Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Marius Pislaru

18 Ecosystem Model for Environmental Applications

Authors: Cristina Schreiner, Romeo Ciobanu, Marius Pislaru


This paper aims to build a system based on fuzzy models that can be implemented in the assessment of ecological systems, to determine appropriate methods of action for reducing adverse effects on environmental and implicit the population. The model proposed provides new perspective for environmental assessment, and it can be used as a practical instrument for decision-making.

Keywords: ecosystem model, environmental security, fuzzy logic, sustainability of habitable regions

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17 Methods and Techniques for Lower Danube Sturgeon Monitoring Used for the Assessment of Anthropic Activities Pressures and the Quantification of Risks on These Species

Authors: Gyorgy Deak, Marius C. Raischi, Lucian P. Georgescu, Tiberius M. Danalache, Elena Holban, Madalina G. Boboc, Monica Matei, Catalina Iticescu, Marius V. Olteanu, Stefan Zamfir, Gabriel Cornateanu


At present, on the Lower Danube, different types of pressures have been identified that affect the anadromous sturgeons stocks with an impact that leads to their decline. This paper presents techniques and procedures used by Romanian experts in the tagging and monitoring of anadromous sturgeons, as well as unique results at international level obtained on the basis of an informational volume collected in over 7 years of monitoring on these species behavior (both for adults as well as for ultrasonically tagged juveniles) on the Lower Danube. The local impact of hydrotechnical constructions (bottom sill, maritime navigation channel), the global impact of the poaching phenomenon and the impact of the restocking programs with sturgeon juveniles were assessed. Thus, the bottom sill impact on the Bala branch, the Bastroe Channel (cross-border impact) and the poaching phenomenon at the level of the Lower Danube was analyzed on the basis of a unique informational volume obtained through the use of patented monitoring systems by the Romanian experts (DKTB respectively, DKMR-01T). At the same time, the results from the monitoring of ultrasonically tagged sturgeon juveniles from the 2015 repopulation program are presented. Conclusions resulting from research can ensure favorable premises for finding some conservation solutions for CITES-protected sturgeon species that have survived for millions of years, currently being 1 species on the brink of extinction - Russian sturgeon, 2 species in danger of extinction - Beluga sturgeon and Stellate sturgeon and 2 species already extinct from the Lower Danube, namely common sturgeon and ship sturgeon.

Keywords: Lower Danube, sturgeons monitoring (adults and juveniles), tagging, impact on conservation

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16 Identification of Nonlinear Systems Using Radial Basis Function Neural Network

Authors: C. Pislaru, A. Shebani


This paper uses the radial basis function neural network (RBFNN) for system identification of nonlinear systems. Five nonlinear systems are used to examine the activity of RBFNN in system modeling of nonlinear systems; the five nonlinear systems are dual tank system, single tank system, DC motor system, and two academic models. The feed forward method is considered in this work for modelling the non-linear dynamic models, where the K-Means clustering algorithm used in this paper to select the centers of radial basis function network, because it is reliable, offers fast convergence and can handle large data sets. The least mean square method is used to adjust the weights to the output layer, and Euclidean distance method used to measure the width of the Gaussian function.

Keywords: system identification, nonlinear systems, neural networks, radial basis function, K-means clustering algorithm

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15 Wear Measuring and Wear Modelling Based On Archard, ASTM, and Neural Network Models

Authors: A. Shebani, C. Pislaru


Wear of materials is an everyday experience and has been observed and studied for long time. The prediction of wear is a fundamental problem in the industrial field, mainly correlated to the planning of maintenance interventions and economy. Pin-on-disc test is the most common test which is used to study the wear behaviour. In this paper, the pin-on-disc (AEROTECH UNIDEX 11) is used for the investigation of the effects of normal load and hardness of material on the wear under dry and sliding conditions. In the pin-on-disc rig, two specimens were used; one, a pin which is made of steel with a tip, is positioned perpendicular to the disc, where the disc is made of aluminium. The pin wear and disc wear were measured by using the following instruments: The Talysurf instrument, a digital microscope, and the alicona instrument; where the Talysurf profilometer was used to measure the pin/disc wear scar depth, and the alicona was used to measure the volume loss for pin and disc. After that, the Archard model, American Society for Testing and Materials model (ASTM), and neural network model were used for pin/disc wear modelling and the simulation results are implemented by using the Matlab program. This paper focuses on how the alicona can be considered as a powerful tool for wear measurements and how the neural network is an effective algorithm for wear estimation.

