Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Matěj Kuc

19 The Discriminate Analysis and Relevant Model for Mapping Export Potential

Authors: Jana Gutierez Chvalkovska, Michal Mejstrik, Matej Urban


There are pending discussions over the mapping of country export potential in order to refocus export strategy of firms and its evidence-based promotion by the Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) and other permitted vehicles of governments. In this paper we develop our version of an applied model that offers “stepwise” elimination of unattractive markets. We modify and calibrate the model for the particular features of the Czech Republic and specific pilot cases where we apply an individual approach to each sector.

Keywords: export strategy, modeling export, calibration, export promotion

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18 Performance Comparison of Cooperative Banks in the EU, USA and Canada

Authors: Matěj Kuc


This paper compares different types of profitability measures of cooperative banks from two developed regions: the European Union and the United States of America together with Canada. We created balanced dataset of more than 200 cooperative banks covering 2011-2016 period. We made series of tests and run Random Effects estimation on panel data. We found that American and Canadian cooperatives are more profitable in terms of return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE). There is no significant difference in net interest margin (NIM). Our results show that the North American cooperative banks accommodated better to the current market environment.

Keywords: cooperative banking, panel data, profitability measures, random effects

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17 Measurement of Rheologic Properties of Soft Tissue (Muscle Tissue) by Device Called Myotonometer

Authors: Petr Sifta, Vaclav Bittner, Martin Kysela, Matej Kolar


The purpose of the research described in this work is to answer how to measure the rheologic (viscoelastic) properties tendo–deformational characteristics of soft tissue. The method would also resemble muscle palpation examination as it is known in clinical practice. For this purpose, an instrument with the working name “myotonometer” has been used. At present, there is lack of objective methods for assessing the muscle tone by viscous and elastic properties of soft tissue. That is why we decided to focus on creating or finding quantitative and qualitative methodology capable of specifying muscle tone.

Keywords: rheologic properties, tendo–deformational characteristics, viscosity, elasticity, hypertonus

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16 Cost Efficiency of European Cooperative Banks

Authors: Karolína Vozková, Matěj Kuc


This paper analyzes recent trends in cost efficiency of European cooperative banks using efficient frontier analysis. Our methodology is based on stochastic frontier analysis which is run on a set of 649 European cooperative banks using data between 2006 and 2015. Our results show that average inefficiency of European cooperative banks is increasing since 2008, smaller cooperative banks are significantly more efficient than the bigger ones over the whole time period and that share of net fee and commission income to total income surprisingly seems to have no impact on bank cost efficiency.

Keywords: cooperative banks, cost efficiency, efficient frontier analysis, stochastic frontier analysis, net fee and commission income

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15 Net Interest Margin of Cooperative Banks in Low Interest Rate Environment

Authors: Karolína Vozková, Matěj Kuc


This paper deals with the impact of decrease in interest rates on the performance of commercial and cooperative banks in the Eurozone measured by net interest margin. The analysis was performed on balanced dataset of 268 commercial and 726 cooperative banks spanning the 2008-2015 period. We employed Fixed Effects estimation panel method. As expected, we found a negative relationship between market rates and net interest margin. Our results suggest that the impact of negative interest income differs across individual banking business models. More precisely, those cooperative banks were much more hit by the decrease of market interest rates which might be due to their ownership structure and more restrictive business regulation.

Keywords: cooperative banks, performance, negative interest rates, risk management

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14 Impact of the Operation and Infrastructure Parameters to the Railway Track Capacity

Authors: Martin Kendra, Jaroslav Mašek, Juraj Čamaj, Matej Babin


The railway transport is considered as a one of the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. With future prediction of increasing of freight transport there are lines facing problems with demanded capacity. Increase of the track capacity could be achieved by infrastructure constructive adjustments. The contribution shows how the travel time can be minimized and the track capacity increased by changing some of the basic infrastructure and operation parameters, for example, the minimal curve radius of the track, the number of tracks, or the usable track length at stations. Calculation of the necessary parameter changes is based on the fundamental physical laws applied to the train movement, and calculation of the occupation time is dependent on the changes of controlling the traffic between the stations.

