LRB and YARB (YRB) with contribution of more than 90 %, while the increasing (decreasing) percentage due to human activities only accounted for less than 10 %, showing that runoff in the TRHR is more sensitive to climate variability than human activities. The intra-annual distribution of runoff shifted gradually from a double peak pattern to a single peak pattern, which was mainly influenced by atmospheric circulation in the summer and autumn. The inter-annual variation in runoff was jointly controlled by the East Asian monsoon, the westerly, and Tibetan Plateau monsoons.

  4. WASTE SOLIDIFICATION BUILDING BENCH SCALE HIGH ACTIVITY WASTE SIMULANT VARIABILITY STUDY FY2008

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, E; Timothy Jones, T; Tommy Edwards, T; Alex Cozzi, A

    2009-03-20

    The primary objective of this task was to perform a variability study of the high activity waste (HAW) acidic feed to determine the impact of feed variability on the quality of the final grout and on the mixability of the salt solution into the dry powders. The HAW acidic feeds were processed through the neutralization/pH process, targeting a final pH of 12. These fluids were then blended with the dry materials to make the final waste forms. A secondary objective was to determine if elemental substitution for cost prohibitive or toxic elements in the simulant affects the mixing response, thus providing a more economical simulant for use in full scale tests. Though not an objective, the HAW simulant used in the full scale tests was also tested and compared to the results from this task. A statistically designed test matrix was developed based on the maximum molarity inputs used to make the acidic solutions. The maximum molarity inputs were: 7.39 HNO{sub 3}, 0.11618 gallium, 0.5423 silver, and 1.1032 'other' metals based on their NO{sub 3}{sup -} contribution. Substitution of the elements aluminum for gallium and copper for silver was also considered in this test matrix, resulting in a total of 40 tests. During the NaOH addition, the neutralization/pH adjustment process was controlled to a maximum temperature of 60 C. The neutralized/pH adjusted simulants were blended with Portland cement and zircon flour at a water to cement mass ratio of 0.30. The mass ratio of zircon flour to Portland cement was 1/12. The grout was made using a Hobart N-50 mixer running at low speed for two minutes to incorporate and properly wet the dry solids with liquid and at medium speed for five minutes for mixing. The resulting fresh grout was measured for three consecutive yield stress measurements. The cured grout was measured for set, bleed, and density. Given the conditions of preparing the grout in this task, all of the grouts were visually well mixed prior to preparing the grouts for

  5. Functional aortic stiffness: role of CD4+ T lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    Majeed, Beenish A.; Eberson, Lance S.; Tawinwung, Supannikar; Larmonier, Nicolas; Secomb, Timothy W.; Larson, Douglas F.

    2015-01-01

    The immune system is suggested to be essential in vascular remodeling and stiffening. To study the dependence upon lymphocytes in vascular stiffening, we compared an angiotensin II-model of vascular stiffening in normal C57BL/6J mice with lymphocyte-deficient RAG 1−/− mice and additionally characterized the component of vascular stiffness due to vasoconstriction vs. vascular remodeling. Chronic angiotensin II increased aortic pulse wave velocity, effective wall stiffness, and effective Young's modulus in C57BL/6J mice by three-fold but caused no change in the RAG 1−/− mice. These functional measurements were supported by aortic morphometric analysis. Adoptive transfer of CD4+ T helper lymphocytes restored the angiotensin II-mediated aortic stiffening in the RAG 1−/− mice. In order to account for the hydraulic vs. material effects of angiotensin II on pulse wave velocity, subcutaneous osmotic pumps were removed after 21 days of angiotensin II-infusion in the WT mice to achieve normotensive values. The pulse wave velocity (PWV) decreased from three- to two-fold above baseline values up to 7 days following pump removal. This study supports the pivotal role of the CD4+ T-lymphocytes in angiotensin II-mediated vascular stiffening and that angiotensin II-mediated aortic stiffening is due to the additive effect of active vascular smooth muscle vasoconstriction and vascular remodeling. PMID:26379554

  6. Ritz method for transient response in systems having unsymmetric stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Butler, Thomas G.

