Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Maier Andreea

21 Models of Innovation Processes and Their Evolution: A Literature Review

Authors: Maier Dorin, Maier Andreea


Today, any organization - regardless of the specific activity - must be prepared to face continuous radical changes, innovation thus becoming a condition of survival in a globalized market. Not all managers have an overall view on the real size of necessary innovation potential. Unfortunately there is still no common (and correct) understanding of the term of innovation among managers. Moreover, not all managers are aware of the need for innovation. This article highlights and analyzes a series of models of innovation processes and their evolution. The models analyzed encompass both the strategic level and the operational one within an organization, indicating performance innovation on each landing. As the literature review shows, there are no easy answers to the innovation process as there are no shortcuts to great results. Successful companies do not have a silver innovative bullet - they do not get results by making one or few things better than others, they make everything better.

Keywords: innovation, innovation process, business success, models of innovation

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20 The Need for Innovation Management in the Context of Integrated Management Systems

Authors: Adela Mariana Vadastreanu, Adrian Bot, Andreea Maier, Dorin Maier


This paper approaches the need for innovation management in the context of an existing integrated management system implemented in an organization. The road to success for companies in today’s economic environment is more demanding than ever and the capacity of adapting to the rapid changes is compensatory in order to resist on the market. The managers struggle, daily, with increasingly complex problems, caused by fierce competition in the market but also from the rising demands of customers. Innovation seems to be the solution for these problems. During the last decade almost all companies have been certificated according to various management systems, like quality management system, environmental management system, health and safety management system and others; furthermore many companies have implemented an integrated management system, by integrating two or more management systems. The problem rising today is how to integrate innovation in this integrated management systems. The challenge of the problem is that the development of an innovation management system is in the early phase. In this paper we have studied the possibility of integrating some of the innovation request in an existing management system, we have identify the innovation performance request and we proposed some recommendations regarding innovation management and its implementation as a part of an integrated management system. This paper lies down the bases for developing an model of integration management systems that include innovation as a main part of it. Organizations are becoming more aware of the importance of Integrated Management Systems (IMS). Integrating two or more management systems into an integrated management system can have much advantages.This paper examines various models of management systems integration in accordance with professional references ISO 9001, ISO 18001 and OHSAS 18001, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, creating a basis for future development of integrated management systems, and their involvement in various other processes within the organization, such as innovation management. The more and more demanding economic context emphasizes the awareness of the importance of innovation for organizations. This paper highlights the importance of the innovation for an organization and also gives some practical solution in order to improve the overall success of the business through a better approach of innovation. Various standards have been developed in order to certificate organizations that they respect the requirements. Applying an integrated standards model is shown to be a more effective way then applying the standards independently. The problem that arises is that in order to adopt the integrated version of standards there have to be made some changes at the organizational level. Every change that needs to be done has an effect on its activity, and in this sense the paper tries to deal with the changes needed for adopting an integrated management system and if those changes have an influence over the performance. After the analysis of the results, we can conclude that in order to improve the performance a necessary step is the implementation of innovation in the existing integrated management system.

Keywords: innovation, integrated management systems, innovation management, quality

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19 Press Hardening of Tubes with Additional Interior Spray Cooling

Authors: B. A. Behrens, H. J. Maier, A. Neumann, J. Moritz, S. Hübner, T. Gretzki, F. Nürnberger, A. Spiekermeier


Press-hardened profiles are used e.g. for automotive applications in order to improve light weight construction due to the high reachable strength. The application of interior water-air spray cooling contributes to significantly reducing the cycle time in the production of heat-treated tubes. This paper describes a new manufacturing method for producing press-hardened hollow profiles by means of an additional interior cooling based on a water-air spray. Furthermore, this paper provides the results of thorough investigations on the properties of press-hardened tubes in dependence of varying spray parameters.

Keywords: 22MnB5, press hardening, water-air spray cooling, hollow profiles, tubes

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18 Production Structures of Energy Based on Water Force, Its Infrastructure Protection, and Possible Causes of Failure

Authors: Gabriela-Andreea Despescu, Mădălina-Elena Mavrodin, Gheorghe Lăzăroiu, Florin Adrian Grădinaru


The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the enhancement of a hydroelectric plant protection by coordinating protection measures and existing security and introducing new measures under a risk management process. Also, the plan identifies key critical elements of a hydroelectric plant, from its level vulnerabilities and threats it is subjected to in order to achieve the necessary protection measures to reduce the level of risk.