Keywords: curve radius, maximum curve speed, track mass capacity, reconstruction

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13 Analysis of Automotive Sensor for Engine Knock System

Authors: Miroslav Gutten, Jozef Jurcik, Daniel Korenciak, Milan Sebok, Matej Kuceraa


This paper deals with the phenomenon of the undesirable detonation combustion in internal combustion engines. A control unit of the engine monitors these detonations using piezoelectric knock sensors. With the control of these sensors the detonations can be objectively measured just outside the car. If this component provides small amplitude of the output voltage it could happen that there would have been in the areas of the engine ignition combustion. The paper deals with the design of a simple device for the detection of this disorder. A construction of the testing device for the knock sensor suitable for diagnostics of knock combustion in internal combustion engines will be presented. The output signal of presented sensor will be described by Bessel functions. Using the first voltage extremes on the characteristics it is possible to create a reference for the evaluation of the polynomial residue. It should be taken into account that the velocity of sound in air is 330 m/s. This sound impinges on the walls of the combustion chamber and is detected by the sensor. The resonant frequency of the clicking of the motor is usually in the range from 5 kHz to 15 kHz. The sensor worked in the field to 37 kHz, which shall be taken into account on an own sensor resonance.

Keywords: diagnostics, knock sensor, measurement, testing device

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12 Net Fee and Commission Income Determinants of European Cooperative Banks

Authors: Karolína Vozková, Matěj Kuc


Net fee and commission income is one of the key elements of a bank’s core income. In the current low-interest rate environment, this type of income is gaining importance relative to net interest income. This paper analyses the effects of bank and country specific determinants of net fee and commission income on a set of cooperative banks from European countries in the 2007-2014 period. In order to do that, dynamic panel data methods (system Generalized Methods of Moments) were employed. Subsequently, alternative panel data methods were run as robustness checks of the analysis. Strong positive impact of bank concentration on the share of net fee and commission income was found, which proves that cooperative banks tend to display a higher share of fee income in less competitive markets. This is probably connected with the fact that they stick with their traditional deposit-taking and loan-providing model and fees on these services are driven down by the competitors. Moreover, compared to commercial banks, cooperatives do not expand heavily into non-traditional fee bearing services under competition and their overall fee income share is therefore decreasing with the increased competitiveness of the sector.

Keywords: cooperative banking, dynamic panel data models, net fee and commission income, system GMM

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11 Particleboard Production from Atmospheric Plasma Treated Wheat Straw Particles

Authors: Štěpán Hýsek, Milan Podlena, Miloš Pavelek, Matěj Hodoušek, Martin Böhm, Petra Gajdačová


Particle boards have being used in the civil engineering as a decking for load bearing and non-load bearing vertical walls and horizontal panels (e. g. floors, ceiling, roofs) in a large scale. When the straw is used as non-wood material for manufacturing of lignocellulosic panels, problems with wax layer on the surface of the material can occur. Higher percentage of silica and wax cause the problems with the adhesion of the adhesive and this is the reason why it is necessary to break the surface layer for the better bonding effect. Surface treatment of the particles cause better mechanical properties, physical properties and the overall better results of the composite material are reached. Plasma application is one possibility how to modify the surface layer. The aim of this research is to modify the surface of straw particles by using cold plasma treatment. Surface properties of lignocellulosic materials were observed before and after cold plasma treatment. Cold plasma does not cause any structural changes deeply in the material. There are only changes in surface layers, which are required. Results proved that the plasma application influenced the properties of surface layers and the properties of composite material.

Keywords: composite, lignocellulosic materials, straw, cold plasma, surface treatment

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10 New Ethanol Method for Soft Tissue Imaging in Micro-CT

Authors: Matej Patzelt, Jan Dudak, Frantisek Krejci, Jan Zemlicka, Vladimir Musil, Jitka Riedlova, Viktor Sykora, Jana Mrzilkova, Petr Zach


