Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: Wolfgang E. Baaske

24 Low-Emission Commuting with Micro Public Transport: Investigation of Travel Times and CO₂ Emissions

Authors: Marcel Ciesla, Victoria Oberascher, Sven Eder, Stefan Kirchweger, Wolfgang E. Baaske, Gerald Ostermayer


The omnipresent trend towards sustainable mobility is a major challenge, especially for commuters in rural areas. The use of micro public transport systems is expected to significantly reduce pollutant emissions, as several commuters travel the first mile together with a single pick-up bus instead of their own car. In this paper, different aspects of such a micro public transport system are analyzed. The main findings of the investigations should be how the travel times of commuters change and how many CO₂ emissions can be saved if some of the commuters use public transport instead of their own vehicle.

Keywords: micro public transport, green transportation, sustainable mobility, low-emission commuting

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23 Determination of Biomolecular Interactions Using Microscale Thermophoresis

Authors: Lynn Lehmann, Dinorah Leyva, Ana Lazic, Stefan Duhr, Philipp Baaske


Characterization of biomolecular interactions, such as protein-protein, protein-nucleic acid or protein-small molecule, provides critical insights into cellular processes and is essential for the development of drug diagnostics and therapeutics. Here we present a novel, label-free, and tether-free technology to analyze picomolar to millimolar affinities of biomolecular interactions by Microscale Thermophoresis (MST). The entropy of the hydration shell surrounding molecules determines thermophoretic movement. MST exploits this principle by measuring interactions using optically generated temperature gradients. MST detects changes in the size, charge and hydration shell of molecules and measures biomolecule interactions under close-to-native conditions: immobilization-free and in bioliquids of choice, including cell lysates and blood serum. Thus, MST measures interactions under close-to-native conditions, and without laborious sample purification. We demonstrate how MST determines the picomolar affinities of antibody::antigen interactions, and protein::protein interactions measured from directly from cell lysates. MST assays are highly adaptable to fit to the diverse requirements of different and complex biomolecules. NanoTemper´s unique technology is ideal for studies requiring flexibility and sensitivity at the experimental scale, making MST suitable for basic research investigations and pharmaceutical applications.

Keywords: biochemistry, biophysics, molecular interactions, quantitative techniques

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22 Electrochemical Radiofrequency Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Measurements for Fingerprinting Single Electron Transfer Processes

Authors: Abhishek Kumar, Mohamed Awadein, Georg Gramse, Luyang Song, He Sun, Wolfgang Schofberger, Stefan Müllegger


Electron transfer is a crucial part of chemical reactions which drive everyday processes. With the help of an electro-chemical radio frequency scanning tunneling microscopy (EC-RF-STM) setup, we are observing single electron mediated oxidation-reduction processes in molecules like ferrocene and transition metal corroles. Combining the techniques of scanning microwave microscopy and cyclic voltammetry allows us to monitor such processes with attoampere sensitivity. A systematic study of such phenomena would be critical to understanding the nano-scale behavior of catalysts, molecular sensors, and batteries relevant to the development of novel material and energy applications.

Keywords: radiofrequency, STM, cyclic voltammetry, ferrocene

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21 Video Based Ambient Smoke Detection By Detecting Directional Contrast Decrease

Authors: Omair Ghori, Anton Stadler, Stefan Wilk, Wolfgang Effelsberg


Fire-related incidents account for extensive loss of life and material damage. Quick and reliable detection of occurring fires has high real world implications. Whereas a major research focus lies on the detection of outdoor fires, indoor camera-based fire detection is still an open issue. Cameras in combination with computer vision helps to detect flames and smoke more quickly than conventional fire detectors. In this work, we present a computer vision-based smoke detection algorithm based on contrast changes and a multi-step classification. This work accelerates computer vision-based fire detection considerably in comparison with classical indoor-fire detection.

Keywords: contrast analysis, early fire detection, video smoke detection, video surveillance

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20 Design and Simulation of a Double-Stator Linear Induction Machine with Short Squirrel-Cage Mover

Authors: David Rafetseder, Walter Bauer, Florian Poltschak, Wolfgang Amrhein


A flat double-stator linear induction machine (DSLIM) with a short squirrel-cage mover is designed for high thrust force at moderate speed < 5m/s. The performance and motor parameters are determined on the basis of a 2D time-transient simulation with the finite element (FE) software Maxwell 2015. Design guidelines and transformation rules for space vector theory of the LIM are presented. Resulting thrust calculated by flux and current vectors is compared with the FE results showing good coherence and reduced noise. The parameters of the equivalent circuit model are obtained.

Keywords: equivalent circuit model, finite element model, linear induction motor, space vector theory

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19 A Generic Metamodel for Dependability Analysis

Authors: Moomen Chaari, Wolfgang Ecker, Thomas Kruse, Bogdan-Andrei Tabacaru


In our daily life, we frequently interact with complex systems which facilitate our mobility, enhance our access to information, and sometimes help us recover from illnesses or diseases. The reliance on these systems is motivated by the established evaluation and assessment procedures which are performed during the different phases of the design and manufacturing flow. Such procedures are aimed to qualify the system’s delivered services with respect to their availability, reliability, safety, and other properties generally referred to as dependability attributes. In this paper, we propose a metamodel based generic characterization of dependability concepts and describe an automation methodology to customize this characterization to different standards and contexts. When integrated in concrete design and verification environments, the proposed methodology promotes the reuse of already available dependability assessment tools and reduces the costs and the efforts required to create consistent and efficient artefacts for fault injection or error simulation.