Keywords: critical infrastructure, risk analysis, critical infrastructure protection, vulnerability, risk management, turbine, impact analysis

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17 Transforming the Human Resources of the Company in Innovation Factors: Educational Tools

Authors: Ciolomic Ioana Andreea, Farcas Teodora, Tiron-Tudor Adriana


Investments in research and innovation are widely acknowledged as being crucial drivers for economic growth, for job-creation and to secure social and economic welfare. The aim of this article is to disseminate the results of a Leonardo da Vinci Innovation Transfer project, AdapTykes Adaptation of trainings based up on the Finnish Workplace Development Programme. This project aims to analyses the adaptability of the Finnish model to the economic and political environment of the two emergent countries Romania and Hungary, in order to develop workplace innovation. The focus of this paper is to present the adaptability of the Finnish model to the Romanian context.

Keywords: innovation, human resources, education, tools

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16 Key Factors for a Smart City

Authors: Marta Christina Suciu, Cristina Andreea Florea


The purpose of this paper is to highlight the relevance of building smart cities in the context of regional development and to analyze the important factors that make a city smart. These cities could be analyzed through the perspective of environment quality, the socio-cultural condition, technological applications and innovations, the vitality of the economic environment and public policies. Starting with these five sustainability domains, we will demonstrate the hypothesis that smart cities are the engine of the regional development. The aim of this paper is to assess the implications of smart cities, in the context of sustainable development, analyzing the benefits of developing creative and innovative cities. Regarding the methodology, it is used the systemic, logical and comparative analysis of important literature and data, also descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. In conclusion, we will define a direction on the regional development and competitiveness increasing.

Keywords: creativity, innovation, regional development, smart city, sustainability, triple helix

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15 The Monitoring of Surface Water Bodies from Tisa Catchment Area, Maramureş County in 2014

Authors: Gabriela-Andreea Despescu, Mădălina Mavrodin, Gheorghe Lăzăroiu, S. Nacu, R. Băstinaş


The Monitoring of Surface Water Bodies (Rivers) from Tisa Catchment Area - Maramureş County in 2014. This study is focused on the monitoring and evaluation of river’s water bodies from Maramureş County, using the methodology associated with the EU Water Framework Directive 60/2000. Thus, in the first part are defined the theoretical terms of monitoring activities related to the water bodies’ quality and the specific features of those we can find in the studied area. There are presented the water bodies’ features, quality indicators and the monitoring frequencies for the rivers situated in the Tisa catchment area. The results have shown the actual ecological and chemical state of those water bodies, in relation with the standard values mentioned through the Water Framework Directive.

Keywords: monitoring, surveillance, water bodies, quality

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14 Human Capital Mobility of a Skilled Workforce: A Need for a Future of Europe

Authors: Tiron-Tudor Adriana, Farcas Teodora Viorica, Ciolomic Ioana Andreea


The issue of human capital mobility inside Europe is still an open one. Even though there were created some tools in order to better move from one country to another to work and study the number of the people doing this is very low because of various factors presented in this paper. The "rethinking educational" agenda of the European Commission has open the floor for new projects which can create steps towards a European language for skills and competences, qualifications. One of these projects is the Partnership for Exchange of experience in Student on-the-job Training. As part of this project, we are interested to see the situation of the human capital inside EU and the elements that were created until now to support this mobility. Also, the main objective of the project is to make a comparison between the four countries involved in PEST project (Romania, Hungary, Finland, and Estonia), at the education and internship level. The results are helpful for the follow of the project, for identifying where changes can be done and need to be done.

Keywords: ECVET, human capital mobility, partnership exchange, students on the job mobility, vocational education and training

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13 Carbon Footprint of Blowmoulded Plastic Parts-Case Study on Automotive Industry

Authors: Mădălina Elena Mavrodin, Gabriela Andreea Despescu, Gheorghe Lăzăroiu


Long term trend of global warming has brought a very deep interest in climate change, which is due most likely to increasing concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. 0f these, particular attention is paid to carbon dioxide, which has led in desire for obtaining carbon footprint products. Automotive industry is one of the world’s most important economic sectors with a great impact over the environment through all range of activities. Its impact over the environment has been studied, researcher trying as much as possible to reduce it and to offer environmental friendly solution for the using, but also manufacturing cars. In the global endeavour to meet the international commitments in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, many companies integrate environmental issues into their management systems, with potential effects in their entire production chains. Several tools and calculators have been developed to measure the environmental impact of a product in the life cycle perspective of the whole product chain. There were a lot of ways to obtain the carbon footprint of driving a car, but the total carbon footprint of a car includes also the carbon footprint of all the components and accessories. In the automotive industry, one of the challenges is to calculate the carbon footprint of a car from ‘cradle to grave’; this meaning not only for driving the car, but also manufacturing it, so there can be an overview over the entire process of production.

