Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 15

Search results for: Eiji Kinoshita

15 Combustion Improvements by C4/C5 Bio-Alcohol Isomer Blended Fuels Combined with Supercharging and EGR in a Diesel Engine

Authors: Yasufumi Yoshimoto, Enkhjargal Tserenochir, Eiji Kinoshita, Takeshi Otaka


Next generation bio-alcohols produced from non-food based sources like cellulosic biomass are promising renewable energy sources. The present study investigates engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions of a small single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fueled by four kinds of next generation bio-alcohol isomer and diesel fuel blends with a constant blending ratio of 3:7 (mass). The tested bio-alcohol isomers here are n-butanol and iso-butanol (C4 alcohol), and n-pentanol and iso-pentanol (C5 alcohol). To obtain simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions, the experiments employed supercharging combined with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). The boost pressures were fixed at two conditions, 100 kPa (naturally aspirated operation) and 120 kPa (supercharged operation) provided with a roots blower type supercharger. The EGR rates were varied from 0 to 25% using a cooled EGR technique. The results showed that both with and without supercharging, all the bio-alcohol blended diesel fuels improved the trade-off relation between NOx and smoke emissions at all EGR rates while maintaining good engine performance, when compared with diesel fuel operation. It was also found that regardless of boost pressure and EGR rate, the ignition delays of the tested bio-alcohol isomer blends are in the order of iso-butanol > n-butanol > iso-pentanol > n-pentanol. Overall, it was concluded that, except for the changes in the ignition delays the influence of bio-alcohol isomer blends on the engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions are relatively small.

Keywords: alternative fuel, butanol, diesel engine, EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation), next generation bio-alcohol isomer blended fuel, pentanol, supercharging

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14 Using Probe Person Data for Travel Mode Detection

Authors: Muhammad Awais Shafique, Eiji Hato, Hideki Yaginuma


Recently GPS data is used in a lot of studies to automatically reconstruct travel patterns for trip survey. The aim is to minimize the use of questionnaire surveys and travel diaries so as to reduce their negative effects. In this paper data acquired from GPS and accelerometer embedded in smart phones is utilized to predict the mode of transportation used by the phone carrier. For prediction, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Adaptive boosting (AdaBoost) are employed. Moreover a unique method to improve the prediction results from these algorithms is also proposed. Results suggest that the prediction accuracy of AdaBoost after improvement is relatively better than the rest.

Keywords: accelerometer, AdaBoost, GPS, mode prediction, support vector machine

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13 A Review of Travel Data Collection Methods

Authors: Muhammad Awais Shafique, Eiji Hato


Household trip data is of crucial importance for managing present transportation infrastructure as well as to plan and design future facilities. It also provides basis for new policies implemented under Transportation Demand Management. The methods used for household trip data collection have changed with passage of time, starting with the conventional face-to-face interviews or paper-and-pencil interviews and reaching to the recent approach of employing smartphones. This study summarizes the step-wise evolution in the travel data collection methods. It provides a comprehensive review of the topic, for readers interested to know the changing trends in the data collection field.

Keywords: computer, smartphone, telephone, travel survey

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12 Interaction of Glycolipid S-TGA-1 with Bacteriorhodopsin and Its Functional Role

Authors: Masataka Inada, Masanao Kinoshita, Nobuaki Matsumori


It has been demonstrated that lipid molecules in biological membranes are responsible for the functionalization and structuration of membrane proteins. However, it is still unclear how the interaction of lipid molecules with membrane proteins is correlated with the function of the membrane proteins. Here we first developed an evaluation method for the interaction between membrane proteins and lipid molecules via surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis. Bacteriorhodopsin (bR), which was obtained by the culture of halobacteria, was used as a membrane protein. We prepared SPR sensor chips covered with self-assembled monolayer containing mercaptocarboxylic acids, and immobilized bR onto them. Then, we evaluated the interactions with various lipids that have different structures. As a result, the halobacterium-specific glycolipid S-TGA-1 was found to have much higher affinity with bRs than other lipids. This is probably due to not only hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions but also hydrogen bonds with sugar moieties in the glycolipid. Next, we analyzed the roles of the lipid in the structuration and functionalization of bR. CD analysis showed that S-TGA-1 could promote trimerization of bR monomers more efficiently than any other lipids. Flash photolysis further indicated that bR trimers formed by S-TGA-1 reproduced the photocyclic activity of bR in purple membrane, halobacterium-membrane. These results suggest that S-TGA-1 promotes trimerization of bR through strong interactions and consequently fulfills the bR’s function efficiently.