Introduction: Micro-CT is well used for examination of bone structures and teeth. On the other hand visualization of the soft tissues is still limited. The goal of our study was to create a new fixation method for soft tissue imaging in micro-CT. Methodology: We used organs of 18 mice - heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and brain, which we fixated in ethanol after meticulous preparation. We fixated organs in different concentrations of ethanol and for different period of time. We used three types of ethanol concentration - 97%, 50% and ascending ethanol concentration (25%, 50%, 75%, 97% each for 12 hours). Fixated organs were scanned after 72 hours, 168 hours and 336 hours period of fixation. We scanned all specimens in micro-CT MARS (Medipix All Resolution System). Results: Ethanol method provided contrast enhancement in all studied organs in all used types of fixation. Fixation in 97% ethanol provided very fast fixation and the contrast among the tissues was visible already after 72 hours of fixation. Fixation for the period of 168 and 336 hours gave better details, especially in lung tissue, where alveoli were visualized. On the other hand, this type of fixation caused organs to petrify. Fixation in 50% ethanol provided best results in 336 hours fixation, details were visualized better than in 97% ethanol and samples were not as hard as in fixation in 97% ethanol. Best results were obtained in fixation in ascending ethanol concentration. All organs were visualized in great details, best-visualized organ was heart, where trabeculae and valves were visible. In this type of fixation, organs stayed soft for whole time. Conclusion: New ethanol method is a great option for soft tissue fixation as well as the method for enhancing contrast among tissues in organs. The best results were obtained with fixation of the organs in ascending ethanol concentration, the best visualized organ was the heart.

Keywords: x-ray imaging, small animals, ethanol, ex-vivo

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9 Increase of the Nanofiber Degradation Rate Using PCL-PEO and PCL-PVP as a Shell in the Electrospun Core-Shell Nanofibers Using the Needleless Blades

Authors: Matej Buzgo, Erico Himawan, Ksenija JašIna, Aiva Simaite


Electrospinning is a versatile and efficient technology for producing nanofibers for biomedical applications. One of the most common polymers used for the preparation of nanofibers for regenerative medicine and drug delivery applications is polycaprolactone (PCL). PCL is a biocompatible and bioabsorbable material that can be used to stimulate the regeneration of various tissues. It is also a common material used for the development of drug delivery systems by blending the polymer with small active molecules. However, for many drug delivery applications, e.g. cancer immunotherapy, PCL biodegradation rate that may exceed 9 months is too long, and faster nanofiber dissolution is needed. In this paper, we investigate the dissolution and small molecule release rates of PCL blends with two hydrophilic polymers: polyethylene oxide (PEO) or polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). We show that adding hydrophilic polymer to the PCL reduces the water contact angle, increases the dissolution rate, and strengthens the interactions between the hydrophilic drug and polymer matrix that further sustain its release. Finally using this method, we were also able to increase the nanofiber degradation rate when PCL-PEO and PCL-PVP were used as a shell in the electrospun core-shell nanofibers and spread up the release of active proteins from their core. Electrospinning can be used for the preparation of the core-shell nanofibers, where active ingredients are encapsulated in the core and their release rate is regulated by the shell. However, such fibers are usually prepared by coaxial electrospinning that is an extremely low-throughput technique. An alternative is emulsion electrospinning that could be upscaled using needleless blades. In this work, we investigate the possibility of using emulsion electrospinning for encapsulation and sustained release of the growth factors for the development of the organotypic skin models. The core-shell nanofibers were prepared using the optimized formulation and the release rate of proteins from the fibers was investigated for 2 weeks – typical cell culture conditions.

Keywords: electrospinning, polycaprolactone (PCL), polyethylene oxide (PEO), polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)

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8 Poly-ε-Caprolactone Nanofibers with Synthetic Growth Factor Enriched Liposomes as Controlled Drug Delivery System

Authors: Vera Sovkova, Andrea Mickova, Matej Buzgo, Karolina Vocetkova, Eva Filova, Evzen Amler