Keywords: carbon footprint, global warming potential, greenhouse gases, manufacture, plastic air ducts

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12 A Wearable Device to Overcome Post–Stroke Learned Non-Use; The Rehabilitation Gaming System for wearables: Methodology, Design and Usability

Authors: Javier De La Torre Costa, Belen Rubio Ballester, Martina Maier, Paul F. M. J. Verschure


After a stroke, a great number of patients experience persistent motor impairments such as hemiparesis or weakness in one entire side of the body. As a result, the lack of use of the paretic limb might be one of the main contributors to functional loss after clinical discharge. We aim to reverse this cycle by promoting the use of the paretic limb during activities of daily living (ADLs). To do so, we describe the key components of a system that is composed of a wearable bracelet (i.e., a smartwatch) and a mobile phone, designed to bring a set of neurorehabilitation principles that promote acquisition, retention and generalization of skills to the home of the patient. A fundamental question is whether the loss in motor function derived from learned–non–use may emerge as a consequence of decision–making processes for motor optimization. Our system is based on well-established rehabilitation strategies that aim to reverse this behaviour by increasing the reward associated with action execution as well as implicitly reducing the expected cost associated with the use of the paretic limb, following the notion of the reinforcement–induced movement therapy (RIMT). Here we validate an accelerometer–based measure of arm use, and its capacity to discriminate different activities that require increasing movement of the arm. We also show how the system can act as a personalized assistant by providing specific goals and adjusting them depending on the performance of the patients. The usability and acceptance of the device as a rehabilitation tool is tested using a battery of self–reported and objective measurements obtained from acute/subacute patients and healthy controls. We believe that an extension of these technologies will allow for the deployment of unsupervised rehabilitation paradigms during and beyond the hospitalization time.

Keywords: stroke, wearables, learned non use, hemiparesis, ADLs

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11 Biogas from Cover Crops and Field Residues: Effects on Soil, Water, Climate and Ecological Footprint

Authors: Manfred Szerencsits, Christine Weinberger, Maximilian Kuderna, Franz Feichtinger, Eva Erhart, Stephan Maier


Cover or catch crops have beneficial effects for soil, water, erosion, etc. If harvested, they also provide feedstock for biogas without competition for arable land in regions, where only one main crop can be produced per year. On average gross energy yields of approx. 1300 m³ methane (CH4) ha-1 can be expected from 4.5 tonnes (t) of cover crop dry matter (DM) in Austria. Considering the total energy invested from cultivation to compression for biofuel use a net energy yield of about 1000 m³ CH4 ha-1 is remaining. With the straw of grain maize or Corn Cob Mix (CCM) similar energy yields can be achieved. In comparison to catch crops remaining on the field as green manure or to complete fallow between main crops the effects on soil, water and climate can be improved if cover crops are harvested without soil compaction and digestate is returned to the field in an amount equivalent to cover crop removal. In this way, the risk of nitrate leaching can be reduced approx. by 25% in comparison to full fallow. The risk of nitrous oxide emissions may be reduced up to 50% by contrast with cover crops serving as green manure. The effects on humus content and erosion are similar or better than those of cover crops used as green manure when the same amount of biomass was produced. With higher biomass production the positive effects increase even if cover crops are harvested and the only digestate is brought back to the fields. The ecological footprint of arable farming can be reduced by approx. 50% considering the substitution of natural gas with CH4 produced from cover crops.

