Science.gov

Sample records for stiffness measurement lsm

  1. Usefulness of liver stiffness measurement during acute cellular rejection in liver transplantation.

    PubMed

    Crespo, Gonzalo; Castro-Narro, Graciela; García-Juárez, Ignacio; Benítez, Carlos; Ruiz, Pablo; Sastre, Lydia; Colmenero, Jordi; Miquel, Rosa; Sánchez-Fueyo, Alberto; Forns, Xavier; Navasa, Miquel

    2016-03-01

    Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) is a useful method to estimate liver fibrosis and portal hypertension. The inflammatory process that takes place in post-liver transplant acute cellular rejection (ACR) may also increase liver stiffness. We aimed to explore the association between liver stiffness and the severity of ACR, as well as to assess the relationship between liver stiffness and response to rejection treatment in a prospective study that included 27 liver recipients with biopsy-proven ACR, 30 stable recipients with normal liver tests, and 30 hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected LT recipients with histologically diagnosed HCV recurrence. Patients with rejection were stratified into 2 groups (mild and moderate/severe) according to the severity of rejection evaluated with the Banff score. Routine biomarkers and LSM with FibroScan were performed at the time of liver biopsy (baseline) and at 7, 30, and 90 days in patients with rejection and at baseline in control patients. Median baseline liver stiffness was 5.9 kPa in the mild rejection group, 11 kPa in the moderate/severe group (P = 0.001), 4.2 kPa in stable recipients (P = 0.02 versus mild rejection), and 13.6 kPa in patients with recurrent HCV (P = 0.17 versus moderate/severe rejection). The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of LSM to discriminate mild versus moderate/severe ACR was 0.924, and a LSM value of 8.5 kPa yielded a positive predictive value of 100% to diagnose moderate/severe rejection. Liver stiffness improved in 7%, 21%, and 64% of patients with moderate/severe rejection at 7, 30, and 90 days. In conclusion, according to the results of this exploratory study, LSM is associated with the severity of ACR in liver transplantation and thus may be of help in its assessment.

  2. Objective measures of joint stiffness.

    PubMed

    Roberson, L; Giurintano, D J

    1995-01-01

    Objective measures of joint stiffness allow for the evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment modalities. Without this, the effectiveness of therapy is not quantifiable. Presently, joint stiffness can be quantified by either passive range of motion (PROM) measurement or torque range of motion (TqROM) measurement. PROM measurement does not control the force applied, nor does it require that the other joints in the kinematic chain be held fixed. Also, it demonstrates poor interrater reliability. An idealized device melding existing technologies of constant passive motion devices and computerized workstations is proposed to allow for easier measurement of TqROM angles for analysis data for the determination of the effectiveness of treatment modalities.

  3. Improved noninvasive prediction of liver fibrosis by liver stiffness measurement in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease accounting for controlled attenuation parameter values.

    PubMed

    Petta, Salvatore; Wong, Vincent Wai-Sun; Cammà, Calogero; Hiriart, Jean-Baptiste; Wong, Grace Lai-Hung; Marra, Fabio; Vergniol, Julien; Chan, Anthony Wing-Hung; Di Marco, Vito; Merrouche, Wassil; Chan, Henry Lik-Yuen; Barbara, Marco; Le-Bail, Brigitte; Arena, Umberto; Craxì, Antonio; de Ledinghen, Victor

    2017-04-01

    Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) frequently overestimates the severity of liver fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) is a new parameter provided by the same machine used for LSM and associated with both steatosis and body mass index, the two factors mostly affecting LSM performance in NAFLD. We aimed to determine whether prediction of liver fibrosis by LSM in NAFLD patients is affected by CAP values. Patients (n = 324) were assessed by clinical and histological (Kleiner score) features. LSM and CAP were performed using the M probe. CAP values were grouped by tertiles (lower 132-298, middle 299-338, higher 339-400 dB/m). Among patients with F0-F2 fibrosis, mean LSM values, expressed in kilopascals, increased according to CAP tertiles (6.8 versus 8.6 versus 9.4, P = 0.001), and along this line the area under the curve of LSM for the diagnosis of F3-F4 fibrosis was progressively reduced from lower to middle and further to higher CAP tertiles (0.915, 0.848-0.982; 0.830, 0.753-0.908; 0.806, 0.723-0.890). As a consequence, in subjects with F0-F2 fibrosis, the rates of false-positive LSM results for F3-F4 fibrosis increased according to CAP tertiles (7.2% in lower versus 16.6% in middle versus 18.1% in higher). Consistent with this, a decisional flowchart for predicting fibrosis was suggested by combining both LSM and CAP values.

  4. 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

  5. Non-invasive assessment of changes in liver fibrosis via liver stiffness measurement in patients with chronic hepatitis B: impact of antiviral treatment on fibrosis regression

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seung Up; Kim, Do Young; Ahn, Sang Hoon; Choi, Eun Hee; Seok, Jae Yeon; Lee, Jung Min; Park, Young Nyun; Chon, Chae Yoon; Han, Kwang-Hyub

    2010-01-01

    Background Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) can assess liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). We evaluated whether LSM can be used to assess changes in liver fibrosis during antiviral treatment using nucleos(t)ide analogs in patients with CHB. Methods We recruited 41 patients with CHB who had significant liver fibrosis, normal or slightly elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels (≤2 × upper limit of normal), and detectable serum hepatitis B virus DNA before antiviral treatment. Patients in Group 1 (n = 23) and Group 2 (n = 18) underwent follow-up LSM after antiviral treatment for 1 and 2 years, respectively. Results The mean age, ALT and LSM value of all patients (34 men and 7 women) before antiviral treatment were 46.6 ± 9.5 years, 40.6 ± 17.2 IU/L and 12.9 ± 8.6 kPa, respectively. Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) was detected in 31 patients (75.6%). Fibrosis stage was F2 in 12 (29.3%), F3 in 6 (14.6%) and F4 in 23 (56.1%) patients. After antiviral treatment, LSM values and DNA positivity decreased significantly as compared to baseline (P = 0.018 and P < 0.001 in Group 1; P = 0.017 and P < 0.001 in Group 2, respectively), whereas ALT levels were unchanged (P = 0.063 in Group 1; P = 0.082 in Group 2). Conclusions Our preliminary data suggest that LSM can be used to assess liver fibrosis regression after antiviral treatment using nucleos(t)ide analogs in patients with CHB. PMID:21286337

  6. [Efficiency of FibroScan and FibroTouch in liver stiffness measurement and fat quantification: a comparative analysis].

    PubMed

    Zeng, J; Sun, W L; Chen, G Y; Pan, Q; Yan, S Y; Sun, C; Xu, Z J; Fan, J G

    2016-09-20

    Objective: To investigate the efficiency of FibroScan(FS)and FibroTouch(FT)in liver stiffness measurement(LSM)and fat quantification through a comparative analysis. Methods: The outpatients or hospitalized patients who underwent LSM and fat quantification using FS and FT were enrolled. The differences in success rate and detecting parameters between FS and FT were analyzed, as well as the correlation between FS and FT values. The t-test was used for comparison of normally distributed continuous data between groups, and a one-way analysis of variance or the Kruskal-Wallis test was used for comparison between multiple groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used for comparison of non-normally distributed continuous data between groups. Results: A total of 1621 patients were enrolled. The success rates of FT and FS were 100% and 94.96%, respectively, and the success rate of FS was influenced by sex, age, body mass index, and biochemical markers of liver function. FT has a significantly shorter duration of single detection and a significantly lower number of times of single detection than FS(duration of single detection: 190.21±38.78 s vs 220.89±68.36 s, P < 0.01; number of single detection times: 10.31±1.32 vs 11.81±3.76, P < 0.01), as well as a significantly lower ratio of interquartile range to median of fat quantification in the same patient(5.39%±4.81% vs 17.18%±14.07%, P < 0.01). The LSM and fat quantification of FS were significantly correlated with those of FT(r = 0.645 and 0.620, both Based on the duration and number of times of single detection, success rate, and stability of fat quantification, FT seems to have a better detection efficiency than FS. The detection values of FT and FS can be calculated with regression equations < 0.01). The equations of linear regression were LSM(FT)= 4.435+0.477×LSM(FS); CAP(FT)= 134.71+0.456×CAP(FS). Conclusion: Based on the duration and number of times of single detection, success rate, and stability of fat

  7. 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.

  8. [Correlation of liver stiffness measured by FibroTouch and FibroScan with Ishak fibrosis score in patients with chronic hepatitis B].

    PubMed

    Chen, G F; Ping, J; Gu, H T; Zhao, Z M; Zhou, Y; Xing, F; Tao, Y Y; Mu, Y P; Liu, P; Liu, C H

    2017-02-20

    Objective: To investigate the correlation of liver stiffness measured by FibroTouch (FT) and FibroScan (FS) with Ishak fibrosis score in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Methods: A total of 313 patients with chronic hepatitis B who visited Department of Liver Cirrhosis in Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine from November 2014 to May 2016 were enrolled. All the patients underwent liver biopsy, and FT and FS were used to determine liver stiffness measurement (LSM). Serum biochemical parameters were measured, and the aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) in a multi-parameter model of liver fibrosis and fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index were calculated. The consistency between the results of four noninvasive examinations and Ishak fibrosis score was compared. The t-test was used for comparison of LSM determined by FT and FS. Pearson correlation analysis was used investigate the correlation between LSM determined by FT and FS; Spearman correlation analysis was used to investigate the correlation of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels and Knodell score with LSM determined by FT and FS; the correlation between LSM determined by FT and FS and fibrosis stage was analyzed by partial correlation analysis adjusted by Knodell score for liver inflammatory activity; Spearman correlation analysis was used for APRI, FIB-4, and fibrosis stage. Based on the Ishak fibrosis score, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to analyze the values of four noninvasive methods in the diagnosis of liver fibrosis. Results: There was no significant difference in LSM measured by FT and FS in all patients (15.75±9.42 kPa vs 15.42±10.52 kPa, P > 0.05) and Pearson correlation analysis indicated a significant positive correlation between them (r = 0.858, P < 0.01); serum ALT and AST levels and liver inflammatory activity were correlated with LSM determined by FT and FS. There

  9. Relationship between two proprioceptive measures and stiffness at the ankle.

    PubMed

    Docherty, Carrie L; Arnold, Brent L; Zinder, Steven M; Granata, Kevin; Gansneder, Bruce M

    2004-06-01

    Previous research has investigated the role of proprioception and stiffness in the control of joint stability. However, to date, no research has been done on the relationship between proprioception and stiffness. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between force sense, joint reposition sense, and stiffness at the ankle. A heterogeneous sample was obtained for this study; 20 of the 40 participants had a history of ankle sprains, and 13 of the 20 had been diagnosed by a physician (two mild ankle sprains, seven moderate sprains, four severe sprains). All subjects were asymptomatic and active at the time of the study. Active joint reposition sense was measured using a custom-built ankle goniometer, force sense was measured unilaterally and contralaterally with a load cell, and ankle muscle stiffness was measured via transient oscillation using a custom-built inversion-eversion cradle. We found no significant correlations between stiffness and joint reposition sense, with values of r ranging from 0.01 to 0.21. Significant correlations were found between stiffness and force sense. Specifically, contralateral force sense reproduction was significantly correlated to stiffness in the injured or "involved" ankle (r's ranging from 0.47 to 0.65; P< or =0.008). Whether the decreased ability to appropriately sense force (increased error) sends information to the central nervous system to increase muscle stiffness in response to an unexpected loss of stability, or whether these two phenomena function independently and both change concurrently as a result of injury to the system requires further investigation.

  10. The direct measurement of structural mass, stiffness and damping properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, H. G.; Dobson, B. J.

    1991-02-01

    A method is described for directly evaluating the spatial properties (i.e., mass, stiffness and damping) of a structure from experimentally measured frequency response data. The resulting structural model can be compared directly with an equivalent finite element idealization. The effects of model reduction, such as the Guyan method, which can be employed to ensure that the experimental and theoretical models contain comparable degrees of freedom, are discussed. It is shown that it is possible to detect regions within the structure at which differences exist between the experimental and theoretical models. Further, it is demonstrated that the resulting experimentally derived models can be used to predict the effects of structural modifications upon the frequency response behaviour of the structure.

  11. Comparing the Bending Stiffness Measurements of Brittle Paper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Andrea; McGath, Molly; McGuiggan, Patricia

    It has been estimated that one third of the paper materials in libraries are too brittle to handle. A typical paper sheet is comprised of semi-rigid cellulose fibers that are more than ten times longer than the sheet thickness and can be considered a two dimensional random fiber network. The main pathways of degradation, acid-catalyzed hydrolysis and oxidation, cause depolymerization of the cellulose chains and breaking of the intrafiber bonds. Conventional mechanical measurements of aged paper are destructive and often too severe to understand the true extent of deterioration. By comparing the roll test, folding endurance tests, tensile tests and stiffness tests of naturally aged papers with varying amounts of brittleness, we intend to show the limits of each test and relate the state of the paper degradation to the mechanical test results. We thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for funding this research.

  12. Measurement of stiffness of standing trees and felled logs using acoustics: A review.

    PubMed

    Legg, Mathew; Bradley, Stuart

    2016-02-01

    This paper provides a review on the use of acoustics to measure stiffness of standing trees, stems, and logs. An outline is given of the properties of wood and how these are related to stiffness and acoustic velocity throughout the tree. Factors are described that influence the speed of sound in wood, including the different types of acoustic waves which propagate in tree stems and lumber. Acoustic tools and techniques that have been used to measure the stiffness of wood are reviewed. The reasons for a systematic difference between direct and acoustic measurements of stiffness for standing trees, and methods for correction, are discussed. Other techniques, which have been used in addition to acoustics to try to improve stiffness measurements, are also briefly described. Also reviewed are studies which have used acoustic tools to investigate factors that influence the stiffness of trees. These factors include different silvicultural practices, geographic and environmental conditions, and genetics.

  13. Sources of variability in musculo-articular stiffness measurement.

    PubMed

    Ditroilo, Massimiliano; Watsford, Mark; Murphy, Aron; De Vito, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of musculo-articular stiffness (MAS) with the free-oscillation technique is a popular method with a variety of applications. This study examined the sources of variability (load applied and frequency of oscillation) when MAS is assessed. Over two testing occasions, 14 healthy men (27.7±5.2 yr, 1.82±0.04 m, 79.5±8.4 kg) were measured for isometric maximum voluntary contraction and MAS of the knee flexors using submaximal loads relative to the individual's maximum voluntary contraction (MAS%MVC) and a single absolute load (MASABS). As assessment load increased, MAS%MVC (coefficient of variation (CV)  =  8.1-12.1%; standard error of measurement (SEM)  =  51.6-98.8 Nm⁻¹) and frequency (CV  =  4.8-7.0%; SEM  =  0.060-0.075 s⁻¹) variability increased consequently. Further, similar levels of variability arising from load (CV  =  6.7%) and frequency (CV  =  4.8-7.0%) contributed to the overall MAS%MVC variability. The single absolute load condition yielded better reliability scores for MASABS (CV  =  6.5%; SEM  =  40.2 Nm⁻¹) and frequency (CV  =  3.3%; SEM  =  0.039 s⁻¹). Low and constant loads for MAS assessment, which are particularly relevant in the clinical setting, exhibited superior reliability compared to higher loads expressed as a percentage of maximum voluntary contraction, which are more suitable for sporting situations. Appropriate sample size and minimum detectable change can therefore be determined when prospective studies are carried out.

  14. PolyMUMPs MEMS device to measure mechanical stiffness of single cells in aqueous media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warnat, S.; King, H.; Forbrigger, C.; Hubbard, T.

    2015-02-01

    A method of experimentally determining the mechanical stiffness of single cells by using differential displacement measurements in a two stage spring system is presented. The spring system consists of a known MEMS reference spring and an unknown cellular stiffness: the ratio of displacements is related to the ratio of stiffness. A polyMUMPs implementation for aqueous media is presented and displacement measurements made from optical microphotographs using a FFT based displacement method with a repeatability of ~20 nm. The approach was first validated on a MEMS two stage spring system of known stiffness. The measured stiffness ratios of control structures (i) MEMS spring systems and (ii) polystyrene microspheres were found to agree with theoretical values. Mechanical tests were then performed on Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s yeast) in aqueous media. Cells were placed (using a micropipette) inside MEMS measuring structures and compressed between two jaws using an electrostatic actuator and displacements measured. Tested cells showed stiffness values between 5.4 and 8.4 N m-1 with an uncertainty of 11%. In addition, non-viable cells were tested by exposing viable cells to methanol. The resultant mean cell stiffness dropped by factor of 3 × and an explicit discrimination between viable and non-viable cells based on mechanical stiffness was seen.

  15. 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.

  16. Single cell stiffness measurement at various humidity conditions by nanomanipulation of a nano-needle.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yajing; Nakajima, Masahiro; Yang, Zhan; Tajima, Hirotaka; Najdovski, Zoran; Homma, Michio; Fukuda, Toshio

    2013-04-12

    This paper presents a method for single cell stiffness measurement based on a nano-needle and nanomanipulation. The nano-needle with a buffering beam was fabricated from an atomic force microscope cantilever by the focused ion beam etching technique. Wild type yeast cells (W303) were prepared and placed on the sample stage inside an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) chamber. The nanomanipulator actuated the nano-needle to press against a single yeast cell. As a result, the deformation of the cell and nano-needle was observed by the ESEM system in real-time. Finally, the stiffness of the single cell was determined based on this deformation information. To reveal the relationship between the cell stiffness and the environmental humidity conditions, the cell stiffness was measured at three different humidity conditions, i.e. 40, 70 and 100%, respectively. The results show that the stiffness of a single cell is reduced with increasing humidity.

  17. Single cell stiffness measurement at various humidity conditions by nanomanipulation of a nano-needle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Yajing; Nakajima, Masahiro; Yang, Zhan; Tajima, Hirotaka; Najdovski, Zoran; Homma, Michio; Fukuda, Toshio

    2013-04-01

    This paper presents a method for single cell stiffness measurement based on a nano-needle and nanomanipulation. The nano-needle with a buffering beam was fabricated from an atomic force microscope cantilever by the focused ion beam etching technique. Wild type yeast cells (W303) were prepared and placed on the sample stage inside an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) chamber. The nanomanipulator actuated the nano-needle to press against a single yeast cell. As a result, the deformation of the cell and nano-needle was observed by the ESEM system in real-time. Finally, the stiffness of the single cell was determined based on this deformation information. To reveal the relationship between the cell stiffness and the environmental humidity conditions, the cell stiffness was measured at three different humidity conditions, i.e. 40, 70 and 100%, respectively. The results show that the stiffness of a single cell is reduced with increasing humidity.

  18. Flexural Stiffness of Myosin Va Subdomains as Measured from Tethered Particle Motion

    PubMed Central

    Michalek, Arthur J.; Kennedy, Guy G.; Warshaw, David M.; Ali, M. Yusuf

    2015-01-01

    Myosin Va (MyoVa) is a processive molecular motor involved in intracellular cargo transport on the actin cytoskeleton. The motor's processivity and ability to navigate actin intersections are believed to be governed by the stiffness of various parts of the motor's structure. Specifically, changes in calcium may regulate motor processivity by altering the motor's lever arm stiffness and thus its interhead communication. In order to measure the flexural stiffness of MyoVa subdomains, we use tethered particle microscopy, which relates the Brownian motion of fluorescent quantum dots, which are attached to various single- and double-headed MyoVa constructs bound to actin in rigor, to the motor's flexural stiffness. Based on these measurements, the MyoVa lever arm and coiled-coil rod domain have comparable flexural stiffness (0.034 pN/nm). Upon addition of calcium, the lever arm stiffness is reduced 40% as a result of calmodulins potentially dissociating from the lever arm. In addition, the flexural stiffness of the full-length MyoVa construct is an order of magnitude less stiff than both a single lever arm and the coiled-coil rod. This suggests that the MyoVa lever arm-rod junction provides a flexible hinge that would allow the motor to maneuver cargo through the complex intracellular actin network. PMID:26770194

  19. Non-invasive evaluation of liver stiffness after splenectomy in rabbits with CCl4-induced liver fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ming-Jun; Ling, Wen-Wu; Wang, Hong; Meng, Ling-Wei; Cai, He; Peng, Bing

    2016-01-01

    AIM To investigate the diagnostic performance of liver stiffness measurement (LSM) by elastography point quantification (ElastPQ) in animal models and determine the longitudinal changes in liver stiffness by ElastPQ after splenectomy at different stages of fibrosis. METHODS Liver stiffness was measured in sixty-eight rabbits with CCl4-induced liver fibrosis at different stages and eight healthy control rabbits by ElastPQ. Liver biopsies and blood samples were obtained at scheduled time points to assess liver function and degree of fibrosis. Thirty-one rabbits with complete data that underwent splenectomy at different stages of liver fibrosis were then included for dynamic monitoring of changes in liver stiffness by ElastPQ and liver function according to blood tests. RESULTS LSM by ElastPQ was significantly correlated with histologic fibrosis stage (r = 0.85, P < 0.001). The optimal cutoff values by ElastPQ were 11.27, 14.89, and 18.21 kPa for predicting minimal fibrosis, moderate fibrosis, and cirrhosis, respectively. Longitudinal monitoring of the changes in liver stiffness by ElastPQ showed that early splenectomy (especially F1) may delay liver fibrosis progression. CONCLUSION ElastPQ is an available, convenient, objective and non-invasive technique for assessing liver stiffness in rabbits with CCl4-induced liver fibrosis. In addition, liver stiffness measurements using ElastPQ can dynamically monitor the changes in liver stiffness in rabbit models, and in patients, after splenectomy. PMID:28028365

  20. Non-Contact Stiffness Measurement of a Suspended Single Walled Carbon Nanotube Device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zheng, Yun; Su, Chanmin; Getty, Stephanie

    2010-01-01

    A new nanoscale electric field sensor was developed for studying triboelectric charging in terrestrial and Martian dust devils. This sensor is capable to measure the large electric fields for large dust devils without saturation. However, to quantify the electric charges and the field strength it is critical to calibrate the mechanical stiffness of the sensor devices. We performed a technical feasibility study of the Nano E-field Sensor stiffness by a non-contact stiffness measurement method. The measurement is based on laser Doppler vibrometer measurement of the thermal noise due to energy flunctuations in the devices. The experiment method provides a novel approach to acquire data that is essential in analyzing the quantitative performance of the E-field Nano Sensor. To carry out the non-contact stiffness measurement, we fabricated a new Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube (SWCNT) E-field sensor with different SWCNTs suspension conditions. The power spectra of the thermal induced displacement in the nano E-field sensor were measured at the accuracy of picometer. The power spectra were then used to derive the mechanical stiffness of the sensors. Effect of suspension conditions on stiffness and sensor sensitivty was discussed. After combined deformation and resistivity measurement, we can compare with our laboratory testing and field testing results. This new non-contact measurement technology can also help to explore to other nano and MEMS devices in the future.

  1. A Review on Atherosclerotic Biology, Wall Stiffness, Physics of Elasticity, and Its Ultrasound-Based Measurement.

    PubMed

    Patel, Anoop K; Suri, Harman S; Singh, Jaskaran; Kumar, Dinesh; Shafique, Shoaib; Nicolaides, Andrew; Jain, Sanjay K; Saba, Luca; Gupta, Ajay; Laird, John R; Giannopoulos, Argiris; Suri, Jasjit S

    2016-12-01

    Functional and structural changes in the common carotid artery are biomarkers for cardiovascular risk. Current methods for measuring functional changes include pulse wave velocity, compliance, distensibility, strain, stress, stiffness, and elasticity derived from arterial waveforms. The review is focused on the ultrasound-based carotid artery elasticity and stiffness measurements covering the physics of elasticity and linking it to biological evolution of arterial stiffness. The paper also presents evolution of plaque with a focus on the pathophysiologic cascade leading to arterial hardening. Using the concept of strain, and image-based elasticity, the paper then reviews the lumen diameter and carotid intima-media thickness measurements in combined temporal and spatial domains. Finally, the review presents the factors which influence the understanding of atherosclerotic disease formation and cardiovascular risk including arterial stiffness, tissue morphological characteristics, and image-based elasticity measurement.

  2. Measuring the Characteristic Topography of Brain Stiffness with Magnetic Resonance Elastography

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Matthew C.; Huston, John; Jack, Clifford R.; Glaser, Kevin J.; Senjem, Matthew L.; Chen, Jun; Manduca, Armando; Felmlee, Joel P.; Ehman, Richard L.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To develop a reliable magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)-based method for measuring regional brain stiffness. Methods First, simulation studies were used to demonstrate how stiffness measurements can be biased by changes in brain morphometry, such as those due to atrophy. Adaptive postprocessing methods were created that significantly reduce the spatial extent of edge artifacts and eliminate atrophy-related bias. Second, a pipeline for regional brain stiffness measurement was developed and evaluated for test-retest reliability in 10 healthy control subjects. Results This technique indicates high test-retest repeatability with a typical coefficient of variation of less than 1% for global brain stiffness and less than 2% for the lobes of the brain and the cerebellum. Furthermore, this study reveals that the brain possesses a characteristic topography of mechanical properties, and also that lobar stiffness measurements tend to correlate with one another within an individual. Conclusion The methods presented in this work are resistant to noise- and edge-related biases that are common in the field of brain MRE, demonstrate high test-retest reliability, and provide independent regional stiffness measurements. This pipeline will allow future investigations to measure changes to the brain’s mechanical properties and how they relate to the characteristic topographies that are typical of many neurologic diseases. PMID:24312570

  3. Finite Element Analysis of Single Cell Stiffness Measurements Using PZT-Integrated Buckling Nanoneedles

    PubMed Central

    Rad, Maryam Alsadat; Tijjani, Auwal Shehu; Ahmad, Mohd Ridzuan; Auwal, Shehu Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    This paper proposes a new technique for real-time single cell stiffness measurement using lead zirconate titanate (PZT)-integrated buckling nanoneedles. The PZT and the buckling part of the nanoneedle have been modelled and validated using the ABAQUS software. The two parts are integrated together to function as a single unit. After calibration, the stiffness, Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio and sensitivity of the PZT-integrated buckling nanoneedle have been determined to be 0.7100 N·m−1, 123.4700 GPa, 0.3000 and 0.0693 V·m·N−1, respectively. Three Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells have been modelled and validated based on compression tests. The average global stiffness and Young’s modulus of the cells are determined to be 10.8867 ± 0.0094 N·m−1 and 110.7033 ± 0.0081 MPa, respectively. The nanoneedle and the cell have been assembled to measure the local stiffness of the single Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells The local stiffness, Young’s modulus and PZT output voltage of the three different size Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been determined at different environmental conditions. We investigated that, at low temperature the stiffness value is low to adapt to the change in the environmental condition. As a result, Saccharomyces cerevisiae becomes vulnerable to viral and bacterial attacks. Therefore, the proposed technique will serve as a quick and accurate process to diagnose diseases at early stage in a cell for effective treatment. PMID:28025571

  4. Integration of acoustic radiation force and optical imaging for blood plasma clot stiffness measurement.

    PubMed

    Wang, Caroline W; Perez, Matthew J; Helmke, Brian P; Viola, Francesco; Lawrence, Michael B

    2015-01-01

    Despite the life-preserving function blood clotting serves in the body, inadequate or excessive blood clot stiffness has been associated with life-threatening diseases such as stroke, hemorrhage, and heart attack. The relationship between blood clot stiffness and vascular diseases underscores the importance of quantifying the magnitude and kinetics of blood's transformation from a fluid to a viscoelastic solid. To measure blood plasma clot stiffness, we have developed a method that uses ultrasound acoustic radiation force (ARF) to induce micron-scaled displacements (1-500 μm) on microbeads suspended in blood plasma. The displacements were detected by optical microscopy and took place within a micro-liter sized clot region formed within a larger volume (2 mL sample) to minimize container surface effects. Modulation of the ultrasound generated acoustic radiation force allowed stiffness measurements to be made in blood plasma from before its gel point to the stage where it was a fully developed viscoelastic solid. A 0.5 wt % agarose hydrogel was 9.8-fold stiffer than the plasma (platelet-rich) clot at 1 h post-kaolin stimulus. The acoustic radiation force microbead method was sensitive to the presence of platelets and strength of coagulation stimulus. Platelet depletion reduced clot stiffness 6.9 fold relative to platelet rich plasma. The sensitivity of acoustic radiation force based stiffness assessment may allow for studying platelet regulation of both incipient and mature clot mechanical properties.

  5. Finite Element Analysis of Single Cell Stiffness Measurements Using PZT-Integrated Buckling Nanoneedles.

    PubMed

    Rad, Maryam Alsadat; Tijjani, Auwal Shehu; Ahmad, Mohd Ridzuan; Auwal, Shehu Muhammad

    2016-12-23

    This paper proposes a new technique for real-time single cell stiffness measurement using lead zirconate titanate (PZT)-integrated buckling nanoneedles. The PZT and the buckling part of the nanoneedle have been modelled and validated using the ABAQUS software. The two parts are integrated together to function as a single unit. After calibration, the stiffness, Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio and sensitivity of the PZT-integrated buckling nanoneedle have been determined to be 0.7100 N·m(-1), 123.4700 GPa, 0.3000 and 0.0693 V·m·N(-1), respectively. Three Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells have been modelled and validated based on compression tests. The average global stiffness and Young's modulus of the cells are determined to be 10.8867 ± 0.0094 N·m(-1) and 110.7033 ± 0.0081 MPa, respectively. The nanoneedle and the cell have been assembled to measure the local stiffness of the single Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells The local stiffness, Young's modulus and PZT output voltage of the three different size Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been determined at different environmental conditions. We investigated that, at low temperature the stiffness value is low to adapt to the change in the environmental condition. As a result, Saccharomyces cerevisiae becomes vulnerable to viral and bacterial attacks. Therefore, the proposed technique will serve as a quick and accurate process to diagnose diseases at early stage in a cell for effective treatment.

  6. Integration of Acoustic Radiation Force and Optical Imaging for Blood Plasma Clot Stiffness Measurement

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Caroline W.; Perez, Matthew J.; Helmke, Brian P.; Viola, Francesco; Lawrence, Michael B.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the life-preserving function blood clotting serves in the body, inadequate or excessive blood clot stiffness has been associated with life-threatening diseases such as stroke, hemorrhage, and heart attack. The relationship between blood clot stiffness and vascular diseases underscores the importance of quantifying the magnitude and kinetics of blood’s transformation from a fluid to a viscoelastic solid. To measure blood plasma clot stiffness, we have developed a method that uses ultrasound acoustic radiation force (ARF) to induce micron-scaled displacements (1-500 μm) on microbeads suspended in blood plasma. The displacements were detected by optical microscopy and took place within a micro-liter sized clot region formed within a larger volume (2 mL sample) to minimize container surface effects. Modulation of the ultrasound generated acoustic radiation force allowed stiffness measurements to be made in blood plasma from before its gel point to the stage where it was a fully developed viscoelastic solid. A 0.5 wt % agarose hydrogel was 9.8-fold stiffer than the plasma (platelet-rich) clot at 1 h post-kaolin stimulus. The acoustic radiation force microbead method was sensitive to the presence of platelets and strength of coagulation stimulus. Platelet depletion reduced clot stiffness 6.9 fold relative to platelet rich plasma. The sensitivity of acoustic radiation force based stiffness assessment may allow for studying platelet regulation of both incipient and mature clot mechanical properties. PMID:26042775

  7. Dynamic CT imaging of volumetric changes in pulmonary nodules correlates with physical measurements of stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Lartey, Frederick M.; Rafat, Marjan; Negahdar, Mohammadreza; Malkovskiy, Andrey V.; Dong, Xinzhe; Sun, Xiaoli; Li, Mei; Doyle, Timothy; Rajadas, Jayakumar; Graves, Edward E.; Loo, Billy W.; Maxim, Peter G.

    2017-01-01

    Background and purpose A major challenge in CT screening for lung cancer is limited specificity when distinguishing between malignant and non-malignant pulmonary nodules (PN). Malignant nodules have different mechanical properties and tissue characteristics (‘stiffness’) from non-malignant nodules. This study seeks to improve CT specificity by demonstrating in rats that measurements of volumetric ratios in PNs with varying composition can be determined by respiratory-gated dynamic CT imaging and that these ratios correlate with direct physical measurements of PN stiffness. Methods and materials Respiratory-gated MicroCT images acquired at extreme tidal volumes of 9 rats with PNs from talc, matrigel and A549 human lung carcinoma were analyzed and their volumetric ratios (δ) derived. PN stiffness was determined by measuring the Young’s modulus using atomic force microscopy (AFM) for each nodule excised immediately after MicroCT imaging. Results There was significant correlation (p = 0.0002) between PN volumetric ratios determined by respiratory-gated CT imaging and the physical stiffness of the PNs determined from AFM measurements. Conclusion We demonstrated proof of concept that PN volume changes measured non-invasively correlate with direct physical measurements of stiffness. These results may translate clinically into a means of improving the specificity of CT screening for lung cancer and/or improving individual prognostic assessments based on lung tumor stiffness. PMID:27989402

  8. Measurement of passive ankle stiffness in subjects with chronic hemiparesis using a novel ankle robot.

    PubMed

    Roy, Anindo; Krebs, Hermano I; Bever, Christopher T; Forrester, Larry W; Macko, Richard F; Hogan, Neville

    2011-05-01

    Our objective in this study was to assess passive mechanical stiffness in the ankle of chronic hemiparetic stroke survivors and to compare it with those of healthy young and older (age-matched) individuals. Given the importance of the ankle during locomotion, an accurate estimate of passive ankle stiffness would be valuable for locomotor rehabilitation, potentially providing a measure of recovery and a quantitative basis to design treatment protocols. Using a novel ankle robot, we characterized passive ankle stiffness both in sagittal and in frontal planes by applying perturbations to the ankle joint over the entire range of motion with subjects in a relaxed state. We found that passive stiffness of the affected ankle joint was significantly higher in chronic stroke survivors than in healthy adults of a similar cohort, both in the sagittal as well as frontal plane of movement, in three out of four directions tested with indistinguishable stiffness values in plantarflexion direction. Our findings are comparable to the literature, thus indicating its plausibility, and, to our knowledge, report for the first time passive stiffness in the frontal plane for persons with chronic stroke and older healthy adults.

  9. Assessing musculo-articular stiffness using free oscillations: theory, measurement and analysis.

    PubMed

    Ditroilo, Massimiliano; Watsford, Mark; Murphy, Aron; De Vito, Giuseppe

    2011-12-01

    Stiffness, the relationship between applied load and elastic deformation, is an important neuromechanical component related to muscular performance and injury risk. The free-oscillation technique is a popular method for stiffness assessment. There has been wide application of this technique assessing a variety of musculature, including the triceps surae, knee flexors, knee extensors and pectorals. The methodology involves the modelling of the system as a linear damped mass-spring system. The use of such a model has certain advantages and limitations that will be discussed within this review. Perhaps the major advantage of such a model is the specificity of the measure, whereby it is possible for the assessment conditions to simulate the type of loading witnessed during functional tasks and sporting situations. High levels of reliability and construct validity have typically been reported using such procedures. Despite these assurances of accuracy, a number of issues have also been identified. The literature reveals some concerns surrounding the use of a linear model for stiffness assessment. Further, procedural issues surrounding the administration of the perturbation, attention focus of the participant during the perturbation, signal collection, data processing and analysis, presentation of stiffness as a linear or torsional value, assessment load (single vs multiple vs maximal) and the stiffness-load relationship have been identified, and are all fundamentally related to the quality of the calculated output data. Finally, several important considerations for practitioners have been recommended to ensure the quality and consistency of stiffness data collection, processing and interpretation.

  10. System identification of velocity mechanomyogram measured with a capacitor microphone for muscle stiffness estimation.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Takanori; Tomoshige, Taiki

    2017-04-01

    A mechanomyogram (MMG) measured with a displacement sensor (displacement MMG) can provide a better estimation of longitudinal muscle stiffness than that measured with an acceleration sensor (acceleration MMG), but the displacement MMG cannot provide transverse muscle stiffness. We propose a method to estimate both longitudinal and transverse muscle stiffness from a velocity MMG using a system identification technique. The aims of this study are to show the advantages of the proposed method. The velocity MMG was measured using a capacitor microphone and a differential circuit, and the MMG, evoked by electrical stimulation, of the tibialis anterior muscle was measured five times in seven healthy young male volunteers. The evoked MMG system was identified using the singular value decomposition method and was approximated with a fourth-order model, which provides two undamped natural frequencies corresponding to the longitudinal and transverse muscle stiffness. The fluctuation of the undamped natural frequencies estimated from the velocity MMG was significantly smaller than that from the acceleration MMG. There was no significant difference between the fluctuations of the undamped natural frequencies estimated from the velocity MMG and that from the displacement MMG. The proposed method using the velocity MMG is thus more advantageous for muscle stiffness estimation.

  11. Liver Stiffness: A Significant Relationship with the Waveform Pattern in the Hepatic Vein.

    PubMed

    Sekimoto, Tadashi; Maruyama, Hitoshi; Kiyono, Soichiro; Kondo, Takayuki; Shimada, Taro; Takahashi, Masanori; Yokosuka, Osamu; Yamaguchi, Tadashi

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this prospective study was to assess the relationship between liver stiffness and hepatic vein waveform patterns in 42 patients with chronic hepatitis and 55 with cirrhosis. Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) values (FibroScan, Echosens, Paris, France) were significantly lower in the triphasic pattern group (11.3 ± 8.4 kPa) than in the monophasic pattern (32.5 ± 23.5 kPa, p = 0.001) and biphasic pattern (25.6 ± 18.1 kPa, p = 0.001) groups, indicating no significant relationship with portal pressure. The ability to diagnose cirrhosis represented by the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.921 (83.6% sensitivity, 90.5% specificity, best cutoff value: 16.9 kPa) by LSM and 1.000 (best cutoff value: 19.4 kPa) by LSM combined with the monophasic pattern. This study revealed a close linkage between liver stiffness and hepatic vein waveform findings, resulting in a better understanding of hepatic vein hemodynamics and wider application of its analysis.

  12. Measurement of the UH-60A Hub Large Rotor Test Apparatus Control System Stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kufeld, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    This purpose of this report is to provides details of the measurement of the control system stiffness of the UH-60A rotor hub mounted on the Large Rotor Test Apparatus (UH-60A/LRTA). The UH-60A/LRTA was used in the 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel to complete the full-scale wind tunnel test portion of the NASA / ARMY UH-60A Airloads Program. This report describes the LRTA control system and highlights the differences between the LRTA and UH-60A aircraft. The test hardware, test setup, and test procedures are also described. Sample results are shown, including the azimuthal variation of the measured control system stiffness for three different loadings and two different dynamic actuator settings. Finally, the azimuthal stiffness is converted to fixed system values using multi-blade transformations for input to comprehensive rotorcraft prediction codes.

  13. Piezoelectric Sensor to Measure Soft and Hard Stiffness with High Sensitivity for Ultrasonic Transducers.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan-Rui; Su, Chih-Chung; Lin, Wen-Jin; Chang, Shuo-Hung

    2015-06-11

    During dental sinus lift surgery, it is important to monitor the thickness of the remaining maxilla to avoid perforating the sinus membrane. Therefore, a sensor should be integrated into ultrasonic dental tools to prevent undesirable damage. This paper presents a piezoelectric (PZT) sensor installed in an ultrasonic transducer to measure the stiffness of high and low materials. Four design types using three PZT ring materials and a split PZT for actuator and sensor ring materials were studied. Three sensor locations were also examined. The voltage signals of the sensor and the displacement of the actuator were analyzed to distinguish the low and high stiffness. Using sensor type T1 made of the PZT-1 material and the front location A1 provided a high sensitivity of 2.47 Vm/kN. The experimental results demonstrated that our design can measure soft and hard stiffness.

  14. Optoelectronic tweezers for the measurement of the relative stiffness of erythrocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neale, Steven L.; Mody, Nimesh; Selman, Colin; Cooper, Jonathan M.

    2012-10-01

    In this paper we describe the first use of Optoelectronic Tweezers (OET), an optically controlled micromanipulation method, to measure the relative stiffness of erythrocytes in mice. Cell stiffness is an important measure of cell health and in the case of erythrocytes, the most elastic cells in the body, an increase in cell stiffness can indicate pathologies such as type II diabetes mellitus or hypertension (high blood pressure). OET uses a photoconductive device to convert an optical pattern into and electrical pattern. The electrical fields will create a dipole within any polarisable particles in the device, such as cells, and non-uniformities of the field can be used to place unequal forces onto each side of the dipole thus moving the particle. In areas of the device where there are no field gradients, areas of constant illumination, the force on each side of the dipole will be equal, keeping the cell stationary, but as there are opposing forces on each side of the cell it will be stretched. The force each cell will experience will differ slightly so the stretching will depend on the cells polarisability as well as its stiffness. Because of this a relative stiffness rather than absolute stiffness is measured. We show that with standard conditions (20Vpp, 1.5MHz, 10mSm-1 medium conductivity) the cell's diameter changes by around 10% for healthy mouse erythrocytes and we show that due to the low light intensities required for OET, relative to conventional optical tweezers, multiple cells can be measured simultaneously.

  15. Measurements of stiff-material compliance on the nanoscale using ultrasonic force microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinelli, F.; Biswas, S. K.; Briggs, G. A. D.; Kolosov, O. V.

    2000-05-01

    Ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM) was introduced to probe nanoscale mechanical properties of stiff materials. This was achieved by vibrating the sample far above the first resonance of the probing atomic force microscope cantilever where the cantilever becomes dynamically rigid. By operating UFM at different set force values, it is possible to directly measure the absolute values of the tip-surface contact stiffness. From this an evaluation of surface elastic properties can be carried out assuming a suitable solid-solid contact model. In this paper we present curves of stiffness as a function of the normal load in the range of 0-300 nN. The dependence of stiffness on the relative humidity has also been investigated. Materials with different elastic constants (such as sapphire lithium fluoride, and silicon) have been successfully differentiated. Continuum mechanics models cannot however explain the dependence of stiffness on the normal force and on the relative humidity. In this high-frequency regime, it is likely that viscous forces might play an important role modifying the tip-surface interaction. Plastic deformation might also occur due to the high strain rates applied when ultrasonically vibrating the sample. Another possible cause of these discrepancies might be the presence of water in between the two bodies in contact organizing in a solidlike way and partially sustaining the load.

  16. Limitations and opportunities of non-invasive liver stiffness measurement in children

    PubMed Central

    Engelmann, Guido; Quader, Jasmin; Teufel, Ulrike; Schenk, Jens Peter

    2017-01-01

    Changes in liver structure are an important issue in chronic hepatopathies. Until the end of the 20th century, these changes could only be determined by histological analyses of a liver specimen obtained via biopsy. The well-known limitations of this technique (i.e., pain, bleeding and the need for sedation) have precluded its routine use in follow-up of patients with liver diseases. However, the introduction of non-invasive technologies, such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, for measurement of liver stiffness as an indirect marker of fibroses has changed this situation. Today, several non-invasive tools are available to physicians to estimate the degree of liver fibrosis by analysing liver stiffness. This review describes the currently available tools for liver stiffness determination that are applicable to follow-up of liver fibrosis/cirrhosis with established clinical use in children, and discusses their features in comparison to the “historical” tools. PMID:28357028

  17. The Aqualon SLT: a novel device for measuring hair stiffness and lubricity.

    PubMed

    Vaynberg, K Abraham; Nall, M

    2009-01-01

    The ability to quantify hair property changes in response to treatment is essential to the successful development of new formulations and benefiting agents. In the attempt to expand the toolbox of hair tress testing tools, we developed a device that allows hair scientists to measure hair tress changes in stiffness and lubricity. The tool is based on a system of pins mounted on free rotating bearings and is operated in two modes: rotating and stationary. The hair attributes are measured by threading a hair tress through the pin assembly and measuring the total work of pulling through in rotational and stationary modes (the latter mode is obtained by immobilizing pins by a retaining plate). The data thus obtained is de-convoluted into the work of apparent stiffness (rotational mode) and the work of the friction-on-pins or lubricity (stationary mode minus the apparent stiffness). The data can be further reduced to produce an apparent friction coefficient defined as a ratio of the apparent lubricity to the apparent stiffness. This work demonstrates the utility of the parameters measured by the Aqualon SLT and illustrates how the device can be used to predict and understand the impacts of various hair treatments.

  18. MEMS squeezer for the measurement of single cell rupture force, stiffness change, and hysteresis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barazani, B.; Warnat, S.; Fine, A.; Hubbard, T.

    2017-02-01

    A MEMS squeezer able to compress single living cells underwater until rupture was designed and tested. The relatively large motion range of the device in aqueous media (~2.5 µm) allows provoking cell disruption while measuring cell mechanical properties before and after membrane rupture. An AC driven electrothermal micro actuator with mechanical amplification pressed single cells against a reference back spring. Deformations of the cell and the reference spring were measured with nanoscale resolution using optical Fourier transform techniques. The motion of the reference spring divided by the cell deformation provides the cell stiffness relative to the reference spring constant. An abrupt change in the cell stiffness and the appearance of cracks indicated the cell wall rupture force was reached. A total of 22 baker’s yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) were squeezed with the micro device. The average force necessary to rupture the cell membrane was 0.47  ±  0.1 µN. Before rupture the cells had an average stiffness of 9.3  ±  3.1 N m-1 the post-rupture stiffness dropped to 0.94  ±  0.57 N m-1. Cell hysteresis was also measured: cells squeezed and released before reaching the rupture force showed residual deformations below 100 nm, while cells squeezed past the rupture force and then released showed residual deformations between 490 and 990 nm.

  19. Applications Of The Microscope System LSM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapitza, Hans-Georg; Wilke, Volker

    1989-02-01

    The new universal confocal LSM is a second-generation laser scanning microscope. This means, that laser scanning microscopy now made the transition from experimental set-up lab types to integrated workstations, where the manual handling of mechanical and optical components is left to the computer. The built-in microcomputer - now not only drives scanners and transforms signals into images but also controls directly the microscope functions. It turned out that this is a crucial step for making the LSM an universal instrument for widespread use in research and development. The switching from conventiona] microscopy to laser scanning modes and vice versa is performed by simply pressing keys. Not only images can be stored on the built-in hard disk but at the same time automati cally the corresponding set of parameters: Even weeks or months after creating an image the settings of the instrument belonging to this image can be called from the operators panel by loading a parameter file which defines the laser line used and its intensity setting, nosepiece position, zoom factor, averaging conditions, microscopy mode (transmitted, reflected or fluorescence) and parameters for signal conditioning. Since the microscope stand is motorized at a high degree, the computer recreates automatically the exact conditions desired after dialing the number of the parameter file. In this way working with the LSM becomes not only reproducible, but also the user is freed from the handling of mechanical parts and typing commands on a keyboard. Finally the automatized LSM allows true remote control by a host computer necessary for the most demanding 3D-reconstruction. The characteristics pointed out so far are prerequisites for the daily use by microscopists in life science, semiconductor research, development and testing and materials research.

  20. Increased osteopontin and liver stiffness measurement by transient elastography in biliary atresia

    PubMed Central

    Honsawek, Sittisak; Chayanupatkul, Maneerat; Chongsrisawat, Voranush; Vejchapipat, Paisarn; Poovorawan, Yong

    2010-01-01

    AIM: To analyze plasma osteopontin levels and liver stiffness using transient elastography in postoperative biliary atresia (BA) children compared with healthy controls. METHODS: Thirty children with postoperative BA and 10 normal controls were enrolled. The patients were categorized into two groups according to their jaundice status. Plasma levels of osteopontin were determined using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Liver stiffness was measured by using transient elastography (Fibroscan). Ten validated Fibroscan measurements were performed in each patient and control with the result expressed in kilopascals (kPa). RESULTS: Plasma osteopontin was significantly elevated in BA children compared with that of healthy controls (47.0 ± 56.4 ng/mL vs 15.1 ± 15.0 ng/mL, P = 0.01). The liver stiffness measurement was markedly elevated in the patients with BA compared with that of controls (26.9 ± 24.6 kPa vs 3.9 ± 0.7 kPa, P = 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed that the BA patients with jaundice had more pronounced plasma osteopontin levels than those without jaundice (87.1 ± 61.6 ng/mL vs 11.9 ± 6.1 ng/mL, P = 0.001). Furthermore, the mean liver stiffness was significantly greater in the jaundiced BA patients compared with non-jaundiced patients (47.7 ± 21.8 kPa vs 8.7 ± 3.0 kPa, P = 0.001). Additionally, plasma osteopontin was positively related to serum total bilirubin (r = 0.64, P < 0.001). There was also a correlation between plasma osteopontin and liver stiffness values (r = 0.60, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: High plasma osteopontin positively correlated with degree of hepatic fibrosis and could be used as a biochemical parameter reflecting disease severity in postoperative BA children. PMID:21086566

  1. Differentiating untreated and cross-linked porcine corneas of the same measured stiffness with optical coherence elastography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jiasong; Han, Zhaolong; Singh, Manmohan; Twa, Michael D.; Larin, Kirill V.

    2014-11-01

    Structurally degenerative diseases, such as keratoconus, can significantly alter the stiffness of the cornea, directly affecting the quality of vision. Ultraviolet-induced collagen cross-linking (CXL) effectively increases corneal stiffness and is applied clinically to treat keratoconus. However, measured corneal stiffness is also influenced by intraocular pressure (IOP). Therefore, experimentally measured changes in corneal stiffness may be attributable to the effects of CXL, changes in IOP, or both. We present a noninvasive measurement method using phase-stabilized swept-source optical coherence elastography to distinguish between CXL and IOP effects on measured corneal stiffness. This method compared the displacement amplitude attenuation of a focused air-pulse-induced elastic wave. The damping speed of the displacement amplitudes at each measurement position along the wave propagation were compared for different materials. This method was initially tested on gelatin and agar phantoms of the same stiffness for validation. Consequently, untreated and CXL-treated porcine corneas of the same measured stiffness, but at different IOPs, were also evaluated. The results suggest that this noninvasive method may have the potential to detect the early stages of ocular diseases such as keratoconus or may be applied during CLX procedures by factoring in the effects of IOP on the measured corneal stiffness.

  2. Definition and Validation of a Methodology to Measure the Local Static Stiffness of Large Appendages Interfaces Using Dynamic Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernasconi, M.; Rodriguez Senin, A.; Laduree, G.

    2014-06-01

    This paper describes the methodology developed under the Sentinel 1 spacecraft structure project to measure the local static stiffness of synthetic aperture radar antenna (SAR-A) interfaces using dynamic measurements. The methodology used consists in measuring accelerance [acceleration/force] frequency response functions (FRF) at the SAR-A interfaces and at several points selected as boundary conditions used for the derivation of the local stiffness [1]. The accelerance FRF is used to calculate the flexibility FRF [displacement/force] from which the static term of the flexibility is extracted. The static term is obtained via a least squares approximation at low frequency of the real part of the flexibility FRF (curve fitting approach) and extrapolation of the curve down to 0 Hz.Since the test was performed with the launch vehicle adapter ring clamped, the direct results of these measurements lead to global stiffness values. To calculate the local stiffness values the results were post- processed to subtract the contribution of the global deformation of the spacecraft structure. The local flexibility matrix at the SAR-A interfaces is calculated by imposing zero displacement at those points selected as virtual boundary conditions. Then, the local stiffness components were obtained inverting the diagonal terms of the local flexibility matrix for the three translational and the two in-plane rotational degrees of freedom in 9 SAR-A interfaces.The results obtained using this methodology were validated with a classical static test at one of the interfaces showing a good correlation between static and dynamic tests results. It was concluded that this methodology is suitable for the verification of static stiffness of large appendages interfaces and it can be applied to future missions that carry large payloads with critical structural interfaces.

  3. The Interday Measurement Consistency of and Relationships Between Hamstring and Leg Musculo-articular Stiffness.

    PubMed

    Waxman, Justin P; Schmitz, Randy J; Shultz, Sandra J

    2015-10-01

    Hamstring stiffness (K(HAM)) and leg stiffness (K(LEG)) are commonly examined relative to athletic performance and injury risk. Given these may be modifiable, it is important to understand day-to-day variations inherent in these measures before use in training studies. In addition, the extent to which K(HAM) and K(LEG) measure similar active stiffness characteristics has not been established. We investigated the interday measurement consistency of K(HAM) and K(LEG), and examined the extent to which K(LEG) predicted K(HAM) in 6 males and 9 females. K(HAM) was moderately consistent day-to-day (ICC(2,5) = .71; SEM = 76.3 N·m(-1)), and 95% limits of agreement (95% LOA) revealed a systematic bias with considerable absolute measurement error (95% LOA = 89.6 ± 224.8 N·m(-1)). Day-to-day differences in procedural factors explained 59.4% of the variance in day-to-day differences in K(HAM). Bilateral and unilateral K(LEG) was more consistent (ICC(2,3) range = .87-.94; SEM range = 1.0-2.91 kN·m(-1)) with lower absolute error (95% LOA bilateral= -2.0 ± 10.3; left leg = -0.36 ± 3.82; right leg = -1.05 ± 3.61 kN·m(-1)). K(LEG) explained 44% of the variance in K(HAM) (P < .01). Findings suggest that procedural factors must be carefully controlled to yield consistent and precise K(HAM) measures. The ease and consistency of K(LEG), and moderate correlation with K(HAM), may steer clinicians toward K(LEG) when measuring lower-extremity stiffness for screening studies and monitoring the effectiveness of training interventions over time.

  4. Contact stiffness and damping identification for hardware-in-the-loop contact simulator with measurement delay compensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Chenkun; Zhao, Xianchao; Gao, Feng; Ren, Anye; Sun, Qiao

    2016-06-01

    The hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) contact simulator is to simulate the contact process of two flying objects in space. The contact stiffness and damping are important parameters used for the process monitoring, compliant contact control and force compensation control. In this study, a contact stiffness and damping identification approach is proposed for the HIL contact simulation with the force measurement delay. The actual relative position of two flying objects can be accurately measured. However, the force measurement delay needs to be compensated because it will lead to incorrect stiffness and damping identification. Here, the phase lead compensation is used to reconstruct the actual contact force from the delayed force measurement. From the force and position data, the contact stiffness and damping are identified in real time using the recursive least squares (RLS) method. The simulations and experiments are used to verify that the proposed stiffness and damping identification approach is effective.

  5. A simple indentation device for measuring micrometer-scale tissue stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levental, I.; Levental, K. R.; Klein, E. A.; Assoian, R.; Miller, R. T.; Wells, R. G.; Janmey, P. A.

    2010-05-01

    Mechanical properties of cells and extracellular matrices are critical determinants of function in contexts including oncogenic transformation, neuronal synapse formation, hepatic fibrosis and stem cell differentiation. The size and heterogeneity of biological specimens and the importance of measuring their mechanical properties under conditions that resemble their environments in vivo present a challenge for quantitative measurement. Centimeter-scale tissue samples can be measured by commercial instruments, whereas properties at the subcellular (nm) scale are accessible by atomic force microscopy, optical trapping, or magnetic bead microrheometry; however many tissues are heterogeneous on a length scale between micrometers and millimeters which is not accessible to most current instrumentation. The device described here combines two commercially available technologies, a micronewton resolution force probe and a micromanipulator for probing soft biological samples at sub-millimeter spatial resolution. Several applications of the device are described. These include the first measurement of the stiffness of an intact, isolated mouse glomerulus, quantification of the inner wall stiffness of healthy and diseased mouse aortas, and evaluation of the lateral heterogeneity in the stiffness of mouse mammary glands and rat livers with correlation of this heterogeneity with malignant or fibrotic pathology as evaluated by histology.

  6. Experimental validation of arthroscopic cartilage stiffness measurement using enzymatically degraded cartilage samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyyra, T.; Arokoski, J. P. A.; Oksala, N.; Vihko, A.; Hyttinen, M.; Jurvelin, J. S.; Kiviranta, I.

    1999-02-01

    In order to evaluate the ability of the arthroscopic indentation instrument, originally developed for the measurement of cartilage stiffness during arthroscopy, to detect cartilage degeneration, we compared changes in the stiffness with the structural and constitutional alterations induced by enzymes on the tissue in vitro. The culturing of osteochondral plugs on Petri dishes was initiated in Minimum Essential Medium with Earle's salts and the baseline stiffness was measured. Then, the experimental specimens were digested using trypsin for 24 h, chondroitinase ABC or purified collagenase (type VII) for 24 h or 48 h ( n = 8-15 per group). The control specimens were incubated in the medium. After the enzyme digestion, the end-point stiffness was measured and the specimens for the microscopic analyses were processed. The proteoglycan (PG) distribution was analysed using quantitative microspectrophotometry and the quantitative evaluation of the collagen network was made using a computer-based polarized light microscopy analysis. Decrease of cartilage stiffness was found after 24 h trypsin (36%) and 48 h chondroitinase ABC (24%) digestion corresponding to a decrease of up to 80% and up to 30% in the PG content respectively. Decrease of the superficial zone collagen content or arrangement (78%, ) after 48 h collagenase digestion also induced a decrease (30%, ) in cartilage stiffness. We conclude that our instrument is capable of

  7. Ultrasound elastography: the new frontier in direct measurement of muscle stiffness.

    PubMed

    Brandenburg, Joline E; Eby, Sarah F; Song, Pengfei; Zhao, Heng; Brault, Jeffrey S; Chen, Shigao; An, Kai-Nan

    2014-11-01

    The use of brightness-mode ultrasound and Doppler ultrasound in physical medicine and rehabilitation has increased dramatically. The continuing evolution of ultrasound technology has also produced ultrasound elastography, a cutting-edge technology that can directly measure the mechanical properties of tissue, including muscle stiffness. Its real-time and direct measurements of muscle stiffness can aid the diagnosis and rehabilitation of acute musculoskeletal injuries and chronic myofascial pain. It can also help monitor outcomes of interventions affecting muscle in neuromuscular and musculoskeletal diseases, and it can better inform the functional prognosis. This technology has implications for even broader use of ultrasound in physical medicine and rehabilitation practice, but more knowledge about its uses and limitations is essential to its appropriate clinical implementation. In this review, we describe different ultrasound elastography techniques for studying muscle stiffness, including strain elastography, acoustic radiation force impulse imaging, and shear-wave elastography. We discuss the basic principles of these techniques, including the strengths and limitations of their measurement capabilities. We review the current muscle research, discuss physiatric clinical applications of these techniques, and note directions for future research.

  8. Serial Liver Stiffness Measurements and Monitoring of Liver-Transplanted Patients in a Real-Life Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    Rinaldi, Luca; Valente, Giovanna; Piai, Guido

    2016-01-01

    Background Liver transplanted patients need close surveillance for early signs of graft disease. Objectives Transient elastography can safely be repeated over time, offering serial liver stiffness measurement values. Serial stiffness measurements were compared to single baseline stiffness measurements in predicting the appearance of liver-related clinical events and guiding subsequent clinical decisions. Methods One hundred and sixty liver transplanted patients were observed for three years in our real-life practice. Results Liver stiffness measurements were stable in 75% of patients, decreased in 4% of patients, and increased in 21% of patients. The pattern of increased stiffness measurements was associated with both HCV-RNA positive status and the presence of an active biliary complication of liver transplantation and was more predictive of a clinically significant event resulting from any disease of the transplanted liver when compared to a stable pattern or to a single liver stiffness measurement. The procedures that were consequently performed were often diagnostic for unexpected situations, both in HCV-RNA positive and HCV-RNA negative patients. Conclusions The pattern of longitudinally increased liver stiffness measurements efficiently supported clinical decisions for individualized management strategies. Repeated transient elastography in real-life clinical practice appears to have a practical role in monitoring liver transplanted patients. PMID:28123442

  9. Pulmonary Vascular Stiffness: Measurement, Modeling, and Implications in Normal and Hypertensive Pulmonary Circulations

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Kendall S.; Lammers, Steven R.; Shandas, Robin

    2014-01-01

    This article introduces the concept of pulmonary vascular stiffness, discusses its increasingly recognized importance as a diagnostic marker in the evaluation of pulmonary vascular disease, and describes methods to measure and model it clinically, experimentally, and computationally. It begins with a description of systems-level methods to evaluate pulmonary vascular compliance and recent clinical efforts in applying such techniques to better predict patient outcomes in pulmonary arterial hypertension. It then progresses from the systems-level to the local level, discusses proposed methods by which upstream pulmonary vessels increase in stiffness, introduces concepts around vascular mechanics, and concludes by describing recent work incorporating advanced numerical methods to more thoroughly evaluate changes in local mechanical properties of pulmonary arteries. PMID:23733649

  10. Measurement of the passive stiffness of ankle joint in 3 DOF using stewart platform type ankle foot device.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Kenta; Yonezawa, Teru; Mizoguchi, Hiroshi; Takemura, Hiroshi

    2016-08-01

    This paper presents a method to measure the passive stiffness of an ankle joint in three degrees of freedom (DOF) under two motion speeds (1 Hz and 5 degree/s) using a developed Stewart platform-type device. The developed device can reproduce input motions of the foot in 6 DOF by controlling six pneumatic linear motion actuators. We used the device to measure the passive stiffness of an ankle joint undergoing three kinds of motion, namely dorsi-plantar flexion, inversion-eversion, and adduction-abduction. The measured values of the passive stiffness of the ankle joint in dorsiflexion that we obtained agreed well with that obtained in a previous study, indicating that the developed device is useful for measuring the passive stiffness of ankle joint. In addition, the developed device can be used to measure the stiffness in inversion-eversion and adduction-abduction motions as well, parameters that have never been measured. The results we obtained demonstrated certain interesting features as we varied both the direction and pace of motion (e.g., there were significant differences in the stiffness not only between adduction and abduction during the faster pace, but also between these and the other motions).

  11. Arterial pressure measurement: Is the envelope curve of the oscillometric method influenced by arterial stiffness?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelido, G.; Angiletta, S.; Pujalte, A.; Quiroga, P.; Cornes, P.; Craiem, D.

    2007-11-01

    Measurement of peripheral arterial pressure using the oscillometric method is commonly used by professionals as well as by patients in their homes. This non invasive automatic method is fast, efficient and the required equipment is affordable with a low cost. The measurement method consists of obtaining parameters from a calibrated decreasing curve that is modulated by heart beats witch appear when arterial pressure reaches the cuff pressure. Diastolic, mean and systolic pressures are obtained calculating particular instants from the heart beats envelope curve. In this article we analyze the envelope of this amplified curve to find out if its morphology is related to arterial stiffness in patients. We found, in 33 volunteers, that the envelope waveform width correlates to systolic pressure (r=0.4, p<0.05), to pulse pressure (r=0.6, p<0.05) and to pulse pressure normalized to systolic pressure (r=0.6, p<0.05). We believe that the morphology of the heart beats envelope curve obtained with the oscillometric method for peripheral pressure measurement depends on arterial stiffness and can be used to enhance pressure measurements.

  12. Simultaneous mechanical stiffness and electrical potential measurements of living vascular endothelial cells using combined atomic force and epifluorescence microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callies, Chiara; Schön, Peter; Liashkovich, Ivan; Stock, Christian; Kusche-Vihrog, Kristina; Fels, Johannes; Sträter, Alexandra S.; Oberleithner, Hans

    2009-04-01

    The degree of mechanical stiffness of vascular endothelial cells determines the endogenous production of the vasodilating gas nitric oxide (NO). However, the underlying mechanisms are not yet understood. Experiments on vascular endothelial cells suggest that the electrical plasma membrane potential is involved in this regulatory process. To test this hypothesis we developed a technique that simultaneously measures the electrical membrane potential and stiffness of vascular endothelial cells (GM7373 cell line derived from bovine aortic endothelium) under continuous perfusion with physiological electrolyte solution. The cellular stiffness was determined by nano-indentation using an atomic force microscope (AFM) while the electrical membrane potential was measured with bis-oxonol, a voltage-reporting fluorescent dye. These two methods were combined using an AFM attached to an epifluorescence microscope. The electrical membrane potential and mechanical stiffness of the same cell were continuously recorded for a time span of 5 min. Fast fluctuations (in the range of seconds) of both the electrical membrane potential and mechanical stiffness could be observed that were not related to each other. In contrast, slow cell depolarizations (in the range of minutes) were paralleled by significant increases in mechanical stiffness. In conclusion, using the combined AFM-fluorescence technique we monitored for the first time simultaneously the electrical plasma membrane potential and mechanical stiffness in a living cell. Vascular endothelial cells exhibit oscillatory non-synchronized waves of electrical potential and mechanical stiffness. The sustained membrane depolarization, however, is paralleled by a concomitant increase of cell stiffness. The described method is applicable for any fluorophore, which opens new perspectives in biomedical research.