    1989-01-01

    The DMAP coding was automated to such an extent by using the device of bubble vectors, that it is useable for analyses in its present form. This feasibility study demonstrates that the Ritz Method is so compelling as to warrant coding its modules in FORTRAN and organizing the resulting coding into a new Rigid Format. Even though this Ritz technique was developed for unsymmetric stiffness matrices, it offers advantages to problems with symmetric stiffnesses. If used for the symmetric case the solution would be simplified to one set of modes, because the adjoint would be the same as the primary. Its advantage in either type of symmetry over a classical eigenvalue modal expansion is that information density per Ritz mode is far richer than per eigenvalue mode; thus far fewer modes would be needed for the same accuracy and every mode would actively participate in the response. Considerable economy can be realized in adapting Ritz vectors for modal solutions. This new Ritz capability now makes NASTRAN even more powerful than before.

  7. Mechanosensitive Kinases Regulate Stiffness-Induced Cardiomyocyte Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Young, Jennifer L.; Kretchmer, Kyle; Ondeck, Matthew G.; Zambon, Alexander C.; Engler, Adam J.

    2014-01-01

    Cells secrete and assemble extracellular matrix throughout development, giving rise to time-dependent, tissue-specific stiffness. Mimicking myocardial matrix stiffening, i.e. ~10-fold increase over 1 week, with a hydrogel system enhances myofibrillar organization of embryonic cardiomyocytes compared to static hydrogels, and thus we sought to identify specific mechanosensitive proteins involved. Expression and/or phosphorylation state of 309 unique protein kinases were examined in embryonic cardiomyocytes plated on either dynamically stiffening or static mature myocardial stiffness hydrogels. Gene ontology analysis of these kinases identified cardiogenic pathways that exhibited time-dependent up-regulation on dynamic versus static matrices, including PI3K/AKT and p38 MAPK, while GSK3β, a known antagonist of cardiomyocyte maturation, was down-regulated. Additionally, inhibiting GSK3β on static matrices improved spontaneous contraction and myofibril organization, while inhibiting agonist AKT on dynamic matrices reduced myofibril organization and spontaneous contraction, confirming its role in mechanically-driven maturation. Together, these data indicate that mechanically-driven maturation is at least partially achieved via active mechanosensing at focal adhesions, affecting expression and phosphorylation of a variety of protein kinases important to cardiomyogenesis. PMID:25236849

  8. Interannual variability of the frontal activity in the Southern Hemisphere: relationship with atmospheric circulation and precipitation over southern South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blázquez, Josefina; Solman, Silvina A.

    2016-06-01

    The interannual variability of the frontal activity over the western Southern Hemisphere and its linkage with the variability of the atmospheric circulation and precipitation over southern South America is studied. The analysis is focused on the austral winter and spring seasons. The frontal activity is represented by an index defined as the product between the horizontal gradient of temperature and the relative vorticity at 850 hPa (FI) and is computed from the ERA Interim and NCEP2 reanalysis. For the two seasons the main mode of variability of FI, as depicted by the first Empirical Orthogonal Function, presents centres of action located in the southern part of the western Southern Hemisphere. This pattern is present in the two reanalysis datasets. The correlation coefficients between the principal component of the leading mode of FI and the two main modes of the 500 hPa geopotential height indicate that both the ENSO-mode and the SAM modulate the leading pattern of FI in winter while during the spring season the ENSO-mode controls the FI variability. The variability of the FI has a robust influence on the interannual variability of precipitation over southern South America and adjacent oceans. Over the continent, it was found that the pattern of precipitation anomalies associated with the variability of the FI depicts significant signals over southeastern South America (SESA), centre and south of Chile for winter and over SESA and southeastern Brazil for spring and agrees with the pattern of the leading mode of precipitation variability over southern South America.

  9. Substrate Stiffness Affects Human Keratinocyte Colony Formation

    PubMed Central

    Zarkoob, Hoda; Bodduluri, Sandeep; Ponnaluri, Sailahari V.; Selby, John C.; Sander, Edward A.