Keywords: biogas, cover crops, catch crops, land use competition, sustainable agriculture

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10 Efficacy of Combined CHAp and Lanthanum Carbonate in Therapy for Hyperphosphatemia

Authors: Andreea Cârâc, Elena Morosan, Ana Corina Ionita, Rica Bosencu, Geta Carac


Lanthanum carbonate exhibits a considerable ability to bind phosphate and the substitution of Ca2+ ions by divalent or trivalent lanthanide metal ions attracted attention during the past few years. Although Lanthanum carbonate has not been approved by the FDA for treatment of hyperphosphatemia, we prospectively evaluated the efficacy of the combination of Calcium hydroxyapatite and Lanthanum carbonate for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia on mice. Calcium hydroxyapatite commonly referred as CHAp is a bioceramic material and is one of the most important implantable materials due to its biocompatibility and osteoconductivity. We prepared calcium hydroxyapatite and lanthanum carbonate. CHAp was prepared by co-precipitation method using Ca(OH)2, H3PO4, NH4OH with calcination at 1200ºC. Lanthanum carbonate was prepared by chemical method using NaHCO3 and LaCl3 at low pH environment , ph below 4.0 The confirmation of both substances structures was made using XRD characterization, FTIR spectra and SEM /EDX analysis. The study group included 20 subjects-mice divided into four groups according to the administered substance: lanthanum carbonate (group A), lanthanum carbonate + CHAp (group B), CHAp (group C) and salt water (group D). The results indicate a phosphate decrease when subjects (mice) were treated with CHAp and lanthanum carbonate (0.5 % CMC), in a single dose of 1500 mg/kg. Serum phosphate concentration decreased [from 4.5 ± 0.8 mg/dL) to 4.05 ± 0.2 mg/dL), P < 0.01] in group A and to 3.6 ± 0.2 mg/dL] only after the 24 hours of combination therapy. The combination of CHAp and lanthanum carbonate is a suitable regimen for hyperphosphatemia treatment subjects because it avoids both the hypercalcemia of CaCO3 and the adverse effects of CHAp. The ability of CHAp to decrease the serum phosphate concentration is 1/3 that of lanthanum carbonate.

Keywords: calcium hydroxyapatite, hyperphosphatemia, lanthanum carbonate, phosphate, structures

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9 Innovative Technologies for Aeration and Feeding of Fish in Aquaculture with Minimal Impact on the Environment

Authors: Vasile Caunii, Andreea D. Serban, Mihaela Ivancia


The paper presents a new approach in terms of the circular economy of technologies for feeding and aeration of accumulations and water basins for fish farming and aquaculture. Because fish is and will be one of the main foods on the planet, the use of bio-eco-technologies is a priority for all producers. The technologies proposed in the paper want to reduce by a substantial percentage the costs of operation of ponds and water accumulation, using non-polluting technologies with minimal impact on the environment. The paper proposes two innovative, intelligent systems, fully automated that use a common platform, completely eco-friendly. One system is intended to aerate the water of the fish pond, and the second is intended to feed the fish by dispersing an optimal amount of fodder, depending on population size, age and habits. Both systems use a floating platform, regenerative energy sources, are equipped with intelligent and innovative systems, and in addition to fully automated operation, significantly reduce the costs of aerating water accumulations (natural or artificial) and feeding fish. The intelligent system used for feeding, in addition, to reduce operating costs, optimizes the amount of food, thus preventing water pollution and the development of bacteria, microorganisms. The advantages of the systems are: increasing the yield of fish production, these are green installations, with zero pollutant emissions, can be arranged anywhere on the water surface, depending on the user's needs, can operate autonomously or remotely controlled, if there is a component failure, the system provides the operator with accurate data on the issue, significantly reducing maintenance costs, transmit data about the water physical and chemical parameters.

Keywords: bio-eco-technologies, economy, environment, fish

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8 The Influence of the Aquatic Environment on Hematological Parameters in Cyprinus carpio

Authors: Andreea D. Șerban, Răzvan Mălăncuș, Mihaela Ivancia, Șteofil Creangă


Just as air influences the quality of life in the terrestrial environment, water, as a living environment, is one of great importance when it comes to the quality of life of underwater animals, which acquires an even higher degree of importance when analyzing underwater creatures as future products for human consumption. Thus, going beyond the ideal environment, in which all water quality parameters are permanently in perfect standards for reproduction, growth, and development of fish material and customizing this study to reality, it was demonstrated the importance of reproduction, development, and growth of biological material, necessary in the population fish farms, in the same environment to gain the maximum yield that a fish farm can offer. The biological material used was harvested from 3 fish farms located at great distances from each other to have environments with different parameters. The specimens were clinically healthy at 2 years of age. Thus, the differences in water quality parameters had effects on specimens from other environments, describing large curves in their evolution in new environments. Another change was observed in the new environment, the specimens contributing with the "genetic package" to its modification, tending to a balance of the parameters studied to the values in the environment in which they lived until the time of the experiment. The study clearly showed that adaptability to the environment in which an individual has developed and grown is not valid in environments with different parameters, resulting even in the fatality of one sample during the experiment. In some specimens, the values of the studied hematological parameters were halved after the transfer to the new environment, and in others, the same parameters were doubled. The study concludes that the specimens were adapted to the environment in which they developed and grew, their descendants having a higher value of heritability only in the initial environment. It is known that heritability is influenced 50% by the genetic package of the individual and 50% by the environment, by removing the value of the environment, the duration of improvement of characters of interest will be shorter and the maximum yield of fish farms can be achieved in a smaller period.