Keywords: wear modelling, Archard Model, ASTM Model, Neural Networks Model, Pin-on-disc Test, Talysurf, digital microscope, Alicona

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14 Influence of European Funds on the Sector of Bovine Milk and Meat in Romania in the Period 2007-2013

Authors: Andrei-Marius Sandu


This study aims to analyze the bovine meat and milk sector for the period 2007-2013. For the period analyzed, it is known that Romania has benefited from EU funding through the National Rural Development Programme 2007-2013. In this programme, there were measures that addressed exclusively the animal husbandry sector in Romania. This paper presents data on bovine production of meat, milk and livestock in Romania, but also data on the price and impact the European Funds implementation had on them.

Keywords: European funds, measures, national rural development programme, price

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13 Effectuation in Production: How Production Managers Can Apply Decision-Making Techniques of Successful Entrepreneurs

Authors: Malte Brettel, David Bendig, Michael Keller, Marius Rosenberg


What are the core competences necessary in order to sustain manufacturing in high-wage countries? Aspiring countries all over the world gain market share in manufacturing and rapidly close the productivity and quality gap that has until now protected some parts of the industry in Europe and the United States from dislocation. However, causal production planning and manufacturing, the basis for productivity and quality, is challenged by the ever-greater need for flexibility and customized products in an uncertain business environment. This article uses a case-study-based approach to assess how production managers in high-wage countries can apply decision-making principals from successful entrepreneurs. 'Effectuation' instead of causal decision making can be applied to handle uncertainty of mass customization, to seek the right partners in alliances and to advance towards virtual production. The findings help managers to use their resources more efficiently and contribute to bridge the gap between production research and entrepreneurship.

Keywords: case studies, decision-making behavior, effectuation, production planning

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12 Chitin Crystalline Phase Transition Promoted by Deep Eutectic Solvent

Authors: Diana G. Ramirez-Wong, Marius Ramirez, Regina Sanchez-Leija, Adriana Rugerio, R. Araceli Mauricio-Sanchez, Martin A. Hernandez-Landaverde, Arturo Carranza, John A. Pojman, Josue D. Mota-Morales, Gabriel Luna-Barcenas


Chitin films were prepared using alpha-chitin from shrimp shells as raw material and a simple method of precipitation-evaporation. Choline chloride: urea Deep Eutectic Solvent (DES) was used to disperse chitin and compared against hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP). A careful analysis of the chemical and crystalline structure was followed along the synthesis of the films, revealing crystalline-phase transitions. The full conversion of alpha- to beta-, or alpha- to gamma-chitin structure were detected by XRD and NMR on the films. The synthesis of highly crystalline monophasic gamma-chitin films was achieved using a DES; whereas HFIP helps to promote the beta-phase. These results are encouraging to continue in the study of DES as good processing media to control the final properties of chitin based materials.

Keywords: chitin, deep eutectic solvent, polymorph, phase transformation

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11 The MSC-MCF-7 Duet Playing Tumor Vasculogenesis and Angiogenesis Onto the Chick Embryo Chorioallantoic Membrane

Authors: Serban Comsa, Amalia-Raluca Ceausu, Roxana Popescu, Simona Sarb, Anca-Maria Cimpean, Marius Raica


Background/Aim: The human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) represent a versatile cell population, able to modulate the tumor microenvironment Our aim was to recreate an open scene for the in vivo interaction between hMSC and the MCF-7 breast cancer cells (MCF-7), in order to enlighten the intimate involvement of hMSC in tumor vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Materials and Methods: hMSC and MCF-7 were seeded onto the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and incubated for seven days. Consecutively, the morphology and the immunohistochemical profile of CAM were assessed. Results: Following this complex interaction, MCF-7 acquired a more aggressive phenotype, hMSC switched to a vascular precursor phenotype whileCAM underwent a major reset to an earlier stage, with hotspots of angiogenesis, vasculogenesis and hematopoiesis. Conclusion: The hallmark of this study was the establishment of a veritable in vivo experimental model of MSC involvement in tumor vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, allowing further analysis in the field.