Keywords: membrane protein, lipid, interaction, bacteriorhodopsin, glycolipid

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11 Investigation on the Bogie Pseudo-Hunting Motion of a Reduced-Scale Model Railway Vehicle Running on Double-Curved Rails

Authors: Barenten Suciu, Ryoichi Kinoshita


In this paper, an experimental and theoretical study on the bogie pseudo-hunting motion of a reduced-scale model railway vehicle, running on double-curved rails, is presented. Since the actual bogie hunting motion, occurring for real railway vehicles running on straight rails at high travelling speeds, cannot be obtained in laboratory conditions, due to the speed and wavelength limitations, a pseudo- hunting motion was induced by employing double-curved rails. Firstly, the test rig and the experimental procedure are described. Then, a geometrical model of the double-curved rails is presented. Based on such model, the variation of the carriage rotation angle relative to the bogies and the working conditions of the yaw damper are clarified. Vibration spectra recorded during vehicle travelling, on straight and double-curved rails, are presented and interpreted based on a simple vibration model of the railway vehicle. Ride comfort of the vehicle is evaluated according to the ISO 2631 standard, and also by using some particular frequency weightings, which account for the discomfort perceived during the reading and writing activities. Results obtained in this work are useful for the adequate design of the yaw dampers, which are used to attenuate the lateral vibration of the train car bodies.

Keywords: double-curved rail, octave analysis, vibration model, ride comfort, railway vehicle

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10 Revisiting the Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Risk from the DSGE View

Authors: Eiji Okano, Kazuyuki Inagaki


We revisit Uribe's `Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Risk' advocating that there is a trade-off between stabilizing inflation and suppressing default. We develop a class of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with nominal rigidities and compare two de facto inflation stabilization policies, optimal monetary policy and optimal monetary and fiscal policy with the minimizing interest rate spread policy which completely suppress the default. Under the optimal monetary and fiscal policy, not only the nominal interest rate but also the tax rate work to minimize welfare costs through stabilizing inflation. Under the optimal monetary both inflation and output gap are completely stabilized although those are fluctuating under the optimal monetary policy. In addition, volatility in the default rate under the optimal monetary policy is considerably lower than one under the optimal monetary policy. Thus, there is not the SI-SD trade-off. In addition, while the minimizing interest rate spread policy makes inflation rate severely volatile, the optimal monetary and fiscal policy stabilize both the inflation and the default. A trade-off between stabilizing inflation and suppressing default is not so severe what pointed out by Uribe.

Keywords: sovereign risk, optimal monetary policy, fiscal theory of the price level, DSGE

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9 Chemical Kinetics and Computational Fluid-Dynamics Analysis of H2/CO/CO2/CH4 Syngas Combustion and NOx Formation in a Micro-Pilot-Ignited Supercharged Dual Fuel Engine

Authors: Ulugbek Azimov, Nearchos Stylianidis, Nobuyuki Kawahara, Eiji Tomita


A chemical kinetics and computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) analysis was performed to evaluate the combustion of syngas derived from biomass and coke-oven solid feedstock in a micro-pilot ignited supercharged dual-fuel engine under lean conditions. For this analysis, a new reduced syngas chemical kinetics mechanism was constructed and validated by comparing the ignition delay and laminar flame speed data with those obtained from experiments and other detail chemical kinetics mechanisms available in the literature. The reaction sensitivity analysis was conducted for ignition delay at elevated pressures in order to identify important chemical reactions that govern the combustion process. The chemical kinetics of NOx formation was analyzed for H2/CO/CO2/CH4 syngas mixtures by using counter flow burner and premixed laminar flame speed reactor models. The new mechanism showed a very good agreement with experimental measurements and accurately reproduced the effect of pressure, temperature and equivalence ratio on NOx formation. In order to identify the species important for NOx formation, a sensitivity analysis was conducted for pressures 4 bar, 10 bar and 16 bar and preheat temperature 300 K. The results show that the NOx formation is driven mostly by hydrogen based species while other species, such as N2, CO2 and CH4, have also important effects on combustion. Finally, the new mechanism was used in a multidimensional CFD simulation to predict the combustion of syngas in a micro-pilot-ignited supercharged dual-fuel engine and results were compared with experiments. The mechanism showed the closest prediction of the in-cylinder pressure and the rate of heat release (ROHR).

