Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Search results for: Dietmar Grube

8 A Randomized Controlled Intervention Study of the Effect of Music Training on Mathematical and Working Memory Performances

Authors: Ingo Roden, Stefana Lupu, Mara Krone, Jasmin Chantah, Gunter Kreutz, Stephan Bongard, Dietmar Grube


The present experimental study examined the effects of music and math training on mathematical skills and visuospatial working memory capacity in kindergarten children. For this purpose, N = 54 children (mean age: 5.46 years; SD = .29) were randomly assigned to three groups. Children in the music group (n = 18) received weekly sessions of 60 min music training over a period of eight weeks, whereas children in the math group (n = 18) received the same amount of training focusing on mathematical basic skills, such as numeracy skills, quantity comparison, and counting objectives. The third group of children (n = 18) served as waiting controls. The groups were matched for sex, age, IQ and previous music experiences at baseline. Pre-Post intervention measurements revealed a significant interaction effect of group x time, showing that children in both music and math groups significantly improved their early numeracy skills, whereas children in the control group did not. No significant differences between groups were observed for the visuospatial working memory performances. These results confirm and extend previous findings on transfer effects of music training on mathematical abilities and visuospatial working memory capacity. They show that music and math interventions are similarly effective to enhance children’s mathematical skills. More research is necessary to establish, whether cognitive transfer effects arising from music interventions might facilitate children’s transition from kindergarten to first-grade.

Keywords: music training, mathematical skills, working memory, transfer

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7 Smart Multifunctionalized and Responsive Polymersomes as Targeted and Selective Recognition Systems

Authors: Silvia Moreno, Banu Iyisan, Hannes Gumz, Brigitte Voit, Dietmar Appelhans


Polymersomes are materials which are considered as artificial counterparts of natural vesicles. The nanotechnology of such smart nanovesicles is very useful to enhance the efficiency of many therapeutic and diagnostic drugs. Those compounds show a higher stability, flexibility, and mechanical strength to the membrane compared to natural liposomes. In addition, they can be designed in detail, the permeability of the membrane can be controlled by different stimuli, and the surface can be functionalized with different biological molecules to facilitate monitoring and target. For this purpose, this study demonstrates the formation of multifunctional and pH sensitive polymersomes and their functionalization with different reactive groups or biomolecules inside and outside of polymersomes´ membrane providing by crossing the membrane and docking/undocking processes for biomedical applications. Overall, they are highly versatile and thus present new opportunities for the design of targeted and selective recognition systems, for example, in mimicking cell functions and in synthetic biology.

Keywords: multifunctionalized, pH stimulus, controllable release, cellular uptake

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6 Agile Implementation of 'PULL' Principles in a Manufacturing Process Chain for Aerospace Composite Parts

Authors: Torsten Mielitz, Dietmar Schulz, York C. Roth


Market forecasts show a significant increase in the demand for aircraft within the next two decades and production rates will be adapted accordingly. Improvements and optimizations in the industrial system are becoming more important to cope with future challenges in manufacturing and assembly. Highest quality standards have to be met for aerospace parts, whereas cost effective production in industrial systems and methodologies are also a key driver. A look at other industries like e.g., automotive shows well established processes to streamline existing manufacturing systems. In this paper, the implementation of 'PULL' principles in an existing manufacturing process chain for a large scale composite part is presented. A nonlinear extrapolation based on 'Little's Law' showed a risk of a significant increase of parts needed in the process chain to meet future demand. A project has been set up to mitigate the risk whereas the methodology has been changed from a traditional milestone approach in the beginning towards an agile way of working in the end in order to facilitate immediate benefits in the shop-floor. Finally, delivery rates could be increased avoiding more semi-finished parts in the process chain (work in progress & inventory) by the successful implementation of the 'PULL' philosophy in the shop-floor between the work stations. Lessons learned during the running project as well as implementation and operations phases are discussed in order to share best practices.

Keywords: aerospace composite part manufacturing, PULL principles, shop-floor implementation, lessons learned

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5 Modelling the Effect of Biomass Appropriation for Human Use on Global Biodiversity

Authors: Karina Reiter, Stefan Dullinger, Christoph Plutzar, Dietmar Moser


Due to population growth and changing patterns of production and consumption, the demand for natural resources and, as a result, the pressure on Earth’s ecosystems are growing. Biodiversity mapping can be a useful tool for assessing species endangerment or detecting hotspots of extinction risks. This paper explores the benefits of using the change in trophic energy flows as a consequence of the human alteration of the biosphere in biodiversity mapping. To this end, multiple linear regression models were developed to explain species richness in areas where there is no human influence (i.e. wilderness) for three taxonomic groups (birds, mammals, amphibians). The models were then applied to predict (I) potential global species richness using potential natural vegetation (NPPpot) and (II) global ‘actual’ species richness after biomass appropriation using NPP remaining in ecosystems after harvest (NPPeco). By calculating the difference between predicted potential and predicted actual species numbers, maps of estimated species richness loss were generated. Results show that biomass appropriation for human use can indeed be linked to biodiversity loss. Areas for which the models predicted high species loss coincide with areas where species endangerment and extinctions are recorded to be particularly high by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Furthermore, the analysis revealed that while the species distribution maps of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species used for this research can determine hotspots of biodiversity loss in large parts of the world, the classification system for threatened and extinct species needs to be revised to better reflect local risks of extinction.