Keywords: angiogenesis, chorioallantoic membrane, MCF-7, mesenchymal stem cells, vasculogenesis

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10 Correlation between Funding and Publications: A Pre-Step towards Future Research Prediction

Authors: Ning Kang, Marius Doornenbal


Funding is a very important – if not crucial – resource for research projects. Usually, funding organizations will publish a description of the funded research to describe the scope of the funding award. Logically, we would expect research outcomes to align with this funding award. For that reason, we might be able to predict future research topics based on present funding award data. That said, it remains to be shown if and how future research topics can be predicted by using the funding information. In this paper, we extract funding project information and their generated paper abstracts from the Gateway to Research database as a group, and use the papers from the same domains and publication years in the Scopus database as a baseline comparison group. We annotate both the project awards and the papers resulting from the funded projects with linguistic features (noun phrases), and then calculate tf-idf and cosine similarity between these two set of features. We show that the cosine similarity between the project-generated papers group is bigger than the project-baseline group, and also that these two groups of similarities are significantly different. Based on this result, we conclude that the funding information actually correlates with the content of future research output for the funded project on the topical level. How funding really changes the course of science or of scientific careers remains an elusive question.

Keywords: natural language processing, noun phrase, tf-idf, cosine similarity

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9 Nano-Sized Iron Oxides/ZnMe Layered Double Hydroxides as Highly Efficient Fenton-Like Catalysts for Degrading Specific Pharmaceutical Agents

Authors: Marius Sebastian Secula, Mihaela Darie, Gabriela Carja


Persistent organic pollutant discharged by various industries or urban regions into the aquatic ecosystems represent a serious threat to fauna and human health. The endocrine disrupting compounds are known to have toxic effects even at very low values of concentration. The anti-inflammatory agent Ibuprofen is an endocrine disrupting compound and is considered as model pollutant in the present study. The use of light energy to accomplish the latest requirements concerning wastewater discharge demands highly-performant and robust photo-catalysts. Many efforts have been paid to obtain efficient photo-responsive materials. Among the promising photo-catalysts, layered double hydroxides (LDHs) attracted significant consideration especially due to their composition flexibility, high surface area and tailored redox features. This work presents Fe(II) self-supported on ZnMeLDHs (Me =Al3+, Fe3+) as novel efficient photo-catalysts for Fenton-like catalysis. The co-precipitation method was used to prepare ZnAlLDH, ZnFeAlLDH and ZnCrLDH (Zn2+/Me3+ = 2 molar ratio). Fe(II) was self-supported on the LDHs matrices by using the reconstruction method, at two different values of weight concentration. X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TG/DTG), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to investigate the structural, textural, and micromorphology of the catalysts. The Fe(II)/ZnMeLDHs nano-hybrids were tested for the degradation of a model pharmaceutical agent, the anti-inflammatory agent ibuprofen, by photocatalysis and photo-Fenton catalysis, respectively. The results point out that the embedment Fe(II) into ZnFeAlLDH and ZnCrLDH lead to a slight enhancement of ibuprofen degradation by light irradiation, whereas in case of ZnAlLDH, the degradation process is relatively low. A remarkable enhancement of ibuprofen degradation was found in the case of Fe(II)/ZnMeLDHs by photo-Fenton process. Acknowledgements: 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: layered double hydroxide, heterogeneous Fenton, micropollutant, photocatalysis

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8 Self-Assembled ZnFeAl Layered Double Hydroxides as Highly Efficient Fenton-Like Catalysts

