Abstract: Biological signals such as electrocardiogram (ECG) and electromyography (EMG) that can be measured at home can reveal vital information about the patient’s health. In today modern technology, the measured ECG or EMG signals at home can be monitored by medical staff from long distance through the use of internet. Biopotential electrodes are crucial in monitoring ECG, EMG, etc., signals. Applying the right type of electrode that lasts for a long time and assists in recording high signal quality is desirable in medical devices industry. Three types of electrodes (Silver/Silver Chloride (Ag/AgCl) electrodes, Orbital electrodes and Stainless steel electrodes) were tested to identify the most appropriate one for recording biological signals. The evaluation was based on determining the electrode circuit model components and having high capacitance value or high capacitor value of electrode circuit model (Cd) and low electrode-skin impedance value or low resistor value of electrode circuit model (Rd). The results revealed that Ag/AgCl is the best type of electrodes, followed by Orbital electrodes. Stainless steel electrodes had performed poorly. However, Orbital electrodes material can last longer than Ag/AgCl and hence perform similar to Ag/AgCl electrodes, which can be idle for monitoring biological signals at home without the need for medical staff to replace the electrodes in a short period of time.
Abstract: Streptomyces thermoviolaceus NT1, an endophytic isolate, was studied for optimization of granaticinic acid production. It is an antimicrobial metabolite active against even drug resistant bacteria. Different media, optimum glucose concentration, initial media pH, incubation temperature, incubation period, and inoculum size were among the selected parameters optimized in the one-variable-at-a-time (OVAT) approach, where glucose concentration, pH, and temperature were found to play a critical role in antibiotic production by this strain. Finally, the Box–Behnken experimental design (BBD) was employed with three key factors (selected after OVAT studies) for response surface methodological (RSM) analysis of this optimization study.RSM analysis revealed a multifactorial combination; glucose 0.38%, pH 7.02, and temperature 36.53 °C as the optimum conditions for maximum antimicrobial yield. Experimental verification of model analysis led to 3.30-fold (61.35 mg/L as compared to 18.64 mg/L produced in un-optimized condition) enhanced granaticinic acid production in ISP2 medium with 5% inoculum and a suitable incubation period of 10 days. So, the conjugated optimization study for maximum antibiotic production from Streptomyces thermoviolaceus NT1 was found to result in significantly higher yield, which might be exploited in industrial applications.
Abstract: Parkinson’s patients suffer from severe tremor due to an abnormality in their central oscillator. Medications used to decrease involuntary antagonistic muscles contraction can threaten their life. However, mechanical vibration absorbers can be used as an alternative treatment. The objective of this study is to provide a dynamic modeling of the human hand that describes the biodynamic response of Parkinson’s patients and to design an effective tuned vibration absorber able to suppress their pathological tremor. The hand is modeled as a three degrees-of-freedom (DOF) system describing the flexion motion at the proximal joints on the horizontal plane. Resting tremor is modeled as dual harmonic excitation due to shoulder and elbow muscle activation operating at resonance frequencies. The performance of the single dynamic vibration absorber (DVA) is studied when attached to the forearm and compared with the dual DVA tuned at both excitation frequencies. Equations of motion are derived and solved using the complex transfer function of the non-Lagrangian system. The absorber’s systems are designed as a stainless steel alloy cantilevered beam with an attached copper mass. The dual DVA was the most efficient absorber which reduces 98.3%–99.5%, 97.0%–97.3% and 97.4%–97.5% of the Parkinson’s tremor amplitude at the shoulder, elbow and wrist joint.
Abstract: Pepsin was used to effectively degrade chitosan in order to make it more useful in biotechnological applications. The optimal conditions of enzymolysis were investigated on the basis of the response surface methodology (RSM). The structure of the degraded product was characterized by degree of depolymerization (DD), viscosity, molecular weight, FTIR, UV-VIS, SEM and polydispersity index analyses. The mechanism of chitosan degradation was correlated with cleavage of the glycosidic bond, whereby the chain of chitosan macromolecules was broken into smaller units, resulting in decreasing viscosity. The enzymolysis by pepsin was therefore a potentially applicable technique for the production of low molecular chitosan. Additionally, the substrate degradation kinetics of chitosan were also studied over a range of initial chitosan concentrations (3.0~18.0 g/L) in order to study the characteristics of chitosan degradation. The dependence of the rate of chitosan degradation on the concentration of the chitosan can be described by Haldane’s model. In this model, the initial chitosan concentration above which the pepsin undergoes inhibition is inferred theoretically to be about 10.5 g/L.
Abstract: Deep drying and torrefaction compose a thermal pretreatment method where biomass is heated in the temperature range of 150–300 °C in an inert or reduced environment. The process parameters, like torrefaction temperature and residence time, have a significant impact on the proximate, ultimate, and energy properties. In this study, torrefaction experiments were conducted on 2-mm ground lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) using a thermogravimetric analyzer. Both deep drying and torrefaction temperature (160–270 °C) and time (15–120 min) were selected. Torrefied samples were analyzed for the proximate, ultimate, and higher heating value. The results indicate that moisture content decreases with increases in torrefaction temperature and time, where at 270 °C and 120 min, the moisture content is found to be 1.15% (w.b.). Volatile content in the lodgepole pine decreased from about 80% to about 45%, and ash content increased from 0.77% to about 1.91% at 270 °C and 120 min. The hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur content decreased to 3%, 28.24%, and 0.01%, whereas the carbon content and higher heating value increased to 68.86% and 23.67 MJ/kg at 270 °C and 120 min. Elemental ratio of hydrogen to carbon and oxygen to carbon (H/C and O/C) calculated at 270 °C and a 120-min residence time were about 0.56 and 0.47. Based on this study, it can be concluded that higher torrefaction temperatures ≥230 °C and residence time ≥15 min influence the proximate, ultimate, and energy properties of ground lodgepole pine.
Abstract: During advanced biological wastewater treatment, a huge amount of sludge is produced as a by-product of the treatment process. Hence, reuse and recovery of resources and energy from the sludge is a big technological challenge. The processing of sludge produced by Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) is massive, which takes up a big part of the overall operational costs. In this regard, anaerobic digestion (AD) of sewage sludge continues to be an attractive option to produce biogas that could contribute to the wastewater management cost reduction and foster the sustainability of those WWTPs. At the same time, AD reduces sludge amounts and that again contributes to the reduction of the sludge disposal costs. However, sludge volume minimization remains, a challenge thus improvement of dewatering efficiency is an inevitable part of WWTP operation. As a result, AD parameters could have significant impact on sludge properties. One of the most important operational parameters influencing the AD process is temperature. Consequently, the thermophilic and the mesophilic modes of sludge AD are compared for their pros and cons by many researchers. However, most comparisons are more focused on biogas yield, process speed and stability. Regarding the biogas yield, thermophilic sludge AD is preferred over the mesophilic one because of its faster biochemical reaction rate. Equally important but not studied sufficiently until now was the influence of temperature on the digestate quality, which is expressed mainly by the sludge dewateringability, and the reject water quality (chemical oxygen demand, ammonia nitrogen, and pH). In the field of comparison of thermophilic and mesophilic digestion process, few and often inconclusive research, unfortunately, has been published so far. Hence, recommendations for optimized technologies have not yet been done. The review presented provides a comparison of existing sludge AD technologies and the gaps that need to be filled so as to optimize the connection between the two systems. In addition, many other relevant AD process parameters, including sludge rheology, which need to be addressed, are also reviewed and presented.