Keywords: biodiversity loss, biomass harvest, human appropriation of net primary production, species richness

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4 A Normalized Non-Stationary Wavelet Based Analysis Approach for a Computer Assisted Classification of Laryngoscopic High-Speed Video Recordings

Authors: Mona K. Fehling, Jakob Unger, Dietmar J. Hecker, Bernhard Schick, Joerg Lohscheller


Voice disorders origin from disturbances of the vibration patterns of the two vocal folds located within the human larynx. Consequently, the visual examination of vocal fold vibrations is an integral part within the clinical diagnostic process. For an objective analysis of the vocal fold vibration patterns, the two-dimensional vocal fold dynamics are captured during sustained phonation using an endoscopic high-speed camera. In this work, we present an approach allowing a fully automatic analysis of the high-speed video data including a computerized classification of healthy and pathological voices. The approach bases on a wavelet-based analysis of so-called phonovibrograms (PVG), which are extracted from the high-speed videos and comprise the entire two-dimensional vibration pattern of each vocal fold individually. Using a principal component analysis (PCA) strategy a low-dimensional feature set is computed from each phonovibrogram. From the PCA-space clinically relevant measures can be derived that quantify objectively vibration abnormalities. In the first part of the work it will be shown that, using a machine learning approach, the derived measures are suitable to distinguish automatically between healthy and pathological voices. Within the approach the formation of the PCA-space and consequently the extracted quantitative measures depend on the clinical data, which were used to compute the principle components. Therefore, in the second part of the work we proposed a strategy to achieve a normalization of the PCA-space by registering the PCA-space to a coordinate system using a set of synthetically generated vibration patterns. The results show that owing to the normalization step potential ambiguousness of the parameter space can be eliminated. The normalization further allows a direct comparison of research results, which bases on PCA-spaces obtained from different clinical subjects.

Keywords: Wavelet-based analysis, Multiscale product, normalization, computer assisted classification, high-speed laryngoscopy, vocal fold analysis, phonovibrogram

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3 Carbonaceous Monolithic Multi-Channel Denuders as a Gas-Particle Partitioning Tool for the Occupational Sampling of Aerosols from Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds

Authors: Vesta Kohlmeier, George C. Dragan, Juergen Orasche, Juergen Schnelle-Kreis, Dietmar Breuer, Ralf Zimmermann


Aerosols from hazardous semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC) may occur in workplace air and can simultaneously be found as particle and gas phase. For health risk assessment, it is necessary to collect particles and gases separately. This can be achieved by using a denuder for the gas phase collection, combined with a filter and an adsorber for particle collection. The study focused on the suitability of carbonaceous monolithic multi-channel denuders, so-called Novacarb™-Denuders (MastCarbon International Ltd., Guilford, UK), to achieve gas-particle separation. Particle transmission efficiency experiments were performed with polystyrene latex (PSL) particles (size range 0.51-3 µm), while the time dependent gas phase collection efficiency was analysed for polar and nonpolar SVOC (mass concentrations 7-10 mg/m3) over 2 h at 5 or 10 l/min. The experimental gas phase collection efficiency was also compared with theoretical predictions. For n-hexadecane (C16), the gas phase collection efficiency was max. 91 % for one denuder and max. 98 % for two denuders, while for diethylene glycol (DEG), a maximal gas phase collection efficiency of 93 % for one denuder and 97 % for two denuders was observed. At 5 l/min higher gas phase collection efficiencies were achieved than at 10 l/min. The deviations between the theoretical and experimental gas phase collection efficiencies were up to 5 % for C16 and 23 % for DEG. Since the theoretical efficiency depends on the geometric shape and length of the denuder, flow rate and diffusion coefficients of the tested substances, the obtained values define an upper limit which could be reached. Regarding the particle transmission through the denuders, the use of one denuder showed transmission efficiencies around 98 % for 1-3 µm particle diameters. The use of three denuders resulted in transmission efficiencies from 93-97 % for the same particle sizes. In summary, NovaCarb™-Denuders are well applicable for sampling aerosols of polar/nonpolar substances with particle diameters ≤3 µm and flow rates of 5 l/min or lower. These properties and their compact size make them suitable for use in personal aerosol samplers. This work is supported by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), research contract FP371.