    2015-01-01

    Restoration of epidermal organization and function in response to a variety of pathophysiological insults is critically dependent on coordinated keratinocyte migration, proliferation, and stratification during the process of wound healing. These processes are mediated by the reconfiguration of both cell-cell (desmosomes, adherens junctions) and cell-matrix (focal adhesions, hemidesmosomes) junctions and the cytoskeletal filament networks that they serve to interconnect. In this study, we investigated the role of substrate elasticity (stiffness) on keratinocyte colony formation in vitro during the process of nascent epithelial sheet formation as triggered by the calcium switch model of keratinocyte culture. Keratinocytes cultured on pepsin digested type I collagen coated soft (nominal E = 1.2 kPa) polyacrylamide gels embedded with fluorescent microspheres exhibited (i) smaller spread contact areas, (ii) increased migration velocities, and (iii) increased rates of colony formation with more cells per colony than did keratinocytes cultured on stiff (nominal E = 24 kPa) polyacrylamide gels. As assessed by tracking of embedded microsphere displacements, keratinocytes cultured on soft substrates generated large local substrate deformations that appeared to recruit adjacent keratinocytes into joining an evolving colony. Together with the observed differences in keratinocyte kinematics and substrate deformations, we developed two ad hoc analyses, termed distance rank (DR) and radius of cooperativity (RC), that help to objectively ascribe what we perceive as increasingly cooperative behavior of keratinocytes cultured on soft versus stiff gels during the process of colony formation. We hypothesize that the differences in keratinocyte colony formation observed in our experiments could be due to cell-cell mechanical signaling generated via local substrate deformations that appear to be correlated with the increased expression of β4 integrin within keratinocytes positioned

  10. Laser application on haptics: Tactile stiffness measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scalise, L.; Memeo, M.; Cannella, F.; Valente, M.; Caldwell, D. G.; Tomasini, E. P.

    2012-06-01

    There is a great interest in exploring the proprieties of the sense of the touch, its detailed knowledge in fact is a key issue in the area of robotics, haptics and human-machine interaction. In this paper, the authors focus their attention on a novel measurement method for the assessment of the tactile stiffness based on a original test rig; tactile stiffness is defined as the ratio between force, exerted by the finger, and the displacement of the finger tip operated during the test. To reach this scope, the paper describes a specific experimental test-rig used for the evaluation of subject tactile sensitivity, where finger force applied during tests as well as displacement and velocity of displacement, operated by the subject under investigation, are measured. Results show that tactile stiffness is linear respect to stimuli spatial difference (which is proportional to the difficulty to detect the variation of them). In particular, it has been possible to relate the force and displacement measured during the tests. The relationship between the response of the subject to the grating, velocity and force is determined. These results permit to carry out the further experimental tests on the same subject avoiding the use of a load cell and therefore simplifying the measurement test rig and data post-processing. Indeed, the first aspect (use of a load cell) can be relevant, because the grating positions are different, requiring a specific re-calibration and setting before each trial; while the second aspect allows simplify the test rig complexity and the processing algorithm.

  11. Extracellular Matrix Stiffness Controls VEGF Signaling and Processing in Endothelial Cells.

    PubMed

    Sack, Kelsey D; Teran, Madelane; Nugent, Matthew A

    2016-09-01

    Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF) drives endothelial cell maintenance and angiogenesis. Endothelial cell behavior is altered by the stiffness of the substrate the cells are attached to suggesting that VEGF activity might be influenced by the mechanical cellular environment. We hypothesized that extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness modifies VEGF-cell-matrix tethering leading to altered VEGF processing and signaling. We analyzed VEGF binding, internalization, and signaling as a function of substrate stiffness in endothelial cells cultured on fibronectin (Fn) linked polyacrylamide gels. Cell produced extracellular matrices on the softest substrates were least capable of binding VEGF, but the cells exhibited enhanced VEGF internalization and signaling compared to cells on all other substrates. Inhibiting VEGF-matrix binding with sucrose octasulfate decreased cell-internalization of VEGF and, inversely, heparin pre-treatment to enhance Fn-matrix binding of VEGF increased cell-internalization of VEGF regardless of matrix stiffness. β1 integrins, which connect cells to Fn, modulated VEGF uptake in a stiffness dependent fashion. Cells on hard surfaces showed decreased levels of activated β1 and inhibition of β1 integrin resulted in a greater proportional decrease in VEGF internalization than in cells on softer matrices. Extracellular matrix binding is necessary for VEGF internalization. Stiffness modifies the coordinated actions of VEGF-matrix binding and β1 integrin binding/activation, which together are critical for VEGF internalization. This study provides insight into how the microenvironment may influence tissue regeneration and response to injury and disease. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2026-2039, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26773314

  12. Relative stiffness of flat conductor cables

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hankins, J. D.