Keywords: dependability analysis, model-driven development, metamodeling, code generation

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18 Linking Market Performance to Exploration and Exploitation in The Pharmaceutical Industry

Authors: Johann Valentowitsch, Wolfgang Burr


In organizational research, strategies of exploration and exploitation are often considered to be contradictory. Building on the tradeoff argument, many authors have assumed that a company's market performance should be positively dependent on its strategic balance between exploration and exploitation over time. In this study, we apply this reasoning to the pharmaceutical industry. Using exploratory regression analysis we show that the long-term market performance of a pharmaceutical company is linked to both its ability to carry out exploratory projects and its ability to develop exploitative competencies. In particular, our findings demonstrate that, on average, the company's annual sales performance is higher the better the strategic alignment between exploration and exploitation is balanced. The contribution of our research is twofold. On the one hand, we provide empirical evidence for the initial tradeoff hypothesis and thus support the theoretical position of those who understand exploration and exploitation as strategic substitutes. On the other hand, our findings show that a balanced relationship between exploration and exploitation is also important in research-intensive industries, which naturally tend to place more emphasis on exploration.

Keywords: exploitation, exploration, market performance, pharmaceutical industry, strategy

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17 Explaining the Impact of Poverty Risk on Frailty Trajectories in Old Age Using Growth Curve Models

Authors: Erwin Stolz, Hannes Mayerl, Anja Waxenegger, Wolfgang Freidl


Research has often found poverty associated with adverse health outcomes, but it is unclear which (interplay of) mechanisms actually translate low economic resources into poor physical health. The goal of this study was to assess the impact of educational, material, psychosocial and behavioural factors in explaining the poverty-health association in old age. We analysed 28,360 observations from 11,390 community-dwelling respondents (65+) from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE, 2004-2013, 10 countries). We used multilevel growth curve models to assess the impact of combined income- and asset poverty risk on old age frailty index levels and trajectories. In total, 61.8% of the variation of poverty risk on frailty levels could be explained by direct and indirect effects, thereby highlighting the role of material and particularly psychosocial factors, such as perceived control and social isolation. We suggest strengthening social policy and public health efforts in order to fight poverty and its deleterious effects from early age on and to broaden the scope of interventions with regard to psychosocial factors.

Keywords: frailty, health inequality, old age, poverty

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16 The Concepts of Urban Sustainable Development and Smart Cities: In the Understanding of Academia and the European Union

Authors: Wolfgang Haupt


When considering the future city one repeatedly comes across two sometimes sparsely differentiated terms: Sustainable and smart. ‘A European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable, and Inclusive Growth’, this is how the European Commission named its current growth strategy. Thus, Europe should become smarter and more sustainable. Both, the smart and the sustainable city represent a positive vision of urban development as well as a subject area for contemporary and future urban policies. However, more clarity on what is actually behind these terminologies is required. The paper analyses how the terms are defined academically and how this academic understanding is represented in the funding mechanisms of European urban policies. The theoretical framework is mainly based on sources such as journal articles and policy reports. It became clear that despite some similarities, such as the broad field of work or the tendency to operationalize the terms by defining sub-categories, both ideas are distinctly different in terms of the development history, the main driving forces behind and the theoretical scope. Moreover, the significantly more comprehensively defined term sustainability has found its way into the centre of European regional funding policies. On the contrary, the smart city vision still lacks terminological and content-related clarity and as a consequence, the corresponding European funding landscape is more small-scaled and less customized.

Keywords: European spatial policy, European union, smart city, urban sustainable development

Procedia PDF Downloads 213
15 Effectiveness of Weather Index Insurance for Smallholders in Ethiopia

Authors: Federica Di Marcantonio, Antoine Leblois, Wolfgang Göbel, Hervè Kerdiles


Weather-related shocks can threaten the ability of farmers to maintain their agricultural output and food security levels. Informal coping mechanisms (i.e. migration or community risk sharing) have always played a significant role in mitigating the negative effects of weather-related shocks in Ethiopia, but they have been found to be an incomplete strategy, particularly as a response to covariate shocks. Particularly, as an alternative to the traditional risk pooling products, an innovative form of insurance known as Index-based Insurance has received a lot of attention from researchers and international organizations, leading to an increased number of pilot initiatives in many countries. Despite the potential benefit of the product in protecting the livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists against climate shocks, to date there has been an unexpectedly low uptake. Using information from current pilot projects on index-based insurance in Ethiopia, this paper discusses the determinants of uptake that have so far undermined the scaling-up of the products, by focusing in particular on weather data availability, price affordability and willingness to pay. We found that, aside from data constraint issues, high price elasticity and low willingness to pay represent impediments to the development of the market. These results, bring us to rethink the role of index insurance as products for enhancing smallholders’ response to covariate shocks, and particularly for improving their food security.