Keywords: gas phase collection efficiency, particle transmission, personal aerosol sampler, SVOC

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2 The Impact of Mycotoxins on the Anaerobic Digestion Process

Authors: Harald Lindorfer, Bettina Frauz, Dietmar Ramhold


Next to the well-known inhibitors in anaerobic digestion like ammonia, antibiotics or disinfectants, the number of process failures connected with mould growth in the feedstock increased significantly in the last years. It was assumed that mycotoxins are the cause of the negative effects. The financial damage to plants associated with these process failures is considerable. The aim of this study was to find a way of predicting the failures and furthermore strategies for a fast process recovery. In a first step, mould-contaminated feedstocks causing process failures in full-scale digesters were sampled and analysed on mycotoxin content. A selection of these samples was applied to biological inhibition tests. In this test, crystalline cellulose is applied in addition to the feedstock sample as standard substrate. Affected digesters were also sampled and analytical process data as well as operational data of the plants were recorded. Additionally, different mycotoxin substances, Deoxynivalenol, Zearalenon, Aflatoxin B1, Mycophenolic acid and Citrinin, were applied as pure substances to lab-scale digesters, individually and in various combinations, and effects were monitored. As expected, various mycotoxins were detected in all of the mould-contaminated samples. Nevertheless, inhibition effects were observed with only one of the collected samples, after applying it to an inhibition test. With this sample, the biogas yield of the standard substrate was reduced by approx. 20%. This result corresponds with observations made on full-scale plants. However, none of the tested mycotoxins applied as pure substance caused a negative effect on biogas production in lab scale digesters, neither after application as individual substance nor in combination. The recording of the process data in full-scale plants affected by process failures in most cases showed a severe accumulation of fatty acids alongside a decrease in biogas production and methane concentration. In the analytical data of the digester samples, a typical distribution of fatty acids with exceptionally high acetic acid concentrations could be identified. This typical fatty acid pattern can be used as a rapid identification parameter pointing to the cause of the process troubles and enable a fast implication of countermeasures. The results of the study show that more attention needs to be paid to feedstock storage and feedstock conservation before their application to anaerobic digesters. This is all the more important since first studies indicate that the occurrence of mycotoxins will likely increase in Europe due to the ongoing climate change.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Feedstock conservation, Fungal mycotoxins, Inhibition, process failure

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1 Comparison of a Capacitive Sensor Functionalized with Natural or Synthetic Receptors Selective towards Benzo(a)Pyrene

Authors: Natalia V. Beloglazova, Pieterjan Lenain, Martin Hedstrom, Dietmar Knopp, Sarah De Saeger


In recent years polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which represent a hazard to humans and entire ecosystem, have been receiving an increased interest due to their mutagenic, carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting properties. They are formed in all incomplete combustion processes of organic matter and, as a consequence, ubiquitous in the environment. Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) is on the priority list published by the Environmental Agency (US EPA) as the first PAH to be identified as a carcinogen and has often been used as a marker for PAHs contamination in general. It can be found in different types of water samples, therefore, the European Commission set up a limit value of 10 ng L–1 (10 ppt) for BAP in water intended for human consumption. Generally, different chromatographic techniques are used for PAHs determination, but these assays require pre-concentration of analyte, create large amounts of solvent waste, and are relatively time consuming and difficult to perform on-site. An alternative robust, stand-alone, and preferably cheap solution is needed. For example, a sensing unit which can be submerged in a river to monitor and continuously sample BaP. An affinity sensor based on capacitive transduction was developed. Natural antibodies or their synthetic analogues can be used as ligands. Ideally the sensor should operate independently over a longer period of time, e.g. several weeks or months, therefore the use of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) was discussed. MIPs are synthetic antibodies which are selective for a chosen target molecule. Their robustness allows application in environments for which biological recognition elements are unsuitable or denature. They can be reused multiple times, which is essential to meet the stand-alone requirement. BaP is a highly lipophilic compound and does not contain any functional groups in its structure, thus excluding non-covalent imprinting methods based on ionic interactions. Instead, the MIPs syntheses were based on non-covalent hydrophobic and π-π interactions. Different polymerization strategies were compared and the best results were demonstrated by the MIPs produced using electropolymerization. 4-vinylpyridin (VP) and divinylbenzene (DVB) were used as monomer and cross-linker in the polymerization reaction. The selectivity and recovery of the MIP were compared to a non-imprinted polymer (NIP). Electrodes were functionalized with natural receptor (monoclonal anti-BaP antibody) and with MIPs selective towards BaP. Different sets of electrodes were evaluated and their properties such as sensitivity, selectivity and linear range were determined and compared. It was found that both receptor can reach the cut-off level comparable to the established ML, and despite the fact that the antibody showed the better cross-reactivity and affinity, MIPs were more convenient receptor due to their ability to regenerate and stability in river till 7 days.

Keywords: antibody, benzo(a)pyrene, capacitive sensor, MIPs, river water

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