    1976-01-01

    The measurement of the bending moment required to obtain a given deflection in short lengths of flat conductor cable (FCC) is presented in this report. Experimental data were taken on 10 different samples of FCC and normalized to express all bending moments (relative stiffness factor) in terms of a cable 5.1 cm (2.0 in.) in width. Data are presented in tabular and graphical form for the covenience of designers who may be interested in finding torques exerted on critical components by short lengths of FCC.

  13. On waveguide modeling of stiff piano strings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ducasse, Éric

    2005-09-01

    Bensa et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 114, 1095-1107 (2003), Sec. IV] recently proposed a waveguide model for the transverse displacement of a stiff piano string. The study described here is an attempt to cast a complementary light on this topic, based on a common wave approach instead of a modal approach. A pair of weakly attenuated traveling waves and a pair of fast-decaying waves both satisfy the one-dimensional wave equation developed by Bensa et al. These solutions have to be carefully considered, however, for portions of string interacting with the hammer felt, the bridge, or the capo d'astro bar.

  14. Rotor/bearing system dynamic stiffness measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muszynska, A.

    1985-01-01

    Sweep perturbation testing as used in Modal Analysis when applied to a rotating machine has to take into consideration the machine dynamic state of equilibrium at its operational rotative speed. This stands in contrasts to a static equilibrium of nonrotating structures. The rotational energy has a significant influence on rotor dynamic characteristics. The best perturbing input for rotating machines is a forward or reverse rotating, circular force applied directly to the shaft. Determination of Dynamic Stiffness Characteristics of the rotor bearing system by nonsynchronous perturbation of a symmetric rotating shaft supported in one relatively rigid and one oil lubricated bearing.

  15. POST-TRAUMATIC STIFFNESS OF THE ELBOW

    PubMed Central

    Filh, Geraldo Motta; Galvão, Marcus Vinicius

    2015-01-01

    Elbow stiffness is a common problem after joint trauma, causing functional impairment of the upper limb. The severity of the dysfunction depends on the nature of the initial trauma and the treatment used. Appropriate clinical evaluation and complementary examinations are essential for therapeutic planning. Several surgical techniques are now available and the recommendation must be made in accordance with patient characteristics, degree of joint limitation and the surgeon's skill. Joint incongruence and degeneration have negative effects on the prognosis, but heterotrophic ossification alone has been correlated with a favorable surgical prognosis. PMID:27022563

  16. [Variable magnetic field of 8 Hz corrects the opioid system activity in mollusks behind the ferromagnetic screening].

    PubMed

    Temur'iants, N A; Kostiuk, A S

    2014-01-01

    The three phases of mollusk nociception alteration as a result of extended ferromagnetic screening combined with exposure to a variable magnetic field of 8 Hz correlated with phase changes in the opioid system activity (OSA) deduced from the naloxone action on the thermal avoidance response. On phase I, OSA inactivation was inhibited and, consequently, hyperalgesia progression was expedited. On phase II, OSA rose so that naloxone annulled completely the antinociceptive effect produced by the ferromagnetic screening. On phase III, OSA declined progressively, as naloxone merely reduced the antinociceptive effect because of apparently, growing OSA tolerance to the ferromagnetic screening. Phase I was absent when mollusks were exposed to the ferromagnetic screening and variable magnetic field; however, OSA changes on phases II and III were present. It was concluded that the variable magnetic field of 8 Hz can be used for correcting changes in the opioid system activity in mollusks behind the ferromagnetic screening. PMID:25163338

  17. Variability of Mass Dependence of Auroral Acceleration Processes with Solar Activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ghielmetti, Arthur G.