Keywords: index-based insurance, willingness to pay, satellite information, Ethiopia

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14 Atmospheric CO2 Capture via Temperature/Vacuum Swing Adsorption in SIFSIX-3-Ni

Authors: Eleni Tsalaporta, Sebastien Vaesen, James M. D. MacElroy, Wolfgang Schmitt


Carbon dioxide capture has attracted the attention of many governments, industries and scientists over the last few decades, due to the rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 composition, with several studies being conducted in this area over the last few years. In many of these studies, CO2 capture in complex Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) cycles has been associated with high energy consumption despite the promising capture performance of such processes. The purpose of this study is the economic capture of atmospheric carbon dioxide for its transformation into a clean type of energy. A single column Temperature /Vacuum Swing Adsorption (TSA/VSA) process is proposed as an alternative option to multi column Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) processes. The proposed adsorbent is SIFSIX-3-Ni, a newly developed MOF (Metal Organic Framework), with extended CO2 selectivity and capacity. There are three stages involved in this paper: (i) SIFSIX-3-Ni is synthesized and pelletized and its physical and chemical properties are examined before and after the pelletization process, (ii) experiments are designed and undertaken for the estimation of the diffusion and adsorption parameters and limitations for CO2 undergoing capture from the air; and (iii) the CO2 adsorption capacity and dynamical characteristics of SIFSIX-3-Ni are investigated both experimentally and mathematically by employing a single column TSA/VSA, for the capture of atmospheric CO2. This work is further supported by a technical-economical study for the estimation of the investment cost and the energy consumption of the single column TSA/VSA process. The simulations are performed using gProms.

Keywords: carbon dioxide capture, temperature/vacuum swing adsorption, metal organic frameworks, SIFSIX-3-Ni

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13 Correlation between Fetal Umbilical Cord pH and the Day, the Time and the Team Hand over Times: An Analysis of 6929 Deliveries of the Ulm University Hospital

Authors: Sabine Pau, Sophia Volz, Emanuel Bauer, Amelie De Gregorio, Frank Reister, Wolfgang Janni, Florian Ebner


Purpose: The umbilical cord pH is a well evaluated contributor for prediction of neonatal outcome. This study correlates nenonatal umbilical cord pH with the weekday of delivery, the time of birth as well as the staff hand over times (midwifes and doctors). Material and Methods: This retrospective study included all deliveries of a 20 year period (1994-2014) at our primary obstetric center. All deliveries with a newborn cord pH under 7,20 were included in this analysis (6929 of 48974 deliveries (14,4%)). Further subgroups were formed according to the pH (< 7,05; 7,05 – 7,09; 7,10 – 7,14; 7,15 – 7,19). The data were then separated in day- and night time (8am-8pm/8pm-8am) for a first analysis. Finally, handover times were defined at 6 am – 6.30 am, 2 pm -2.30 pm, 10 pm- 10.30 pm (midwives) and for the doctors 8-8.30 am, 4 – 4.30 pm (Monday- Thursday); 2 pm -2.30 pm (Friday) and 9 am – 9.30 am (weekend). Routinely a shift consists of at least three doctors as well as three midwives. Results: During the last 20 years, 6929 neonates were born with an umbilical cord ph < 7,20 ( < 7,05 : 7,1%; 7,05 – 7,09 : 10,9%; 7,10 – 7,14 : 30,2%; 7,15 – 7,19:51,8%). There was no significant difference between either night/day delivery (p = 0.408), delivery on different weekdays (p = 0.253), delivery between Monday to Thursday, Friday and the weekend (p = 0.496 ) or delivery during the handover times of the doctors as well as the midwives (p = 0.221). Even the standard deviation showed no differences between the groups. Conclusion: Despite an increased workload over the last 20 years, the standard of care remains high even during the handover times and night shifts. This applies for midwives and doctors. As the neonatal outcome depends on various factors, further studies are necessary to take more factors influencing the fetal outcome into consideration. In order to maintain this high standard of care, an adaption of work-load and changing conditions is necessary.

Keywords: delivery, fetal umbilical cord pH, day time, hand over times

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12 Filling the Gaps with Representation: Netflix’s Anne with an E as a Way to Reveal What the Text Hid

Authors: Arkadiusz Adam Gardaś


In his theory of gaps, Wolfgang Iser states that literary texts often lack direct messages. Instead of using straightforward descriptions, authors leave the gaps or blanks, i.e., the spaces within the text that come into existence only when readers fill them with their understanding and experiences. This paper’s aim is to present Iser’s literary theory in an intersectional way by comparing it to the idea of intersemiotic translation. To be more precise, the author uses the example of Netflix’s adaption of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables as a form of rendering a book into a film in such a way that certain textual gaps are filled with film images. Intersemiotic translation is a rendition in which signs of one kind of media are translated into the signs of the other media. Film adaptions are the most common, but not the only, type of intersemiotic translation. In this case, the role of the translator is taken by a screenwriter. A screenwriter’s role can reach beyond the direct meaning presented by the author, and instead, it can delve into the source material (here – a novel) in a deeper way. When it happens, a screenwriter is able to spot the gaps in the text and fill them with images that can later be presented to the viewers. Anne with an E, the Netflix adaption of Montgomery’s novel, may be used as a highly meaningful example of such a rendition. It is due to the fact that the 2017 series was broadcasted more than a hundred years after the first edition of the novel was published. This means that what the author might not have been able to show in her text can now be presented in a more open way. The screenwriter decided to use this opportunity to represent certain groups in the film, i.e., racial and sexual minorities, and women. Nonetheless, the series does not alter the novel; in fact, it adds to it by filling the blanks with more direct images. In the paper, fragments of the first season of Anne with an E are analysed in comparison to its source, the novel by Montgomery. The main purpose of that is to show how intersemiotic translation connected with the Iser’s literary theory can enrich the understanding of works of art, culture, media, and literature.