  13. Measuring multi-joint stiffness during single movements: numerical validation of a novel time-frequency approach.

    PubMed

    Piovesan, Davide; Pierobon, Alberto; DiZio, Paul; Lackner, James R

    2012-01-01

    This study presents and validates a Time-Frequency technique for measuring 2-dimensional multijoint arm stiffness throughout a single planar movement as well as during static posture. It is proposed as an alternative to current regressive methods which require numerous repetitions to obtain average stiffness on a small segment of the hand trajectory. The method is based on the analysis of the reassigned spectrogram of the arm's response to impulsive perturbations and can estimate arm stiffness on a trial-by-trial basis. Analytic and empirical methods are first derived and tested through modal analysis on synthetic data. The technique's accuracy and robustness are assessed by modeling the estimation of stiffness time profiles changing at different rates and affected by different noise levels. Our method obtains results comparable with two well-known regressive techniques. We also test how the technique can identify the viscoelastic component of non-linear and higher than second order systems with a non-parametrical approach. The technique proposed here is very impervious to noise and can be used easily for both postural and movement tasks. Estimations of stiffness profiles are possible with only one perturbation, making our method a useful tool for estimating limb stiffness during motor learning and adaptation tasks, and for understanding the modulation of stiffness in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases.

  14. Measuring Multi-Joint Stiffness during Single Movements: Numerical Validation of a Novel Time-Frequency Approach

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    This study presents and validates a Time-Frequency technique for measuring 2-dimensional multijoint arm stiffness throughout a single planar movement as well as during static posture. It is proposed as an alternative to current regressive methods which require numerous repetitions to obtain average stiffness on a small segment of the hand trajectory. The method is based on the analysis of the reassigned spectrogram of the arm's response to impulsive perturbations and can estimate arm stiffness on a trial-by-trial basis. Analytic and empirical methods are first derived and tested through modal analysis on synthetic data. The technique's accuracy and robustness are assessed by modeling the estimation of stiffness time profiles changing at different rates and affected by different noise levels. Our method obtains results comparable with two well-known regressive techniques. We also test how the technique can identify the viscoelastic component of non-linear and higher than second order systems with a non-parametrical approach. The technique proposed here is very impervious to noise and can be used easily for both postural and movement tasks. Estimations of stiffness profiles are possible with only one perturbation, making our method a useful tool for estimating limb stiffness during motor learning and adaptation tasks, and for understanding the modulation of stiffness in individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:22448233

  15. Ultrasound imaging system for measuring stiffness variation in the fingerpad skin in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Wan-Chen; Raju, Balasundar I.; Srinivasan, Mandayam A.

    2005-04-01

    An elasticity imaging system was developed for measuring the stiffness variation at different depths of the human fingerpad skin in vivo. In this system, ultrasonic backscatter microscopy (UBM) with a single high frequency (28MHz) transducer was employed to obtain data on tissue heterogeneity at high axial resolution (~25 mm). The dorsal side of the finger was fixed on a manually controlled vertical stage and an acrylic indentor was applied to the fingerpad. A slit cut vertically through the indentor at the center and a piece of transparency sheet attached to the bottom allowed most of the ultrasound power to pass though while maintaining a flat surface in contact with the skin. With the assumption that the skin can be modeled as a semi-infinite layered structure, only data from a single A-line was obtained for strain analysis. The data at continuous indentation steps were cross-correlated to calculate the displacement at different spots along the depth. The de-correlation at certain regions was resolved by removing the data points with lower correlation coefficients, and curve fitting was applied to overcome the lack of resolution due to sampling. The fingerpads of 10 human subjects were tested in vivo and a gelatin phantom was made and tested for comparison. The results showed that even though some data were degraded due to the hypoechoic nature of the subcutaneous fat, the axial strain profile through the skin thickness (up to 3mm in depth) could be extracted as a measure of the stiffness variation.

  16. Profile stiffness measurements in the Helically Symmetric experiment and comparison to nonlinear gyrokinetic calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Weir, G. M.; Faber, B. J.; Likin, K. M.; Talmadge, J. N.; Anderson, D. T.; Anderson, F. S. B.

    2015-05-15

    Stiffness measurements are presented in the quasi-helically symmetric experiment (HSX), in which the neoclassical transport is comparable to that in a tokamak and turbulent transport dominates throughout the plasma. Electron cyclotron emission is used to measure the local electron temperature response to modulated electron cyclotron resonant heating. The amplitude and phase of the heat wave through the steep electron temperature gradient (ETG) region of the plasma are used to determine a transient electron thermal diffusivity that is close to the steady-state diffusivity. The low stiffness in the region between 0.2 ≤ r/a ≤ 0.4 agrees with the scaling of the steady-state heat flux with temperature gradient in this region. These experimental results are compared to gyrokinetic calculations in a flux-tube geometry using the gyrokinetic electromagnetic numerical experiment code with two kinetic species. Linear simulations show that the ETG mode may be experimentally relevant within r/a ≤ 0.2, while the Trapped Electron Mode (TEM) is the dominant long-wavelength microturbulence instability across most of the plasma. The TEM is primarily driven by the density gradient. Non-linear calculations of the saturated heat flux driven by the TEM and ETG bracket the experimental heat flux.

  17. Experimental measurements of hydrodynamic radial forces and stiffness matrices for a centrifugal pump-impeller

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamieh, D. S.; Acosta, A. J.; Brennen, C. E.; Caughey, T. K.

    1985-01-01

    Measurements of the steady-state hydrodynamic forces on a centrifugal pump impeller are presented as a function of position within two geometrically different volutes. These correspond to the forces experienced by the impeller at zero whirl frequency. The hydrodynamic force matrices derived from these measurements exhibit both diagonal and off-diagonal terms of substantial magnitude. These terms are of the form which would tend to excite a whirl motion in a rotordynamic analysis of the pump; this may be the cause of 'rough running' reported in many pumps. Static pressure measurements in the impeller discharge flow show that the hydrodynamic force on the impeller contains a substantial component due to the nonisotropy of the net momentum flux leaving the impeller. A similar breakdown of the contributions to the stiffness matrices reveals that the major component of these matrices results from the nonisotropy of the momentum flux.

  18. Single-molecule measurement of the stiffness of the rigor myosin head.

    PubMed

    Lewalle, Alexandre; Steffen, Walter; Stevenson, Olivia; Ouyang, Zhenqian; Sleep, John

    2008-03-15

    The force-extension curve of single myosin subfragment-1 molecules, interacting in the rigor state with an actin filament, has been investigated at low [ATP] by applying a slow triangle-wave movement to the optical traps holding a bead-actin-bead dumbbell. In combination with a measurement of the overall stiffness of the dumbbell, this allowed characterization of the three extensible elements, the actin-bead links and the myosin. Simultaneously, another method, based on an analysis of bead position covariance, gave satisfactory agreement. The mean covariance-based estimate for the myosin stiffness was 1.79 pN/nm (SD = 0.7 pN/nm; SE = 0.06 pN/nm (n = 166 myosin molecules)), consistent with a recent report (1.7 pN/nm) from rabbit muscle fibers. In the triangle-wave protocol, the motion of the trapped beads during interactions was linear within experimental error over the physiological range of force applied to myosin (+/-10 pN), consistent with a Hookean model; any nonlinear terms could not be characterized. Bound states subjected to forces that resisted the working stroke (i.e., positive forces) detached at a significantly lower force than when subjected to negative forces, which is indicative of a strain-dependent dissociation rate.

  19. Experimental measurements of hydrodynamic stiffness matrices for a centrifugal pump impeller

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamieh, D. S.; Acosta, A. J.; Brennen, C. E.; Caughey, T. K.; Franz, R.

    1982-01-01

    The objective of the Rotor Force Test Facility at the California Institute of Technology is to artificially orbit the center of rotation of an impeller enclosed within a volute over a range of frequencies from zero to synchronous and to measure the resulting forces on the impeller. Preliminary data from the first stage experiments in which the shaft is orbited at low frequency is reported. Steady volute forces along with stiffness matrices due to the change in position of the rotor center are measured. Static pressure taps around the volute are used to obtain volute pressure distributions for various fixed positions of the impeller center and for various flow rates. Static pressure forces are calculated from these pressure distributions allowing a more complete analysis of the components of the impeller forces. Comparison is made with various existing theoretical and experimental results.

  20. Intracardiac Echocardiography (ICE) Measurement of Dynamic Myocardial Stiffness with Shear Wave Velocimetry

    PubMed Central

    Hollender, Peter J.; Wolf, Patrick D.; Goswami, Robi; Trahey, Gregg E.

    2012-01-01

    Acoustic Radiation Force (ARF)-based methods have been demonstrated to be a viable tool for noninvasively estimating tissue elastic properties, and shear wave velocimetry has been used to quantitatively measure the stiffening and relaxation of myocardial tissue in open-chest experiments. Dynamic stiffness metrics may prove to be indicators for certain cardiac diseases, but a clinically-viable means of remotely generating and tracking transverse wave propagation in myocardium is needed. Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) catheter-tip transducers are demonstrated here as a viable tool for making this measurement. ICE probes achieve favorable proximity to the myocardium, enabling the use of shear wave velocimetry from within the right ventricle throughout the cardiac cycle. This work describes the techniques used to overcome the challenges of using a small probe to perform ARF-driven shear wave velocimetry, and presents in vivo porcine data showing the effectiveness of this method in the interventricular septum. Acoustic Radiation Force (ARF)-based methods have been demonstrated to be a viable tool for noninvasively estimating tissue elastic properties, and shear wave velocimetry has been used to quantitatively measure the stiffening and relaxation of myocardial tissue in open-chest experiments. Dynamic stiffness metrics may prove to be indicators for certain cardiac diseases, but a clinically-viable means of remotely generating and tracking transverse wave propagation in myocardium is needed. Intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) catheter-tip transducers are demonstrated here as a viable tool for making this measurement. ICE probes achieve favorable proximity to the myocardium, enabling the use of shear wave velocimetry from within the right ventricle throughout the cardiac cycle. This work describes the techniques used to overcome the challenges of using a small probe to perform ARF-driven shear wave velocimetry, and presents in vivo porcine data showing the

  1. Design of a quasi-zero-stiffness based sensor system for the measurement of absolute vibration displacement of moving platforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jing, Xingjian; Wang, Yu; Li, Quankun; Sun, Xiuting

    2016-09-01

    This study presents the analysis and design of a novel sensor system for measuring the absolute vibration displacement of moving platforms based on the concept of quasi-zero-stiffness (QZS). The sensor system is constructed using positive- and negative-stiffness springs, which make it possible to achieve an equivalent QZS and consequently to create a broadband vibration-free point for absolute vibration displacement measurement in moving platforms. Theoretical analysis is conducted for the analysis and design of the influence of structure parameters on system measurement performance. A prototype is designed which can avoid the drawback of instability in existing QZS systems with negative stiffness, and corresponding data-processing software is developed to fulfill time domain measurements. Both the simulation and experimental results verify the effectiveness of this novel sensor system.

  2. Force Spectroscopy with Dual-Trap Optical Tweezers: Molecular Stiffness Measurements and Coupled Fluctuations Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ribezzi-Crivellari, M.; Ritort, F.

    2012-01-01

    Dual-trap optical tweezers are often used in high-resolution measurements in single-molecule biophysics. Such measurements can be hindered by the presence of extraneous noise sources, the most prominent of which is the coupling of fluctuations along different spatial directions, which may affect any optical tweezers setup. In this article, we analyze, both from the theoretical and the experimental points of view, the most common source for these couplings in dual-trap optical-tweezers setups: the misalignment of traps and tether. We give criteria to distinguish different kinds of misalignment, to estimate their quantitative relevance and to include them in the data analysis. The experimental data is obtained in a, to our knowledge, novel dual-trap optical-tweezers setup that directly measures forces. In the case in which misalignment is negligible, we provide a method to measure the stiffness of traps and tether based on variance analysis. This method can be seen as a calibration technique valid beyond the linear trap region. Our analysis is then employed to measure the persistence length of dsDNA tethers of three different lengths spanning two orders of magnitude. The effective persistence length of such tethers is shown to decrease with the contour length, in accordance with previous studies. PMID:23199920

  3. Feasibility and repeatability for in vivo measurements of stiffness gradients in the canine gastrocnemius tendon using an acoustoelastic strain gauge

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, Michelle; Kobayashi, Hirohito; Delaney, Fern; Danielson, Kelson; Vanderby, Ray; Muir, Peter; Forrest, Lisa J

    2014-01-01

    B-mode ultrasound is an established imaging modality for evaluating canine tendon injury. However, full extent of tendon injury often remains difficult to estimate, as small changes in sonographic appearance are associated with large changes in biomechanical strength. The acoustoelastic strain gauge (ASG) is an ultrasound-based tissue evaluation technique that relates the change in echo intensity observed during relaxation or stretching of tendons to the tissue’s mechanical properties. This technique deduces stiffness gradient (the rate of change of normalized stiffness as a function of tissue strain) by analyzing the ultrasound dynamic images captured from gradually deforming tissue. Acoustoelastic strain gauge has been proven to accurately model strain and stiffness within tendons in vitro. To determine the feasibility and repeatability for in vivo ASG measurements of canine tendon function, stiffness gradients for the gastrocnemius tendons of ten clinically normal dogs were recorded by two non-independent observers at three sites (musculotendinous junction, mid tendon, and insertion). Average stiffness gradient indices (0.0132, 0.0141, 0.0136) and dispersion values (0.0053, 0.0054, 0.0057) for each site, respectively, were consistent with published mechanical properties for normal canine tendon. Mean differences of the average stiffness gradient index and dispersion value between observers and between limbs for each site were less than 16%. Using interclass coefficients (ICC), intraobserver (ICC 0.79–0.98) and interobserver (ICC 0.77–0.95) reproducibility was good to excellent. Right and left limb values were symmetric (ICC 0.74–0.92). Findings from this study indicated that ASG is a feasible and repeatable technique for measuring stiffness gradients in canine tendons. PMID:23663072

  4. Face-Referenced Measurement of Perioral Stiffness and Speech Kinematics in Parkinson's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Perioral biomechanics, labial kinematics, and associated electromyographic signals were sampled and characterized in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) as a function of medication state. Method: Passive perioral stiffness was sampled using the OroSTIFF system in 10 individuals with PD in a medication ON and a medication OFF state…

  5. Noninvasive pulse transit time measurement for arterial stiffness monitoring in microgravity.

    PubMed

    McCall, Corey; Rostosky, Rea; Wiard, Richard M; Inan, Omer T; Giovangrandi, Laurent; Cuttino, Charles Marsh; Kovacs, Gregory T A

    2015-01-01

    The use of a noninvasive hemodynamic monitor to estimate arterial stiffness, by measurement of pulse transit time (PTT), was demonstrated in microgravity. The monitor's utility for space applications was shown by establishing the correlation between ground-based and microgravity-based measurements. The system consists of a scale-based ballistocardiogram (BCG) and a toe-mounted photoplethysmogram (PPG). PTT was measured from the BCG I-wave to the intersecting tangents of the first trough and maximum first derivative of the PPG waveforms of each subject. The system was tested on a recent series of parabolic flights in which the PTT of nine subjects was measured on the ground and in microgravity. An average of 60.2 ms PTT increase from ground to microgravity environments was shown, and was consistent across all test subjects (standard deviation = 32.9 ms). This increase in PTT could be explained by a number of factors associated with microgravity and reported in previous research, including elimination of hydrostatic pressure, reduction of intrathoracic pressure, and reduction of mean arterial pressure induced by vasodilation.

  6. Evaluation of stiffness changes in a high-rise building by measurements of lateral displacements using GPS technology.

    PubMed

    Choi, Se Woon; Kim, Ill Soo; Park, Jae Hwan; Kim, Yousok; Sohn, Hong Gyoo; Park, Hyo Seon

    2013-11-13

    The outrigger truss system is one of the most frequently used lateral load resisting structural systems. However, little research has been reported on the effect of installation of outrigger trusses on improvement of lateral stiffness of a high-rise building through full-scale measurements. In this paper, stiffness changes of a high-rise building due to installation of outrigger trusses have been evaluated by measuring lateral displacements using a global positioning system (GPS). To confirm the error range of the GPS measurement system used in the full-scale measurement tests, the GPS displacement monitoring system is investigated through a free vibration test of the experimental model. Then, for the evaluation of lateral stiffness of a high-rise building under construction, the GPS displacement monitoring system is applied to measurements of lateral displacements of a 66-story high-rise building before and after installation of outrigger truss. The stiffness improvement of the building before and after the installation is confirmed through the changes of the natural frequencies and the ratios of the base shear forces to the roof displacements.

  7. Evaluation of Stiffness Changes in a High-Rise Building by Measurements of Lateral Displacements Using GPS Technology

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Se Woon; Kim, Ill Soo; Park, Jae Hwan; Kim, Yousok; Sohn, Hong Gyoo; Park, Hyo Seon

    2013-01-01

    The outrigger truss system is one of the most frequently used lateral load resisting structural systems. However, little research has been reported on the effect of installation of outrigger trusses on improvement of lateral stiffness of a high-rise building through full-scale measurements. In this paper, stiffness changes of a high-rise building due to installation of outrigger trusses have been evaluated by measuring lateral displacements using a global positioning system (GPS). To confirm the error range of the GPS measurement system used in the full-scale measurement tests, the GPS displacement monitoring system is investigated through a free vibration test of the experimental model. Then, for the evaluation of lateral stiffness of a high-rise building under construction, the GPS displacement monitoring system is applied to measurements of lateral displacements of a 66-story high-rise building before and after installation of outrigger truss. The stiffness improvement of the building before and after the installation is confirmed through the changes of the natural frequencies and the ratios of the base shear forces to the roof displacements. PMID:24233025

  8. Multi-DOF rotor model based measurement of stiffness and damping for active magnetic bearing using multi-frequency excitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Kejian; Zhu, Changsheng; Chen, Liangliang; Qiao, Xiaoli

    2015-08-01

    To represent the support characteristic of active magnetic bearings (AMB), the commonly used parameters are the equivalent stiffness and the equivalent damping, which inherit the parameters of the stiffness and the damping from traditional mechanical bearings. First, by analyzing the diversity and the similarity between traditional mechanical bearing and AMB, the prior condition for applying the parametric representation of equivalent stiffness and equivalent damping to AMB is illuminated. Then, a method for measuring the equivalent stiffness and the equivalent damping of AMB-rotor system is proposed with multi-frequency excitation. One of its outstanding features is that the proposed method is based on the multi-degree of freedom (DOF) rotor model, not the single- DOF model, because the single DOF model cannot be suitably applied to the multi-DOF AMB-rotor systems. Otherwise, in order to decrease the identification error, the multi-frequency excitation can achieve the lowest peak value by means of appropriate selection for the relative phasing of each component, so that the possibility of the rotor displacement exceeding clearances of AMB and the magnetic force reaching saturation is minimized. Finally, the experiments, which are carried out on an AMB-rotor test rig with a vertical shaft, indicate that the proposed method can efficiently reduce the peak value for the superimposed multi-frequency excitation and correctly identify the equivalent stiffness and equivalent damping of AMB-rotor system.

  9. Measuring the bending stiffness of bacterial cells using an optical trap.

    PubMed

    Wang, Siyuan; Arellano-Santoyo, Hugo; Combs, Peter A; Shaevitz, Joshua W

    2010-04-26

    We developed a protocol to measure the bending rigidity of filamentous rod-shaped bacteria. Forces are applied with an optical trap, a microscopic three-dimensional spring made of light that is formed when a high-intensity laser beam is focused to a very small spot by a microscope's objective lens. To bend a cell, we first bind live bacteria to a chemically-treated coverslip. As these cells grow, the middle of the cells remains bound to the coverslip but the growing ends are free of this restraint. By inducing filamentous growth with the drug cephalexin, we are able to identify cells in which one end of the cell was stuck to the surface while the other end remained unattached and susceptible to bending forces. A bending force is then applied with an optical trap by binding a polylysine-coated bead to the tip of a growing cell. Both the force and the displacement of the bead are recorded and the bending stiffness of the cell is the slope of this relationship.

  10. Leg stiffness in human running: Comparison of estimates derived from previously published models to direct kinematic-kinetic measures.

    PubMed

    Coleman, David R; Cannavan, Dale; Horne, Sara; Blazevich, Anthony J

    2012-07-26

    It is not presently clear whether mathematical models used to estimate leg stiffness during human running are valid. Therefore, leg stiffness during the braking phase of ground contact of running was calculated directly using synchronous kinematic (high-speed motion analysis) and kinetic (force platform) analysis, and compared to stiffness calculated using four previously published kinetic models. Nineteen well-trained male middle distance runners (age=21.1±4.1yr; VO(2max)=69.5±7.5mlO(2)kg(-1)min(-1)) completed a series of runs of increasing speed from 2.5 to 6.5ms(-1). Leg stiffness was calculated directly from kinetic-kinematic analysis using both vertical and horizontal forces to obtain the resultant force in the line of leg compression (Model 1). Values were also estimated using four previously published mathematical models where only force platform derived and anthropometric measures were required (Models 2-5; Morin et al., 2005, Morin et al., 2011, Blum et al., 2009, Farley et al., 1993, respectively). The greatest statistical similarity between leg stiffness values occurred with Models 1 and 2. The poorest similarity occurred when values from Model 4 were compared with Model 1. Analyses suggest that the poor correlation between Model 1 other models may have resulted from errors in the estimation in change in leg length during the braking phase. Previously published mathematical models did not provide accurate leg stiffness estimates, although Model 2, used by Morin et al. (2005), provided reasonable estimates that could be further improved by the removal of systematic error using a correction factor (K=1.0496K(Model2)).

  11. Microfluidic acoustic trapping force and stiffness measurement using viscous drag effect.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jungwoo; Jeong, Jong Seob; Shung, K Kirk

    2013-01-01

    It has recently been demonstrated that it was possible to individually trap 70μm droplets flowing within a 500μm wide microfluidic channel by a 24MHz single element piezo-composite focused transducer. In order to further develop this non-invasive approach as a microfluidic particle manipulation tool of high precision, the trapping force needs to be calibrated to a known force, i.e., viscous drag force arising from the fluid flow in the channel. However, few calibration studies based on fluid viscosity have been carried out with focused acoustic beams for moving objects in microfluidic environments. In this paper, the acoustic trapping force (F(trapping)) and the trap stiffness (or compliance k) are experimentally determined for a streaming droplet in a microfluidic channel. F(trapping) is calibrated to viscous drag force produced from syringe pumps. Chebyshev-windowed chirp coded excitation sequences sweeping the frequency range from 18MHz to 30MHz is utilized to drive the transducer, enabling the beam transmission through the channel/fluid interface for interrogating the droplets inside the channel. The minimum force (F(min,trapping)) required for initially immobilizing drifting droplets is determined as a function of pulse repetition frequency (PRF), duty factor (DTF), and input voltage amplitude (V(in)) to the transducer. At PRF=0.1kHz and DTF=30%, F(min,trapping) is increased from 2.2nN for V(in)=22V(pp) to 3.8nN for V(in)=54V(pp). With a fixed V(in)=54V(pp) and DTF=30%, F(min,trapping) can be varied from 3.8nN at PRF=0.1kHz to 6.7nN at PRF=0.5kHz. These findings indicate that both higher driving voltage and more frequent beam transmission yield stronger traps for holding droplets in motion. The stiffness k can be estimated through linear regression by measuring the trapping force (F(trapping)) corresponding to the displacement (x) of a droplet from the trap center. By plotting F(trapping) - x curves for certain values of V(in) (22/38/54V(pp)) at DTF=10% and

  12. Feasibility study of superconducting LSM rocket launcher system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoshida, Kinjiro; Ohashi, Takaaki; Shiraishi, Katsuto; Takami, Hiroshi

    1994-01-01

    A feasibility study is presented concerning an application of a superconducting linear synchronous motor (LSM) to a large-scale rocket launcher, whose acceleration guide tube of LSM armature windings is constructed 1,500 meters under the ground. The rocket is released from the linear launcher just after it gets to a peak speed of about 900 kilometers per hour, and it flies out of the guide tube to obtain the speed of 700 kilometers per hour at the height of 100 meters above ground. The linear launcher is brought to a stop at the ground surface for a very short time of 5 seconds by a quick control of deceleration. Very large current variations in the single-layer windings of the LSM armature, which are produced at the higher speed region of 600 to 900 kilometers per hour, are controlled successfully by adopting the double-layer windings. The proposed control method makes the rocket launcher ascend stably in the superconducting LSM system, controlling the Coriolis force.

  13. Effect of neighboring cells on cell stiffness measured by optical tweezers indentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yousafzai, Muhammad S.; Coceano, Giovanna; Mariutti, Alberto; Ndoye, Fatou; Amin, Ladan; Niemela, Joseph; Bonin, Serena; Scoles, Giacinto; Cojoc, Dan

    2016-05-01

    We report on the modification of mechanical properties of breast cancer cells when they get in contact with other neighboring cells of the same type. Optical tweezers vertical indentation was employed to investigate cell mechanics in isolated and contact conditions, by setting up stiffness as a marker. Two human breast cancer cell lines with different aggressiveness [MCF-7 (luminal breast cancer) and MDA-MB-231 (basal-like breast cancer)] and one normal immortalized breast cell line HBL-100 (normal and myoepithelial) were selected. We found that neighboring cells significantly alter cell stiffness: MDA-MB-231 becomes stiffer when in contact, while HBL-100 and MCF-7 exhibit softer character. Cell stiffness was probed at three cellular subregions: central (above nucleus), intermediate (cytoplasm), and near the leading edge. In an isolated condition, all cells showed a significant regional variation in stiffness: higher at the center and fading toward the leading edge. However, the regional variation becomes statistically insignificant when the cells were in contact with other neighboring cells. The proposed approach will contribute to understand the intriguing temporal sequential alterations in cancer cells during interaction with their surrounding microenvironment.

  14. Face-Referenced Measurement of Perioral Stiffness and Speech Kinematics in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Steven M.; Lee, Jaehoon

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Perioral biomechanics, labial kinematics, and associated electromyographic signals were sampled and characterized in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) as a function of medication state. Method Passive perioral stiffness was sampled using the OroSTIFF system in 10 individuals with PD in a medication ON and a medication OFF state and compared to 10 matched controls. Perioral stiffness, derived as the quotient of resultant force and interoral angle span, was modeled with regression techniques. Labial movement amplitudes and integrated electromyograms from select lip muscles were evaluated during syllable production using a 4-D computerized motion capture system. Results Multilevel regression modeling showed greater perioral stiffness in patients with PD, consistent with the clinical correlate of rigidity. In the medication-OFF state, individuals with PD manifested greater integrated electromyogram levels for the orbicularis oris inferior compared to controls, which increased further after consumption of levodopa. Conclusions This study illustrates the application of biomechanical, electrophysiological, and kinematic methods to better understand the pathophysiology of speech motor control in PD. PMID:25629806

  15. Exchange current model for (La0.8Sr0.2)0.95MnO3 (LSM) porous cathode for solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Kota; Miyamae, Takuma; Iwai, Hiroshi; Saito, Motohiro; Kishimoto, Masashi; Yoshida, Hideo

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we propose an empirical formula for i0,TPB, the exchange current density per unit triple-phase boundary (TPB) length, for porous lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM) cathodes of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs); the evaluation of i0,TPB is of crucial importance in numerical simulations of electrodes based on reconstructed microstructures obtained by a dual beam focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) and tomography techniques. To derive a widely applicable empirical formula for i0,TPB, electrochemical measurements of porous LSM cathodes are conducted under various oxygen partial pressures (0.05-0.25 atm) and temperatures (800-950 °C). By comparing the derived formula with that derived from a thin and dense patterned LSM electrode used in previous studies, it is found that at an air temperature of 800 °C, i0,TPB derived from a porous LSM cathode is approximately 40% smaller than that for the patterned electrode. This can be attributed to the fact that the electrochemical reaction in thin and dense electrodes can occur not only at the TPBs but also at the LSM surface owing to the non-negligible ionic conductivity of LSM. The derived formula is also applied to a three-dimensional numerical simulation to confirm its validity.

  16. Assessing the small-strain soil stiffness for offshore wind turbines based on in situ seismic measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Versteijlen, W. G.; van Dalen, K. N.; Metrikine, A. V.; Hamre, L.

    2014-06-01

    The fundamental natural frequency as measured on installed offshore wind turbines is significantly higher than its designed value, and it is expected that the explanation for this can be found in the currently adopted modeling of soil-structure interaction. The small-strain soil stiffness is an important design parameter, as it has a defining influence on the first natural frequency of these structures. In this contribution, in situ seismic measurements are used to derive the small-strain shear modulus of soil as input for 3D soil-structure interaction models to assess the initial soil stiffness at small strains for offshore wind turbine foundations. A linear elastic finite element model of a half-space of solids attached to a pile is used to derive an equivalent first mode shape of the foundation. The second model extends the first one by introducing contact elements between pile and soil, to take possible slip and gap-forming into account. The deflections derived with the 3D models are smaller than those derived with the p- y curve design code. This higher stiffness is in line with the higher measured natural frequencies. Finally a method is suggested to translate the response of 3D models into 1D engineering models of a beam laterally supported by uncoupled distributed springs.

  17. LSM-YSZ Cathodes with Reaction-Infiltrated Nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Chun; Sholklapper, Tal Z.; Jacobson, Craig P.; Visco, StevenJ.; De Jonghe, Lutgard C.

    2006-01-31

    To improve the LSM-YSZ cathode performance of intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), Sm0.6Sr0.4CoO3-sigma (SSC) perovskite nanoparticles are incorporated into the cathodes by a reaction-infiltration process. The SSC particles are {approx}20 to 80nm in diameter, and intimately adhere to the pore walls of the preformed LSM-YSZ cathodes. The SSC particles dramatically enhance single-cell performance with a 97 percent H2+3 percent H2O fuel, between 600 C and 800 C. Consideration of a simplified TPB (triple phase boundary) reaction geometry indicates that the enhancement may be attributed to the high electrocatalytic activity of SSC for electrochemical reduction of oxygen in a region that can be located a small distance away from the strict triple phase boundaries. The implication of this work for developing high-performance electrodes is also discussed.

  18. Atomic force acoustic microscopy: Influence of the lateral contact stiffness on the elastic measurements.

    PubMed

    Flores-Ruiz, F J; Espinoza-Beltrán, F J; Diliegros-Godines, C J; Siqueiros, J M; Herrera-Gómez, A

    2016-09-01

    Atomic force acoustic microscopy is a dynamic technique where the resonances of a cantilever, that has its tip in contact with the sample, are used to quantify local elastic properties of surfaces. Since the contact resonance frequencies (CRFs) monotonically increase with the tip-sample contact stiffness, they are used to evaluate the local elastic properties of the surfaces through a suitable contact mechanical model. The CRFs depends on both, normal and lateral contact stiffness, kN and kS respectively, where the last one is taken either as constant (kS<1), or as zero, leading to uncertainty in the estimation of the elastic properties of composite materials. In this work, resonance spectra for free and contact vibration were used in a finite element analysis of cantilevers to show the influence of kS in the resonance curves due to changes in the kS/kN ratio. These curves have regions for the different vibrational modes that are both, strongly and weakly dependent on kS, and they can be used in a selective manner to obtain a precise mapping of elastic properties.

  19. Transient Elastography-Based Liver Stiffness Age-Dependently Increases in Children

    PubMed Central

    Tokuhara, Daisuke; Cho, Yuki; Shintaku, Haruo

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Pediatric use of liver transient elastography (TE) is attractive for its non-invasiveness, but reference values have not been established. We aimed to determine reference values for TE in children. Methods In pediatric patients (1 to 18 years), TE (FibroScan®) with an M probe was used for both liver stiffness measurement (LSM) and measurement of hepatic fat deposition by using a controlled attenuation parameter (CAP). The patients were divided into three relevant age groups: preschoolers (1 to 5 years), elementary school children (6 to 11 years), and adolescents (12 to 18 years). Overweight or obese patients or those with known liver disease, elevated serum liver enzymes, or hepatic echogenic abnormality were excluded from the study. Results Among 139 children, 123 (88.5%; 62 male; median age, 11.7 years; age range, 1.3 to 17.2 years) were successfully subjected to M-probe TE without anesthesia. Median LSM increased with age: it was 3.4 kPa (2.3 to 4.6 kPa, 5th to 95th percentiles) at ages 1 to 5 years; 3.8 (2.5 to 6.1) kPa at ages 6 to 11; and 4.1 (3.3 to 7.9) kPa at ages 12 to 18 (P = 0.001). Median CAP was not age dependent: it was 183 (112 to 242) for ages 1 to 18 years. Conclusions M-probe TE is suitable in a wide age range of children from age 1 year up. In children without evidence of liver disease, LSM has an age-dependent increase, whereas CAP does not differ between ages 1 and 18. PMID:27861607

  20. Comparing AFM cantilever stiffness measured using the thermal vibration and the improved thermal vibration methods with that of an SI traceable method based on MEMS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brand, Uwe; Gao, Sai; Engl, Wolfgang; Sulzbach, Thomas; Stahl, Stefan W.; Milles, Lukas F.; Nesterov, Vladimir; Li, Zhi

    2017-03-01

    PTB has developed a new contact based method for the traceable calibration of the normal stiffness of AFM cantilevers in the range from 0.03 N m‑1 to 300 N m‑1 to the SI units based on micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) actuators. This method is evaluated by comparing the measured cantilever stiffness with that measured by PTB’s new primary nanonewton force facility and by PTB’s microforce measuring device. The MEMS system was used to calibrate the stiffness of cantilevers in two case studies. One set of cantilevers for applications in biophysics was calibrated using the well-known thermal vibration method and the second set of cantilevers was calibrated by a cantilever manufacturer who applied an improved thermal vibration method based on calibrated reference cantilevers for the cantilever stiffness calibration. The comparison revealed a stiffness deviation of  +7.7% for the cantilevers calibrated using the thermal vibration method and a deviation of  +6.9% for the stiffnesses of the cantilevers calibrated using the improved thermal vibration method.

  1. Design and Analyze a New Measuring Lift Device for Fin Stabilizers Using Stiffness Matrix of Euler-Bernoulli Beam.

    PubMed

    Liang, Lihua; Sun, Mingxiao; Shi, Hongyu; Luan, Tiantian

    2017-01-01

    Fin-angle feedback control is usually used in conventional fin stabilizers, and its actual anti-rolling effect is difficult to reach theoretical design requirements. Primarily, lift of control torque is a theoretical value calculated by static hydrodynamic characteristics of fin. However, hydrodynamic characteristics of fin are dynamic while fin is moving in waves. As a result, there is a large deviation between actual value and theoretical value of lift. Firstly, the reasons of deviation are analyzed theoretically, which could avoid a variety of interference factors and complex theoretical derivations. Secondly, a new device is designed for direct measurement of actual lift, which is composed of fin-shaft combined mechanism and sensors. This new device can make fin-shaft not only be the basic function of rotating fin, but also detect actual lift. Through analysis using stiffness matrix of Euler-Bernoulli beam, displacement of shaft-core end is measured instead of lift which is difficult to measure. Then quantitative relationship between lift and displacement is defined. Three main factors are analyzed with quantitative relationship. What is more, two installation modes of sensors and a removable shaft-end cover are proposed according to hydrodynamic characteristics of fin. Thus the new device contributes to maintenance and measurement. Lastly, the effectiveness and accuracy of device are verified by contrasting calculation and simulation on the basis of actual design parameters. And the new measuring lift method can be proved to be effective through experiments. The new device is achieved from conventional fin stabilizers. Accordingly, the reliability of original equipment is inherited. The alteration of fin stabilizers is minor, which is suitable for engineering application. In addition, the flexural properties of fin-shaft are digitized with analysis of stiffness matrix. This method provides theoretical support for engineering application by carrying out finite

  2. Design and Analyze a New Measuring Lift Device for Fin Stabilizers Using Stiffness Matrix of Euler-Bernoulli Beam

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Lihua; Sun, Mingxiao; Shi, Hongyu; Luan, Tiantian

    2017-01-01

    Fin-angle feedback control is usually used in conventional fin stabilizers, and its actual anti-rolling effect is difficult to reach theoretical design requirements. Primarily, lift of control torque is a theoretical value calculated by static hydrodynamic characteristics of fin. However, hydrodynamic characteristics of fin are dynamic while fin is moving in waves. As a result, there is a large deviation between actual value and theoretical value of lift. Firstly, the reasons of deviation are analyzed theoretically, which could avoid a variety of interference factors and complex theoretical derivations. Secondly, a new device is designed for direct measurement of actual lift, which is composed of fin-shaft combined mechanism and sensors. This new device can make fin-shaft not only be the basic function of rotating fin, but also detect actual lift. Through analysis using stiffness matrix of Euler-Bernoulli beam, displacement of shaft-core end is measured instead of lift which is difficult to measure. Then quantitative relationship between lift and displacement is defined. Three main factors are analyzed with quantitative relationship. What is more, two installation modes of sensors and a removable shaft-end cover are proposed according to hydrodynamic characteristics of fin. Thus the new device contributes to maintenance and measurement. Lastly, the effectiveness and accuracy of device are verified by contrasting calculation and simulation on the basis of actual design parameters. And the new measuring lift method can be proved to be effective through experiments. The new device is achieved from conventional fin stabilizers. Accordingly, the reliability of original equipment is inherited. The alteration of fin stabilizers is minor, which is suitable for engineering application. In addition, the flexural properties of fin-shaft are digitized with analysis of stiffness matrix. This method provides theoretical support for engineering application by carrying out finite

  3. Diagnosis of GLDAS LSM based aridity index and dryland identification.

    PubMed

    Ghazanfari, Sadegh; Pande, Saket; Hashemy, Mehdy; Sonneveld, Ben

    2013-04-15

    The identification of dryland areas is crucial for guiding policy aimed at intervening in water-stressed areas and addressing the perennial livelihood or food insecurity of these areas. However, the prevailing aridity indices (such as UNEP aridity index) have methodological limitations that restrict their use in delineating drylands and may be insufficient for decision-making frameworks. In this study, we propose a new aridity index based on based on 3 decades of soil moisture time series by accounting for site-specific soil and vegetation that partitions precipitation into the competing demands of evaporation and runoff. Our proposed aridity index is the frequency at which the dominant soil moisture value at a location is not exceeded by the dominant soil moisture values in all of the other locations. To represent the dominant spatial template of the soil moisture conditions, we extract the first eigenfunction from the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis from 3 GLDAS land surface models (LSMs): VIC, MOSAIC and NOAH at 1 × 1 degree spatial resolution. The EOF analysis reveals that the first eigenfunction explains 33%, 43% and 47% of the VIC, NOAH and MOSAIC models, respectively. We compare each LSM aridity indices with the UNEP aridity index, which is created based on LSM data forcings. The VIC aridity index displays a pattern most closely resembling that of UNEP, although all of the LSM-based indices accurately isolate the dominant dryland areas. The UNEP classification identifies portions of south-central Africa, southeastern United States and eastern India as drier than predicted by all of the LSMs. The NOAH and MOSAIC LSMs categorize portions of southwestern Africa as drier than the other two classifications, while all of the LSMs classify portions of central India as wetter than the UNEP classification. We compare all aridity maps with the long-term average NDVI values. Results show that vegetation cover in areas that the UNEP index classifies as

  4. Posttraumatic stiff elbow

    PubMed Central

    Mittal, Ravi

    2017-01-01

    Posttraumatic stiff elbow is a frequent and disabling complication and poses serious challenges for its management. In this review forty studies were included to know about the magnitude of the problem, causes, pathology, prevention, and treatment of posttraumatic stiff elbow. These studies show that simple measures such as internal fixation, immobilization in extension, and early motion of elbow joint are the most important steps that can prevent elbow stiffness. It also supports conservative treatment in selected cases. There are no clear guidelines about the choice between the numerous procedures described in literature. However, this review article disproves two major beliefs-heterotopic ossification is a bad prognostic feature, and passive mobilization of elbow causes elbow stiffness. PMID:28216745

  5. Dynamic vehicle-track interaction in switches and crossings and the influence of rail pad stiffness - field measurements and validation of a simulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pålsson, Björn A.; Nielsen, Jens C. O.

    2015-06-01

    A model for simulation of dynamic interaction between a railway vehicle and a turnout (switch and crossing, S&C) is validated versus field measurements. In particular, the implementation and accuracy of viscously damped track models with different complexities are assessed. The validation data come from full-scale field measurements of dynamic track stiffness and wheel-rail contact forces in a demonstrator turnout that was installed as part of the INNOTRACK project with funding from the European Union Sixth Framework Programme. Vertical track stiffness at nominal wheel loads, in the frequency range up to 20 Hz, was measured using a rolling stiffness measurement vehicle (RSMV). Vertical and lateral wheel-rail contact forces were measured by an instrumented wheel set mounted in a freight car featuring Y25 bogies. The measurements were performed for traffic in both the through and diverging routes, and in the facing and trailing moves. The full set of test runs was repeated with different types of rail pad to investigate the influence of rail pad stiffness on track stiffness and contact forces. It is concluded that impact loads on the crossing can be reduced by using more resilient rail pads. To allow for vehicle dynamics simulations at low computational cost, the track models are discretised space-variant mass-spring-damper models that are moving with each wheel set of the vehicle model. Acceptable agreement between simulated and measured vertical contact forces at the crossing can be obtained when the standard GENSYS track model is extended with one ballast/subgrade mass under each rail. This model can be tuned to capture the large phase delay in dynamic track stiffness at low frequencies, as measured by the RSMV, while remaining sufficiently resilient at higher frequencies.

  6. Stiff railguns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weldon, W. F.; Bacon, J. L.; Weeks, D. A.; Zowarka, R. C., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Stiff guns have been operated with both plasma and solid armatures. A performance gain was seen in the plasma railgun as stiffness was increased. A stiff gun will help to maintain the bore shape and preserve the integrity of the seam between rail and insulator under the extreme asymmetric loads sustained during high-pressure operation. The hydraulically preloaded moly and ceramic gun has been fired six times at pressures as high as 87 ksi, and the bore still holds roughing vacuum up to two hours after the test. The elimination of seam leakage helps control bore erosion associated with plasma reconstitution from the rail and plasma perturbation that might result in loss-initiating instabilities. Reduced rail deflection allows solid and transitioning armatures to track the bore surface. An analysis of the strain energy associated with the deflection of the railgun structure is presented, and this mechanism is found to be a small fraction of the energy associated with armature loss and the rail resistive loss.

  7. Non-contact measurement of carotid arterial stiffness by two-point heart-pulse laser detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedetti, M.; Favalli, V.; Mariano, A.; Rebrova, N.; Consoli, A.; Ayadi, J.; Gilardi, L.; Perna, M.; Minzioni, P.; Arbustini, E.; Giuliani, G.

    2016-02-01

    Arterial stiffness (AS) is a recognized predictor of cardiovascular risk and mortality, and a potential marker for monitoring the beneficial effects of medical treatments for arterial diseases. AS is typically evaluated indirectly, by assessing the so called pulse wave velocity (PWV), i.e. the speed at which the pressure wave created by the heart contraction travels along the aorta and other arteries. PWV is generally measured using piezoelectric transducers, or via a complex ultrasound technique, but in both cases it requires a direct contact with the patient, which could also modify the measured parameters. In the EU project "NISTAS" (Non-invasive screening of the status of the vascular system) [1], we develop a contactless system allowing to measure the PWV thanks to a technology derived from laser triangulation devices. The measurement principle consists in the detection of the small (around 100μm) displacement of the neck skin, induced by the transit of the pressure wave in the carotid. By simultaneously measuring the displacement caused by the pulse wave in two distinct points along the carotid, the time required by the pressure wave to travel a certain distance can be measured, and the PWV can then be easily calculated. The chosen technique for the skin displacement measurement is laser triangulation in its 2D variant (i.e. "laser profilometry"), which is robust to slight movements of the target, it does not suffer from speckle-pattern signal fading, and it can be conveniently implemented using low-cost optical components. Two light lines, emitted by two blue LEDs are projected on the target (the patient's neck skin), and the skin displacement versus time is measured using a high-frame-rate CMOS camera. In this manuscript we present the results obtained by measuring the PWV of 10 volunteers. It is foreseen that this technique can become a simple and widespread point-of-care method for large-scale cardiovascular system screening over large populations.

  8. Optical detection of nanometric thermal fluctuations to measure the stiffness of rigid superparamagnetic microrods.

    PubMed

    Gerbal, Fabien; Wang, Yuan

    2017-03-07

    The rigidity of numerous biological filaments and crafted microrods has been conveniently deduced from the analysis of their thermal fluctuations. However, the difficulty of measuring nanometric displacements with an optical microscope has so far limited such studies to sufficiently flexible rods, of which the persistence length ([Formula: see text]) rarely exceeds 1 m at room temperature. Here, we demonstrate the possibility to probe 10-fold stiffer rods by a combination of superresolutive optical methods and a statistical analysis of the data based on a recent theoretical model that predicts the amplitude of the fluctuations at any location of the rod [Benetatos P, Frey E (2003) Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 67(5):051108]. Using this approach, we report measures of [Formula: see text] up to 0.5 km. We obtained these measurements on recently designed superparamagnetic [Formula: see text]40-[Formula: see text]m-long microrods containing iron-oxide nanoparticles connected by a polymer mesh. Using their magnetic properties, we provide an alternative proof of validity of these thermal measurements: For each individual studied rod, we performed a second measure of its rigidity by deflecting it with a uniform magnetic field. The agreement between the thermal and the magnetoelastic measures was realized with more than a decade of values of [Formula: see text] from 5.1 m to 129 m, corresponding to a bending modulus ranging from 2.2 to 54 (×[Formula: see text] Jm). Despite the apparent homogeneity of the analyzed microrods, their Young modulus follows a broad distribution from 1.9 MPa to 59 MPa and up to 200 MPa, depending on the size of the nanoparticles.

  9. In situ measurements of human articular cartilage stiffness by means of a scanning force microscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imer, Raphaël; Akiyama, Terunobu; de Rooij, Nico F.; Stolz, Martin; Aebi, Ueli; Kilger, Robert; Friederich, Niklaus F.; Wirz, Dieter; Daniels, A. U.; Staufer, Urs

    2007-03-01

    Osteoarthritis is a painful and disabling progressive joint disease, characterized by degradation of articular cartilage. In order to study this disease at early stages, we have miniaturized and integrated a complete scanning force microscope into a standard arthroscopic device fitting through a standard orthopedic canula. This instrument will allow orthopedic surgeons to measure the mechanical properties of articular cartilage at the nanometer and micrometer scale in-vivo during a standard arthroscopy. An orthopedic surgeon assessed the handling of the instrument. First measurements of the elasticity-modulus of human cartilage were recorded in a cadaver knee non minimal invasive. Second, minimally invasive experiments were performed using arthroscopic instruments. Load-displacement curves were successfully recorded.

  10. Beetle adhesive hairs differ in stiffness and stickiness: in vivo adhesion measurements on individual setae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bullock, James M. R.; Federle, Walter

    2011-05-01

    Leaf beetles are able to climb on smooth and rough surfaces using arrays of micron-sized adhesive hairs (setae) of varying morphology. We report the first in vivo adhesive force measurements of individual setae in the beetle Gastrophysa viridula, using a smooth polystyrene substrate attached to a glass capillary micro-cantilever. The beetles possess three distinct adhesive pads on each leg which differ in function and setal morphology. Visualisation of pull-offs allowed forces to be measured for each tarsal hair type. Male discoidal hairs adhered with the highest forces (919 ± 104 nN, mean ± SE), followed by spatulate (582 ± 59 nN) and pointed (127 ± 19 nN) hairs. Discoidal hairs were stiffer in the normal direction (0.693 ± 0.111 N m-1) than spatulate (0.364 ± 0.039 N m-1) or pointed (0.192 ± 0.044 N m-1) hairs. The greater adhesion on smooth surfaces and the higher stability of discoidal hairs help male beetles to achieve strong adhesion on the elytra of females during copulation. A comparison of pull-off forces measured for single setae and whole pads (arrays) revealed comparable levels of adhesive stress. This suggests that beetles are able to achieve equal load sharing across their adhesive pads so that detachment through peeling is prevented.

  11. Inverse measurement of stiffness by the normalization technique for J-integral fracture toughness

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Eric

    2012-06-07

    The single specimen normalization technique for J-integral fracture toughness has been successfully employed by several researchers to study the strongly non-linear fracture response of ductile semicrystalline polymers. As part of the normalization technique the load and the plastic component of displacement are normalized. The normalized data is then fit with a normalization function that approximates a power law for small displacements that are dominated by blunting and smoothly transitions to a linear relationship for large displacements that are dominated by stable crack extension. Particularly for very ductile polymers the compliance term used to determine the plastic displacement can dominate the solution and small errors in determining the elastic modulus can lead to large errors in the normalization or even make it ill-posed. This can be further complicated for polymers where the elastic modulus is strong strain rate dependent and simply using a 'quasistatic' modulus from a dogbone measurement may not equate to the dominant strain rate in the compact tension specimen. The current work proposes directly measuring the compliance of the compact tension specimen in the solution of J-integral fracture toughness and then solving for the elastic modulus. By comparison with a range of strain rate data the dominant strain rate can then be determined.

  12. Preparation of LSM-YSZ composite powder for anode of solid oxide electrolysis cell and its activation mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Mingde; Yu, Bo; Wen, Mingfen; Chen, Jing; Xu, Jingming; Zhai, Yuchun

    Sr-doped LaMnO 3 and Yttria stabilized zirconia (LSM-YSZ) composite powder is synthesized by the preparation of LSM on submicron-sized YSZ particles using an in-situ glycin-nitrate combustion method for solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOEC) in this paper. LSM-YSZ composite powder and the relevant LSM powder are characterized by XRD and FESEM. The results show that LSM-YSZ is net-porous composite powder while YSZ and LSM do not react with each other during synthesis process. The electrochemical test of the single button cells indicates that the in-situ LSM-YSZ powder shows better electrolysis performance and lower discharging capability than traditionally direct mixture LSM and YSZ oxygen electrode. When operating in SOEC mode with constant current electrolysis at a current density of 0.33 A cm -2 and 900 °C, the electrolytic voltage decreases from 1.21 V to 1.02 V, which indicates that LSM-YSZ electrode has an activation process at the initial testing stage. A mechanism which involves the incorporation of SrO segregated on the surface into the LSM lattice and the generation of oxygen vacancies in the LSM electrode is proposed for the activation process with O 2- oxidation on LSM electrodes.

  13. LSM Proteins Provide Accurate Splicing and Decay of Selected Transcripts to Ensure Normal Arabidopsis Development[W

    PubMed Central

    Perea-Resa, Carlos; Hernández-Verdeja, Tamara; López-Cobollo, Rosa; Castellano, María del Mar; Salinas, Julio

    2012-01-01

    In yeast and animals, SM-like (LSM) proteins typically exist as heptameric complexes and are involved in different aspects of RNA metabolism. Eight LSM proteins, LSM1 to 8, are highly conserved and form two distinct heteroheptameric complexes, LSM1-7 and LSM2-8,that function in mRNA decay and splicing, respectively. A search of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome identifies 11 genes encoding proteins related to the eight conserved LSMs, the genes encoding the putative LSM1, LSM3, and LSM6 proteins being duplicated. Here, we report the molecular and functional characterization of the Arabidopsis LSM gene family. Our results show that the 11 LSM genes are active and encode proteins that are also organized in two different heptameric complexes. The LSM1-7 complex is cytoplasmic and is involved in P-body formation and mRNA decay by promoting decapping. The LSM2-8 complex is nuclear and is required for precursor mRNA splicing through U6 small nuclear RNA stabilization. More importantly, our results also reveal that these complexes are essential for the correct turnover and splicing of selected development-related mRNAs and for the normal development of Arabidopsis. We propose that LSMs play a critical role in Arabidopsis development by ensuring the appropriate development-related gene expression through the regulation of mRNA splicing and decay. PMID:23221597

  14. Mapping microscopic order in plant and mammalian cells and tissues: novel differential polarization attachment for new generation confocal microscopes (DP-LSM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinbach, G.; Pawlak, K.; Pomozi, I.; Tóth, E. A.; Molnár, A.; Matkó, J.; Garab, G.

    2014-03-01

    Elucidation of the molecular architecture of complex, highly organized molecular macro-assemblies is an important, basic task for biology. Differential polarization (DP) measurements, such as linear (LD) and circular dichroism (CD) or the anisotropy of the fluorescence emission (r), which can be carried out in a dichrograph or spectrofluorimeter, respectively, carry unique, spatially averaged information about the molecular organization of the sample. For inhomogeneous samples—e.g. cells and tissues—measurements on macroscopic scale are not satisfactory, and in some cases not feasible, thus microscopic techniques must be applied. The microscopic DP-imaging technique, when based on confocal laser scanning microscope (LSM), allows the pixel by pixel mapping of anisotropy of a sample in 2D and 3D. The first DP-LSM configuration, which, in fluorescence mode, allowed confocal imaging of different DP quantities in real-time, without interfering with the ‘conventional’ imaging, was built on a Zeiss LSM410. It was demonstrated to be capable of determining non-confocally the linear birefringence (LB) or LD of a sample and, confocally, its FDLD (fluorescence detected LD), the degree of polarization (P) and the anisotropy of the fluorescence emission (r), following polarized and non-polarized excitation, respectively (Steinbach et al 2009 Acta Histochem.111 316-25). This DP-LSM configuration, however, cannot simply be adopted to new generation microscopes with considerably more compact structures. As shown here, for an Olympus FV500, we designed an easy-to-install DP attachment to determine LB, LD, FDLD and r, in new-generation confocal microscopes, which, in principle, can be complemented with a P-imaging unit, but specifically to the brand and type of LSM.

  15. Nanocomposite Ag-LSM solid oxide fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sholklapper, Tal Z.; Radmilovic, Velimir; Jacobson, Craig P.; Visco, Steven J.; De Jonghe, Lutgard C.

    Advances in infiltration technology have enabled the creation of innovative electrode architectures that are key to highly effective SOFC anodes and cathodes. In this work, an Ag-infiltrated electrode has been created using a pre-sintered porous scandia-stabilized zirconia (SSZ) electrode backbone. The well-sintered SSZ provides a highly connected ion-conducting pathway throughout the electrode, while the nanometer thickness of the Ag particle layer minimizes the oxygen transport resistance that otherwise limits reaction rates in typical Ag composite electrodes. The new Ag composite electrode had minimal activation polarization by 750 °C. The infiltration technology has allowed for incorporation of additional nanoscale electrocatalysts. Here, an Ag-LSM (strontium-doped lanthanum manganate) composite was produced, that takes advantage of each component catalyst and demonstrates a further enhanced effectiveness of the cathode Ag metal catalyst, producing relatively stable cell power densities of 316 mW cm -2 at 0.7 V (and 467 mW cm -2 peak power at ∼0.4 V) for over 500 h.

  16. A novel method of measuring leaf epidermis and mesophyll stiffness shows the ubiquitous nature of the sandwich structure of leaf laminas in broad-leaved angiosperm species

    PubMed Central

    Onoda, Yusuke; Schieving, Feike; Anten, Niels P. R.

    2015-01-01

    Plant leaves commonly exhibit a thin, flat structure that facilitates a high light interception per unit mass, but may increase risks of mechanical failure when subjected to gravity, wind and herbivory as well as other stresses. Leaf laminas are composed of thin epidermis layers and thicker intervening mesophyll layers, which resemble a composite material, i.e. sandwich structure, used in engineering constructions (e.g. airplane wings) where high bending stiffness with minimum weight is important. Yet, to what extent leaf laminas are mechanically designed and behave as a sandwich structure remains unclear. To resolve this issue, we developed and applied a novel method to estimate stiffness of epidermis- and mesophyll layers without separating the layers. Across a phylogenetically diverse range of 36 angiosperm species, the estimated Young’s moduli (a measure of stiffness) of mesophyll layers were much lower than those of the epidermis layers, indicating that leaf laminas behaved similarly to efficient sandwich structures. The stiffness of epidermis layers was higher in evergreen species than in deciduous species, and strongly associated with cuticle thickness. The ubiquitous nature of sandwich structures in leaves across studied species suggests that the sandwich structure has evolutionary advantages as it enables leaves to be simultaneously thin and flat, efficiently capturing light and maintaining mechanical stability under various stresses. PMID:25675956

  17. Both Sm-domain and C-terminal extension of Lsm1 are important for the RNA-binding activity of the Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Ashis; Raju, Kalidindi K; Kalurupalle, Swathi; Tharun, Sundaresan

    2012-05-01

    Lsm proteins are a ubiquitous family of proteins characterized by the Sm-domain. They exist as hexa- or heptameric RNA-binding complexes and carry out RNA-related functions. The Sm-domain is thought to be sufficient for the RNA-binding activity of these proteins. The highly conserved eukaryotic Lsm1 through Lsm7 proteins are part of the cytoplasmic Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex, which is an activator of decapping in the conserved 5'-3' mRNA decay pathway. This complex also protects mRNA 3'-ends from trimming in vivo. Purified Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex is able to bind RNA in vitro and exhibits a unique binding preference for oligoadenylated RNA (over polyadenylated and unadenylated RNA). Lsm1 is a key subunit that determines the RNA-binding properties of this complex. The normal RNA-binding activity of this complex is crucial for mRNA decay and 3'-end protection in vivo and requires the intact Sm-domain of Lsm1. Here, we show that though necessary, the Sm-domain of Lsm1 is not sufficient for the normal RNA-binding ability of the Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex. Deletion of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of Lsm1 (while keeping the Sm-domain intact) impairs mRNA decay in vivo and results in Lsm1-7-Pat1 complexes that are severely impaired in RNA binding in vitro. Interestingly, the mRNA decay and 3'-end protection defects of such CTD-truncated lsm1 mutants could be suppressed in trans by overexpression of the CTD polypeptide. Thus, unlike most Sm-like proteins, Lsm1 uniquely requires both its Sm-domain and CTD for its normal RNA-binding function.

  18. Nuclear LSm8 affects number of cytoplasmic processing bodies via controlling cellular distribution of Like-Sm proteins

    PubMed Central

    Novotný, Ivan; Podolská, Kateřina; Blažíková, Michaela; Valášek, Leoš Shivaya; Svoboda, Petr; Staněk, David

    2012-01-01

    Processing bodies (P-bodies) are dynamic cytoplasmic structures involved in mRNA degradation, but the mechanism that governs their formation is poorly understood. In this paper, we address a role of Like-Sm (LSm) proteins in formation of P-bodies and provide evidence that depletion of nuclear LSm8 increases the number of P-bodies, while LSm8 overexpression leads to P-body loss. We show that LSm8 knockdown causes relocalization of LSm4 and LSm6 proteins to the cytoplasm and suggest that LSm8 controls nuclear accumulation of all LSm2–7 proteins. We propose a model in which redistribution of LSm2–7 to the cytoplasm creates new binding sites for other P-body components and nucleates new, microscopically visible structures. The model is supported by prolonged residence of two P-body proteins, DDX6 and Ago2, in P-bodies after LSm8 depletion, which indicates stronger interactions between these proteins and P-bodies. Finally, an increased number of P-bodies has negligible effects on microRNA-mediated translation repression and nonsense mediated decay, further supporting the view that the function of proteins localized in P-bodies is independent of visible P-bodies. PMID:22875987

  19. Arterial Stiffness: Recommendations and Standardization

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Raymond R.

    2017-01-01

    The use of arterial stiffness measurements in longitudinal cohorts of normal populations, hypertensive patients, diabetic patients, healthy elderly, and patients on hemodialysis have confirmed the value of this important measure of arterial health, and established its complementary role to measures of blood pressure. Its contribution to understanding cardiovascular and mortality risk beyond blood pressure measurements has moved measures of arterial stiffness into the ranks of factors such as elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and left ventricular hypertrophy in considering cardiovascular risk. The recent international collaboration's publication of reference ranges for normal people and those with hypertension, along with the American Heart Association's recent scientific statement on standardizing arterial stiffness measurements are important aspects to consider in future studies employing these valuable methods, particularly as interventions that not only lower blood pressure but improve arterial function are tested in the clinical arena. PMID:28275588

  20. Electromechanical Dynamics Simulations of Superconducting LSM Rocket Launcher System in Attractive-Mode

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoshida, Kinjiro; Hayashi, Kengo; Takami, Hiroshi

    1996-01-01

    Further feasibility study on a superconducting linear synchronous motor (LSM) rocket launcher system is presented on the basis of dynamic simulations of electric power, efficiency and power factor as well as the ascending motions of the launcher and rocket. The advantages of attractive-mode operation are found from comparison with repulsive-mode operation. It is made clear that the LSM rocket launcher system, of which the long-stator is divided optimally into 60 sections according to launcher speeds, can obtain high efficiency and power factor.

  1. Crystal structures of the Lsm complex bound to the 3' end sequence of U6 small nuclear RNA.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Lijun; Hang, Jing; Zhou, Yulin; Wan, Ruixue; Lu, Guifeng; Yin, Ping; Yan, Chuangye; Shi, Yigong

    2014-02-06

    Splicing of precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) in eukaryotic cells is carried out by the spliceosome, which consists of five small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and a number of accessory factors and enzymes. Each snRNP contains a ring-shaped subcomplex of seven proteins and a specific RNA molecule. The U6 snRNP contains a unique heptameric Lsm protein complex, which specifically recognizes the U6 small nuclear RNA at its 3' end. Here we report the crystal structures of the heptameric Lsm complex, both by itself and in complex with a 3' fragment of U6 snRNA, at 2.8 Å resolution. Each of the seven Lsm proteins interacts with two neighbouring Lsm components to form a doughnut-shaped assembly, with the order Lsm3-2-8-4-7-5-6. The four uridine nucleotides at the 3' end of U6 snRNA are modularly recognized by Lsm3, Lsm2, Lsm8 and Lsm4, with the uracil base specificity conferred by a highly conserved asparagine residue. The uracil base at the extreme 3' end is sandwiched by His 36 and Arg 69 from Lsm3, through π-π and cation-π interactions, respectively. The distinctive end-recognition of U6 snRNA by the Lsm complex contrasts with RNA binding by the Sm complex in the other snRNPs. The structural features and associated biochemical analyses deepen mechanistic understanding of the U6 snRNP function in pre-mRNA splicing.

  2. 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.

  3. Electrochemical Performance and Stability of the Cathode for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells IV. On the Ohmic loss in anode supported button cells with LSM or LSCF cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Zigui; Zhou, Xiao Dong; Templeton, Jared W.; Stevenson, Jeffry W.

    2010-05-08

    Anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) with a variety of YSZ electrolyte thicknesses were fabricated by tape casting and lamination. The preparation of the YSZ electrolyte tapes with various thicknesses was accomplished by using doctor blades with different gaps between the precision machined, polished blade and the casting surface. The green tape was cut into discs, sintered at 1385°C for 2 h, and subsequently creep-flattened at 1350°C for 2 h. Either LSCF with an SDC interlayer or LSM+YSZ composite was used as the cathode material for the fuel cells. The ohmic resistances of these anode-supported fuel cells were characterized by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy at temperatures from 500°C to 750°C. A linear relationship was found between the ohmic resistance of the fuel cell and the YSZ electrolyte thickness at all the measuring temperatures for both LSCF and LSM+YSZ cathode fuel cells. The ionic conductivities of the YSZ electrolyte, derived for the fuel cells with LSM+YSZ or LSCF cathodes, were independent of the cathode material and cell configuration. The ionic conductivities of the YSZ electrolyte was slightly lower than that of the bulk material, possibly due to Ni-doping into the electrolyte. The fuel cell with a SDC interlayer and LSCF cathode showed larger intercept resistance than the fuel cell with LSM+YSZ cathode, which was possibly due to the imperfect contact between the SDC interlayer and the YSZ electrolyte and the migration of Zr into the SDC interlayer to form an insulating solid solution during cell fabrication. Calculations of the contribution of the YSZ electrolyte to the total ohmic resistance showed that YSZ was still a satisfactory electrolyte at temperatures above 650°C. Explorations should be directed to reduce the intercept resistance to achieve significant improvement in cell performance.

  4. 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.

  5. Reliability Criteria for Liver Stiffness Measurements with Real-Time 2D Shear Wave Elastography in Different Clinical Scenarios of Chronic Liver Disease.

    PubMed

    Thiele, M; Madsen, B S; Procopet, B; Hansen, J F; Møller, L M S; Detlefsen, S; Berzigotti, A; Krag, A

    2016-06-07

    Purpose: Liver stiffness measurement by real-time 2-dimensional shear wave elastography (2D-SWE) lacks universal reliability criteria. We sought to assess whether previously published 2D-SWE reliability criteria for portal hypertension were applicable for the evaluation of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, and to look for criteria that minimize the risk of misclassification in this setting. Materials and Methods: In a biopsy-controlled diagnostic study, we obtained five 2D-SWE measurements of optimal image quality. Correctly classified cases of fibrosis and cirrhosis were compared to misclassified cases. We compared reliability predictors (standard deviation (SD), SD/mean, size of region of interest (ROI) and difference between a single measurement and the patient's median) with those obtained in a prior study on clinically significant portal hypertension. Results: We obtained 678 2D-SWE measurements from 142 patients. Overall, the variability in liver stiffness within single 2D-SWE measurements was low (SD = 1.1 ± 1.5kPa; SD/mean = 12 ± 9 %). Intra-observer analysis showed almost perfect concordance (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.95; 95 % CI 0.94 - 0.96; average difference from median = 0.4 ± 0.9kPa). For the diagnosis of cirrhosis, a smaller SD (optimally ≤ 1.75 kPa) and larger ROI size (optimally ≥ 18 mm) were associated with higher accuracy. Similarly, within the published cohort of patients assessed for portal hypertension, a low variability of measurements was associated with high reliability. Conclusion: A high quality 2D-SWE elastogram ensures low variability and high reliability, regardless of indication. We recommend aiming for a combination of low standard deviation and large ROI.