    1997-01-01

    The objectives of this investigation are to improve understanding of the mass dependent variability of the auroral acceleration processes and so to clarify apparent discrepancies regarding the altitude and local time variations with solar cycle by investigating: (1) the global morphological relationships between auroral electric field structures and the related particle signatures under varying conditions of solar activity, and (2) the relationships between the electric field structures and particle signatures in selected events that are representative of the different conditions occurring during a solar cycle. The investigation is based in part on the Lockheed UFI data base of UpFlowing Ion (UFI) events in the 5OO eV to 16keV energy range and associated electrons in the energy range 7O eV to 24 keV. This data base was constructed from data acquired by the ion mass spectrometer on the S3-3 satellite in the altitude range of I to 1.3 Re. The launch of the POLAR spacecraft in early 1996 and successful operation of its TIMAS ion mass spectrometer has provided us with data from within the auroral acceleration regions during the current solar minimum. The perigee of POLAR is at about 1 Re, comparable to that of S3-3. The higher sensitivity and time resolution of TIMAS compared to the ion mass spectrometer on S3-3 together with its wider energy range, 15 eV to 33 keV, facilitate more detailed studies of upflowing ions.

  18. Solar activity variability in the IRI at high latitudes: Comparisons with GPS total electron content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Themens, David R.; Jayachandran, P. T.

    2016-04-01

    Total electron content (TEC) measurements from 10 dual-frequency GPS receivers in the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network (CHAIN) are used to evaluate the performance of International Reference Ionosphere (IRI)-2007 within the Canadian sector. Throughout the region, we see systematic underestimation of daytime TEC, particularly at solar maximum, where summer and equinox root-mean-square errors reach as high as 14 total electron content units, 1 TECU = 1016 el m-2 (TECU). It is also shown that the use of a monthly IG index, in place of the IRI's standard IG12 index, leads to an improvement in TEC specification by up to 3 TECU in the polar cap and up to 6 TECU in the subauroral region during periods of short-term, large amplitude changes in solar activity. On diurnal timescales, variability in TEC is found to be underestimated by the IRI, during equinox periods, by up to 40% at subauroral latitudes and up to 70% in the polar cap region. During the winter, diurnal variations are overestimated by up to 40% in the subauroral region and are underestimated within the polar cap by up to 80%. Using collocated ionosonde data, we find IRI bottomside TEC to be within 1 TECU of observation with errors largest during the equinoxes. For the topside we find good agreement during the winter but significant underestimation of topside TEC by the IRI during summer and equinox periods, exceeding 6 TECU at times. By ingesting measured NmF2 into the IRI, we show that the topside thickness parameterization is the source of the bulk of the observed TEC errors.

  19. Radiofrequency exposure in the French general population: band, time, location and activity variability.

    PubMed

    Viel, Jean-François; Cardis, Elisabeth; Moissonnier, Monika; de Seze, René; Hours, Martine

    2009-11-01

    Information on the exposure of individual persons to radiofrequency (RF) fields is scarce, although such data are crucial in order to develop a suitable exposure assessment method, and frame the hypothesis and design of future epidemiological studies. The main goal of this survey is to assess individual RF exposure on a population basis, while clarifying the relative contribution of different sources to the total exposure. A total of 377 randomly selected people were analyzed. Each participant was supplied with a personal exposure meter for 24-hour measurements (weekday), and kept a time-location-activity diary. Electric field strengths were recorded in 12 different RF bands every 13s. Summary statistics were calculated with the robust regression on order statistics method. Most of the time, recorded field strengths were not detectable with the exposure meter. Total field, cordless phones, WiFi-microwave, and FM transmitters stood apart with a proportion above the detection threshold of 46.6%, 17.2%, 14.1%, and 11.0%, respectively. The total field mean value was 0.201V/m, higher in urban areas, during daytime, among adults, and when moving. When focusing on specific channels, the highest mean exposure resulted from FM sources (0.044V/m), followed by WiFi-microwaves (0.038V/m), cordless phones (0.037V/m), and mobile phones (UMTS: 0.036V/m, UMTS: 0.037V/m). Various factors, however, contributed to a high variability in RF exposure assessment. These population-based estimates should therefore be confirmed by further surveys to better characterize the exposure situation in different microenvironments. PMID:19656570

  20. Active crop canopy sensor optimal spatial scale for in-season variable-rate nitrogen application in corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Active crop canopy reflectance sensors have shown to be an efficient method for assessing spatially-variable crop nitrogen (N) need and controlling remedial in-season N applications in wheat. Recently, these sensors have been studied for N application in corn. This study will be conducted during the...

  1. Implications of Rural Environmental Variables Associated with the Participation of Children in Farming Activities: A Lesson from Rural Southwestern Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ajayi, A. O.; Jibowo, A. A.