Keywords: intersemiotic translation, film, literary gaps, representation

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11 Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles as Support for Classical Anti-cancer Therapies

Authors: Nadine Wiesmann, Melanie Viel, Christoph Buhr, Rachel Tanner, Wolfgang Tremel, Juergen Brieger


Recidivation of tumors and the development of resistances against the classical anti-tumor approaches represent a major challenge we face when treating cancer. In order to master this challenge, we are in desperate need of new treatment options beyond the beaten tracks. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) represent such an innovative approach. Zinc oxide is characterized by a high level of biocompatibility, concurrently ZnO NPs are able to exert anti-tumor effects. By concentration of the nanoparticles at the tumor site, tumor cells can specifically be exposed to the nanoparticles while low zinc concentrations at off-target sites are tolerated well and can be excreted easily. We evaluated the toxicity of ZnO NPs in vitro with the help of immortalized tumor cell lines and primary cells stemming from healthy tissue. Additionally, the Chorioallantoic Membrane Assay (CAM Assay) was employed to gain insights into the in vivo behavior of the nanoparticles. We could show that ZnO NPs interact with tumor cells as nanoparticulate matter. Furthermore, the extensive release of zinc ions from the nanoparticles nearby and within the tumor cells results in overload with zinc. Beyond that, ZnO NPs were found to further the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We were able to show that tumor cells were more prone to the toxic effects of ZnO NPs at intermediate concentrations compared to fibroblasts. With the help of ZnO NPs covered by a silica shell in which FITC dye was incorporated, we were able to track ZnO NPs within tumor cells as well as within a whole organism in the CAM assay after injection into the bloodstream. Depending on the applied concentrations, selective tumor cell killing seems feasible. Furthermore, the combinational treatment of tumor cells with radiotherapy and ZnO NPs shows promising results. Still, further investigations are needed to gain a better understanding of the interaction between ZnO NPs and the human body to be able to pave the way for their application as an innovative anti-tumor agent in the clinics.

Keywords: metal oxide nanoparticles, nanomedicine, overcome resistances against classical treatment options, zinc oxide nanoparticles

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10 AFM Probe Sensor Designed for Cellular Membrane Components

Authors: Sarmiza Stanca, Wolfgang Fritzsche, Christoph Krafft, Jürgen Popp


Independent of the cell type a thin layer of a few nanometers thickness surrounds the cell interior as the cellular membrane. The transport of ions and molecules through the membrane is achieved in a very precise way by pores. Understanding the process of opening and closing the pores due to an electrochemical gradient across the membrane requires knowledge of the pore constitutive proteins. Recent reports prove the access to the molecular level of the cellular membrane by atomic force microscopy (AFM). This technique also permits an electrochemical study in the immediate vicinity of the tip. Specific molecules can be electrochemically localized in the natural cellular membrane. Our work aims to recognize the protein domains of the pores using an AFM probe as a miniaturized amperometric sensor, and to follow the protein behavior while changing the applied potential. The intensity of the current produced between the surface and the AFM probe is amplified and detected simultaneously with the surface imaging. The AFM probe plays the role of the working electrode and the substrate, a conductive glass on which the cells are grown, represent the counter electrode. For a better control of the electric potential on the probe, a third electrode Ag/AgCl wire is mounted in the circuit as a reference electrode. The working potential is applied between the electrodes with a programmable source and the current intensity in the circuit is recorded with a multimeter. The applied potential considers the overpotential at the electrode surface and the potential drop due to the current flow through the system. The reported method permits a high resolved electrochemical study of the protein domains on the living cell membrane. The amperometric map identifies areas of different current intensities on the pore depending on the applied potential. The reproducibility of this method is limited by the tip shape, the uncontrollable capacitance, which occurs at the apex and a potential local charge separation.

Keywords: AFM, sensor, membrane, pores, proteins

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9 Development of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Tracers for the in-Vivo Imaging of α-Synuclein Aggregates in α-Synucleinopathies

Authors: Bright Chukwunwike Uzuegbunam, Wojciech Paslawski, Hans Agren, Christer Halldin, Wolfgang Weber, Markus Luster, Thomas Arzberger, Behrooz Hooshyar Yousefi


There is a need to develop a PET tracer that will enable to diagnosis and track the progression of Alpha-synucleinopathies (Parkinson’s disease [PD], dementia with Lewy bodies [DLB], multiple system atrophy [MSA]) in living subjects over time. Alpha-synuclein aggregates (a-syn), which are present in all the stages of disease progression, for instance, in PD, are a suitable target for in vivo PET imaging. For this reason, we have developed some promising a-syn tracers based on a disarylbisthiazole (DABTA) scaffold. The precursors are synthesized via a modified Hantzsch thiazole synthesis. The precursors were then radiolabeled via one- or two-step radiofluorination methods. The ligands were initially screened using a combination of molecular dynamics and quantum/molecular mechanics approaches in order to calculate the binding affinity to a-syn (in silico binding experiments). Experimental in vitro binding assays were also performed. The ligands were further screened in other experiments such as log D, in vitro plasma protein binding & plasma stability, biodistribution & brain metabolite analyses in healthy mice. Radiochemical yields were up to 30% - 72% in some cases. Molecular docking revealed possible binding sites in a-syn and also the free energy of binding to those sites (-28.9 - -66.9 kcal/mol), which correlated to the high binding affinity of the DABTAs to a-syn (Ki as low as 0.5 nM) and selectivity (> 100-fold) over Aβ and tau, which usually co-exist with a-synin some pathologies. The log D values range from 2.88 - 2.34, which correlated with free-protein fraction of 0.28% - 0.5%. Biodistribution experiments revealed that the tracers are taken up (5.6 %ID/g - 7.3 %ID/g) in the brain at 5 min (post-injection) p.i., and cleared out (values as low as 0.39 %ID/g were obtained at 120 min p.i. Analyses of the mice brain 20 min p.i. Revealed almost no radiometabolites in the brain in most cases. It can be concluded that in silico study presents a new venue for the rational development of radioligands with suitable features. The results obtained so far are promising and encourage us to further validate the DABTAs in autoradiography, immunohistochemistry, and in vivo imaging in non-human primates and humans.