  6. Benchmarking LSM root-zone soil mositure predictions using satellite-based vegetation indices

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The application of modern land surface models (LSMs) to agricultural drought monitoring is based on the premise that anomalies in LSM root-zone soil moisture estimates can accurately anticipate the subsequent impact of drought on vegetation productivity and health. In addition, the water and energy ...

  7. Regardless-of-Speed Superconducting LSM Controlled-Repulsive MAGLEV Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yoshida, Kinjiro; Egashira, Tatsuya; Hirai, Ryuichi

    1996-01-01

    This paper proposes a new repulsive Maglev vehicle which a superconducting linear synchronous motor (LSM) can levitate and propel simultaneously, independently of the vehicle speeds. The combined levitation and propulsion control is carried out by controlling mechanical-load angle and armature-current. Dynamic simulations show successful operations with good ride-quality by using a compact control method proposed here.

  8. Stiff person syndrome.

    PubMed

    Ciccoto, Giuseppe; Blaya, Maike; Kelley, Roger E

    2013-02-01

    Recognizing stiff person syndrome is clinically important. It is uncommon, characterized by body stiffness associated with painful muscle spasms, and varies in location and severity. It is subdivided into stiff trunk versus stiff limb presentation, and as a progressive encephalomyelitis. Stiff person-type syndrome also reflects a paraneoplastic picture. Most patients demonstrate exaggerated lumbar lordosis. Roughly 60% of patients have antiglutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies in the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid. The differential diagnosis includes many severe conditions. There are reports of response to muscle relaxants, immunosuppressants, intravenous gamma globulin, plasma exchange, a number of anticonvulsants, and botulinum toxin.

  9. An expert-based landslide susceptibility mapping (LSM) module developed for Netcad Architect Software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sezer, E. A.; Nefeslioglu, H. A.; Osna, T.

    2017-01-01

    The main purpose of this study is to introduce an expert-based LSM module developed for Netcad Architect Software. A landslide-prone area located at the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey was selected as the experimental site for this study. The investigations were performed in four stages: (i) introducing technical details of LSM module and theoretical background of the methods implemented in the module, (ii) experiments; landslide susceptibility evaluations by applying the methods M-AHP and Mamdani type FIS by using the expert-based LSM module, (iii) map similarity assessments and evaluations for the generalization capacities of the expert-based models, and (iv) performance assessments of the LSM module. When considering the areal distributions of matching ratios obtained from the map similarity evaluations, it is revealed that M-AHP is more pessimistic and covers a greater area in higher hazard classes, whereas the Mamdani type FIS behaves more optimistically and restricts the area of higher hazard classes in the experimental site. According to the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve analyses, the value of Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC) was obtained as 0.66 for the resultant map produced with Mamdani type FIS and 0.82 for the map produced with M-AHP. To compare the time consumptions of the expert methods, experiments were implemented. Mamdani type FIS completes its task in 3 h and 39 min, whereas M-AHP only requires 47 s. As a consequence, (i) the LSM module developed for Netcad Architect Software presents full-featured expert-based landslide susceptibility mapping abilities, and (ii) M-AHP is a useful method for obtaining an expert opinion and modeling landslide susceptibility.

  10. Viscous drag effect in the flexural rigidity and cantilever stiffness of bio- and nano-filaments measured with the shooting-bead method.

    PubMed

    Samarbakhsh, Abdorreza; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2009-07-01

    The so-called shooting-bead method is a fast and easy experimental technique for evaluating cantilever stiffness and flexural rigidity of semiflexible to semirigid rodlike biological and nano-filaments based on the measurement of just two distances. In this paper we have derived the shooting-bead formula for cantilever stiffness and flexural rigidity taking into account the effects of the viscous drag force exerted on the filament itself. To this end, we have defined a key variable, called the filament energy-loss factor (or filament drag factor), which accounts for all the energy-loss effects. It has been shown that due to the logarithmic dependence of the filament energy-loss factor on the radius and the length of the filament, inclusion of this factor in the formula for the flexural rigidity has a very noticeable effect on the result even for very thin or long filaments. It has also been shown that the effect due to the consideration of filament energy-loss factor on calculation of the flexural rigidity increases with increasing the flexibility of the filament. We have also considered various sources of experimental error and estimated their effects.

  11. 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…

  12. Experimental investigations of the microscopic features and polarization limiting factors of planar SOFCs with LSM and LSCF cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leone, P.; Santarelli, M.; Asinari, P.; Calì, M.; Borchiellini, R.

    The paper deals with the microscopic and polarization evaluation of planar circular-shaped seal-less SOFC cells from InDEC ® with an outline of performance limiting factors at reduced temperature. The cells consist of porous NiO-YSZ anode as mechanical support, NiO-YSZ anode active layer, yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte, and only differ for the cathode design. A first design (ASC1) with strontium doped lanthanum manganate LSM-YSZ cathode functional layer (CFL) and LSM cathode current collector layer (CCCL); the second design (ASC2) with yttria doped ceria (YDC) barrier layer and lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite oxide (LSCF) cathode. The microscopic analysis was performed using SEM methods. The electrical characterization was performed by taking current-voltage measurements over a range of temperatures between 650 and 840 °C with hydrogen as fuel, and air as oxidant. The analysis of performance showed that at 740 °C the voltage of 700 mV is reached at around a double value of current density in the case of ASC2. Further, the dependence of performance on the various polarization contributions was rationalized on the basis of an analytical model. Through a parameter estimation on the experimental data, it was possible to determine some polarization parameters for the two cells such as the effective exchange current densities, ohmic resistance and anodic limiting current density. It is shown that the performance limitation at low temperature is due to activation polarization for ASC1 and ohmic polarization for ASC2. Based on the results of the investigation, it is concluded that LSCF cathodes are really effective for decreasing the cathode activation polarization, allowing the reduction of operating temperature.

  13. The Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex promotes viral RNA translation and replication by differential mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Jungfleisch, Jennifer; Chowdhury, Ashis; Alves-Rodrigues, Isabel; Tharun, Sundaresan; Díez, Juana

    2015-08-01

    The Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex binds to the 3' end of cellular mRNAs and promotes 3' end protection and 5'-3' decay. Interestingly, this complex also specifically binds to cis-acting regulatory sequences of viral positive-strand RNA genomes promoting their translation and subsequent recruitment from translation to replication. Yet, how the Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex regulates these two processes remains elusive. Here, we show that Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex acts differentially in these processes. By using a collection of well-characterized lsm1 mutant alleles and a system that allows the replication of Brome mosaic virus (BMV) in yeast we show that the Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex integrity is essential for both, translation and recruitment. However, the intrinsic RNA-binding ability of the complex is only required for translation. Consistent with an RNA-binding-independent function of the Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex on BMV RNA recruitment, we show that the BMV 1a protein, the sole viral protein required for recruitment, interacts with this complex in an RNA-independent manner. Together, these results support a model wherein Lsm1-7-Pat1 complex binds consecutively to BMV RNA regulatory sequences and the 1a protein to promote viral RNA translation and later recruitment out of the host translation machinery to the viral replication complexes.

  14. The passive stiffness of the wrist and forearm

    PubMed Central

    Charles, Steven K.; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Hogan, Neville; Krebs, Hermano I.

    2012-01-01

    Because wrist rotation dynamics are dominated by stiffness (Charles SK, Hogan N. J Biomech 44: 614–621, 2011), understanding how humans plan and execute coordinated wrist rotations requires knowledge of the stiffness characteristics of the wrist joint. In the past, the passive stiffness of the wrist joint has been measured in 1 degree of freedom (DOF). Although these 1-DOF measurements inform us of the dynamics the neuromuscular system must overcome to rotate the wrist in pure flexion-extension (FE) or pure radial-ulnar deviation (RUD), the wrist rarely rotates in pure FE or RUD. Instead, understanding natural wrist rotations requires knowledge of wrist stiffness in combinations of FE and RUD. The purpose of this report is to present measurements of passive wrist stiffness throughout the space spanned by FE and RUD. Using a rehabilitation robot designed for the wrist and forearm, we measured the passive stiffness of the wrist joint in 10 subjects in FE, RUD, and combinations. For comparison, we measured the passive stiffness of the forearm (in pronation-supination), as well. Our measurements in pure FE and RUD agreed well with previous 1-DOF measurements. We have linearized the 2-DOF stiffness measurements and present them in the form of stiffness ellipses and as stiffness matrices useful for modeling wrist rotation dynamics. We found that passive wrist stiffness was anisotropic, with greater stiffness in RUD than in FE. We also found that passive wrist stiffness did not align with the anatomical axes of the wrist; the major and minor axes of the stiffness ellipse were rotated with respect to the FE and RUD axes by ∼20°. The direction of least stiffness was between ulnar flexion and radial extension, a direction used in many natural movements (known as the “dart-thrower's motion”), suggesting that the nervous system may take advantage of the direction of least stiffness for common wrist rotations. PMID:22649208

  15. Materials with negative stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaglinski, Tim

    Negative stiffness, or a reversal in the usual assumed direction between causal forces and ensuing deformations, has been proposed as a pathway to materials which exceed theoretical performance bounds. Negative stiffness, as a concept, represents a relaxation of tacitly assumed material behavior, but it violates no natural laws. Negative stiffness, normally unstable without constraint, is permissible for stability under special conditions, for example a rigid boundary constraint so long as the material satisfies strong ellipticity in the parlance of elasticity. Hence, negative stiffness is not observed in materials or structures which are not constrained. If negative stiffness is allowed for inclusions of material, which are surrounded by a stabilizing positive stiffness matrix, composite theory predicts large increases in the mechanical damping and composite stiffness. The work herein explores several material systems which possess negative stiffness, and seeks to characterize the composite mechanical properties of these systems. Two metal matrix composite systems, namely Sn-VO2 and Sn-BaTIO3, were investigated. Here, negative stiffness arises from the ferroelastic phase transformations in the ceramic inclusions; stability is imparted by the tin matrix. Polycrystalline In-Tl and BaTIO 3 were also studied. Here, the entire material volume is phase transforming. Constraint is imparted on a small volume fraction of crystallites by the surrounding material. Various manifestations of negative stiffness were observed. Thermally broad damping peaks which depended upon thermal cycling were observed in the Sn-VO2 composites. Furthermore, mechanical instabilities were seen in composites intentionally designed to be unstable. Negative stiffness was indicated in the In-Tl alloy by magnification of damping peaks over those observed in single crystals, increases in damping peaks with increased cooling rates, occurrence of damping peaks before the appearance of martensite and

  16. Development of engineering prototype of Life Support Module (LSM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The development of an engineering prototype of a life support system is discussed. The module consists of an electrocardiogram, a defibrillator, a resuscitator, and an aspirator, as well as body temperature and blood pressure measuring instruments. A drug kit is included.

  17. Indirect measure of visceral adiposity ‘A Body Shape Index’ (ABSI) is associated with arterial stiffness in patients with type 2 diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Bouchi, Ryotaro; Asakawa, Masahiro; Ohara, Norihiko; Nakano, Yujiro; Takeuchi, Takato; Murakami, Masanori; Sasahara, Yuriko; Numasawa, Mitsuyuki; Minami, Isao; Izumiyama, Hajime; Hashimoto, Koshi; Yoshimoto, Takanobu; Ogawa, Yoshihiro

    2016-01-01

    Objective Among indirect measures of visceral adiposity, A Body Shape Index (ABSI), which is defined as waist circumference (WC)/(body mass index (BMI)2/3×height1/2), is unique in that ABSI is positively correlated with visceral adiposity and is supposed to be independent of BMI. ABSI has been also shown to be linearly and positively associated with visceral fat mass and all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population. It is, however, uncertain whether ABSI could be associated with arterial stiffness in patients with diabetes. Methods This is a cross-sectional study of 607 patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age 64±12 years; 40.0% female). Visceral fat area (VFA, cm2) and subcutaneous fat area (SFA, cm2) were assessed with a dual-impedance analyzer. In order to estimate the risk for CVD, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV, cm) was used for the assessment of arterial stiffness. Results ABSI was significantly and positively correlated with VFA (r=0.138, p=0.001) and negatively associated with BMI (r=−0.085, p=0.037). The correlation of z-score for ABSI with VFA remained significant (r=0.170, p<0.001) but not with BMI (r=0.009, p=0.820). ABSI (standardized β 0.095, p=0.043) but not WC (standardized β −0.060, p=0.200) was significantly and positively correlated with baPWV in the multivariate model including BMI as a covariate. Conclusions ABSI appears to reflect visceral adiposity independently of BMI and to be a substantial marker of arterial stiffening in patients with type 2 diabetes. PMID:27026809

  18. A photosynthesis-based two-leaf canopy stomatal conductance model for meteorology and air quality modeling with WRF/CMAQ PX LSM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ran, Limei; Pleim, Jonathan; Song, Conghe; Band, Larry; Walker, John T.; Binkowski, Francis S.

    2017-02-01

    A coupled photosynthesis-stomatal conductance model with single-layer sunlit and shaded leaf canopy scaling is implemented and evaluated in a diagnostic box model with the Pleim-Xiu land surface model (PX LSM) and ozone deposition model components taken directly from the meteorology and air quality modeling system - WRF/CMAQ (Weather Research and Forecast model and Community Multiscale Air Quality model). The photosynthesis-based model for PX LSM (PX PSN) is evaluated at a FLUXNET site for implementation against different parameterizations and the current PX LSM approach with a simple Jarvis function (PX Jarvis). Latent heat flux (LH) from PX PSN is further evaluated at five FLUXNET sites with different vegetation types and landscape characteristics. Simulated ozone deposition and flux from PX PSN are evaluated at one of the sites with ozone flux measurements. Overall, the PX PSN simulates LH as well as the PX Jarvis approach. The PX PSN, however, shows distinct advantages over the PX Jarvis approach for grassland that likely result from its treatment of C3 and C4 plants for CO2 assimilation. Simulations using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) leaf area index (LAI) rather than LAI measured at each site assess how the model would perform with grid averaged data used in WRF/CMAQ. MODIS LAI estimates degrade model performance at all sites but one site having exceptionally old and tall trees. Ozone deposition velocity and ozone flux along with LH are simulated especially well by the PX PSN compared to significant overestimation by the PX Jarvis for a grassland site.

  19. Stiffness Control of Surgical Continuum Manipulators

    PubMed Central

    Mahvash, Mohsen; Dupont, Pierre E.

    2013-01-01

    This paper introduces the first stiffness controller for continuum robots. The control law is based on an accurate approximation of a continuum robot’s coupled kinematic and static force model. To implement a desired tip stiffness, the controller drives the actuators to positions corresponding to a deflected robot configuration that produces the required tip force for the measured tip position. This approach provides several important advantages. First, it enables the use of robot deflection sensing as a means to both sense and control tip forces. Second, it enables stiffness control to be implemented by modification of existing continuum robot position controllers. The proposed controller is demonstrated experimentally in the context of a concentric tube robot. Results show that the stiffness controller achieves the desired stiffness in steady state, provides good dynamic performance, and exhibits stability during contact transitions. PMID:24273466

  20. Stiffness Control of Surgical Continuum Manipulators.

    PubMed

    Mahvash, Mohsen; Dupont, Pierre E

    2011-04-01

    This paper introduces the first stiffness controller for continuum robots. The control law is based on an accurate approximation of a continuum robot's coupled kinematic and static force model. To implement a desired tip stiffness, the controller drives the actuators to positions corresponding to a deflected robot configuration that produces the required tip force for the measured tip position. This approach provides several important advantages. First, it enables the use of robot deflection sensing as a means to both sense and control tip forces. Second, it enables stiffness control to be implemented by modification of existing continuum robot position controllers. The proposed controller is demonstrated experimentally in the context of a concentric tube robot. Results show that the stiffness controller achieves the desired stiffness in steady state, provides good dynamic performance, and exhibits stability during contact transitions.

  1. Arterial Stiffness and Cardiovascular Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Janić, Miodrag; Lunder, Mojca; Šabovič, Mišo

    2014-01-01

    The world population is aging and the number of old people is continuously increasing. Arterial structure and function change with age, progressively leading to arterial stiffening. Arterial stiffness is best characterized by measurement of pulse wave velocity (PWV), which is its surrogate marker. It has been shown that PWV could improve cardiovascular event prediction in models that included standard risk factors. Consequently, it might therefore enable better identification of populations at high-risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The present review is focused on a survey of different pharmacological therapeutic options for decreasing arterial stiffness. The influence of several groups of drugs is described: antihypertensive drugs (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, diuretics, and nitrates), statins, peroral antidiabetics, advanced glycation end-products (AGE) cross-link breakers, anti-inflammatory drugs, endothelin-A receptor antagonists, and vasopeptidase inhibitors. All of these have shown some effect in decreasing arterial stiffness. Nevertheless, further studies are needed which should address the influence of arterial stiffness diminishment on major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE). PMID:25170513

  2. Prioritization of Disease Susceptibility Genes Using LSM/SVD.

    PubMed

    Gong, Lejun; Yang, Ronggen; Yan, Qin; Sun, Xiao

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the role of genetics in diseases is one of the most important tasks in the postgenome era. It is generally too expensive and time consuming to perform experimental validation for all candidate genes related to disease. Computational methods play important roles for prioritizing these candidates. Herein, we propose an approach to prioritize disease genes using latent semantic mapping based on singular value decomposition. Our hypothesis is that similar functional genes are likely to cause similar diseases. Measuring the functional similarity between known disease susceptibility genes and unknown genes is to predict new disease susceptibility genes. Taking autism as an instance, the analysis results of the top ten genes prioritized demonstrate they might be autism susceptibility genes, which also indicates our approach could discover new disease susceptibility genes. The novel approach of disease gene prioritization could discover new disease susceptibility genes, and latent disease-gene relations. The prioritized results could also support the interpretive diversity and experimental views as computational evidence for disease researchers.

  3. Serial changes of liver stiffness measured by acoustic radiation force impulse imaging in acute liver failure: a case report.

    PubMed

    Kuroda, Hidekatsu; Takikawa, Yasuhiro; Onodera, Mio; Kakisaka, Keisuke; Yoshida, Yuichi; Kataoka, Koujiro; Sawara, Kei; Miyamoto, Yasuhiro; Oikawa, Kanta; Endo, Ryujin; Suzuki, Kazuyuki

    2012-02-01

    Acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging is a new technology used to determine liver elasticity. We report the case of a patient that survived hyperacute-type acute liver failure (ALF) and who showed a dramatic change in the value of shear wave velocity (SWV) measured by ARFI, which corresponded with the severity of her liver damage. The value of SWV increased significantly up to 3.6 ± 0.3 m/s during the encephalopathy phase and then decreased along with the recovery of liver function, the blood flow of the right portal vein, and the liver volume. These findings suggest the value of SWV in ALF as a reliable marker of liver tissue damage. Further investigations of the pathophysiological significance of SWV in ALF are warranted.

  4. Model-Based Estimation of Knee Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Pfeifer, Serge; Vallery, Heike; Hardegger, Michael; Riener, Robert; Perreault, Eric J.

    2013-01-01

    During natural locomotion, the stiffness of the human knee is modulated continuously and subconsciously according to the demands of activity and terrain. Given modern actuator technology, powered transfemoral prostheses could theoretically provide a similar degree of sophistication and function. However, experimentally quantifying knee stiffness modulation during natural gait is challenging. Alternatively, joint stiffness could be estimated in a less disruptive manner using electromyography (EMG) combined with kinetic and kinematic measurements to estimate muscle force, together with models that relate muscle force to stiffness. Here we present the first step in that process, where we develop such an approach and evaluate it in isometric conditions, where experimental measurements are more feasible. Our EMG-guided modeling approach allows us to consider conditions with antagonistic muscle activation, a phenomenon commonly observed in physiological gait. Our validation shows that model-based estimates of knee joint stiffness coincide well with experimental data obtained using conventional perturbation techniques. We conclude that knee stiffness can be accurately estimated in isometric conditions without applying perturbations, which presents an important step towards our ultimate goal of quantifying knee stiffness during gait. PMID:22801482

  5. 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

  6. Distributed Application of the Unified Noah LSM with Hydrologic Flow Routing on an Appalachian Headwater Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, M.; Kumar, S.; Gochis, D.; Yates, D.; McHenry, J.; Burnet, T.; Coats, C.; Condrey, J.

    2006-05-01

    Collaboration between scientists at UMBC-GEST and NASA-GSFC, the NCAR Research Applications Laboratory (RAL), and Baron Advanced Meteorological Services (BAMS), has produced a modeling framework for the application of traditional land surface models (LSMs) in a distributed hydrologic system which can be used for diagnosis and prediction of routed stream discharge hydrographs. This collaboration is oriented on near-term system implementation across Romania for flood and flash-flood analyses and forecasting as part of the World Bank-funded Destructive Waters Abatement (DESWAT) program. Meteorological forcing from surface observations, model analyses and numerical forecasts are employed in the NASA-GSFC Land Information System (LIS) to drive the Unified Noah LSM with Noah-Distributed components, stream network delineation and routing schemes original to this work. The Unified Noah LSM is the outgrowth of a joint modeling effort between several research partners including NCAR, the NOAA National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA). At NCAR, hydrologically-oriented extensions to the Noah LSM have been developed for LSM applications in a distributed domain in order to address the lateral redistribution of soil moisture by surface and subsurface flow processes. These advancements have been integrated into the NASA-GSFC Land Information System (LIS) and coupled with an original framework for hydraulic channel network definition and specification, linkages with the Noah-Distributed overland and subsurface flow framework, and distributed cell- to-cell (or link-node) hydraulic routing. This poster presents an overview of the system components and their organization, as well as results of the first U.S. case study performed with this system under various configurations. The case study simulated precipitation events over a headwater basin in the southern Appalachian Mountains in October 2005 following the landfall of Tropical

  7. A Micro-Scale Model for Oxygen Reduction on LSM-YSZ Cathode

    SciTech Connect

    Pakalapati, Suryanarayana Raju; Celik, Ismail; Finklea, Harry; Gong, Mingyang; Liu, Xingbo

    2011-05-01

    In this study, a micro-scale model is developed to simulate the oxygen reduction on LSM-YSZ composite cathode. The model incorporates the effects of cathode microstructural properties on the local transport phenomena and electrochemistry inside the cathode. A detailed reaction mechanism is used in the model which has two parallel routes for oxygen conversion into oxide ions, namely two-phase boundary and three-phase boundary pathways. The model predicts field distributions of local thermodynamic values, over-potential, Faradaic current and other parameters relevant to cathode performance. Electrochemical impedance simulations are performed using the current model to analyze the contribution of various processes to the overall impedance.

  8. Physical inactivity and arterial stiffness in COPD

    PubMed Central

    Sievi, Noriane A; Franzen, Daniel; Kohler, Malcolm; Clarenbach, Christian F

    2015-01-01

    Background Arterial stiffness is an important predictor of cardiovascular risk besides classic cardiovascular risk factors. Previous studies showed that arterial stiffness is increased in patients with COPD compared to healthy controls and exercise training may reduce arterial stiffness. Since physical inactivity is frequently observed in patients with COPD and exercise training may improve arterial stiffness, we hypothesized that low daily physical activity may be associated with increased arterial stiffness. Methods In 123 patients with COPD (72% men; mean [standard deviation] age: 62 [7.5] years; median [quartile] forced expiratory volume in 1 second 35 [27/65] %predicted), arterial stiffness was assessed by augmentation index (AI). Daily physical activity level (PAL) was measured by an activity monitor (SenseWear Pro™) >1 week. The association between AI and PAL was investigated by univariate and multivariate regression analysis, taking into account disease-specific characteristics and comorbidities. Results Patients suffered from moderate (35%), severe (32%), and very severe (33%) COPD, and 22% were active smokers. Median (quartile) PAL was 1.4 (1.3/1.5) and mean (standard deviation) AI 26% (9.2%). PAL showed a negative association with AI (B=−9.32, P=0.017) independent of age, sex, blood pressure, and airflow limitation. Conclusion In COPD patients, a higher PAL seems to favorably influence arterial stiffness and therefore may reduce cardiovascular risk. Clinical Trial Registration http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01527773 PMID:26392763

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:27652829

  11. Validity and inter-day reliability of a free-oscillation test to measure knee extensor and knee flexor musculo-articular stiffness.

    PubMed

    Ditroilo, Massimiliano; Watsford, Mark; De Vito, Giuseppe

    2011-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the validity and inter-day reliability of musculo-articular stiffness (MAS) in the knee-extensor (KE) and knee-flexor (KF) muscle groups, measured with a free-oscillation technique. Fourteen participants were measured, on two occasions, for KE and KF maximal isometric voluntary contraction, rate of torque development (RTD) and electromechanical delay (EMD), along with MAS using multiple sub-maximal loads relative to the individual's maximal voluntary contraction (MAS(%MVC)). Furthermore, 18 participants were tested for MAS using one fixed assessment load for each muscle group (MAS(FL)) during a separate series of tests on three occasions. MAS(%MVC) was significantly increased as load increased both in KE and in KF (p<0.01) fitting a curvilinear relationship as depicted in similar studies. Validity was demonstrated relating MAS(%MVC) to RTD (r=0.51-0.71, p<0.05) and to EMD (r=-0.56 to -0.67, p<0.05). While MAS(%MVC) reliability (ICC=0.62-0.89; CV=8.1-13.1%) was questionable to acceptable, MAS(FL) exhibited good to excellent reliability (ICC=0.81-0.94; CV=3.7-6.5%). No significant systematic bias was detected for any of the variables considered. The assessment of KE and KF MAS using the free-oscillation technique appears to be valid and reliable, with the use of MAS(FL) yielding higher reliability than the use of MAS(%MVC).

  12. Dynamic Changes in LSM Nanoparticles on YSZ: A Model System for Non-stationary SOFC Cathode Behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Woo, L Y; Glass, R S; Gorte, R J; Orme, C A; Nelson, A J

    2009-01-05

    The interaction between nanoparticles of strontium-doped lanthanum manganite (LSM) and single crystal yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) was investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Nanoparticles of LSM were deposited directly onto single crystal YSZ substrates (100) using an ultrasonic spray nozzle. As samples were annealed from 850 C to 1250 C, nanoparticles gradually decreased in height and eventually disappeared completely. Subsequent reduction in H{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O at 700 C resulted in the reappearance of nanoparticles. Studies were carried out on identical regions of the sample allowing the same nanoparticles to be characterized at different temperatures. Morphological changes indicate the formation of a thin layer of LSM, and XPS results support the observation by indicating an increase in signal from the La and Sr and a decrease in signal from the Y and Zr with increasing temperature. SEM/EDX was used to verify that the nanoparticles in the reduced sample contained La. The changes in the LSM/YSZ morphology may be important in explaining the non-stationary behavior observed in operating fuel cells. The thin layer of LSM initially results in poor cathode performance; reducing conditions then lead to film disruptions, indicating nano/microporosity, that increase oxygen ion diffusion and performance.

  13. Establishment of a hybrid rainfall-runoff model for use in the Noah LSM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Jingwen; Zhang, Wanchang; Zheng, Ziyan; Chen, Jing; Jiao, Meiyan

    2012-02-01

    There is an increasing trend to incorporate the basin hydrological model into the traditional land surface model (LSM) to improve the description of hydrological processes in them. For incorporating with the Noah LSM, a new rainfall-runoff model named XXT (the first X stands for Xinanjiang, the second X stands for hybrid, and T stands for TOPMODEL) was developed and presented in this study, based on the soil moisture storage capacity distribution curve (SMSCC), some essential modules of the Xinanjiang model, together with the simple model framework of the TOPMODEL (a topography based hydrological model). The innovation of XXT is that the water table is incorporated into SMSCC and it connects the surface runoff production with base flow production. This improves the description of the dynamically varying saturated areas that produce runoff and also captures the physical underground water level. XXT was tested in a small-scale watershed Youshuijie (946 km2) and a large-scale watershed Yinglouxia (10009 km2) in China. The results show that XXT has better performance against the TOPMODEL and the Xinanjiang model for the two watersheds in both the calibration period and the validation period in terms of the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency. Moreover, XXT captures the largest peak flow well for both the small- and large-scale watersheds during the validation period, while the TOPMODEL produces significant overestimates or underestimates, so does the Xinanjiang model.

  14. Macroscopic Stiffness of Breast Tumors Predicts Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Fenner, Joseph; Stacer, Amanda C.; Winterroth, Frank; Johnson, Timothy D.; Luker, Kathryn E.; Luker, Gary D.

    2014-01-01

    Mechanical properties of tumors differ substantially from normal cells and tissues. Changes in stiffness or elasticity regulate pro-metastatic behaviors of cancer cells, but effects have been documented predominantly in isolated cells or in vitro cell culture systems. To directly link relative stiffness of tumors to cancer progression, we combined a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer with ex vivo measurements of bulk moduli of freshly excised, intact tumors. We found a high, inverse correlation between bulk modulus of resected tumors and subsequent local recurrence and metastasis. More compliant tumors were associated with more frequent, larger local recurrences and more extensive metastases than mice with relatively stiff tumors. We found that collagen content of resected tumors correlated with bulk modulus values. These data establish that relative differences in tumor stiffness correspond with tumor progression and metastasis, supporting further testing and development of tumor compliance as a prognostic biomarker in breast cancer. PMID:24981707

  15. Sagittal abdominal diameter is a more independent measure compared with waist circumference to predict arterial stiffness in subjects with type 2 diabetes - a prospective observational cohort study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Anthropometric measurements are useful in clinical practice since they are non-invasive and cheap. Previous studies suggest that sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD) may be a better measure of visceral fat depots. The aim of this study was to prospectively explore and compare how laboratory and anthropometric risk markers predicted subclinical organ damage in 255 patients, with type 2 diabetes, after four years. Methods Baseline investigations were performed in 2006 and were repeated at follow-up in 2010. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was evaluated by ultrasonography and aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured with applanation tonometry over the carotid and femoral arteries at baseline and at follow-up in a cohort of subjects with type 2 diabetes aged 55–65 years old. Results There were significant correlations between apolipoprotein B (apoB) (r = 0.144, p = 0.03), C - reactive protein (CRP) (r = 0.172, p = 0.009) at baseline and IMT measured at follow-up. After adjustment for sex, age, treatment with statins and Hba1c, the associations remained statistically significant. HbA1c, total cholesterol or LDL-cholesterol did not correlate to IMT at follow-up. Baseline body mass index (BMI) (r = 0.130, p = 0.049), waist circumference (WC) (r = 0.147, p = 0.027) and sagittal Abdominal Diameter (SAD) (r = 0.184, p = 0.007) correlated to PWV at follow-up. Challenged with sex, SBP and HbA1c, the association between SAD, not WC nor BMI, and PWV remained statistically significant (p = 0.036). In a stepwise linear regression, entering both SAD and WC, the association between SAD and PWV was stronger than the association between WC and PWV. Conclusions We conclude that apoB and CRP, but not LDL-cholesterol predicted subclinical atherosclerosis. Furthermore, SAD was more independent in predicting arterial stiffness over time, compared with WC, in middle-aged men and women with type 2 diabetes. PMID:23536999

  16. Exercise, Vascular Stiffness, and Tissue Transglutaminase

    PubMed Central

    Steppan, Jochen; Sikka, Gautam; Jandu, Simran; Barodka, Viachaslau; Halushka, Marc K.; Flavahan, Nicholas A.; Belkin, Alexey M.; Nyhan, Daniel; Butlin, Mark; Avolio, Alberto; Berkowitz, Dan E.; Santhanam, Lakshmi

    2014-01-01

    Background Vascular aging is closely associated with increased vascular stiffness. It has recently been demonstrated that decreased nitric oxide (NO)‐induced S‐nitrosylation of tissue transglutaminase (TG2) contributes to age‐related vascular stiffness. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that exercise restores NO signaling and attenuates vascular stiffness by decreasing TG2 activity and cross‐linking in an aging rat model. Methods and Results Rats were subjected to 12 weeks of moderate aerobic exercise. Aging was associated with diminished phosphorylated endothelial nitric oxide synthase and phosphorylated vasodilator‐stimulated phosphoprotein abundance, suggesting reduced NO signaling. TG2 cross‐linking activity was significantly increased in old animals, whereas TG2 abundance remained unchanged. These alterations were attenuated in the exercise cohort. Simultaneous measurement of blood pressure and pulse wave velocity (PWV) demonstrated increased aortic stiffness in old rats, compared to young, at all values of mean arterial pressure (MAP). The PWV‐MAP correlation in the old sedentary and old exercise cohorts was similar. Tensile testing of the vessels showed increased stiffness of the aorta in the old phenotype with a modest restoration of mechanical properties toward the young phenotype with exercise. Conclusions Increased vascular stiffness during aging is associated with decreased TG2 S‐nitrosylation, increased TG2 cross‐linking activity, and increased vascular stiffness likely the result of decreased NO bioavailability. In this study, a brief period of moderate aerobic exercise enhanced NO signaling, attenuated TG cross‐linking activity, and reduced ex vivo tensile properties, but failed to reverse functional vascular stiffness in vivo, as measured by PWV. PMID:24721796

  17. Modified spleen stiffness measurement by transient elastography is associated with presence of large oesophageal varices in patients with compensated hepatitis C virus cirrhosis.

    PubMed

    Calvaruso, V; Bronte, F; Conte, E; Simone, F; Craxì, A; Di Marco, V

    2013-12-01

    To evaluate the accuracy of liver transient elastography (TE), spleen TE and other noninvasive tests (AAR, APRI score, platelet count, platelet/spleen ratio) in predicting the presence and the size of oesophageal varices in compensated hepatitis C virus (HCV) cirrhosis, we studied 112 consecutive patients with compensated HCV cirrhosis who underwent biochemical tests, gastrointestinal endoscopy, liver TE and spleen TE by Fibroscan(®) (Echosens, Paris, France) using a modified software version with a range between 1.5 and 150 kPa. Spleen TE was not reliable in 16 patients (14.3%). Among the 96 patients with a valid measurement (69.8% men, mean age: 63.2 ± 9.5 years), 43.7% had no oesophageal varices, 29.2% had grade 1% and 27.1% had grade 2 or grade 3 oesophageal varices. Patients with values of 75 kPa by standard spleen TE had mean values of modified spleen TE of 117 kPa (range: 81.7-149.5). Linear regression revealed a significant correlation between modified spleen TE and oesophageal varix size (r = 0.501; beta: 0.763, SE: 0.144; P < 0.001). On univariate analysis, the variables associated with grade 2/grade 3 oesophageal varices were AAR score, APRI score, platelet/spleen ratio, liver TE and modified spleen TE. On multivariate analysis, only modified spleen TE (OR: 1.026; 95% CI: 1.007-1.046; P = 0.006) and AAR (OR: 14.725; 95% CI: 1.928-112.459; P = 0.010) remained independently associated with grade 2/grade 3 oesophageal varices. Platelet/spleen ratio was the best predictor of oesophageal varices area under the ROC curve (AUROC: 0.763, cut-off: 800, sensitivity: 74%, specificity: 70%), while modified spleen TE was more accurate in predicting grade 2/grade 3 oesophageal varices (AUROC: 0.82, cut-off: 54.0 kPa, sensitivity: 80%, specificity: 70%). Portal hypertension increases spleen stiffness, and the measurement of modified spleen TE is an accurate, noninvasive tool for predicting the presence of large oesophageal varices in patients with compensated HCV

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Nonparticipatory Stiffness in the Male Perioral Complex

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Shin-Ying; Lee, Jaehoon

    2008-01-01

    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 computer-controlled linear motor servo programmed to impose a series of tensile displacements over a span of approximately 24 mm at the oral angle in 20 healthy young male adults. Perioral electromyograms were simultaneously sampled to confirm nonparticipation or passive muscle state. Perioral stiffness, derived as a quotient from resultant force (ΔF) and oral span (ΔX), was modeled with regression techniques, and subsequently compared to previously reported perioral stiffness data for female adults. Results Multilevel regression analysis revealed a significant quadratic relation between the perioral stiffness and interangle span; however, no significant difference was found between adult males and females. Conclusion These normative measures will have application to future studies designed to objectively assess the effects of pathology (i.e., progressive neuromotor disease, traumatic brain insult) and intervention (pharmacologic, neurosurgical, and reconstructive surgery of the face [i.e., cleft lip, trauma, missile injuries]) on facial animation and speech kinematics. PMID:19717655

  1. Electrochemical stiffness in lithium-ion batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavassol, Hadi; Jones, Elizabeth M. C.; Sottos, Nancy R.; Gewirth, Andrew A.

    2016-11-01

    Although lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous in portable electronics, increased charge rate and discharge power are required for more demanding applications such as electric vehicles. The high-rate exchange of lithium ions required for more power and faster charging generates significant stresses and strains in the electrodes that ultimately lead to performance degradation. To date, electrochemically induced stresses and strains in battery electrodes have been studied only individually. Here, a new technique is developed to probe the chemomechanical response of electrodes by calculating the electrochemical stiffness via coordinated in situ stress and strain measurements. We show that dramatic changes in electrochemical stiffness occur due to the formation of different graphite-lithium intercalation compounds during cycling. Our analysis reveals that stress scales proportionally with the lithiation/delithiation rate and strain scales proportionally with capacity (and inversely with rate). Electrochemical stiffness measurements provide new insights into the origin of rate-dependent chemomechanical degradation and the evaluation of advanced battery electrodes.

  2. The relationship between lower-body stiffness and dynamic performance.

    PubMed

    Pruyn, Elizabeth C; Watsford, Mark; Murphy, Aron

    2014-10-01

    Greater levels of lower-body stiffness have been associated with improved outcomes for a number of physical performance variables involving rapid stretch-shorten cycles. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between several measures of lower-body stiffness and physical performance variables typically evident during team sports in female athletes. Eighteen female athletes were assessed for quasi-static stiffness (myometry) for several isolated muscles in lying and standing positions. The muscles included the medial gastrocnemius (MedGast), lateral gastrocnemius, soleus, and Achilles tendon. Dynamic stiffness during unilateral hopping was also assessed. Participants were separated into relatively stiff and compliant groups for each variable. A number of significant differences in performance were evident between stiff and compliant subjects. When considering the quasi-static stiffness of the MedGast in lying and standing positions, relatively stiff participants recorded significantly superior results during agility, bounding, sprinting, and jumping activities. Stiffness as assessed by hopping did not discriminate between performance ability in any test. Relationships highlighted by MedGast results were supported by further significant differences in eccentric utilisation ratio and drop jump results between stiff and compliant groups for the lateral gastrocnemius and soleus in lying and standing positions. Higher levels of lower-body stiffness appear to be advantageous for females when performing rapid and (or) repeated stretch-shorten cycle movements, including sprinting, bounding, and jumping. Further, the stiffness of the MedGast is of particular importance during the performance of these activities. It is important for practitioners working with athletes in sports that rely upon these activities for success to consider stiffness assessment and modification.

  3. 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. PMID:27504232

  4. Frequency-Dependent Fracture Specific Stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pyrak-Nolte, L. J.; Folz, M. A.; Acosta-Colon, A.

    2003-12-01

    Monitoring the hydraulic properties of fractures remotely through their seismic signatures is an important goal for field hydrology. Empirical studies have shown that the hydraulic properties of a fracture are implicitly related to the fracture specific stiffness through the amount and distribution of contact area and apertures that arise from two rough surfaces in contact. Complicating this simple picture are seismic measurements that indicate frequency-dependent stiffness, i.e., a scale-dependent fracture stiffness where the scale is set by the wavelength. Thus relating the hydraulic properties of fractures to seismic measurements becomes a scale dependent problem. We have performed laboratory experiments to examine the phenomenon of frequency dependent fracture specific stiffness to aid in the assessment of the hydraulic properties of a fracture using seismic techniques. To this end, we have developed a photolithographic technique with which we can construct synthetic fractures of known fracture geometry with feature sizes controlled over several orders of magnitude. The synthetic fracture (and the control non-fractured samples) are made from acrylic cylinders that measure 15.0 cm in diameter by 7.7 cm in height. The diameter of the samples enables us to sample the acoustic properties of the fracture using acoustic lens over regions that range in scale from 10 mm to 60 mm. A confinement cell controls the normal stress on the fracture. Seismic measurements were made with broadband compressional-mode piezoelectric transducers enabling one-order of magnitude in frequency. We found that when the wavelength is smaller than the asperity size, a linear dependence of fracture specific stiffness on frequency occurs. In this geometric ray regime the asymptotic value of the transmission function provides a direct measure of the contact area of the fracture. On the other hand, when the asperity spacing is less than an eighth of a wavelength, the fracture behaves as a

  5. Yeast lsm pro-apoptotic mutants show defects in S-phase entry and progression.

    PubMed

    Palermo, Vanessa; Cundari, Enrico; Mangiapelo, Eleonora; Falcone, Claudio; Mazzoni, Cristina

    2010-10-01

    Expression of the histone genes is tightly coupled to rates of DNA synthesis in yeast and histone mRNAs are modulated both transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally. Trf4 and Trf5, poly(A) polymerases, that mediates polyadenylation and consequent degradation) and Rrp6, an exosome component, play a role in the regulation of histone mRNA levels. In this paper we show that in the mRNA degradation mutant Kllsm4Δ1, histone mRNAs are induced early in the S-phase and maintained at high level all along the entire cell cycle due to a delay in the exit from S-phase and/or entry into M-phase. The overexpression of the HIR1 gene (Histone transcriptional repressor), previously isolated as a multicopy suppressor of the apoptotic phenotypes observed in Kllsm4Δ1, can also restore the normal cycling of histone genes expression. We also found that low doses of hydroxyurea neutralize the onset of the apoptotic phenotypes in Kllsm4Δ1, as well in another mRNA decapping mutants (lsm1) and, in addition, increase the chronological lifespan in both strains suggesting that an entry delay into the S phase can recover some cellular defects in decapping mutants.

  6. 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

  7. Arterial stiffness in diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Prenner, Stuart B; Chirinos, Julio A

    2015-02-01

    Arterial stiffness is an age-related process that is a shared consequence of numerous diseases including diabetes mellitus (DM), and is an independent predictor of mortality both in this population and in the general population. While much has been published about arterial stiffness in patients with DM, a thorough review of the current literature is lacking. Using a systematic literature search strategy, we aimed to summarize our current understanding related to arterial stiffness in DM. We review key studies demonstrating that, among patients with established DM, arterial stiffness is closely related to the progression of complications of DM, including nephropathy, retinopathy, and neuropathy. It is also becoming clear that arterial stiffness can be increased even in pre-diabetic populations with impaired glucose tolerance, and in those with the metabolic syndrome (METS), well before the onset of overt DM. Some data suggests that arterial stiffness can predict the onset of DM. However, future work is needed to further clarify whether large artery stiffness and the pulsatile hemodynamic changes that accompany it are involved in the pathogenesis of DM, and whether interventions targeting arterial stiffness are associated with improved clinical outcomes in DM. We also review of the potential mechanisms of arterial stiffness in DM, with particular emphasis on the role of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and nitric oxide dysregulation, and address potential future directions for research.

  8. Effect of SDC-impregnated LSM cathodes on the performance of anode-supported YSZ films for SOFCs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kongfa; Lü, Zhe; Ai, Na; Chen, Xiangjun; Hu, Jinyan; Huang, Xiqiang; Su, Wenhui

    Sm 0.2Ce 0.8O 1.9 (SDC)-impregnated La 0.7Sr 0.3MnO 3 (LSM) composite cathodes were fabricated on anode-supported yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) thin films. Electrochemical performances of the solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) were investigated in the present study. Four single cells, i.e., Cell-1, Cell-2, Cell-3 and Cell-4 were obtained after the fabrication of four different cathodes, i.e., pure LSM and SDC/LSM composites in the weight ratios of 25/75, 36/64 and 42/58, respectively. Impedance spectra under open-circuit conditions showed that the cathode performance was gradually improved with the increasing SDC loading. Similarly, the maximum power densities (MPD) of the four cells were increased with the SDC amount below 700 °C. Whereas, the cell performance of Cell-4 was lower than that of Cell-3 at 800 °C, arising from the increased concentration polarization at high current densities. This was caused by the lowered porosity with the impregnation cycle. This disadvantage could be suppressed by lowering the operating temperature or by increasing the oxygen concentration at the cathode side. The ratio of electrode polarization loss in the total voltage drop versus current density showed that the cell performance was primarily determined by the electrode polarization. The contribution of the ohmic resistance was increased when the operating temperature was lowered. When a 100 ml min -1 oxygen flow was introduced to the cathode side, Cell-3 produced MPDs of 1905, 1587 and 1179 mW cm -2 at 800, 750 and 700 °C, respectively. The high cell outputs demonstrated the merits of the novel and effective SDC-impregnated LSM cathodes.

  9. LV wall segmentation using the variational level set method (LSM) with additional shape constraint for oedema quantification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadir, K.; Gao, H.; Payne, A.; Soraghan, J.; Berry, C.

    2012-10-01

    In this paper an automatic algorithm for the left ventricle (LV) wall segmentation and oedema quantification from T2-weighted cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images is presented. The extent of myocardial oedema delineates the ischaemic area-at-risk (AAR) after myocardial infarction (MI). Since AAR can be used to estimate the amount of salvageable myocardial post-MI, oedema imaging has potential clinical utility in the management of acute MI patients. This paper presents a new scheme based on the variational level set method (LSM) with additional shape constraint for the segmentation of T2-weighted CMR image. In our approach, shape information of the myocardial wall is utilized to introduce a shape feature of the myocardial wall into the variational level set formulation. The performance of the method is tested using real CMR images (12 patients) and the results of the automatic system are compared to manual segmentation. The mean perpendicular distances between the automatic and manual LV wall boundaries are in the range of 1-2 mm. Bland-Altman analysis on LV wall area indicates there is no consistent bias as a function of LV wall area, with a mean bias of -121 mm2 between individual investigator one (IV1) and LSM, and -122 mm2 between individual investigator two (IV2) and LSM when compared to two investigators. Furthermore, the oedema quantification demonstrates good correlation when compared to an expert with an average error of 9.3% for 69 slices of short axis CMR image from 12 patients.

  10. Visualizing the Structural Evolution of LSM/xYSZ Composite Cathodes for SOFC by in-situ Neutron Diffraction

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yan; Yang, Ling; Ren, Fei; An, Ke

    2014-01-01

    Thermal stability of composite cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells, the mixtures of (La0.8Sr0.2)0.95MnO3−δ (LSM) and (Y2O3)x(ZrO2)1−x (xYSZ, x = 3, 6, 8 and 10), is determined using in-situ neutron diffraction. Thanks to the most advanced high flux neutron source, our work highlights the visualization of the phase evolutions in heterogeneous material systems at high temperatures, along with the analysis of the diffusion activities of transition metal ions that reveal the reaction mechanism and kinetics. It is found that the tetragonal-to-cubic phase transition in YSZ at T > 900°C leads to a heterogeneous redistribution of Mn ions. The subsequent reaction of LSM and YSZ occurring at T > 1100°C is revealed as a three-stage kinetic process, yielding La2Zr2O7, SrZrO3 and MnO. The diffusion activities of Y, Mn and La ions in the heterogeneous systems at elevated temperatures are derived by the structural analysis, and the three-stage reaction of YSZ and LSM is found strongly correlated to ions' behaviors as functions of temperature. PMID:24899139

  11. Visualizing the structural evolution of LSM/xYSZ composite cathodes for SOFC by in-situ neutron diffraction.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan; Yang, Ling; Ren, Fei; An, Ke

    2014-06-05

    Thermal stability of composite cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells, the mixtures of (La0.8Sr0.2)0.95MnO(3-δ) (LSM) and (Y2O3)(x)(ZrO2)(1-x) (xYSZ, x = 3, 6, 8 and 10), is determined using in-situ neutron diffraction. Thanks to the most advanced high flux neutron source, our work highlights the visualization of the phase evolutions in heterogeneous material systems at high temperatures, along with the analysis of the diffusion activities of transition metal ions that reveal the reaction mechanism and kinetics. It is found that the tetragonal-to-cubic phase transition in YSZ at T > 900°C leads to a heterogeneous redistribution of Mn ions. The subsequent reaction of LSM and YSZ occurring at T > 1100°C is revealed as a three-stage kinetic process, yielding La2Zr2O7, SrZrO3 and MnO. The diffusion activities of Y, Mn and La ions in the heterogeneous systems at elevated temperatures are derived by the structural analysis, and the three-stage reaction of YSZ and LSM is found strongly correlated to ions' behaviors as functions of temperature.

  12. Visualizing the Structural Evolution of LSM/xYSZ Composite Cathodes for SOFC by in-situ Neutron Diffraction

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Yan; Yang, Ling; Ren, Fei; An, Ke

    2014-01-01

    Composite cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells, the mixtures of (La0.8Sr0.2)0.95MnO3- (LSM) and (Y2O3)x(ZrO2)1-x (xYSZ, x = 3, 6, 8 and 10), have the thermal stability unraveled at elevated temperatures by using in-situ neutron diffraction. The Rietveld refinement analysis of neutron diffraction visualizes the phase evolutions and the ion activities in the material systems. The phase transition of tetragonal YSZ at T > 900 C leads to a heterogeneous redistribution of Mn ions. The reaction of LSM and YSZ occurring at T > 1100 C was revealed as a three-stage process, yielding La2Zr2O7, SrZrO3 and MnO. The activities of Y, Mn and La ions at elevated temperatures are derived by the structural analysis, and the three-stage reaction of YSZ and LSM was found strongly correlated to ions behaviors.

  13. Monitoring the Bending Stiffness of DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Chongli; Lou, Xiongwen; Rhoades, Elizabeth; Chen, Huimin; Archer, Lynden

    2007-03-01

    In eukaryotic cells, the accessibility of genomic sequences provides an inherent regulation mechanism for gene expression through variations in bending stiffness encoded by the nucleic acid sequence. Cyclization of dsDNA is the prevailing method for determining DNA bending stiffness. Recent cyclization data for short dsDNA raises several fundamental questions about the soundness of the cyclization method, particularly in cases where the probability of highly bent DNA conformations is low. We herein evaluate the role of T4 DNA ligase in the cyclization reaction by inserting an environmental sensitive base analogue, 2-amino purine, to the DNA molecule. By monitoring the 2-AP fluorescence under standard cyclization conditions, it is found that in addition to trapping highly-bent cyclic DNA conformations, T4 DNA ligase enhances the apparent base pair flip out rate, thus exaggerating the measured flexibility. This result is further confirmed using fluorescence anisotropy experiments. We show that fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) measurements on suitably labeled dsDNA provides an alternative approach for quantifying the bending stiffness of short fragments. DNA bending stiffness results obtained using FRET are compared with literature values.

  14. RNA binding by Hfq and ring-forming (L)Sm proteins: a trade-off between optimal sequence readout and RNA backbone conformation.

    PubMed

    Weichenrieder, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    The eukaryotic Sm and the Sm-like (LSm) proteins form a large family that includes LSm proteins in archaea and the Hfq proteins in bacteria. Commonly referred to as the (L)Sm protein family, the various members play important roles in RNA processing, decay, and riboregulation. Particularly interesting from a structural point of view is their ability to assemble into doughnut-shaped rings, which allows them to bind preferentially the uridine-rich 3'-end of RNA oligonucleotides. With an emphasis on Hfq, this review compares the RNA-binding properties of the various (L)Sm rings that were recently co-crystallized with RNA substrates, and it discusses how these properties relate to physiological function.

  15. Voluntary control of static endpoint stiffness during force regulation tasks.

    PubMed

    Perreault, Eric J; Kirsch, Robert F; Crago, Patrick E

    2002-06-01

    The goals of this study were to determine the degree to which subjects could voluntarily modulate static endpoint stiffness orientation and to quantify the effects of simultaneously generated voluntary endpoint forces on this ability. Static endpoint stiffness, which characterizes the relationship between externally imposed displacements of the hand and the elastic forces generated in response, was estimated in real time during the application of planar, stochastic perturbations of endpoint position. This estimation was accomplished using a real-time parametric identification algorithm on measured force and position data. Subjects were provided with real-time visual feedback of endpoint stiffness, and their ability to modulate the orientation of maximum static stiffness was measured for different endpoint force magnitudes and directions. We found that individuals can voluntarily change stiffness orientation but that the magnitude of these changes is small, the range of available stiffness orientations decreases as endpoint force exertion increases, and endpoint force direction significantly constrains direction and magnitude of the stiffness orientations that can be achieved. Given these findings it appears unlikely that static endpoint stiffness orientation is controlled independently of force by voluntary neural mechanisms during postural tasks.

  16. Effective leg stiffness in running.

    PubMed

    Blum, Yvonne; Lipfert, Susanne W; Seyfarth, Andre

    2009-10-16

    Leg stiffness is a common parameter used to characterize leg function during bouncing gaits, like running and hopping. In the literature, different methods to approximate leg stiffness based on kinetic and kinematic parameters are described. A challenging point in estimating leg stiffness is the definition of leg compression during contact. In this paper four methods (methods A-D) based on ground reaction forces (GRF) and one method (method E) relying on temporal parameters are described. Leg stiffness calculated by these five methods is compared with running patterns, predicted by the spring mass model. The best and simplest approximation of leg stiffness is method E. It requires only easily accessible parameters (contact time, flight time, resting leg length, body mass and the leg's touch down angle). Method D is of similar quality but additionally requires the time-dependent progression of the GRF. The other three methods show clear differences from the model predictions by over- or underestimating leg stiffness, especially at slow speeds. Leg stiffness is derived from a conceptual model of legged locomotion and does not exist without this model. Therefore, it is important to prove which experimental method is suited best for approximating the stiffness in a specific task. This will help to interpret the predictions of the conceptual model in comparison with experimental data.

  17. Jerking stiff-man syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Alberca, R; Romero, M; Chaparro, J

    1982-01-01

    A female patient had permanent axial muscular rigidity similar to the "stiff-man syndrome", together with axial myoclonus triggered by stretch reflexes and by supramaximal stimulation of the supraorbital nerve. The disorder responded to treatment with diazepam and baclofen. This disorder bore a marked similarity to the so-called "jerking stiff-man syndrome". PMID:7161612

  18. Structure of yeast U6 snRNPs: arrangement of Prp24p and the LSm complex as revealed by electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Karaduman, Ramazan; Dube, Prakash; Stark, Holger; Fabrizio, Patrizia; Kastner, Berthold; Lührmann, Reinhard

    2008-12-01

    Protein components of the U6 snRNP (Prp24p and LSm2-8) are thought to act cooperatively in facilitating the annealing of U6 and U4 snRNAs during U4/U6 di-snRNP formation. To learn more about the spatial arrangement of these proteins in S. cerevisiae U6 snRNPs, we investigated the structure of this particle by electron microscopy. U6 snRNPs, purified by affinity chromatography and gradient centrifugation, and then immediately adsorbed to the carbon film support, revealed an open form in which the Prp24 protein and the ring formed by the LSm proteins were visible as two separate morphological domains, while particles stabilized by chemical cross-linking in solution under mild conditions before binding to the carbon film exhibited a compact form, with the two domains in close proximity to one another. In the open form, individual LSm proteins were located by a novel approach employing C-terminal genetic tagging of the LSm proteins with yECitrine. These studies show the Prp24 protein at defined distances from each subunit of the LSm ring, which in turn suggests that the LSm ring is positioned in a consistent manner on the U6 RNA. Furthermore, in agreement with the EM observations, UV cross-linking revealed U6 RNA in contact with the LSm2 protein at the interface between Prp24p and the LSm ring. Further, LSmp-Prp24p interactions may be restricted to the closed form, which appears to represent the solution structure of the U6 snRNP particle.

  19. ON THE STIFFNESS OF DEMINERALIZED DENTIN MATRICES

    PubMed Central

    Ryou, Heonjune; Turco, Gianluca; Breschi, Lorenzo; Tay, Franklin R.; Pashley, David H.; Arola, Dwayne

    2015-01-01

    Resin bonding to dentin requires the use of self-etching primers or acid etching to decalcify the surface and expose a layer of collagen fibrils of the dentin matrix. Acid-etching reduces the stiffness of demineralized dentin from approximately 19 GPa to 1 MPa, requiring that it floats in water to prevent it from collapsing during bonding procedures. Several publications show that crosslinking agents like gluteraladehyde, carbodiimide or grape seed extract can stiffen collagen and improve resin-dentin bond strength. Objective The objective was to assess a new approach for evaluating the changes in stiffness of decalcified dentin by polar solvents and a collagen cross-linker. Methods Fully demineralized dentin beams and sections of etched coronal dentin were subjected to indentation loading using a cylindrical flat indenter in water, and after treatment with ethanol or ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC). The stiffness was measured as a function of strain and as a function of loading rate from 1 to 50 µm/sec. Results At a strain of 0.25% the elastic modulus of the fully demineralized dentin was approximately 0.20 MPa. It increased to over 0.90 MPa at strains of 1%. Exposure to ethanol caused an increase in elastic modulus of up to four times. Increasing the loading rate from 1 to 50 µm/sec caused an increase in the apparent modulus of up to three times in both water and ethanol. EDC treatment caused increases in the stiffness in fully demineralized samples and in acid-etched demineralized dentin surfaces in situ. Significance Changes in the mechanical behavior of demineralized collagen matrices can be measured effectively under hydration via indentation with cylindrical flat indenters. This approach can be used for quantifying the effects of bonding treatments on the properties of decalcified dentin after acid etching, as well as to follow the loss of stiffness over time due to enzymatic degradation. PMID:26747822

  20. A novel stiffness control method for series elastic actuator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Guangmo; Zhao, Xingang; Han, Jianda

    2017-01-01

    Compliance plays an important role in human-robot cooperation. However, fixed compliance, or fixed stiffness, is difficult to meet the growing needs of human machine collaboration. As a result, the robot actuator is demanded to be able to adjust its stiffness. This paper presents a stiffness control scheme for a single DOF series elastic actuator (SEA) with a linear spring mounted in series in the mechanism. In this proposed method, the output angle of the spring is measured and used to calculate the input angle of the spring, thus the equivalent stiffness of the robot actuator revealed to the human operator can be rendered in accordance to the desired stiffness. Since the techniques used in this method only involve the position information of the system, there is no need to install an expensive force/torque sensor on the actuator. Further, the force/torque produced by the actuator can be estimated by simply multiplying the deformation angle of the spring and its constant stiffness coefficient. The analysis of the stiffness controller is provided. Then a simulation that emulates a human operates the SEA while the stiffness controller is running is carried out and the results also validate the proposed method.

  1. Large Artery Stiffness Assessment Using SphygmoCor Technology

    PubMed Central

    Butlin, Mark; Qasem, Ahmad

    2017-01-01

    Large artery stiffness assessment has been an integral part of the SphygmoCor technology since 1998. Aortic stiffness is approximated with non-invasive measurement of carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, with improvements made with time to make the assessment procedure quicker and more user independent. Also standard in the devices is the ability to reliably calculate the central aortic waveform shape from a peripheral pressure waveform from either the brachial or radial artery. This waveform contains much information beyond peak and trough (systolic and diastolic pressure). Relative waveform features such as the augmentation index, wave reflection magnitude, reflection time index, and subendocardial viability ratio are parameters that are influenced by the stiffness of systemic arteries. This article briefly describes these parameters related to large artery stiffness and provides reference to validation and repeatability studies relative to the clinical use of the SphygmoCor devices. It is beyond the scope to review here the 424 original research articles that have employed SphygmoCor devices in measuring arterial stiffness. Instead, the method of measurement across the devices is described, including tonometry, volumetric displacement through cuff placement around limbs, and ambulatory monitoring. Key population and subpopulation studies are cited where the average stiffness parameter progression with age and gender, as measured by SphygmoCor devices, is quantified in the healthy and general population. Finally, with reference to guidelines from working groups on arterial stiffness and hypertension, the clinical utility of large artery stiffness measurement is discussed in the context of the arterial stiffness parameters provided by the SphygmoCor systems. PMID:28229053

  2. 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.

  3. A Reply to Stiff and Boster.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petty, Richard E.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Addresses the major errors and misconceptions perpetuated by Stiff and Boster's response to criticism of Stiff's 1986 article. Focuses on the major conceptual and methodological issues of Stiff's model. (NKA)

  4. Stiffness Corrections for the Vibration Frequency of a Stretched Wire

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hornung, H. G.; Durie, M. J.

    1977-01-01

    Discusses the need of introducing corrections due to wire stiffness arising from end constraints and wire axis distribution curvature in the measurement of ac electrical frequency by exciting transverse standing waves in a stretched steel wire. (SL)

  5. Passive stiffness of coupled wrist and forearm rotations.

    PubMed

    Drake, Will B; Charles, Steven K

    2014-09-01

    Coordinated movement requires that the neuromuscular system account and compensate for movement dynamics. One particularly complex aspect of movement dynamics is the interaction that occurs between degrees of freedom (DOF), which may be caused by inertia, damping, and/or stiffness. During wrist rotations, the two DOF of the wrist (flexion-extension and radial-ulnar deviation, FE and RUD) are coupled through interaction torques arising from passive joint stiffness. One important unanswered question is whether the DOF of the forearm (pronation-supination, PS) is coupled to the two DOF of the wrist. Answering this question, and understanding the dynamics of wrist and forearm rotations in general, requires knowledge of the stiffness encountered during rotations involving all three DOF (PS, FE, and RUD). Here we present the first-ever measurement of the passive stiffness encountered during simultaneous wrist and forearm rotations. Using a wrist and forearm robot, we measured coupled wrist and forearm stiffness in 10 subjects and present it as a 3-by-3 stiffness matrix. This measurement of passive wrist and forearm stiffness will enable future studies investigating the dynamics of wrist and forearm rotations, exposing the dynamics for which the neuromuscular system must plan and compensate during movements involving the wrist and forearm.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Impact of Irrigation Methods on LSM Spinup and Initialization of WRF Forecasts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawston, P.; Santanello, J. A.; Zaitchik, B. F.; Beaudoing, H.

    2013-12-01

    , while drip irrigation has a comparatively small effect. Evaluation of the irrigation schemes using observations of soil moisture, fluxes, and meteorological state variables shows that a realistic characterization of the land surface in terms of land cover classification, soil type, and soil moisture anomalies via a LSM spinup are critical to producing a proper simulation of irrigation in land surface and coupled models.

  9. Effect of Spinach, a High Dietary Nitrate Source, on Arterial Stiffness and Related Hemodynamic Measures: A Randomized, Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults

    PubMed Central

    Jovanovski, Elena; Bosco, Laura; Khan, Kashif; Au-Yeung, Fei; Ho, Hoang; Zurbau, Andreea; Jenkins, Alexandra L.

    2015-01-01

    Diets rich in fruits and vegetables reduce risk of adverse cardiovascular events. However, the constituents responsible for this effect have not been well established. Lately, the attention has been brought to vegetables with high nitrate content with evidence that this might represent a source of vasoprotective nitric oxide. We hypothesized that short-term consumption of spinach, a vegetable having high dietary nitrate content, can affect the arterial waveform indicative of arterial stiffness, as well as central and peripheral blood pressure (BP). Using a placebo-controlled, crossover design, 27 healthy participants were randomly assigned to receive either a high-nitrate (spinach; 845 mg nitrate/day) or low-nitrate soup (asparagus; 0.6 mg nitrate/day) for 7 days with a 1-week washout period. On days 1 and 7, profiles of augmentation index, central, and brachial BP were obtained over 180 min post-consumption in 4 fasted visits. A postprandial reduction in augmentation index was observed at 180 min on high-nitrate compared to low-nitrate intervention (-6.54 ± 9.7% vs. -0.82 ± 8.0%, p = 0.01) on Day 1, and from baseline on Day 7 (-6.93 ± 8.7%, p < 0.001; high vs. low: -2.28 ± 12.5%, p = 0.35), suggesting that the nitrate intervention is not associated with the development of tolerance for at least 7 days of continued supplementation. High vs. low-nitrate intervention also reduced central systolic (-3.39 ± 5.6 mmHg, p = 0.004) and diastolic BP (-2.60 ± 5.8 mmHg, p = 0.028) and brachial systolic BP (-3.48 ± 7.4 mmHg, p = 0.022) at 180 min following 7-day supplementation only. These findings suggest that dietary nitrate from spinach may contribute to beneficial hemodynamic effects of vegetable-rich diets and highlights the potential of developing a targeted dietary approach in the management of elevated BP. PMID:26251834

  10. Structural changes in the myosin filament and cross-bridges during active force development in single intact frog muscle fibres: stiffness and X-ray diffraction measurements.