Keywords: syngas, chemical kinetics mechanism, internal combustion engine, NOx formation

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8 Evaluation of Different Anticoagulant Effects on Flow Properties of Human Blood Using Falling Needle Rheometer

Authors: Hiroki Tsuneda, Takamasa Suzuki, Hideki Yamamoto, Kimito Kawamura, Eiji Tamura, Katharina Wochner, Roberto Plasenzotti


Flow property of human blood is one of the important factors on the prevention of the circulatory condition such as a high blood pressure, a diabetes mellitus, and a cardiac infarction. However, the measurement of flow property of human blood, especially blood viscosity, is not so easy, because of their coagulation or aggregation behaviors after taking a sample from blood vessel. In the experiment, some kinds of anticoagulant were added into the human blood to avoid its solidification. Anticoagulant used in the blood test has been chosen for each purpose of blood test, for anticoagulant effect on blood is different mechanism for each. So that, there is a problem that the evaluation of measured blood property with different anticoagulant is so difficult. Therefore, it is so important to make clear the difference of anticoagulant effect on the blood property. In the previous work, a compact-size falling needle rheometer (FNR) has been developed in order to measure the flow property of human blood such as a flow curve, an apparent viscosity. It was found that FNR system can apply to a rheometer or a viscometry for various experimental conditions for not only human blood but also mammalians blood. In this study, the measurements of human blood viscosity with different anticoagulant (EDTA and Heparin) were carried out using newly developed FNR system. The effect of anticoagulant on blood viscosity was also tested by using the standard liquid for each. The accuracy on the viscometry was also tested by using the standard liquid for calibrating materials (JS-10, JS-20) and observed data have satisfactory agreement with reference data around 1.0% at 310K. The flow curve of six males and females with different anticoagulant were measured using FNR. In this experiment, EDTA and Heparin were chosen as anticoagulant for blood. Heparin can inhibit the coagulation of human blood by activating the body of anti-thrombin. To examine the effect of human blood viscosity on anticoagulant, flow curve was measured at high shear rate (>350s-1), and apparent viscosity of each person were determined with different anticoagulant. The apparent viscosity of human blood with heparin was 2%-9% higher than that with EDTA. However, the difference of blood viscosity for two anticoagulants for same blood was different for each. Further discussion, we need the consideration of effect on other physical property, such as cellular component and plasma component.

Keywords: falling-needle rheometer, human blood, viscosity, anticoagulant

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7 Childhood Obesity in Japan: Trends in Obesity Prevalence among Japanese Kids under 17 Years Old from 2007 to 2016

Authors: Houda Mnif Sellami, Toshi Umehara, Yuriko Yamazaki, Reie Matoba, Anna Sakashita, Yoshimi Abe, Hiroyuki Otake, Satoko Morita, Yoshitaka Akiyama, Chieko Morisawa, Eiji Omura, Masako Yazawa, Yoshie Koike, Mitsugu Tokunaga, Seiki Wada, Shinya Minagawa, Masafumi Matsuda


Childhood obesity has been, for decades, a very serious public health problem worldwide. Some Asian countries have already reached alarming rates, as lifestyle changed dramatically in this part of the world. In many concerned countries, strategies including educational, promotional and awareness-raising activities have been established to combat obesity within kids. Objective: To estimate the obesity and also the underweight trends of Japanese kids from 5 to 17 years, by single year of age and by gender, over the last decade. Methods We used the data from the cross-sectional annual Nationwide surveys (National Nutrition Survey, Japan, Ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology) conducted from 2007 to 2016. We compared trajectories of obesity prevalence, with the data on sex and age groups. We also analyzed energy and macronutrients intakes of Japanese kids using Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare-Japan annual data, from 2007 to 2014. Results: From 2007 to 2016, Boys obesity was higher than Girls obesity for the over 6 YO participants. Both Boys and Girls obesity trends had 2 peaks of prevalence at (11-13 YO) and then at (15-16 YO). From 2007 to 2012, Kids obesity decreased considerably in both sex and all year of age; then obesity decline was more modest till 2016.On the other side, Kids underweight prevalence increased in both sexes. The macronutrients analyze couldn’t show an evident association between obesity trends and foods intake. Conclusion: Japanese kids’ obesity has been decreased since 2007, in opposition to some other countries reports. We didn’t find an observed association with food intake using Health Ministry data; we need further investigation to estimate energy intake, lifestyle and physical activity by year of age to know whether there is any possible relation.