Keywords: alpha-synuclein aggregates, alpha-synucleinopathies, PET imaging, tracer development

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8 A Reduced Ablation Model for Laser Cutting and Laser Drilling

Authors: Torsten Hermanns, Thoufik Al Khawli, Wolfgang Schulz


In laser cutting as well as in long pulsed laser drilling of metals, it can be demonstrated that the ablation shape (the shape of cut faces respectively the hole shape) that is formed approaches a so-called asymptotic shape such that it changes only slightly or not at all with further irradiation. These findings are already known from the ultrashort pulse (USP) ablation of dielectric and semiconducting materials. The explanation for the occurrence of an asymptotic shape in laser cutting and long pulse drilling of metals is identified, its underlying mechanism numerically implemented, tested and clearly confirmed by comparison with experimental data. In detail, there now is a model that allows the simulation of the temporal (pulse-resolved) evolution of the hole shape in laser drilling as well as the final (asymptotic) shape of the cut faces in laser cutting. This simulation especially requires much less in the way of resources, such that it can even run on common desktop PCs or laptops. Individual parameters can be adjusted using sliders – the simulation result appears in an adjacent window and changes in real time. This is made possible by an application-specific reduction of the underlying ablation model. Because this reduction dramatically decreases the complexity of calculation, it produces a result much more quickly. This means that the simulation can be carried out directly at the laser machine. Time-intensive experiments can be reduced and set-up processes can be completed much faster. The high speed of simulation also opens up a range of entirely different options, such as metamodeling. Suitable for complex applications with many parameters, metamodeling involves generating high-dimensional data sets with the parameters and several evaluation criteria for process and product quality. These sets can then be used to create individual process maps that show the dependency of individual parameter pairs. This advanced simulation makes it possible to find global and local extreme values through mathematical manipulation. Such simultaneous optimization of multiple parameters is scarcely possible by experimental means. This means that new methods in manufacturing such as self-optimization can be executed much faster. However, the software’s potential does not stop there; time-intensive calculations exist in many areas of industry. In laser welding or laser additive manufacturing, for example, the simulation of thermal induced residual stresses still uses up considerable computing capacity or is even not possible. Transferring the principle of reduced models promises substantial savings there, too.

Keywords: asymptotic ablation shape, interactive process simulation, laser drilling, laser cutting, metamodeling, reduced modeling

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7 The Asymptotic Hole Shape in Long Pulse Laser Drilling: The Influence of Multiple Reflections

Authors: Torsten Hermanns, You Wang, Stefan Janssen, Markus Niessen, Christoph Schoeler, Ulrich Thombansen, Wolfgang Schulz


In long pulse laser drilling of metals, it can be demonstrated that the ablation shape approaches a so-called asymptotic shape such that it changes only slightly or not at all with further irradiation. These findings are already known from ultra short pulse (USP) ablation of dielectric and semiconducting materials. The explanation for the occurrence of an asymptotic shape in long pulse drilling of metals is identified, a model for the description of the asymptotic hole shape numerically implemented, tested and clearly confirmed by comparison with experimental data. The model assumes a robust process in that way that the characteristics of the melt flow inside the arising melt film does not change qualitatively by changing the laser or processing parameters. Only robust processes are technically controllable and thus of industrial interest. The condition for a robust process is identified by a threshold for the mass flow density of the assist gas at the hole entrance which has to be exceeded. Within a robust process regime the melt flow characteristics can be captured by only one model parameter, namely the intensity threshold. In analogy to USP ablation (where it is already known for a long time that the resulting hole shape results from a threshold for the absorbed laser fluency) it is demonstrated that in the case of robust long pulse ablation the asymptotic shape forms in that way that along the whole contour the absorbed heat flux density is equal to the intensity threshold. The intensity threshold depends on the special material and radiation properties and has to be calibrated be one reference experiment. The model is implemented in a numerical simulation which is called AsymptoticDrill and requires such a few amount of resources that it can run on common desktop PCs, laptops or even smart devices. Resulting hole shapes can be calculated within seconds what depicts a clear advantage over other simulations presented in literature in the context of industrial every day usage. Against this background the software additionally is equipped with a user-friendly GUI which allows an intuitive usage. Individual parameters can be adjusted using sliders while the simulation result appears immediately in an adjacent window. A platform independent development allow a flexible usage: the operator can use the tool to adjust the process in a very convenient manner on a tablet during the developer can execute the tool in his office in order to design new processes. Furthermore, at the best knowledge of the authors AsymptoticDrill is the first simulation which allows the import of measured real beam distributions and thus calculates the asymptotic hole shape on the basis of the real state of the specific manufacturing system. In this paper the emphasis is placed on the investigation of the effect of multiple reflections on the asymptotic hole shape which gain in importance when drilling holes with large aspect ratios.