    PubMed

    Brunello, E; Bianco, P; Piazzesi, G; Linari, M; Reconditi, M; Panine, P; Narayanan, T; Helsby, W I; Irving, M; Lombardi, V

    2006-12-15

    Structural and mechanical changes occurring in the myosin filament and myosin head domains during the development of the isometric tetanus have been investigated in intact frog muscle fibres at 4 degrees C and 2.15 microm sarcomere length, using sarcomere level mechanics and X-ray diffraction at beamline ID2 of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble, France). The time courses of changes in both the M3 and M6 myosin-based reflections were recorded with 5 ms frames using the gas-filled RAPID detector (MicroGap Technology). Following the end of the latent period (11 ms after the start of stimulation), force increases to the tetanus plateau value (T(0)) with a half-time of 40 ms, and the spacings of the M3 and M6 reflections (S(M3) and S(M6)) increase by 1.5% from their resting values, with time courses that lead that of force by approximately 10 and approximately 20 ms, respectively. These temporal relations are maintained when the increase of force is delayed by approximately 10 ms by imposing, from 5 ms after the first stimulus, 50 nm (half-sarcomere)(-1) shortening at the velocity (V(0)) that maintains zero force. Shortening at V(0) transiently reduces S(M3) following the latent period and delays the subsequent increase in S(M3), but only delays the S(M6) increase without a transient decrease. Shortening at V(0) imposed at the tetanus plateau causes an abrupt reduction of the intensity of the M3 reflection (I(M3)), whereas the intensity of the M6 reflection (I(M6)) is only slightly reduced. The changes in half-sarcomere stiffness indicate that the isometric force at each time point is proportional to the number of myosin heads bound to actin. The different sensitivities of the intensity and spacing of the M3 and M6 reflections to the mechanical responses support the view that the M3 reflection in active muscle originates mainly from the myosin heads attached to the actin filament and the M6 reflection originates mainly from a fixed structure in the

  11. Stiffness of compressed fiber mats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, J. A.; Mäkinen, J. P.; Hirvonen, H.; Timonen, J.

    2000-11-01

    We investigate, using an analytical and a numerical model, the in-plane stiffness of fiber mats. A mat is modeled by randomly depositing thin linear-elastic fibers on top of each other under the influence of an external pressure. The external pressure has the effect of bending the fibers over each other. The fibers are assumed rigidly bonded at contacts. For a low external pressure the stiffness of the mat deviates from that of its two-dimensional projection only by a geometrical factor, and the effective Poisson contraction is close to zero. For higher pressures, stiffness is governed by two competing effects and a maximum appears in the stiffness. The effective Poisson ratio is clearly negative in this range. An approximative analytical description is developed for the stiffness of mats formed under low external pressure. The stiffness is given as a function of only a few parameters: the degree of bonding, the dimensions of the fibers, the elastic constants of the fiber material, and the density of fibers.

  12. Rationale and study design of the Prospective comparison of Angiotensin Receptor neprilysin inhibitor with Angiotensin receptor blocker MEasuring arterial sTiffness in the eldERly (PARAMETER) study

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Bryan; Cockcroft, John R; Kario, Kazuomi; Zappe, Dion H; Cardenas, Pamela; Hester, Allen; Brunel, Patrick; Zhang, Jack

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Hypertension in elderly people is characterised by elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP) and increased pulse pressure (PP), which indicate large artery ageing and stiffness. LCZ696, a first-in-class angiotensin receptor neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI), is being developed to treat hypertension and heart failure. The Prospective comparison of Angiotensin Receptor neprilysin inhibitor with Angiotensin receptor blocker MEasuring arterial sTiffness in the eldERly (PARAMETER) study will assess the efficacy of LCZ696 versus olmesartan on aortic stiffness and central aortic haemodynamics. Methods and analysis In this 52-week multicentre study, patients with hypertension aged ≥60 years with a mean sitting (ms) SBP ≥150 to <180 and a PP>60 mm Hg will be randomised to once daily LCZ696 200 mg or olmesartan 20 mg for 4 weeks, followed by a forced-titration to double the initial doses for the next 8 weeks. At 12–24 weeks, if the BP target has not been attained (msSBP <140  and ms diastolic BP <90 mm Hg), amlodipine (2.5–5 mg) and subsequently hydrochlorothiazide (6.25–25 mg) can be added. The primary and secondary endpoints are changes from baseline in central aortic systolic pressure (CASP) and central aortic PP (CAPP) at week 12, respectively. Other secondary endpoints are the changes in CASP and CAPP at week 52. A sample size of 432 randomised patients is estimated to ensure a power of 90% to assess the superiority of LCZ696 over olmesartan at week 12 in the change from baseline of mean CASP, assuming an SD of 19 mm Hg, the difference of 6.5 mm Hg and a 15% dropout rate. The primary variable will be analysed using a two-way analysis of covariance. Ethics and dissemination The study was initiated in December 2012 and final results are expected in 2015. The results of this study will impact the design of future phase III studies assessing cardiovascular protection. Clinical trials identifier EUDract number 2012

  13. Influence of Compression and Stiffness Apparel on Vertical Jump Performance.

    PubMed

    Wannop, John W; Worobets, Jay T; Madden, Ryan; Stefanyshyn, Darren J

    2016-04-01

    Compression apparel alters both compression of the soft tissues and the hip joint stiffness of athletes. It is not known whether it is the compression elements, the stiffness elements, or some combination that increases performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine how systematically increasing upper leg compression and hip joint stiffness independently from one another affects vertical jumping performance. Ten male athletes performed countermovement vertical jumps in 8 concept apparel conditions and 1 control condition (loose fitting shorts). The 8 apparel conditions, 4 that specifically altered the amount of compression exerted on the thigh and 4 that altered the hip joint stiffness by means of elastic thermoplastic polyurethane bands, were tested on 2 separate testing sessions (one testing the compression apparel and the other testing the stiffness apparel). Maximum jump height was measured, while kinematic data of the hip, knee, and ankle joint were recorded with a high-speed camera (480 Hz). Both compression and stiffness apparel can have a positive influence on vertical jumping performance. The increase in jump height for the optimal compression was due to increased hip joint range of motion and a trend of increasing the jump time. Optimal stiffness also increased jump height and had the trend of decreasing the hip joint range of motion and hip joint angular velocity. The exact mechanisms by which apparel interventions alter performance is not clear, but it may be due to alterations to the force-length and force-velocity relationships of muscle.

  14. Investigation on Prototype Superconducting Linear Synchronous Motor (LSM) for 600-km/h Wheel-Type Railway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eom, Beomyong; Lee, Changhyeong; Kim, Seokho; Lee, Changyoung; Yun, Sangwon

    The existing wheel-type high-speed railway with a rotatable motor has a limit of 600 km/h speed. The normal conducting electromagnet has several disadvantages to realize 600 km/h speed. Several disadvantages are the increased space and weight, and the decreased electric efficiency to generate the required high magnetic field. In order to reduce the volume and weight, superconducting electromagnets can be considered for LSM (Linear Synchronous Motor). Prior to the fabrication of the real system, a prototype demo-coil is designed and fabricated using 2G high temperature superconducting wire. The prototype HTS coil is cooled by the conduction using a GM cryocooler. To reduce the heat penetration, thermal design was performed for the current leads, supporting structure and radiation shield considering the thermal stress. The operating temperature and current are 30∼40 K and 100 A. The coil consists of two double pancake coils (N, S pole, respectively) and it is driven on a test rail, which is installed for the test car. This paper describes the design and test results of the prototype HTS LSM system. Thermal characteristics are investigated with additional dummy thermal mass on the coil after turning off the cryocooler.

  15. Two-phase nanofluid condensation and heat transfer modeling using least square method (LSM) for industrial applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatami, M.; Mosayebidorcheh, S.; Jing, D.

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, two-phase Nanofluid condensation and heat transfer analysis over a vertical plate under gravity and between two parallel plates under magnetic force are investigated respectively using Least Square Method (LSM) and numerical method. After presenting the governing equations and solving them by LSM, the accuracy of results is examined by fourth order Runge-Kutta numerical method. Modeling results show that the condensate film thickness after condensation is reduced and therefore, the rate of heat transfer is enhanced by the addition of nanoparticles to the regular fluid. Effect of different nanoparticles and constant numbers on the temperature/velocity/concentration profiles as well as Nusselt number and boundary layer thickness, are also investigated. For instance, it was found that TiO2 and Ag have maximum boundary layer thicknesses and Nusselt number, respectively. By considering the magnetic field effect, it is also found that nanoparticles concentration can be controlled by changing the Hartmann number which, in turn, leads to different condensation and heat transfer properties.

  16. 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

  17. Monitoring stiffness contrast in elastography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiss, Miklos; Bharat, Shyam; Varghese, Tomy; Techavipoo, Udomchai; Liu, Wu

    2005-03-01

    Elastography is an imaging modality used to image tissue strains resulting from external quasi-static compression of tissue. Therefore, elastograms can be used to study variations in the stiffness of thermally coagulated regions of tissue. In this study, the variations in stiffness contrast of lesions formed by radio frequency (RF) ablation of canine liver tissue have been investigated. RF ablation was performed on in vitro canine liver tissue over a range of temperatures from 70 - 100 degrees C, and over a range of ablation times from 1 -- 8 minutes. Elastography was then performed on these samples and on normal tissue. It was expected that stiffness contrast would increase with increasing lesion temperature and ablation duration, on the basis that higher temperature and greater ablation durations lead to increased protein denaturation. This increase was seen with ablation duration, but is not obvious with ablation temperature. These and other results will be discussed.

  18. Postoperative outcomes of arthroscopic subacromial decompression for rotator cuff tear with shoulder stiffness.

    PubMed

    Shishido, Hiroaki; Kikuchi, Shinichi; Otoshi, Kenichi; Konno, Shinichi

    2012-01-01

    Some patients with rotator cuff tear have shoulder stiffness preoperatively. Concomitant preoperative shoulder stiffness may affect postoperative outcomes of arthroscopic subacromial decompression (ASD) for rotator cuff tear. The purpose of this study was to compare postoperative outcomes for ASD between rotator cuff tear patients with and without preoperative shoulder stiffness and to analyze the serial change in functional scores, range of motion (ROM), and pain intensity of the 2 groups after operation. 60 shoulders of 58 patients who underwent ASD for rotator cuff tear were studied. Arthroscopic release was performed for the stiffness group. The results were assessed before surgery and 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after surgery, and the results in the stiffness group and non-stiffness group were compared. No differences in serial changes for postoperative outcomes of ASD were seen in terms of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association shoulder scoring system (JOA scores) and the visual analog scale (VAS scores) for pain at night and pain during motion between the stiffness group and non-stiffness group. However, compared to the non-stiffness group, forward flexion and abduction angles were significantly smaller for the stiffness group at 1 and 3 months after surgery. External rotation and internal rotation angles were significantly smaller at 1 month after surgery for the stiffness group than for the non-stiffness group. Preoperative shoulder stiffness does not affect improvement of postoperative JOA scores and VAS scores of ASD. When measured 6 months after surgery, ROM in the stiffness group and the non-stiffness group was similar.

  19. Effect of upper body aerobic exercise on arterial stiffness in older adults.

    PubMed

    Aizawa, Kunihiko; Mendelsohn, Marissa E; Overend, Tom J; Petrella, Robert J

    2009-10-01

    The authors evaluated the effects of acute arm-cycling exercise on arterial stiffness of the brachial artery (BA: working limb) and posterior tibial artery (PTA: nonworking limb) in healthy older participants. Eleven participants were tested to evaluate BA and PTA stiffness. Blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and arterial stiffness indices of the BA and PTA measured by Doppler ultrasound were determined before and 10 min after graded arm-cycling exercise to volitional fatigue on 2 separate days. After the exercise, although BA diameter, brachial systolic BP, pulse pressure, and HR increased significantly (all p < .05), arterial stiffness indices of the BA remained unchanged. Similarly, arterial stiffness indices of the PTA remained unchanged after the exercise, whereas HR increased significantly (p < .05). These results show that acute arm-cycling exercise failed to modify arterial stiffness of the BA and PTA, suggesting that it has no systemic effect on arterial stiffness in healthy older adults.

  20. Epidemiology of the arterial stiffness.

    PubMed

    Breithaupt-Grögler, K; Belz, G G

    1999-06-01

    Aortic stiffening is as much an important risk factor in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, as it serves as reliable surrogate marker for clinical endpoints like myocardial and cerebrovascular incidents. Elevated aortic stiffness induces high systolic blood pressure, augmented pulse pressure with increased ventricular afterload, reduced subendocardial blood flow and augmented pulsatile stress in the peripheral arteries. Factors with relevant impact on the epidemiology of arterial stiffness are widely spread. 3 major groups of parameters influencing the stiffness of the aorta and the large arteries have been studied and described up to now: (i) physiological properties like age, gender, body height, pressure, hormonal state, genetic factors; (ii) environmental factors like nutrition (fish-, salt-, garlic consumption), smoking, performance of sports and aerobic capacity; (iii) diseases like hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, renal failure, Marfan-syndrome, growth hormone deficiency. Close association between several of these factors impedes analyzing them independently from each other. Age and blood pressure were found to be the most prominent predictors of arterial stiffness in normal as well as in disease populations. Physiological and environmental factors can modulate these effects of aging, diseases generally seem to amplify them.

  1. Therapeutic modification of arterial stiffness: An update and comprehensive review

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ching-Fen; Liu, Pang-Yen; Wu, Tsung-Jui; Hung, Yuan; Yang, Shih-Ping; Lin, Gen-Min

    2015-01-01

    Arterial stiffness has been recognized as a marker of cardiovascular disease and associated with long-term worse clinical outcomes in several populations. Age, hypertension, smoking, and dyslipidemia, known as traditional vascular risk factors, as well as diabetes, obesity, and systemic inflammation lead to both atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness. Targeting multiple modifiable risk factors has become the main therapeutic strategy to improve arterial stiffness in patients at high cardiovascular risk. Additionally to life style modifications, long-term ω-3 fatty acids (fish oil) supplementation in diet may improve arterial stiffness in the population with hypertension or metabolic syndrome. Pharmacological treatment such as renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system antagonists, metformin, and 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors were useful in individuals with hypertension and diabetes. In obese population with obstructive sleep apnea, weight reduction, aerobic exercise, and continuous positive airway pressure treatment may also improve arterial stiffness. In the populations with chronic inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, a use of antibodies against tumor necrosis factor-alpha could work effectively. Other therapeutic options such as renal sympathetic nerve denervation for patients with resistant hypertension are investigated in many ongoing clinical trials. Therefore our comprehensive review provides knowledge in detail regarding many aspects of pathogenesis, measurement, and management of arterial stiffness in several populations, which would be helpful for physicians to make clinical decision. PMID:26635922

  2. Leg stiffness of sprinters using running-specific prostheses.

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-07

    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.

  3. Muscle Stiffness and Spinal Stretch Reflex Sensitivity in the Triceps Surae

    PubMed Central

    Blackburn, J. Troy; Padua, Darin A; Guskiewicz, Kevin M

    2008-01-01

    Context: Greater musculotendinous stiffness may enhance spinal stretch reflex sensitivity by improving mechanical coupling of the muscle spindle and the stretch stimulus. This heightened sensitivity would correspond with a shorter latency and higher-amplitude reflex response, potentially enhancing joint stability. Objective: To compare spinal stretch reflex latency and amplitude across groups that differed in musculotendinous stiffness. Design: Static group comparisons. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Forty physically active individuals (20 men, 20 women). Intervention(s): We verified a sex difference in musculotendinous stiffness and compared spinal stretch reflex latency and amplitude in high-stiffness (men) and low-stiffness (women) groups. We also evaluated relationships between musculotendinous stiffness and spinal stretch reflex latency and amplitude, respectively. Main Outcome Measure(s): Triceps surae musculotendinous stiffness and soleus spinal stretch reflex latency and amplitude were assessed at 30% of a maximal voluntary isometric plantar-flexion contraction. Results: The high-stiffness group demonstrated significantly greater stiffness (137.41 ± 26.99 N/cm) than the low-stiffness group did (91.06 ± 20.10 N/cm). However, reflex latency (high stiffness = 50.11 ± 2.07 milliseconds, low stiffness = 48.26 ± 2.40 milliseconds) and amplitude (high stiffness = 0.28% ± 0.12% maximum motor response, low stiffness = 0.31% ± 0.16% maximum motor response) did not differ significantly across stiffness groups. Neither reflex latency (r = .053, P = .746) nor amplitude (r = .073, P = .653) was related significantly to musculotendinous stiffness. Conclusions: A moderate level of pretension (eg, 30%) likely eliminates series elastic slack; thus, a greater change in force per unit-of-length change (ie, heightened stiffness) would have minimal effects on coupling of the muscle spindle and the stretch stimulus and, therefore, on spinal

  4. Stiffness characterisation of microcantilevers based on conducting polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alici, Gursel; Higgins, Michael J.

    2008-12-01

    The object of this paper is to characterise the stiffness of microfabricated cantilevers consisting of two electroactive polymer (polypyrrole (PPy)) layers, and two gold layers with a negligible thickness and a layer of porous polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), which serves as a backing layer and electrolyte storage tank. This composite cantilever structure is used as polymer actuators or famously known as artificial muscles when tailored appropriately. The polymer microactuators considered in this study, which were fabricated using a laser ablation technique, could operate both in aqueous and non-aqueous media. The stiffness characterization of the microactuators is critical to assess their suitability to numerous applications including the micromanipulation of living cells, bio-analytical nanosystems, datastorage, labon- chip, microvalve, microswitch, microshutter, cantilever light modulators, micro-optical instrumentation, artificial muscles for micro and macro robotic sytems and similar. The stiffness measurement method followed in this study is a static deflection measurement method, using an atomic force microscope (AFM). The stiffness constants of the microactuators while they were in passive (no electrochemical activation) and active (electrochemically activated) states were measured separately, and their statistical comparison was provided. The possible error sources for the stiffness measurement method are elaborated.

  5. Quantifying Parameter Sensitivity, Interaction and Transferability in Hydrologically Enhanced Versions of Noah-LSM over Transition Zones

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosero, Enrique; Yang, Zong-Liang; Wagener, Thorsten; Gulden, Lindsey E.; Yatheendradas, Soni; Niu, Guo-Yue

    2009-01-01

    We use sensitivity analysis to identify the parameters that are most responsible for shaping land surface model (LSM) simulations and to understand the complex interactions in three versions of the Noah LSM: the standard version (STD), a version enhanced with a simple groundwater module (GW), and version augmented by a dynamic phenology module (DV). We use warm season, high-frequency, near-surface states and turbulent fluxes collected over nine sites in the US Southern Great Plains. We quantify changes in the pattern of sensitive parameters, the amount and nature of the interaction between parameters, and the covariance structure of the distribution of behavioral parameter sets. Using Sobol s total and first-order sensitivity indexes, we show that very few parameters directly control the variance of the model output. Significant parameter interaction occurs so that not only the optimal parameter values differ between models, but the relationships between parameters change. GW decreases parameter interaction and appears to improve model realism, especially at wetter sites. DV increases parameter interaction and decreases identifiability, implying it is overparameterized and/or underconstrained. A case study at a wet site shows GW has two functional modes: one that mimics STD and a second in which GW improves model function by decoupling direct evaporation and baseflow. Unsupervised classification of the posterior distributions of behavioral parameter sets cannot group similar sites based solely on soil or vegetation type, helping to explain why transferability between sites and models is not straightforward. This evidence suggests a priori assignment of parameters should also consider climatic differences.

  6. In vivo bone remodeling rates determination and compressive stiffness variations before, during 60 days bed rest and two years follow up: A micro-FE-analysis from HR-pQCT measurements of the berlin Bed Rest Study-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritter, Zully; Belavy, Daniel; Baumann, Wolfgang W.; Felsenberg, Dieter

    2017-03-01

    Bed rest studies are used for simulation and study of physiological changes as observed in unloading/non-gravity environments. Amongst others, bone mass reduction, similar as occurring due to aging osteoporosis, combined with bio-fluids redistribution and muscle atrophy have been observed and analyzed. Advanced radiological methods of high resolution such as HR-pQCT (XtremeCT) allow 3D-visualizing in vivo bone remodeling processes occurring during absence/reduction of mechanical stimuli (0 to <1 g) as simulated by bed rest. Induced bone micro-structure (e.g. trabecular number, cortical thickness, porosity) and density variations can be quantified. However, these parameters are average values of each sample and important information regarding bone mass distribution and within bone mechanical behaviour is lost. Finite element models with hexa-elements of identical size as the HR-pQCT measurements (0.082 mm×0.082 mm×0.082 mm, ca. 7E6 elements/sample) can be used for subject-specific in vivo stiffness calculation. This technique also allows quantifying if bone microstructural changes represent a risk of mechanical bone collapse (fracture).

  7. A photosynthesis-based two-leaf canopy stomatal conductance model for meteorology and air quality modeling with WRF/CMAQ PX LSM

    EPA Science Inventory

    A coupled photosynthesis-stomatal conductance model with single-layer sunlit and shaded leaf canopy scaling is implemented and evaluated in a diagnostic box model with the Pleim-Xiu land surface model (PX LSM) and ozone deposition model components taken directly from the meteorol...

  8. Localization and role of RAP55/LSM14 in HeLa cells: a new finding on the mitotic spindle assembly.

    PubMed

    Mili, Donia; Georgesse, Dane; Kenani, Abderraouf

    2015-01-01

    The MAP family includes large proteins like MAP-1A, MAP-1B, MAP-1C, MAP-2, and MAP-4 and smaller components like tau and MAP-2C. This article focuses on the relevant aspects of RAP55/LSM14 position with emphasis on its role in mitotic spindle formation and stability. In this context, the localization of RNA associated Protein 55kDa (RAP55/LSM14) during mitosis was identified as a Mitotic Spindle Protein (MSP). We found a new location obtained by expressing GFP-tagged proteins in HeLa Cells during mitosis that has never been previously reported. We demonstrated also, for the first time, that the depletion of RAP55/LSM14 destabilizes spindle assembly, stops cells in mitosis and induces many other cell cytoskeletal disorders. Finally, by using an "in vitro" assay investigation, we found that RAP55/LSM14 binds directly the tubulin and that is implicated in the process of the mitotic spindle stabilization, which is a novel discovery in this field of research.

  9. Resting Heart Rate and Aortic Stiffness in Normotensive Adults

    PubMed Central

    Logan, Jeongok G.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives Large-artery stiffness is an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) is considered the gold standard measure of arterial stiffness. A resting heart rate is an easily measured vital sign that is also associated with CVD morbidity and mortality. Previous studies have reported the significant relationship of a resting heart rate with arterial stiffness as measured by cfPWV only in hypertensive subjects; their relationship in nonhypertensive subjects remains unknown. The present study, therefore, examined their relationship in normotensive subjects. Subjects and Methods In 102 healthy Korean Americans between ages 20 and 60 years, their resting heart rate was measured by an automated blood pressure measuring device after a 10 minute rest in the supine position. Arterial stiffness was measured by cfPWV using the SphygmoCor device. Results The mean resting heart rate of participants (mean age, 39.64 years; 59% women) was 61.91 bpm (standard deviation [SD], 9.62 bpm) and mean the cfPWV was 6.99 (SD, 1.14) m/s. A multiple regression analysis showed that a resting heart rate is a significant predictor of cfPWV after controlling for age, body mass index, and mean arterial pressure. For one bpm increase of resting heart rate, cfPWV increased approximately 0.02 m/s. Conclusion Our results suggest that a higher resting heart rate is independently associated with increased arterial stiffness as measured by cfPWV in normotensive adults. Arterial stiffness may explain the prognostic role of an individual's heart rate in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. PMID:27826343

  10. 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.

  11. Elastic metamaterial beam with remotely tunable stiffness

    SciTech Connect

    Qian, Wei; Yu, Zhengyue; Wang, Xiaole; Lai, Yun; Yellen, Benjamin B.

    2016-02-07

    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.

  12. Cryotherapy induces an increase in muscle stiffness.

    PubMed

    Point, Maxime; Guilhem, Gaël; Hug, François; Nordez, Antoine; Frey, Alain; Lacourpaille, Lilian

    2017-03-06

    Although cold application (i.e., cryotherapy) may be useful to treat sports injuries and to prevent muscle damage, it is unclear whether it has adverse effects on muscle mechanical properties. This study aimed to determine the effect of air-pulsed cryotherapy on muscle stiffness estimated using ultrasound shear wave elastography. Myoelectrical activity, ankle passive torque, shear modulus (an index of stiffness) and muscle temperature of the gastrocnemius medialis were measured before, during an air-pulsed cryotherapy (-30°) treatment of 4 sets of 4 minutes with 1 min recovery in between, and during a 40-min post-cryotherapy period. Muscle temperature significantly decreased after the second set of treatment (10 min: 32.3 ± 2.5°C; P < 0.001), peaked at 29 min (27.9 ± 2.2°C; P < 0.001) and remained below baseline values at 60 minutes (29.5 ± 2.0°C; P < 0.001). Shear modulus increased by +11.5 ± 11.8% after the second set (10 min; P = 0.011), peaked at 30 min (+34.7 ± 42.6%; P < 0.001) and remained elevated until the end of the post-treatment period (+25.4 ± 17.1%; P < 0.001). These findings provide evidence that cryotherapy induces an increase in muscle stiffness. This acute change in muscle mechanical properties may lower the amount of stretch that the muscle tissue is able to sustain without subsequent injury. This should be considered when using cryotherapy in athletic practice. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Multi-fingered haptic palpation utilizing granular jamming stiffness feedback actuators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Min; Ranzani, Tommaso; Sareh, Sina; Seneviratne, Lakmal D.; Dasgupta, Prokar; Wurdemann, Helge A.; Althoefer, Kaspar

    2014-09-01

    This paper describes a multi-fingered haptic palpation method using stiffness feedback actuators for simulating tissue palpation procedures in traditional and in robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Soft tissue stiffness is simulated by changing the stiffness property of the actuator during palpation. For the first time, granular jamming and pneumatic air actuation are combined to realize stiffness modulation. The stiffness feedback actuator is validated by stiffness measurements in indentation tests and through stiffness discrimination based on a user study. According to the indentation test results, the introduction of a pneumatic chamber to granular jamming can amplify the stiffness variation range and reduce hysteresis of the actuator. The advantage of multi-fingered palpation using the proposed actuators is proven by the comparison of the results of the stiffness discrimination performance using two-fingered (sensitivity: 82.2%, specificity: 88.9%, positive predicative value: 80.0%, accuracy: 85.4%, time: 4.84 s) and single-fingered (sensitivity: 76.4%, specificity: 85.7%, positive predicative value: 75.3%, accuracy: 81.8%, time: 7.48 s) stiffness feedback.

  14. Evaluating pulp stiffness from fibre bundles by ultrasound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karppinen, Timo; Montonen, Risto; Määttänen, Marjo; Ekman, Axel; Myllys, Markko; Timonen, Jussi; Hæggström, Edward

    2012-06-01

    A non-destructive ultrasonic tester was developed to measure the stiffness of pulp bundles. The mechanical properties of pulp are important when estimating the behaviour of paper under stress. Currently available pulp tests are tedious and alter the fibres structurally and mechanically. The developed tester employs (933 ± 15) kHz tweezer-like ultrasonic transducers and time-of-flight measurement through (9.0 ± 2.5) mm long and (0.8 ± 0.1) mm thick fibre bundles kept at (19.1 ± 0.4) °C and (62 ± 1)% RH. We determined the stiffness of soft wood pulps produced by three kraft pulping modifications: standard kraft pulp, (5.2 ± 0.4) GPa, prehydrolysis kraft pulp, (4.3 ± 0.4) GPa, and alkali extracted prehydrolysis kraft pulp, (3.3 ± 0.4) GPa. Prehydrolysis and alkali extraction processes mainly lowered the hemicellulose content of the pulps, which essentially decreased the fibre-wall stiffness hence impairing the stiffness of the fibre networks. Our results indicate that the method allows ranking of pulps according to their stiffness determined from bundle-like samples taken at an early phase of the papermaking process.

  15. Estimation of Stiffness Parameter on the Common Carotid Artery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koya, Yoshiharu; Mizoshiri, Isao; Matsui, Kiyoaki; Nakamura, Takashi

    The arteriosclerosis is on the increase with an aging or change of our living environment. For that reason, diagnosis of the common carotid artery using echocardiogram is doing to take precautions carebropathy. Up to the present, several methods to measure stiffness parameter of the carotid artery have been proposed. However, they have analyzed at the only one point of common carotid artery. In this paper, we propose the method of analysis extended over a wide area of common carotid artery. In order to measure stiffness parameter of common carotid artery from echocardiogram, it is required to detect two border curves which are boundaries between vessel wall and blood. The method is composed of two steps. The first step is the detection of border curves, and the second step is the calculation of stiffness parameter using diameter of common carotid artery. Experimental results show the validity of the proposed method.

  16. Research regarding stiffness optimization of wires used for joints actuation from an elephant's trunk robotic arm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciofu, C.; Stan, G.

    2016-11-01

    Elephant's trunk robotic arms driven by wires and pulley mechanisms have issues with wires stiffness because of the entailed elastic deformations that is causing errors of positioning. Static and dynamic loads from each joint of the robotic arm affect the stiffness of driving wires and precision positioning. The influence of wires elastic deformation on precision positioning decreases with the increasing of wires stiffness by using different pre-tensioning devices. In this paper, we analyze the variation of driving wires stiffness particularly to each wire driven joint. We obtain optimum wires stiffness variation by using an analytical method that highlights the efficiency of pre-tensioning mechanism. The analysis of driving wires stiffness is necessary for taking appropriate optimization measures of robotic arm dynamic behavior and, thus, for decreasing positioning errors of the elephant's trunk robotic arm with inner actuation through wires/cables.

  17. 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

    2016-07-06

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-08

    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.

  19. Dynamically tuned magnetostrictive spring with electrically controlled stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    This paper presents the design and testing of an electrically controllable magnetostrictive spring that has a dynamically tunable stiffness (i.e., a magnetostrictive Varispring). The device enables in situ stiffness tuning or stiffness switching for vibration control applications. Using a nonlinear electromechanical transducer model and an analytical solution of linear, mechanically induced magnetic diffusion, Terfenol-D is shown to have a faster rise time to stepped voltage inputs and a significantly higher magnetic diffusion cut-off frequency relative to Galfenol. A Varispring is manufactured using a laminated Terfenol-D rod. Further rise time reductions are achieved by minimizing the rod’s diameter and winding the electromagnet with larger wire. Dynamic tuning of the Varispring’s stiffness is investigated by measuring the Terfenol-D rod’s strain response to dynamic, compressive, axial forces in the presence of sinusoidal or square wave control currents. The Varispring’s rise time is \\lt 1 ms for 1 A current switches. Continuous modulus changes up to 21.9 GPa and 500 Hz and square wave modulus changes (dynamic {{Δ }}E effect) up to 12.3 GPa and 100 Hz are observed. Stiffness tunability and tuning bandwidth can be considerably increased by operating about a more optimal bias stress and improving the control of the electrical input.

  20. Chronic permanent hypoxemia predisposes to mild elevation of liver stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Tahiri, Mohamed; Drighil, Abdenasser; Jalal, Yasmine; Ghellab, Dounia; Hliwa, Wafaa; Fouad, Haddad; Badre, Wafaa; Bellabah, Ahmad; Habbal, Rachida; Alaoui, Rhimou

    2014-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the impact of long term permanent hypoxemia noticed in patients with non operated congenital cyanogenic cyanotic cardiopathy on liver stiffness. METHODS: We included ten adult patients with non operated inoperate cyanotic cardiopathy and ten matched patients for age and gender admitted to the gastroenterology department for proctologic diseases; Clinical and laboratory data were collected [age, gender, body mass index, oxygen saturation, glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT), glycemia and cholesterol]. Measurement of hepatic stiffness by transient elastography was carried out in all patients using the Fibroscan device. All patients underwent an echocardiography to eliminate congestive heart failure. RESULTS: Among the patients with cyanotic cardiopathy, median liver stiffness 5.9 ± 1.3 kPa was greater than control group (4.7 ± 0.4 kPa) (P = 0.008). Median levels of GOT, GPT, gamma-glutamyltransferase, glycemia and cholesterol were comparable in cardiopathy and control group. In regression analysis including age, gender, body mass index, oxygen saturation, GOT, GPT, glycemia, cholesterol showed that only oxygen saturation was related to liver stiffness (r = -0.63 P = 0.002). CONCLUSION: Chronic permanent hypoxemia can induce mild increase of liver stiffness, but further studies are needed to explore the histological aspects of liver injury induced by chronic permanent hypoxemia. PMID:25132776

  1. Task dependency of grip stiffness--a study of human grip force and grip stiffness dependency during two different tasks with same grip forces.

    PubMed

    Höppner, Hannes; McIntyre, Joseph; van der Smagt, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    It is widely known that the pinch-grip forces of the human hand are linearly related to the weight of the grasped object. Less is known about the relationship between grip force and grip stiffness. We set out to determine variations to these dependencies in different tasks with and without visual feedback. In two different settings, subjects were asked to (a) grasp and hold a stiffness-measuring manipulandum with a predefined grip force, differing from experiment to experiment, or (b) grasp and hold this manipulandum of which we varied the weight between trials in a more natural task. Both situations led to grip forces in comparable ranges. As the measured grip stiffness is the result of muscle and tendon properties, and since muscle/tendon stiffness increases more-or-less linearly as a function of muscle force, we found, as might be predicted, a linear relationship between grip force and grip stiffness. However, the measured stiffness ranges and the increase of stiffness with grip force varied significantly between the two tasks. Furthermore, we found a strong correlation between regression slope and mean stiffness for the force task which we ascribe to a force stiffness curve going through the origin. Based on a biomechanical model, we attributed the difference between both tasks to changes in wrist configuration, rather than to changes in cocontraction. In a new set of experiments where we prevent the wrist from moving by fixing it and resting it on a pedestal, we found subjects exhibiting similar stiffness/force characteristics in both tasks.

  2. Modifiable risk factors for increased arterial stiffness in outpatient nephrology.

    PubMed

    Elewa, Usama; Fernandez-Fernandez, Beatriz; Alegre, Raquel; Sanchez-Niño, Maria D; Mahillo-Fernández, Ignacio; Perez-Gomez, Maria Vanessa; El-Fishawy, Hussein; Belal, Dawlat; Ortiz, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Arterial stiffness, as measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV), is an independent predictor of cardiovascular events and mortality. Arterial stiffness increases with age. However, modifiable risk factors such as smoking, BP and salt intake also impact on PWV. The finding of modifiable risk factors may lead to the identification of treatable factors, and, thus, is of interest to practicing nephrologist. We have now studied the prevalence and correlates of arterial stiffness, assessed by PWV, in 191 patients from nephrology outpatient clinics in order to identify modifiable risk factors for arterial stiffness that may in the future guide therapeutic decision-making. PWV was above normal levels for age in 85/191 (44.5%) patients. Multivariate analysis showed that advanced age, systolic BP, diabetes mellitus, serum uric acid and calcium polystyrene sulfonate therapy or calcium-containing medication were independent predictors of PWV. A new parameter, Delta above upper limit of normal PWV (Delta PWV) was defined to decrease the weight of age on PWV values. Delta PWV was calculated as (measured PWV) - (upper limit of the age-adjusted PWV values for the general population). Mean±SD Delta PWV was 0.76±1.60 m/sec. In multivariate analysis, systolic blood pressure, active smoking and calcium polystyrene sulfonate therapy remained independent predictors of higher delta PWV, while age, urinary potassium and beta blocker therapy were independent predictors of lower delta PWV. In conclusion, arterial stiffness was frequent in nephrology outpatients. Systolic blood pressure, smoking, serum uric acid, calcium-containing medications, potassium metabolism and non-use of beta blockers are modifiable factors associated with increased arterial stiffness in Nephrology outpatients.

  3. Gradual stiffness versus magnetic imaging-guided variable stiffness colonoscopes: A randomized noninferiority trial

    PubMed Central

    Wiig, Håvard; Hasund, Audun; Matre, Jon; Holme, Øyvind; Noraberg, Geir; Løberg, Magnus; Kalager, Mette; Adami, Hans-Olov; Bretthauer, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Background Colonoscopes with gradual stiffness have recently been developed to enhance cecal intubation. Objective We aimed to determine if the performance of gradual stiffness colonoscopes is noninferior to that of magnetic endoscopic imaging (MEI)-guided variable stiffness colonoscopes. Methods Consecutive patients were randomized to screening colonoscopy with Fujifilm gradual stiffness or Olympus MEI-guided variable stiffness colonoscopes. The primary endpoint was cecal intubation rate (noninferiority limit 5%). Secondary endpoints included cecal intubation time. We estimated absolute risk differences with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results We enrolled 475 patients: 222 randomized to the gradual stiffness instrument, and 253 to the MEI-guided variable stiffness instrument. Cecal intubation rate was 91.7% in the gradual stiffness group versus 95.6% in the variable stiffness group. The adjusted absolute risk for cecal intubation failure was 4.3% higher in the gradual stiffness group than in the variable stiffness group (upper CI border 8.1%). Median cecal intubation time was 13 minutes in the gradual stiffness group and 10 minutes in the variable stiffness group (p < 0.001). Conclusions The study is inconclusive with regard to noninferiority because the 95% CI for the difference in cecal intubation rate between the groups crosses the noninferiority margin. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01895504).

  4. Crumpling of a Stiff Tethered Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, J. A.; Timonen, J.; Karttunen, Mikko

    2004-12-01

    A first-principles numerical model for crumpling of a stiff tethered membrane is introduced. This model displays wrinkles, ridge formation, ridge collapse, and initiation of stiffness divergence. The amplitude and wavelength of the wrinkles and the scaling exponent of the stiffness divergence are consistent with both theory and experiment. Close to the stiffness divergence further buckling is hindered by the nonzero thickness of the membrane, and its elastic behavior becomes similar to that of dry granular media. No change in the distribution of contact forces can be observed at the crossover, implying that the network of ridges is then simultaneously a granular force-chain network.

  5. Intraventricular filling under increasing left ventricular wall stiffness and heart rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samaee, Milad; Lai, Hong Kuan; Schovanec, Joseph; Santhanakrishnan, Arvind; Nagueh, Sherif

    2015-11-01

    Heart failure with normal ejection fraction (HFNEF) is a clinical syndrome that is prevalent in over 50% of heart failure patients. HFNEF patients show increased left ventricle (LV) wall stiffness and clinical diagnosis is difficult using ejection fraction (EF) measurements. We hypothesized that filling vortex circulation strength would decrease with increasing LV stiffness irrespective of heart rate (HR). 2D PIV and hemodynamic measurements were acquired on LV physical models of varying wall stiffness under resting and exercise HRs. The LV models were comparatively tested in an in vitro flow circuit consisting of a two-element Windkessel model driven by a piston pump. The stiffer LV models were tested in comparison with the least stiff baseline model without changing pump amplitude, circuit compliance and resistance. Increasing stiffness at resting HR resulted in diminishing cardiac output without lowering EF below 50% as in HFNEF. Increasing HR to 110 bpm in addition to stiffness resulted in lowering EF to less than 50%. The circulation strength of the intraventricular filling vortex diminished with increasing stiffness and HR. The results suggest that filling vortex circulation strength could be potentially used as a surrogate measure of LV stiffness. This research was supported by the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology (HR14-022).

  6. A method for accounting for test fixture compliance when estimating proximal femur stiffness.

    PubMed

    Rossman, Timothy; Dragomir-Daescu, Dan

    2016-09-06

    Fracture testing of cadaveric femora to obtain strength and stiffness information is an active area of research in developing tools for diagnostic prediction of bone strength. These measurements are often used in the estimation and validation of companion finite element models constructed from the femora CT scan data, therefore, the accuracy of the data is of paramount importance. However, experimental stiffness calculated from force-displacement data has largely been ignored by most researchers due to inherent error in the differential displacement measurement obtained when not accounting for testing apparatus compliance. However, having such information is necessary for validation of computational models. Even in the few cases when fixture compliance was considered the measurements showed large lab-to-lab variation due to lack of standardization in fixture design. We examined the compliance of our in-house designed cadaveric femur test fixture to determine the errors we could expect when calculating stiffness from the collected experimental force-displacement data and determined the stiffness of the test fixture to be more than 10 times the stiffness of the stiffest femur in a sample of 44 femora. When correcting the apparent femur stiffness derived from the original data, we found that the largest stiffness was underestimated by about 10%. The study confirmed that considering test fixture compliance is a necessary step in improving the accuracy of fracture test data for characterizing femur stiffness, and highlighted the need for test fixture design standardization for proximal femur fracture testing.

  7. Arterial stiffness and inflammatory response to psychophysiological stress.

    PubMed

    Ellins, Elizabeth; Halcox, Julian; Donald, Ann; Field, Bryony; Brydon, Lena; Deanfield, John; Steptoe, Andrew

    2008-08-01

    The processes through which psychological stress influences cardiovascular disease are poorly understood, but may involve activation of hemodynamic, neuroendocrine and inflammatory responses. We assessed the relationship between carotid arterial stiffness and inflammatory responses to acute psychophysiologic stress. Participants were 155 healthy men and women aged 55.3, SD 2.7 years. Blood samples for the assessment of plasma fibrinogen, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha and interleukin (IL) 6 were drawn at baseline, immediately following standardized behavioral tasks, and 45 min later. Carotid artery stiffness was measured ultrasonically three years later, and blood pressure and heart rate responses were recorded. The tasks induced substantial increases in blood pressure and heart rate, together with increased fibrinogen, TNFalpha and IL-6 concentration. Carotid stiffness was positively associated with body mass, waist/hip ratio, blood pressure, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and C-reactive protein, and inversely with high density lipoprotein and grade of employment. Baseline levels of inflammatory variables were not related to carotid artery stiffness. But carotid stiffness was greater in participants with larger fibrinogen (p=0.037) and TNFalpha (p=0.036) responses to psychophysiological stress. These effects were independent of age, gender, grade of employment, smoking, body mass, waist/hip ratio, systolic and diastolic pressure, high and low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and C-reactive protein. There were no associations between carotid stiffness and stress responses in IL-6, blood pressure, or heart rate. We conclude that individual differences in inflammatory responses to psychophysiological stress are independently related to structural changes in artery walls that reflect increased cardiovascular disease risk.

  8. Reduced prosthetic stiffness lowers the metabolic cost of running for athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations.

    PubMed

    Beck, Owen N; Taboga, Paolo; Grabowski, Alena Marie

    2017-01-19

    Inspired by the spring-like action of biological legs, running-specific prostheses are designed to enable athletes with lower-limb amputations to run. Yet, manufacturer recommendations for prosthetic stiffness and height may not optimize running performance. Therefore, we investigated the effects of using different prosthetic configurations on the metabolic cost and biomechanics of running. Five athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations each performed fifteen trials on a force-measuring treadmill at 2.5 or 3.0 m/s. Athletes ran using each of three different prosthetic models (Freedom Catapult FX6, Össur Flex-Run, and Ottobock 1E90 Sprinter) with five combinations of stiffness categories (manufacturer recommended and ± 1) and heights (International Paralympic Committee's maximum competition height and ± 2 cm) while we measured metabolic rates and ground reaction forces. Overall, prosthetic stiffness (fixed effect (β)=0.036; p=0.008) but not height (p≥0.089) affected the net metabolic cost of transport; less stiff prostheses reduced metabolic cost. While controlling for prosthetic stiffness (kN/m), using the Flex-Run (β=-0.139; p=0.044) and 1E90 Sprinter prostheses (β=-0.176; p=0.009) reduced net metabolic costs by 4.3% to 4.9% compared to using the Catapult prostheses, respectively. The metabolic cost of running improved when athletes used prosthetic configurations that decreased peak horizontal braking ground reaction forces (β=2.786; p=0.001), stride frequencies (β=0.911; p<0.001), and leg stiffness values (β=0.053; p=0.009). Remarkably, athletes did not maintain overall leg stiffness across prosthetic stiffness conditions. Rather, the in-series prosthetic stiffness governed overall leg stiffness. The metabolic cost of running in athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations is influenced by prosthetic model and stiffness, but not height.

  9. Paired changes in electromechanical delay and musculo-tendinous stiffness after endurance or plyometric training.

    PubMed

    Grosset, Jean-Francois; Piscione, Julien; Lambertz, Daniel; Pérot, Chantal

    2009-01-01

    When measured in vivo electromechanical delay (EMD) depends mainly on the elastic properties of the muscle-tendon unit. Recent studies have shown changes in stiffness of the triceps surae (TS) following a period of training. To confirm the influence of musculo-tendinous stiffness on EMD, this study investigates paired changes in these two parameters after a training period. Two types of training known to induce opposite changes in stiffness were analysed. EMD and musculo-tendinous stiffness were measured on adult subjects before and after 10 weeks of endurance (n = 21) or plyometric (n = 9) trainings. EMD was defined as the time lag between the TS M-wave latency and the onset of muscle twitch evoked at rest by supramaximal electrical stimulations of the posterior tibial nerve. Quick release tests were used to evaluate the musculo-tendinous stiffness of the ankle plantar flexors. The stiffness index was defined as the slope of the relationship between angular stiffness and external torque values. Endurance training, known to preferentially activate the slow, stiffer muscle fibers, leads to a decrease in EMD and to an increase in stiffness index. Following plyometric training, which specifically recruits fast, more compliant fibers, EMD and the stiffness index exhibited adaptations directionally opposite to those seen with endurance training. When pooling the data for the two subject groups, a correlation was found between changes in EMD and changes in musculo-tendinous stiffness indexes. Thus, changes in EMD values are proposed to indirectly link to changes in musculo-tendinous stiffness for subjects involved in muscle training.

  10. Arterial stiffness: pathophysiology and clinical impact.

    PubMed

    London, Gérard M; Marchais, Sylvain J; Guerin, Alain P; Pannier, Bruno

    2004-01-01

    The ill effects of hypertension are usually attributed to a reduction in the caliber or the number of arterioles, resulting in an increase in total peripheral resistance (TPR). This definition does not take into account the fact that BP is a cyclic phenomenon with systolic and diastolic BP being the limits of these oscillations. The appropriate term to define the arterial factor(s) opposing LV ejection is aortic input impedance which depends on TPR, arterial distensibility (D), and wave reflections (WR). D defines the capacitive properties of arterial stiffness, whose role is to dampen pressure and flow oscillations and to transform pulsatile flow and pressure in arteries into a steady flow and pressure in peripheral tissues. Stiffness is the reciprocal value of D. These parameters are BP dependent, and arteries become stiffer at high pressure. In to D which provides information about the of artery as a hollow structure, the elastic incremental modulus (Einc) characterizes the properties of the arterial wall biomaterials, independently of vessel geometry. As an alternative, arterial D can be evaluated by measuring the pulse wave velocity (PWV) which increases with the stiffening of arteries. Arterial stiffening increases left ventricular (LV) afterload and alters the coronary perfusion. With increased PWV, the WR impacts on the aorta during systole, increasing systolic pressures and myocardial oxygen consumption, and decreasing diastolic BP and coronary flow. The arterial stiffness is altered primarily in association with increased collagen content and alterations of extracellular matrix (arteriosclerosis) as classically observed during aging or in arterial hypertension. The arterial stiffening estimated by changes in aortic PWV and intensity of WR are independent predictors of survival in end stage renal disease (ESRD) and general population. Improvement of arterial stiffening could be obtained by antihypertensive treatmen as observed with the calcium

  11. The effects of cycling shoe stiffness on forefoot pressure.

    PubMed

    Jarboe, Nathan Edward; Quesada, Peter M

    2003-10-01

    Plantar pressure data were recorded in two different shoe types to determine the effect of cycling shoe stiffness on peak plantar forefoot pressure in cyclists. Two pairs of shoes of the same size and manufacturer, identical except for outsole material and stiffness, were tested. Shoe stiffness measurements were collected under controlled conditions and in two different configurations using a dynamic hydraulic tensile testing machine. Measurements of plantar pressure were done using Pedar capacitive-based sensor insoles while subjects pedaled in a seated position at a controlled power output. Power output was set at a constant value of 400 W across all subjects by a magnetic resistance trainer unit. The pressure distribution in carbon-fiber-composite shoes during cycling was compared to cycling shoes made with plastic soles. Carbon fiber shoes presented stiffness values 42% and 550% higher than plastic shoes in longitudinal bending and three-point bending, respectively. The shoes made with carbon fiber produced peak plantar pressures 18% higher than those of plastic design (121 kPa vs. 103 kPa, p = .005). Competitive or professional cyclists suffering from metatarsalgia or ischemia should be especially careful when using carbon fiber cycling shoes because the shoes increase peak plantar pressure, which may aggravate these foot conditions.

  12. Cardiovascular Health and Arterial Stiffness: The Maine Syracuse Longitudinal Study

    PubMed Central

    Crichton, Georgina E; Elias, Merrill F; Robbins, Michael A

    2014-01-01

    Ideal cardiovascular health is a recently defined construct by the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote cardiovascular disease reduction. Arterial stiffness is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The extent to which the presence of multiple prevalent cardiovascular risk factors and health behaviors is associated with arterial stiffness is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the association between the AHA construct of cardiovascular health and arterial stiffness, as indexed by pulse wave velocity and pulse pressure. The AHA health metrics, comprising of four health behaviors (smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and diet) and three health factors (total cholesterol, blood pressure, and fasting plasma glucose) were evaluated among 505 participants in the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study. Outcome measures were carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) and pulse pressure measured at 4 to 5-year follow-up. Better cardiovascular health, comprising both health factors and behaviors, was associated with lower arterial stiffness, as indexed by pulse wave velocity and pulse pressure. Those with at least five health metrics at ideal levels had significantly lower PWV (9.8 m/s) than those with two or less ideal health metrics (11.7 m/s) (P<0.001). This finding remained with the addition of demographic and PWV-related variables (P=0.004). PMID:24384629

  13. Stiff person syndrome: a case report.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Patricia A; Kuberski, Carolyn

    2014-08-01

    The case report features a patient who had a diagnosis of a common type of breast cancer with an uncommon neurologic syndrome. She had extreme pain and progressive stiffness with cognitive and functional decline. This article includes the pathogenesis and treatment options for a rare, but treatable, autoimmune disorder of malignancy called stiff person syndrome.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Research on a novel high stiffness axial passive magnetic bearing for DGMSCMG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Jinji; Wang, Chun'e.; Le, Yun

    2016-08-01

    To increase the displacement stiffness and decrease power loss of double gimbals magnetically suspended control momentum gyro (DGMSCMG), this paper researches a new structure of axial passive magnetic bearing (APMB). Different from the existing APMB, the proposed APMB is composed of segmented permanent magnets and magnetic rings. The displacement stiffness and angular stiffness expressions are derived by equivalent magnetic circuit method and infinitesimal method based on the end magnetic flux. The relationships are analyzed between stiffness and structure parameters such as length of air gap, length of permanent magnet, height of permanent magnet and end length of magnetic ring. Besides, the axial displacement stiffness measurement method of the APMB is proposed, and it verified the correctness of proposed theoretical method. The DGMSCMG prototype is manufactured and the slow-down characteristic experiment is carried out, and the experimental result reflects the low power loss feature of the APMB.

  17. The effects of functional electrical stimulation on muscle tone and stiffness of stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Sang-Hyun; Choi, Jung-Hyun; Park, Si-Eun

    2017-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of functional electrical stimulation on muscle tone and stiffness in stroke patients. [Subjects and Methods] Ten patients who had suffered from stroke were recruited. The intervention was functional electrical stimulation on ankle dorsiflexor muscle (tibialis anterior). The duration of functional electrical stimulation was 30 minutes, 5 times a week for 6 weeks. The Myoton was used a measure the muscle tone and stiffness of the gastrocnemius muscle (medial and lateral part) on paretic side. [Results] In the assessment of muscle tone, medial and lateral part of gastrocnemius muscle showed differences before and after the experiment. Muscle stiffness of medial gastrocnemius muscle showed differences, and lateral gastrocnemius muscle showed differences before and after the experiment. The changes were greater in stiffness scores than muscle tone. [Conclusion] These results suggest that FES on ankle dorsiflexor muscle had a positive effect on muscle tone and stiffness of stroke patients. PMID:28265148

  18. Topology optimization under stochastic stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asadpoure, Alireza

    Topology optimization is a systematic computational tool for optimizing the layout of materials within a domain for engineering design problems. It allows variation of structural boundaries and connectivities. This freedom in the design space often enables discovery of new, high performance designs. However, solutions obtained by performing the optimization in a deterministic setting may be impractical or suboptimal when considering real-world engineering conditions with inherent variabilities including (for example) variabilities in fabrication processes and operating conditions. The aim of this work is to provide a computational methodology for topology optimization in the presence of uncertainties associated with structural stiffness, such as uncertain material properties and/or structural geometry. Existing methods for topology optimization under deterministic conditions are first reviewed. Modifications are then proposed to improve the numerical performance of the so-called Heaviside Projection Method (HPM) in continuum domains. Next, two approaches, perturbation and Polynomial Chaos Expansion (PCE), are proposed to account for uncertainties in the optimization procedure. These approaches are intrusive, allowing tight and efficient coupling of the uncertainty quantification with the optimization sensitivity analysis. The work herein develops a robust topology optimization framework aimed at reducing the sensitivity of optimized solutions to uncertainties. The perturbation-based approach combines deterministic topology optimization with a perturbation method for the quantification of uncertainties. The use of perturbation transforms the problem of topology optimization under uncertainty to an augmented deterministic topology optimization problem. The PCE approach combines the spectral stochastic approach for the representation and propagation of uncertainties with an existing deterministic topology optimization technique. The resulting compact representations

  19. The endogenous fluorescence of fibroblast in collagen gels as indicator of stiffness of the extracellular matrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padilla-Martinez, J. P.; Ortega-Martinez, A.; Franco, W.

    2016-03-01

    The stiffness or rigidity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) regulates cell response. Established mechanical tests to measure stiffness, such as indentation and tensile tests, are invasive and destructive to the sample. Endogenous or native molecules to cells and ECM components, like tryptophan and cross-links of collagen, display fluorescence upon irradiation with ultraviolet light. Most likely, the concentration of these endogenous fluorophores changes as the stiffness of the ECM changes. In this work we investigate the endogenous fluorescence of collagen gels containing fibroblasts as a non-invasive non-destructive method to measure stiffness of the ECM. Human fibroblast cells were cultured in three-dimensional gels of type I collagen (50,000 cells/ml). This construct is a simple model of tissue contraction. During contraction, changes in the excitation-emission matrix (a fluorescence map in the 240-520/290-530 nm range) of constructs were measured with a spectrofluoremeter, and changes in stiffness were measured with a standard indentation test over 16 days. Results show that a progressive increase in fluorescence of the 290/340 nm excitation-emission pair correlates with a progressive increase in stiffness (r=0.9, α=0.5). The fluorescence of this excitation-emission pair is ascribed to tryptophan and variations in the fluorescence of this pair correlate with cellular proliferation. In this tissue model, the endogenous functional fluorescence of proliferating fibroblast cells is a biomechanical marker of stiffness of the ECM.

  20. On the development of planar actuators for variable stiffness devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henke, Markus; Gerlach, Gerald

    2013-04-01

    This contribution describes the development, the potential and the limitations of planar actuators for controlling bending devices with variable stiffness. Such structures are supposed to be components of new smart, self-sensing and -controlling composite materials for lightweight constructions. To realize a proper stiffness control, it is necessary to develop reliable actuators with high actuation capabilities based on smart materials. Several actuator designs driven by electroactive polymers (EAPs) are presented and discussed regarding to their applicability in such structures. To investigate the actuators, variable-flexural stiffness devices based on the control of its area moment of inertia were developed. The devices consist of a multi-layer stack of thin, individual plates. Stiffness variation is caused by planar actuators which control the sliding behavior between the layers by form closure structures. Previous investigations have shown that actuators with high actuation potential are needed to ensure reliable connections between the layers. For that reason, two kinds of EAPs Danfoss PolyPower and VHB 4905 by 3M, have been studied as driving unit. These EAP-driven actuators will be compared based on experimental measurements and finite element analyses.

  1. Elevation of serum urokinase plasminogen activator receptor and liver stiffness in postoperative biliary atresia

    PubMed Central

    Udomsinprasert, Wanvisa; Honsawek, Sittisak; Jirathanathornnukul, Napaphat; Chongsrisawat, Voranush; Poovorawan, Yong

    2016-01-01

    AIM To investigate serum urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) and liver stiffness in biliary atresia (BA) and examine the correlation of circulating uPAR, liver stiffness, and clinical outcomes in postoperative BA children. METHODS Eighty-five postKasai BA children and 24 control subjects were registered. Circulating uPAR was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent essay. Liver stiffness was analyzed using transient elastography. RESULTS BA children had significantly greater circulating uPAR and liver stiffness scores than control subjects (P < 0.001). Circulating uPAR and liver stiffness were substantially higher in jaundiced BA children than non-jaundiced BA children (P < 0.001). In addition, circulating uPAR was positively associated with serum aspartate aminotransferase (r = 0.507, P < 0.001), alanine aminotransferase (r = 0.364, P < 0.001), total bilirubin (r = 0.559, P < 0.001), alkaline phosphatase (r = 0.325, P < 0.001), and liver stiffness scores (r = 0.508, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION Circulating uPAR and liver stiffness values were greater in BA children than healthy controls. The increased circulating uPAR was associated with liver dysfunction in BA. As a consequence, serum uPAR and liver stiffness may be used as noninvasive biomarkers indicating the progression of liver fibrosis in postKasai BA. PMID:27957246

  2. Stiffness matrix formulation for double row angular contact ball bearings: Analytical development and validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunduz, Aydin; Singh, Rajendra

    2013-10-01

    Though double row angular contact ball bearings are widely used in industrial, automotive, and aircraft applications, the scientific literature on double row bearings is sparse. It is also shown that the stiffness matrices of two single row bearings may not be simply superposed to obtain the stiffness matrix of a double row bearing. To overcome the deficiency in the literature, a new, comprehensive, analytical approach is proposed based on the Hertzian theory for back-to-back, face-to-face, and tandem arrangements. The elements of the five-dimensional stiffness matrix for double row angular contact ball bearings are computed given either the mean bearing displacement or the mean load vector. The diagonal elements of the proposed stiffness matrix are verified with a commercial code for all arrangements under three loading scenarios. Some changes in stiffness coefficients are investigated by varying critical kinematic and geometric parameters to provide more insight. Finally, the calculated natural frequencies of a shaft-bearing experiment are successfully compared with measurements, thus validating the proposed stiffness formulation. For double row angular contact ball bearings, the moment stiffness and cross-coupling stiffness terms are significant, and the contact angle changes under loads. The proposed formulation is also valid for paired (duplex) bearings which behave as an integrated double row unit when the surrounding structural elements are sufficiently rigid.

  3. Arterial stiffness, central hemodynamics, and cardiovascular risk in hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Palatini, Paolo; Casiglia, Edoardo; Gąsowski, Jerzy; Głuszek, Jerzy; Jankowski, Piotr; Narkiewicz, Krzysztof; Saladini, Francesca; Stolarz-Skrzypek, Katarzyna; Tikhonoff, Valérie; Van Bortel, Luc; Wojciechowska, Wiktoria; Kawecka-Jaszcz, Kalina

    2011-01-01

    This review summarizes several scientific contributions at the recent Satellite Symposium of the European Society of Hypertension, held in Milan, Italy. Arterial stiffening and its hemodynamic consequences can be easily and reliably measured using a range of noninvasive techniques. However, like blood pressure (BP) measurements, arterial stiffness should be measured carefully under standardized patient conditions. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity has been proposed as the gold standard for arterial stiffness measurement and is a well recognized predictor of adverse cardiovascular outcome. Systolic BP and pulse pressure in the ascending aorta may be lower than pressures measured in the upper limb, especially in young individuals. A number of studies suggest closer correlation of end-organ damage with central BP than with peripheral BP, and central BP may provide additional prognostic information regarding cardiovascular risk. Moreover, BP-lowering drugs can have differential effects on central aortic pressures and hemodynamics compared with brachial BP. This may explain the greater beneficial effect provided by newer antihypertensive drugs beyond peripheral BP reduction. Although many methodological problems still hinder the wide clinical application of parameters of arterial stiffness, these will likely contribute to cardiovascular assessment and management in future clinical practice. Each of the abovementioned parameters reflects a different characteristic of the atherosclerotic process, involving functional and/or morphological changes in the vessel wall. Therefore, acquiring simultaneous measurements of different parameters of vascular function and structure could theoretically enhance the power to improve risk stratification. Continuous technological effort is necessary to refine our methods of investigation in order to detect early arterial abnormalities. Arterial stiffness and its consequences represent the great challenge of the twenty-first century for

  4. Sway‐dependent changes in standing ankle stiffness caused by muscle thixotropy

    PubMed Central

    Sakanaka, Tania E.; Lakie, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Key points The passive stiffness of the calf muscles contributes to standing balance, although the properties of muscle tissue are highly labile.We investigated the effect of sway history upon intrinsic ankle stiffness and demonstrated reductions in stiffness of up to 43% during conditions of increased baseline sway.This sway dependence was most apparent when using low amplitude stiffness‐measuring perturbations, and the short‐range stiffness component was smaller during periods of high sway.These characteristics are consistent with the thixotropic properties of the calf muscles causing the observed changes in ankle stiffness.Periods of increased sway impair the passive stabilization of standing, demanding more active neural control of balance. Abstract Quiet standing is achieved through a combination of active and passive mechanisms, consisting of neural control and intrinsic mechanical stiffness of the ankle joint, respectively. The mechanical stiffness is partly determined by the calf muscles. However, the viscoelastic properties of muscle are highly labile, exhibiting a strong dependence on movement history. By measuring the effect of sway history upon ankle stiffness, the present study determines whether this lability has consequences for the passive stabilization of human standing. Ten subjects stood quietly on a rotating platform whose axis was collinear with the ankle joint. Ankle sway was increased by slowly tilting this platform in a random fashion, or decreased by fixing the body to a board. Ankle stiffness was measured by using the same platform to simultaneously apply small, brief perturbations (<0.6 deg; 140 ms) at the same time as the resulting torque response was recorded. The results show that increasing sway reduces ankle stiffness by up to 43% compared to the body‐fixed condition. Normal quiet stance was associated with intermediate values. The effect was most apparent when using smaller perturbation amplitudes to measure stiffness (0

  5. Stiff substrates enhance cultured neuronal network activity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Quan-You; Zhang, Yan-Yan; Xie, Jing; Li, Chen-Xu; Chen, Wei-Yi; Liu, Bai-Lin; Wu, Xiao-an; Li, Shu-Na; Huo, Bo; Jiang, Lin-Hua; Zhao, Hu-Cheng

    2014-08-28

    The mechanical property of extracellular matrix and cell-supporting substrates is known to modulate neuronal growth, differentiation, extension and branching. Here we show that substrate stiffness is an important microenvironmental cue, to which mouse hippocampal neurons respond and integrate into synapse formation and transmission in cultured neuronal network. Hippocampal neurons were cultured on polydimethylsiloxane substrates fabricated to have similar surface properties but a 10-fold difference in Young's modulus. Voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel currents determined by patch-clamp recording were greater in neurons on stiff substrates than on soft substrates. Ca(2+) oscillations in cultured neuronal network monitored using time-lapse single cell imaging increased in both amplitude and frequency among neurons on stiff substrates. Consistently, synaptic connectivity recorded by paired recording was enhanced between neurons on stiff substrates. Furthermore, spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic activity became greater and more frequent in neurons on stiff substrates. Evoked excitatory transmitter release and excitatory postsynaptic currents also were heightened at synapses between neurons on stiff substrates. Taken together, our results provide compelling evidence to show that substrate stiffness is an important biophysical factor modulating synapse connectivity and transmission in cultured hippocampal neuronal network. Such information is useful in designing instructive scaffolds or supporting substrates for neural tissue engineering.

  6. Comparison Between Neck and Shoulder Stiffness Determined by Shear Wave Ultrasound Elastography and a Muscle Hardness Meter.