Authors: Marius Sebastian Secula, Mihaela Darie, Gabriela Carja


Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) and is among the most frequently detected pharmaceuticals in environmental samples and among the most widespread drug in the world. Its concentration in the environment is reported to be between 10 and 160 ng L-1. In order to improve the abatement efficiency of this compound for water source prevention and reclamation, the development of innovative technologies is mandatory. AOPs (advanced oxidation processes) are known as highly efficient towards the oxidation of organic pollutants. Among the promising combined treatments, photo-Fenton processes using layered double hydroxides (LDHs) attracted significant consideration especially due to their composition flexibility, high surface area and tailored redox features. This work presents the self-supported Fe, Mn or Ti on ZnFeAl LDHs obtained by co-precipitation followed by reconstruction method as novel efficient photo-catalysts for Fenton-like catalysis. Fe, Mn or Ti/ZnFeAl LDHs nano-hybrids were tested for the degradation of a model pharmaceutical agent, the anti-inflammatory agent ibuprofen, by photocatalysis and photo-Fenton catalysis, respectively, by means of a lab-scale system consisting of a batch reactor equipped with an UV lamp (17 W). The present study presents comparatively the degradation of Ibuprofen in aqueous solution UV light irradiation using four different types of LDHs. The newly prepared Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 catalyst results in the best degradation performance. After 60 minutes of light irradiation, the Ibuprofen removal efficiency reaches 95%. The slowest degradation of Ibuprofen solution occurs in case of Fe/ZnFeAl 4:1 LDH, (67% removal efficiency after 60 minutes of process). Evolution of Ibuprofen degradation during the photo Fenton process is also studied using Ti/ZnFeAl 2:1 and 4:1 LDHs in the presence and absence of H2O2. It is found that after 60 min the use of Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 LDH in presence of 100 mg/L H2O2 leads to the fastest degradation of Ibuprofen molecule. After 120 min, both catalysts Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 and 2:1 result in the same value of removal efficiency (98%). In the absence of H2O2, Ibuprofen degradation reaches only 73% removal efficiency after 120 min of degradation process. Acknowledgements: 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: layered double hydroxide, advanced oxidation process, micropollutant, heterogeneous Fenton

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7 How Virtualization, Decentralization, and Network-Building Change the Manufacturing Landscape: An Industry 4.0 Perspective

Authors: Malte Brettel, Niklas Friederichsen, Michael Keller, Marius Rosenberg


The German manufacturing industry has to withstand an increasing global competition on product quality and production costs. As labor costs are high, several industries have suffered severely under the relocation of production facilities towards aspiring countries, which have managed to close the productivity and quality gap substantially. Established manufacturing companies have recognized that customers are not willing to pay large price premiums for incremental quality improvements. As a consequence, many companies from the German manufacturing industry adjust their production focusing on customized products and fast time to market. Leveraging the advantages of novel production strategies such as Agile Manufacturing and Mass Customization, manufacturing companies transform into integrated networks, in which companies unite their core competencies. Hereby, virtualization of the process- and supply-chain ensures smooth inter-company operations providing real-time access to relevant product and production information for all participating entities. Boundaries of companies deteriorate, as autonomous systems exchange data, gained by embedded systems throughout the entire value chain. By including Cyber-Physical-Systems, advanced communication between machines is tantamount to their dialogue with humans. The increasing utilization of information and communication technology allows digital engineering of products and production processes alike. Modular simulation and modeling techniques allow decentralized units to flexibly alter products and thereby enable rapid product innovation. The present article describes the developments of Industry 4.0 within the literature and reviews the associated research streams. Hereby, we analyze eight scientific journals with regards to the following research fields: Individualized production, end-to-end engineering in a virtual process chain and production networks. We employ cluster analysis to assign sub-topics into the respective research field. To assess the practical implications, we conducted face-to-face interviews with managers from the industry as well as from the consulting business using a structured interview guideline. The results reveal reasons for the adaption and refusal of Industry 4.0 practices from a managerial point of view. Our findings contribute to the upcoming research stream of Industry 4.0 and support decision-makers to assess their need for transformation towards Industry 4.0 practices.