Keywords: environment, heritability, quality, water

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7 Green Synthesis of Silver Nanoparticles Mediated by Plant by-Product Extracts

Authors: Cristian Moisa, Andreea Lupitu, Adriana Csakvari, Dana G. Radu, Leonard Marian Olariu, Georgeta Pop, Dorina Chambre, Lucian Copolovici, Dana Copolovici


Green synthesis of nanoparticles (NPs) represents a promising, accessible, eco-friendly, and safe process with significant applications in biotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences, and farming. The aim of our study was to obtain silver nanoparticles, using plant wastes extracts resulted in the essential oils extraction process: Thymus vulgaris L., Origanum vulgare L., Lavandula angustifolia L., and in hemp processing for seed and fibre, Cannabis sativa. Firstly, we obtained aqueous extracts of thyme, oregano, lavender, and hemp (two monoicous and one dioicous varieties), all harvested in western part of Romania. Then, we determined the chemical composition of the extracts by liquid-chromatography coupled with diode array and mass spectrometer detectors. The compounds identified in the extracts were in agreement with earlier published data, and the determination of the antioxidant activity of the obtained extracts by DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS (2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)) assays confirmed their antioxidant activity due to their total polyphenolic content evaluated by Folin-Ciocalteu assay. Then, the silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were successfully biosynthesised, as was demonstrated by UV-VIS, FT-IR spectroscopies, and SEM, by reacting AgNO₃ solution and plant extracts. AgNPs were spherical in shape, with less than 30 nm in diameter, and had a good bactericidal activity against Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas fluorescens).

Keywords: plant wastes extracts, chemical composition, high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometer, HPLC-MS, scanning electron microscopy, SEM, silver nanoparticles

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6 In-situ Acoustic Emission Analysis of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Water Electrolyser

Authors: M. Maier, I. Dedigama, J. Majasan, Y. Wu, Q. Meyer, L. Castanheira, G. Hinds, P. R. Shearing, D. J. L. Brett


Increasing the efficiency of electrolyser technology is commonly seen as one of the main challenges on the way to the Hydrogen Economy. There is a significant lack of understanding of the different states of operation of polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysers (PEMWE) and how these influence the overall efficiency. This in particular means the two-phase flow through the membrane, gas diffusion layers (GDL) and flow channels. In order to increase the efficiency of PEMWE and facilitate their spread as commercial hydrogen production technology, new analytic approaches have to be found. Acoustic emission (AE) offers the possibility to analyse the processes within a PEMWE in a non-destructive, fast and cheap in-situ way. This work describes the generation and analysis of AE data coming from a PEM water electrolyser, for, to the best of our knowledge, the first time in literature. Different experiments are carried out. Each experiment is designed so that only specific physical processes occur and AE solely related to one process can be measured. Therefore, a range of experimental conditions is used to induce different flow regimes within flow channels and GDL. The resulting AE data is first separated into different events, which are defined by exceeding the noise threshold. Each acoustic event consists of a number of consequent peaks and ends when the wave diminishes under the noise threshold. For all these acoustic events the following key attributes are extracted: maximum peak amplitude, duration, number of peaks, peaks before the maximum, average intensity of a peak and time till the maximum is reached. Each event is then expressed as a vector containing the normalized values for all criteria. Principal Component Analysis is performed on the resulting data, which orders the criteria by the eigenvalues of their covariance matrix. This can be used as an easy way of determining which criteria convey the most information on the acoustic data. In the following, the data is ordered in the two- or three-dimensional space formed by the most relevant criteria axes. By finding spaces in the two- or three-dimensional space only occupied by acoustic events originating from one of the three experiments it is possible to relate physical processes to certain acoustic patterns. Due to the complex nature of the AE data modern machine learning techniques are needed to recognize these patterns in-situ. Using the AE data produced before allows to train a self-learning algorithm and develop an analytical tool to diagnose different operational states in a PEMWE. Combining this technique with the measurement of polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy allows for in-situ optimization and recognition of suboptimal states of operation.