    PubMed

    Akagi, Ryota; Kusama, Saki

    2015-08-01

    The goals of this study were to compare neck and shoulder stiffness values determined by shear wave ultrasound elastography with those obtained with a muscle hardness meter and to verify the correspondence between objective and subjective stiffness in the neck and shoulder. Twenty-four young men and women participated in the study. Their neck and shoulder stiffness was determined at six sites. Before the start of the measurements, patients rated their present subjective symptoms of neck and shoulder stiffness on a 6-point verbal scale. At all measurement sites, the correlation coefficients between the values of muscle hardness indices determined by the muscle hardness meter and shear wave ultrasound elastography were not significant. Furthermore, individuals' subjective neck and shoulder stiffness did not correspond to their objective symptoms. These results suggest that the use of shear wave ultrasound elastography is essential to more precisely assess neck and shoulder stiffness.

  7. Gradation of stiffness of the mucosa inferior to the vocal fold.

    PubMed

    Goodyer, Eric; Gunderson, McLean; Dailey, Seth H

    2010-05-01

    During phonation, energy is transferred from the subglottal airflow through the air/mucosa interface that results in the propagation of the mucosal wave in the vocal fold. The vocal fold is soft, and the subglottal mucosa is stiff. We hypothesize that it is highly improbable that there is a rigid boundary between the tissue structures, with a sudden drop in stiffness; and that a gradual change would be more likely to support the efficient transfer of energy from the airflow to the mucosal wave. Our objective was to test this hypothesis by quantifying the change in mucosa stiffness with respect to anatomical position. In this initial study, using five pig larynges, a series of point-specific measurements of mucosa stiffness were taken in a line from the midpoint of the vocal fold toward the trachea. A modified linear skin rheometer adapted for laryngeal elasticity measurement applied shear stress to a series of seven positions at 2-mm intervals starting from the midmembranous vocal fold medial surface. A sinusoidal shear force of 1g was applied at each point, and resultant displacement curve logged. Using a regression algorithm, the stiffness of the tissue was derived in units of grams force per millimeter displacement. Five readings were taken at each position. The results indicate that there is a linear increase in stiffness with respect to position, increasing as the measurements are taken further from the vocal fold. There is a gradual change in stiffness of the subglottal mucosa of a pig larynx.

  8. Aortic Stiffness, Cerebrovascular Dysfunction, and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Leroy L.; Mitchell, Gary F.

    2016-01-01

    Background Aortic stiffness is associated with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events and cognitive decline. This mini-review focuses on relations of aortic stiffness with microvascular dysfunction and discusses the contribution of abnormal pulsatile hemodynamics to cerebrovascular damage and cognitive decline. We also provide a rationale for considering aortic stiffness as a putative and important contributor to memory impairment in older individuals. Summary Aging is associated with stiffening of the aorta but not the muscular arteries, which reduces wave reflection and increases the transmission of pulsatility into the periphery. Aortic stiffening thereby impairs a protective mechanism that shields the peripheral microcirculation from excessive pulsatility within downstream target organs. Beyond midlife, aortic stiffness increases rapidly and exposes the cerebral microcirculation to abnormal pulsatile mechanical forces that are associated with microvascular damage and remodeling in the brain. Aortic stiffening and high-flow pulsatility are associated with alterations in the microvasculature of the brain; however, a mechanistic link between aortic stiffness and memory has not been established. We showed that in a community-based sample of older individuals, cerebrovascular resistance and white matter hyperintensities - markers of cerebrovascular remodeling and damage - mediated the relation between higher aortic stiffness and lower performance on memory function tests. These data suggest that microvascular and white matter damage associated with excessive aortic stiffness contribute to impaired memory function with advancing age. Key Messages Increasing evidence suggests that vascular etiologies - including aortic stiffness and microvascular damage - contribute to memory impairment and the pathogenesis of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Interventions that reduce aortic stiffness may delay memory decline among older individuals. PMID:27752478

  9. Characteristics of high-stiffness superconducting bearing

    SciTech Connect

    Okano, M.; Tamada, N.; Fuchino, S.; Ishii, I.

    1996-07-01

    Magnetic bearings using a high-Tc superconductor have been studied. Generally the bearing makes use of the pinning effects to get the levitation force. The stiffness of the bearing, however, is extremely low as compared with industrial-scale conventional one. To improve the bearing stiffness the authors propose a disc-type repulsive superconducting thrust bearing with a slit for the restraint of the flux. Both theoretical and experimental evaluation on the load performance was carried out, and it is clarified that the proposed superconducting bearing has higher stiffness.

  10. Medial Tibiofemoral-Joint Stiffness in Males and Females Across the Lifespan.

    PubMed

    Aronson, Patricia; Rijke, Arie; Hertel, Jay; Ingersoll, Christopher D

    2014-02-12

    Context : Analyzing ligament stiffness between males and females at 3 maturational stages across the lifespan may provide insight into whether changes in ligament behavior with aging may contribute to joint laxity. Objective : To compare the stiffness of the medial structures of the tibiofemoral joint and the medial collateral ligament to determine if there are differences at 3 distinct ages and between the sexes. Design : Cross-sectional study. Setting : Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants : A total of 108 healthy and physically active volunteers with no previous knee surgery, no knee injury, and no use of exogenous hormones in the past 6 months participated. They were divided into 6 groups based on sex and age (8-10, 18-40, 50-75 years). Main Outcome Measure(s) : Ligament stiffness of the tibiofemoral joint was measured with an arthrometer in 0° and 20° of tibiofemoral-joint flexion. The slope values of the force-strain line that represents stiffness of the medial tibiofemoral joint at 0° and the medial collateral ligament at 20° of flexion were obtained. Results : When height and mass were controlled, we found a main effect (P < .001) for age group: the 8- to 10-year olds were less stiff than both the 18- to 40- and the 50- to 75-year-old groups. No effects of sex or tibiofemoral-joint position on stiffness measures were noted when height and mass were included as covariates. Conclusions : Prepubescent medial tibiofemoral-joint stiffness was less than postpubescent knee stiffness. Medial tibiofemoral-joint stiffness was related to height and mass after puberty in men and women.

  11. Medial Tibiofemoral-Joint Stiffness in Males and Females Across the Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Aronson, Patricia; Rijke, Arie; Hertel, Jay; Ingersoll, Christopher D.

    2014-01-01

    Context: Analyzing ligament stiffness between males and females at 3 maturational stages across the lifespan may provide insight into whether changes in ligament behavior with aging may contribute to joint laxity. Objective: To compare the stiffness of the medial structures of the tibiofemoral joint and the medial collateral ligament to determine if there are differences at 3 distinct ages and between the sexes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 108 healthy and physically active volunteers with no previous knee surgery, no acute knee injury, and no use of exogenous hormones in the past 6 months participated. They were divided into 6 groups based on sex and age (8–10, 18–40, 50–75 years). Main Outcome Measure(s): Ligament stiffness of the tibiofemoral joint was measured with an arthrometer in 0° and 20° of tibiofemoral-joint flexion. The slope values of the force-strain line that represents stiffness of the medial tibiofemoral joint at 0° and the medial collateral ligament at 20° of flexion were obtained. Results: When height and mass were controlled, we found a main effect (P < .001) for age group: the 8- to 10-year olds were less stiff than both the 18- to 40- and the 50- to 75-year-old groups. No effects of sex or tibiofemoral-joint position on stiffness measures were noted when height and mass were included as covariates. Conclusions: Prepubescent medial tibiofemoral-joint stiffness was less than postpubescent knee stiffness. Medial tibiofemoral-joint stiffness was related to height and mass after puberty in men and women. PMID:24955624

  12. Arterial Stiffness in Nonhypertensive Type 2 Diabetes Patients in Ghana

    PubMed Central

    Antwi, Daniel A.; Gyan, Ben

    2016-01-01

    Background. Increased arterial stiffness is an independent cardiovascular risk factor in diabetes patients and general population. However, the contribution of diabetes to arterial stiffness is often masked by coexistent obesity and hypertension. In this study, we assessed arterial stiffness in nonhypertensive, nonobese type 2 diabetes (T2DM) patients in Ghana. Methods. In case-control design, 166 nonhypertensive, nonobese participants, comprising 96 T2DM patients and 70 nondiabetes controls, were recruited. Peripheral and central blood pressure (BP) indices were measured, and arterial stiffness was assessed as aortic pulse wave velocity (PWVao), augmentation index (AIx), cardioankle vascular index (CAVI), and heart-ankle pulse wave velocity (haPWV). Results. With similar peripheral and central BP indices, T2DM patients had higher PWVao (8.3 ± 1 versus 7.8 ± 1.3, p = 0.044) and CAVI (7.9 ± 1.2 versus 6.9 ± 0.7, p = 0.021) than nondiabetic control. AIx and haPWV were similar between T2DM and nondiabetic controls. Multiple regression models showed that, in the entire study participants, the major determinants of PWVao were diabetes status, age, gender, systolic BP, and previous smoking status (β = 0.22, 0.36, 0.48, 0.21, and 0.25, resp.; all p < 0.05); the determinants of CAVI were diabetes status, age, BMI, heart rate, HbA1c, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and previous smoking status (β = 0.21, 0.38, 0.2, 0.18, 0.24. 0.2, −0.19, and 0.2, resp.; all p < 0.05). Conclusion. Our findings suggest that nonhypertensive, nonobese T2DM patients have increased arterial stiffness without appreciable increase in peripheral and central pressure indices. PMID:27774104

  13. The decapping activator Edc3 and the Q/N-rich domain of Lsm4 function together to enhance mRNA stability and alter mRNA decay pathway dependence in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Huch, Susanne; Müller, Maren; Muppavarapu, Mridula; Gommlich, Jessie; Balagopal, Vidya; Nissan, Tracy

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The rate and regulation of mRNA decay are major elements in the proper control of gene expression. Edc3 and Lsm4 are two decapping activator proteins that have previously been shown to function in the assembly of RNA granules termed P bodies. Here, we show that deletion of edc3, when combined with a removal of the glutamine/asparagine rich region of Lsm4 (edc3Δ lsm4ΔC) reduces mRNA stability and alters pathways of mRNA degradation. Multiple tested mRNAs exhibited reduced stability in the edc3Δ lsm4ΔC mutant. The destabilization was linked to an increased dependence on Ccr4-mediated deadenylation and mRNA decapping. Unlike characterized mutations in decapping factors that either are neutral or are able to stabilize mRNA, the combined edc3Δ lsm4ΔC mutant reduced mRNA stability. We characterized the growth and activity of the major mRNA decay systems and translation in double mutant and wild-type yeast. In the edc3Δ lsm4ΔC mutant, we observed alterations in the levels of specific mRNA decay factors as well as nuclear accumulation of the catalytic subunit of the decapping enzyme Dcp2. Hence, we suggest that the effects on mRNA stability in the edc3Δ lsm4ΔC mutant may originate from mRNA decay protein abundance or changes in mRNPs, or alternatively may imply a role for P bodies in mRNA stabilization. PMID:27543059

  14. Leg stiffness during phases of countermovement and take-off in vertical jump.

    PubMed

    Struzik, Artur; Zawadzki, Jerzy

    2013-01-01

    With respect to cyclic movements such as human gait, running or hopping, leg stiffness is a little variable parameter. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in leg stiffness during the phase of countermovement and take-off when performing a single maximum counter-movement jump. Kistler force plates and a BTS SMART system for comprehensive motion analysis were employed in the study. The study covered a group of 12 athletes from university basketball teams. Leg stiffness was calculated in those parts of countermovement and take-off phases where its level is relatively constant and the relationship F(Δl) is similar to linear one. Mean total stiffness (±SD) in both legs in the countermovement phase amounted to 6.5 ± 1.5 kN/m, whereas during the take-off phase this value was 6.9 ± 1 kN/m. No statistically significant differences were found between leg stiffness during the countermovement phase and takeoff phase in the study group at the level of significance set at α = 0.05. This suggests that the leg stiffness in phase of countermovement and phase of take-off are much similar to each other, despite different function of both phases. Similar to cyclic movements, leg stiffness turned out relatively constant when performing a single vertical jump. There are also reported statistically significant correlations between body mass, body height, length of lower limbs and leg stiffness. The stiffness analysed by the authors should be understood as quasi-stiffness because the measurements of ΔF(Δl) were made during transient states where inertia and dumping forces are likely to affect the final result.

  15. 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.

  16. Stiffness map of the grasping contact areas of the human hand.

    PubMed

    Pérez-González, Antonio; Vergara, Margarita; Sancho-Bru, Joaquin L

    2013-10-18

    The elasticity and damping of the soft tissues of the hand contribute to dexterity while grasping and also help to stabilise the objects in manipulation tasks. Although some previous works have studied the force-displacement response of the fingertips, the responses in all other regions of the hand that usually participate in grasping have not been analysed to date. In this work we performed experimental measurements in 20 subjects to obtain a stiffness map of the different grasping contact areas of the human hand. A force-displacement apparatus was used to simultaneously measure force and displacement at 39 different points on the hand at six levels of force ranging from 1N to 6N. A non-linear force-displacement response was found for all points, with stiffness increasing with the amount of force applied. Mean stiffness for the different points and force levels was within the range from 0.2N/mm to 7.7N/mm. However, the stiffness range and variation with level of force were found to be different from point to point. A total of 13 regions with similar stiffness behaviours were identified. The stiffness in the fingertips increased linearly with the amount of force applied, while in the palm it remained more constant for the range of forces considered. It is hypothesised that the differences in the stiffness behaviour from one region to another allow these regions to play different roles during grasping.

  17. Vertical stiffness is not related to anterior cruciate ligament elongation in professional rugby union players

    PubMed Central

    Serpell, Benjamin G; Scarvell, Jennie M; Pickering, Mark R; Ball, Nick B; Perriman, Diana; Warmenhoven, John; Smith, Paul N

    2016-01-01

    Background Novel research surrounding anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is necessary because ACL injury rates have remained unchanged for several decades. An area of ACL risk mitigation which has not been well researched relates to vertical stiffness. The relationship between increased vertical stiffness and increased ground reaction force suggests that vertical stiffness may be related to ACL injury risk. However, given that increased dynamic knee joint stability has been shown to be associated with vertical stiffness, it is possible that modification of vertical stiffness could help to protect against injury. We aimed to determine whether vertical stiffness is related to measures known to load, or which represent loading of, the ACL. Methods This was a cross-sectional observational study of 11 professional Australian rugby players. Knee kinematics and ACL elongation were measured from a 4-dimensional model of a hopping task which simulated the change of direction manoeuvre typically observed when non-contact ACL injury occurs. The model was generated from a CT scan of the participant's knee registered frame by frame to fluoroscopy images of the hopping task. Vertical stiffness was calculated from force plate data. Results There was no association found between vertical stiffness and anterior tibial translation (ATT) or ACL elongation (r=−0.05; p=0.89, and r=−0.07; p=0.83, respectively). ATT was related to ACL elongation (r=0.93; p=0.0001). Conclusions Vertical stiffness was not associated with ACL loading in this cohort of elite rugby players but a novel method for measuring ACL elongation in vivo was found to have good construct validity. PMID:27900192

  18. Liver stiffness is associated with monocyte activation in HIV-infected Ugandans without viral hepatitis.

    PubMed

    Redd, Andrew D; 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

    2013-07-01

    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.

  19. Stiffness is more than just duration and severity: a qualitative exploration in people with rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Dures, Emma; Kirwan, John; Pollock, Jon; Baker, Gill; Edmunds, Avis; Hewlett, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Objective. Stiffness is internationally recognized as an important indicator of inflammatory activity in RA but is poorly understood and difficult to measure. The aim of this study was to explore the experience of stiffness from the patient perspective. Methods. Semi-structured interviews conducted with 16 RA patients were analysed independently by researchers and pat.ient partners using inductive thematic analysis. Results. Six themes were identified. Part of having RA identified stiffness as a normal consequence of RA, perceived as associated with disease-related aspects such as fluctuating disease activity, other RA symptoms and disease duration. Local and widespread highlighted stiffness occurring not only in joints, but also over the whole body, being more widespread during the morning or flare. Linked to behaviour and environment illustrated factors that influence stiffness, including movement, medications and weather. Highly variable captured the fluctuating nature of stiffness within and between patients and in relation to temporality, duration and intensity. Impacts on daily life emphasized the effect of stiffness on a range of domains, including physical function, quality of life, psychological well-being, activities of daily living and participation in work and leisure activities. Requires self-management detailed self-management strategies targeting both the symptom and its consequences. Conclusion. Patients’ experiences of stiffness were varied, complex and not exclusive to the morning period. Importantly, stiffness was reported in terms of impact rather than the traditional measurement concepts of severity or duration. Based on these findings, further research is needed to develop a patient-centred measure that adequately reflects inflammatory activity. PMID:25231178

  20. Stiffness transition in anisotropic fiber nets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åström, J. A.; Sunil Kumar, P. B.; Karttunen, Mikko

    2012-08-01

    We demonstrate the existence of a percolationlike stiffness transition in fiber networks with a bidisperse orientation distribution and with fiber densities clearly above the geometrical and the ordinary stiffness transition. The fibers are oriented parallel and perpendicular to a strain direction and they have a large fiber aspect ratio. The stiffness K of the fiber nets can be described by a scaling relation, K∝ταg[(ɛ-ɛc)/τ-β], where τ is the fraction of fibers parallel to strain. g is a scaling function that is roughly described by a power law g(x)∝xγ for stiffness above the transition and by a constant below the transition. The transition point is characterized by qualitative changes in the distribution of the elastic deformation energy of the fibers, the deformation mode of the fibers, the effective Poisson ratio of the nets, the distribution of elastic energy on fibers and cross links, and the ratio of elastic and viscous dissipation energy. This transition opens the possibility of extreme stiffness variations with minimal mesh manipulations in the vicinity of the transition (i.e., a stiffness gate). It is possible that this transition affects the mechanical behavior of the cytoskeleton in cells.

  1. Glenohumeral Joint Laxity and Stiffness in the Functional Throwing Position of High School Baseball Pitchers

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Scott D; Sauers, Eric L

    2006-01-01

    Context: Repetitive overhead throwing has been theorized to result in chronic adaptations to the capsuloligamentous restraints of the glenohumeral joint. Objective: To compare glenohumeral joint laxity and stiffness between the throwing and nonthrowing shoulders of high school baseball pitchers. Design: Repeated measures. Setting: High school athletic training facilities. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-two asymptomatic high school baseball pitchers (age = 16.50 ± 0.74 years, height = 178.51 ± 7.66 cm, mass = 75.43 ± 13.24 kg) from a sample of convenience. Main Outcomes Measure(s): We used computerized stress arthrometry to measure glenohumeral joint laxity and stiffness. Anterior glenohumeral joint laxity and stiffness measures were obtained with the shoulder in 90° of abduction and both neutral rotation and 90° of external rotation. Posterior laxity and stiffness measures were obtained with the shoulder in 90° of abduction and neutral rotation. Results: No clinically significant differences were found for glenohumeral laxity or stiffness between sides. However, a statistically significant main effect for position was present for both laxity and stiffness. Anterior glenohumeral joint laxity in the 90° external rotation position was significantly decreased and stiffness was increased in this position compared with the anterior at neutral and posterior at neutral positions. Conclusions: Glenohumeral joint laxity decreases and stiffness increases in the functional throwing position of 90° of abduction and 90° of external rotation. No clinically significant side-to-side differences or directional differences were found in high school baseball pitchers. PMID:16619095

  2. Increased Thrust through Passively Variable Tail Stiffness in Fast Starting Fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Currier, Todd; Ma, Ganzhong; Modarres-Sadeghi, Yahya

    2016-11-01

    An experimental study is conducted in the effect of tail stiffness on increased acceleration in mechanisms designed to emulate fast-start fish maneuvers. The variable stiffness is characterized by the directionality of loading. As load is applied in one direction on the fin the structure is flexible, simulating the preparatory stage of the maneuver, and as load is applied in the opposing direction the fin rigidly maintains its shape during the propulsive stage. A 3D printed fin structure is used to achieve the directional stiffness and is tested dynamically. Thrust is measured at various rates of rotation studying the influence of timing on peak acceleration.

  3. Experimental procedure for the evaluation of tooth stiffness in spline coupling including angular misalignment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curà, Francesca; Mura, Andrea

    2013-11-01

    Tooth stiffness is a very important parameter in studying both static and dynamic behaviour of spline couplings and gears. Many works concerning tooth stiffness calculation are available in the literature, but experimental results are very rare, above all considering spline couplings. In this work experimental values of spline coupling tooth stiffness have been obtained by means of a special hexapod measuring device. Experimental results have been compared with the corresponding theoretical and numerical ones. Also the effect of angular misalignments between hub and shaft has been investigated in the experimental planning.

  4. 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

    2016-01-04

    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.

  5. Micromechanical contact stiffness devices and application for calibrating contact resonance atomic force microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberger, Matthew R.; Chen, Sihan; Prater, Craig B.; King, William P.

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports the design, fabrication, and characterization of micromechanical devices that can present an engineered contact stiffness to an atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever tip. These devices allow the contact stiffness between the AFM tip and a substrate to be easily and accurately measured, and can be used to calibrate the cantilever for subsequent mechanical property measurements. The contact stiffness devices are rigid copper disks of diameters 2-18 μm integrated onto a soft silicone substrate. Analytical modeling and finite element simulations predict the elastic response of the devices. Measurements of tip-sample interactions during quasi-static force measurements compare well with modeling simulation, confirming the expected elastic response of the devices, which are shown to have contact stiffness 32-156 N m-1. To demonstrate one application, we use the disk sample to calibrate three resonant modes of a U-shaped AFM cantilever actuated via Lorentz force, at approximately 220, 450, and 1200 kHz. We then use the calibrated cantilever to determine the contact stiffness and elastic modulus of three polymer samples at these modes. The overall approach allows cantilever calibration without prior knowledge of the cantilever geometry or its resonance modes, and could be broadly applied to both static and dynamic measurements that require AFM calibration against a known contact stiffness.

  6. 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.

  7. Evaluation of microscopic techniques (epifluorescence microscopy, CLSM, TPE-LSM) as a basis for the quantitative image analysis of activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Lopez, C; Pons, M N; Morgenroth, E

    2005-01-01

    Microscopic techniques ranging from epifluorescence microscopy to confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and two photon excitation laser scanning microscopy (TPE-LSM) combined with fluorescent stains can help to evaluate complex microbial aggregates such as activated sludge flocs. To determine the application limits of these microscopic techniques, activated sludge samples from three different sources were evaluated after staining with a fluorescent viability indicator (Baclight Bacterial Viability Kit, Molecular Probes). Image analysis routines were developed to quantify overall amounts of red and green stained cells, location of stained cells within the flocs, and the spatial organization in clusters and filaments. It was found that the selection of the appropriate microscopic technique depends strongly on the type of microbial aggregates being analyzed. For flocs with high cell density, the use of TPE-LSM is preferred, since it provides a clearer image of the internal structure of the aggregate. Epifluorescence microscopy did not allow to reliably quantify red stained cells in dense aggregates. CLSM did not adequately image the internal filamentous structure and the location of stained cells within dense flocs. However, for typical activated sludge flocs epifluorescence and CLSM proved adequate.

  8. Smed-SmB, a member of the LSm protein superfamily, is essential for chromatoid body organization and planarian stem cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Fernandéz-Taboada, Enrique; Moritz, Sören; Zeuschner, Dagmar; Stehling, Martin; Schöler, Hans R; Saló, Emili; Gentile, Luca

    2010-04-01

    Planarians are an ideal model system to study in vivo the dynamics of adult pluripotent stem cells. However, our knowledge of the factors necessary for regulating the 'stemness' of the neoblasts, the adult stem cells of planarians, is sparse. Here, we report on the characterization of the first planarian member of the LSm protein superfamily, Smed-SmB, which is expressed in stem cells and neurons in Schmidtea mediterranea. LSm proteins are highly conserved key players of the splicing machinery. Our study shows that Smed-SmB protein, which is localized in the nucleus and the chromatoid body of stem cells, is required to safeguard the proliferative ability of the neoblasts. The chromatoid body, a cytoplasmatic ribonucleoprotein complex, is an essential regulator of the RNA metabolism required for the maintenance of metazoan germ cells. However, planarian neoblasts and neurons also rely on its functions. Remarkably, Smed-SmB dsRNA-mediated knockdown results in a rapid loss of organization of the chromatoid body, an impairment of the ability to post-transcriptionally process the transcripts of Smed-CycB, and a severe proliferative failure of the neoblasts. This chain of events leads to a quick depletion of the neoblast pool, resulting in a lethal phenotype for both regenerating and intact animals. In summary, our results suggest that Smed-SmB is an essential component of the chromatoid body, crucial to ensure a proper RNA metabolism and essential for stem cell proliferation.

  9. Dielectrophoresis-Mediated Electrodeformation as a Means of Determining Individual Platelet Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Siu Ling; Lu, Yi; Bluestein, Danny; Slepian, Marvin J.

    2015-01-01

    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% paraformaldehydetreated 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

  10. The effect of short-term isometric training on core/torso stiffness.

    PubMed

    Lee, Benjamin; McGill, Stuart

    2016-09-26

    "Core" exercise is a basic part of many physical training regimens with goals ranging from rehabilitation of spine and knee injuries to improving athletic performance. Core stiffness has been proposed to perform several functions including reducing pain by minimising joint micro-movements, and enhancing strength and speed performance. This study probes the links between a training approach and immediate but temporary changes in stiffness. Passive and active stiffness was measured on 24 participants; 12 having little to no experience in core training (inexperienced), and the other 12 being athletes experienced to core training methods; before and after a 15 min bout of isometric core exercises. Passive stiffness was assessed on a "frictionless" bending apparatus and active stiffness assessed via a quick release mechanism. Short-term isometric core training increased passive and active stiffness in most directions for both inexperienced and experienced participants, passive left lateral bend among experienced participants being the exception (P < 0.05). There was no difference between the inexperienced and experienced groups. The results confirm that the specific isometric training exercise approach tested here can induce immediate changes in core stiffness, in this case following a single session. This may influence performance and injury resilience for a brief period.

  11. Big bang nucleosynthesis with a stiff fluid

    SciTech Connect

    Dutta, Sourish; Scherrer, Robert J.

    2010-10-15

    Models that lead to a cosmological stiff fluid component, with a density {rho}{sub S} that scales as a{sup -6}, where a is the scale factor, have been proposed recently in a variety of contexts. We calculate numerically the effect of such a stiff fluid on the primordial element abundances. Because the stiff fluid energy density decreases with the scale factor more rapidly than radiation, it produces a relatively larger change in the primordial helium-4 abundance than in the other element abundances, relative to the changes produced by an additional radiation component. We show that the helium-4 abundance varies linearly with the density of the stiff fluid at a fixed fiducial temperature. Taking {rho}{sub S10} and {rho}{sub R10} to be the stiff fluid energy density and the standard density in relativistic particles, respectively, at T=10 MeV, we find that the change in the primordial helium abundance is well-fit by {Delta}Y{sub p}=0.00024({rho}{sub S10}/{rho}{sub R10}). The changes in the helium-4 abundance produced by additional radiation or by a stiff fluid are identical when these two components have equal density at a 'pivot temperature', T{sub *}, where we find T{sub *}=0.55 MeV. Current estimates of the primordial {sup 4}He abundance give the constraint on a stiff fluid energy density of {rho}{sub S10}/{rho}{sub R10}<30.

  12. 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.

  13. Incorporating Six Degree-of-Freedom Intervertebral Joint Stiffness in a Lumbar Spine Musculoskeletal Model—Method and Performance in Flexed Postures

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Xiangjie; Bruno, Alexander G.; Cheng, Bo; Wang, Wenjun; Bouxsein, Mary L.; Anderson, Dennis E.

    2015-01-01

    Intervertebral translations and rotations are likely dependent on intervertebral stiffness properties. The objective of this study was to incorporate realistic intervertebral stiffnesses in a musculoskeletal model of the lumbar spine using a novel force-dependent kinematics approach, and examine the effects on vertebral compressive loading and intervertebral motions. Predicted vertebral loading and intervertebral motions were compared to previously reported in vivo measurements. Intervertebral joint reaction forces and motions were strongly affected by flexion stiffness, as well as force–motion coupling of the intervertebral stiffness. Better understanding of intervertebral stiffness and force–motion coupling could improve musculoskeletal modeling, implant design, and surgical planning. PMID:26299207

  14. Severity and Diurnal Improvement of Morning Stiffness Independently Associate with Tenosynovitis in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Yoshihisa; Nakamura, Takayuki; Yamagata, Mieko; Nakazawa, Takuya; Tanaka, Shigeru; Furuta, Shunsuke; Umibe, Takeshi; Nakajima, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Background and objectives Although morning stiffness has long been recognized as a characteristic feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it is no more included in the 2010 ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria or in the current major instruments for evaluating disease activity of RA. In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to determine the independent value and the optimal measurement of morning stiffness by clarifying the associations between morning stiffness and synovial inflammation. Patients and methods We enrolled 76 consecutive RA patients who underwent musculoskeletal ultrasound examination and agreed to participate in the study. In addition to asking the duration of morning stiffness, we asked patients to complete a diagram which represents the time course of their morning stiffness in the dominant hand. Based on this diagram, we calculated the severity and the diurnal improvement of morning stiffness. We also determined the activity of intra-articular synovitis in 11 joints and tenosynovitis in 8 tendons/tendon compartments in the same hand by using power Doppler (PD) ultrasound with a semiquantitative score (0–3). Results For intra-articular synovitis, swollen/tender joint counts more strongly correlated with total PD scores (ρ = 0.379–0.561, p ≤ 0.001) than did any parameters of morning stiffness (ρ = 0.217–0.314, p = 0.006–0.021). For tenosynovitis, however, the severity on awakening and the improvement of morning stiffness more strongly correlated with total PD scores (ρ = 0.503–0.561, p < 0.001) than did swollen/tender joint counts (ρ = 0.276–0.388, p = 0.001–0.016). Multivariate analyses identified the severity on awakening and the improvement but not the duration of morning stiffness as factors that independently associate with the total tenosynovial PD score. Conclusions Our data demonstrate a pathophysiological link between morning stiffness and tenosynovitis and also give an insight into the optimal measurement of morning

  15. Relationship between leg stiffness and lower body injuries in professional Australian football.

    PubMed

    Pruyn, Elizabeth C; Watsford, Mark L; Murphy, Aron J; Pine, Matthew J; Spurrs, Robert W; Cameron, Matthew L; Johnston, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Leg stiffness is a modifiable mechanical property that may be related to soft tissue injury risk. The purpose of this study was to examine mean leg stiffness and bilateral differences in leg stiffness across an entire professional Australian Football League (AFL) season, and determine whether this parameter was related to the incidence of lower body soft tissue injury. The stiffness of the left and right legs of 39 professional AFL players (age 24.4 ± 4.4 years, body mass 87.4 ± 8.1 kg, stature 1.87 ± 0.07 m) was measured using a unilateral hopping test at least once per month throughout the season. Injury data were obtained directly from the head medical officer at the football club. Mean leg stiffness and bilateral differences in leg stiffness were compared between the injured and non-injured players. There was no difference between the season mean leg stiffness values for the injured (219.3 ± 16.1 N x m(-1) x kg(-1)) and non-injured (217.4 ± 14.9 N x m(-1) x kg(-1); P = 0.721) groups. The injured group (7.5 ± 3.0%) recorded a significantly higher season mean bilateral difference in leg stiffness than the non-injured group (5.5 ± 1.3%; P = 0.05). A relatively high bilateral difference in leg stiffness appears to be related to the incidence of soft tissue injury in Australian football players. This information is of particular importance to medical and conditioning staff across a variety of sports.

  16. Effects of the decellularization method on the local stiffness of acellular lungs.

    PubMed

    Melo, Esther; Garreta, Elena; Luque, Tomas; Cortiella, Joaquin; Nichols, Joan; Navajas, Daniel; Farré, Ramon

    2014-05-01

    Lung bioengineering, a novel approach to obtain organs potentially available for transplantation, is based on decellularizing donor lungs and seeding natural scaffolds with stem cells. Various physicochemical protocols have been used to decellularize lungs, and their performance has been evaluated in terms of efficient decellularization and matrix preservation. No data are available, however, on the effect of different decellularization procedures on the local stiffness of the acellular lung. This information is important since stem cells directly sense the rigidity of the local site they are engrafting to during recellularization, and it has been shown that substrate stiffness modulates cell fate into different phenotypes. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of the decellularization procedure on the inhomogeneous local stiffness of the acellular lung on five different sites: alveolar septa, alveolar junctions, pleura, and vessels' tunica intima and tunica adventitia. Local matrix stiffness was measured by computing Young's modulus with atomic force microscopy after decellularizing the lungs of 36 healthy rats (Sprague-Dawley, male, 250-300 g) with four different protocols with/without perfusion through the lung circulatory system and using two different detergents (sodium dodecyl sulfate [SDS] and 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl) dimethylammonio]-1-propanesulfonate [CHAPS]). The local stiffness of the acellular lung matrix significantly depended on the site within the matrix (p<0.001), ranging from ∼ 15 kPa at the alveolar septum to ∼ 60 kPa at the tunica intima. Acellular lung stiffness (p=0.003) depended significantly, albeit modestly, on the decellularization process. Whereas perfusion did not induce any significant differences in stiffness, the use of CHAPS resulted in a ∼ 35% reduction compared with SDS, the influence of the detergent being more important in the tunica intima. In conclusion, lung matrix stiffness is considerably inhomogeneous, and

  17. Torso flexion modulates stiffness and reflex response.

    PubMed

    Granata, K P; Rogers, E

    2007-08-01

    Neuromuscular factors that contribute to spinal stability include trunk stiffness from passive and active tissues as well as active feedback from reflex response in the paraspinal muscles. Trunk flexion postures are a recognized risk factor for occupational low-back pain and may influence these stabilizing control factors. Sixteen healthy adult subjects participated in an experiment to record trunk stiffness and paraspinal muscle reflex gain during voluntary isometric trunk extension exertions. The protocol was designed to achieve trunk flexion without concomitant influences of external gravitational moment, i.e., decouple the effects of trunk flexion posture from trunk moment. Systems identification analyses identified reflex gain by quantifying the relation between applied force disturbances and time-dependent EMG response in the lumbar paraspinal muscles. Trunk stiffness was characterized from a second order model describing the dynamic relation between the force disturbances versus the kinematic response of the torso. Trunk stiffness increased significantly with flexion angle and exertion level. This was attributed to passive tissue contributions to stiffness. Reflex gain declined significantly with trunk flexion angle but increased with exertion level. These trends were attributed to correlated changes in baseline EMG recruitment in the lumbar paraspinal muscles. Female subjects demonstrated greater reflex gain than males and the decline in reflex gain with flexion angle was greater in females than in males. Results reveal that torso flexion influences neuromuscular factors that control spinal stability and suggest that posture may contribute to the risk of instability injury.

  18. Post-traumatic knee stiffness: surgical techniques.

    PubMed

    Pujol, N; Boisrenoult, P; Beaufils, P

    2015-02-01

    Post-traumatic knee stiffness and loss of range of motion is a common complication of injuries to the knee area. The causes of post-traumatic knee stiffness can be divided into flexion contractures, extension contractures, and combined contractures. Post-traumatic stiffness can be due to the presence of dense intra-articular adhesions and/or fibrotic transformation of peri-articular structures. Various open and arthroscopic surgical treatments are possible. A precise diagnosis and understanding of the pathology is mandatory prior to any surgical treatment. Failure is imminent if all pathologies are not addressed correctly. From a general point of view, a flexion contracture is due to posterior adhesions and/or anterior impingement. On the other hand, extension contractures are due to anterior adhesions and/or posterior impingement. This overview will describe the different modern surgical techniques for treating post-traumatic knee stiffness. Any bony impingements must be treated before soft tissue release is performed. Intra-articular stiff knees with a loss of flexion can be treated by an anterior arthroscopic arthrolysis. Extra-articular pathology causing a flexion contracture can be treated by open or endoscopic quadriceps release. Extension contractures can be treated by arthroscopic or open posterior arthrolysis. Postoperative care (analgesia, rehabilitation) is essential to maintaining the range of motion obtained intra-operatively.

  19. [Stiff-person syndrome and related autoantibodies].

    PubMed

    Tomioka, Ryo; Tanaka, Keiko

    2013-04-01

    Central nervous system hyperexcitability disorders, known as stiff-man/person syndrome (SPS), are thought to be related to the regulatory disturbance of inhibitory synaptic transmission of motor neurons in the brainstem and spinal cord. SPS is characterized by stiffness and spasms of the axis and limbs and is divided into two clinical subgroups: classic SPS, which affects the lumbar, trunk, and proximal limb muscles, and SPS-plus syndrome. The latter comprises (1) the stiff-limb subtype, in which symptom is limited to the lower limbs; (2) jerking stiff-man syndrome, characterized by chronically progressive stiffness and myoclonus; and (3) acute-onset and progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus. Almost 80% of patients with classic SPS harbor autoantibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65). In approximately 30-40% of patients, SPS accompanies type I diabetes, and anti-GAD65 antibodies are detected frequently in type I diabetes. However, the antibody-recognizing epitopes might be different between SPS and diabetes. Other autoantibodies against glycine receptor α1 (12% of patients with SPS) and GABA(A)-receptor associated protein (70% of patients with SPS) have been reported. In paraneoplastic SPS, anti-amphiphysin antibodies have been shown in patients with breast cancer or small cell lung cancer. One case of mediastinal tumor with anti-gephyrin antibodies has also been reported. However, the roles of these autoantibodies in the pathomechanisms of SPS have not yet been elucidated.

  20. 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

  1. The influence of bearing stiffness on the vibration properties of statically overdetermined gearboxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Razpotnik, M.; Bischof, T.; Boltežar, M.

    2015-09-01

    In the design process of every modern car, the appropriate acoustic behaviour of each integral part is of great importance. This is particularly so for gearboxes. The stiffness of a rolling-element bearing is one of the main contributors to the transmission of vibrations from the interior of the gearbox to the housing. Many methods have been proposed to determine the bearing stiffness; this stiffness is related to the load in a nonlinear way. In this article, a new method for defining the proper bearing stiffness of statically overdetermined gearboxes is proposed. To achieve this an iterative process is conducted, with an initial guess for the loads on the bearings, which provides the initial values for their stiffnesses. The calculated stiffnesses are then inserted into a finite element method (FEM) model of a gearbox, where the new load vectors on the bearings are calculated. The described process runs until the convergence of the loads on the bearings is reached. Afterwards, the frequency-response functions (FRFs) are numerically calculated. As a reference point for our calculations, the measured FRFs are obtained. The measurements were performed on a simple, but statically overdetermined, gearbox with the option for moment adjustments between the two shafts. The calculated results in the form of FRFs are compared with the measurements.

  2. The bending stiffness of shoes is beneficial to running energetics if it does not disturb the natural MTP joint flexion.

    PubMed

    Oh, Keonyoung; Park, Sukyung

    2017-02-28

    A local minimum for running energetics has been reported for a specific bending stiffness, implying that shoe stiffness assists in running propulsion. However, the determinant of the metabolic optimum remains unknown. Highly stiff shoes significantly increase the moment arm of the ground reaction force (GRF) and reduce the leverage effect of joint torque at ground push-off. Inspired by previous findings, we hypothesized that the restriction of the natural metatarsophalangeal (MTP) flexion caused by stiffened shoes and the corresponding joint torque changes may reduce the benefit of shoe bending stiffness to running energetics. We proposed the critical stiffness, kcr, which is defined as the ratio of the MTP joint (MTPJ) torque to the maximal MTPJ flexion angle, as a possible threshold of the elastic benefit of shoe stiffness. 19 subjects participated in a running test while wearing insoles with five different bending stiffness levels. Joint angles, GRFs, and metabolic costs were measured and analyzed as functions of the shoe stiffness. No significant changes were found in the take-off velocity of the center of mass (CoM), but the horizontal ground push-offs were significantly reduced at different shoe stiffness levels, indicating that complementary changes in the lower-limb joint torques were introduced to maintain steady running. Slight increases in the ankle, knee, and hip joint angular impulses were observed at stiffness levels exceeding the critical stiffness, whereas the angular impulse at the MTPJ was significantly reduced. These results indicate that the shoe bending stiffness is beneficial to running energetics if it does not disturb the natural MTPJ flexion.

  3. Extracellular Matrix Disarray as A Mechanism for Greater Abdominal vs. Thoracic Aortic Stiffness with Aging in Primates

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jie; Zhao, Xin; Vatner, Dorothy E; McNulty, Tara; Bishop, Sanford; Sun, Zhe; Shen, You-Tang; Chen, Li; Meininger, Gerald A; Vatner, Stephen F

    2016-01-01

    Objective Increased vascular stiffness is central to the pathophysiology of aging, hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis. However, relatively few studies have examined vascular stiffness in both the thoracic and abdominal aorta with aging, despite major differences in anatomy, embryological origin and relation to aortic aneurysm. Approach and Results The two other unique features of this study were 1) to study young (9±1 years) and old (26±1 years) male monkeys, and 2) to study direct and continuous measurements of aortic pressure and thoracic and abdominal aortic diameters in conscious monkeys. As expected, aortic stiffness, β, was increased p<0.05, 2–3 fold, in old vs. young thoracic aorta, and augmented further with superimposition of acute hypertension with phenylephrine. Surprisingly, stiffness was not greater in old thoracic aorta than young abdominal aorta. These results can be explained in part by the collagen/elastin ratio, but more importantly, by disarray of collagen and elastin, which correlated best with vascular stiffness. However, vascular smooth muscle cell stiffness, was not different in thoracic vs. abdominal aorta in either young or old monkeys. Conclusions Thus, aortic stiffness increases with aging as expected, but the most severe increases in aortic stiffness observed in the abdominal aorta is novel, where values in young monkeys equaled, or even exceeded, values of thoracic aortic stiffness in old monkeys. These results can be explained by alterations in collagen/elastin ratio, but even more importantly by collagen and elastin disarray. PMID:26891739

  4. Conformational Analysis of Stiff Chiral Polymers with End-Constraints.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin Seob; Chirikjian, Gregory S

    2006-01-01

    We present a Lie-group-theoretic method for the kinematic and dynamic analysis of chiral semi-flexible polymers with end constraints. The first is to determine the minimum energy conformations of semi-flexible polymers with end constraints, and the second is to perform normal mode analysis based on the determined minimum energy conformations. In this paper, we use concepts from the theory of Lie groups and principles of variational calculus to model such polymers as inextensible or extensible chiral elastic rods with coupling between twisting and bending stiffnesses, and/or between twisting and extension stiffnesses. This method is general enough to include any stiffness and chirality parameters in the context of elastic filament models with the quadratic elastic potential energy function. As an application of this formulation, the analysis of DNA conformations is discussed. We demonstrate our method with examples of DNA conformations in which topological properties such as writhe, twist, and linking number are calculated from the results of the proposed method. Given these minimum energy conformations, we describe how to perform the normal mode analysis. The results presented here build both on recent experimental work in which DNA mechanical properties have been measured, and theoretical work in which the mechanics of non-chiral elastic rods has been studied.

  5. Conformational Analysis of Stiff Chiral Polymers with End-Constraints

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jin Seob; Chirikjian, Gregory S.

    2010-01-01

    We present a Lie-group-theoretic method for the kinematic and dynamic analysis of chiral semi-flexible polymers with end constraints. The first is to determine the minimum energy conformations of semi-flexible polymers with end constraints, and the second is to perform normal mode analysis based on the determined minimum energy conformations. In this paper, we use concepts from the theory of Lie groups and principles of variational calculus to model such polymers as inextensible or extensible chiral elastic rods with coupling between twisting and bending stiffnesses, and/or between twisting and extension stiffnesses. This method is general enough to include any stiffness and chirality parameters in the context of elastic filament models with the quadratic elastic potential energy function. As an application of this formulation, the analysis of DNA conformations is discussed. We demonstrate our method with examples of DNA conformations in which topological properties such as writhe, twist, and linking number are calculated from the results of the proposed method. Given these minimum energy conformations, we describe how to perform the normal mode analysis. The results presented here build both on recent experimental work in which DNA mechanical properties have been measured, and theoretical work in which the mechanics of non-chiral elastic rods has been studied. PMID:20198114

  6. The interplay of stiffness and force anisotropies drives embryo elongation

    PubMed Central

    Vuong-Brender, Thanh Thi Kim; Ben Amar, Martine; Pontabry, Julien; Labouesse, Michel

    2017-01-01

    The morphogenesis of tissues, like the deformation of an object, results from the interplay between their material properties and the mechanical forces exerted on them. The importance of mechanical forces in influencing cell behaviour is widely recognized, whereas the importance of tissue material properties, in particular stiffness, has received much less attention. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model, we examine how both aspects contribute to embryonic elongation. Measuring the opening shape of the epidermal actin cortex after laser nano-ablation, we assess the spatiotemporal changes of actomyosin-dependent force and stiffness along the antero-posterior and dorso-ventral axis. Experimental data and analytical modelling show that myosin-II-dependent force anisotropy within the lateral epidermis, and stiffness anisotropy within the fiber-reinforced dorso-ventral epidermis are critical in driving embryonic elongation. Together, our results establish a quantitative link between cortical tension, material properties and morphogenesis of an entire embryo. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23866.001 PMID:28181905

  7. Helical growth trajectories in plant roots interacting with stiff barriers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerbode, Sharon; Noar, Roslyn; Harrison, Maria

    2009-03-01

    Plant roots successfully navigate heterogeneous soil environments with varying nutrient and water concentrations, as well as a variety of stiff obstacles. While it is thought that the ability of roots to penetrate into a stiff lower soil layer is important for soil erosion, little is known about how a root actually responds to a rigid interface. We have developed a laser sheet imaging technique for recording the 3D growth dynamics of plant roots interacting with stiff barriers. We find that a root encountering an angled interface does not grow in a straight line along the surface, but instead follows a helical trajectory. These experiments build on the pioneering studies of roots grown on a tilted 2D surface, which reported ``root waving,'' a similar curved pattern thought to be caused by the root's sensitivity to both gravity and the rigid surface on which it is grown. Our measurements extend these results to the more physiologically relevant case of 3D growth, where the spiral trajectory can be altered by tuning the relative strengths of the gravity and touch stimuli, providing some intuition for the physical mechanism driving it.

  8. Effects of safflower seed extract on arterial stiffness.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Katsuya; Tsubaki, Shigekazu; Fujita, Masami; Koyama, Naoto; Takahashi, Michio; Takazawa, Kenji

    2010-11-03

    Safflower seed extract (SSE) contains characteristic polyphenols and serotonin derivatives (N-( p-coumaroyl) serotonin and N-feruloylserotonin), which are reported to inhibit oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), formation of atherosclerotic plaques, and improve arterial stiffness as assessed by pulse wave analysis in animal models. The effects of long-term supplementation with SSE on arterial stiffness in human subjects were evaluated. This doubleblind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 77 males (35-65 years) and 15 postmenopausal females (55-65 years) with high-normal blood pressure or mild hypertension who were not undergoing treatment. Subjects received SSE (70 mg/day as serotonin derivatives) or placebo for 12 weeks, and pulse wave measurements, ie, second derivative of photoplethysmogram (SDPTG), augmentation index, and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) were conducted at baseline, and at weeks 4, 8, and 12. Vascular age estimated by SDPTG aging index improved in the SSE-supplemented group when compared with the placebo group at four (P = 0.0368) and 12 weeks (P = 0.0927). The trend of augmentation index reduction (P = 0.072 versus baseline) was observed in the SSE-supplemented group, but reduction of baPWV by SSE supplementation was not observed. The SSE-supplemented group also showed a trend towards a lower malondialdehyde-modified-LDL autoantibody titer at 12 weeks from baseline. These results suggest long-term ingestion of SSE in humans could help to improve arterial stiffness.

  9. Association between arterial stiffness and peritoneal small solute transport rate.

    PubMed

    Zhe, Xing-wei; Tian, Xin-kui; Chen, Wei; Guo, Li-juan; Gu, Yue; Chen, Hui-min; Tang, Li-jun; Wang, Tao

    2008-05-01

    While cardiovascular disease accounts for 40-50% of the mortality in dialysis patients, and while a high peritoneal transport in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) is an independent predictor of outcome, it is unclear if there are any links. Aortic stiffness has become established as a cardiovascular risk factor. We thus studied pulse wave velocity (PWV) in CAPD patients to explore the possible link between peritoneal small solute transport and aortic stiffness. CAPD patients (n = 76, 27 M/49 F) in our center were included in the present study. Aortic stiffness was assessed by brachial pulse pressure (PP) and carotid-femoral PWV. Patients' peritoneal small solute transport rate was assessed by D/P(cr) at 4 h. Extracellular water over total body water (E/T ratio) was assessed by means of bioimpedance analysis. C-reactive protein was also measured. Carotid-femoral PWV was positively associated with patients' age (r = 0.555; P < 0.01), time on peritoneal dialysis (r = 0.332; P < 0.01), diabetic status (r = 0.319; P < 0.01), D/P(cr) (r = 0.241; P < 0.05), PP (r = 0.475; P < 0.01), and E/T (r = 0.606; P < 0.01). In a multivariate regression analysis, carotid-femoral PWV was independently determined by E/T (P < 0.01), PP (P < 0.01), age (P < 0.01), and D/P(cr) (P < 0.05). D/P(cr), in addition to E/T, age, and PP, was an independent predictor of elevated carotid-femoral PWV in CAPD patients, suggesting that there might be a link between high aortic stiffness and increased peritoneal small solute transport rate.

  10. A new strategy for stiffness evaluation of sheet metal parts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Q.; Volk, W.; Düster, A.; Rank, E.

    2011-08-01

    In the automotive industry, surfaces of styling models are shaped very often in physical models. For example, in the styling process of a car body important design work is realized by clay models and the resulting geometry information typically comes from optical scans. The scanned data is given in the form of point clouds which is then utilized in the virtual planning process for engineering work, e.g. to evaluate the load-carrying capacity. This is an important measure for the stiffness of the car body panels. In this contribution, the following two issues are discussed: what is the suitable geometric representation of the stiffness of the car body and how it is computed if only discrete point clouds exist. In the first part, the suitable geometric representation is identified by constructing continuous CAD models with different geometric parameters, e.g. Gaussian curvature and mean curvature. The stiffness of models is then computed in LS-DYNA and the influence of different geometric parameters is presented based on the simulation result. In the second part, the point clouds from scanned data, rather than continuous CAD models, are directly utilized to estimate the Gaussian curvature, which is normally derived from continuous surfaces. The discrete Gauss-Bonnet algorithm is applied to estimate the Gaussian curvature of the point clouds and the sensitivity of the algorithm with respect to the mesh quality is analyzed. In this way, the stiffness evaluation process in an early stage can be accelerated since the transformation from discrete data to continuous CAD data is labor-intensive. The discrete Gauss-Bonnet algorithm is finally applied to a sheet metal model of the BMW 3 series.

  11. Arterial Stiffness in Patients Taking Second-generation Antipsychotics

    PubMed Central

    Fındıklı, Ebru; Gökçe, Mustafa; Nacitarhan, Vedat; Camkurt, Mehmet Akif; Fındıklı, Hüseyin Avni; Kardaş, Selçuk; Şahin, Merve Coşgun; Karaaslan, Mehmet Fatih

    2016-01-01

    Objective That treatment with second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) causes metabolic side effects and atherosclerosis in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD) is well-known. Increased arterial stiffness is an important marker of arteriosclerosis and has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. We measured pulse wave velocity (PWV) as a marker of arteriosclerosis in patients with schizophrenia and BD who use SGAs. Methods Patients and controls were collected from our psychiatry outpatient clinics or family medicine. Mental illness was diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. Mean age, gender, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, Framingham risk score (FRS), etc. were determined. Simultaneous electrocardiography and pulse wave were recorded with an electromyography device. The photo-plethysmographic method was used to record the pulse wave. Inclusion criteria included use of SGAs for at least the last six months. Patients with diseases that are known to cause stiffness and the use of typical antipsychotics were excluded. Results Ninety-six subject (56 patients, 40 controls) were included in our study. There were 49 females, 47 males. Patients had schizophrenia (n=17) and BD (n=39). Their treatments were quetiapine (n=15), risperidone (n=13), olanzapine (n=15), and aripiprazole (n=13). Although differences in mean age, gender, and FRS in the patient and control groups were not statistically significant (p=1), PWV was greater in patients in the antipsychotic group (p=0.048). Conclusion This study supported the liability to stiffness in patients with schizophrenia and BD. Using SGAs may contribute to arterial stiffness in these patients. PMID:27776389

  12. Dynamic stiffness model of spherical parallel robots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cammarata, Alessandro; Caliò, Ivo; D`Urso, Domenico; Greco, Annalisa; Lacagnina, Michele; Fichera, Gabriele

    2016-12-01

    A novel approach to study the elastodynamics of Spherical Parallel Robots is described through an exact dynamic model. Timoshenko arches are used to simulate flexible curved links while the base and mobile platforms are modelled as rigid bodies. Spatial joints are inherently included into the model without Lagrangian multipliers. At first, the equivalent dynamic stiffness matrix of each leg, made up of curved links joined by spatial joints, is derived; then these matrices are assembled to obtain the Global Dynamic Stiffness Matrix of the robot at a given pose. Actuator stiffness is also included into the model to verify its influence on vibrations and modes. The latter are found by applying the Wittrick-Williams algorithm. Finally, numerical simulations and direct comparison to commercial FE results are used to validate the proposed model.

  13. Stiffness, resilience, compressibility. Atomic scale force spectroscopy of biomolecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leu, Bogdan M.; Sage, J. Timothy

    2016-12-01

    The flexibility of a protein is an important component of its functionality. We use nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy (NRVS) to quantify the flexibility of the heme iron environment in the electron-carrying protein cytochrome c by measuring the stiffness and the resilience. These quantities are sensitive to structural differences between the active sites of different proteins, as illustrated by a comparative analysis with myoglobin. The elasticity of the entire protein, on the other hand, can be probed quantitatively from NRVS and high energy-resolution inelastic X-ray scattering (IXS) measurements, an approach that we used to extract the bulk modulus of cytochrome c.

  14. Stiffness Control of a Continuum Manipulator in Contact with a Soft Environment.

    PubMed

    Mahvash, Mohsen; Dupont, Pierre E

    2010-12-03

    Stiffness control of a continuum robot can prevent excessive contact forces during robot navigation inside delicate, uncertain and confined environments. Furthermore, it enables the selection of tip stiffnesses that match varying task requirements. This paper introduces a computationally-efficient approach to continuum-robot stiffness control that is based on writing the forward kinematic model as the product of two transformations. The first transformation calculates the non-contact kinematics of the robot and can be formulated based on the specific type of continuum robot under consideration. The second transformation calculates the tip deflection due to applied forces and is efficiently computed using the special Cosserat rod model. To implement a desired tip stiffness, the two transformations are used to solve for the actuator positions that deform the manipulator so as to generate the required tip force at the measured tip position. The efficacy of the proposed controller is demonstrated experimentally on a concentric-tube continuum robot.

  15. The Effects of Barefoot and Shod Running on Limb and Joint Stiffness Characteristics in Recreational Runners.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Jonathan; Atkins, Stephen; Taylor, Paul J

    2016-01-01

    The authors aimed to determine the effects of barefoot (BF) and several commercially available barefoot-inspired (BFIS) footwear models on limb and joint stiffness characteristics compared with conventional footwear (CF). Fifteen male participants ran over a force platform at 4.0 m.s(-1), in BF, BFIS, and CF conditions. Measures of limb and joint stiffness were calculated for each footwear. The results indicate that limb and knee stiffness were greater in BF and minimalist BFIS than in CF. CF and more structured BFIS were associated with a greater ankle stiffness compared with BF and minimalist BFIS. These findings serve to provide further insight into the susceptibility of runners to different injury mechanisms as a function of footwear.

  16. Assessment of stiffness changes in the ex vivo porcine aortic wall using magnetic resonance elastography

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Lei; Chen, Jun; Yin, Meng; Glaser, Kevin J.; Chen, Qingshan; Woodrum, David A.; Ehman, Richard L.

    2011-01-01

    Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is a noninvasive phase-contrast technique for estimating the mechanical properties of tissues by imaging propagating mechanical waves within the tissue. In this study, we hypothesize that changes in arterial wall stiffness, experimentally induced by formalin fixation, can be measured using MRE in ex vivo porcine aortas. In agreement with our hypothesis, the significant stiffness increase after sample fixation were clearly demonstrated by MRE and confirmed by mechanical testing. The results indicate that MRE can be used to examine the stiffness changes of the aorta. This study has provided evidence of the effectiveness of using MRE to directly assess the stiffness change in aortic wall. The results offer motivation to pursue MRE as a noninvasive method for the evaluation of arterial wall mechanical properties. PMID:22055848

  17. Novel method to evaluate angular stiffness of prosthetic feet from linear compression tests.

    PubMed

    Adamczyk, Peter G; Roland, Michelle; Hahn, Michael E

    2013-10-01

    Lower limb amputee gait during stance phase is related to the angular stiffness of the prosthetic foot, which describes the dependence of ankle torque on angular progression of the shank. However, there is little data on angular stiffness of prosthetic feet, and no method to directly measure it has been described. The objective of this study was to derive and evaluate a method to estimate the angular stiffness of prosthetic feet using a simple linear compression test. Linear vertical compression tests were performed on nine configurations of an experimental multicomponent foot (with known component stiffness properties and geometry), which allowed for parametric adjustment of hindfoot and forefoot stiffness properties and geometries. Each configuration was loaded under displacement control at distinct pylon test angles. Angular stiffness was calculated as a function of the pylon angle, normal force, and center of pressure (COP) rate of change with respect to linear displacement. Population root mean square error (RMSE) between the measured and predicted angular stiffness values for each configuration of the multicomponent foot was calculated to be 4.1 N-m/deg, dominated by a bias of the estimated values above the predicted values of 3.8 ± 1.6 N-m/deg. The best-fit line to estimated values was approximately parallel to the prediction, with R2 = 0.95. This method should be accessible for a variety of laboratories to estimate angular stiffness of experimental and commercially available prosthetic feet with minimal equipment.

  18. 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.

  19. Magnetic levitation and stiffness in melt-textured Y-Ba-Cu-O

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hull, J. R.; Mulcahy, T. M.; Salama, K.; Selvamanickam, V.; Weinberger, B. R.; Lynds, L.

    1992-09-01

    Magnetic levitation and stiffness have been measured in several systems composed of a permanent magnet elastically suspended above a stationary melt-textured sample of Y-Ba-Cu-O. The levitation force and vertical stiffness have been calculated on the basis of magnetization measurements of the same system, and the calculated results showed excellent agreement with the experimental measurements. Based on the force and magnetization measurements, it is predicted that the same Y-Ba-Cu-O material configured in a geometry suitable for magnetic bearings could produce a levitation pressure of 100-400 kPa at 20 K.

  20. Magnetic levitation and stiffness in melt-textured Y-Ba-Cu-O

    SciTech Connect

    Hull, J.R.; Mulcahy, T.M. ); Salama, K.; Selvamanickam, V. ); Weinberger, B.R.; Lynds, L. )

    1992-09-01

    Magnetic levitation and stiffness have been measured in several systems composed of a permanent magnet elastically suspended above a stationary melt-textured sample of Y-Ba-Cu-O. The levitation force and vertical stiffness have been calculated on the basis of magnetization measurements of the same system, and the calculated results showed excellent agreement with the experimental measurements. Based on the force and magnetization measurements, it is predicted that the same Y-Ba-Cu-O material configured in a geometry suitable for magnetic bearings could produce a levitation pressure of 100--400 kPa at 20 K.

  1. Modulation of fixation stiffness from flexible to stiff in a rat model of bone healing

    PubMed Central

    Bartnikowski, Nicole; Claes, Lutz E; Koval, Lidia; Glatt, Vaida; Bindl, Ronny; Steck, Roland; Ignatius, Anita; Schuetz, Michael A; Epari, Devakara R

    2017-01-01

    Background and purpose Constant fixator stiffness for the duration of healing may not provide suitable mechanical conditions for all stages of bone repair. We therefore investigated the influence of stiffening fixation on callus stiffness and morphology in a rat diaphyseal osteotomy model to determine whether healing time was shortened and callus stiffness increased through modulation of fixation from flexible to stiff. Material and methods An external unilateral fixator was applied to the osteotomized femur and stiffened by decreasing the offset of the inner fixator bar at 3, 7, 14, and 21 days after operation. After 5 weeks, the rats were killed and healing was evaluated with mechanical, histological, and microcomputed tomography methods. Constant fixation stiffness control groups with either stiff or flexible fixation were included for comparison. Results The callus stiffness of the stiff group and all 4 experimental groups was greater than in the flexible group. The callus of the flexible group was larger but contained a higher proportion of unmineralized tissue and cartilage. The stiff and modulated groups (3, 7, 14, and 21 days) all showed bony bridging at 5 weeks, as well as signs of callus remodeling. Stiffening fixation at 7 and 14 days after osteotomy produced the highest degree of callus bridging. Bone mineral density in the fracture gap was highest in animals in which the fixation was stiffened after 14 days. Interpretation The predicted benefit of a large robust callus formed through early flexible fixation could not be shown, but the benefits of stabilizing a flexible construct to achieve timely healing were demonstrated at all time points. PMID:27841708

  2. Modulation of fixation stiffness from flexible to stiff in a rat model of bone healing.

    PubMed

    Bartnikowski, Nicole; Claes, Lutz E; Koval, Lidia; Glatt, Vaida; Bindl, Ronny; Steck, Roland; Ignatius, Anita; Schuetz, Michael A; Epari, Devakara R

    2016-11-14

    Background and purpose - Constant fixator stiffness for the duration of healing may not provide suitable mechanical conditions for all stages of bone repair. We therefore investigated the influence of stiffening fixation on callus stiffness and morphology in a rat diaphyseal osteotomy model to determine whether healing time was shortened and callus stiffness increased through modulation of fixation from flexible to stiff. Material and methods - An external unilateral fixator was applied to the osteotomized femur and stiffened by decreasing the offset of the inner fixator bar at 3, 7, 14, and 21 days after operation. After 5 weeks, the rats were killed and healing was evaluated with mechanical, histological, and microcomputed tomography methods. Constant fixation stiffness control groups with either stiff or flexible fixation were included for comparison. Results - The callus stiffness of the stiff group and all 4 experimental groups was greater than in the flexible group. The callus of the flexible group was larger but contained a higher proportion of unmineralized tissue and cartilage. The stiff and modulated groups (3, 7, 14, and 21 days) all showed bony bridging at 5 weeks, as well as signs of callus remodeling. Stiffening fixation at 7 and 14 days after osteotomy produced the highest degree of callus bridging. Bone mineral density in the fracture gap was highest in animals in which the fixation was stiffened after 14 days. Interpretation - The predicted benefit of a large robust callus formed through early flexible fixation could not be shown, but the benefits of stabilizing a flexible construct to achieve timely healing were demonstrated at all time points.

  3. Noninvasive determination of ulnar stiffness from mechanical response--in vivo comparison of stiffness and bone mineral content in humans.

    PubMed

    Steele, C R; Zhou, L J; Guido, D; Marcus, R; Heinrichs, W L; Cheema, C

    1988-05-01

    An approach referred to as Mechanical Response Tissue Analysis (MRTA) has been developed for the noninvasive determination of mechanical properties of the constituents of the intact limb. Of specific interest in the present study is the bending stiffness of the ulna. The point mechanical impedance properties in the low frequency regime, between 60 and 1,600 Hz are used. The procedure requires a proper design of the probe for good contact of the skin at midshaft and proper support of the proximal and distal ends of the forearm to obtain an approximation to "simple support" of the ulna. A seven-parameter model for the mechanical response is then valid, which includes the first mode of anterior-posterior beam bending of the ulna, the damping and spring effect of the soft tissue between probe and bone, and the damping of musculature. A dynamic analyzer (HP3562A) provides in seconds the impedance curve and the pole-zero curve fit. The physical parameters are obtained from a closed-form solution in terms of the curve-fit parameters. The procedure is automated and is robust and analytically reliable at about the five percent level. Some 80 human subjects have been evaluated by this mechanical response system and by the Norland single photon absorptiometer, providing for the first time in vivo, a comparison of elastic bending stiffness (ulna) and bone mineral content (radius). Three functional parameters of potential clinical value are the cross-sectional bending stiffness EI, the axial load capability Pcr (Euler buckling load) and the bone "sufficiency" S, defined as the ratio of Pcr to body weight. The correlation between EI and bone mineral (r = 0.81) is only slightly less than previous in vitro results with both measurements on the same bone (r = 0.89). When sufficiency is taken into consideration, the correlation of Pcr and bone mineral content is improved (r = 0.89). An implication is that "quality" of bone is a factor which is not indicated by bone mineral content

  4. Applicability and accuracy improvement of transient elastography using the M and XL probes by experienced operators.

    PubMed

    Carrión, J A; Puigvehí, M; Coll, S; Garcia-Retortillo, M; Cañete, N; Fernández, R; Márquez, C; Giménez, M D; Garcia, M; Bory, F; Solà, R

    2015-03-01

    Transient elastography (TE) is the reference method to obtain liver stiffness measurements (LSM), but no results are obtained in 3.1% and unreliable in 15.8%. We assessed the applicability and diagnostic accuracy of TE re-evaluation using M and XL probes. From March 2011 to April 2012 868 LSM were performed with the M probe by trained operators (50-500 studies) (LSM1). Measurements were categorized as inadequate (no values or ratio <60% and/or IQR/LSM >30%) or adequate. Inadequate LSM1 were re-evaluated by experienced operators (>500 explorations) (LSM2) and inadequate LSM2 using XL probe (LSMXL). Inadequate LSM1 were obtained in 187 (21.5%) patients, IQR/LSM >30% in 97 (51%), ratio <60% in 24 (13%) and TE failed to obtain a measurement in 67 (36%). LSM2 achieved adequate registers in 123 (70%) of 175 registers previously considered as inadequate. Independent variables (OR, 95%CI) related to inadequate LSM1 were body mass index (1.11, 1.04-1.18), abdominal circumference (1.03, 1.01-1.06) and age (1.03, 1.01-1.04) and to inadequate LSM2 were skin-capsule distance (1.21, 1.09-1.34) and abdominal circumference (1.05, 1.01-1.10). The diagnostic accuracy (AUROC) to identify significant fibrosis improved from 0.89 (LSM1) to 0.91 (LSM2) (P = 0.046) in 334 patients with liver biopsy or clinically significant portal hypertension. A third evaluation (LSMXL) obtained adequate registers in 41 (93%) of 44 patients with inadequate LSM2. Operator experience increases the applicability and diagnostic accuracy of TE. The XL probe may be recommended for patients with inadequate values obtained by experienced operators using the M probe. http://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT01900808).