Keywords: childhood, Japan, obesity, underweight

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6 Response Analysis of a Steel Reinforced Concrete High-Rise Building during the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake

Authors: Naohiro Nakamura, Takuya Kinoshita, Hiroshi Fukuyama


The 2011 off The Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake caused considerable damage to wide areas of eastern Japan. A large number of earthquake observation records were obtained at various places. To design more earthquake-resistant buildings and improve earthquake disaster prevention, it is necessary to utilize these data to analyze and evaluate the behavior of a building during an earthquake. This paper presents an earthquake response simulation analysis (hereafter a seismic response analysis) that was conducted using data recorded during the main earthquake (hereafter the main shock) as well as the earthquakes before and after it. The data were obtained at a high-rise steel-reinforced concrete (SRC) building in the bay area of Tokyo. We first give an overview of the building, along with the characteristics of the earthquake motion and the building during the main shock. The data indicate that there was a change in the natural period before and after the earthquake. Next, we present the results of our seismic response analysis. First, the analysis model and conditions are shown, and then, the analysis result is compared with the observational records. Using the analysis result, we then study the effect of soil-structure interaction on the response of the building. By identifying the characteristics of the building during the earthquake (i.e., the 1st natural period and the 1st damping ratio) by the Auto-Regressive eXogenous (ARX) model, we compare the analysis result with the observational records so as to evaluate the accuracy of the response analysis. In this study, a lumped-mass system SR model was used to conduct a seismic response analysis using observational data as input waves. The main results of this study are as follows: 1) The observational records of the 3/11 main shock put it between a level 1 and level 2 earthquake. The result of the ground response analysis showed that the maximum shear strain in the ground was about 0.1% and that the possibility of liquefaction occurring was low. 2) During the 3/11 main shock, the observed wave showed that the eigenperiod of the building became longer; this behavior could be generally reproduced in the response analysis. This prolonged eigenperiod was due to the nonlinearity of the superstructure, and the effect of the nonlinearity of the ground seems to have been small. 3) As for the 4/11 aftershock, a continuous analysis in which the subject seismic wave was input after the 3/11 main shock was input was conducted. The analyzed values generally corresponded well with the observed values. This means that the effect of the nonlinearity of the main shock was retained by the building. It is important to consider this when conducting the response evaluation. 4) The first period and the damping ratio during a vibration were evaluated by an ARX model. Our results show that the response analysis model in this study is generally good at estimating a change in the response of the building during a vibration.

Keywords: ARX model, response analysis, SRC building, the 2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake

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5 Circle of Learning Using High-Fidelity Simulators Promoting a Better Understanding of Resident Physicians on Point-of-Care Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine

Authors: Takamitsu Kodama, Eiji Kawamoto


Introduction: Ultrasound in emergency room has advantages of safer, faster, repeatable and noninvasive. Especially focused Point-Of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is used daily for prompt and accurate diagnoses, for quickly identifying critical and life-threatening conditions. That is why ultrasound has demonstrated its usefulness in emergency medicine. The true value of ultrasound has been once again recognized in recent years. It is thought that all resident physicians working at emergency room should perform an ultrasound scan to interpret signs and symptoms of deteriorating patients in the emergency room. However, a practical education on ultrasound is still in development. To resolve this issue, we established a new educational program using high-fidelity simulators and evaluated the efficacy of this course. Methods: Educational program includes didactic lectures and skill stations in half-day course. Instructor gives a lecture on POCUS such as Rapid Ultrasound in Shock (RUSH) and/or Focused Assessment Transthoracic Echo (FATE) protocol at the beginning of the course. Then, attendees are provided for training of scanning with cooperation of normal simulated patients. In the end, attendees learn how to apply focused POCUS skills at clinical situation using high-fidelity simulators such as SonoSim® (SonoSim, Inc) and SimMan® 3G (Laerdal Medical). Evaluation was conducted through surveillance questionnaires to 19 attendees after two pilot courses. The questionnaires were focused on understanding course concept and satisfaction. Results: All attendees answered the questionnaires. With respect to the degree of understanding, 12 attendees (number of valid responses: 13) scored four or more points out of five points. High-fidelity simulators, especially SonoSim® was highly appreciated to enhance learning how to handle ultrasound at an actual practice site by 11 attendees (number of valid responses: 12). All attendees encouraged colleagues to take this course because the high level of satisfaction was achieved. Discussion: Newly introduced educational course using high-fidelity simulators realizes the circle of learning to deepen the understanding on focused POCUS by gradual stages. SonoSim® can faithfully reproduce scan images with pathologic findings of ultrasound and provide experimental learning for a growth number of beginners such as resident physicians. In addition, valuable education can be provided if it is used combined with SimMan® 3G. Conclusions: Newly introduced educational course using high-fidelity simulators is supposed to be effective and helps in providing better education compared with conventional courses for emergency physicians.

Keywords: point-of-care ultrasound, high-fidelity simulators, education, circle of learning

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4 Predicting Long-Term Performance of Concrete under Sulfate Attack

Authors: Elakneswaran Yogarajah, Toyoharu Nawa, Eiji Owaki


Cement-based materials have been using in various reinforced concrete structural components as well as in nuclear waste repositories. The sulfate attack has been an environmental issue for cement-based materials exposed to sulfate bearing groundwater or soils, and it plays an important role in the durability of concrete structures. The reaction between penetrating sulfate ions and cement hydrates can result in swelling, spalling and cracking of cement matrix in concrete. These processes induce a reduction of mechanical properties and a decrease of service life of an affected structure. It has been identified that the precipitation of secondary sulfate bearing phases such as ettringite, gypsum, and thaumasite can cause the damage. Furthermore, crystallization of soluble salts such as sodium sulfate crystals induces degradation due to formation and phase changes. Crystallization of mirabilite (Na₂SO₄:10H₂O) and thenardite (Na₂SO₄) or their phase changes (mirabilite to thenardite or vice versa) due to temperature or sodium sulfate concentration do not involve any chemical interaction with cement hydrates. Over the past couple of decades, an intensive work has been carried out on sulfate attack in cement-based materials. However, there are several uncertainties still exist regarding the mechanism for the damage of concrete in sulfate environments. In this study, modelling work has been conducted to investigate the chemical degradation of cementitious materials in various sulfate environments. Both internal and external sulfate attack are considered for the simulation. In the internal sulfate attack, hydrate assemblage and pore solution chemistry of co-hydrating Portland cement (PC) and slag mixing with sodium sulfate solution are calculated to determine the degradation of the PC and slag-blended cementitious materials. Pitzer interactions coefficients were used to calculate the activity coefficients of solution chemistry at high ionic strength. The deterioration mechanism of co-hydrating cementitious materials with 25% of Na₂SO₄ by weight is the formation of mirabilite crystals and ettringite. Their formation strongly depends on sodium sulfate concentration and temperature. For the external sulfate attack, the deterioration of various types of cementitious materials under external sulfate ingress is simulated through reactive transport model. The reactive transport model is verified with experimental data in terms of phase assemblage of various cementitious materials with spatial distribution for different sulfate solution. Finally, the reactive transport model is used to predict the long-term performance of cementitious materials exposed to 10% of Na₂SO₄ for 1000 years. The dissolution of cement hydrates and secondary formation of sulfate-bearing products mainly ettringite are the dominant degradation mechanisms, but not the sodium sulfate crystallization.