Keywords: acoustic emission, gas diffusion layers, in-situ diagnosis, PEM water electrolyser

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5 A Heteroskedasticity Robust Test for Contemporaneous Correlation in Dynamic Panel Data Models

Authors: Andreea Halunga, Chris D. Orme, Takashi Yamagata


This paper proposes a heteroskedasticity-robust Breusch-Pagan test of the null hypothesis of zero cross-section (or contemporaneous) correlation in linear panel-data models, without necessarily assuming independence of the cross-sections. The procedure allows for either fixed, strictly exogenous and/or lagged dependent regressor variables, as well as quite general forms of both non-normality and heteroskedasticity in the error distribution. The asymptotic validity of the test procedure is predicated on the number of time series observations, T, being large relative to the number of cross-section units, N, in that: (i) either N is fixed as T→∞; or, (ii) N²/T→0, as both T and N diverge, jointly, to infinity. Given this, it is not expected that asymptotic theory would provide an adequate guide to finite sample performance when T/N is "small". Because of this, we also propose and establish asymptotic validity of, a number of wild bootstrap schemes designed to provide improved inference when T/N is small. Across a variety of experimental designs, a Monte Carlo study suggests that the predictions from asymptotic theory do, in fact, provide a good guide to the finite sample behaviour of the test when T is large relative to N. However, when T and N are of similar orders of magnitude, discrepancies between the nominal and empirical significance levels occur as predicted by the first-order asymptotic analysis. On the other hand, for all the experimental designs, the proposed wild bootstrap approximations do improve agreement between nominal and empirical significance levels, when T/N is small, with a recursive-design wild bootstrap scheme performing best, in general, and providing quite close agreement between the nominal and empirical significance levels of the test even when T and N are of similar size. Moreover, in comparison with the wild bootstrap "version" of the original Breusch-Pagan test our experiments indicate that the corresponding version of the heteroskedasticity-robust Breusch-Pagan test appears reliable. As an illustration, the proposed tests are applied to a dynamic growth model for a panel of 20 OECD countries.

Keywords: cross-section correlation, time-series heteroskedasticity, dynamic panel data, heteroskedasticity robust Breusch-Pagan test

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4 Numerical Investigation of the Influence on Buckling Behaviour Due to Different Launching Bearings

Authors: Nadine Maier, Martin Mensinger, Enea Tallushi


In general, today, two types of launching bearings are used in the construction of large steel and steel concrete composite bridges. These are sliding rockers and systems with hydraulic bearings. The advantages and disadvantages of the respective systems are under discussion. During incremental launching, the center of the webs of the superstructure is not perfectly in line with the center of the launching bearings due to unavoidable tolerances, which may have an influence on the buckling behavior of the web plates. These imperfections are not considered in the current design against plate buckling, according to DIN EN 1993-1-5. It is therefore investigated whether the design rules have to take into account any eccentricities which occur during incremental launching and also if this depends on the respective launching bearing. Therefore, at the Technical University Munich, large-scale buckling tests were carried out on longitudinally stiffened plates under biaxial stresses with the two different types of launching bearings and eccentric load introduction. Based on the experimental results, a numerical model was validated. Currently, we are evaluating different parameters for both types of launching bearings, such as load introduction length, load eccentricity, the distance between longitudinal stiffeners, the position of the rotation point of the spherical bearing, which are used within the hydraulic bearings, web, and flange thickness and imperfections. The imperfection depends on the geometry of the buckling field and whether local or global buckling occurs. This and also the size of the meshing is taken into account in the numerical calculations of the parametric study. As a geometric imperfection, the scaled first buckling mode is applied. A bilinear material curve is used so that a GMNIA analysis is performed to determine the load capacity. Stresses and displacements are evaluated in different directions, and specific stress ratios are determined at the critical points of the plate at the time of the converging load step. To evaluate the load introduction of the transverse load, the transverse stress concentration is plotted on a defined longitudinal section on the web. In the same way, the rotation of the flange is evaluated in order to show the influence of the different degrees of freedom of the launching bearings under eccentric load introduction and to be able to make an assessment for the case, which is relevant in practice. The input and the output are automatized and depend on the given parameters. Thus we are able to adapt our model to different geometric dimensions and load conditions. The programming is done with the help of APDL and a Python code. This allows us to evaluate and compare more parameters faster. Input and output errors are also avoided. It is, therefore, possible to evaluate a large spectrum of parameters in a short time, which allows a practical evaluation of different parameters for buckling behavior. This paper presents the results of the tests as well as the validation and parameterization of the numerical model and shows the first influences on the buckling behavior under eccentric and multi-axial load introduction.