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Improved Stiff ODE Solvers for Combustion CFD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imren, A.; Haworth, D. C.

    2016-11-01

    Increasingly large chemical mechanisms are needed to predict autoignition, heat release and pollutant emissions in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of in-cylinder processes in compression-ignition engines and other applications. Calculation of chemical source terms usually dominates the computational effort, and several strategies have been proposed to reduce the high computational cost associated with realistic chemistry in CFD. Central to most strategies is a stiff ordinary differential equation (ODE) solver to compute the change in composition due to chemical reactions over a computational time step. Most work to date on stiff ODE solvers for computational combustion has focused on backward differential formula (BDF) methods, and has not explicitly considered the implications of how the stiff ODE solver couples with the CFD algorithm. In this work, a fresh look at stiff ODE solvers is taken that includes how the solver is integrated into a turbulent combustion CFD code, and the advantages of extrapolation-based solvers in this regard are demonstrated. Benefits in CPU time and accuracy are demonstrated for homogeneous systems and compression-ignition engines, for chemical mechanisms that range in size from fewer than 50 to more than 7,000 species.

  11. Stiff directed lines in random media.

    PubMed

    Boltz, Horst-Holger; Kierfeld, Jan

    2013-07-01

    We investigate the localization of stiff directed lines with bending energy by a short-range random potential. We apply perturbative arguments, Flory scaling arguments, a variational replica calculation, and functional renormalization to show that a stiff directed line in 1+d dimensions undergoes a localization transition with increasing disorder for d>2/3. We demonstrate that this transition is accessible by numerical transfer matrix calculations in 1+1 dimensions and analyze the properties of the disorder-dominated phase in detail. On the basis of the two-replica problem, we propose a relation between the localization of stiff directed lines in 1+d dimensions and of directed lines under tension in 1+3d dimensions, which is strongly supported by identical free-energy distributions. This shows that pair interactions in the replicated Hamiltonian determine the nature of directed line localization transitions with consequences for the critical behavior of the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang equation. We support the proposed relation to directed lines via multifractal analysis, revealing an analogous Anderson transition-like scenario and a matching correlation length exponent. Furthermore, we quantify how the persistence length of the stiff directed line is reduced by disorder.

  12. [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.

  13. Stiffness of lipid monolayers with phase coexistence.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Benjamín; Mangiarotti, Agustín; Wilke, Natalia

    2013-08-27

    The surface dilational modulus--or compressibility modulus--has been previously studied for monolayers composed of pure materials, where a jump in this modulus was related with the onset of percolation as a result of the establishment of a connected structure at the molecular level. In this work, we focused on monolayers composed of two components of low lateral miscibility. Our aim was to investigate the compressibility of mixed monolayers at pressures and compositions in the two-phase region of the phase diagram, in order to analyze the effect of the mechanical properties of each phase on the stiffness of the composite. In nine different systems with distinct molecular dipoles and charges, the stiffness of each phase and the texture at the plane of the monolayer were studied. In this way, we were able to analyze the general compressibility of two-phase lipid monolayers, regardless of the properties of their constituent parts. The results are discussed in the light of the following two hypotheses: first, the stiffness of the composite could be dominated by the stiffness of each phase as a weighted sum according to the percentage of each phase area, regardless of the distribution of the phases in the plane of the monolayer. Alternatively, the stiffness of the composite could be dominated by the mechanical properties of the continuous phase. Our results were better explained by this latter proposal, as in all the analyzed mixtures it was found that the mechanical properties of the percolating phase were the determining factors. The value of the compression modulus was closer to the value of the connected phase than to that of the dispersed phase, indicating that the bidimensional composites displayed mechanical properties that were related to the properties of each phases in a rather complex manner.

  14. Modeling and preliminary testing socket-residual limb interface stiffness of above-elbow prostheses.

    PubMed

    Sensinger, Jonathon W; Weir, Richard F ff

    2008-04-01

    The interface between the socket and residual limb can have a significant effect on the performance of a prosthesis. Specifically, knowledge of the rotational stiffness of the socket-residual limb (S-RL) interface is extremely useful in designing new prostheses and evaluating new control paradigms, as well as in comparing existing and new socket technologies. No previous studies, however, have examined the rotational stiffness of S-RL interfaces. To address this problem, a math model is compared to a more complex finite element analysis, to see if the math model sufficiently captures the main effects of S-RL interface rotational stiffness. Both of these models are then compared to preliminary empirical testing, in which a series of X-rays, called fluoroscopy, is taken to obtain the movement of the bone relative to the socket. Force data are simultaneously recorded, and the combination of force and movement data are used to calculate the empirical rotational stiffness of elbow S-RL interface. The empirical rotational stiffness values are then compared to the models, to see if values of Young's modulus obtained in other studies at localized points may be used to determine the global rotational stiffness of the S-RL interface. Findings include agreement between the models and empirical results and the ability of persons to significantly modulate the rotational stiffness of their S-RL interface a little less than one order of magnitude. The floor and ceiling of this range depend significantly on socket length and co-contraction levels, but not on residual limb diameter or bone diameter. Measured trans-humeral S-RL interface rotational stiffness values ranged from 24-140 Nm/rad for the four subjects tested in this study.

  15. A higher baseline plasma uric acid level is an independent predictor of arterial stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Xiao-Han; Wang, Xiaona; Cao, Ruihua; Yang, Xu; Xiao, Wenkai; Zhang, Yun; Bai, Yongyi; Wu, Hongmei; Ye, Ping

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Hyperuricemia has been demonstrated to be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Though the association between uric acid (UA) and arterial stiffness has been investigated previously in patients with basic diseases, the predictive value of baseline UA level for arterial stiffness has not been conducted. We aimed at identifying the predictive role of UA for arterial stiffness prospectively. A longitudinal follow-up study in a routine health check-up population was performed with an average follow-up of 4.8 years. The demographic information, baseline and follow-up anthropometric parameters, arterial stiffness (pulse-wave velocity, PWV), and biomarker variables including UA have been measured and analyzed. A total of 1447 valid follow-ups were available for the final analysis. Both of the baseline and follow-up UA levels were significantly higher in the arterial stiffness groups than that in the nonarterial stiffness groups (all P values <0.001). The follow-up carotid-femoral PWV [(cf-PWV), r = 0.161, P < 0.001] was strongly correlated with baseline UA. At the follow-up cross-section, cf-PWV was also closely associated with UA (r = 0.101, P < 0.001). Logistic regressions revealed that a higher baseline UA level was an independent predictor of follow-up arterial stiffness assessed by cf-PWV [odds ratio (OR): 1.824; P = 0.046]. A higher baseline level of UA is closely related to arterial stiffness and is an independent predictor of arterial stiffening. PMID:28178136

  16. 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

  17. Modeling effects of sagittal-plane hip joint stiffness on reciprocating gait orthosis-assisted gait.

    PubMed

    Johnson, William Brett; Fatone, Stefania; Gard, Steven A

    2013-01-01

    Upright ambulation is believed to improve quality of life for persons with lower-limb paralysis (LLP). However, ambulatory orthoses for persons with LLP, like reciprocating gait orthoses (RGOs), result in a slow, exhausting gait. Increasing the hip joint stiffness of these devices may improve the efficiency of RGO-assisted gait. The small, diverse population of RGO users makes subject recruitment challenging for clinical investigations. Therefore, we developed a lower-limb paralysis simulator (LLPS) that enabled nondisabled persons to exhibit characteristics of RGO-assisted gait, thereby serving as surrogate models for research. For this study, tests were conducted to determine the effects of increased hip joint stiffness on gait of nondisabled persons walking with the LLPS. A motion capture system, force plates, and spirometer were used to measure the hip flexion, crutch ground reaction forces (GRFs), and oxygen consumption of subjects as they walked with four different hip joint stiffness settings. Increasing the hip joint stiffness decreased hip flexion during ambulation but did not appear to affect the crutch GRFs. Walking speed was observed to initially increase with increases in hip joint stiffness, and then decrease. These findings suggest that increasing hip joint stiffness may increase walking speed for RGO users.

  18. A novel magnetorheological elastomer isolator with negative changing stiffness for vibration reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, J.; Sun, S. S.; Du, H.; Li, W. H.; Alici, G.; Deng, H. X.

    2014-10-01

    Magneto-rheological elastomers (MREs) have attracted notable credits in the development of smart isolators and absorbers due to their controllable stiffness and damping properties. For the purpose of mitigating unwanted structural and/or machinery vibrations, the traditional MRE-based isolators have been generally proven effective because the MR effect can increase the stiffness when the magnetic field is strengthened. This study presents a novel MRE isolator that experienced reduced stiffness when the applied current was increased. This innovative work was accomplished by applying a hybrid magnet (electromagnet and permanent magnets) onto a multilayered MRE structure. To characterise this negative changing stiffness concept, a multilayered MRE isolator with a hybrid magnet was first designed, fabricated and then tested to measure its properties. An obvious reduction of the effective stiffness and natural frequency of the proposed MRE isolator occurred when the current was continuously adjusted. This device could also work as a conventional MRE isolator as its effective stiffness and natural frequency also increased when a negative current was applied. Further testing was carried out on a one-degree-of-freedom system to assess how effectively this device could isolate vibration. In this experiment, two cases were considered; in each case, the vibration of the primary system was obviously attenuated under ON-OFF control logic, thus demonstrating the feasibility of this novel design as an alternative adaptive vibration isolator.

  19. An analysis on muscle tone and stiffness during sling exercise on static prone position

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jeong-Ja

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine changes in the muscle tone and stiffness of the lumbar region while individuals adopted the static prone position using sling suspension. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects were 30 healthy women in their 20s. The muscle tone and stiffness of the upper and lower lumbar regions of the sling suspension group and a control group were measured using myotonmetory as they maintained the static prone positon. [Results] The sling suspension group showed statistically significant declines in the muscle tone and stiffness of the upper lumbar region 5–10 min after adopting the initial prone position. They also showed statistically significant declines in the muscle tone and stiffness of the lower lumbar region immediately after being suspended in the slings and a statistically significant decline in the muscle tone of the lower lumbar region 5–10 min after adopting the initial prone position during which the sling suspension was applied. In contrast, the muscle tone and stiffness of the lumbar region of the control group increased while maintaining the static prone position. [Conclusion] The static prone position performed on a treatment table using sling suspension can be an effective intervention for reducing the muscle tone and stiffness of the lumbar region. PMID:28174469

  20. Effects of golf shaft stiffness on strain, clubhead presentation and wrist kinematics.

    PubMed

    Betzler, Nils F; Monk, Stuart A; Wallace, Eric S; Otto, Steve R

    2012-06-01

    The aim of this study was to quantify and explain the effect of shaft stiffness on the dynamics of golf drives. Twenty golfers performed swings with two clubs designed to differ only in shaft bending stiffness. Wrist kinematics and clubhead presentation to the ball were determined using optical motion capture systems in conjunction with a radar device for capturing ball speed, launch angle, and spin. Shaft stiffness had a marginally small effect on clubhead and ball speeds, which increased by 0.45% (p < 0.001) and 0.7% (p = 0.008), respectively, for the less stiff club. Two factors directly contributed to these increases: (i) a faster recovery of the lower flex shaft from lag to lead bending just before impact (p < 0.001); and (ii) an increase of 0.4% in angular velocity of the grip of the lower flex club at impact (p = 0.003). Unsurprisingly, decreases in shaft stiffness led to more shaft bending at the transition from backswing to downswing (p < 0.001). Contrary to previous research, lead bending at impact marginally increased for the stiffer shaft (p = 0.003). Overall, and taking effect sizes into account, the changes in shaft stiffness in isolation did not have a meaningful effect on the measured parameters, for the type of shaft investigated.

  1. Topography compensation for haptization of a mesh object and its stiffness distribution.

    PubMed

    Yim, Sunghoon; Jeon, Seokhee; Choi, Seungmoon

    2015-01-01

    This work was motivated by the need for perceptualizing nano-scale scientific data, e.g., those acquired by a scanning probe microscope, where collocated topography and stiffness distribution of a surface can be measured. Previous research showed that when the topography of a surface with spatially varying stiffness is rendered using the conventional penalty-based haptic rendering method, the topography perceived by the user could be significantly distorted from its original model. In the worst case, a higher region with a smaller stiffness value can be perceived to be lower than a lower region with a larger stiffness value. This problem was explained by the theory of force constancy: the user tends to maintain an invariant contact force when s/he strokes the surface to perceive its topography. In this paper, we present a haptization algorithm that can render the shape of a mesh surface and its stiffness distribution with high perceptual accuracy. Our algorithm adaptively changes the surface topography on the basis of the force constancy theory to deliver adequate shape information to the user while preserving the stiffness perception. We also evaluated the performance of the proposed haptization algorithm in comparison to the constraint-based algorithm by examining relevant proximal stimuli and carrying out a user experiment. Results demonstrated that our algorithm could improve the perceptual accuracy of shape and reduce the exploration time, thereby leading to more accurate and efficient haptization.

  2. Aging impairs smooth muscle-mediated regulation of aortic stiffness: a defect in shock absorption function?

    PubMed

    Gao, Yuan Z; Saphirstein, Robert J; Yamin, Rina; Suki, Bela; Morgan, Kathleen G

    2014-10-15

    Increased aortic stiffness is an early and independent biomarker of cardiovascular disease. Here we tested the hypothesis that vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) contribute significantly to aortic stiffness and investigated the mechanisms involved. The relative contributions of VSMCs, focal adhesions (FAs), and matrix to stiffness in mouse aorta preparations at optimal length and with confirmed VSMC viability were separated by the use of small-molecule inhibitors and activators. Using biomechanical methods designed for minimal perturbation of cellular function, we directly quantified changes with aging in aortic material stiffness. An alpha adrenoceptor agonist, in the presence of N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME) to remove interference of endothelial nitric oxide, increases stiffness by 90-200% from baseline in both young and old mice. Interestingly, increases are robustly suppressed by the Src kinase inhibitor PP2 in young but not old mice. Phosphotyrosine screening revealed, with aging, a biochemical signature of markedly impaired agonist-induced FA remodeling previously associated with Src signaling. Protein expression measurement confirmed a decrease in Src expression with aging. Thus we report here an additive model for the in vitro biomechanical components of the mouse aortic wall in which 1) VSMCs are a surprisingly large component of aortic stiffness at physiological lengths and 2) regulation of the VSMC component through FA signaling and hence plasticity is impaired with aging, diminishing the aorta's normal shock absorption function in response to stressors.

  3. Comparative study of diastolic filling under varying left ventricular wall stiffness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekala, Pritam; Santhanakrishnan, Arvind

    2014-11-01

    Pathological remodeling of the human cardiac left ventricle (LV) is observed in hypertensive heart failure as a result of pressure overload. Myocardial stiffening occurs in these patients prior to chronic maladaptive changes, resulting in increased LV wall stiffness. The goal of this study was to investigate the change in intraventricular filling fluid dynamics inside a physical model of the LV as a function of wall stiffness. Three LV models of varying wall stiffness were incorporated into an in vitro flow circuit driven by a programmable piston pump. Windkessel elements were used to tune the inflow and systemic pressure in the model with least stiffness to match healthy conditions. Models with stiffer walls were comparatively tested maintaining circuit compliance, resistance and pump amplitude constant. 2D phase-locked PIV measurements along the central plane showed that with increase in wall stiffness, the peak velocity and cardiac output inside the LV decreased. Further, inflow vortex ring propagation toward the LV apex was reduced with increasing stiffness. The above findings indicate the importance of considering LV wall relaxation characteristics in pathological studies of filling fluid dynamics.

  4. Aging impairs smooth muscle-mediated regulation of aortic stiffness: a defect in shock absorption function?

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yuan Z.; Saphirstein, Robert J.; Yamin, Rina; Suki, Bela

    2014-01-01

    Increased aortic stiffness is an early and independent biomarker of cardiovascular disease. Here we tested the hypothesis that vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) contribute significantly to aortic stiffness and investigated the mechanisms involved. The relative contributions of VSMCs, focal adhesions (FAs), and matrix to stiffness in mouse aorta preparations at optimal length and with confirmed VSMC viability were separated by the use of small-molecule inhibitors and activators. Using biomechanical methods designed for minimal perturbation of cellular function, we directly quantified changes with aging in aortic material stiffness. An alpha adrenoceptor agonist, in the presence of NG-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME) to remove interference of endothelial nitric oxide, increases stiffness by 90–200% from baseline in both young and old mice. Interestingly, increases are robustly suppressed by the Src kinase inhibitor PP2 in young but not old mice. Phosphotyrosine screening revealed, with aging, a biochemical signature of markedly impaired agonist-induced FA remodeling previously associated with Src signaling. Protein expression measurement confirmed a decrease in Src expression with aging. Thus we report here an additive model for the in vitro biomechanical components of the mouse aortic wall in which 1) VSMCs are a surprisingly large component of aortic stiffness at physiological lengths and 2) regulation of the VSMC component through FA signaling and hence plasticity is impaired with aging, diminishing the aorta's normal shock absorption function in response to stressors. PMID:25128168

  5. Heart Rate Dependency of Large Artery Stiffness.

    PubMed

    Tan, Isabella; Spronck, Bart; Kiat, Hosen; Barin, Edward; Reesink, Koen D; Delhaas, Tammo; Avolio, Alberto P; Butlin, Mark

    2016-07-01

    Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) quantifies large artery stiffness, it is used in hemodynamic research and is considered a useful cardiovascular clinical marker. cfPWV is blood pressure (BP) dependent. Intrinsic heart rate (HR) dependency of cfPWV is unknown because increasing HR is commonly accompanied by increasing BP. This study aims to quantify cfPWV dependency on acute, sympathovagal-independent changes in HR, independent of BP. Individuals (n=52, age 40-93 years, 11 female) with in situ cardiac pacemakers or cardioverter defibrillators were paced at 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 bpm. BP and cfPWV were measured at each HR. Both cfPWV (mean [95% CI], 0.31 [0.26-0.37] m/s per 10 bpm; P<0.001) and central aortic diastolic pressure (3.78 [3.40-4.17] mm Hg/10 bpm; P<0.001) increased with HR. The HR effect on cfPWV was isolated by correcting the BP effects by 3 different methods: (1) statistically, by a linear mixed model; (2) mathematically, using an exponential relationship between BP and cross-sectional lumen area; and (3) using measured BP dependency of cfPWV derived from changes in BP induced by orthostatic changes (seated and supine) in a subset of subjects (n=17). The BP-independent effects of HR on cfPWV were quantified as 0.20 [0.11-0.28] m/s per 10 bpm (P<0.001, method 1), 0.16 [0.11-0.22] m/s per 10 bpm (P<0.001, method 2), and 0.16 [0.11-0.21] m/s per 10 bpm (P<0.001, method 3). With a mean HR dependency in the range of 0.16 to 0.20 m/s per 10 bpm, cfPWV may be considered to have minimal physiologically relevant changes for small changes in HR, but larger differences in HR must be considered as contributing to significant differences in cfPWV.

  6. Basic study of intrinsic elastography: Relationship between tissue stiffness and propagation velocity of deformation induced by pulsatile flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagaoka, Ryo; Iwasaki, Ryosuke; Arakawa, Mototaka; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Yoshizawa, Shin; Umemura, Shin-ichiro; Saijo, Yoshifumi

    2015-07-01

    We proposed an estimation method for a tissue stiffness from deformations induced by arterial pulsation, and named this proposed method intrinsic elastography (IE). In IE, assuming that the velocity of the deformation propagation in tissues is closely related to the stiffness, the propagation velocity (PV) was estimated by spatial compound ultrasound imaging with a high temporal resolution of 1 ms. However, the relationship between tissue stiffness and PV has not been revealed yet. In this study, the PV of the deformation induced by the pulsatile pump was measured by IE in three different poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) phantoms of different stiffnesses. The measured PV was compared with the shear wave velocity (SWV) measured by shear wave imaging (SWI). The measured PV has trends similar to the measured SWV. These results obtained by IE in a healthy male show the possibility that the mechanical properties of living tissues could be evaluated by IE.

  7. 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.

  8. Micro-Finite Element analysis will overestimate the compressive stiffness of fractured cancellous bone.

    PubMed

    Arias-Moreno, Andrés Julián; Ito, Keita; van Rietbergen, Bert

    2016-09-06

    Recently, micro-Finite Element (micro-FE) analysis based on High Resolution peripheral Quantitative CT (HRpQCT) images was introduced to quantify the state of fracture healing (de Jong et al., 2014). That study suggested that the direct post-fracture stiffness may be overestimated by micro-FE. The aim of this study was to investigate this further by measuring the loss in stiffness of cancellous bone samples under compressive loading and to compare this with predictions based on micro-FE analyses and bone microstructural and fracture morphology. Sixty porcine trabecular cores were micro-CT scanned and tested in compression before and after inducing a fracture in 4 different manners. The loss in stiffness as measured in the experiment was compared to that calculated from micro-FE analysis. Additionally, bone morphology parameters and fracture thickness were calculated. The experimentally measured loss in stiffness ranged from 37% to 80%. The losses calculated from the micro-FE analyses were lower and ranged from 36% to 61%, while in one case an increase in stiffness was calculated. For 2 of the 4 experiments, the results of the experiment and micro-FE analyses were significantly different. Only for very smooth fractures good agreement was obtained between FE and experimental results. The loss in stiffness did not correlate with any investigated bone morphology parameter or the thickness of the fracture region. It was concluded that micro-FE analysis can severely overestimate the stiffness of fractured bone depending on the type of fracture, but in the case of smooth fractures good estimates are possible.

  9. Blood pressure and arterial stiffness in obese children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Hvidt, Kristian Nebelin

    2015-03-01

    Obesity, elevated blood pressure (BP) and arterial stiffness are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. A strong relationship exists between obesity and elevated BP in both children and adults. Obesity and elevated BP in childhood track into adult life increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Ambulatory BP is the most precise measure to evaluate the BP burden, whereas carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) is regarded as the gold standard for evaluating arterial (i.e. aortic) stiffness. These measures might contribute to a better understanding of obesity's adverse impact on the cardiovascular system, and ultimately a better prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. The overall aim of the present PhD thesis is to investigate arterial stiffness and 24-hour BP in obese children and adolescents, and evaluate whether these measures are influenced by weight reduction. The present PhD thesis is based on four scientific papers.  In a cross-sectional design, 104 severe obese children and adolescents with an age of 10-18 years were recruited when newly referred to the Children's Obesity Clinic, Holbæk University Hospital, and compared to 50 normal weighted age and gender matched control individuals. Ambulatory BP was measured, and cfPWV was investigated in two ways in respect to the distance measure of aorta; the previously recommended length - the so called subtracted distance, and the currently recommended length - the direct distance. In a longitudinal design, the obese patients were re-investigated after one-year of lifestyle intervention at the Children's Obesity Clinic in purpose of reducing the degree of obesity. In the cross-sectional design, the obese group had higher measures of obesity, while matched for age, gender and height, when compared to the control group. In the longitudinal design, 74% of the 72 followed up obese patients experienced a significant weight reduction. CfPWV was dependent on the method used to measure the

  10. 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.

  11. Wave propagation of myocardial stretch: correlation with myocardial stiffness.

    PubMed

    Pislaru, Cristina; Pellikka, Patricia A; Pislaru, Sorin V

    2014-01-01

    The mechanism of flow propagation during diastole in the left ventricle (LV) has been well described. Little is known about the associated waves propagating along the heart walls. These waves may have a mechanism similar to pulse wave propagation in arteries. The major goal of the study was to evaluate the effect of myocardial stiffness and preload on this wave transmission. Longitudinal late diastolic deformation and wave speed (Vp) of myocardial stretch in the anterior LV wall were measured using sonomicrometry in 16 pigs. Animals with normal and altered myocardial stiffness (acute myocardial infarction) were studied with and without preload alterations. Elastic modulus estimated from Vp (E VP; Moens-Korteweg equation) was compared to incremental elastic modulus obtained from exponential end-diastolic stress-strain relation (E SS). Myocardial distensibility and α- and β-coefficients of stress-strain relations were calculated. Vp was higher at reperfusion compared to baseline (2.6 ± 1.3 vs. 1.3 ± 0.4 m/s; p = 0.005) and best correlated with E SS (r2 = 0.80, p < 0.0001), β-coefficient (r2 = 0.78, p < 0.0001), distensibility (r2 = 0.47, p = 0.005), and wall thickness/diameter ratio (r2 = 0.42, p = 0.009). Elastic moduli (E VP and E SS) were strongly correlated (r2 = 0.83, p < 0.0001). Increasing preload increased Vp and E VP and decreased distensibility. At multivariate analysis, E SS, wall thickness, and end-diastolic and systolic LV pressures were independent predictors of Vp (r2 model = 0.83, p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the main determinants of wave propagation of longitudinal myocardial stretch were myocardial stiffness and LV geometry and pressure. This local wave speed could potentially be measured noninvasively by echocardiography.

  12. Seasonal variation of leg stiffness in professional Australian rules footballers.

    PubMed

    Pruyn, Elizabeth C; Watsford, Mark L; Murphy, Aron J; Pine, Matthew J; Spurrs, Robert W; Cameron, Matkthew L; Johnston, Richard J

    2013-07-01

    Leg stiffness (Kleg) is an important component to consider in both performance and injury in the Australian Football League (AFL). Kleg has not yet been examined longitudinally throughout an entire AFL season. A unilateral hop test was used to measure Kleg in the left and right legs of 25 professional AFL players (24.9 ± 4.3 years, 86.8 ± 8.1 kg, 187.0 ± 7.3 cm). Kleg was assessed at least once per month for each participant. Furthermore, the session rate of perceived exertion method was used to quantify the average weekly training loads experienced by the participants. One-way analysis of variance revealed no significant difference between the average monthly bilateral Kleg scores; however, average weekly training loads varied between 1,400 and 2,000 AU, depending on the training period. Thirteen participants were randomly selected to perform hop tests on 2 consecutive weeks. Reliability tests revealed these measurements to have a typical error of the measurement of 4.15% and an intraclass correlation of 0.8, proving the methods to be reliable. Although training intensity appears to vary, Kleg does not fluctuate significantly across an entire AFL season, suggesting that weekly training loads between 1,400 and 2,000 AU may be prescribed without the risk of fluctuating stiffness levels.

  13. Morning stiffness and other patient-reported outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Sokka, T

    2011-01-01

    Morning stiffness has been recognized in traditional approaches to assessment of disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although morning stiffness is not specific to RA, changes in morning stiffness for an individual patient are helpful when monitoring health status. Health professionals can ask about morning stiffness but the most accurate and consistent approach to assessment from one visit to the next appears to be a patient self-report questionnaire. However, quantitative measures of patient-reported data are not an integral part of clinical monitoring in most clinics. No single measure is adequate for all individual patients, so quantitative measurement of patient-reported data should include many elements such as pain, functional status, fatigue, sleep, morning stiffness, work capacity, and physical and emotional well-being. In daily clinical practice, patient-reported outcomes can be collected easily using a standard questionnaire that patients can complete with pencil and paper or electronically on a touch screen in the waiting room. The results are then immediately available to the rheumatologists, to facilitate doctor-patient communication to improve the quality of patient care, leading to better patient outcomes.

  14. Lamb Wave Stiffness Characterization of Composites Undergoing Thermal-Mechanical Aging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seale, Michael D.; Madaras, Eric I.

    2004-01-01

    The introduction of new, advanced composite materials into aviation systems requires a thorough understanding of the long term effects of combined thermal and mechanical loading upon those materials. Analytical methods investigating the effects of intense thermal heating combined with mechanical loading have been investigated. The damage mechanisms and fatigue lives were dependent on test parameters as well as stress levels. Castelli, et al. identified matrix dominated failure modes for out-of-phase cycling and fiber dominated damage modes for in-phase cycling. In recent years, ultrasonic methods have been developed that can measure the mechanical stiffness of composites. To help evaluate the effect of aging, a suitably designed Lamb wave measurement system is being used to obtain bending and out-of-plane stiffness coefficients of composite laminates undergoing thermal-mechanical loading. The system works by exciting an antisymmetric Lamb wave and calculating the velocity at each frequency from the known transducer separation and the measured time-of-flight. The same peak in the waveforms received at various distances is used to measure the time difference between the signals. The velocity measurements are accurate and repeatable to within 1% resulting in reconstructed stiffness values repeatable to within 4%. Given the material density and plate thickness, the bending and out-of-plane shear stiffnesses are calculated from a reconstruction of the dispersion curve. A mechanical scanner is used to move the sensors over the surface to map the time-of-flight, velocity, or stiffnesses of the entire specimen. Access to only one side of the material is required and no immersion or couplants are required because the sensors are dry coupled to the surface of the plate. In this study, the elastic stiffnesses D(sub 11), D(sub 22), A(sub 44), and A(sub 55) as well as time-of-flight measurements for composite samples that have undergone combined thermal and mechanical aging for

  15. Chain stiffness of elastin-like polypeptides

    PubMed Central

    Fluegel, Sabine; Fischer, Karl; McDaniel, Jonathan R.; Chilkoti, Ashutosh; Schmidt, Manfred

    2010-01-01

    The hydrodynamic radii of a series of genetically engineered monodisperse elastin like polypeptides (ELP) was determined by dynamic light scattering in aqueous solution as function of molar mass. Utilizing the known theoretical expression for the hydrodynamic radius of wormlike chains, the Kuhn statistical segment length was determined to be lk = 2.1 nm, assuming that the length of the peptide repeat unit was b = 0.365 nm, a value derived for a coiled conformation of ELP. The resulting chain stiffness is significantly larger than previously reported by force-distance curve analysis (lk < 0.4 nm). The possible occurrence of superstructures, such as hairpins or helices, would reduce the contour length of the ELP, further increasing lk. Accordingly, the value lk = 2.1 nm reported here represents a lower limit of the chain stiffness for ELP. PMID:20961120

  16. [Stiff person syndrome--case report].

    PubMed

    Tomczykiewicz, Kazimierz; Pastuszak, Zanna; Staszewski, Jacek; Stepień, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Stiff person syndrome (SPS) is the rare disease and cause great inefficient. It is characterized by progressive stiffness muscles of trunk and the limbs on which the cramps of muscles overlap. In the electrophysiological investigation of the patients the involuntary discharge of motor unit potentials find and also simultaneous contraction agonistic and antagonistic muscles. SPS is presented with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus often or is the symptom of the paraneoplastic syndrome. It is commonly associated with high anti-glutamic acid decarboxylaze (GAD) antibody titters in the serum of the blood of patients. Establishing the diagnosis can cause difficulties. We observed the patient in the last period about the atypical course the disease. The diagnosis was confirmed occurrences of the high titters of antibodies anti-GAD, the discharge of motor unit potential in paraspinal muscles in the rest and good response the treatment with diazepamem.

  17. Light weight high-stiffness stage platen

    DOEpatents

    Spence, Paul A.

    2001-01-01

    An improved light weight, stiff stage platen for photolithography is provided. The high stiffness of the stage platen is exemplified by a relatively high first resonant vibrational mode as determined, for instance, by finite element modal analysis. The stage platen can be employed to support a chuck that is designed to secure a mask or wafer. The stage platen includes a frame that has interior walls that define an interior region and that has exterior walls wherein the outer surfaces of at least two adjacent walls are reflective mirror surfaces; and a matrix of ribs within the interior region that is connected to the interior walls wherein the stage platen exhibits a first vibrational mode at a frequency of greater than about 1000 Hz.

  18. 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.

  19. Relation of arterial stiffness with gestational age and birth weight

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Y; Wong, K; Lam, B.; Tsoi, N

    2004-01-01

    Background: The cardiovascular risk of individuals who are born small as a result of prematurity remains controversial. Given the previous findings of stiffer peripheral conduit arteries in growth restricted donor twins in twin–twin transfusion syndrome regardless of gestational age, we hypothesised that among children born preterm, only those with intrauterine growth retardation are predisposed to an increase in cardiovascular risks. Aim: To compare brachioradial arterial stiffness and systemic blood pressure (BP) among children born preterm and small for gestational age (group 1, n = 15), those born preterm but having birth weight appropriate for gestational age (group 2, n = 36), and those born at term with birth weight appropriate for gestational age (group 3, n = 35). Methods: Systemic BP was measured by an automated device (Dinamap), while stiffness of the brachioradial arterial segment was assessed by measuring pulse wave velocity (PWV). The birth weight was adjusted for gestational age and expressed as a z score for analysis. Results: The 86 children were studied at a mean (SD) age of 8.2 (1.7) years. Subjects from group 1, who were born at 32.3 (2.0) weeks' gestation had a significantly lower z score of birth weight (-2.29 (0.63), p<0.001), compared with those from groups 2 and 3. They had a significantly higher mean blood pressure (p<0.001) and their diastolic blood pressure also tended to be higher (p = 0.07). Likewise, their brachioradial PWV, and hence arterial stiffness, was the highest of the three groups (p<0.001). While subjects from group 2 were similarly born preterm, their PWV was not significantly different from that of group 3 subjects (p = 1.00) and likewise their z score of birth weight did not differ (-0.01 (0.71) v -0.04 (1.1), p = 1.00). Brachioradial PWV correlated significantly with systolic (r = 0.31, p = 0.004), diastolic (r = 0.38, p<0.001), and mean (0.47, p<0.001) BP, and with z score of birth weight (r = -0.43, p<0

  20. Nonaffine rubber elasticity for stiff polymer networks.

    PubMed

    Heussinger, Claus; Schaefer, Boris; Frey, Erwin

    2007-09-01

    We present a theory for the elasticity of cross-linked stiff polymer networks. Stiff polymers, unlike their flexible counterparts, are highly anisotropic elastic objects. Similar to mechanical beams, stiff polymers easily deform in bending, while they are much stiffer with respect to tensile forces ("stretching"). Unlike in previous approaches, where network elasticity is derived from the stretching mode, our theory properly accounts for the soft bending response. A self-consistent effective medium approach is used to calculate the macroscopic elastic moduli starting from a microscopic characterization of the deformation field in terms of "floppy modes"-low-energy bending excitations that retain a high degree of nonaffinity. The length scale characterizing the emergent nonaffinity is given by the "fiber length" lf, defined as the scale over which the polymers remain straight. The calculated scaling properties for the shear modulus are in excellent agreement with the results of recent simulations obtained in two-dimensional model networks. Furthermore, our theory can be applied to rationalize bulk rheological data in reconstituted actin networks.

  1. Ethnic Differences in Bending Stiffness of the Ulna and Tibia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnaud, S. B.; Liang, M. T. C.; Bassin, S.; Braun, W.; Dutto, D.; Plesums, K.; Huvnh, H. T.; Cooper, D.; Wong, N.

    2004-01-01

    There is considerable information about the variations in bone mass associated with different opportunity to compare a mechanical property of bone in young college women of Caucasian, Hispanic and Asian descent who gave informed consent to participate in an exercise study. The subjects were sedentary, in good health, eumenorrheic, non-smokers and had body mass indices (BMI) less than 30. Measurements acquired were body weight, kg, and height, cm, calcaneal and wrist bone density, g/square cm (PIXI, Lunar GE) and bending stiffness (EI, Nm(exp 2)) in the ulna and tibia. E1 was determined non-invasively with an instrument called the Mechanical Response Tissue Analyzer (MRTA) that delivers a vibratory stimulus to the center of the ulna or tibia and analyzes the response curve based on the equation E1 = k(sub b) L(exp 3)/48 where k, is lateral bending stiffness, L is the length of the bone, E is Young's modulus of elasticity and I, the bending moment of inertia. The error of the test (CV) based on measurements of an aluminum rod with a known E1 was 4.8%, of calcaneal BMD, 0.54%, and of wrist bone density, 3.45%.

  2. Reflex ankle stiffness is inversely correlated with natural body sway.

    PubMed

    Julien, Brianna L; Bendrups, Andrew P

    2016-02-01

    We aimed to determine whether effective ankle stiffness (EAS), measured during slow unperceived perturbations of stance, is related to natural anterior-posterior body sway. Because the perturbations are not perceived, any neural component of the response to perturbation is assumed to be "reflex", in the broad sense of an involuntary response to a stimulus. Subjects stood on a force platform for three 10-min trials. EAS was obtained from the average slope (Δτ/Δα) of the relation between ankle torque (τ) and ankle angle (α), recorded during repeated perturbations delivered at the waist by a weak spring. EAS was normalised using the subject's "load stiffness" (LS), calculated from mass (m) and height (h) above the ankle joint (m·g·h). Sway was obtained from fluctuations in ankle angle prior to perturbation. Variation in EAS and sway between subjects provided spread of data for correlation. There were no significant changes in EAS or sway across trials. All subjects had higher EAS than LS and mean EAS (1124 N m/rad) was significantly greater (p<0.01) than mean LS (531 N m/rad). There was a strong significant inverse correlation between mean sway and mean normalised EAS (r=-0.68, p=0.03). We conclude that the body, in response to slow unperceived perturbations, simulates an inverted pendulum with a stiffness of about twice LS and that EAS is largely generated by neural modulation of postural muscles. The inverse correlation between EAS and body sway suggests that the reflex mechanisms responding to perturbation also influence the extent of natural sway.

  3. Arterial stiffness profiles: investigating various sections of the arterial tree of African and Caucasian people.

    PubMed

    Schutte, Aletta E; Huisman, Hugo W; Schutte, Rudolph; Van Rooyen, Johannes M; Malan, Leoné; Malan, Nicolaas T; Reimann, Manja

    2011-01-01

    In Africans, arterial stiffness progression seems more pronounced compared to Caucasians. We compared the arterial stiffness profiles of different age groups and focused on muscular arteries and two more central arterial segments in African and Caucasian people from South Africa. In African (N = 374) and Caucasian (N = 376) participants (20-70 years), we measured carotid-radial (C-R) and carotid-dorsalis pedis (C-DP) pulse wave velocity (PWV) and aortic characteristic impedance (Zao). Major findings were that normotensive and high-normal/hypertensive (HT) Caucasians indicated increased trends of C-R PWV with aging (P = .029 and P = .067), not seen in the African groups (P = .122 and P = .526). Both ethnic groups showed significant increases of C-DP PWV and Zao with aging. High-normal/hypertensive Africans had significantly stiffer arteries than hypertensive Caucasians for almost all age groups, and for all stiffness measures. African C-R PWV correlated significantly with blood pressure (BP), but not with age. Opposite results were observed for Caucasians. In conclusion, the stiffness of muscular arteries is already elevated in young Africans, in both those with normal or elevated BP. This is possibly due to an earlier deterioration during childhood, or perhaps already present from birth. Also, in Caucasians stiffness seems more age-related, while in Africans it seems to be more pressure-related.

  4. 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.

  5. Development of easy operating arterial stiffness assessment instrument for home care.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hsien-Tsai; Yao, Cheng-Tso; Wu, Tsang-Chih; Liu, An-Bang

    2007-01-01

    In this study, 41 asymptomatic subjects (22 men and 19 women, 20 to 60 years of age) were enrolled. The PWV was measured both by dual-channel PPG (PWV-DVP) and by the proposed PWV instrument, Pulse Wave Velocity by Digital Volume Pulse Easy (PWV-DVPE). The developed system recorded digital volume pulse simultaneously from both the finger and ear. Time of pulse transition was measured on the time delay difference between two digital volume pulses. The PWV was calculated by dividing the distance between finger and ear by that of transit time. PWV-DVPE's capability of precise self-monitoring arterial stiffness is being proven in this study. In home care area, only few minutes is needed for self arterial stiffness assessment. Therefore, early self-monitoring of cardio-vascular dys-function and arterial stiffness is easily and effectively achieved.

  6. 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

  7. Nonlinear effects on the stiffness of bolted joints

    SciTech Connect

    Lehnhoff, T.F.; Wistehuff, W.E.

    1996-02-01

    Axisymmetric finite element modeling of bolted joints was performed to show the effects of the magnitude and position of the external load, member thickness, and member material on the bolt and member stiffnesses. The member stiffness of the bolted joint was found to decrease 10 to 42 percent for the 20-mm to 8-mm bolts, respectively, as the magnitude of the external load was increased. Member stiffness appears to be independent of the radial location of the external load and increases as the member thickness decreases. Member stiffness decreased by a factor of 2.5 to 3 with a change in the member material from steel to aluminum. The cast iron members had a decrease in member stiffness of a factor of 1.7 to 1.9. The aluminum over cast iron combination had a member stiffness between the aluminum and cast iron alone. Bolt stiffnesses varied by less than two percent for changes in the magnitude of the external load for all bolt sizes and member materials, except for the 8-mm bolt where stiffness increased by approximately 11 percent. Changes in radial position of the external load had no effect on the bolt stiffness. A 3 to 13-percent decrease in the bolt stiffness was found when changing from steel to aluminum members. A 2 to 3-percent bolt stiffness decrease resulted when the member material was changed from steel to cast iron and similarly from steel to the aluminum over cast iron combination.

  8. In vivo tibial stiffness is maintained by whole bone morphology and cross-sectional geometry in growing female mice

    PubMed Central

    Main, Russell P.; Lynch, Maureen E.; van der Meulen, Marjolein C.H.

    2010-01-01

    Whole bone morphology, cortical geometry, and tissue material properties modulate skeletal stresses and strains that in turn influence skeletal physiology and remodeling. Understanding how bone stiffness, the relationship between applied load and tissue strain, is regulated by developmental changes in bone structure and tissue material properties is important in implementing biophysical strategies for promoting healthy bone growth and preventing bone loss. The goal of this study was to relate developmental patterns of in vivo whole bone stiffness to whole bone morphology, cross-sectional geometry, and tissue properties using a mouse axial loading model. We measured in vivo tibial stiffness in three age groups (6wks, 10wks, 16wks old) of female C57Bl/6 mice during cyclic tibial compression. Tibial stiffness was then related to cortical geometry, longitudinal bone curvature, and tissue mineral density using microcomputed tomography (microCT). Tibial stiffness and the stresses induced by axial compression were generally maintained from 6 to 16wks of age. Growth-related increases in cortical cross-sectional geometry and longitudinal bone curvature had counteracting effects on induced bone stresses and, therefore, maintained tibial stiffness similarly with growth. Tissue mineral density increased slightly from 6 to 16wks of age, and although the effects of this increase on tibial stiffness were not directly measured, its role in the modulation of whole bone stiffness was likely minor over the age range examined. Thus, whole bone morphology, as characterized by longitudinal curvature, along with cortical geometry, plays an important role in modulating bone stiffness during development and should be considered when evaluating and designing in vivo loading studies and biophysical skeletal therapies. PMID:20673665

  9. Targeting Fold Stiffness to Design Enhanced Origami Structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buskohl, Philip; Bazzan, Giorgio; Abbott, Andrew; Durstock, Michael; Vaia, Richard

    2014-03-01

    Structures with adaptive geometry are increasingly of interest for actuation, sensing and packaging applications. Origami structures, by definition, can ``shape-shift'' between multiple geometric configurations that are predefined by a pattern of folds. Plastic deformation and local failure at the fold lines transform an originally homogenous material into a grid with locally tailored mechanical properties that bias the response of the overall structure to external loading. Typically, origami structures focus on uniformly stiff fold lines with rigid facets. In this study, we discuss how localized variations in stiffness can influence global properties, including energy budget to transition from flat to folded structure, the preferred path through configuration space, and the final mechanical response of the folded architecture. A simple, bi-stable origami fold pattern is laser machined into polypropylene sheets of different compliance and the critical load of the transition is measured. We model the structure as a truss with bar elongation, folding, and facet bending in order to predict ways to enhance or mitigate the critical load. Targeting local folding properties to modify global performance directly extends to the analysis of more complex architectures.

  10. Functional aortic stiffness: role of CD4(+) T lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. The influence of a packable resin composite, conventional resin composite and amalgam on molar cuspal stiffness.

    PubMed

    Molinaro, J D; Diefenderfer, K E; Strother, J M

    2002-01-01

    Packable resin composites may offer improved properties and clinical performance over conventional resin composites or dental amalgam. This in vitro study examined the cuspal stiffness of molars restored with a packable resin composite, a conventional posterior microfilled resin composite and amalgam. Forty-eight intact caries-free human third molars were distributed into four treatment groups (n=12) so that the mean cross-sectional areas of all groups were equal. Standardized MOD cavity preparations were made and specimens restored using one of four restorative materials: (1) a spherical particle amalgam (Tytin); (2) Tytin amalgam with a dentin adhesive liner (OptiBond Solo); (3) a conventional microfilled posterior resin composite (Heliomolar); (4) a packable posterior resin composite (Prodigy Posterior). Cuspal stiffness was measured using a Bionix 200 biomaterials testing machine (MTS). Specimens were loaded vertically to 300 N at a crosshead speed of 1.0 mm/minute. Stiffness was measured at 10 intervals: (1) prior to cavity preparation (intact); (2) following cavity preparation, but before restoration; (3) seven days after restoration; then (4) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 12 months after restoration. All specimens were stored at 37 degrees C in deionized water throughout the study and thermocycled (5 degrees/55 degrees C; 2000 cycles) monthly for 12 months. Repeated Measures ANOVA revealed significant differences among treatment groups over time (p<0.0001). Cavity preparation reduced cuspal stiffness by more than 60%. At 12 months, the cuspal stiffness of restored teeth was, on average, 58% that of intact specimens. Neither the packable nor the conventional resin composite increased cuspal stiffness over that of amalgam.

  12. Identification of systems containing nonlinear stiffnesses using backbone curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Londoño, Julián M.; Cooper, Jonathan E.; Neild, Simon A.

    2017-02-01

    This paper presents a method for the dynamic identification of structures containing discrete nonlinear stiffnesses. The approach requires the structure to be excited at a single resonant frequency, enabling measurements to be made in regimes of large displacements where nonlinearities are more likely to be significant. Measured resonant decay data is used to estimate the system backbone curves. Linear natural frequencies and nonlinear parameters are identified using these backbone curves assuming a form for the nonlinear behaviour. Numerical and experimental examples, inspired by an aerospace industry test case study, are considered to illustrate how the method can be applied. Results from these models demonstrate that the method can successfully deliver nonlinear models able to predict the response of the test structure nonlinear dynamics.

  13. 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

  14. Role of reflex dynamics in spinal stability: intrinsic muscle stiffness alone is insufficient for stability.

    PubMed

    Moorhouse, Kevin M; Granata, Kevin P

    2007-01-01

    Spinal stability is related to both the intrinsic stiffness of active muscle as well as neuromuscular reflex response. However, existing analyses of spinal stability ignore the role of the reflex response, focusing solely on the intrinsic muscle stiffness associated with voluntary activation patterns in the torso musculature. The goal of this study was to empirically characterize the role of reflex components of spinal stability during voluntary trunk extension exertions. Pseudorandom position perturbations of the torso and associated driving forces were recorded in 11 healthy adults. Nonlinear systems-identification analyses of the measured data provided an estimate of total systems dynamics that explained 81% of the movement variability. Proportional intrinsic response was less than zero in more than 60% of the trials, e.g. mean value of P(INT) during the 20% maximum voluntary exertion trunk extension exertions -415+/-354N/m. The negative value indicated that the intrinsic muscle stiffness was not sufficient to stabilize the spine without reflex response. Reflexes accounted for 42% of the total stabilizing trunk stiffness. Both intrinsic and reflex components of stiffness increased significantly with trunk extension effort. Results reveal that reflex dynamics are a necessary component in the stabilizing control of spinal stability.

  15. Role of Reflex Dynamics in Spinal Stability: Intrinsic Muscle Stiffness Alone is Insufficient for Stability

    PubMed Central

    Moorhouse, Kevin M.; Granata, Kevin P.

    2006-01-01

    Spinal stability is related to both the intrinsic stiffness of active muscle as well as neuromuscular reflex response. However, existing analyses of spinal stability ignore the role of the reflex response, focusing solely on the intrinsic muscle stiffness associated with voluntary activation patterns in the torso musculature. The goal of this study was to empirically characterize the role of reflex components of spinal stability during voluntary trunk extension exertions. Pseudorandom position perturbations of the torso and associated driving forces were recorded in 11 healthy adults. Nonlinear systems-identification analyses of the measured data provided an estimate of total systems dynamics that explained 81% of the movement variability. Proportional intrinsic response was less than zero in more than 60% of the trials, e.g. mean value of PINT during the 20% maximum voluntary exertion trunk extension exertions 415±354 N/m. The negative value indicated that the intrinsic muscle stiffness was not sufficient to stabilize the spine without reflex response. Reflexes accounted for 42% of the total stabilizing trunk stiffness. Both intrinsic and reflex components of stiffness increased significantly with trunk extension effort. Results reveal that reflex dynamics are a necessary component in the stabilizing control of spinal stability. PMID:16782106

  16. Characterization of the vocal fold vertical stiffness in a canine model

    PubMed Central

    Oren, Liran; Dembinski, Doug; Gutmark, Ephraim; Khosla, Sid

    2014-01-01

    Objectives/Hypothesis Characterizing the vertical stiffness gradient that exists between the superior and inferior aspects of the medial surface of the vocal fold. Characterization of this stiffness gradient could elucidate the mechanism behind the divergent glottal shape observed during closing. Study Design Basic science. Methods Indentation testing of the folds was done in a canine model. Stress-strain curves are generated using a customized load-cell and the differential Young's modulus is calculated as a function of strain. Results Results from 11 larynges show that stress increases as a function of strain more rapidly in the inferior aspect of the fold. The calculations for local Young's modulus show that at high strain values a stiffness gradient is formed between the superior and inferior aspects of the fold. Conclusions For small strain values, which are observed at low subglottal pressures, the stiffness of the tissue is similar in both the superior and inferior aspects of the vocal fold. Consequently, the lateral force that is applied by the glottal flow at both aspects results in almost identical displacements, yielding no divergence angle. Conversely, at higher strain values, which are measured in high subglottal pressure, the inferior aspect of the vocal fold is much stiffer than the superior edge; thus any lateral force that is applied at both aspects will result in a much greater displacement of the superior edge, yielding a large divergence angle. The increased stiffness observed at the inferior edge could be due to the proximity of the conus elasticus. PMID:24495431

  17. Titin stiffness modifies the force-generating region of muscle sarcomeres.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong; Lang, Patrick; Linke, Wolfgang A

    2016-04-15

    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.

  18. Objective Assessment of Cervical Stiffness after Administration of Misoprostol for Intrauterine Contraceptive Insertion

    PubMed Central

    Badir, S.; Mazza, E.; Bajka, M.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The goal of this study was to objectively quantify cervical stiffness in misoprostol users prior to IUC insertion and at follow-up consultation to evaluate the feasibility of assessing cervical stiffness and to study the influence of misoprostol on cervical softening. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that evaluated 40 women who wished to use the LNG IUS. These women were evaluated immediately before LNG IUS insertion and 6 weeks later at follow-up consultation. Participants received 200 μg of misoprostol combined with 75 mg of diclofenac in a single tablet orally (Arthrotec forte 75/200®, Pfizer, USA) 6–12 h prior to insertion in “off label” use. On both occasions, cervical stiffness was determined using a novel medical device based on the aspiration technique. The Wilcoxon rank-sum and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test were applied to compare cervical stiffness assessments at insertion of the IUD and at follow-up. Results: For the first time, cervical stiffness was quantitatively assessed in misoprostol users prior to IUD insertion, proving that the aspiration technique enables detection of pharmacologically induced cervical changes, and also that misoprostol has a detectable softening effect on cervical tissue. Conclusion: The clinical value of the detected cervical softening after misoprostol administration remains unclear. Aspiration measurements could be helpful in searching for the ideal candidate, the appropriate route, dosage and interval of misoprostol intake prior to IUC insertion. PMID:27689173

  19. Clamping stiffness and its influence on load distribution between paired internal spinal fixation devices.

    PubMed

    Rohlmann, A; Calisse, J; Bergmann, G; Radvan, J; Mayer, H M

    1996-06-01

    The load distribution between two internal spinal fixation devices depends, besides other factors, on their stiffness. The stiffness ranges were determined experimentally for the clamps of the AO internal fixator with lateral nut and with posterior nut as well as for the clamps of the SOCON fixator. The stiffness of eight devices each differed by a factor of 3.1 for the clamp with lateral nut, by a factor of 1.5 for the clamp with posterior nut, and by a factor of 1.4 for the clamp of the SOCON fixator. For the AO clamp with lateral nut, the influence of the nut-tightening torque on the stiffness was determined. Using instrumented internal spinal fixation devices mounted to plastic vertebrae and simulating a corpectomy, the load distribution between the implants was measured for different tightening torques. It could be shown that, for the AO internal fixator whose clamps have a lateral nut, a nut-tightening torque > 5 Nm has only a negligible influence on load-sharing between the implants. Tooth damage occurs when the teeth of the clamp body and clamping jaw of the clamp with lateral nut do not gear together exactly, which leads to changes in the clamping stiffness and load-sharing between the two implants.

  20. Massage induces an immediate, albeit short-term, reduction in muscle stiffness.

    PubMed

    Eriksson Crommert, M; Lacourpaille, L; Heales, L J; Tucker, K; Hug, F

    2015-10-01

    Using ultrasound shear wave elastography, the aims of this study were: (a) to evaluate the effect of massage on stiffness of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle and (b) to determine whether this effect (if any) persists over a short period of rest. A 7-min massage protocol was performed unilaterally on MG in 18 healthy volunteers. Measurements of muscle shear elastic modulus (stiffness) were performed bilaterally (control and massaged leg) in a moderately stretched position at three time points: before massage (baseline), directly after massage (follow-up 1), and following 3 min of rest (follow-up 2). Directly after massage, participants rated pain experienced during the massage. MG shear elastic modulus of the massaged leg decreased significantly at follow-up 1 (-5.2 ± 8.8%, P = 0.019, d = -0.66). There was no difference between follow-up 2 and baseline for the massaged leg (P = 0.83) indicating that muscle stiffness returned to baseline values. Shear elastic modulus was not different between time points in the control leg. There was no association between perceived pain during the massage and stiffness reduction (r = 0.035; P = 0.89). This is the first study to provide evidence that massage reduces muscle stiffness. However, this effect is short lived and returns to baseline values quickly after cessation of the massage.

  1. Deterministic Folding in Stiff Elastic Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tallinen, T.; Åström, J. A.; Timonen, J.

    2008-09-01

    Crumpled membranes have been found to be characterized by complex patterns of spatially seemingly random facets separated by narrow ridges of high elastic energy. We demonstrate by numerical simulations that compression of stiff elastic membranes with small randomness in their initial configurations leads to either random ridge configurations (high entropy) or nearly deterministic folds (low elastic energy). For folding with symmetric ridge configurations to appear in part of the crumpling processes, the crumpling rate must be slow enough. Folding stops when the thickness of the folded structure becomes important, and crumpling continues thereafter as a random process.

  2. 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

  3. Discontinuous Galerkin for Stiff Hyperbolic Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Lowrie, R.B.; Morel, J.E.

    1999-06-27

    A Discontinuous Galerkin (DG) method is applied to hyperbolic systems that contain stiff relaxation terms. We demonstrate that when the relaxation time is under-resolved, DG is accurate in the sense that the method accurately represents the system's Chapman-Enskog (or ''diffusion'') approximation. Moreover, we demonstrate that a high-resolution, finite-volume method using the same time-integration method as DG is very inaccurate in the diffusion limit. Results for DG are presented for the hyperbolic heat equation, the Broadwell model of gas kinetics, and coupled radiation-hydrodynamics.

  4. 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

    This paper presents a computational study 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 magnetomechanical bias condition is also discussed. Voltage-controlled stiffness switching is found to introduce damping equivalent to a viscous damping factor up to about 0.25; 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.

  5. Clinical appraisal of arterial stiffness: the Argonauts in front of the Golden Fleece

    PubMed Central

    Vlachopoulos, C; Aznaouridis, K; Stefanadis, C

    2006-01-01

    Interest in evaluating arterial elastic properties has grown in parallel with the widespread availability of non‐invasive methods for assessing arterial stiffness. A clinically useful diagnostic index must be pathophysiologically relevant, must be readily measurable, and must indicate the severity of the disease and predict the corresponding risk. Interventional modification of this index must parallel disease regression and benefit prognosis. The current evidence for the clinical value of estimating arterial stiffness (mainly of large, elastic‐type arteries, such as the aorta and the carotids) in the contemporary era of cardiovascular medicine is reviewed. PMID:16339817

  6. Clinical appraisal of arterial stiffness: the Argonauts in front of the Golden Fleece.

    PubMed

    Vlachopoulos, C; Aznaouridis, K; Stefanadis, C

    2006-11-01

    Interest in evaluating arterial elastic properties has grown in parallel with the widespread availability of non-invasive methods for assessing arterial stiffness. A clinically useful diagnostic index must be pathophysiologically relevant, must be readily measurable, and must indicate the severity of the disease and predict the corresponding risk. Interventional modification of this index must parallel disease regression and benefit prognosis. The current evidence for the clinical value of estimating arterial stiffness (mainly of large, elastic-type arteries, such as the aorta and the carotids) in the contemporary era of cardiovascular medicine is reviewed.

  7. Ambient vibration testing for story stiffness estimation of a heritage timber building.

    PubMed

    Min, Kyung-Won; Kim, Junhee; Park, Sung-Ah; Park, Chan-Soo

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigates dynamic characteristics of a historic wooden structure by ambient vibration testing, presenting a novel estimation methodology of story stiffness for the purpose of vibration-based structural health monitoring. As for the ambient vibration testing, measured structural responses are analyzed by two output-only system identification methods (i.e., frequency domain decomposition and stochastic subspace identification) to estimate modal parameters. The proposed methodology of story stiffness is estimation based on an eigenvalue problem derived from a vibratory rigid body model. Using the identified natural frequencies, the eigenvalue problem is efficiently solved and uniquely yields story stiffness. It is noteworthy that application of the proposed methodology is not necessarily confined to the wooden structure exampled in the paper.

  8. Adaptive stiffness estimation for compliant robotic manipulation using stochastic disturbance models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coutinho, Fernanda; Cortesão, Rui

    2011-08-01

    To achieve haptic telepresence and proper contact behaviour, the control action of a robotic manipulator must be designed with respect to contact parameters. Unfortunately, it is hard to know these parameters exactly in unknown or partly known environments. In this case, contact instability and poor dynamic accuracy can arise due to the presence of modelling errors in the control design. To overcome these problems, online estimation of the relevant contact parameters can be performed, with corresponding adaptation of control laws. This article presents an algorithm for online stiffness estimation for compliant robotic manipulation based on the extended state-space representation of the system and force signals. No position or velocity measurements are required. The algorithm, supported by theoretical analysis, uses offline data concerning several stiffness mismatch scenarios and, through a least square error analysis, computes an estimate of the stiffness value. Simulation results are presented, with fast and accurate estimation even in the presence of noise, highlighting the merits of the method.

  9. Position and Velocity Estimation for Two-Inertia System with Nonlinear Stiffness Based on Acceleration Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Kyung-Tae; Lee, Seung-Joon; Kuc, Tae-Yong; Kim, Hyungjong

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we consider the state estimation problem for flexible joint manipulators that involve nonlinear characteristics in their stiffness. The two key ideas of our design are that (a) an accelerometer is used in order that the estimation error dynamics do not depend on nonlinearities at the link part of the manipulators and (b) the model of the nonlinear stiffness is indeed a Lipschitz function. Based on the measured acceleration, we propose a nonlinear observer under the Lipschitz condition of the nonlinear stiffness. In addition, in order to effectively compensate for the estimation error, the gain of the proposed observer is chosen from the ARE (algebraic Riccati equations) which depend on the Lipschitz constant. Comparative experimental results verify the effectiveness of the proposed method. PMID:26729125

  10. Optical imaging of resting-state functional connectivity in a novel arterial stiffness model.

    PubMed

    Guevara, Edgar; Sadekova, Nataliya; Girouard, Hélène; Lesage, Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to assess the impact of unilateral increases in carotid stiffness on cortical functional connectivity measures in the resting state. Using a novel animal model of induced arterial stiffness combined with optical intrinsic signals and laser speckle imaging, resting state functional networks derived from hemodynamic signals are investigated for their modulation by isolated changes in stiffness of the right common carotid artery. By means of seed-based analysis, results showed a decreasing trend of homologous correlation in the motor and cingulate cortices. Furthermore, a graph analysis indicated a randomization of the cortex functional networks, suggesting a loss of connectivity, more specifically in the motor cortex lateral to the treated carotid, which however did not translate in differentiated metabolic activity.

  11. Position and Velocity Estimation for Two-Inertia System with Nonlinear Stiffness Based on Acceleration Sensor.

    PubMed

    Nam, Kyung-Tae; Lee, Seung-Joon; Kuc, Tae-Yong; Kim, Hyungjong

    2015-12-31

    In this paper, we consider the state estimation problem for flexible joint manipulators that involve nonlinear characteristics in their stiffness. The two key ideas of our design are that (a) an accelerometer is used in order that the estimation error dynamics do not depend on nonlinearities at the link part of the manipulators and (b) the model of the nonlinear stiffness is indeed a Lipschitz function. Based on the measured acceleration, we propose a nonlinear observer under the Lipschitz condition of the nonlinear stiffness. In addition, in order to effectively compensate for the estimation error, the gain of the proposed observer is chosen from the ARE (algebraic Riccati equations) which depend on the Lipschitz constant. Comparative experimental results verify the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  12. Dynamic Stiffness and Damping Characteristics of a High-Temperature Air Foil Journal Bearing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, Samuel A.; DellaCorte, Christopher; Valco, Mark J.; Prahl, Joseph M.; Heshmat, Hooshang

    2001-01-01

    Using a high-temperature optically based displacement measurement system, a foil air bearing's stiffness and damping characteristics were experimentally determined. Results were obtained over a range of modified Sommerfeld Number from 1.5E6 to 1.5E7, and at temperatures from 25 to 538 C. An Experimental procedure was developed comparing the error in two curve fitting functions to reveal different modes of physical behavior throughout the operating domain. The maximum change in dimensionless stiffness was 3.0E-2 to 6.5E-2 over the Sommerfeld Number range tested. Stiffness decreased with temperature by as much as a factor of two from 25 to 538 C. Dimensionless damping was a stronger function of Sommerfeld Number ranging from 20 to 300. The temperature effect on damping being more qualitative, showed the damping mechanism shifted from viscous type damping to frictional type as temperature increased.

  13. Ambient Vibration Testing for Story Stiffness Estimation of a Heritage Timber Building

    PubMed Central

    Min, Kyung-Won; Kim, Junhee; Park, Sung-Ah; Park, Chan-Soo

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigates dynamic characteristics of a historic wooden structure by ambient vibration testing, presenting a novel estimation methodology of story stiffness for the purpose of vibration-based structural health monitoring. As for the ambient vibration testing, measured structural responses are analyzed by two output-only system identification methods (i.e., frequency domain decomposition and stochastic subspace identification) to estimate modal parameters. The proposed methodology of story stiffness is estimation based on an eigenvalue problem derived from a vibratory rigid body model. Using the identified natural frequencies, the eigenvalue problem is efficiently solved and uniquely yields story stiffness. It is noteworthy that application of the proposed methodology is not necessarily confined to the wooden structure exampled in the paper. PMID:24227999

  14. A comparison of muscle stiffness and musculoarticular stiffness of the knee joint in young athletic males and females.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dan; De Vito, Giuseppe; Ditroilo, Massimiliano; Fong, Daniel T P; Delahunt, Eamonn

    2015-06-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the gender-specific differences in peak torque (PT), muscle stiffness (MS) and musculoarticular stiffness (MAS) of the knee joints in a young active population. Twenty-two male and twenty-two female recreational athletes participated. PT of the knee joint extensor musculature was assessed on an isokinetic dynamometer, MS of the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle was measured in both relaxed and contracted conditions, and knee joint MAS was quantified using the free oscillation technique. Significant gender differences were observed for all dependent variables. Females demonstrated less normalized PT (mean difference (MD)=0.4Nm/kg, p=0.005, η(2)=0.17), relaxed MS (MD=94.2N/m, p<.001, η(2)=0.53), contracted MS (MD=162.7N/m, p<.001, η(2)=0.53) and MAS (MD=422.1N/m, p<.001, η(2)=0.23) than males. MAS increased linearly with the external load in both genders with males demonstrating a significantly higher slope (p=0.019) than females. The observed differences outlined above may contribute to the higher knee joint injury incidence and prevalence in females when compared to males.