Keywords: Industry 4.0., mass customization, production networks, virtual process-chain

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6 Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer of Cephalic Extremity – Clinical and Histological Aspects

Authors: Razvan Mercut, Mihaela Ionescu, Vlad Parvanescu, Razvan Ghita, Tudor-Gabriel Caragea, Cristina Simionescu, Marius-Eugen Ciurea


Introduction: Over the past years, the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) has continuously increased, being one of the most commonly diagnosed carcinomasofthe cephalic extremity. NMSC regroups basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), Merkel cell carcinoma, cutaneous lymphoma, and sarcoma. The most common forms are BCC and SCC, both still implying a significant level of morbidity due to local invasion (especially BCC), even if the overall death rates are declining. The objective of our study was the evaluation of clinical and histological aspects of NMSC for a group of patients with BCC and SCC, from Craiova, a south-western major city in Romania. Materialand method: Our study lot comprised 65 patients, with an almost equal distribution of sexes, and ages between 23-91 years old (mean value±standard deviation62.61±16.67), all treated within the Clinic of Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Microsurgery, Clinical Emergency County Hospital Craiova, Romania, between 2019-2020. In order to determine the main morphological characteristics of both studied cancers, we used paraffin embedding techniques, with various staining methods:hematoxylin-eosin, Masson's trichrome stain with aniline blue, and Periodic acid-schiffAlcian Blue. The statistical study was completed using Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, USA), with XLSTAT (Addinsoft SARL, Paris, France). Results: The overall results of our study indicate that BCC accounts for 67.69% of all NMSC forms; SCC covers 27.69%, while 4.62% are representedby other forms. The most frequent site is the nose for BCC (27.69%, 18 patients), being followed by preauricular regions, forehead, and periorbital areas. For patients with SCC, tumors were mainly located at lips level (66.67%, 12 patients). The analysis of NMSC histological forms indicated that nodular BCC is predominant (45.45%, 20 patients), as well as ulcero-vegetant SCC (38.89%, 7 patients). We have not identified any topographic characteristics or NMSC forms significantly related to age or sex. Conclusions: The most frequent NMSC form identified for our study lot was BCC. The preferred location was the nose for BCC. For SCC, the oral cavity is the most frequent anatomical site, especially the lips level. Nodular BCC and ulcero-vegetant SCC were the most commonly identified histological types. Our findings emphasize the need for periodic screening, in order to improve prevention and early treatment for these malignancies.

Keywords: non-melanoma skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, histological

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5 On the Development of Evidential Contrasts in the Greater Himalayan Region

Authors: Marius Zemp


Evidentials indicate how the speaker obtained the information conveyed in a statement. Detailed diachronic-functional accounts of evidential contrasts found in the Greater Himalayan Region (GHR) reveal that contrasting evidentials are not only defined against each other but also that most of them once had different aspecto-temporal (TA) values which must have aligned when their contrast was conventionalized. Based on these accounts, the present paper sheds light on hitherto unidentified mechanisms of grammatical change. The main insights of the present study were facilitated by ‘functional reconstruction’, which (i) revolves around morphemes which appear to be used in divergent ways within a language and/or across different related languages, (ii) persistently devises hypotheses as to how these functional divergences may have developed, and (iii) retains those hypotheses which most plausibly and economically account for the data. Based on the dense and detailed grammatical literature on the Tibetic language family, the author of this study is able to reconstruct the initial steps by which its evidentiality systems developed: By the time Proto-Tibetan started to be spread across much of Central Asia in the 7th century CE, verbal concatenations with and without a connective -s had become common. As typical for resultative constructions around the globe, Proto-Tibetan *V-s-’dug ‘was there, having undergone V’ (employing the simple past of ’dug ‘stay, be there’) allowed both for a perfect reading (‘the state resulting from V holds at the moment of speech’) and an inferential reading (‘(I infer from its result that) V has taken place’). In Western Tibetic, *V-s-’dug grammaticalized in its perfect meaning as it became contrasted with perfect *V-s-yod ‘is there, having undergone V’ (employing the existential copula yod); that is, *V-s-’dug came to mean that the speaker directly witnessed the profiled result of V, whereas *V-s-yod came to mean that the speaker does not depend on direct evidence of the result, as s/he simply knows that it holds. In Eastern Tibetic, on the other hand, V-s-’dug grammaticalized in its inferential past meaning as it became contrasted with past *V-thal ‘went past V-ing’ (employing the simple past of thal ‘go past’); that is, *V-s-’dug came to mean that the profiled past event was inferred from its result, while *V-thal came to mean that it was directly witnessed. Hence, depending on whether it became contrasted with a perfect or a past construction, resultative V-s-’dug grammaticalized either its direct evidential perfect or its inferential past function. This means that in both cases, evidential readings of constructions with distinct but overlapping TA-values became contrasted, and in order for their contrasting meanings to grammaticalize, the constructions had to agree on their tertium comparationis, which was their shared TA-value. By showing that other types of evidential contrasts in the GHR are also TA-aligned, while no single markers (or privative contrasts) are found to have grammaticalized evidential functions, the present study suggests that, at least in this region of the world, evidential meanings grammaticalize only in equipollent contrasts, which always end up TA-aligned.

