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04 June 2024

Investigating and Analyzing the Impact of a Bidirectional Multiport Power Electronic Transformer Interface on the Power Quality and Stability of Interconnected Microgrids

This paper investigates the potential benefits of a bidirectional multi-port power electronic transformer (MPPET) to interface multiple microgrids with utility distribution networks in terms of power quality and stability. The main concept is based on the interaction between the utility grid, the connected microgrids, and the MPPET in controlling the disturbances that lead to grid instability and power quality issues. The proposed MPPET does not require any serious communication infrastructure for operation. In addition, the MPPET can respond to reverse power flow caused by excess power generation on the grid. Due to the intermittent nature of the renewable energy sources and the different stages involved in the design of the proposed MPPET, the system is liable to internal DC voltage fluctuation, causing grid instability; thus, an energy storage system (ESS) is incorporated to avert the challenges. The networks under investigation and the proposed MPPET are designed and simulated using MATLAB and Simulink software. The electrical isolation capability of the proposed bidirectional MPPET is verified through simulation. Several case studies have been carried out to evaluate the behavior of the system under different operating conditions and to check the feasibility of MPPET for power quality improvements. It was observed that the MPPET is proficient in regulating power quality issues, thus enhancing grid stability. It is also varied that the proposed MPPET prevents the escalation of the impact of faults or disturbances all over the grid. At the same time, it is verified that the proposed bidirectional energy storage systems enhance energy transfer between the utility grid and microgrids, which improves the system’s stability.

Keywords: Community microgrid; Bidirectional multiport power electronic transformer; Power quality; Grid stability


04 June 2024

Initial Stages of Development of an Automated Measurement Technique on Incisors

Teeth are an important object of studies in many scientific disciplines and, among various study techniques, measurements have one of the most promising prospects for further improvements supported by progress in computer sciences, imaging and image processing. Our recent work on automated odontometric algorithms for premolars and molars has gradually come to develop similar methods for another group of teeth—incisors. Using 3D reconstructions of teeth obtained through micro-focus tomographic scanning, we propose landmarks, which correspond to main morphological features of incisors and enable their formal description. In this article we present an orientation and measurement technique, based on an interpretation of incisor morphology, as a system which is able to perform in a fully automated mode. Since the primary objective of the current paper is to introduce methodological improvements, data on measurements and their results are shown at the most basic level.

Keywords: Incisor; Automated digital odontometry; Orientation; Sunghir; Micro-computed tomography


31 May 2024

Advancing Green Infrastructure Solutions in Rural Regions: Economic Impacts and Capacity Challenges in Southwest Ontario, Canada

Green infrastructure (GI) is a growing topic in urban planning, asset management, and climate change adaptation. However, rural regions have been under-represented in the discourse. This paper explores the benefits and challenges associated with the implementation and management of GI through a regional study of rural communities in southwestern Ontario. Our focus concerns the inter-relationships between GI, economic resilience, and the development of rural places. Findings show rural communities benefit from GI initiatives like natural stormwater management, park naturalization, and natural heritage restoration, which provide low-cost municipal services, conserve agricultural soils, and contribute to the amenity appeal of rural places. Challenges surrounding awareness, organizational capacity, and environmental regulation have slowed the uptake of GI and led to inconsistencies across jurisdictions. A mix of supportive policies, funding of demonstration projects with economic monitoring, and training to build professional capacity will advance the use and efficacy of GI across rural regions.

Keywords: Green Infrastructure; Natural Assets; Rural Development, Economic Development; Land Use Planning; Ontario


31 May 2024

Solid Waste Recycling in Textile Processing Industries: A Case Study of India’s Clothing Hubs

This study investigated the type and amount of solid waste generation from textile wet processing industries and analyzed the disposal and recycling strategies implemented for its utilization. The method involved industrial interactions with textile processing mills. Data was gathered based on a field survey of manufacturing units and their compliance management teams. The solid waste generated in textile processing stages against input raw materials and fuel sources was recorded. The challenges in recycling solid waste are identified and further scope for its valorization is suggested. The results indicate that significant solid waste produced during the wet processing of textiles arises from waste fabric cuttings, combustion of fuels used in processing stages, and sludge generated from the post-effluent treatment. Around 80% of solid waste generated during the wet processing of textiles can find applications in the construction industry. Effective management of solid waste and its potential applications in construction are elaborated in detail.