  15. An improved spinning lens test to determine the stiffness of the human lens

    PubMed Central

    Burd, H.J.; Wilde, G.S.; Judge, S.J.

    2011-01-01

    It is widely accepted that age-related changes in lens stiffness are significant for the development of presbyopia. However, precise details on the relative importance of age-related changes in the stiffness of the lens, in comparison with other potential mechanisms for the development of presbyopia, have not yet been established. One contributing factor to this uncertainty is the paucity and variability of experimental data on lens stiffness. The available published data generally indicate that stiffness varies spatially within the lens and that stiffness parameters tend to increase with age. However, considerable differences exist between these published data sets, both qualitatively and quantitatively. The current paper describes new and improved methods, based on the spinning lens approach pioneered by Fisher, R.F. (1971) ‘The elastic constants of the human lens’, Journal of Physiology, 212, 147–180, to make measurements on the stiffness of the human lens. These new procedures have been developed in an attempt to eliminate, or at least substantially reduce, various systematic errors in Fisher’s original experiment. An improved test rig has been constructed and a new modelling procedure for determining lens stiffness parameters from observations made during the test has been devised. The experiment involves mounting a human lens on a vertical rotor so that the lens spins on its optical axis (typically at 1000 rpm). An automatic imaging system is used to capture the outline of the lens, while it is rotating, at pre-determined angular orientations. These images are used to quantify the deformations developed in the lens as a consequence of the centripetal forces induced by the rotation. Lens stiffness is inferred using axisymmetric finite element inverse analysis in which a nearly-incompressible neo-Hookean constitutive model is used to represent the mechanics of the lens. A numerical optimisation procedure is used to determine the stiffness parameters

  16. The development of advanced materials: Negative Poisson's ratio materials, high damping and high stiffness materials, and composites with negative stiffness inclusions and their stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yun-Che

    The manufacture of negative Poisson's ratio polymeric foams was based on a thermal transformation technique to convert the convex cell shape of conventional foams to a concave or re-entrant shape through triaxial compression and heating. Poisson's ratio measurements were performed with a laser-based setup for non-transparent materials with high accuracy. Contrary to the predictions of the theory of elasticity, we observed cell size influences on Poisson's ratio of conventional and transformed foams. The theoretical study of the contact problem involving materials with negative Poisson's ratios revealed a further reduction on contact pressure between the contacting two bodies in comparison with materials with positive Poisson's ratio. The classical Hertz contact theory and 3D elasticity solution in an asymptotic form for finite-thickness, layered media indented by an elastic spherical were used. As for advanced composite materials, theoretically, significant amplification was found in composites' mechanical, thermal, electrical or coupled field properties due to negative stiffness inclusions. Experimentally, we fabricated high damping and high stiffness composite materials, SiC-InSn, to obtain a realization of the prediction from composite theory. With the idea of using negative stiffness components, we manufactured Sn, Zn or Al composites with 1% VO2 particles by volume, where the transforming particles, VO 2, were used as a negative stiffness source, and observed anomalies both in overall stiffness and tan delta. Broadband viscoelastic spectroscopy (BVS) was used to measure mechanical properties. The transformation of the eutectoid ZnAl was studied with resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS), and about a 30% increase in shear modulus and tan delta, respectively, were observed. To investigate the stability of systems with negative stiffness elements, several discrete viscoelastic models were analyzed. With the Lyapunov indirect stability theorem, we found that

  17. Effect of end-ring stiffness on buckling of pressure-loaded stiffened conical shells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, R. C.; Williams, J. G.

    1977-01-01

    Buckling studies were conducted on truncated 120 deg conical shells having large end rings and many interior reinforcing rings that are typical of aeroshells used as spacecraft decelerators. Changes in base-end-ring stiffness were accomplished by simply machining away a portion of the base ring between successive buckling tests. Initial imperfection measurements from the test cones were included in the analytical model.

  18. The Relationship between Relative Fundamental Frequency and a Kinematic Estimate of Laryngeal Stiffness in Healthy Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKenna, Victoria S.; Heller Murray, Elizabeth S.; Lien, Yu-An S.; Stepp, Cara E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the relationship between the acoustic measure relative fundamental frequency (RFF) and a kinematic estimate of laryngeal stiffness. Method: Twelve healthy adults (mean age = 22.7 years, SD = 4.4; 10 women, 2 men) produced repetitions of /ifi/ while varying their vocal effort during simultaneous acoustic and video…

  19. Evaluation of Liver Stiffness After Radioembolization by Real-Time ShearWave™ Elastography: Preliminary Study

    SciTech Connect

    Bas, Ahmet; Samanci, Cesur; Gulsen, Fatih Cantasdemir, Murat; Kabasakal, Levent; Kantarci, Fatih; Numan, Furuzan

    2015-08-15

    PurposeTo evaluate the effect of ShearWave™ elastography (SWE) for the assessment of liver fibrosis after radioembolization (RE) in patients with liver malignancies.Materials and MethodsWe prospectively examined the effects of SWE before and after RE in 17 adult patients, from June 2012 to September 2013. All patients underwent SWE within 1 month before and 3 months (96.3 ± 22.9 days) after RE. Measurements were taken in segments III, IV, V, and VI (lateral/medial left lobe and anterior/posterior right lobe, respectively). Liver stiffness was studied in the 39 treated segments.ResultsThe mean stiffness of liver tissue according to the pre-RE SWE measurements was not different from the post-RE SWE measurements in the segments that did not undergo RE. Conversely, segments treated with RE were significantly stiffer according to the post-RE SWE measurements (mean SWE 17.4 kPa) than according to the baseline measurements (7.0 kPa) (p < 0.001). Patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and preexisting infection with hepatitis B and C viruses had higher pre-embolization stiffness, and the post-embolization stiffness of the treated segments in these patients was higher than that in the remainder of the study population.ConclusionThese data suggest that SWE measurements of liver stiffness increase as early as the third month after RE. SWE could be used as a noninvasive complementary imaging method for preliminary assessment of liver fibrosis before and after RE.

  20. Mapping stiffness perception in the brain with an fMRI-compatible particle-jamming haptic interface.

    PubMed

    Menon, Samir; Stanley, Andrew A; Zhu, Jack; Okamura, Allison M; Khatib, Oussama

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate reliable neural responses to changes in haptic stiffness perception using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) compatible particle-jamming haptic interface. Our haptic interface consists of a silicone tactile surface whose stiffness we can control by modulating air-pressure in a sub-surface pouch of coarsely ground particles. The particles jam together as the pressure decreases, which stiffens the surface. During fMRI acquisition, subjects performed a constant probing task, which involved continuous contact between the index fingertip and the interface and rhythmic increases and decreases in fingertip force (1.6 Hz) to probe stiffness. Without notifying subjects, we randomly switched the interface's stiffness (switch time, 300-500 ms) from soft (200 N/m) to hard (1400 N/m). Our experiment design's constant motor activity and cutaneous tactile sensation helped disassociate neural activation for both from stiffness perception, which helped localized it to a narrow region in somatosensory cortex near the supra-marginal gyrus. Testing different models of neural activation, we found that assuming indepedent stiffness-change responses at both soft-hard and hard-soft transitions provides the best explanation for observed fMRI measurements (three subjects; nine four-minute scan runs each). Furthermore, we found that neural activation related to stiffness-change and absolute stiffness can be localized to adjacent but disparate anatomical locations. We also show that classical finger-tapping experiments activate a swath of cortex and are not suitable for localizing stiffness perception. Our results demonstrate that decorrelating motor and sensory neural activation is essential for characterizing somatosensory cortex, and establish particle-jamming haptics as an attractive low-cost method for fMRI experiments.

  1. Spleen Stiffness Is Superior to Liver Stiffness for Predicting Esophageal Varices in Chronic Liver Disease: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Xiaowen; Wang, Le; Wu, Hao; Feng, Yuemin; Han, Xibiao; Bu, Haoran; Zhu, Qiang

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Liver stiffness (LS) and spleen stiffness (SS) are two most widely accessible non-invasive parameters for predicting esophageal varices (EV), but the reported accuracy of the two predictors have been inconsistent across studies. This meta-analysis aims to evaluate the diagnostic performance of LS and SS measurement for detecting EV in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD), and compare their accuracy. Methods Pubmed/Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library and Ovid were searched for all studies assessing SS and LS simultaneously in EV diagnosis. A total of 16 studies including 1892 patients were included in this meta-analysis, and the pooled statistical parameters were calculated using the bivariate mixed effects models. Results In detection of any EV, for LS measurement, the summary sensitivity was 0.83 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.78–0.87), and the specificity was 0.66 (95% CI: 0.60–0.72). While for SS measurement, the pooled sensitivity and specificity was 0.88 (95% CI: 0.83–0.92) and 0.78 (95% CI: 0.73–0.83). The summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curve values of LS and SS were 0.81 (95% CI: 0.77–0.84) and 0.88 (95% CI: 0.85–0.91) respectively, and the results had statistical significance (P<0.01). The diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) of SS (25.73) was significantly higher than that of LS (9.54), with the relative DOR value was 2.48 (95%CI: 1.10–5.60), P<0.05. Conclusions Under current techniques, SS is significantly superior to LS for identifying the presence of EV in patients with CLD. SS measurement may help to select patients for endoscopic screening. PMID:27829057

  2. Vascular Stiffness in Children With Chronic Kidney Disease.

    PubMed

    Savant, Jonathan D; Betoko, Aisha; Meyers, Kevin E C; Mitsnefes, Mark; Flynn, Joseph T; Townsend, Raymond R; Greenbaum, Larry A; Dart, Allison; Warady, Bradley; Furth, Susan L

    2017-05-01

    Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) is a measure of arterial stiffness associated with cardiovascular events in the general population and in adults with chronic kidney disease. However, few data exist regarding cfPWV in children with chronic kidney disease. We compared observed cfPWV assessed via applanation tonometry in children enrolled in the CKiD cohort study (Chronic Kidney Disease in Children) to normative data in healthy children and examined risk factors associated with elevated cfPWV. cfPWV Z score for height/gender and age/gender was calculated from and compared with published pediatric norms. Multivariable linear regression was used to assess the relationship between cfPWV and age, gender, race, body mass index, diagnosis, urine protein-creatinine ratio, mean arterial pressure, heart rate, number of antihypertensive medications, uric acid, and serum low-density lipoprotein. Of the 95 participants with measured cfPWV, 60% were male, 19% were black, 46% had glomerular cause of chronic kidney disease, 22% had urine protein-creatinine ratio 0.5 to 2.0 mg/mg and 9% had >2.0 mg/mg, mean age was 15.1 years, average mean arterial pressure was 80 mm Hg, and median glomerular filtration rate was 63 mL/min per 1.73 m(2) Mean cfPWV was 5.0 m/s (SD, 0.8 m/s); mean cfPWV Z score by height/gender norms was -0.1 (SD, 1.1). cfPWV increased significantly with age, mean arterial pressure, and black race in multivariable analysis; no other variables, including glomerular filtration rate, were independently associated with cfPWV. In this pediatric cohort with mild kidney dysfunction, arterial stiffness was comparable to that of normal children. Future research is needed to examine the impact of chronic kidney disease progression on arterial stiffness and associated cardiovascular parameters in children.

  3. Vitamin E reduces liver stiffness in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

    PubMed Central

    Fukui, Aiko; Kawabe, Naoto; Hashimoto, Senju; Murao, Michihito; Nakano, Takuji; Shimazaki, Hiroaki; Kan, Toshiki; Nakaoka, Kazunori; Ohki, Masashi; Takagawa, Yuka; Takamura, Tomoki; Kamei, Hiroyuki; Yoshioka, Kentaro

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the efficacy of vitamin E treatment on liver stiffness in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). METHODS: Thirty-eight NAFLD patients were administered vitamin E for > 1 year. The doses of vitamin E were 150, 300, or 600 mg; three times per day after each meal. Responses were assessed by liver enzyme levels [aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotranferease (ALT), and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GTP)], noninvasive scoring systems of hepatic fibrosis-4 [FIB-4 index and aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet index (APRI)], and liver stiffness [velocity of shear wave (Vs)] measured by acoustic radiation force impulse elastography. Vs measurements were performed at baseline and 12 mo after baseline. The patients were genotyped for the patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) polymorphisms and then divided into either the CC/CG or GG group to examine each group’s responses to vitamin E treatment. RESULTS: We found marked differences in the platelet count, serum albumin levels, alkaline phosphatase levels, FIB-4 index, APRI, and Vs at baseline depending on the PNPLA3 polymorphism. AST, ALT, and γ-GTP levels (all P < 0.001); FIB-4 index (P = 0.035); APRI (P < 0.001); and Vs (P < 0.001) significantly decreased from baseline to 12 mo in the analysis of all patients. In the subset analyses of PNPLA3 genotypes, AST levels (P = 0.011), ALT levels (P < 0.001), γ-GTP levels (P = 0.005), APRI (P = 0.036), and Vs (P = 0.029) in genotype GG patients significantly improved, and AST and ALT levels (both P < 0.001), γ-GTP levels (P = 0.003), FIB-4 index (P = 0.017), and APRI (P < 0.001) in genotype CC/CG patients. CONCLUSION: One year of vitamin E treatment improved noninvasive fibrosis scores and liver stiffness in NAFLD patients. The responses were similar between different PNPLA3 genotypes. PMID:26644818

  4. Arterial stiffness is not associated with bone parameters in an elderly hyperhomocysteinemic population.

    PubMed

    van Dijk, S C; de Jongh, R T; Enneman, A W; Ham, A C; Swart, K M A; van Wijngaarden, J P; van der Zwaluw, N L; Brouwer-Brolsma, E M; van Schoor, N M; Dhonukshe-Rutten, R A M; Lips, P; de Groot, C P G M; Smulders, Y M; Blom, H J; Feskens, E J; Geleijnse, J M; van den Meiracker, A H; Mattace Raso, F U S; Uitterlinden, A G; Zillikens, M C; van der Velde, N

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have observed positive associations between bone disease and cardiovascular disease. A potential common pathway is hyperhomocysteinemia; however, to date, there is a lack of data regarding hyperhomocysteinemic populations. Therefore, we examined both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, whether there is an association between bone parameters and arterial stiffness in a hyperhomocysteinemic population, and investigated the potential common role of homocysteine (hcy) level on these associations. Cross-sectional and longitudinal data of the B-PROOF study were used (n = 519). At both baseline and 2-year follow-up we determined bone measures-incident fractures and history of fractures, bone-mineral density (BMD) and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) measurement. We also measured arterial stiffness parameters at baseline-pulse wave velocity, augmentation index and aortic pulse pressure levels with applanation tonometry. Linear regression analysis was used to examine these associations and we tested for potential interaction of hcy level. The mean age of the study population was 72.3 years and 44.3 % were female. Both cross-sectionally and longitudinally there was no association between arterial stiffness measures and BMD or QUS measurements or with incident fractures (n = 16) within the 2-3 years of follow-up. Hcy level did not modify the associations and adjustment for hcy did not change the results. Arterial stiffness was not associated with bone parameters and fractures, and hcy neither acted as a pleiotropic factor nor as a mediator. The potential association between bone and arterial stiffness is therefore not likely to be driven by hyperhomocysteinemia.

  5. Assessment of Arterial Stiffness Using the Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index

    PubMed Central

    Miyoshi, Toru; Ito, Hiroshi

    2016-01-01

    Background Arterial stiffness is an independent predictor of outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease. Although measurement of pulse wave velocity is a widely accepted, noninvasive approach for the assessment of arterial stiffness, its accuracy is affected by changes in blood pressure. Summary The cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) is an index of the overall stiffness of the artery from the origin of the aorta to the ankle and is theoretically independent of blood pressure at the time of measurement. CAVI increases linearly with age and is elevated even in mild arteriosclerotic disease. It can identify differences in the degree of arteriosclerosis among patients with severe arteriosclerotic disease and better reflects the severity of disease of the coronary artery than does brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity. Patients with higher CAVI values show a poor prognosis compared with those with lower CAVI values. Furthermore, CAVI can be lowered by controlling diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Key Messages The primary aims of assessing arterial stiffness using CAVI are to assist in the early detection of arteriosclerosis, allowing timely treatment and lifestyle modification, and to quantitatively evaluate the progression of disease and the effectiveness of treatment. Whether CAVI-guided therapy can improve prognosis in high-risk patients needs to be further examined to confirm the clinical usefulness of this measure. PMID:27493899

  6. Multiple anesthetics for a patient with stiff-person syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cassavaugh, Jessica M; Oravitz, Todd M

    2016-06-01

    Stiff-person syndrome is a progressive disease of muscle rigidity and spasticity due to a deficiency in the production of γ-aminobutyric acid. Because of the rarity of the condition, little is known about effects of anesthesia on patients with stiff-person syndrome. This report describes the clinical course for a single patient with stiff-person syndrome who received general anesthesia on 3 separate occasions. Her anesthetics included use of both neuromuscular blockade and volatile agents. Unlike several previous reports regarding anesthesia and stiff-person syndrome, the postoperative period for this patient did not require prolonged intubation or result in any residual weakness.

  7. Extreme stiffness hyperbolic elastic metamaterial for total transmission subwavelength imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyuk; Oh, Joo Hwan; Seung, Hong Min; Cho, Seung Hyun; Kim, Yoon Young

    2016-04-01

    Subwavelength imaging by metamaterials and extended work to pursue total transmission has been successfully demonstrated with electromagnetic and acoustic waves very recently. However, no elastic counterpart has been reported because earlier attempts suffer from considerable loss. Here, for the first time, we realize an elastic hyperbolic metamaterial lens and experimentally show total transmission subwavelength imaging with measured wave field inside the metamaterial lens. The main idea is to compensate for the decreased impedance in the perforated elastic metamaterial by utilizing extreme stiffness, which has not been independently actualized in a continuum elastic medium so far. The fabricated elastic lens is capable of directly transferring subwavelength information from the input to the output boundary. In the experiment, this intriguing phenomenon is confirmed by scanning the elastic structures inside the lens with laser scanning vibrometer. The proposed elastic metamaterial lens will bring forth significant guidelines for ultrasonic imaging techniques.

  8. Extreme stiffness hyperbolic elastic metamaterial for total transmission subwavelength imaging.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyuk; Oh, Joo Hwan; Seung, Hong Min; Cho, Seung Hyun; Kim, Yoon Young

    2016-04-04

    Subwavelength imaging by metamaterials and extended work to pursue total transmission has been successfully demonstrated with electromagnetic and acoustic waves very recently. However, no elastic counterpart has been reported because earlier attempts suffer from considerable loss. Here, for the first time, we realize an elastic hyperbolic metamaterial lens and experimentally show total transmission subwavelength imaging with measured wave field inside the metamaterial lens. The main idea is to compensate for the decreased impedance in the perforated elastic metamaterial by utilizing extreme stiffness, which has not been independently actualized in a continuum elastic medium so far. The fabricated elastic lens is capable of directly transferring subwavelength information from the input to the output boundary. In the experiment, this intriguing phenomenon is confirmed by scanning the elastic structures inside the lens with laser scanning vibrometer. The proposed elastic metamaterial lens will bring forth significant guidelines for ultrasonic imaging techniques.

  9. The two faces of hypertension: role of aortic stiffness.

    PubMed

    Smulyan, Harold; Mookherjee, Saktipada; Safar, Michel E

    2016-02-01

    Adult hypertension can be divided into two relatively distinct forms-systolic/diastolic hypertension in midlife and systolic hypertension of the aged. The two types differ in prevalence, pathophysiology, and therapy. The prevalence of systolic hypertension in the elderly is twice that of midlife hypertension. The systolic pressure is elevated in both forms, but the high diastolic pressure in midlife is due to a raised total peripheral resistance, whereas the normal or low diastolic pressure in the elderly is due to aortic stiffening. Aortic stiffness, as measured by the carotid/femoral pulse wave velocity, has been found to be a cardiovascular risk marker independent of traditional risk factors for atherosclerosis. Instead, it is related to microcirculatory disease of the brain and kidney and to disorders of inflammation. Loss of aortic distensibility is an inevitable consequence of aging, but a review of its causes suggests that it may be amenable to future pharmacologic therapy.

  10. Extreme stiffness hyperbolic elastic metamaterial for total transmission subwavelength imaging

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyuk; Oh, Joo Hwan; Seung, Hong Min; Cho, Seung Hyun; Kim, Yoon Young

    2016-01-01

    Subwavelength imaging by metamaterials and extended work to pursue total transmission has been successfully demonstrated with electromagnetic and acoustic waves very recently. However, no elastic counterpart has been reported because earlier attempts suffer from considerable loss. Here, for the first time, we realize an elastic hyperbolic metamaterial lens and experimentally show total transmission subwavelength imaging with measured wave field inside the metamaterial lens. The main idea is to compensate for the decreased impedance in the perforated elastic metamaterial by utilizing extreme stiffness, which has not been independently actualized in a continuum elastic medium so far. The fabricated elastic lens is capable of directly transferring subwavelength information from the input to the output boundary. In the experiment, this intriguing phenomenon is confirmed by scanning the elastic structures inside the lens with laser scanning vibrometer. The proposed elastic metamaterial lens will bring forth significant guidelines for ultrasonic imaging techniques. PMID:27040762

  11. Monolithic superelastic rods with variable flexural stiffness for spinal fusion: modeling of the processing-properties relationship.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    The concept of a monolithic Ti-Ni spinal rod with variable flexural stiffness is proposed to reduce the risks associated with spinal fusion. The variable stiffness is conferred to the rod using the Joule-heating local annealing technique. The annealing temperature and the mechanical properties' distributions resulted from this thermal treatment are numerically modeled and experimentally measured. To illustrate the possible applications of such a modeling approach, two case studies are presented: (a) optimization of the Joule-heating strategy to reduce annealing time, and (b) modulation of the rod's overall flexural stiffness using partial annealing. A numerical model of a human spine coupled with the model of the variable flexural stiffness spinal rod developed in this work can ultimately be used to maximize the stabilization capability of spinal instrumentation, while simultaneously decreasing the risks associated with spinal fusion.

  12. Development and validation of an improved mechanical thorax for simulating cardiopulmonary resuscitation with adjustable chest stiffness and simulated blood flow.

    PubMed

    Eichhorn, Stefan; Spindler, Johannes; Polski, Marcin; Mendoza, Alejandro; Schreiber, Ulrich; Heller, Michael; Deutsch, Marcus Andre; Braun, Christian; Lange, Rüdiger; Krane, Markus

    2017-02-24

    Investigations of compressive frequency, duty cycle, or waveform during CPR are typically rooted in animal research or computer simulations. Our goal was to generate a mechanical model incorporating alternate stiffness settings and an integrated blood flow system, enabling defined, reproducible comparisons of CPR efficacy. Based on thoracic stiffness data measured in human cadavers, such a model was constructed using valve-controlled pneumatic pistons and an artificial heart. This model offers two realistic levels of chest elasticity, with a blood flow apparatus that reflects compressive depth and waveform changes. We conducted CPR at opposing levels of physiologic stiffness, using a LUCAS device, a motor-driven plunger, and a group of volunteers. In high-stiffness mode, blood flow generated by volunteers was significantly less after just 2min of CPR, whereas flow generated by LUCAS device was superior by comparison. Optimal blood flow was obtained via motor-driven plunger, with trapezoidal waveform.

  13. Older women track and field athletes have enhanced calcaneal stiffness.

    PubMed

    Welch, J M; Rosen, C J

    2005-08-01

    Vigorous weight-bearing exercise is recommended to women as a method of osteoporosis prevention. This study examined older women athletes to see if they indeed were less likely to develop osteoporosis than those in the general population, and to investigate which factors could have contributed to these results. One hundred and thirty-nine women 40-88 years old, all competitors in a USA National Masters Track and Field Championships, volunteered for the study. Masters refers to competitors > or =40 years old. Their calcaneal stiffness (SI) was measured by a Lunar Achilles+ ultrasonometer. Subjects were also measured for height and weight, and completed a questionnaire on exercise history, diet, lifestyle factors, medical and menopausal issues, and use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The women, mean age 57.3 years, had an overall average SI of 99.5 (T-score = 0.04) which is equivalent to that of a 20-year-old woman and 20.8% higher than expected for women of their age. Their median SI remained not different from expected peak bone SI until the age of 70. For analysis, this cohort of women was divided into two groups: premenopausal and postmenopausal athletes. The SI of both groups was correlated with the earliest age at which they had first participated in sports or exercises that impart moderate to high strain rates to the lower limbs and with current participation in high impact track and field events. Variables correlated with SI in the general population, such as weight, HRT, previous fracture, hysterectomy, and current menopausal status, did not predict SI in this cohort. In conclusion, women competing in Masters track and field at the national level had calcaneal stiffness substantially higher than expected for women of their age in the general population, and their participation in vigorous sports and activities, either currently or at a younger age, was predictive of this association.

  14. Physical exercise improves arterial stiffness after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Hubli, Michèle; Currie, Katharine D.; West, Christopher R.; Gee, Cameron M.; Krassioukov, Andrei V.

    2014-01-01

    Objective/background Aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV), the gold-standard assessment of central arterial stiffness, has prognostic value for cardiovascular disease risk in able-bodied individuals. The aim of this study was to compare aortic PWV in athletes and non-athletes with spinal cord injury (SCI). Design Cross-sectional comparison. Methods Aortic PWV was assessed in 20 individuals with motor-complete, chronic SCI (C2–T5; 18 ± 8 years post-injury) using applanation tonometry at the carotid and femoral arterial sites. Ten elite hand-cyclists were matched for sex to 10 non-athletes; age and time since injury were comparable between the groups. Heart rate and discrete brachial blood pressure measurements were collected throughout testing. Outcome measures Aortic PWV, blood pressure, heart rate. Results Aortic PWV was significantly lower in athletes vs. non-athletes (6.9 ± 1.0 vs. 8.7 ± 2.5 m/second, P = 0.044). There were no significant between-group differences in resting supine mean arterial blood pressure (91 ± 19 vs. 81 ± 10 mmHg) and heart rate (60 ± 10 vs. 58 ± 6 b.p.m.). Conclusion Athletes with SCI exhibited improved central arterial stiffness compared to non-athletes, which is in agreement with the previous able-bodied literature. This finding implies that chronic exercise training may improve arterial health and potentially lower cardiovascular disease risk in the SCI population. PMID:24976366

  15. The passive, human calf muscles in relation to standing: the short range stiffness lies in the contractile component.

    PubMed

    Loram, Ian D; Maganaris, Constantinos N; Lakie, Martin

    2007-10-15

    Using short duration perturbations, previous attempts to measure the intrinsic ankle stiffness during human standing have revealed a substantial stabilizing contribution (65-90% normalized to load stiffness 'mgh'). Others regard this method as unsuitable for the low-frequency conditions of quiet standing and believe the passive contribution to be small (10-15%). This latter view, consistent with a linear Hill-type model, argues that during standing, the contractile portion of the muscle is much less stiff than the tendon. Here, for upright subjects, we settle this issue by measuring the stiffness of the contractile portion of the passive calf muscles using low-frequency ankle rotations. Using ultrasound we tracked the changes in muscle contractile length and partitioned the ankle rotation into contractile and extra-contractile (series elastic) portions. Small ankle rotations of 0.15 and 0.4 deg show a contractile to series elastic stiffness ratio (K(ce)/K(se)) of 12 +/- 9 and 6.3 +/- 10, respectively, with both elements displaying predominantly elastic behaviour. Larger, 7 deg rotations reveal the range of this ratio. It declines in a non-linear way from a high value (K(ce)/K(se) = 18 +/- 11) to a low value (K(ce)/K(se) = 1 +/- 0.4) as rotation increases from 0.1 to 7 deg. There is a marked transition at around 0.5 deg. The series elastic stiffness (K(se)/mgh) remains largely constant (77 +/- 13%) demonstrating the contractile component origin of passive, short range stiffness. The linear Hill-type model does not describe the range-related stiffness relevant to the progression from quiet standing to perturbed balance and movement and can lead to inaccurate predictions regarding human balance.

  16. Effect of acute aerobic exercise and histamine receptor blockade on arterial stiffness in African Americans and Caucasians.

    PubMed

    Yan, Huimin; Ranadive, Sushant M; Lane-Cordova, Abbi D; Kappus, Rebecca M; Behun, Michael A; Cook, Marc D; Woods, Jeffrey A; Wilund, Kenneth R; Baynard, Tracy; Halliwill, John R; Fernhall, Bo

    2017-02-01

    African Americans (AA) exhibit exaggerated central blood pressure (BP) and arterial stiffness measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV) in response to an acute bout of maximal exercise compared with Caucasians (CA). However, whether potential racial differences exist in central BP, elastic, or muscular arterial distensibility after submaximal aerobic exercise remains unknown. Histamine receptor activation mediates sustained postexercise hyperemia in CA but the effect on arterial stiffness is unknown. This study sought to determine the effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise on central BP and arterial stiffness and the role of histamine receptors, in AA and CA. Forty-nine (22 AA, 27 CA) young and healthy subjects completed the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to take either histamine receptor antagonist or control placebo. Central blood BP and arterial stiffness measurements were obtained at baseline, and at 30, 60, and 90 min after 45 min of moderate treadmill exercise. AA exhibited greater central diastolic BP, elevated brachial PWV, and local carotid arterial stiffness after an acute bout of submaximal exercise compared with CA, which may contribute to their higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Unexpectedly, histamine receptor blockade did not affect central BP or PWV in AA or CA after exercise, but it may play a role in mediating local carotid arterial stiffness. Furthermore, histamine may mediate postexercise carotid arterial dilation in CA but not in AA. These observations provide evidence that young and healthy AA exhibit an exaggerated hemodynamic response to exercise and attenuated vasodilator response compared with CA.NEW & NOTEWORTHY African Americans are at greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease than Caucasians. We are the first to show that young and healthy African Americans exhibit greater central blood pressure, elevated brachial stiffness, and local carotid arterial stiffness following an acute bout of submaximal exercise

  17. Indices of vascular stiffness and wave reflection in relation to body mass index or body fat in healthy subjects.

    PubMed

    Wykretowicz, Andrzej; Adamska, Karolina; Guzik, Przemyslaw; Krauze, Tomasz; Wysocki, Henryk

    2007-10-01

    1. Obesity appears to influence vascular stiffness, an important cardiovascular risk factor. An accurate picture of arterial stiffness may be obtained when a combination of various techniques is used. 2. The purpose of the present study was to assess whether the body mass index (BMI) and body fat content obtained by bioimpedance were of equal value in estimating the influence of body fatness on various indices of vascular stiffness and wave reflection. 3. A total of 175 healthy subjects was studied. Anthropometric measurements and total body bio-impedance analysis were performed to assess fat mass as a proportion of total body composition. Arterial stiffness and wave reflection were assessed using digital volume pulse analysis and tonometric measurement of the wave reflection indices and central haemodynamics. 4. Significant differences in the stiffness index (SI(DVP); P < 0.0001), peripheral augmentation index (pAI(x); P < 0.0001), central augmentation index (cAI(x); P < 0.0001), peripheral pulse pressure (pPP; P = 0.026) and central pulse pressure (cPP; P < 0.0001) were found when the population examined was divided accordingly to tertile of body fat content. However, subdividing various indices of arterial stiffness according to the tertile of BMI did not reveal any significant differences between groups, except for pPP and cPP. 5. Body fat content was significantly correlated with SI(DVP), pAI(x), cAI(x), pPP and cPP. The BMI correlated weakly with SI(DVP), pPP and cPP. 6. In conclusion, the BMI is not very useful in predicting changes in arterial stiffness and wave reflection due to obesity. However, stiffness and wave reflection indices derived from digital volume pulse analysis, the characteristics of radial and aortic pressure waveforms and peripheral and aortic pulse pressure are all related to body fat content, as estimated by bioimpedance.

  18. Tachocline dynamics: convective overshoot at stiff interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Benjamin; Lecoanet, Daniel; Oishi, Jeffrey S.; Burns, Keaton; Vasil, Geoffrey M.

    2016-05-01

    The solar tachocline lies at the base of the solar convection zone. At this internal interface, motions from the unstable convection zone above overshoot and penetrate downward into the stiffly stable radiative zone below, driving gravity waves, mixing, and possibly pumping and storing magnetic fields. Here we study the dynamics of convective overshoot across very stiff interfaces with some properties similar to the internal boundary layer within the Sun. We use the Dedalus pseudospectral framework and study fully compressible dynamics at moderate to high Peclet number and low Mach number, probing a regime where turbulent transport is important. In this preliminary work, we find that the depth of convective overshoot is well described by a simple buoyancy equilibration model, and we consider implications for dynamics at the solar tachocline.

  19. Salt-induced aggregation of stiff polyelectrolytes.

    PubMed

    Fazli, Hossein; Mohammadinejad, Sarah; Golestanian, Ramin

    2009-10-21

    Molecular dynamics simulation techniques are used to study the process of aggregation of highly charged stiff polyelectrolytes due to the presence of multivalent salt. The dominant kinetic mode of aggregation is found to be the case of one end of one polyelectrolyte meeting others at right angles, and the kinetic pathway to bundle formation is found to be similar to that of flocculation dynamics of colloids as described by Smoluchowski. The aggregation process is found to favor the formation of finite bundles of 10-11 filaments at long times. Comparing the distribution of the cluster sizes with the Smoluchowski formula suggests that the energy barrier for the aggregation process is negligible. Also, the formation of long-lived metastable structures with similarities to the raft-like structures of actin filaments is observed within a range of salt concentration.

  20. Parametric Stiffness Control of Flexible Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moon, F. C.; Rand, R. H.

    1985-01-01

    An unconventional method for control of flexible space structures using feedback control of certain elements of the stiffness matrix is discussed. The advantage of using this method of configuration control is that it can be accomplished in practical structures by changing the initial stress state in the structure. The initial stress state can be controlled hydraulically or by cables. The method leads, however, to nonlinear control equations. In particular, a long slender truss structure under cable induced initial compression is examined. both analytical and numerical analyses are presented. Nonlinear analysis using center manifold theory and normal form theory is used to determine criteria on the nonlinear control gains for stable or unstable operation. The analysis is made possible by the use of the exact computer algebra system MACSYMA.

  1. Three-dimensional stiffness of the carpal arch.

    PubMed

    Gabra, Joseph N; Li, Zong-Ming

    2016-01-04

    The carpal arch of the wrist is formed by irregularly shaped carpal bones interconnected by numerous ligaments, resulting in complex structural mechanics. The purpose of this study was to determine the three-dimensional stiffness characteristics of the carpal arch using displacement perturbations. It was hypothesized that the carpal arch would exhibit an anisotropic stiffness behavior with principal directions that are oblique to the conventional anatomical axes. Eight (n=8) cadavers were used in this study. For each specimen, the hamate was fixed to a custom stationary apparatus. An instrumented robot arm applied three-dimensional displacement perturbations to the ridge of trapezium and corresponding reaction forces were collected. The displacement-force data were used to determine a three-dimensional stiffness matrix using least squares fitting. Eigendecomposition of the stiffness matrix was used to identify the magnitudes and directions of the principal stiffness components. The carpal arch structure exhibited anisotropic stiffness behaviors with a maximum principal stiffness of 16.4±4.6N/mm that was significantly larger than the other principal components of 3.1±0.9 and 2.6±0.5N/mm (p<0.001). The principal direction of the maximum stiffness was pronated within the cross section of the carpal tunnel which is accounted for by the stiff transverse ligaments that tightly bind distal carpal arch. The minimal principal stiffness is attributed to the less constraining articulation between the trapezium and scaphoid. This study provides advanced characterization of the wrist׳s three-dimensional structural stiffness for improved insight into wrist biomechanics, stability, and function.

  2. 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.

  3. Three-Dimensional Stiffness of the Carpal Arch

    PubMed Central

    Gabra, Joseph N.; Li, Zong-Ming

    2015-01-01

    The carpal arch of the wrist is formed by irregularly shaped carpal bones interconnected by numerous ligaments, resulting in complex structural mechanics. The purpose of this study was to determine the three-dimensional stiffness characteristics of the carpal arch using displacement perturbations. It was hypothesized that the carpal arch would exhibit an anisotropic stiffness behavior with principal directions that are oblique to the conventional anatomical axes. Eight (n = 8) cadavers were used in this study. For each specimen, the hamate was fixed to a custom stationary apparatus. An instrumented robot arm applied three-dimensional displacement perturbations to the ridge of trapezium and corresponding reaction forces were collected. The displacement-force data were used to determine a three-dimensional stiffness matrix using least squares fitting. Eigendecomposition of the stiffness matrix was used to identify the magnitudes and directions of the principal stiffness components. The carpal arch structure exhibited anisotropic stiffness behaviors with a maximum principal stiffness of 16.4 ± 4.6 N/mm that was significantly larger than the other principal components of 3.1 ± 0.9 and 2.6 ± 0.5 N/mm (p < 0.001). The principal direction of the maximum stiffness was pronated within the cross section of the carpal tunnel which is accounted for by the stiff transverse ligaments that tightly bind distal carpal arch. The minimal principal stiffness is attributed to the less constraining articulation between the trapezium and scaphoid. This study provides advanced characterization of the wrist's three-dimensional structural stiffness for improved insight into wrist biomechanics, stability, and function. PMID:26617368

  4. 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.

  5. Experimental and computational analysis of soft tissue stiffness in forearm using a manual indentation device.

    PubMed

    Iivarinen, Jarkko T; Korhonen, Rami K; Julkunen, Petro; Jurvelin, Jukka S

    2011-12-01

    A hand held stiffness meter can be used to measure indentation stiffness of human soft tissues, sensitively altered, e.g., by pathological tissue swelling. Under indentation load, the relative contribution of each soft tissue component (i.e., skin, adipose tissue and muscle) to the biomechanical response is not known. In the present study, we evaluated the biomechanical role of different soft tissues in relaxed, physically stressed and oedemic human forearm. Soft tissue stiffness of the forearms of nine healthy human subjects was measured under four different test protocols: (1) forearm at rest, (2) forearm under isometric flexor loading, (3) forearm under isometric extensor loading, and (4) forearm under venous occlusion. In (2) and (3) the loading forces were monitored using a dynamometer, and in (4) the soft tissue swelling was induced by venous occlusion using a pressure cuff. At the site of indentation, thickness of different tissue layers (skin, adipose tissue and muscle) was measured using B-mode ultrasound imaging. Layered, hyperelastic finite element (FE) model of the indentation measurement was created and the model response was matched with that of the stiffness meter to determine the elastic modulus for each tissue in the model. Optimized values of the elastic modulus for skin and adipose tissue at rest were 210 kPa and 1.9 kPa, respectively. Further, significance of the variations in stiffness of different tissues on the indentation response was tested. Experimentally, indentation stiffness of the forearm increased during isometric extensor and flexor loads as well as under venous occlusion by 53, 91 and 15%, respectively. The FE model could reproduce the experimental responses primarily by the increased modulus of skin; 112% (446 kPa), 210% (651 kPa) and 21% (254 kPa) under flexor and extensor loading as well as during venous occlusion, respectively. The indentation response was 9-16 times more sensitive to changes in the mechanical properties of skin

  6. The intrinsic stiffness of human trabecular meshwork cells increases with senescence

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yow-Ren; Murphy, Christopher J.; Russell, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Dysfunction of the human trabecular meshwork (HTM) plays a central role in the age-associated disease glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness. The etiology remains poorly understood but cellular senescence, increased stiffness of the tissue, and the expression of Wnt antagonists such as secreted frizzled related protein-1 (SFRP1) have been implicated. However, it is not known if senescence is causally linked to either stiffness or SFRP1 expression. In this study, we utilized in vitro HTM senescence to determine the effect on cellular stiffening and SFRP1 expression. Stiffness of cultured cells was measured using atomic force microscopy and the morphology of the cytoskeleton was determined using immunofluorescent analysis. SFRP1 expression was measured using qPCR and immunofluorescent analysis. Senescent cell stiffness increased 1.88±0.14 or 2.57±0.14 fold in the presence or absence of serum, respectively. This was accompanied by increased vimentin expression, stress fiber formation, and SFRP1 expression. In aggregate, these data demonstrate that senescence may be a causal factor in HTM stiffening and elevated SFRP1 expression, and contribute towards disease progression. These findings provide insight into the etiology of glaucoma and, more broadly, suggest a causal link between senescence and altered tissue biomechanics in aging-associated diseases. PMID:25915531

  7. On eigenmodes, stiffness, and sensitivity of atomic force microscope cantilevers in air versus liquids

    SciTech Connect

    Kiracofe, Daniel; Raman, Arvind

    2010-02-15

    The effect of hydrodynamic loading on the eigenmode shapes, modal stiffnesses, and optical lever sensitivities of atomic force microscope (AFM) microcantilevers is investigated by measuring the vibrations of such microcantilevers in air and water using a scanning laser Doppler vibrometer. It is found that for rectangular tipless microcantilevers, the measured fundamental and higher eigenmodes and their equivalent stiffnesses are nearly identical in air and in water. However, for microcantilevers with a tip mass or for picket shaped cantilevers, there is a marked difference in the second (and higher) eigenmode shapes between air and water that leads to a large decrease in their modal stiffness in water as compared to air as well as a decrease in their optical lever sensitivity. These results are explained in terms of hydrodynamic interactions of microcantilevers with nonuniform mass distribution. The results clearly demonstrate that tip mass and hydrodynamic loading must be taken into account in stiffness calibration and optical lever sensitivity calibration while using higher-order eigenmodes in dynamic AFM.

  8. Cell prestress. I. Stiffness and prestress are closely associated in adherent contractile cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Ning; Tolic-Norrelykke, Iva Marija; Chen, Jianxin; Mijailovich, Srboljub M.; Butler, James P.; Fredberg, Jeffrey J.; Stamenovic, Dimitrije; Ingber, D. E. (Principal Investigator)

    2002-01-01

    The tensegrity hypothesis holds that the cytoskeleton is a structure whose shape is stabilized predominantly by the tensile stresses borne by filamentous structures. Accordingly, cell stiffness must increase in proportion with the level of the tensile stress, which is called the prestress. Here we have tested that prediction in adherent human airway smooth muscle (HASM) cells. Traction microscopy was used to measure the distribution of contractile stresses arising at the interface between each cell and its substrate; this distribution is called the traction field. Because the traction field must be balanced by tensile stresses within the cell body, the prestress could be computed. Cell stiffness (G) was measured by oscillatory magnetic twisting cytometry. As the contractile state of the cell was modulated with graded concentrations of relaxing or contracting agonists (isoproterenol or histamine, respectively), the mean prestress ((t)) ranged from 350 to 1,900 Pa. Over that range, cell stiffness increased linearly with the prestress: G (Pa) = 0.18(t) + 92. While this association does not necessarily preclude other interpretations, it is the hallmark of systems that secure shape stability mainly through the prestress. Regardless of mechanism, these data establish a strong association between stiffness of HASM cells and the level of tensile stress within the cytoskeleton.

  9. Simultaneous dynamic stiffness and extension profiles of single titin molecules: Nanomechanical evidence for unfolding intermediates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, Jeffrey G.; Wang, Kuan

    2004-07-01

    Striated muscle is the primary source of biomechanical force in organisms from worms to man, and is organized as a composite material from nanometer to meter scales. At nanometer scale, an array of cytoskeletal proteins are required to regulate the size, assembly and function of the sarcomere, as well as transmit force and provide elasticity for restoring the structure. One such protein is the giant protein titin (Mr 3-4×106), which spans half of the muscle sarcomere length. The passive elasticity of muscle at a physiological range of stretch arises primarily from the extension of titin. We have measured both the extension force and the dynamic stiffness of native titin with the atomic force microscope. We found that the stiffness of a single molecule of titin varied between 1 and 4 pN/nm over an extension of >1 μm. Regions showing globular domains unfolding in the sawtooth pattern of force versus extension curve exhibit periodic spikes in the stiffness. The results of this study show that simultaneous stiffness and force measurements of single molecules can provide new information on the elastic behavior and structural transitions of elastic proteins and their physiological roles in muscle elasticity.

  10. Evaluation of Compressive Strength and Stiffness of Grouted Soils by Using Elastic Waves

    PubMed Central

    Lee, In-Mo; Kim, Jong-Sun; Yoon, Hyung-Koo; Lee, Jong-Sub

    2014-01-01

    Cement grouted soils, which consist of particulate soil media and cementation agents, have been widely used for the improvement of the strength and stiffness of weak ground and for the prevention of the leakage of ground water. The strength, elastic modulus, and Poisson's ratio of grouted soils have been determined by classical destructive methods. However, the performance of grouted soils depends on several parameters such as the distribution of particle size of the particulate soil media, grouting pressure, curing time, curing method, and ground water flow. In this study, elastic wave velocities are used to estimate the strength and elastic modulus, which are generally obtained by classical strength tests. Nondestructive tests by using elastic waves at small strain are conducted before and during classical strength tests at large strain. The test results are compared to identify correlations between the elastic wave velocity measured at small strain and strength and stiffness measured at large strain. The test results show that the strength and stiffness have exponential relationship with elastic wave velocities. This study demonstrates that nondestructive methods by using elastic waves may significantly improve the strength and stiffness evaluation processes of grouted soils. PMID:25025082

  11. On-machine ultrasonic sensors for paper stiffness. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, Maclin S.; Jackson, Theodore G.; Brown, Ernest

    2000-04-01

    This final report presents the results of a 5-year effort by the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) and its participating partners. The objective of this work was to develop and demonstrate sensors capable of measuring the velocity of ultrasound in the out-of-plane (ZD) and in-plane directions of paper as it is being produced on a commercial paper machine. On-machine ultrasonic measurements can be used to determine various mechanical properties of paper and to monitor process status and product quality. This report first presents a review of the background and potential benefits of on-machine ultrasonic measurements, then summarizes the results of previous work. The ZD measurement system involving the use of ultrasonic transducers in fluid-filled wheels is described in detail, including the method of measurement, the wheel mounting hardware, the on-machine operation, and an overview of the system software. Mill-trial results from two bump tests when producing 69{number_sign} and 55{number_sign} linearboard are presented. For the 69{number_sign} trial the correlation of ZD transit time with plybond and with ZDT (Z-direction tensile or internal bond strength) was greater than 0.8 (R squared). Also observed were ZD stiffness responses to refining and to calendering. ABB Industrial Systems Inc. was responsible for the in-plane sensor. A paper describing ABB's sensor and mill experience is appended.

  12. Assessment of passive knee stiffness and viscosity in individuals with spinal cord injury using pendulum test

    PubMed Central

    Joghtaei, Mahmoud; Arab, Amir Massoud; Hashemi-Nasl, Hamed; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi; Tokhi, Mohammad Osman

    2015-01-01

    Objective Stiffness and viscosity represent passive resistances to joint motion related with the structural properties of the joint tissue and of the musculotendinous complex. Both parameters can be affected in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). The purpose of this study was to measure passive knee stiffness and viscosity in patients with SCI with paraplegia and healthy subjects using Wartenberg pendulum test. Design Non-experimental, cross-sectional, case–control design. Setting An outpatient physical therapy clinic, University of social welfare and Rehabilitation Science, Iran. Patients A sample of convenience sample of 30 subjects participated in the study. Subjects were categorized into two groups: individuals with paraplegic SCI (n = 15, age: 34.60 ± 9.18 years) and 15 able-bodied individuals as control group (n = 15, age: 30.66 ± 11.13 years). Interventions Not applicable. Main measures Passive pendulum test of Wartenberg was used to measure passive viscous-elastic parameters of the knee (stiffness, viscosity) in all subjects. Results Statistical analysis (independent t-test) revealed significant difference in the joint stiffness between healthy subjects and those with paraplegic SCI (P = 0.01). However, no significant difference was found in the viscosity between two groups (P = 0.17). Except for first peak flexion angle, all other displacement kinematic parameters exhibited no statistically significant difference between normal subjects and subjects with SCI. Conclusions Patients with SCI have significantly greater joint stiffness compared to able-bodied subjects. PMID:25437824

  13. Arterial Stiffness is Associated with Increase in Blood Pressure Over Time in Treated Hypertensives

    PubMed Central

    Coutinho, T; Bailey, KR; Turner, ST; Kullo, IJ

    2014-01-01

    Background Arterial stiffness is associated with incident hypertension. We hypothesized that arterial stiffness would predict increases in systolic (SBP), mean (MAP) and pulse pressure (PP) over time in treated hypertensives. Methods Blood pressure (BP) was measured a mean of 8.5±0.9 years apart in 414 non-Hispanic white hypertensives (mean age 60±8 years, 55% women). The average of 3 supine right brachial BPs was recorded. Measures of arterial stiffness including carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), aortic augmentation index (AIx) and central pulse pressure (CPP) were obtained at baseline by applanation tonometry. We performed stepwise multivariable linear regression analyses adjusting for potential confounders to assess the associations of arterial stiffness parameters with BP changes over time. Results Systolic, mean and pulse pressure increased in 80% of participants. After adjustment for the covariates listed above, cfPWV was significantly associated with increases in SBP (β±SE: 0.71±0.31) and PP (β±SE: 1.09±0.27); AIx was associated with increases in SBP (β±SE: 0.23±0.10) and MAP (β±SE: 0.27±0.07); and CPP was associated with increases in SBP (β±SE: 0.44±0.07), MAP (β±SE: 0.24±0.05) and PP (β±SE: 0.42±0.06) over time (P≤0.02 for all). Conclusions Baseline arterial stiffness measures were associated with longitudinal increases in SBP, MAP and PP in treated hypertensives. PMID:24952654

  14. Mechanically stiff, electrically conductive composites of polymers and carbon nanotubes

    DOEpatents

    Worsley, Marcus A.; Kucheyev, Sergei O.; Baumann, Theodore F.; Kuntz, Joshua D.; Satcher, Jr., Joe H.; Hamza, Alex V.

    2015-07-21

    Using SWNT-CA as scaffolds to fabricate stiff, highly conductive polymer (PDMS) composites. The SWNT-CA is immersing in a polymer resin to produce a SWNT-CA infiltrated with a polymer resin. The SWNT-CA infiltrated with a polymer resin is cured to produce the stiff and electrically conductive composite of carbon nanotube aerogel and polymer.

  15. Regulation of electrospun scaffold stiffness via coaxial core diameter.

    PubMed

    Drexler, J W; Powell, H M

    2011-03-01

    Scaffold mechanics influence cellular behavior, including migration, phenotype and viability. Scaffold stiffness is commonly modulated through cross-linking, polymer density, or bioactive coatings on stiff substrates. These approaches provide useful information about cellular response to substrate stiffness; however, they are not ideal as the processing can change substrate morphology, density or chemistry. Coaxial electrospinning was investigated as a fabrication method to produce scaffolds with tunable stiffness and strength without changing architecture or surface chemistry. Core solution concentration, solvent and feed rate were utilized to control core diameter with higher solution concentration and feed rate positively correlating with increased fiber diameter and stiffness. Coaxial scaffolds electrospun with an 8 wt./vol.% polycaprolactone (PCL)-HFP solution at 1 ml h(-1) formed scaffolds with an average core diameter of 1.1±0.2 μm and stiffness of 0.027±3.3×10(-3) N mm(-1). In contrast, fibers which were 2.6±0.1 μm in core diameter yielded scaffolds with a stiffness of 0.065±4.7×10(-3) N mm(-1). Strength and stiffness positively correlated with core diameter with no significant difference in total fiber diameter and interfiber distance observed in as-spun scaffolds. These data indicate that coaxial core diameter can be utilized to tailor mechanical properties of three-dimensional scaffolds and would provide an ideal scaffold for assessing the effect of scaffold mechanics on cell behavior.

  16. Measurement of rotor system dynamic stiffness by perturbation testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bently, D. E.; Muszynska, A.

    1985-01-01

    Specific aspects of the application of Modal Analysis to rotating machines are discussed. For lowest mode analysis, the circular force perturbation testing gives the best results. Examples of application are presented.

  17. Characterization of the bending stiffness of large space structure joints

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, K. Chauncey

    1989-01-01

    A technique for estimating the bending stiffness of large space structure joints is developed and demonstrated for an erectable joint concept. Experimental load-deflection data from a three-point bending test was used as input to solve a closed-form expression for the joint bending stiffness which was derived from linear beam theory. Potential error sources in both the experimental and analytical procedures are identified and discussed. The bending stiffness of a mechanically preloaded erectable joint is studied at three applied moments and seven joint orientations. Using this technique, the joint bending stiffness was bounded between 6 and 17 percent of the bending stiffness of the graphite/epoxy strut member.

  18. An experimental nonlinear low dynamic stiffness device for shock isolation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francisco Ledezma-Ramirez, Diego; Ferguson, Neil S.; Brennan, Michael J.; Tang, Bin

    2015-07-01

    The problem of shock generated vibration is very common in practice and difficult to isolate due to the high levels of excitation involved and its transient nature. If not properly isolated it could lead to large transmitted forces and displacements. Typically, classical shock isolation relies on the use of passive stiffness elements to absorb energy by deformation and some damping mechanism to dissipate residual vibration. The approach of using nonlinear stiffness elements is explored in this paper, focusing in providing an isolation system with low dynamic stiffness. The possibilities of using such a configuration for a shock mount are studied experimentally following previous theoretical models. The model studied considers electromagnets and permanent magnets in order to obtain nonlinear stiffness forces using different voltage configurations. It is found that the stiffness nonlinearities could be advantageous in improving shock isolation in terms of absolute displacement and acceleration response when compared with linear elastic elements.

  19. Myocardial Stiffness in Patients with Heart Failure and a Preserved Ejection Fraction: Contributions of Collagen and Titin

    PubMed Central

    Zile, Michael R.; Baicu, Catalin F.; Ikonomidis, John; Stroud, Robert E.; Nietert, Paul J.; Bradshaw, Amy D.; Slater, Rebecca; Palmer, Bradley M.; Van Buren, Peter; Meyer, Markus; Redfield, Margaret; Bull, David; Granzier, Henk; LeWinter, Martin M.

    2015-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to determine whether patients with heart failure and a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) have an increase in passive myocardial stiffness and the extent to which discovered changes are dependent on changes in extracellular matrix fibrillar collagen and/or cardiomyocyte titin. Methods and Results Seventy patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting underwent an echocardiogram, plasma biomarker determination, and intra-operative left ventricular (LV) epicardial anterior wall biopsy. Patients were divided into 3 groups: referent control (n=17, no hypertension or diabetes), hypertension (HTN) without(-) HFpEF (n=31), and HTN with(+) HFpEF (n=22). One or more of the following studies were performed on the biopsies: passive stiffness measurements to determine total, collagen-dependent and titin-dependent stiffness (differential extraction assay), collagen assays (biochemistry or histology), or titin isoform and phosphorylation assays. Compared with controls, patients with HTN(-)HFpEF had no change in LV end diastolic pressure (LVEDP), myocardial passive stiffness, collagen, or titin phosphorylation but had an increase in biomarkers of inflammation (CRP, sST2, TIMP-1). Compared with both control and HTN(-)HFpEF, patients with HTN(+)HFpEF had increased LVEDP, left atrial volume, NT-proBNP, total, collagen-dependent and titin-dependent stiffness, insoluble collagen, increased titin phosphorylation on PEVK S11878(S26), reduced phosphorylation on N2B S4185(S469), and increased biomarkers of inflammation. Conclusions Hypertension in the absence of HFpEF, did not alter passive myocardial stiffness. Patients with HTN(+)HFpEF had a significant increase in passive myocardial stiffness; collagen-dependent and titin-dependent stiffness were increased. These data suggest that the development of HFpEF is dependent on changes in both collagen and titin homeostasis. PMID:25637629

  20. Relationship between stiffness, internal cell pressure and shape of outer hair cells isolated from the guinea-pig hearing organ.

    PubMed

    Chan, E; Ulfendahl, M

    1997-12-01

    The mechanical properties of outer hair cells are of importance for normal hearing, and it has been shown that damage of the cells can lead to a reduction in the hearing sensitivity. In this study, we measured the stiffness of isolated outer hair cells in hyper- and hypotonic conditions, and examined the change in stiffness in relation to the corresponding changes in internal cell pressure and cell shape. The results showed that the axial stiffness of isolated outer hair cells (30-90 microns in length, 8-12 microns in diameter), ranging from 0.13-5.39 mN m-1, was inversely related to cell length. Exposure to hyper- and hypotonic external media with a small percentage change in osmolality caused a similar magnitude of change in cell length and cell diameter, but an average 60% change in cell stiffness. Therefore, a moderate osmotic change in the external medium can lead to a significant alteration in cell stiffness. The findings thus indicate an important contribution of internal cell pressure to cell stiffness.

  1. Evaluation of urban surface parameterizations in the WRF model using measurements during the Texas Air Quality Study 2006 field campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S.-H.; Kim, S.-W.; Angevine, W. M.; Bianco, L.; McKeen, S. A.; Senff, C. J.; Trainer, M.; Tucker, S. C.; Zamora, R. J.

    2011-03-01

    The performance of different urban surface parameterizations in the WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) in simulating urban boundary layer (UBL) was investigated using extensive measurements during the Texas Air Quality Study 2006 field campaign. The extensive field measurements collected on surface (meteorological, wind profiler, energy balance flux) sites, a research aircraft, and a research vessel characterized 3-dimensional atmospheric boundary layer structures over the Houston-Galveston Bay area, providing a unique opportunity for the evaluation of the physical parameterizations. The model simulations were performed over the Houston metropolitan area for a summertime period (12-17 August) using a bulk urban parameterization in the Noah land surface model (original LSM), a modified LSM, and a single-layer urban canopy model (UCM). The UCM simulation compared quite well with the observations over the Houston urban areas, reducing the systematic model biases in the original LSM simulation by 1-2 °C in near-surface air temperature and by 200-400 m in UBL height, on average. A more realistic turbulent (sensible and latent heat) energy partitioning contributed to the improvements in the UCM simulation. The original LSM significantly overestimated the sensible heat flux (~200 W m-2) over the urban areas, resulting in warmer and higher UBL. The modified LSM slightly reduced warm and high biases in near-surface air temperature (0.5-1 °C) and UBL height (~100 m) as a result of the effects of urban vegetation. The relatively strong thermal contrast between the Houston area and the water bodies (Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico) in the LSM simulations enhanced the sea/bay breezes, but the model performance in predicting local wind fields was similar among the simulations in terms of statistical evaluations. These results suggest that a proper surface representation (e.g. urban vegetation, surface morphology) and explicit parameterizations of urban physical

  2. The Focal Adhesion: A Regulated Component of Aortic Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Saphirstein, Robert J.; Gao, Yuan Z.; Jensen, Mikkel H.; Gallant, Cynthia M.; Vetterkind, Susanne; Moore, Jeffrey R.; Morgan, Kathleen G.

    2013-01-01

    Increased aortic stiffness is an acknowledged predictor and cause of cardiovascular disease. The sources and mechanisms of vascular stiffness are not well understood, although the extracellular matrix (ECM) has been assumed to be a major component. We tested here the hypothesis that the focal adhesions (FAs) connecting the cortical cytoskeleton of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to the matrix in the aortic wall are a component of aortic stiffness and that this component is dynamically regulated. First, we examined a model system in which magnetic tweezers could be used to monitor cellular cortical stiffness, serum-starved A7r5 aortic smooth muscle cells. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), an activator of myosin that increases cell contractility, increased cortical stiffness. A small molecule inhibitor of Src-dependent FA recycling, PP2, was found to significantly inhibit LPA-induced increases in cortical stiffness, as well as tension-induced increases in FA size. To directly test the applicability of these results to force and stiffness development at the level of vascular tissue, we monitored mouse aorta ring stiffness with small sinusoidal length oscillations during agonist-induced contraction. The alpha-agonist phenylephrine, which also increases myosin activation and contractility, increased tissue stress and stiffness in a PP2- and FAK inhibitor 14-attenuated manner. Subsequent phosphotyrosine screening and follow-up with phosphosite-specific antibodies confirmed that the effects of PP2 and FAK inhibitor 14 in vascular tissue involve FA proteins, including FAK, CAS, and paxillin. Thus, in the present study we identify, for the first time, the FA of the VSMC, in particular the FAK-Src signaling complex, as a significant subcellular regulator of aortic stiffness and stress. PMID:23626821

  3. Stiffness characteristics of airfoils under pulse loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Kevin Eugene

    The turbomachinery industry continually struggles with the adverse effects of contact rubs between airfoils and casings. The key parameter controlling the severity of a given rub event is the contact load produced when the airfoil tips incur into the casing. These highly non-linear and transient forces are difficult to calculate and their effects on the static and rotating components are not well understood. To help provide this insight, experimental and analytical capabilities have been established and exercised through an alliance between GE Aviation and The Ohio State University Gas Turbine Laboratory. One of the early findings of the program is the influence of blade flexibility on the physics of rub events. The core focus of the work presented in this dissertation is to quantify the influence of airfoil flexibility through a novel modeling approach that is based on the relationship between applied force duration and maximum tip deflection. This relationship is initially established using a series of forward, non-linear and transient analyses in which simulated impulse rub loads are applied. This procedure, although effective, is highly inefficient and costly to conduct by requiring numerous explicit simulations. To alleviate this issue, a simplified model, named the pulse magnification model, is developed that only requires a modal analysis and a static analyses to fully describe how the airfoil stiffness changes with respect to load duration. Results from the pulse magnification model are compared to results from the full transient simulation method and to experimental results, providing sound verification for the use of the modeling approach. Furthermore, a unique and highly efficient method to model airfoil geometries was developed and is outlined in this dissertation. This method produces quality Finite Element airfoil definitions directly from a fully parameterized mathematical model. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated by comparing modal

  4. Effect of Lysyl Oxidase Inhibition on Angiotensin II-Induced Arterial Hypertension, Remodeling, and Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Eberson, Lance S.; Sanchez, Pablo A.; Majeed, Beenish A.; Tawinwung, Supannikar; Secomb, Timothy W.; Larson, Douglas F.

    2015-01-01

    It is well accepted that angiotensin II (Ang II) induces altered vascular stiffness through responses including both structural and material remodeling. Concurrent with remodeling is the induction of the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX) through which ECM proteins are cross-linked. The study objective was to determine the effect of LOX mediated cross-linking on vascular mechanical properties. Three-month old mice were chronically treated with Ang II with or without the LOX blocker, β -aminopropionitrile (BAPN), for 14 days. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) from Doppler measurements of the aortic flow wave was used to quantify in vivo vascular stiffness in terms of an effective Young’s modulus. The increase in effective Young’s modulus with Ang II administration was abolished with the addition of BAPN, suggesting that the material properties are a major controlling element in vascular stiffness. BAPN inhibited the Ang II induced collagen cross-link formation by 2-fold and PWV by 44% (P<0.05). Consistent with this observation, morphometric analysis showed that BAPN did not affect the Ang II mediated increase in medial thickness but significantly reduced the adventitial thickness. Since the hypertensive state contributes to the measured in vivo PWV stiffness, we removed the Ang II infusion pumps on Day 14 and achieved normal arterial blood pressures. With pump removal we observed a decrease of the PWV in the Ang II group to 25% above that of the control values (P=0.002), with a complete return to control values in the Ang II plus BAPN group. In conclusion, we have shown that the increase in vascular stiffness with 14 day Ang II administration results from a combination of hypertension-induced wall strain, adventitial wall thickening and Ang II mediated LOX ECM cross-linking, which is a major material source of vascular stiffening, and that the increased PWV was significantly inhibited with co-administration of BAPN. PMID:25875748

  5. Leg stiffness decreases during a run to exhaustion at the speed at VO2max.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Philip R; Caplan, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    Vertical and leg stiffness are related to running speed. In endurance running, the ability to maintain stiffness might be more important than the absolute stiffness magnitude. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in vertical and leg stiffness during an exhaustive. Six sub-elite runners (24.2, s = 4.2 years; 1.81, s = 0.03 m; 73.4, s = 4.4 kg) participated in this study. They performed preliminary tests to determine lactate threshold, lactate turnpoint, [Formula: see text]O2max, s[Formula: see text]O2max and a series of isokinetic endurance tests. During the run to exhaustion runners were videoed (50 Hz) to determine contact and flight times, from which leg (Kleg) and vertical (Kvert) stiffness were calculated. During the run Kleg showed a significant decrease [P = 0.030, effect size statistics (ES) = 0.74], however, the decrease in Kvert was non-significant and of a small magnitude (P = 0.051, ES = 0.32). The distance covered during the run was correlated with ΔKleg (r = -0.868) but not ΔKvert (r = 0.684). ΔKleg was very strongly related to Δ ground contact time (r = -0.937) and Δ step length (r = -0.957). The Δ ground contact time had a near perfect relationship with Δ step length (r = 0.995). Isokinetic measures were not significantly correlated with either ΔKleg. The ability to maintain a short ground contact time appears to be a key determinant of maintaining performance during a run to exhaustion. Minimising this is important for maintaining Kleg. Kleg was not significantly related to isokinetic measures.