PCL (poly-ε-caprolactone) nanofibrous scaffolds with adhered liposomes were prepared and tested as a possible drug delivery system for various synthetic growth factors. TGFβ, bFGF, and IGF-I have been shown to increase hMSC (human mesenchymal stem cells) proliferation and to induce hMSC differentiation. Functionalized PCL nanofibers were prepared with synthetic growth factors encapsulated in liposomes adhered to them in three different concentrations. Other samples contained PCL nanofibers with adhered, free synthetic growth factors. The synthetic growth factors free medium served as a control. The interaction of liposomes with the PCL nanofibers was visualized by SEM, and the release kinetics were determined by ELISA testing. The potential of liposomes, immobilized on the biodegradable scaffolds, as a delivery system for synthetic growth factors, and as a suitable system for MSCs adhesion, proliferation and differentiation in vitro was evaluated by MTS assay, dsDNA amount determination, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and real-time PCR. The results showed that the growth factors adhered to the PCL nanofibers stimulated cell proliferation mainly up to day 11 and that subsequently their effect was lower. By contrast, the release of the lowest concentration of growth factors from liposomes resulted in gradual proliferation of MSCs throughout the experiment. Moreover, liposomes, as well as free growth factors, stimulated type II collagen production, which was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining using monoclonal antibody against type II collagen. The results of this study indicate that growth factors enriched liposomes adhered to surface of PCL nanofibers could be useful as a drug delivery instrument for application in short timescales, be combined with nanofiber scaffolds to promote local and persistent delivery while mimicking the local microenvironment. This work was supported by project LO1508 from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic

Keywords: drug delivery, growth factors, hMSC, liposomes, nanofibres

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7 An Inquiry on Imaging of Soft Tissues in Micro-Computed Tomography

Authors: Matej Patzelt, Jana Mrzilkova, Jan Dudak, Frantisek Krejci, Jan Zemlicka, Zdenek Wurst, Petr Zach, Vladimir Musil


Introduction: Micro-CT is well used for examination of bone structures and teeth. On the other hand visualization of the soft tissues is still limited. The goal of our study was to elaborate methodology for soft tissue samples imaging in micro-CT. Methodology: We used organs of rats and mice. We either did a preparation of the organs and fixation in contrast solution or we did cannulation of blood vessels and their injection for imaging of the vascular system. First, we scanned native specimens, then we created corrosive specimens by resins. In the next step, we injected vascular system either by Aurovist contrast agent or by Exitron. In the next step, we focused on soft tissues contrast increase. We scanned samples fixated in Lugol solution, samples fixated in pure ethanol and in formaldehyde solution. All used methods were afterwards compared. Results: Native specimens did not provide sufficient contrast of the tissues in any of organs. Corrosive samples of the blood stream provided great contrast and details; on the other hand, it was necessary to destroy the organ. Further examined possibility was injection of the AuroVist contrast that leads to the great bloodstream contrast. Injection of Exitron contrast agent comparing to Aurovist did not provide such a great contrast. The soft tissues (kidney, heart, lungs, brain, and liver) were best visualized after fixation in ethanol. This type of fixation showed best results in all studied tissues. Lugol solution had great results in muscle tissue. Fixation by formaldehyde solution showed similar quality of contrast in the tissues like ethanol. Conclusion: Before imaging, we need to, first, determinate which structures of the soft tissues we want to visualize. In the case of the bloodstream, the best was AuroVist and corrosive specimens. Muscle tissue is best visualized by Lugol solution. In the case of the organs containing cavities, like kidneys or brain, the best way was ethanol fixation.

Keywords: experimental imaging, fixation, micro-CT, soft tissues

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6 Special Single Mode Fiber Tests of Polarization Mode Dispersion Changes in a Harsh Environment