Keywords: Construction Material; Effluent Incineration; Textile Waste; Reinforced Concrete; Sludge Landfilling


30 May 2024

A Review on Design of Sustainable Advanced Materials by Using Artificial Intelligence

This paper gives a comprehensive review of scientific interests and current methodologies of artificial intelligence applied to advanced material design and discovery by taking into account multiple sustainable design criteria such as functionalities, costs, environmental impacts, and recyclability. The main research activities include predicting material properties, compositions, and structures with data mining, new material discovery, hybrid modeling approaches combining AI techniques and classical computational formulations based on physical and chemical laws, and multicriteria optimization of materials. Based on this review, a short analysis is provided on the perspectives of this research area in the future, aiming at creating an everything connected material life cycle with real-time traceability systems

Keywords: Advanced material design; Sustainability; Artificial intelligence; Prediction; Hybrid modeling; Material discovery; Multicriteria optimization


30 May 2024

A Novel Animal Model for Pulmonary Hypertension: Lung Endothelial-Specific Deletion of Egln1 in Mice

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease characterized by high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, which can potentially lead to heart failure over time. Previously, our lab found that endothelia-specific knockout of Egln1, encoding prolyl 4-hydroxylase-2 (PHD2), induced spontaneous pulmonary hypertension (PH). Recently, we elucidated that Tmem100 is a lung-specific endothelial gene using Tmem100-CreERT2 mice. We hypothesize that lung endothelial-specific deletion of Egln1 could lead to the development of PH without affecting Egln1 gene expression in other organs. Tmem100-CreERT2 mice were crossed with Egln1flox/flox mice to generate Egln1f/f;Tmem100-CreERT2 (LiCKO) mice. Western blot and immunofluorescent staining were performed to verify the knockout efficacy of Egln1 in multiple organs of LiCKO mice. PH phenotypes, including hemodynamics, right heart size and function, pulmonary vascular remodeling, were evaluated by right heart catheterization and echocardiography measurements. Tamoxifen treatment induced Egln1 deletion in the lung endothelial cells (ECs) but not in other organs of adult LiCKO mice. LiCKO mice exhibited an increase in right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP, ~35 mmHg) and right heart hypertrophy. Echocardiography measurements showed right heart hypertrophy, as well as cardiac and pulmonary arterial dysfunction. Pulmonary vascular remodeling, including increased pulmonary wall thickness and muscularization of distal pulmonary arterials, was enhanced in LiCKO mice compared to wild-type mice. Tmem100 promoter-mediated lung endothelial knockout of Egln1 in mice leads to development of spontaneous PH. LiCKO mice could serve as a novel mouse model for PH to study lung and other organ crosstalk.

Keywords: Pulmonary arterial hypertension, Hypoxia, TMEM100, Right heart, Endothelial cells


28 May 2024

Efficacy and Cytocompatibility of a Pressure Garment—Silicone Composite Dressing Material for Scar Healing

Pressure garment therapy (PGT) and silicone gel sheeting (SGS) predominate non-invasive interventions for burn injuries, but the market lacks a composite solution combining pressure garment fabric (PGF) and medical-grade silicone (e.g. Biopor®AB) for multi-therapeutic efficacy. To address this gap, a versatile composite dressing of PGF-Biopor®AB was developed. PGF-Biopor®AB incorporates dual PGF-SGS therapy, mechanotherapy, and active moisture management, to facilitate recovery of hypertrophic subsidiary structures. The PGF structure enables the application of PGT, while the Biopor®AB silicone characteristics enforce silicone gel therapy (SGT). The PGF-SGS efficacy optimization not only reduces tension but also facilitates water vapor and oxygen penetration, along with hydration of the stratum corneum. Mechanotherapy, involving tension-shielding and pressure redistribution, promotes the reorganization of the collagen-fiber network. For active moisture management, the incorporation of a microchannel structure with active nylon absorbency facilitates effective moisture control through water absorption, retention, and cellular pathways of transport. In this study, the microscale features in the structure were further investigated. Under ISO 10993-5 standard, an over 70% cell viability in 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay containing the L929 cell line verified the enhanced cell growth and inhibited proliferation, endorsing the safe usage of PGF-Biopor®AB. Patient studies of one-month efficacy in both high and low-cell-density samples and an early scarless healed wound suggest that over 70% cell viability is sufficient for optimal scar therapeutics. The multifaceted scar repair roles are fulfilled by addressing persistent inflammation, insufficient oxygenation, low levels of perfusion, and scar-healing tension, hence realising the multi-therapeutic efficacy of the composite dressing.