    2006-01-01

    This study aimed at investigating the relationship between the participation of rural children in farming activities and selected social, school, and physical environment related variables. Data were collected from four hundred and fifty eight children selected through stage-wise random sampling procedure from the four agricultural zones in Oyo…

  2. Real-time control of geometry and stiffness in adaptive structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramesh, A. V.; Utku, S.; Wada, B. K.

    1991-01-01

    The basic theory is presented for the geometry, stiffness, and damping control of adaptive structures, with emphasis on adaptive truss structures. Necessary and sufficient conditions are given for stress-free geometry control in statically determinate and indeterminate adaptive discrete structures. Two criteria for selecting the controls are proposed, and their use in real-time control is illustrated by numerical simulation results. It is shown that the stiffness and damping control of adaptive truss structures for vibration suppression is possible by elongation and elongation rate dependent feedback forces from the active elements.

  3. Moving a hand-held object: Reconstruction of referent coordinate and apparent stiffness trajectories

    PubMed Central

    Ambike, Satyajit; Zhou, Tao; Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M.; Latash, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    This study used the framework of the referent configuration hypothesis and slow changes in the external conditions during vertical oscillation of a hand-held object to infer the characteristics of hypothetical control variables. The study had two main objectives: (1) to show that hypothetical control variables, namely, referent coordinates and apparent stiffness of vertical hand position and grip force can be measured in an experiment; and (2) to establish relation(s) between these control variables that yield the classic grip-force-load-force coupling. Healthy subjects gripped a handle and performed vertical oscillations between visual targets at one of five metronome-prescribed frequencies. A Hapticmaster robot was used to induce slow changes in the vertical force applied to the handle, while the size of the handle was changed slowly leading to changes in the grip aperture. The subjects were instructed not to react to possible changes in the external forces. A linear, second-order model was used to reconstruct the referent coordinate and apparent stiffness values for each phase of the vertical oscillation cycle using across-cycle regressions. The reconstructed time profiles of the referent coordinates and apparent stiffness showed consistent trends across subjects and movement frequencies. To validate the method, these values were used to predict the vertical force and the grip force applied to the handle for movement cycles that were not utilized in the reconstruction process. Analysis of the coupling between the four variables, two referent coordinates and two apparent stiffness values, revealed a single strong constraint reflecting the coupling between the grip force and vertical force. We view these data as providing experimental support for the idea of controlling natural, multi-muscle actions with shifts in a low-dimensional set of referent coordinates. PMID:25896800

  4. Moving a hand-held object: Reconstruction of referent coordinate and apparent stiffness trajectories.

    PubMed

    Ambike, S; Zhou, T; Zatsiorsky, V M; Latash, M L

    2015-07-01

    This study used the framework of the referent configuration hypothesis and slow changes in the external conditions during vertical oscillation of a hand-held object to infer the characteristics of hypothetical control variables. The study had two main objectives: (1) to show that hypothetical control variables, namely, referent coordinates and apparent stiffness of vertical hand position and grip force can be measured in an experiment; and (2) to establish relation(s) between these control variables that yield the classic grip-force-load-force coupling. Healthy subjects gripped a handle and performed vertical oscillations between visual targets at one of five metronome-prescribed frequencies. A HapticMaster robot was used to induce slow changes in the vertical force applied to the handle, while the size of the handle was changed slowly leading to changes in the grip aperture. The subjects were instructed not to react to possible changes in the external forces. A linear, second-order model was used to reconstruct the referent coordinate and apparent stiffness values for each phase of the vertical oscillation cycle using across-cycle regressions. The reconstructed time profiles of the referent coordinates and apparent stiffness showed consistent trends across subjects and movement frequencies. To validate the method, these values were used to predict the vertical force and the grip force applied to the handle for movement cycles that were not utilized in the reconstruction process. Analysis of the coupling between the four variables, two referent coordinates and two apparent stiffness values, revealed a single strong constraint reflecting the coupling between the grip force and vertical force. We view these data as providing experimental support for the idea of controlling natural, multi-muscle actions with shifts in a low-dimensional set of referent coordinates. PMID:25896800

  5. Stability with large step sizes for multistep discretizations of stiff ordinary differential equations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Majda, George

    1986-01-01

    One-leg and multistep discretizations of variable-coefficient linear systems of ODEs having both slow and fast time scales are investigated analytically. The stability properties of these discretizations are obtained independent of ODE stiffness and compared. The results of numerical computations are presented in tables, and it is shown that for large step sizes the stability of one-leg methods is better than that of the corresponding linear multistep methods.