Keywords: evidential contrasts, functional-diachronic accounts, grammatical change, himalayan languages, tense/aspect-alignment

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4 Tracing a Timber Breakthrough: A Qualitative Study of the Introduction of Cross-Laminated-Timber to the Student Housing Market in Norway

Authors: Marius Nygaard, Ona Flindall


The Palisaden student housing project was completed in August 2013 and was, with its eight floors, Norway’s tallest timber building at the time of completion. It was the first time cross-laminated-timber (CLT) was utilized at this scale in Norway. The project was the result of a concerted effort by a newly formed management company to establish CLT as a sustainable and financially competitive alternative to conventional steel and concrete systems. The introduction of CLT onto the student housing market proved so successful that by 2017 more than 4000 individual student residences will have been built using the same model of development and construction. The aim of this paper is to identify the key factors that enabled this breakthrough for CLT. It is based on an in-depth study of a series of housing projects and the role of the management company who both instigated and enabled this shift of CLT from the margin to the mainstream. Specifically, it will look at how a new building system was integrated into a marketing strategy that identified a market potential within the existing structure of the construction industry and within the economic restrictions inherent to student housing in Norway. It will show how a key player established a project model that changed both the patterns of cooperation and the information basis for decisions. Based on qualitative semi-structured interviews with managers, contractors and the interdisciplinary teams of consultants (architects, structural engineers, acoustical experts etc.) this paper will trace the introduction, expansion and evolution of CLT-based building systems in the student housing market. It will show how the project management firm’s position in the value chain enabled them to function both as a liaison between contractor and client, and between contractor and producer. A position that allowed them to improve the flow of information. This ensured that CLT was handled on equal terms to other structural solutions in the project specifications, enabling realistic pricing and risk evaluation. Secondly, this paper will describe and discuss how the project management firm established and interacted with a growing network of contractors, architects and engineers to pool expertise and broaden the knowledge base across Norway’s regional markets. Finally, it will examine the role of the client, the building typology, and the industrial and technological factors in achieving this breakthrough for CLT in the construction industry. This paper gives an in-depth view of the progression of a single case rather than a broad description of the state of the art of large-scale timber building in Norway. However, this type of study may offer insights that are important to the understanding not only of specific markets but also of how new technologies should be introduced in big and well-established industries.

Keywords: cross-laminated-timber (CLT), industry breakthrough, student housing, timber market

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3 Teaching Timber: The Role of the Architectural Student and Studio Course within an Interdisciplinary Research Project