Keywords: asymptotic hole shape, intensity threshold, long pulse laser drilling, robust process

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6 Real-Time Neuroimaging for Rehabilitation of Stroke Patients

Authors: Gerhard Gritsch, Ana Skupch, Manfred Hartmann, Wolfgang Frühwirt, Hannes Perko, Dieter Grossegger, Tilmann Kluge


Rehabilitation of stroke patients is dominated by classical physiotherapy. Nowadays, a field of research is the application of neurofeedback techniques in order to help stroke patients to get rid of their motor impairments. Especially, if a certain limb is completely paralyzed, neurofeedback is often the last option to cure the patient. Certain exercises, like the imagination of the impaired motor function, have to be performed to stimulate the neuroplasticity of the brain, such that in the neighboring parts of the injured cortex the corresponding activity takes place. During the exercises, it is very important to keep the motivation of the patient at a high level. For this reason, the missing natural feedback due to a movement of the effected limb may be replaced by a synthetic feedback based on the motor-related brain function. To generate such a synthetic feedback a system is needed which measures, detects, localizes and visualizes the motor related µ-rhythm. Fast therapeutic success can only be achieved if the feedback features high specificity, comes in real-time and without large delay. We describe such an approach that offers a 3D visualization of µ-rhythms in real time with a delay of 500ms. This is accomplished by combining smart EEG preprocessing in the frequency domain with source localization techniques. The algorithm first selects the EEG channel featuring the most prominent rhythm in the alpha frequency band from a so-called motor channel set (C4, CZ, C3; CP6, CP4, CP2, CP1, CP3, CP5). If the amplitude in the alpha frequency band of this certain electrode exceeds a threshold, a µ-rhythm is detected. To prevent detection of a mixture of posterior alpha activity and µ-activity, the amplitudes in the alpha band outside the motor channel set are not allowed to be in the same range as the main channel. The EEG signal of the main channel is used as template for calculating the spatial distribution of the µ - rhythm over all electrodes. This spatial distribution is the input for a inverse method which provides the 3D distribution of the µ - activity within the brain which is visualized in 3D as color coded activity map. This approach mitigates the influence of lid artifacts on the localization performance. The first results of several healthy subjects show that the system is capable of detecting and localizing the rarely appearing µ-rhythm. In most cases the results match with findings from visual EEG analysis. Frequent eye-lid artifacts have no influence on the system performance. Furthermore, the system will be able to run in real-time. Due to the design of the frequency transformation the processing delay is 500ms. First results are promising and we plan to extend the test data set to further evaluate the performance of the system. The relevance of the system with respect to the therapy of stroke patients has to be shown in studies with real patients after CE certification of the system. This work was performed within the project ‘LiveSolo’ funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) (project number: 853263).

Keywords: real-time EEG neuroimaging, neurofeedback, stroke, EEG–signal processing, rehabilitation

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5 Investigations on the Application of Avalanche Simulations: A Survey Conducted among Avalanche Experts

Authors: Korbinian Schmidtner, Rudolf Sailer, Perry Bartelt, Wolfgang Fellin, Jan-Thomas Fischer, Matthias Granig


This study focuses on the evaluation of snow avalanche simulations, based on a survey that has been carried out among avalanche experts. In the last decades, the application of avalanche simulation tools has gained recognition within the realm of hazard management. Traditionally, avalanche runout models were used to predict extreme avalanche runout and prepare avalanche maps. This has changed rather dramatically with the application of numerical models. For safety regulations such as road safety simulation tools are now being coupled with real-time meteorological measurements to predict frequent avalanche hazard. That places new demands on model accuracy and requires the simulation of physical processes that previously could be ignored. These simulation tools are based on a deterministic description of the avalanche movement allowing to predict certain quantities (e.g. pressure, velocities, flow heights, runout lengths etc.) of the avalanche flow. Because of the highly variable regimes of the flowing snow, no uniform rheological law describing the motion of an avalanche is known. Therefore, analogies to fluid dynamical laws of other materials are stated. To transfer these constitutional laws to snow flows, certain assumptions and adjustments have to be imposed. Besides these limitations, there exist high uncertainties regarding the initial and boundary conditions. Further challenges arise when implementing the underlying flow model equations into an algorithm executable by a computer. This implementation is constrained by the choice of adequate numerical methods and their computational feasibility. Hence, the model development is compelled to introduce further simplifications and the related uncertainties. In the light of these issues many questions arise on avalanche simulations, on their assets and drawbacks, on potentials for improvements as well as their application in practice. To address these questions a survey among experts in the field of avalanche science (e.g. researchers, practitioners, engineers) from various countries has been conducted. In the questionnaire, special attention is drawn on the expert’s opinion regarding the influence of certain variables on the simulation result, their uncertainty and the reliability of the results. Furthermore, it was tested to which degree a simulation result influences the decision making for a hazard assessment. A discrepancy could be found between a large uncertainty of the simulation input parameters as compared to a relatively high reliability of the results. This contradiction can be explained taking into account how the experts employ the simulations. The credibility of the simulations is the result of a rather thoroughly simulation study, where different assumptions are tested, comparing the results of different flow models along with the use of supplemental data such as chronicles, field observation, silent witnesses i.a. which are regarded as essential for the hazard assessment and for sanctioning simulation results. As the importance of avalanche simulations grows within the hazard management along with their further development studies focusing on the modeling fashion could contribute to a better understanding how knowledge of the avalanche process can be gained by running simulations.