  6. Influence of wheel configuration on wheelchair basketball performance: wheel stiffness, tyre type and tyre orientation.

    PubMed

    Mason, B S; Lemstra, M; van der Woude, L H V; Vegter, R; Goosey-Tolfrey, V L

    2015-04-01

    The aim of the current investigation was to explore the lateral stiffness of different sports wheelchair wheels available to athletes in 'new' and 'used' conditions and to determine the effect of (a) stiffness, (b) tyre type (clincher vs. tubular) and (c) tyre orientation on the physiological and biomechanical responses to submaximal and maximal effort propulsion specific to wheelchair basketball. Eight able-bodied individuals participated in the laboratory-based testing, which took place on a wheelchair ergometer at two fixed speeds (1.1 and 2.2 m s(-1)). Outcome measures were power output and physiological demand (oxygen uptake and heart rate). Three participants with experience of over-ground sports wheelchair propulsion also performed 2 × 20 m sprints in each wheel configuration. Results revealed that wheels differed significantly in lateral stiffness with the 'new' Spinergy wheel shown to be the stiffest (678.2 ± 102.1 N mm(-1)). However the effects of stiffness on physiological demand were minimal compared to tyre type whereby tubular tyres significantly reduced the rolling resistance and power output in relation to clincher tyres. Therefore tyre type (and subsequently inflation pressure) remains the most important aspect of wheel specification for athletes to consider and monitor when configuring a sports wheelchair.

  7. Size scaling and stiffness of avian primary feathers: implications for the flight of Mesozoic birds.

    PubMed

    Wang, X; Nudds, R L; Palmer, C; Dyke, G J

    2012-03-01

    The primary feathers of birds are subject to cyclical forces in flight causing their shafts (rachises) to bend. The amount the feathers deflect during flight is dependent upon the flexural stiffness of the rachises. By quantifying scaling relationships between body mass and feather linear dimensions in a large data set of living birds, we show that both feather length and feather diameter scale much closer to predictions for geometric similarity than they do to elastic similarity. Scaling allometry also indicates that the primary feathers of larger birds are relatively shorter and their rachises relatively narrower, compared to those of smaller birds. Two-point bending tests indicated that larger birds have more flexible feathers than smaller species. Discriminant functional analyses (DFA) showed that body mass, primary feather length and rachis diameter can be used to differentiate between different magnitudes of feather bending stiffness, with primary feather length explaining 63% of variance in rachis stiffness. Adding fossil measurement data to our DFA showed that Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis do not overlap with extant birds. This strongly suggests that the bending stiffness of their primary feathers was different to extant birds and provides further evidence for distinctive flight styles and likely limited flight ability in Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis.

  8. Biomechanical Effect of Margin Convergence Techniques: Quantitative Assessment of Supraspinatus Muscle Stiffness

    PubMed Central

    Hatta, Taku; Giambini, Hugo; Zhao, Chunfeng; Sperling, John W.; Steinmann, Scott P.; Itoi, Eiji; An, Kai-Nan

    2016-01-01

    Although the margin convergence (MC) technique has been recognized as an option for rotator cuff repair, little is known about the biomechanical effect on repaired rotator cuff muscle, especially after supplemented footprint repair. The purpose of this study was to assess the passive stiffness changes of the supraspinatus (SSP) muscle after MC techniques using shear wave elastography (SWE). A 30 × 40-mm U-shaped rotator cuff tear was created in 8 cadaveric shoulders. Each specimen was repaired with 6 types of MC technique (1-, 2-, 3-suture MC with/without footprint repair, in a random order) at 30° glenohumeral abduction. Passive stiffness of four anatomical regions in the SSP muscle was measured based on an established SWE method. Data were obtained from the SSP muscle at 0° abduction under 8 different conditions: intact (before making a tear), torn, and postoperative conditions with 6 techniques. MC techniques using 1-, or 2-suture combined with footprint repair showed significantly higher stiffness values than the intact condition. Passive stiffness of the SSP muscle was highest after a 1-suture MC with footprint repair for all regions when compared among all repair procedures. There was no significant difference between the intact condition and a 3-suture MC with footprint repair. MC techniques with single stitch and subsequent footprint repair may have adverse effects on muscle properties and tensile loading on repair, increasing the risk of retear of repairs. Adding more MC stitches could reverse these adverse effects. PMID:27583402

  9. Long-term pioglitazone therapy improves arterial stiffness in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Harashima, Keiichiro; Hayashi, Junichi; Miwa, Takashi; Tsunoda, Tooru

    2009-06-01

    Pioglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma agonist, not only improves insulin resistance and glycemic control, but may also have additional beneficial vascular effects in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. We investigated whether pioglitazone had an influence on arterial stiffness, which is an independent predictor of cardiovascular events, in 204 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A prospective, nonrandomized, open-label trial was performed that involved 41 patients treated with pioglitazone, 46 patients receiving sulfonylureas, 67 patients on insulin, and 50 patients on diet/exercise only. The follow-up period was 56 +/- 3 months. Arterial stiffness was evaluated by using the arterial stiffness index (ASI), which was based on analysis of the pulse wave amplitude pattern obtained during automated blood pressure measurement in the upper limb. The 4 groups had a similar baseline ASI, which was greater than the reference range in each group. Although antidiabetic therapies improved hemoglobin A(1c) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, ASI only decreased significantly in the pioglitazone group. Thus, pioglitazone improved abnormal arterial stiffness in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus via a mechanism beyond the metabolic improvement. These findings may have important clinical implications in the use of pioglitazone in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

  10. Is arterial stiffness predicted by continuous metabolic syndrome score in obese children?

    PubMed

    Prochotska, Katarina; Kovacs, Laszlo; Vitariusova, Eva; Feber, Janusz

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the article was to evaluate arterial stiffness, an early marker of increased cardiovascular risk, in relation to obesity. The continuous metabolic syndrome (cMetS) score was calculated as sum of Z score of mean arterial pressure, body mass index, serum glucose, triglyceride, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in 144 obese patients and 66 nonobese controls. Ambulatory arterial stiffness index (AASI) was calculated as 1 minus regression slope of diastolic on systolic blood pressure from ambulatory blood pressure measurements. The mean AASI increased progressively with severity of obesity. The receiver operator curve analysis of body mass index and AASI showed area under the curve of 0.64 ± 0.06; cMetS area under the curve was 0.72 ± 0.05 suggesting a better predictive power of the cMetS for an increased AASI (>0.3). Patients with obesity have significantly higher arterial stiffness. A composite score such as cMetS seems to be better predictor of an increased stiffness than individual risk factors.

  11. Muscle stiffness estimation using a system identification technique applied to evoked mechanomyogram during cycling exercise.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Takanori; Saito, Kaito; Shinjo, Katsuya

    2015-12-01

    The aims of this study were to develop a method to extract the evoked mechanomyogram (MMG) during cycling exercise and to clarify muscle stiffness at various cadences, workloads, and power. Ten young healthy male participants were instructed to pedal a cycle ergometer at cadences of 40 and 60 rpm. The loads were 4.9, 9.8, 14.7, and 19.6 N, respectively. One electrical stimulus per two pedal rotations was applied to the vastus lateralis muscle at a knee angle of 80° in the down phase. MMGs were measured using a capacitor microphone, and the MMGs were divided into stimulated and non-stimulated sequences. Each sequence was synchronously averaged. The synchronously averaged non-stimulated MMG was subtracted from the synchronously averaged stimulated MMG to extract an evoked MMG. The evoked MMG system was identified and the poles of the transfer function were calculated. The poles and mass of the vastus lateralis muscle were used to estimate muscle stiffness. Results showed that muscle stiffness was 186-626 N /m and proportional to the workloads and power. In conclusion, our method can be used to assess muscle stiffness proportional to the workload and power.

  12. The role of oxysterols in control of endothelial stiffness[S

    PubMed Central

    Shentu, Tzu Pin; Singh, Dev K.; Oh, Myung-Jin; Sun, Shan; Sadaat, Laleh; Makino, Ayako; Mazzone, Theodore; Subbaiah, Papasani V.; Cho, Michael; Levitan, Irena

    2012-01-01

    Endothelial dysfunction is a key step in atherosclerosis development. Our recent studies suggested that oxLDL-induced increase in endothelial stiffness plays a major role in dyslipidemia-induced endothelial dysfunction. In this study, we identify oxysterols, as the major component of oxLDL, responsible for the increase in endothelial stiffness. Using Atomic Force Microscopy to measure endothelial elastic modulus, we show that endothelial stiffness increases with progressive oxidation of LDL and that the two lipid fractions that contribute to endothelial stiffening are oxysterols and oxidized phosphatidylcholines, with oxysterols having the dominant effect. Furthermore, endothelial elastic modulus increases as a linear function of oxysterol content of oxLDL. Specific oxysterols, however, have differential effects on endothelial stiffness with 7-ketocholesterol and 7α-hydroxycholesterol, the two major oxysterols in oxLDL, having the strongest effects. 27-hydroxycholesterol, found in atherosclerotic lesions, also induces endothelial stiffening. For all oxysterols, endothelial stiffening is reversible by enriching the cells with cholesterol. oxLDL-induced stiffening is accompanied by incorporation of oxysterols into endothelial cells. We find significant accumulation of three oxysterols, 7α-hydroxycholesterol, 7β-hydroxycholesterol, and 7-ketocholesterol, in mouse aortas of dyslipidemic ApoE−/− mice at the early stage of atherosclerosis. Remarkably, these are the same oxysterols we have identified to induce endothelial stiffening. PMID:22496390

  13. Experimental investigation of the influence of the aortic stiffness on hemodynamics in the ascending aorta.

    PubMed

    Gülan, Utku; Lüthi, Beat; Holzner, Markus; Liberzon, Alex; Tsinober, Arkady; Kinzelbach, Wolfgang

    2014-11-01

    A three-dimensional (3-D) pulsatile aortic flow in a human ascending aorta is studied to investigate the effect of the aortic stiffness on the flow field and turbulent fluctuating velocities in the ascending aorta. A nonintrusive optical measurement technique, 3-D particle tracking velocimetry (3D-PTV), has been applied to anatomically accurate phantoms under clinically realistic conditions. A compliant silicon phantom was used to mimic the healthy aorta, and a rigid model was used to imitate the pathological case that appears in aortas for example as a result of aging. The realistic models are transparent which allows optical access to the investigation domain, and the index of refraction was matched to avoid optical distortions. Our results revealed that the aortic stiffness leads to an increase in systolic velocity and a decrease in the Windkessel effect, which is associated with the diastolic blood pressure. Furthermore, we found that the turbulent kinetic energy is about an order of magnitude higher for the rigid aorta, that is, an increase in aortic stiffness increases the magnitude of turbulent fluctuating velocities. The spatial distribution of the flow velocity showed that the flow is more organized and coherent spiraling patterns develop for the compliant aorta which helps to dampen the influence of disturbed flow. Finally, we observed higher Lagrangian acceleration and hence higher instantaneous forces acting on blood particles in the stiff case which implies that aging and hence arterial stiffening provokes distinctive alterations in blood flow, and these alterations may cause pathological symptoms in the cardiovascular system.

  14. Relationship between sleep duration and arterial stiffness in a multi-ethnic population: The HELIUS study

    PubMed Central

    Anujuo, Kenneth; Stronks, Karien; Snijder, Marieke B.; Jean-Louis, Girardin; van den Born, Bert-Jan; Peters, Ron J.; Agyemang, Charles

    2017-01-01

    We examined the relationship between sleep duration and arterial stiffness among a multi-ethnic cohort, and whether the associations differed among ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands. Data were derived from 10 994 participants (aged 18–71 years) of the Healthy Life in an Urban Setting (HELIUS) study. Self-reported sleep duration was categorized into: short (<7 h/night), healthy (7–8 h/night) and long (≥9 h/night). Arterial stiffness was assessed by duplicate pulse-wave velocity (PWV in m/s) measurements using the Arteriograph system. The association of sleep duration with PWV was analysed using linear regression (β) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results showed that neither short nor long sleep was related to PWV in all ethnic groups, except for long sleep in Dutch men which was associated with higher PWV (indicating stiffer arteries) after adjustment for potential confounders (β = 0.67, 95%CI, 0.23–1.11). Our study showed no convincing evidence that sleep duration was related to arterial stiffness among various ethnic groups. The link between sleep duration and cardiovascular outcomes does not seem to operate through arterial stiffness. Further research is needed to consolidate these findings. PMID:27058653

  15. Damage Detection on Sudden Stiffness Reduction Based on Discrete Wavelet Transform

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bo; Chen, Zhi-wei; Wang, Gan-jun; Xie, Wei-ping

    2014-01-01

    The sudden stiffness reduction in a structure may cause the signal discontinuity in the acceleration responses close to the damage location at the damage time instant. To this end, the damage detection on sudden stiffness reduction of building structures has been actively investigated in this study. The signal discontinuity of the structural acceleration responses of an example building is extracted based on the discrete wavelet transform. It is proved that the variation of the first level detail coefficients of the wavelet transform at damage instant is linearly proportional to the magnitude of the stiffness reduction. A new damage index is proposed and implemented to detect the damage time instant, location, and severity of a structure due to a sudden change of structural stiffness. Numerical simulation using a five-story shear building under different types of excitation is carried out to assess the effectiveness and reliability of the proposed damage index for the building at different damage levels. The sensitivity of the damage index to the intensity and frequency range of measurement noise is also investigated. The made observations demonstrate that the proposed damage index can accurately identify the sudden damage events if the noise intensity is limited. PMID:24991647

  16. Proximal aortic stiffness is increased in systemic lupus erythematosus activity in children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    El Gamal, Yehia Mohamad; Elmasry, Ola Abd Elaziz; El Hadidi, Iman Saleh; Soliman, Ola Kamel

    2013-01-01

    Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are prone to premature atherosclerosis and are at risk for the development of cardiovascular disease. Increased arterial stiffness is emerging as a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. Purpose. To measure proximal aortic stiffness in children and adolescents with SLE. Methods. We studied 16 patients with SLE in activity (mean age 15 ± 2.42 years; 16 females), 14 patients with SLE not in activity (mean age 15.7 ± 1.89 years; 4 males, 10 females), and 16 age- and sex-comparable healthy children and adolescents (15.5 ± 1.71 years; 4 males, 12 females). Disease activity was determined by the SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI). All subjects underwent echocardiography for assessment of proximal aortic pulse wave velocity (PWV) [Ao distance/Ao wave transit time in the aortic arch]. Venous blood samples were collected for ESR. Results. Patients in activity had significantly higher PWV values than controls (P < 0.05), while no significant difference was found between patients not in activity and controls. Conclusions. SLE patients with disease activity demonstrate increased PWV and arterial stiffness of the proximal aorta, while patients without disease activity do not. This suggests that inflammation secondary to SLE activity, and not subclinical atherosclerosis, is the major underlying cause for increased arterial stiffness in this age group.

  17. Truncated dystrophins reduce muscle stiffness in the extensor digitorum longus muscle of mdx mice

    PubMed Central

    Hakim, Chady H.

    2013-01-01

    Muscle stiffness is a major clinical feature in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). DMD is the most common lethal inherited muscle-wasting disease in boys, and it is caused by the lack of the dystrophin protein. We recently showed that the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle of mdx mice (a DMD mouse model) exhibits disease-associated muscle stiffness. Truncated micro- and mini-dystrophins are the leading candidates for DMD gene therapy. Unfortunately, it has never been clear whether these truncated genes can mitigate muscle stiffness. To address this question, we examined the passive properties of the EDL muscle in transgenic mdx mice that expressed a representative mini- or micro-gene (ΔH2-R15, ΔR2-15/ΔR18-23/ΔC, or ΔR4-23/ΔC). The passive properties were measured at the ages of 6 and 20 mo and compared with those of age-matched wild-type and mdx mice. Despite significant truncation of the gene, surprisingly, the elastic and viscous properties were completely restored to the wild-type level in every transgenic strain we examined. Our results demonstrated for the first time that truncated dystrophin genes may effectively treat muscle stiffness in DMD. PMID:23221959

  18. Quantifying the variability in stiffness and damping of an automotive vehicle's trim-structure mounts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abolfathi, Ali; O'Boy, Dan J.; Walsh, Stephen J.; Dowsett, Amy; Fisher, Stephen A.

    2016-09-01

    Small plastic clips are used in large numbers in automotive vehicles to connect interior trims to vehicle structures. The variability in their properties can contribute to the overall variability in noise and vibration response of the vehicle. The variability arises due to their material and manufacturing tolerances and more importantly due to the boundary condition. To measure their stiffness and damping, a simple experimental rig is used where a mass is supported by the clip which is modelled as a single degree of freedom system. The rig is designed in a way that it simulates the boundary condition as those of the real vehicle. The variability in clip and also due to the boundary condition at the structure side is first examined which is 7% for stiffness and 8% for damping. To simulate the connection of the trim side, a mount is built using a 3D printer. Rattling occurs in the response of the clips with loose connections, however by preloading the mount the effective stiffness increases and the rattling is eliminated. The variability due to the boundary condition at the trim side was as large as 40% for stiffness and 52% for damping.

  19. Muscle stiffness, strength loss, swelling and soreness following exercise-induced injury in humans.

    PubMed Central

    Howell, J N; Chleboun, G; Conatser, R

    1993-01-01

    1. In order to study injury-related changes in muscle stiffness, injury to the elbow flexors of thirteen human subjects was induced by a regimen of eccentric exercise. 2. Passive stiffness over an intermediate range of elbow angles was measured with a device which held the relaxed arm of the subject in the horizontal plane and stepped it through the range of elbow angles from 90 deg to near full extension at 180 deg. The relation between static torque and elbow angle was quite linear over the first 50 deg and was taken as stiffness. 3. Stiffness over this range of angles more than doubled immediately after exercise and remained elevated for about 4 days, and may result from low level myofibrillar activation induced by muscle stretch. 4. Arm swelling was biphasic; arm circumference increased by about 3% immediately after exercise, fell back toward normal, then increased by as much as 9% and remained elevated for as long as 9 days. 5. Ultrasound imaging showed most of the swelling immediately following the exercise to be localized to the flexor muscle compartment; subsequent swelling involved other tissue compartments as well. 6. Muscle strength declined by almost 40% after the exercise and recovery was only slight 10 days later; the half-time of recovery appeared to be as long as 5-6 weeks. PMID:8229798

  20. Acute effects of aerobic exercise intensity on arterial stiffness after glucose ingestion in young men.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Ryota; Hashimoto, Yuto; Hatakeyama, Hiroyuki; Okamoto, Takanobu

    2016-10-18

    Arterial stiffness increases after glucose ingestion. Acute low- and moderate-intensity aerobic exercise decreases arterial stiffness. However, the acute effects of 30 min of cycling at low- and moderate-intensity [25% (LE trial) and 65% (ME trial) peak oxygen uptake, respectively] on arterial stiffness at 30, 60 and 120 min of a postexercise glucose ingestion. Ten healthy young men (age, 22·4 ± 0·5 years) performed LE and ME trials on separate days in a randomized controlled crossover fashion. Carotid-femoral (aortic) pulse wave velocity (PWV), femoral-ankle (leg) PWV, carotid augmentation index (AIx) and carotid blood pressure (BP) (applanation tonometry), brachial and ankle BP (oscillometric device), heart rate (HR) (electrocardiography), blood glucose (UV-hexokinase method) and blood insulin (CLEIA method) levels were measured at before (baseline) and at 30, 60 and 120 min after the 75-g OGTT. Leg PWV, ankle pulse pressure and BG levels significantly increased from baseline after the 75-g OGTT in the LE trial (P<0·05), but not in the ME trial. Insulin levels and HR significantly increased from baseline after the 75-g OGTT in both trials (P<0·05). Aortic PWV, carotid AIx, brachial BP and carotid BP did not change from baseline after the 75-g OGTT in both trials. The present findings indicate that aerobic exercise at moderate intensity before glucose ingestion suppresses increases leg arterial stiffness after glucose ingestion.

  1. Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women. A double-blind randomised clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Knapen, Marjo H J; Braam, Lavienja A J L M; Drummen, Nadja E; Bekers, Otto; Hoeks, Arnold P G; Vermeer, Cees

    2015-05-01

    Observational data suggest a link between menaquinone (MK, vitamin K2) intake and cardiovascular (CV) health. However, MK intervention trials with vascular endpoints are lacking. We investigated long-term effects of MK-7 (180 µg MenaQ7/day) supplementation on arterial stiffness in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Healthy postmenopausal women (n=244) received either placebo (n=124) or MK-7 (n=120) for three years. Indices of local carotid stiffness (intima-media thickness IMT, Diameter end-diastole and Distension) were measured by echotracking. Regional aortic stiffness (carotid-femoral and carotid-radial Pulse Wave Velocity, cfPWV and crPWV, respectively) was measured using mechanotransducers. Circulating desphospho-uncarboxylated matrix Gla-protein (dp-ucMGP) as well as acute phase markers Interleukin-6 (IL-6), high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and markers for endothelial dysfunction Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule (VCAM), E-selectin, and Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs) were measured. At baseline dp-ucMGP was associated with IMT, Diameter, cfPWV and with the mean z-scores of acute phase markers (APMscore) and of markers for endothelial dysfunction (EDFscore). After three year MK-7 supplementation cfPWV and the Stiffness Index βsignificantly decreased in the total group, whereas distension, compliance, distensibility, Young's Modulus, and the local carotid PWV (cPWV) improved in women having a baseline Stiffness Index β above the median of 10.8. MK-7 decreased dp-ucMGP by 50 % compared to placebo, but did not influence the markers for acute phase and endothelial dysfunction. In conclusion, long-term use of MK-7 supplements improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women, especially in women having a high arterial stiffness.

  2. Controlled Unusual Stiffness of Mechanical Metamaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Wooju; Kang, Da-Young; Song, Jihwan; Moon, Jun Hyuk; Kim, Dongchoul

    2016-02-01

    Mechanical metamaterials that are engineered with sub-unit structures present unusual mechanical properties depending on the loading direction. Although they show promise, their practical utility has so far been somewhat limited because, to the best of our knowledge, no study about the potential of mechanical metamaterials made from sophisticatedly tailored sub-unit structures has been made. Here, we present a mechanical metamaterial whose mechanical properties can be systematically designed without changing its chemical composition or weight. We study the mechanical properties of triply periodic bicontinuous structures whose detailed sub-unit structure can be precisely fabricated using various sub-micron fabrication methods. Simulation results show that the effective wave velocity of the structures along with different directions can be designed to introduce the anisotropy of stiffness by changing a volume fraction and aspect ratio. The ratio of Young’s modulus to shear modulus can be increased by up to at least 100, which is a 3500% increase over that of isotropic material (2.8, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Furthermore, Poisson’s ratio of the constituent material changes the ratio while Young’s modulus does not influence it. This study presents the promising potential of mechanical metamaterials for versatile industrial and biomedical applications.

  3. Dynamic Condensation of Mass and Stiffness Matrices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.

    1995-12-01

    Details are given of a procedure for condensing the mass and stiffness matrices of a structure for dynamic analysis. The condensed model is based on choosing ncnatural frequencies and the corresponding modes of original model. The model is constructed so that (1) it has ncnatural frequencies equal to those of the original model, (2) the modes φ ifcless than i,j = 1, 2, . . . , ncare the same as those for the master co-ordinates in the corresponding modes of the original and (3) the responses of the condensed system at the co-ordinates Xcdue to forces at these co-ordinates, at one particular chosen frequency, are the same as those of the original system. The natural frequencies, the corresponding modes and the dynamic responses used for the condensation can be obtained from finite element analysis of the original structure. The method has been applied to the modelling of two common structures to examine its applicability. Comparisons between the performance of the condensed models obtained by means of the dynamic condensation method and that of the models obtained by the Guyan method have been conducted. The results of the example show that the condensed models determined by the dynamic condensation method retain the natural frequencies and modal shapes and perform better in describing the dynamic responses of the structures than do the corresponding models obtained by the Guyan method.

  4. Stiffness Modulation of Rayed Fins by Curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Khoi; Yu, Ning; Venkadesan, Madhusudhan; Bandi, Mahesh; Mandre, Shreyas

    2016-11-01

    Fishes with rayed fins comprise over 99% of all extant fish species. Multifunctional use of fins, from propulsion to station holding, requires substantial modulation of stiffness. We propose that fishes stiffen the fin by curving it transverse to its length. This effect is similar to stiffening a dollar bill by curling it because of curvature-induced coupling of out-of-plane bending with in-plane stretching. Unlike a piece of paper, rayed fins are a composite of rays and membranes. We model this as parallel elastic beams (rays) with springy interconnections (membranes). Our analysis shows that the key parameters stiffening the fin are the ray anisotropy to bending, the misalignment of principal bending directions of adjacent rays, and the membrane elasticity. The composite fin stiffens when the principal bending directions of adjacent rays are misaligned due to fin curvature, which necessarily causes the membrane to stretch. Unlike a homogenous thin sheet, composite rayed structures are able to mimic curvature-induced stiffening by using misaligned rays even if the fin appears geometrically flat. Preliminary radiographic evidence from the rays of fish fins supports such a mechanism. Funding by Human Frontier Science Program.

  5. Effects of varying machine stiffness and contact area in UltraForm Finishing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briggs, Dennis E.; Echaves, Samantha; Pidgeon, Brendan; Travis, Nathan; Ellis, Jonathan D.

    2013-09-01

    UltraForm Finishing (UFF) is a deterministic, subaperture, computer numerically controlled, grinding and polishing platform designed by OptiPro Systems. UFF is used to grind and polish a variety optics from simple spherical to fully freeform, and numerous materials from glasses to optical ceramics. The UFF system consists of an abrasive belt around a compliant wheel that rotates and contacts the part to remove material. This work aims to measure the stiffness variations in the system and how it can affect material removal rates. The stiffness of the entire system is evaluated using a triaxial load cell to measure forces and a capacitance sensor to measure deviations in height. Because the wheel is conformal and elastic, the shapes of contact areas are also of interest. For the scope of this work, the shape of the contact area is estimated via removal spot. The measured forces and removal spot area are directly related to material removal rate through Preston's equation. Using our current testing apparatus, we will demonstrate stiffness measurements and contact areas for a single UFF belt during different states of its lifecycle and assess the material removal function from spot diagrams as a function of wear. This investigation will ultimately allow us to make better estimates of Preston's coefficient and develop spot-morphing models in an effort to more accurately predict instantaneous material removal functions throughout the lifetime of a belt.

  6. Assessment of Placental Stiffness Using Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Elastography in Pregnant Women with Fetal Anomalies

    PubMed Central

    Göya, Cemil; Tunç, Senem; Teke, Memik; Hattapoğlu, Salih

    2016-01-01

    Objective We aimed to evaluate placental stiffness measured by acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography in pregnant women in the second trimester with a normal fetus versus those with structural anomalies and non-structural findings. Materials and Methods Forty pregnant women carrying a fetus with structural anomalies diagnosed sonographically at 18–28 weeks of gestation comprised the study group. The control group consisted of 34 healthy pregnant women with a sonographically normal fetus at a similar gestational age. Placental shear wave velocity (SWV) was measured by ARFI elastography and compared between the two groups. Structural anomalies and non-structural findings were scored based on sonographic markers. Placental stiffness measurements were compared among fetus anomaly categories. Doppler parameters of umbilical and uterine arteries were compared with placental SWV measurements. Results All placental SWV measurements, including minimum SWV, maximum SWV, and mean SWV were significantly higher in the study group than the control group ([0.86 ± 0.2, 0.74 ± 0.1; p < 0.001], [1.89 ± 0.7, 1.59 ± 0.5; p = 0.04], and [1.26 ± 0.4, 1.09 ± 0.2; p = 0.01]), respectively. Conclusion Placental stiffness evaluated by ARFI elastography during the second trimester in pregnant women with fetuses with congenital structural anomalies is higher than that of pregnant women with normal fetuses. PMID:26957906

  7. Mechanically Stiff Nanocomposite Hydrogels at Ultralow Nanoparticle Content.

    PubMed

    Jaiswal, Manish K; Xavier, Janet R; Carrow, James K; Desai, Prachi; Alge, Daniel; Gaharwar, Akhilesh K

    2016-01-26

    Although hydrogels are able to mimic native tissue microenvironments, their utility for biomedical applications is severely hampered due to limited mechanical stiffness and low toughness. Despite recent progress in designing stiff and tough hydrogels, it is still challenging to achieve a cell-friendly, high modulus construct. Here, we report a highly efficient method to reinforce collagen-based hydrogels using extremely low concentrations of a nanoparticulate-reinforcing agent that acts as a cross-link epicenter. Extraordinarily, the addition of these nanoparticles at a 10 000-fold lower concentration relative to polymer resulted in a more than 10-fold increase in mechanical stiffness and a 20-fold increase in toughness. We attribute the high stiffness of the nanocomposite network to the chemical functionality of the nanoparticles, which enabled the cross-linking of multiple polymeric chains to the nanoparticle surface. The mechanical stiffness of the nanoengineered hydrogel can be tailored between 0.2 and 200 kPa simply by manipulating the size of the nanoparticles (4, 8, and 12 nm), as well as the concentrations of the nanoparticles and polymer. Moreover, cells can be easily encapsulated within the nanoparticulate-reinforced hydrogel network, showing high viability. In addition, encapsulated cells were able to sense and respond to matrix stiffness. Overall, these results demonstrate a facile approach to modulate the mechanical stiffness of collagen-based hydrogels and may have broad utility for various biomedical applications, including use as tissue-engineered scaffolds and cell/protein delivery vehicles.

  8. Fabrication of Janus hydrogels with stiffness gradient using drop coalescence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Donghee; Golden, Kale; Ryu, Sangjin

    2016-11-01

    The stiffness of the extracellular matrix (ECM) regulates cellular behaviors, and polyacrylamide (PAAM) gels with stiffness gradient have been used to simulate inhomogeneous ECM and to study the effects of the ECM stiffness on cells. Such hydrogel substrates with stiffness gradient can be fabricated with relatively complicated methods using microfluidics and moving masks. In our study, we develop a simpler method for fabricating Janus hydrogel which has a gradient of stiffness. Two prepolymer solutions were prepared for soft and stiff gel compositions, respectively, and one drop of each solution was placed on a hydrophobic patterned glass. Then, these two drops were gently squeezed by another glass being slowly lowered until coalescence, and gel polymerization was initiated after a certain time period for mixing. The motion of the drops was guided by the hydrophobic pattern. AFM nano-indentation showed that the fabricated Janus PAAM gels have a stiffness gradient which could be controlled by increasing mixing time. This study was supported by Bioengineering for Human Health Grant from UNL and UNMC.

  9. 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

  10. Management of the Stiff Finger: Evidence and Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Guang; McGlinn, Evan P.; Chung, Kevin C.

    2014-01-01

    SYNOPSIS The term “stiff finger” refers to a reduction in the range of motion in the finger, and it is a condition that has many different causes and involves a number of different structures. Almost all injuries of the fingers and some diseases can cause finger stiffness. Hand surgeons often face difficulty treating stiff fingers that are affected by irreversible soft tissues fibrosis. Stiff fingers can be divided into flexion and extension deformities. They can also be sub-classified into four categories according to the involved tissues extending from the skin to the joint capsule. Prevention of stiff fingers by judicious mobilization of the joints is prudent to avoid more complicated treatment after established stiffness occurs. Static progressive and dynamic splints have been considered as effective non-operative interventions to treat stiff fingers. Most authors believe force of joint distraction and time duration of stretching are two important factors to consider while applying a splint or cast. We also introduce the concepts of capsulotomy and collateral ligament release and other soft tissue release of the MCP and PIP joint in this article. Future outcomes research is vital to assessing the effectiveness of these surgical procedures and guiding postoperative treatment recommendations. PMID:24996467

  11. Substrate stiffness regulates extracellular matrix deposition by alveolar epithelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Eisenberg, Jessica L; Safi, Asmahan; Wei, Xiaoding; Espinosa, Horacio D; Budinger, GR Scott; Takawira, Desire; Hopkinson, Susan B; Jones, Jonathan CR

    2012-01-01

    Aim The aim of the study was to address whether a stiff substrate, a model for pulmonary fibrosis, is responsible for inducing changes in the phenotype of alveolar epithelial cells (AEC) in the lung, including their deposition and organization of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Methods Freshly isolated lung AEC from male Sprague Dawley rats were seeded onto polyacrylamide gel substrates of varying stiffness and analyzed for expression and organization of adhesion, cytoskeletal, differentiation, and ECM components by Western immunoblotting and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. Results We observed that substrate stiffness influences cell morphology and the organization of focal adhesions and the actin cytoskeleton. Surprisingly, however, we found that substrate stiffness has no influence on the differentiation of type II into type I AEC, nor does increased substrate stiffness lead to an epithelial–mesenchymal transition. In contrast, our data indicate that substrate stiffness regulates the expression of the α3 laminin subunit by AEC and the organization of both fibronectin and laminin in their ECM. Conclusions An increase in substrate stiffness leads to enhanced laminin and fibronectin assembly into fibrils, which likely contributes to the disease phenotype in the fibrotic lung. PMID:23204878

  12. Aerobic training-induced improvements in arterial stiffness are not sustained in older adults with multiple cardiovascular risk factors

    PubMed Central

    Madden, K M; Lockhart, C; Cuff, D; Potter, T F; Meneilly, G S

    2013-01-01

    There is a well-established relationship between increased arterial stiffness and cardiovascular mortality. We examined whether a long-term aerobic exercise intervention (6 months) would increase arterial compliance in older adults with hypertension complicated by Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and hyperlipidemia. A total of 52 older adults (mean age 69.3±0.6 years, 30 males and 22 females) with diet/oral hypoglycemic-controlled T2DM, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia were recruited. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: an aerobic group (6 months vigorous aerobic exercise, AT group) and a non-aerobic group (6 months of no aerobic exercise, NA group). Arterial stiffness was measured as pulse-wave velocity (PWV) using the Complior device. Aerobic training decreased arterial stiffness as measured by both radial (P=0.001, 2-way analysis of variance with repeated measures) and femoral (P=0.002) PWV. This was due to a decrease in arterial stiffness in the AT group after 3 months of training, which was not maintained after 6-month training for either radial (P=0.707) or femoral (P=0.680) PWV. Our findings indicate that in older adults with multiple cardiovascular risk factors, short-term improvements in arterial stiffness became attenuated over the long term. PMID:22951625

  13. An experimental and morphometric test of the relationship between vertebral morphology and joint stiffness in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    PubMed

    Molnar, Julia L; Pierce, Stephanie E; Hutchinson, John R

    2014-03-01

    Despite their semi-aquatic mode of life, modern crocodylians use a wide range of terrestrial locomotor behaviours, including asymmetrical gaits otherwise only found in mammals. The key to these diverse abilities may lie in the axial skeleton. Correlations between vertebral morphology and both intervertebral joint stiffness and locomotor behaviour have been found in other animals, but the vertebral mechanics of crocodylians have not yet been experimentally and quantitatively tested. We measured the passive mechanics and morphology of the thoracolumbar vertebral column in Crocodylus niloticus in order to validate a method to infer intervertebral joint stiffness based on morphology. Passive stiffness of eight thoracic and lumbar joints was tested in dorsal extension, ventral flexion and mediolateral flexion using cadaveric specimens. Fifteen measurements that we deemed to be potential correlates of stiffness were taken from each vertebra and statistically tested for correlation with joint stiffness. We found that the vertebral column of C. niloticus is stiffer in dorsoventral flexion than in lateral flexion and, in contrast to that of many mammals, shows an increase in joint stiffness in the lumbar region. Our findings suggest that the role of the axial column in crocodylian locomotion may be functionally different from that in mammals, even during analogous gaits. A moderate proportion of variation in joint stiffness (R(2)=0.279-0.520) was predicted by centrum width and height, neural spine angle and lamina width. These results support the possible utility of some vertebral morphometrics in predicting mechanical properties of the vertebral column in crocodiles, which also should be useful for forming functional hypotheses of axial motion during locomotion in extinct archosaurs.

  14. Parametric signal amplification to create a stiff optical bar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somiya, K.; Kataoka, Y.; Kato, J.; Saito, N.; Yano, K.

    2016-02-01

    An optical cavity consisting of optically trapped mirrors makes a resonant bar that can be stiffer than diamond. A limitation of the stiffness arises in the length of the optical bar as a consequence of the finite light speed. High laser power and light mass mirrors are essential for realization of a long and stiff optical bar that can be useful for example in the gravitational-wave detector aiming at the observation of a signal from neutron-star collisions, supernovae, etc. In this letter, we introduce a parametric signal amplification scheme that realizes the long and stiff optical bar with a non-linear crystal inside the signal-recycling cavity.

  15. Adjustable stiffness of individual piezoelectric nanofibers by electron beam polarization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xi; Li, Anton; Yao, Nan; Shi, Yong

    2011-11-01

    We present a method to adjust the stiffness of individual piezoelectric nanofiber by electron beam induced polarization under an in situ scanning electron microscopy. The lead zirconate titanate (PZT) nanofibers were fabricated by an electrospinning process. The Young's modulus was calculated from the resonant frequency excited by an oscillating electric field applied through a nanomanipulator. The stiffness can be adjusted up to 75% by induced polarization under the exposure of an electron beam to control the domain boundaries in single PZT nanofibers. Splitting effect of the resonant frequencies was observed due to anisotropic stiffness in polarized PZT nanofibers.

  16. Dynamic stiffness method for space frames under distributed harmonic loads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumir, P. C.; Saha, D. C.; Sengupta, S.

    1992-10-01

    An exact dynamic equivalent load vector for space frames subjected to harmonic distributed loads has been derived using the dynamic stiffness approach. The Taylor's series expansion of the dynamic equivalent load vector has revealed that the static consistent equivalent load vector used in a 12 degree of freedom two-noded finite element for a space frame is just the first term of the series. The dynamic stiffness approach using the exact dynamic equivalent load vector requires discretization of a member subjected to distributed loads into only one element. The results of the dynamic stiffness method are compared with those of the finite element method for illustrative problems.

  17. A novel energy-efficient rotational variable stiffness actuator.

    PubMed

    Rao, Shodhan; Carloni, Raffaella; Stramigioli, Stefano

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents the working principle, the design and realization of a novel rotational variable stiffness actuator, whose stiffness can be varied independently of its output angular position. This actuator is energy-efficient, meaning that the stiffness of the actuator can be varied by keeping constant the internal stored energy of the actuator. The principle of the actuator is an extension of the principle of translational energy-efficient actuator vsaUT. A prototype based on the principle has been designed, in which ball-bearings and linear slide guides have been used in order to reduce losses due to friction.

  18. A prototype of a novel energy efficient variable stiffness actuator.

    PubMed

    Visser, L C; Carloni, R; Klijnstra, F; Stramigioli, S

    2010-01-01

    In this work, we present a proof of concept of a novel variable stiffness actuator. The actuator design is based on the conceptual design proposed in earlier work, and is such that the apparent output stiffness of the actuator can be changed independently of the output position and without any energy cost. Experimental results show that the behavior of the prototype is in accordance with the theoretical results of the conceptual design, and thus show that energy efficient variable stiffness actuators can be realized.

  19. Hormones and arterial stiffness in patients with chronic kidney disease.

    PubMed

    Gungor, Ozkan; Kircelli, Fatih; Voroneanu, Luminita; Covic, Adrian; Ok, Ercan

    2013-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease constitutes the major cause of mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease. Arterial stiffness is an important contributor to the occurrence and progression of cardiovascular disease. Various risk factors, including altered hormone levels, have been suggested to be associated with arterial stiffness. Based on the background that chronic kidney disease predisposes individuals to a wide range of hormonal changes, we herein review the available data on the association between arterial stiffness and hormones in patients with chronic kidney disease and summarize the data for the general population.

  20. Aging affects passive stiffness and spindle function of the rat soleus muscle.

    PubMed

    Rosant, Cédric; Nagel, Marie-Danielle; Pérot, Chantal

    2007-04-01

    Aging affects many motor functions, notably the spinal stretch reflexes and muscle spindle sensitivity. Spindle activation also depends on the elastic properties of the structures linked to the proprioceptive receptors. We have calculated a spindle efficacy index, SEI, for old rats. This index relates the spindle sensitivity, deduced from electroneurograms recording (ENG), to the passive stiffness of the muscle. Spindle sensitivity and passive incremental stiffness were calculated during ramp and hold stretches imposed on pseudo-isolated soleus muscles of control rats (aged 4 months, n=12) and old rats (aged 24 months, n=16). SEI were calculated for the dynamic and static phases of ramp (1-80 mm/s) and for hold (0.5-2mm) stretches imposed at two reference lengths: length threshold for spindle afferents discharges, L(n) (neurogram length) and slack length, L(s). The passive incremental stiffness was calculated from the peak and steady values of passive tension, measured under the stretch conditions used for the ENG recordings, and taking into account the muscle cross-sectional area. The pseudo-isolated soleus muscles were also stretched to establish the stress-strain relationship and to calculate muscle stiffness constant. The contralateral muscle was used to count muscle spindles and spindle fibers (ATPase staining) and immunostained to identify MyHC isoforms. L(n) and L(s) lengths were not significantly different in the control group, while L(n) was significantly greater than L(s) in old muscles. Under dynamic conditions, the SEI of old muscles was the same as in controls at L(s), but it was significantly lower than in controls at L(n) due to increased passive incremental stiffness under the stretch conditions used to analyze the ENG. Under static conditions, the SEI of old muscles was significantly lower than control values at all the stretch amplitudes and threshold lengths tested, due to increased passive incremental stiffness and decreased spindle sensitivity

  1. Effects of warm-up on hamstring muscles stiffness: Cycling vs foam rolling.

    PubMed

    Morales-Artacho, A J; Lacourpaille, L; Guilhem, G

    2017-01-26

    This study investigated the effects of active and/or passive warm-up tasks on the hamstring muscles stiffness through elastography and passive torque measurements. On separate occasions, fourteen males randomly completed four warm-up protocols comprising Control, Cycling, Foam rolling, or Cycling plus Foam rolling (Mixed). The stiffness of the hamstring muscles was assessed through shear wave elastography, along with the passive torque-angle relationship and maximal range of motion (ROM) before, 5, and 30 minutes after each experimental condition. At 5 minutes, Cycling and Mixed decreased shear modulus (-10.3% ± 5.9% and -7.7% ± 8.4%, respectively; P≤.0003, effect size [ES]≥0.24) and passive torque (-7.17% ± 8.6% and -6.2% ± 7.5%, respectively; P≤.051, ES≥0.28), and increased ROM (+2.9% ± 2.9% and +3.2% ± 3.5%, respectively; P≤.001, ES≥0.30); 30 minutes following Mixed, shear modulus (P=.001, ES=0.21) and passive torque (P≤.068, ES≥0.2) were still slightly decreased, while ROM increased (P=.046, ES=0.24). Foam rolling induced "small" immediate short-term decreases in shear modulus (-5.4% ± 5.7% at 5 minutes; P=.05, ES=0.21), without meaningful changes in passive torque or ROM at any time point (P≥.12, ES≤0.23). These results suggest that the combined warm-up elicited no acute superior effects on muscle stiffness compared with cycling, providing evidence for the key role of active warm-up to reduce muscle stiffness. The time between warm-up and competition should be considered when optimizing the effects on muscle stiffness.

  2. Roles of Arterial Stiffness and Blood Pressure in Hypertension-Associated Cognitive Decline in Healthy Adults.

    PubMed

    Hajjar, Ihab; Goldstein, Felicia C; Martin, Greg S; Quyyumi, Arshed A

    2016-01-01

    Although there is strong evidence that hypertension leads to cognitive decline, especially in the executive domain, the relationship between blood pressure and cognition has been conflicted. Hypertension is characterized by blood pressure elevation and increased arterial stiffness. We aimed at investigating whether arterial stiffness would be superior to blood pressure in predicting cognitive decline and explaining the hypertension-executive decline association. A randomly selected asymptomatic population (n=591, age=49.2 years, 70% women, 27% black, and education=18 years) underwent annual vascular and cognitive assessments. Cognition was assessed using computerized versions commonly used cognitive tests, and principal component analysis was used for deriving cognitive scores for executive function, memory, and working memory. Arterial stiffness was measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Higher PWV, but not blood pressure, was associated with a steeper decline in executive (P=0.0002), memory (P=0.05), and working memory (P=0.02) scores after adjusting for demographics, education, and baseline cognitive performance. This remained true after adjusting for hypertension. Hypertension was associated with greater decline in executive score (P=0.0029) and those with combined hypertension and elevated PWV (>7 m/s) had the greatest decline in executive score (P value hypertension×PWV=0.02). PWV explained the association between hypertension and executive function (P value for hypertension=0.0029 versus 0.24 when adjusting for PWV). In healthy adults, increased arterial stiffness is superior to blood pressure in predicting cognitive decline in all domains and in explaining the hypertension-executive function association. Arterial stiffness, especially in hypertension, may be a target in the prevention of cognitive decline.

  3. Power optimization and effective stiffness for a vibration energy harvester with displacement constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Truong, Binh Duc; Phu Le, Cuong; Halvorsen, Einar

    2016-12-01

    This paper presents experiments on how to approach the physical limits on power from vibration energy harvesting under displacement-constrained operation. A MEMS electrostatic vibration energy harvester with voltage-control of the system stiffness is used for this purpose. The power saturation problem, when the proof-mass displacement reaches a maximum amplitude for sufficient acceleration amplitude, is shifted to higher accelerations by use of load optimization. In addition, we demonstrate the effect of varying the electromechanical coupling k 2. Measurement results show that harvested power can also be made to follow the optimal power of the velocity-damped generator for a range of accelerations, which implies displacement constraints. Compared to the saturated power, the power increases 1.5 times with the optimal load for electromechanical coupling at k 2  =  8.7%. This is improved 2.3 times for a higher coupling of {{k}2}=17.9 % . The obtained system effectiveness exceeds 60%. This work shows a first demonstration of reaching optimal power in the intermediate acceleration-range between the two extremes of maximum efficiency and maximum power transfer. The experimental results follow the theoretical results for a device with both load and stiffness tuning surprisingly well, despite only optimizing the load here. We compared a linearized lumped-model of the device with the same augmented by end-stop nonlinearities. The comparison shows that an effective stiffness due to end-stop impacts in the latter model closely matches the optimal stiffness for the former model, and therefore can explain why the experimental output power is close to optimal despite the lack of deliberate stiffness tuning.

  4. Physical Activity Correlates with Arterial Stiffness in Community-dwelling Individuals with Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Ada; Eng, Janice J.; Brasher, Penelope M.; Madden, Kenneth M.; Mohammadi, Azam; Krassioukov, Andrei V.; Tsang, Teresa S. M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Physical inactivity contributes to atherosclerotic processes, which manifest as increased arterial stiffness. Arterial stiffness is associated with myocardial demand and coronary perfusion and is a risk factor for stroke and other adverse cardiac outcomes. Poststroke mobility limitations often lead to physical inactivity and sedentary behaviors. This exploratory study aimed to identify functional correlates, reflective of daily physical activity levels, with arterial stiffness in community-dwelling individuals >1 year poststroke. Methods Carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) was measured in 35 participants (65% men; mean ± SD age 66.9 ± 6.9 years; median time poststroke 3.7 years). Multivariable regression analyses examined the relationships between cfPWV and factors associated with daily physical activity: aerobic capacity (VO2 peak), gait speed, and balance ability (Berg Balance Scale). Age and the use of antihypertensive medications, known to be associated with pulse wave velocity, were also included in the model. Results Mean cfPWV was 11.2 ± 2.4 m/s. VO2 peak and age were correlated with cfPWV (r = −0.45 [P = .006] and r = 0.46 [P = .004], respectively). In the multivariable regression analyses, age and the use of antihypertensive medication accounted for 20.4% of the variance of cfPWV, and the addition of VO2 peak explained an additional 4.5% of the variance (R2 = 0.249). Conclusions We found that arterial stiffness is elevated in community-dwelling, ambulatory individuals with stroke relative to healthy people. Multivariable regression analysis suggests that aerobic capacity (VO2 peak) may contribute to the variance of cfPWV after accounting for the effects of age and medication use. Whether intense risk modification and augmented physical activity will improve arterial stiffness in this population remains to be determined. PMID:23473623

  5. Effect of Reduced Stiffness Dance Flooring on Lower Extremity Joint Angular Trajectories During a Ballet Jump.

    PubMed

    Hackney, James; Brummel, Sara; Newman, Mary; Scott, Shannon; Reinagel, Matthew; Smith, Jennifer

    2015-09-01

    We carried out a study to investigate how low stiffness flooring may help prevent overuse injuries of the lower extremity in dancers. It was hypothesized that performing a ballet jump (sauté) on a reduced stiffness dance floor would decrease maximum joint flexion angles and negative angular velocities at the hips, knees, or ankles compared to performing the same jump on a harder floor. The participants were 15 young adult female dancers (age range 18 to 28, mean = 20.89 ± 2.93 years) with at least 5 years of continuous ballet experience and without history of serious lower body injury, surgery, or recent pain. They performed sautés on a (low stiffness) Harlequin ® WoodSpring Floor and on a vinyl-covered hardwood on concrete floor. Maximum joint flexion angles and negative velocities at bilateral hips, knees, and ankles were measured with the "Ariel Performance Analysis System" (APAS). Paired one-tailed t-tests yielded significant decreases in maximum knee angle (average decrease = 3.4° ± 4.2°, p = 0.026) and angular negative velocity of the ankles (average decrease = 18.7°/sec ± 27.9°/sec, p = 0.009) with low stiffness flooring. If the knee angle is less acute, then the length of the external knee flexion moment arm will also be shorter and result in a smaller external knee flexion moment, given an equal landing force. Also, high velocities of eccentric muscle contraction, which are necessary to control negative angular velocity of the ankle joint, are associated with higher risk of musculotendinous injury. Hence, our findings indicate that reduced floor stiffness may indeed help decrease the likelihood of lower extremity injuries.

  6. Robust time-domain identification of mass stiffness, and damping matrices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roemer, Michael J.; Mook, D. Joseph

    1990-01-01

    Accurate estimates of the mass, stiffness, and damping characteristics of a structure is necessary for determining the control laws best suited for active control methodologies. There are several modal identification techniques available for determining the frequencies, damping ratios, and mode shapes of a structure. However, modal identification methods in both the frequency and time domains have difficulties for certain circumstances. Frequency domain techniques which utilize the steady-state response from various harmonic inputs often encounter difficulties when the frequencies are closely distributed, the structure exhibits a high degree of damping, or the steady-state condition is hard to establish. Time domain techniques have produced successful results, but lack robustness with respect to measurement noise. In this paper, two identification techniques and an estimation method are combined to form a time-domain technique to accurately identify the mass, stiffness, and damping matrices from noisy measurements.

  7. Substrate stiffness-modulated registry phase correlations in cardiomyocytes map structural order to coherent beating.

    PubMed

    Dasbiswas, K; Majkut, S; Discher, D E; Safran, Samuel A

    2015-01-19

    Recent experiments show that both striation, an indication of the structural registry in muscle fibres, as well as the contractile strains produced by beating cardiac muscle cells can be optimized by substrate stiffness. Here we show theoretically how the substrate rigidity dependence of the registry data can be mapped onto that of the strain measurements. We express the elasticity-mediated structural registry as a phase-order parameter using a statistical physics approach that takes the noise and disorder inherent in biological systems into account. By assuming that structurally registered myofibrils also tend to beat in phase, we explain the observed dependence of both striation and strain measurements of cardiomyocytes on substrate stiffness in a unified manner. The agreement of our ideas with experiment suggests that the correlated beating of heart cells may be limited by the structural order of the myofibrils, which in turn is regulated by their elastic environment.

  8. Identification of stiffness and damping properties of plates by using the local equation of motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ablitzer, Frédéric; Pézerat, Charles; Génevaux, Jean-Michel; Bégué, Jérôme

    2014-04-01

    This paper deals with the identification of stiffness and damping properties of vibrating structures by an inverse method inspired from the Force Analysis Technique (FAT). The proposed approach uses a local equation of motion assumed a priori, which provides a relative straightforward relationship between the displacement field and material properties. The spatial derivatives of the displacement in the equation are calculated using finite differences. As this operation amplifies measurement noise, a regularization step is applied before solving the inverse problem. A procedure is proposed to automatically adjust the level of regularization. The method also allows one to identify local stiffness and damping on a heterogeneous structure. Illustrations for both homogeneous and heterogeneous cases are shown using simulated and measured displacement fields.

  9. Ultrasound palpation for fast in-situ quantification of articular cartilage stiffness, thickness and relaxation capacity.

    PubMed

    Schöne, M; Schulz, R M; Tzschätzsch, H; Varga, P; Raum, K

    2017-02-16

    Most current cartilage testing devices require the preparation of excised samples and therefore do not allow intra-operative application for diagnostic purposes. The gold standard during open or arthroscopic surgery is still the subjective perception of manual palpation. This work presents a new diagnostic method of ultrasound palpation (USP) to acquire applied stress and strain data during manual palpation of articular cartilage. With the proposed method, we obtain cartilage thickness and stiffness. Moreover, repeated palpations allow the quantification of relaxation effects. USP measurements on elastomer phantoms demonstrated very good repeatability for both, stage-guided (97.2%) and handheld (96.0%) applications. The USP measurements were compared with conventional indentation experiments and revealed very good agreement on elastomer phantoms ([Formula: see text]) and good agreement on porcine cartilage samples ([Formula: see text]). Artificially degenerated cartilage samples showed reduced stiffness, weak capacity to relax after palpation and an increase of stiffness of approximately 50% with each single palpation. Intact cartilage was measured by USP directly at the patella (in situ) and after excision and removal of the subchondral bone (ex situ), leading to stiffness values of [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] ([Formula: see text]), respectively. The results demonstrate the potential of the USP system for cartilage testing, its sensitivity to degenerative changes and as a method for quantifying relaxation processes by means of repeated palpations. Furthermore, the differences in the results of in-situ and ex-situ measurements are of general interest, since such comparison has not been reported previously. We point out the limited comparability of ex-situ cartilage with its in-situ biomechanical behavior.

  10. Operator-Based Preconditioning of Stiff Hyperbolic Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Reynolds, Daniel R.; Samtaney, Ravi; Woodward, Carol S.

    2009-02-09

    We introduce an operator-based scheme for preconditioning stiff components encoun- tered in implicit methods for hyperbolic systems of partial differential equations posed on regular grids. The method is based on a directional splitting of the implicit operator, followed by a char- acteristic decomposition of the resulting directional parts. This approach allows for solution to any number of characteristic components, from the entire system to only the fastest, stiffness-inducing waves. We apply the preconditioning method to stiff hyperbolic systems arising in magnetohydro- dynamics and gas dynamics. We then present numerical results showing that this preconditioning scheme works well on problems where the underlying stiffness results from the interaction of fast transient waves with slowly-evolving dynamics, scales well to large problem sizes and numbers of processors, and allows for additional customization based on the specific problems under study.

  11. Molecular Cues Guiding Matrix Stiffness in Liver Fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Saneyasu, Takaoki; Akhtar, Riaz

    2016-01-01

    Tissue and matrix stiffness affect cell properties during morphogenesis, cell growth, differentiation, and migration and are altered in the tissue remodeling following injury and the pathological progression. However, detailed molecular mechanisms underlying alterations of stiffness in vivo are still poorly understood. Recent engineering technologies have developed powerful techniques to characterize the mechanical properties of cell and matrix at nanoscale levels. Extracellular matrix (ECM) influences mechanical tension and activation of pathogenic signaling during the development of chronic fibrotic diseases. In this short review, we will focus on the present knowledge of the mechanisms of how ECM stiffness is regulated during the development of liver fibrosis and the molecules involved in ECM stiffness as a potential therapeutic target for liver fibrosis. PMID:27800489

  12. Wing/store flutter with nonlinear pylon stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desmarais, R. N.; Reed, W. H., III

    1980-01-01

    Recent wind tunnel tests and analytical studies show that a store mounted on a pylon with 'soft' pitch stiffness provides substantial increase in flutter speed of fighter aircraft and reduces dependency of flutter on mass and inertia of the store. This concept, termed the decoupler pylon, utilizes a low-frequency control system to maintain pitch alignment of the store during maneuvers and changing flight conditions. Under rapidly changing transient loads, however, the alignment control system may allow the store to momentarily bottom against a relatively stiff backup structure in which case the pylon stiffness acts as a hardening nonlinear spring. Such structural nonlinearities are known to affect not only the flutter speed but also the basic behavior of the instability. This paper examines the influence of pylon stiffness nonlinearities on the flutter characteristics of wing-mounted external stores.

  13. Wing/store flutter with nonlinear pylon stiffness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desmarais, R. N.; Reed, W. H., III

    1980-01-01

    Recent wind tunnel tests and analytical studies show that a store mounted on a pylon with soft pitch stiffness provides substantial increase in flutter speed of fighter aircraft and reduces dependency of flutter on mass and inertia of the store. This concept, termed the decoupler pylon, utilizes a low frequency control system to maintain pitch alignment of the store during maneuvers and changing flight conditions. Under rapidly changing transient loads, however, the alignment control system may allow the store to momentarily bottom against a relatively stiff backup structure in which case the pylon stiffness acts as a hardening nonlinear spring. Such structural nonlinearities are known to affect not only the flutter speed but also the basic behavior of the instability. The influence of pylon stiffness nonlinearities or the flutter characteristics of wing mounted external stores is examined.

  14. Effects of bonding stiffness on thermal stresses in sandwich panels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussein, R.; Fazio, P.; Ha, K.

    1992-10-01

    Sandwich panels made of thin skins and a lightweight core expand and/or bow when subjected to temperature changes. The significance of induced thermal stresses in the panels depends on material properties. The effects of bonding layers on these stresses were not investigated in available works on the structural analysis of sandwich panels. This paper presents elasticity solutions for thermal stresses in sandwich panels with interlayer slip. The effects of finite bonding stiffnesses on the structural behavior of the panels are investigated. The numerical results show that the bonding stiffness, up to a certain level, has a strong effect on panel structural response. The answer to what constitutes perfect bonding is best answered in terms of the ratio of the core stiffness to the bonding stiffness. A heat chamber is designed and used to test sandwich specimens under different temperature changes. The experimental values for normal stresses in the skins are in good agreement with the present theory.

  15. Membrane acoustic metamaterial absorbers with magnetic negative stiffness.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Junjuan; Li, Xianhui; Wang, Yueyue; Wang, Wenjiang; Zhang, Bin; Gai, Xiaoling

    2017-02-01

    A membrane absorber usually requires a large back cavity to achieve low-frequency sound absorption. This paper describes the design of a membrane acoustic metamaterial absorber in which magnetic negative stiffness is employed to reduce the size of the back cavity. As a baseline for the present research, analysis of a typical membrane sound absorber based on an equivalent circuit model is presented first. Then, a theoretical model is established by introducing negative stiffness into a standard absorber. It is demonstrated that a small cavity with negative stiffness can achieve the acoustic impedance of a large cavity and that the absorption peak is shifted to lower frequencies. Experimental results from an impedance tube test are also presented to validate this idea and show that negative stiffness can be employed to design compact low-frequency membrane absorbers.

  16. Arterial Stiffness and Renal Replacement Therapy: A Controversial Topic

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Edmundo Cabrera; Zócalo, Yanina; Galli, Cintia; Bia, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The increase of arterial stiffness has been to have a significant impact on predicting mortality in end-stage renal disease patients. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a noninvasive, reliable parameter of regional arterial stiffness that integrates the vascular geometry and arterial wall intrinsic elasticity and is capable of predicting cardiovascular mortality in this patient population. Nevertheless, reports on PWV in dialyzed patients are contradictory and sometimes inconsistent: some reports claim the arterial wall stiffness increases (i.e., PWV increase), others claim that it is reduced, and some even state that it augments in the aorta while it simultaneously decreases in the brachial artery pathway. The purpose of this study was to analyze the literature in which longitudinal or transversal studies were performed in hemodialysis and/or peritoneal dialysis patients, in order to characterize arterial stiffness and the responsiveness to renal replacement therapy. PMID:26064684

  17. Torque-stiffness-controlled dynamic walking with central pattern generators.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yan; Vanderborght, Bram; Van Ham, Ronald; Wang, Qining

    2014-12-01

    Walking behavior is modulated by controlling joint torques in most existing passivity-based bipeds. Controlled Passive Walking with adaptable stiffness exhibits controllable natural motions and energy efficient gaits. In this paper, we propose torque-stiffness-controlled dynamic bipedal walking, which extends the concept of Controlled Passive Walking by introducing structured control parameters and a bio-inspired control method with central pattern generators. The proposed walking paradigm is beneficial in clarifying the respective effects of the external actuation and the internal natural dynamics. We present a seven-link biped model to validate the presented walking. Effects of joint torque and joint stiffness on gait selection, walking performance and walking pattern transitions are studied in simulations. The work in this paper develops a new solution of motion control of bipedal robots with adaptable stiffness and provides insights of efficient and sophisticated walking gaits of humans.

  18. Improved Equivalent Linearization Implementations Using Nonlinear Stiffness Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rizzi, Stephen A.; Muravyov, Alexander A.

    2001-01-01

    This report documents two new implementations of equivalent linearization for solving geometrically nonlinear random vibration problems of complicated structures. The implementations are given the acronym ELSTEP, for "Equivalent Linearization using a STiffness Evaluation Procedure." Both implementations of ELSTEP are fundamentally the same in that they use a novel nonlinear stiffness evaluation procedure to numerically compute otherwise inaccessible nonlinear stiffness terms from commercial finite element programs. The commercial finite element program MSC/NASTRAN (NASTRAN) was chosen as the core of ELSTEP. The FORTRAN implementation calculates the nonlinear stiffness terms and performs the equivalent linearization analysis outside of NASTRAN. The Direct Matrix Abstraction Program (DMAP) implementation performs these operations within NASTRAN. Both provide nearly identical results. Within each implementation, two error minimization approaches for the equivalent linearization procedure are available - force and strain energy error minimization. Sample results for a simply supported rectangular plate are included to illustrate the analysis procedure.

  19. Hyperekplexia and stiff-baby syndrome: an identical neurological disorder?

    PubMed

    Cioni, G; Biagioni, E; Bottai, P; Castellacci, A M; Paolicelli, P B

    1993-03-01

    Hyperekplexia (startle disease) is an unusual, familial, neurological disorder characterized by abnormally enhanced startle response, followed in most cases by momentary generalized muscular stiffness. These attacks may cause the patients to fall rigidly, while remaining fully conscious. Startle symptomatology has generally an onset in infancy and is often accompanied, during the first years of life, by rigidity, sleep myoclonus, motor delay, regurgitation and apneic spells, which may cause sudden death. Stiff-baby syndrome is a familial disorder characterized by marked rigidity, with neonatal onset and gradual reduction during infancy, regurgitations, motor delay and attacks of stiffness. We report 4 new cases of hyperekplexia from two different families and another infant with stiff-baby syndrome discussing clinical, electrophysiological and genetic aspects of both neurological disorders in relation to other reported cases. We suggest a continuum between these familial syndromes, which are often misinterpreted as epilepsy or other disorders.

  20. Gear mesh stiffness and load sharing in planetary gearing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasuba, R.; August, R.

    1984-01-01

    An interactive computerized analysis was developed for determining load sharing among planetary gears. The load sharing is established as a function of transmitted torque, degree of sun gear fixity, component flexibility, gear tooth quality, and phasing of individual planet gears. A nonlinear variable gear tooth mesh stiffness model was used to simulate the sun/plant and planet/ring gear meshes. The determined load sharing and gear mesh stiffness parameters then can be used for the subsequent assessment of dynamic load factors.

  1. Effects of non-uniform stiffness on the swimming performance of a passively-flexing, fish-like foil model.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Kelsey N; Thornycroft, Patrick J M; Gemmell, Brad J; Colin, Sean P; Costello, John H; Lauder, George V

    2015-10-08

    Simple mechanical models emulating fish have been used recently