  6. Simple polyacrylamide-based multiwell stiffness assay for the study of stiffness-dependent cell responses.

    PubMed

    Syed, Sana; Karadaghy, Amin; Zustiak, Silviya

    2015-01-01

    Currently, most of the in vitro cell research is performed on rigid tissue culture polystyrene (~1 GPa), while most cells in the body are attached to a matrix that is elastic and much softer (0.1-100 kPa). Since such stiffness mismatch greatly affects cell responses, there is a strong interest in developing hydrogel materials that span a wide range of stiffness to serve as cell substrates. Polyacrylamide gels, which are inexpensive and cover the stiffness range of all soft tissues in the body, are the hydrogel of choice for many research groups. However, polyacrylamide gel preparation is lengthy, tedious, and only suitable for small batches. Here, we describe an assay which by utilizing a permanent flexible plastic film as a structural support for the gels, enables the preparation of polyacrylamide gels in a multiwell plate format. The technique is faster, more efficient, and less costly than current methods and permits the preparation of gels of custom sizes not otherwise available. As it doesn't require any specialized equipment, the method could be easily adopted by any research laboratory and would be particularly useful in research focused on understanding stiffness-dependent cell responses. PMID:25866916

  7. Elastic metamaterial beam with remotely tunable stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Wei; Yu, Zhengyue; Wang, Xiaole; Lai, Yun; Yellen, Benjamin B.

    2016-02-01

    We demonstrate a dynamically tunable elastic metamaterial, which employs remote magnetic force to adjust its vibration absorption properties. The 1D metamaterial is constructed from a flat aluminum beam milled with a linear array of cylindrical holes. The beam is backed by a thin elastic membrane, on which thin disk-shaped permanent magnets are mounted. When excited by a shaker, the beam motion is tracked by a Laser Doppler Vibrometer, which conducts point by point scanning of the vibrating element. Elastic waves are unable to propagate through the beam when the driving frequency excites the first elastic bending mode in the unit cell. At these frequencies, the effective mass density of the unit cell becomes negative, which induces an exponentially decaying evanescent wave. Due to the non-linear elastic properties of the membrane, the effective stiffness of the unit cell can be tuned with an external magnetic force from nearby solenoids. Measurements of the linear and cubic static stiffness terms of the membrane are in excellent agreement with experimental measurements of the bandgap shift as a function of the applied force. In this implementation, bandgap shifts by as much as 40% can be achieved with ˜30 mN of applied magnetic force. This structure has potential for extension in 2D and 3D, providing a general approach for building dynamically tunable elastic metamaterials for applications in lensing and guiding elastic waves.

  8. Multifunctional Stiff Carbon Foam Derived from Bread.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Ye; Ding, Yujie; Wang, Chunhui; Xu, Fan; Lin, Zaishan; Qin, Yuyang; Li, Ying; Yang, Minglong; He, Xiaodong; Peng, Qingyu; Li, Yibin

    2016-07-01

    The creation of stiff yet multifunctional three-dimensional porous carbon architecture at very low cost is still challenging. In this work, lightweight and stiff carbon foam (CF) with adjustable pore structure was prepared by using flour as the basic element via a simple fermentation and carbonization process. The compressive strength of CF exhibits a high value of 3.6 MPa whereas its density is 0.29 g/cm(3) (compressive modulus can be 121 MPa). The electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding effectiveness measurements (specific EMI shielding effectiveness can be 78.18 dB·cm(3)·g(-1)) indicate that CF can be used as lightweight, effective shielding material. Unlike ordinary foam structure materials, the low thermal conductivity (lowest is 0.06 W/m·K) with high resistance to fire makes CF a good candidate for commercial thermal insulation material. These results demonstrate a promising method to fabricate an economical, robust carbon material for applications in industry as well as topics regarding environmental protection and improvement of energy efficiency. PMID:27295106

  9. STIFF: Converting Scientific FITS Images to TIFF

    NASA As