Authors: Jan Bohata, Stanislav Zvanovec, Matej Komanec, Jakub Jaros, David Hruby


Even though there is a rapid development in new optical networks, still optical communication infrastructures remain composed of thousands of kilometers of aging optical cables. Many of them are located in a harsh environment which contributes to an increased attenuation or induced birefringence of the fibers leading to the increase of polarization mode dispersion (PMD). In this paper, we report experimental results from environmental optical cable tests and characterization in the climate chamber. We focused on the evaluation of optical network reliability in a harsh environment. For this purpose, a special thermal chamber was adopted, targeting to the large temperature changes between -60 °C and 160 C° with defined humidity. Single mode optical cable 230 meters long, having six tubes and a total number of 72 single mode optical fibers was spliced together forming one fiber link, which was afterward tested in the climate chamber. The main emphasis was put to the polarization mode dispersion (PMD) changes, which were evaluated by three different PMD measuring methods (general interferometry technique, scrambled state-of-polarization analysis and polarization optical time domain reflectometer) in order to fully validate obtained results. Moreover, attenuation and chromatic dispersion (CD), as well as the PMD, were monitored using 17 km long single mode optical cable. Results imply a strong PMD dependence on thermal changes, imposing the exceeding 200 % of its value during the exposure to extreme temperatures and experienced more than 20 dB insertion losses in the optical system. The derived statistic is provided in the paper together with an evaluation of such as optical system reliability, which could be a crucial tool for the optical network designers. The environmental tests are further taken in context to our previously published results from long-term monitoring of fundamental parameters within an optical cable placed in a harsh environment in a special outdoor testbed. Finally, we provide a correlation between short-term and long-term monitoring campaigns and statistics, which are necessary for optical network safety and reliability.

Keywords: optical fiber, polarization mode dispersion, harsh environment, aging

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5 Biocompatible Beta Titanium Alloy Ti36Nb6Ta as a Suitable Material for Bone Regeneration

Authors: Vera Lukasova, Eva Filova, Jana Dankova, Vera Sovkova, Matej Daniel, Michala Rampichova


Proper bone implants should promote fast adhesion of cells, stimulate cell differentiation and support the formation of bone tissue. Nowadays titanium is used as a biocompatible material capable of bone tissue integration. This study was focused on comparison of bioactive properties of two titanium alloys - beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta and standard medical titanium alloy Ti6A14V. The advantage of beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta is mainly that this material does not contain adverse elements like vanadium or aluminium. Titanium alloys were sterilized in ethanol, placed into 48 well plates and seeded with porcine mesenchymal stem cells. Cells were cultivated for 14 days in standard growth cultivation media with osteogenic supplements. Cell metabolic activity was quantified using MTS assay (Promega). Cell adhesion on day 1 and cell proliferation on further days were verified immunohistochemically using beta-actin monoclonal antibody and secondary antibody conjugated with AlexaFluor®488. Differentiation of cells was evaluated using alkaline phosphatase assay. Additionally, gene expression of collagen I was measured by qRT-PCR. Porcine mesenchymal stem cells adhered and spread well on beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta on day 1. During the 14 days’ time period the cells were spread confluently on the surface of the beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta. The metabolic activity of cells increased during the whole cultivation period. In comparison to standard medical titanium alloy Ti6A14V, we did not observe any differences. Moreover, the expression of collagen I gene revealed no statistical differences between both titanium alloys. Therefore, a beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta promotes cell adhesion, metabolic activity, proliferation and collagen I expression equally to standard medical titanium alloy Ti6A14V. Thus, beta titanium is a suitable material that provides sufficient biocompatible properties. This project was supported by the Czech Science Foundation: grant No. 16-14758S.

Keywords: beta titanium alloy, biocompatibility, differentiation, mesenchymal stem cells

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4 The Connection between the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values and Ethical Principles in Clinical Psychology

Authors: Matej Stritesky


The research deals with the connection between the Schwartz Theory of Basic Values and the ethical principles in psychology, on which the meta-code of ethics the European Federation of Psychological Associations is based. The research focuses on ethically problematic situations in clinical psychology in the Czech Republic. Based on the analysis of papers that identified ethically problematic situations faced by clinical psychologists, a questionnaire of ethically problematic situations in clinical psychology (EPSCP) was created for the purposes of the research. The questionnaire was created to represent situations that correspond to the 4 principles on which the meta-code of ethics the European Federation of Psychological Associations is based. The questionnaire EPSCP consists of descriptions of 32 situations that respondents evaluate on a scale from 1 (psychologist's behaviour is ethically perfectly fine) to 10 (psychologist's behaviour is ethically completely unacceptable). The EPSCP questionnaire, together with Schwartz's PVQ questionnaire, will be presented to 60 psychology students. The relationship between principles in clinical psychology and the values on Schwartz´s value continuum will be described using multidimensional scaling. A positive correlation is assumed between the higher-order value of openness to change and problematic ethical situations related to the principle of integrity; a positive correlation between the value of the higher order of self-transcendence and the principle of respect and responsibility; a positive correlation between the value of the higher order of conservation and the principle of competence; and negative correlation between the value of the higher order of ego strengthening and sensitivity to ethically problematic situations. The research also includes an experimental part. The first half of the students are presented with the code of ethics of the Czech Association of Clinical Psychologists before completing the questionnaires, and to the second half of the students is the code of ethics presented after completing the questionnaires. In addition to reading the code of ethics, students describe the three rules of the code of ethics that they consider most important and state why they chose these rules. The output of the experimental part will be to determine whether the presentation of the code of ethics leads to greater sensitivity to ethically problematic situations.