Keywords: expert interview, hazard management, modeling, simulation, snow avalanche

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4 Non-Steroidal Microtubule Disrupting Analogues Induce Programmed Cell Death in Breast and Lung Cancer Cell Lines

Authors: Marcel Verwey, Anna M. Joubert, Elsie M. Nolte, Wolfgang Dohle, Barry V. L. Potter, Anne E. Theron


A tetrahydroisoquinolinone (THIQ) core can be used to mimic the A,B-ring of colchicine site-binding microtubule disruptors such as 2-methoxyestradiol in the design of anti-cancer agents. Steroidomimeric microtubule disruptors were synthesized by introducing C'2 and C'3 of the steroidal A-ring to C'6 and C'7 of the THIQ core and by introducing a decorated hydrogen bond acceptor motif projecting from the steroidal D-ring to N'2. For this in vitro study, four non-steroidal THIQ-based analogues were investigated and comparative studies were done between the non-sulphamoylated compound STX 3450 and the sulphamoylated compounds STX 2895, STX 3329 and STX 3451. The objective of this study was to investigate the modes of cell death induced by these four THIQ-based analogues in A549 lung carcinoma epithelial cells and metastatic breast adenocarcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells. Cytotoxicity studies to determine the half maximal growth inhibitory concentrations were done using spectrophotometric quantification via crystal violet staining and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays. Microtubule integrity and morphologic changes of exposed cells were investigated using polarization-optical transmitted light differential interference contrast microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Flow cytometric quantification was used to determine apoptosis induction and the effect that THIQ-based analogues have on cell cycle progression. Signal transduction pathways were elucidated by quantification of the mitochondrial membrane integrity, cytochrome c release and caspase 3, -6 and -8 activation. Induction of autophagic cell death by the THIQ-based analogues was investigated by morphological assessment of fluorescent monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining of acidic vacuoles and by quantifying aggresome formation via flow cytometry. Results revealed that these non-steroidal microtubule disrupting analogues inhibited 50% of cell growth at nanomolar concentrations. Immunofluorescence microscopy indicated microtubule depolarization and the resultant mitotic arrest was further confirmed through cell cycle analysis. Apoptosis induction via the intrinsic pathway was observed due to depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane, induction of cytochrome c release as well as, caspase 3 activation. Potential involvement of programmed cell death type II was observed due to the presence of acidic vacuoles and aggresome formation. Necrotic cell death did not contribute significantly, indicated by stable LDH levels. This in vitro study revealed the induction of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway as well as possible involvement of autophagy after exposure to these THIQ-based analogues in both MDA-MB-231- and A549 cells. Further investigation of this series of anticancer drugs still needs to be conducted to elucidate the temporal, mechanistic and functional crosstalk mechanisms between the two observed programmed cell deaths pathways.

Keywords: apoptosis, autophagy, cancer, microtubule disruptor

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3 Family Firm Internationalization: Identification of Alternative Success Pathways

Authors: Sascha Kraus, Wolfgang Hora, Philipp Stieg, Thomas Niemand, Ferdinand Thies, Matthias Filser


In most countries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are the backbone of the economy due to their impact on job creation, innovation and wealth creation. Moreover, the ongoing globalization makes it inevitable – even for SME that traditionally focused on their domestic markets – to internationalize their business activities to realize further growth and survive in international markets. Thus, internationalization has become one of the most common growth strategies for SME and has received increasing scholarly attention over the last two decades. One the downside internationalization can be also regarded as the most complex strategy that a firm can undertake. Particularly for family firms, that are often characterized by limited financial capital, a risk-averse nature and limited growth aspirations, it could be argued that family firms are more likely to face greater challenges when taking the pathway to internationalization. Especially the triangulation of family, ownership, and management (so-called ‘familiness’) manifests in a unique behavior and decision-making process which is often characterized by the importance given to noneconomic goals and distinguishes a family firm from other businesses. Taking this into account, the concept of socio-emotional wealth (SEW) has been evolved to describe the behavior of family firms. In order to investigate how different internal and external firm characteristics shape internationalization success of family firms, we drew on a sample consisting of 297 small and medium-sized family firms from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Thus, we include SEW as essential family firm characteristic and added the two major intra-organizational characteristics, entrepreneurial orientation (EO), absorptive capacity (AC) as well as collaboration intensity (CI) and relational knowledge (RK) as two major external network characteristics. Based on previous research we assume that these characteristics are important to explain internationalization success of family firm SME. Regarding the data analysis, we applied a Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA), an approach that allows identifying configurations of firm characteristics, specifically used to study complex causal relationships where traditional regression techniques reach their limits. Results indicate that several combinations of these family firm characteristics can lead to international success, with no permanently required key characteristic. Instead, there are many roads to walk down for family firms to achieve internationalization success. Consequently, our data states that family owned SME are heterogeneous and internationalization is a complex and dynamic process. Results further show that network related characteristics occur in all sets, thus represent an essential element in the internationalization process of family owned SME. The contribution of our study is twofold, as we investigate different forms of international expansion for family firms and how to improve them. First, we are able to broaden the understanding of the intersection between family firm and SME internationalization with respect to major intra-organizational and network-related variables. Second, from a practical perspective, we offer family firm owners a basis for setting up internal capabilities to achieve international success.