Keywords: Pressure garment; Silicone; Composite dressing; Dual therapy; Scar-healing


27 May 2024

The Strange Question of Species: Biocratic Implications in Interwar Paleoanthropology

Species was one of the most controversial concepts in biological science. Not even the “New Systematics” of the 1930s and 1940s succeeded in bringing complete clarity to the issue. During the first half of the twentieth century the conceptualization of species was challenged by paleontology, a then-emerging discipline, but an ancient essentialist conception resisted, whereby each species is characterized by its own immutable essence (eidos). This simplification was transferred to physical anthropology in the study of human populations, with further cultural and political outcomes. For example: the meaning of species developed a series of biopolitical and legal implications regarding the construction of a society preserved from foreign dangerous bodies. From this perspective, the racial policy of the Third Reich established that the German national community was to be based on belonging to a same species (Art), from which Jewish population was excluded, considering it an alien species (Artfremd) and therefore incompatible. The concept of species, defined from an essentialist perspective, was in fact considered more differentiating and selective than that of “race”. Consequently, foreignness to the human species became a more radical distinguishing factor than racial classification. The article, with a focus on German academia, aims to reconstruct the debate in paleoanthropology during interwar period.

Keywords: Species; Race; Human populations; Polygenism; Essentialism; Biocracy; Eugenics; Nazi regime


24 May 2024

Current Progress on Microbial l-malic Acid Production

As an important intermediate in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, l-malic acid (l-MA) is also one of the 12 important platform bulk chemicals with high added value. Owing to its various applications in food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and industry, the global l-MA market size is growing year by year. Over the last few decades, increasing concerns regarding fossil fuels depletion and excessive CO2 emissions have led the global commitment to fostering a green economy and sustainable development. Alternatively, the sustainable microbial fermentation of l-MA has gradually attracted more and more attention. Here, this review summarizes the common l-MA biosynthesis pathways and compares the differences between different chassis microorganisms as well. Moreover, regulation strategies of genetic metabolic engineering and fermentation process to boost the l-MA production are summarized, and the research status of l-MA production from the cheaper substrates is also discussed. Finally, the direction of further exploration of industrialized l-MA biosynthesis is proposed, which provides a theoretical guidance on promoting technological innovation in industrial l-MA production.

Keywords: l-malic acid; Microbial biosynthesis; Strain engineering; Process optimization


23 May 2024

Proposal for A Systemic Human Ecological Turn for Health Science and Medicine

Industrial development processes, accompanied by extreme growth processes, regards world population, pollution, food production and the exploitation of natural resources have caused severe ecological problems. This has been well known since 1972 through the study ‘The Limits to Growth’, in which humanity and the world society was called upon to make an ecological turn and to change its consumption model and the type of economic development that was not suited to finite natural resources (or a finite planet). However, the relationships between the state of the environment and human health have hardly been considered, although an ecological view of health was already proposed by Hippocrates, and as in the meantime, the technical terms “Environmental Health” and “Environmental Medicine” have become established at universities. It is only in recent times that global terms such as climate medicine, One Health, Eco Health, etc. have become powerful pragmatic and action-oriented initiatives. They can be understood as calls for a worldwide health-related ‘ecologization’ of (health) culture. Regarding these approaches we highlight theoretical and metatheoretical aspects, since in general, any real action is only as good as the analytical quality of the plan that serves as a guide for that action. From this point of view, we find that these approaches exhibit striking weaknesses. These are, among other things: the neglect of epistemological challenges combined with inconsistent conceptualizations of the category environment, the very superficial models of human beings, weaknesses of ecological frameworks in relation to the macro-, meso- and micro-eco-social levels of the targeted topics, and a vague notion of systems methodology. Following on from this, we call for an explicit social-/human-ecological framework (New Viennese School, Australian School) for environmental health issues as it has been established for decades in the field of environmental, sustainability and transformation sciences.

Keywords: Global environmental health initiatives; Human ecology; Anthropological medicine; Transdisciplinary knowledge integration; Systems thinking