Keywords: buckling behavior, eccentric load introduction, incremental launching, large scale buckling tests, multi axial stress states, parametric numerical modelling

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3 The Incidence of Prostate Cancer in Previous Infected E. Coli Population

Authors: Andreea Molnar, Amalia Ardeljan, Lexi Frankel, Marissa Dallara, Brittany Nagel, Omar Rashid


Background: Escherichia coli is a gram-negative, facultative anaerobic bacteria that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae and resides in the intestinal tracts of individuals. E.Coli has numerous strains grouped into serogroups and serotypes based on differences in antigens in their cell walls (somatic, or “O” antigens) and flagella (“H” antigens). More than 700 serotypes of E. coli have been identified. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, a few strains, such as E. coli O157:H7 which produces Shiga toxin, can cause intestinal infection with symptoms of severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Infection with E. Coli can lead to the development of systemic inflammation as the toxin exerts its effects. Chronic inflammation is now known to contribute to cancer development in several organs, including the prostate. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between E. Coli and the incidence of prostate cancer. Methods: Data collected in this cohort study was provided by a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant national database to evaluate patients infected with E.Coli infection and prostate cancer using the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10 and ICD-9 codes). Permission to use the database was granted by Holy Cross Health, Fort Lauderdale for the purpose of academic research. Data analysis was conducted through the use of standard statistical methods. Results: Between January 2010 and December 2019, the query was analyzed and resulted in 81, 037 patients after matching in both infected and control groups, respectively. The two groups were matched by Age Range and CCI score. The incidence of prostate cancer was 2.07% and 1,680 patients in the E. Coli group compared to 5.19% and 4,206 patients in the control group. The difference was statistically significant by a p-value p<2.2x10-16 with an Odds Ratio of 0.53 and a 95% CI. Based on the specific treatment for E.Coli, the infected group vs control group were matched again with a result of 31,696 patients in each group. 827 out of 31,696 (2.60%) patients with a prior E.coli infection and treated with antibiotics were compared to 1634 out of 31,696 (5.15%) patients with no history of E.coli infection (control) and received antibiotic treatment. Both populations subsequently developed prostate carcinoma. Results remained statistically significant (p<2.2x10-16), Odds Ratio=0.55 (95% CI 0.51-0.59). Conclusion: This retrospective study shows a statistically significant correlation between E.Coli infection and a decreased incidence of prostate cancer. Further evaluation is needed in order to identify the impact of E.Coli infection and prostate cancer development.

Keywords: E. Coli, prostate cancer, protective, microbiology

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2 Photo-Fenton Degradation of Organic Compounds by Iron(II)-Embedded Composites