Keywords: entrepreneurial orientation, family firm, fsQCA, internationalization, socio-emotional wealth

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2 Experimental-Numerical Inverse Approaches in the Characterization and Damage Detection of Soft Viscoelastic Layers from Vibration Test Data

Authors: Alaa Fezai, Anuj Sharma, Wolfgang Mueller-Hirsch, André Zimmermann


Viscoelastic materials have been widely used in the automotive industry over the last few decades with different functionalities. Besides their main application as a simple and efficient surface damping treatment, they may ensure optimal operating conditions for on-board electronics as thermal interface or sealing layers. The dynamic behavior of viscoelastic materials is generally dependent on many environmental factors, the most important being temperature and strain rate or frequency. Prior to the reliability analysis of systems including viscoelastic layers, it is, therefore, crucial to accurately predict the dynamic and lifetime behavior of these materials. This includes the identification of the dynamic material parameters under critical temperature and frequency conditions along with a precise damage localization and identification methodology. The goal of this work is twofold. The first part aims at applying an inverse viscoelastic material-characterization approach for a wide frequency range and under different temperature conditions. For this sake, dynamic measurements are carried on a single lap joint specimen using an electrodynamic shaker and an environmental chamber. The specimen consists of aluminum beams assembled to adapter plates through a viscoelastic adhesive layer. The experimental setup is reproduced in finite element (FE) simulations, and frequency response functions (FRF) are calculated. The parameters of both the generalized Maxwell model and the fractional derivatives model are identified through an optimization algorithm minimizing the difference between the simulated and the measured FRFs. The second goal of the current work is to guarantee an on-line detection of the damage, i.e., delamination in the viscoelastic bonding of the described specimen during frequency monitored end-of-life testing. For this purpose, an inverse technique, which determines the damage location and size based on the modal frequency shift and on the change of the mode shapes, is presented. This includes a preliminary FE model-based study correlating the delamination location and size to the change in the modal parameters and a subsequent experimental validation achieved through dynamic measurements of specimen with different, pre-generated crack scenarios and comparing it to the virgin specimen. The main advantage of the inverse characterization approach presented in the first part resides in the ability of adequately identifying the material damping and stiffness behavior of soft viscoelastic materials over a wide frequency range and under critical temperature conditions. Classic forward characterization techniques such as dynamic mechanical analysis are usually linked to limitations under critical temperature and frequency conditions due to the material behavior of soft viscoelastic materials. Furthermore, the inverse damage detection described in the second part guarantees an accurate prediction of not only the damage size but also its location using a simple test setup and outlines; therefore, the significance of inverse numerical-experimental approaches in predicting the dynamic behavior of soft bonding layers applied in automotive electronics.

Keywords: damage detection, dynamic characterization, inverse approaches, vibration testing, viscoelastic layers

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1 A Postmodern Framework for Quranic Hermeneutics

Authors: Christiane Paulus


Post-Islamism assumes that the Quran should not be viewed in terms of what Lyotard identifies as a ‘meta-narrative'. However, its socio-ethical content can be viewed as critical of power discourse (Foucault). Practicing religion seems to be limited to rites and individual spirituality, taqwa. Alternatively, can we build on Muhammad Abduh's classic-modern reform and develop it through a postmodernist frame? This is the main question of this study. Through his general and vague remarks on the context of the Quran, Abduh was the first to refer to the historical and cultural distance of the text as an obstacle for interpretation. His application, however, corresponded to the modern absolute idea of authentic sharia. He was followed by Amin al-Khuli, who hermeneutically linked the content of the Quran to the theory of evolution. Fazlur Rahman and Nasr Hamid abu Zeid remain reluctant to go beyond the general level in terms of context. The hermeneutic circle, therefore, persists in challenging, how to get out to overcome one’s own assumptions. The insight into and the acceptance of the lasting ambivalence of understanding can be grasped as a postmodern approach; it is documented in Derrida's discovery of the shift in text meanings, difference, also in Lyotard's theory of différend. The resulting mixture of meanings (Wolfgang Welsch) can be read together with the classic ambiguity of the premodern interpreters of the Quran (Thomas Bauer). Confronting hermeneutic difficulties in general, Niklas Luhmann proves every description an attribution, tautology, i.e., remaining in the circle. ‘De-tautologization’ is possible, namely by analyzing the distinctions in the sense of objective, temporal and social information that every text contains. This could be expanded with the Kantian aesthetic dimension of reason (critique of pure judgment) corresponding to the iʽgaz of the Coran. Luhmann asks, ‘What distinction does the observer/author make?’ Quran as a speech from God to the first listeners could be seen as a discourse responding to the problems of everyday life of that time, which can be viewed as the general goal of the entire Qoran. Through reconstructing koranic Lifeworlds (Alfred Schütz) in detail, the social structure crystallizes the socio-economic differences, the enormous poverty. The koranic instruction to provide the basic needs for the neglected groups, which often intersect (old, poor, slaves, women, children), can be seen immediately in the text. First, the references to lifeworlds/social problems and discourses in longer koranic passages should be hypothesized. Subsequently, information from the classic commentaries could be extracted, the classical Tafseer, in particular, contains rich narrative material for reconstructing. By selecting and assigning suitable, specific context information, the meaning of the description becomes condensed (Clifford Geertz). In this manner, the text gets necessarily an alienation and is newly accessible. The socio-ethical implications can thus be grasped from the difference of the original problem and the revealed/improved order/procedure; this small step can be materialized as such, not as an absolute solution but as offering plausible patterns for today’s challenges as the Agenda 2030.

Keywords: postmodern hermeneutics, condensed description, sociological approach, small steps of reform

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