Authors: Catherine Sunter, Marius Nygaard, Lars Hamran, Børre Skodvin, Ute Groba


Globally, the construction and operation of buildings contribute up to 30% of annual green house gas emissions. In addition, the building sector is responsible for approximately a third of global waste. In this context, the utilization of renewable resources in buildings, especially materials that store carbon, will play a significant role in the growing city. These are two reasons for introducing wood as a building material with a growing relevance. A third is the potential economic value in countries with a forest industry that is not currently used to capacity. In 2013, a four-year interdisciplinary research project titled “Wood Be Better” was created, with the principle goal to produce and publicise knowledge that would facilitate increased use of wood in buildings in urban areas. The research team consisted of architects, engineers, wood technologists and mycologists, both from research institutions and industrial organisations. Five structured work packages were included in the initial research proposal. Work package 2 was titled “Design-based research” and proposed using architecture master courses as laboratories for systematic architectural exploration. The aim was twofold: to provide students with an interdisciplinary team of experts from consultancies and producers, as well as teachers and researchers, that could offer the latest information on wood technologies; whilst at the same time having the studio course test the effects of the use of wood on the functional, technical and tectonic quality within different architectural projects on an urban scale, providing results that could be fed back into the research material. The aim of this article is to examine the successes and failures of this pedagogical approach in an architecture school, as well as the opportunities for greater integration between academic research projects, industry experts and studio courses in the future. This will be done through a set of qualitative interviews with researchers, teaching staff and students of the studio courses held each semester since spring 2013. These will investigate the value of the various experts of the course; the different themes of each course; the response to the urban scale, architectural form and construction detail; the effect of working with the goals of a research project; and the value of the studio projects to the research. In addition, six sample projects will be presented as case studies. These will show how the projects related to the research and could be collected and further analysed, innovative solutions that were developed during the course, different architectural expressions that were enabled by timber, and how projects were used as an interdisciplinary testing ground for integrated architectural and engineering solutions between the participating institutions. The conclusion will reflect on the original intentions of the studio courses, the opportunities and challenges faced by students, researchers and teachers, the educational implications, and on the transparent and inclusive discourse between the architectural researcher, the architecture student and the interdisciplinary experts.

Keywords: architecture, interdisciplinary, research, studio, students, wood

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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 Defective Autophagy Disturbs Neural Migration and Network Activity in hiPSC-Derived Cockayne Syndrome B Disease Models

Authors: Julia Kapr, Andrea Rossi, Haribaskar Ramachandran, Marius Pollet, Ilka Egger, Selina Dangeleit, Katharina Koch, Jean Krutmann, Ellen Fritsche


It is widely acknowledged that animal models do not always represent human disease. Especially human brain development is difficult to model in animals due to a variety of structural and functional species-specificities. This causes significant discrepancies between predicted and apparent drug efficacies in clinical trials and their subsequent failure. Emerging alternatives based on 3D in vitro approaches, such as human brain spheres or organoids, may in the future reduce and ultimately replace animal models. Here, we present a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based 3D neural in a vitro disease model for the Cockayne Syndrome B (CSB). CSB is a rare hereditary disease and is accompanied by severe neurologic defects, such as microcephaly, ataxia and intellectual disability, with currently no treatment options. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the molecular and cellular defects found in neural hiPSC-derived CSB models. Understanding the underlying pathology of CSB enables the development of treatment options. The two CSB models used in this study comprise a patient-derived hiPSC line and its isogenic control as well as a CSB-deficient cell line based on a healthy hiPSC line (IMR90-4) background thereby excluding genetic background-related effects. Neurally induced and differentiated brain sphere cultures were characterized via RNA Sequencing, western blot (WB), immunocytochemistry (ICC) and multielectrode arrays (MEAs). CSB-deficiency leads to an altered gene expression of markers for autophagy, focal adhesion and neural network formation. Cell migration was significantly reduced and electrical activity was significantly increased in the disease cell lines. These data hint that the cellular pathologies is possibly underlying CSB. By induction of autophagy, the migration phenotype could be partially rescued, suggesting a crucial role of disturbed autophagy in defective neural migration of the disease lines. Altered autophagy may also lead to inefficient mitophagy. Accordingly, disease cell lines were shown to have a lower mitochondrial base activity and a higher susceptibility to mitochondrial stress induced by rotenone. Since mitochondria play an important role in neurotransmitter cycling, we suggest that defective mitochondria may lead to altered electrical activity in the disease cell lines. Failure to clear the defective mitochondria by mitophagy and thus missing initiation cues for new mitochondrial production could potentiate this problem. With our data, we aim at establishing a disease adverse outcome pathway (AOP), thereby adding to the in-depth understanding of this multi-faced disorder and subsequently contributing to alternative drug development.

Keywords: autophagy, disease modeling, in vitro, pluripotent stem cells

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