Keywords: clinical psychology, ethically problematic situations in clinical psychology, ethical principles in psychology, Schwartz theory of basic values

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3 Detailed Analysis of Multi-Mode Optical Fiber Infrastructures for Data Centers

Authors: Matej Komanec, Jan Bohata, Stanislav Zvanovec, Tomas Nemecek, Jan Broucek, Josef Beran


With the exponential growth of social networks, video streaming and increasing demands on data rates, the number of newly built data centers rises proportionately. The data centers, however, have to adjust to the rapidly increased amount of data that has to be processed. For this purpose, multi-mode (MM) fiber based infrastructures are often employed. It stems from the fact, the connections in data centers are typically realized within a short distance, and the application of MM fibers and components considerably reduces costs. On the other hand, the usage of MM components brings specific requirements for installation service conditions. Moreover, it has to be taken into account that MM fiber components have a higher production tolerance for parameters like core and cladding diameters, eccentricity, etc. Due to the high demands for the reliability of data center components, the determination of properly excited optical field inside the MM fiber core belongs to the key parameters while designing such an MM optical system architecture. Appropriately excited mode field of the MM fiber provides optimal power budget in connections, leads to the decrease of insertion losses (IL) and achieves effective modal bandwidth (EMB). The main parameter, in this case, is the encircled flux (EF), which should be properly defined for variable optical sources and consequent different mode-field distribution. In this paper, we present detailed investigation and measurements of the mode field distribution for short MM links purposed in particular for data centers with the emphasis on reliability and safety. These measurements are essential for large MM network design. The various scenarios, containing different fibers and connectors, were tested in terms of IL and mode-field distribution to reveal potential challenges. Furthermore, we focused on estimation of particular defects and errors, which can realistically occur like eccentricity, connector shifting or dust, were simulated and measured, and their dependence to EF statistics and functionality of data center infrastructure was evaluated. The experimental tests were performed at two wavelengths, commonly used in MM networks, of 850 nm and 1310 nm to verify EF statistics. Finally, we provide recommendations for data center systems and networks, using OM3 and OM4 MM fiber connections.

Keywords: optical fiber, multi-mode, data centers, encircled flux

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2 Growth and Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Titanium Alloy Ti6Al4V and Novel Beta Titanium Alloy Ti36Nb6Ta