Keywords: thermodynamic calculations, reactive transport, radioactive waste disposal, PHREEQC

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3 A Peg Board with Photo-Reflectors to Detect Peg Insertion and Pull-Out Moments

Authors: Hiroshi Kinoshita, Yasuto Nakanishi, Ryuhei Okuno, Toshio Higashi


Various kinds of pegboards have been developed and used widely in research and clinics of rehabilitation for evaluation and training of patient’s hand function. A common measure in these peg boards is a total time of performance execution assessed by a tester’s stopwatch. Introduction of electrical and automatic measurement technology to the apparatus, on the other hand, has been delayed. The present work introduces the development of a pegboard with an electric sensor to detect moments of individual peg’s insertion and removal. The work also gives fundamental data obtained from a group of healthy young individuals who performed peg transfer tasks using the pegboard developed. Through trails and errors in pilot tests, two 10-hole peg-board boxes installed with a small photo-reflector and a DC amplifier at the bottom of each hole were designed and built by the present authors. The amplified electric analogue signals from the 20 reflectors were automatically digitized at 500 Hz per channel, and stored in a PC. The boxes were set on a test table at different distances (25, 50, 75, and 125 mm) in parallel to examine the effect of hole-to-hole distance. Fifty healthy young volunteers (25 in each gender) as subjects of the study performed successive fast 80 time peg transfers at each distance using their dominant and non-dominant hands. The data gathered showed a clear-cut light interruption/continuation moment by the pegs, allowing accurately (no tester’s error involved) and precisely (an order of milliseconds) to determine the pull out and insertion times of each peg. This further permitted computation of individual peg movement duration (PMD: from peg-lift-off to insertion) apart from hand reaching duration (HRD: from peg insertion to lift-off). An accidental drop of a peg led to an exceptionally long ( < mean + 3 SD) PMD, which was readily detected from an examination of data distribution. The PMD data were commonly right-skewed, suggesting that the median can be a better estimate of individual PMD than the mean. Repeated measures ANOVA using the median values revealed significant hole-to-hole distance, and hand dominance effects, suggesting that these need to be fixed in the accurate evaluation of PMD. The gender effect was non-significant. Performance consistency was also evaluated by the use of quartile variation coefficient values, which revealed no gender, hole-to-hole, and hand dominance effects. The measurement reliability was further examined using interclass correlation obtained from 14 subjects who performed the 25 and 125 mm hole distance tasks at two 7-10 days separate test sessions. Inter-class correlation values between the two tests showed fair reliability for PMD (0.65-0.75), and for HRD (0.77-0.94). We concluded that a sensor peg board developed in the present study could provide accurate (excluding tester’s errors), and precise (at a millisecond rate) time information of peg movement separated from that used for hand movement. It could also easily detect and automatically exclude erroneous execution data from his/her standard data. These would lead to a better evaluation of hand dexterity function compared to the widely used conventional used peg boards.

Keywords: hand, dexterity test, peg movement time, performance consistency

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2 Development of Three-Dimensional Bio-Reactor Using Magnetic Field Stimulation to Enhance PC12 Cell Axonal Extension

Authors: Eiji Nakamachi, Ryota Sakiyama, Koji Yamamoto, Yusuke Morita, Hidetoshi Sakamoto