Authors: Marius Sebastian Secula, Andreea Vajda, Benoit Cagnon, Ioan Mamaliga


One of the most important classes of pollutants is represented by dyes. The synthetic character and complex molecular structure make them more stable and difficult to be biodegraded in water. The treatment of wastewaters containing dyes in order to separate/degrade dyes is of major importance. Various techniques have been employed to remove and/or degrade dyes in water. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are known as among the most efficient ones towards dye degradation. The aim of this work is to investigate the efficiency of a cheap Iron-impregnated activated carbon Fenton-like catalyst in order to degrade organic compounds in aqueous solutions. In the presented study an anionic dye, Indigo Carmine, is considered as a model pollutant. Various AOPs are evaluated for the degradation of Indigo Carmine to establish the effect of the prepared catalyst. It was found that the Iron(II)-embedded activated carbon composite enhances significantly the degradation process of Indigo Carmine. Using the wet impregnation procedure, 5 g of L27 AC material were contacted with Fe(II) solutions of FeSO4 precursor at a theoretical iron content in the resulted composite of 1 %. The L27 AC was impregnated for 3h at 45°C, then filtered, washed several times with water and ethanol and dried at 55 °C for 24 h. Thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy were employed to investigate the structural, textural, and micromorphology of the catalyst. Total iron content in the obtained composites and iron leakage were determined by spectrophotometric method using phenantroline. Photo-catalytic tests were performed using an UV - Consulting Peschl Laboratory Reactor System. UV light irradiation tests were carried out to determine the performance of the prepared Iron-impregnated composite towards the degradation of Indigo Carmine in aqueous solution using different conditions (17 W UV lamps, with and without in-situ generation of O3; different concentrations of H2O2, different initial concentrations of Indigo Carmine, different values of pH, different doses of NH4-OH enhancer). The photocatalytic tests were performed after the adsorption equilibrium has been established. The obtained results emphasize an enhancement of Indigo Carmine degradation in case of the heterogeneous photo-Fenton process conducted with an O3 generating UV lamp in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The investigated process obeys the pseudo-first order kinetics. The photo-Fenton degradation of IC was tested at different values of initial concentration. The obtained results emphasize an enhancement of Indigo Carmine degradation in case of the heterogeneous photo-Fenton process conducted with an O3 generating UV lamp in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Acknowledgments: This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS - UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0405.

Keywords: photodegradation, heterogeneous Fenton, anionic dye, carbonaceous composite, screening factorial design

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1 Microfluidic Plasmonic Device for the Sensitive Dual LSPR-Thermal Detection of the Cardiac Troponin Biomarker in Laminal Flow

Authors: Andreea Campu, Ilinica Muresan, Simona Cainap, Simion Astilean, Monica Focsan


Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is the most severe cardiovascular disease, which has threatened human lives for decades, thus a continuous interest is directed towards the detection of cardiac biomarkers such as cardiac troponin I (cTnI) in order to predict risk and, implicitly, fulfill the early diagnosis requirements in AMI settings. Microfluidics is a major technology involved in the development of efficient sensing devices with real-time fast responses and on-site applicability. Microfluidic devices have gathered a lot of attention recently due to their advantageous features such as high sensitivity and specificity, miniaturization and portability, ease-of-use, low-cost, facile fabrication, and reduced sample manipulation. The integration of gold nanoparticles into the structure of microfluidic sensors has led to the development of highly effective detection systems, considering the unique properties of the metallic nanostructures, specifically the Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR), which makes them highly sensitive to their microenvironment. In this scientific context, herein, we propose the implementation of a novel detection device, which successfully combines the efficiency of gold bipyramids (AuBPs) as signal transducers and thermal generators with the sample-driven advantages of the microfluidic channels into a miniaturized, portable, low-cost, specific, and sensitive test for the dual LSPR-thermographic cTnI detection. Specifically, AuBPs with longitudinal LSPR response at 830 nm were chemically synthesized using the seed-mediated growth approach and characterized in terms of optical and morphological properties. Further, the colloidal AuBPs were deposited onto pre-treated silanized glass substrates thus, a uniform nanoparticle coverage of the substrate was obtained and confirmed by extinction measurements showing a 43 nm blue-shift of the LSPR response as a consequence of the refractive index change. The as-obtained plasmonic substrate was then integrated into a microfluidic “Y”-shaped polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) channel, fabricated using a Laser Cutter system. Both plasmonic and microfluidic elements were plasma treated in order to achieve a permanent bond. The as-developed microfluidic plasmonic chip was further coupled to an automated syringe pump system. The proposed biosensing protocol implicates the successive injection inside the microfluidic channel as follows: p-aminothiophenol and glutaraldehyde, to achieve a covalent bond between the metallic surface and cTnI antibody, anti-cTnI, as a recognition element, and target cTnI biomarker. The successful functionalization and capture of cTnI was monitored by LSPR detection thus, after each step, a red-shift of the optical response was recorded. Furthermore, as an innovative detection technique, thermal determinations were made after each injection by exposing the microfluidic plasmonic chip to 785 nm laser excitation, considering that the AuBPs exhibit high light-to-heat conversion performances. By the analysis of the thermographic images, thermal curves were obtained, showing a decrease in the thermal efficiency after the anti-cTnI-cTnI reaction was realized. Thus, we developed a microfluidic plasmonic chip able to operate as both LSPR and thermal sensor for the detection of the cardiac troponin I biomarker, leading thus to the progress of diagnostic devices.

Keywords: gold nanobipyramids, microfluidic device, localized surface plasmon resonance detection, thermographic detection

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