Authors: Eva Filová, Jana Daňková, Věra Sovková, Matej Daniel


Titanium alloys are biocompatible metals that are widely used in clinical practice as load bearing implants. The chemical modification may influence cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation as well as stiffness of the material. The aim of the study was to evaluate the adhesion, growth and differentiation of pig mesenchymal stem cells on the novel beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta compared to standard medical titanium alloy Ti6Al4V. Discs of Ti36Nb6Ta and Ti6Al4V alloy were sterilized by ethanol, put in 48-well plates, and seeded by pig mesenchymal stem cells at the density of 60×103/cm2 and cultured in Minimum essential medium (Sigma) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and penicillin/streptomycin. Cell viability was evaluated using MTS assay (CellTiter 96® AQueous One Solution Cell Proliferation Assay;Promega), cell proliferation using Quant-iT™ ds DNA Assay Kit (Life Technologies). Cells were stained immunohistochemically using monoclonal antibody beta-actin, and secondary antibody conjugated with AlexaFluor®488 and subsequently the spread area of cells was measured. Cell differentiation was evaluated by alkaline phosphatase assay using p-nitrophenyl phosphate (pNPP) as a substrate; the reaction was stopped by NaOH, and the absorbance was measured at 405 nm. Osteocalcin, specific bone marker was stained immunohistochemically and subsequently visualized using confocal microscopy; the fluorescence intensity was analyzed and quantified. Moreover, gene expression of osteogenic markers osteocalcin and type I collagen was evaluated by real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). For statistical evaluation, One-way ANOVA followed by Student-Newman-Keuls Method was used. For qRT-PCR, the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis Test and Dunn's Multiple Comparison Test were used. The absorbance in MTS assay was significantly higher on titanium alloy Ti6Al4V compared to beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta on days 7 and 14. Mesenchymal stem cells were well spread on both alloys, but no difference in spread area was found. No differences in alkaline phosphatase assay, fluorescence intensity of osteocalcin as well as the expression of type I collagen, and osteocalcin genes were observed. Higher expression of type I collagen compared to osteocalcin was observed for cells on both alloys. Both beta titanium alloy Ti36Nb6Ta and titanium alloy Ti6Al4V Ti36Nb6Ta supported mesenchymal stem cellsˈ adhesion, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. Novel beta titanium alloys Ti36Nb6Ta is a promising material for bone implantation. The project was supported by the Czech Science Foundation: grant No. 16-14758S, the Grant Agency of the Charles University, grant No. 1246314 and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports NPU I: LO1309.

Keywords: beta titanium, cell growth, mesenchymal stem cells, titanium alloy, implant

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1 Thulium Laser Design and Experimental Verification for NIR and MIR Nonlinear Applications in Specialty Optical Fibers

Authors: Matej Komanec, Tomas Nemecek, Dmytro Suslov, Petr Chvojka, Stanislav Zvanovec


Nonlinear phenomena in the near- and mid-infrared region are attracting scientific attention mainly due to the supercontinuum generation possibilities and subsequent utilizations for ultra-wideband applications like e.g. absorption spectroscopy or optical coherence tomography. Thulium-based fiber lasers provide access to high-power ultrashort pump pulses in the vicinity of 2000 nm, which can be easily exploited for various nonlinear applications. The paper presents a simulation and experimental study of a pulsed thulium laser based for near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared (MIR) nonlinear applications in specialty optical fibers. In the first part of the paper the thulium laser is discussed. The thulium laser is based on a gain-switched seed-laser and a series of amplification stages for obtaining output peak powers in the order of kilowatts for pulses shorter than 200 ps in full-width at half-maximum. The pulsed thulium laser is first studied in a simulation software, focusing on seed-laser properties. Afterward, a pre-amplification thulium-based stage is discussed, with the focus of low-noise signal amplification, high signal gain and eliminating pulse distortions during pulse propagation in the gain medium. Following the pre-amplification stage a second gain stage is evaluated with incorporating a thulium-fiber of shorter length with increased rare-earth dopant ratio. Last a power-booster stage is analyzed, where the peak power of kilowatts should be achieved. Examples of analytical study are further validated by the experimental campaign. The simulation model is further corrected based on real components – parameters such as real insertion-losses, cross-talks, polarization dependencies, etc. are included. The second part of the paper evaluates the utilization of nonlinear phenomena, their specific features at the vicinity of 2000 nm, compared to e.g. 1550 nm, and presents supercontinuum modelling, based on the thulium laser pulsed output. Supercontinuum generation simulation is performed and provides reasonably accurate results, once fiber dispersion profile is precisely defined and fiber nonlinearity is known, furthermore input pulse shape and peak power must be known, which is assured thanks to the experimental measurement of the studied thulium pulsed laser. The supercontinuum simulation model is put in relation to designed and characterized specialty optical fibers, which are discussed in the third part of the paper. The focus is placed on silica and mainly on non-silica fibers (fluoride, chalcogenide, lead-silicate) in their conventional, microstructured or tapered variants. Parameters such as dispersion profile and nonlinearity of exploited fibers were characterized either with an accurate model, developed in COMSOL software or by direct experimental measurement to achieve even higher precision. The paper then combines all three studied topics and presents a possible application of such a thulium pulsed laser system working with specialty optical fibers.

Keywords: nonlinear phenomena, specialty optical fibers, supercontinuum generation, thulium laser

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