The regeneration of injured central nerve network caused by the cerebrovascular accidents is difficult, because of poor regeneration capability of central nerve system composed of the brain and the spinal cord. Recently, new regeneration methods such as transplant of nerve cells and supply of nerve nutritional factor were proposed and examined. However, there still remain many problems with the canceration of engrafted cells and so on and it is strongly required to establish an efficacious treating method of a central nerve system. Blackman proposed the electromagnetic stimulation method to enhance the axonal nerve extension. In this study, we try to design and fabricate a new three-dimensional (3D) bio-reactor, which can load a uniform AC magnetic field stimulation on PC12 cells in the extracellular environment for enhancement of an axonal nerve extension and 3D nerve network generation. Simultaneously, we measure the morphology of PC12 cell bodies, axons, and dendrites by the multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscope (MPM) and evaluate the effectiveness of the uniform AC magnetic stimulation to enhance the axonal nerve extension. Firstly, we designed and fabricated the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation bio-reactor. For the AC magnetic stimulation system, we used the laminated silicon steel sheets for a yoke structure of 3D chamber, which had a high magnetic permeability. Next, we adopted the pole piece structure and installed similar specification coils on both sides of the yoke. We searched an optimum pole piece structure using the magnetic field finite element (FE) analyses and the response surface methodology. We confirmed that the optimum 3D chamber structure showed a uniform magnetic flux density in the PC12 cell culture area by using FE analysis. Then, we fabricated the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation bio-reactor by adopting analytically determined specifications, such as the size of chamber and electromagnetic conditions. We confirmed that measurement results of magnetic field in the chamber showed a good agreement with FE results. Secondly, we fabricated a dish, which set inside the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation of bio-reactor. PC12 cells were disseminated with collagen gel and could be 3D cultured in the dish. The collagen gel were poured in the dish. The collagen gel, which had a disk shape of 6 mm diameter and 3mm height, was set on the membrane filter, which was located at 4 mm height from the bottom of dish. The disk was full filled with the culture medium inside the dish. Finally, we evaluated the effectiveness of the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation to enhance the nurve axonal extension. We confirmed that a 6.8 increase in the average axonal extension length of PC12 under the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation at 7 days culture in our bio-reactor, and a 24.7 increase in the maximum axonal extension length. Further, we confirmed that a 60 increase in the number of dendrites of PC12 under the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation. Finally, we confirm the availability of our uniform AC magnetic stimulation bio-reactor for the nerve axonal extension and the nerve network generation.

Keywords: nerve regeneration, axonal extension , PC12 cell, magnetic field, three-dimensional bio-reactor

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1 Visco-Hyperelastic Finite Element Analysis for Diagnosis of Knee Joint Injury Caused by Meniscal Tearing

Authors: Eiji Nakamachi, Tsuyoshi Eguchi, Sayo Yamamoto, Yusuke Morita, H. Sakamoto


In this study, we aim to reveal the relationship between the meniscal tearing and the articular cartilage injury of knee joint by using the dynamic explicit finite element (FE) method. Meniscal injuries reduce its functional ability and consequently increase the load on the articular cartilage of knee joint. In order to prevent the induction of osteoarthritis (OA) caused by meniscal injuries, many medical treatment techniques, such as artificial meniscus replacement and meniscal regeneration, have been developed. However, it is reported that these treatments are not the comprehensive methods. In order to reveal the fundamental mechanism of OA induction, the mechanical characterization of meniscus under the condition of normal and injured states is carried out by using FE analyses. At first, a FE model of the human knee joint in the case of normal state – ‘intact’ - was constructed by using the magnetron resonance (MR) tomography images and the image construction code, Materialize Mimics. Next, two types of meniscal injury models with the radial tears of medial and lateral menisci were constructed. In FE analyses, the linear elastic constitutive law was adopted for the femur and tibia bones, the visco-hyperelastic constitutive law for the articular cartilage, and the visco-anisotropic hyperelastic constitutive law for the meniscus, respectively. Material properties of articular cartilage and meniscus were identified using the stress-strain curves obtained by our compressive and the tensile tests. The numerical results under the normal walking condition revealed how and where the maximum compressive stress occurred on the articular cartilage. The maximum compressive stress and its occurrence point were varied in the intact and two meniscal tear models. These compressive stress values can be used to establish the threshold value to cause the pathological change for the diagnosis. In this study, FE analyses of knee joint were carried out to reveal the influence of meniscal injuries on the cartilage injury. The following conclusions are obtained. 1. 3D FE model, which consists femur, tibia, articular cartilage and meniscus was constructed based on MR images of human knee joint. The image processing code, Materialize Mimics was used by using the tetrahedral FE elements. 2. Visco-anisotropic hyperelastic constitutive equation was formulated by adopting the generalized Kelvin model. The material properties of meniscus and articular cartilage were determined by curve fitting with experimental results. 3. Stresses on the articular cartilage and menisci were obtained in cases of the intact and two radial tears of medial and lateral menisci. Through comparison with the case of intact knee joint, two tear models show almost same stress value and higher value than the intact one. It was shown that both meniscal tears induce the stress localization in both medial and lateral regions. It is confirmed that our newly developed FE analysis code has a potential to be a new diagnostic system to evaluate the meniscal damage on the articular cartilage through the mechanical functional assessment.

Keywords: finite element analysis, hyperelastic constitutive law, knee joint injury, meniscal tear, stress concentration

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