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News Article | December 21, 2015
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Home > Press > Nanobiosensors and photofunctional materials designed at ICN2 recognized by the PIONER Awards Abstract: The ceremony of the second edition of the PIONER Awards has been held today at the headquarters of the CERCA Institution in Barcelona. Five young people who have developed a doctoral thesis with industrial potential have awarded. Two of the awarded researchers developed their thesis in the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). Developing a doctoral thesis is one of the first major challenges of the research career. In these early stages it is very important that researchers are aware that their results may have not only a great scientific value, but also commercial and industrial implications. For this reason, promoted by the Research Centers of Catalonia (CERCA), the CERCA Institution promotes the PIONER Awards in order to distinguish those researchers who have developed a doctoral thesis with a clear commercial potential. The ceremony of the second edition of the PIONER Awards was held today at the headquarters of the CERCA Institution (Via Laietana, 2; Barcelona). Five young people who have developed their doctoral thesis within a CERCA center received the award for having initiated or strengthened a technology or product with industrial interest. Two of these awards have recognized the work of doctors who developed their doctoral thesis in the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). The first awarded ICN2 doctoral thesis focuses on the development of optical biosensors for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of various diseases, such as allergy, celiac disease or cancer. The author of the thesis, entitled "Nanoplasmonic Biosensors for Clinical Diagnosis at the Point of Care" is Dr Maria Aznar Soler, who worked under the direction of Dr M. Carmen Estevez and CSIC researcher Prof Laura M . Lechuga, Group Leader of the ICN2 NanoBioSensors and Bioanalytical Applications (NanoB2A) Group. The second ICN2 thesis applies encapsulation technologies to design intelligent materials with photochromic and thermochromic properties. It is entitled "Encapsulation of stimuli-responsive molecules for the preparation of photofunctional materials" and has been written by Dr. Nuria Vazquez, under the direction of CSIC researcher Prof Daniel Ruiz, Group Leader of the ICN2 Nanostructured Functional Materials (NanosFun), and Prof. Jordi Hernando, from the Chemistry Department at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). The rest of the winners are Dr Michal Drozdzal, from the Computer Vision Centre (CVC); Dr Alessandro Franci, from the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE); and Dr Benjamí Oller Salvia, from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). The fact that two of five awards have been awarded to researches developed at ICN2 evidences the commercial potential of the work developed at this center. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Alonso E.E.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Pinyol N.M.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Pinyol N.M.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Landslides | Year: 2015

The paper deals with the behavior of some characteristic soft rocks found in the Iberian Peninsula. In geological terms, they belong to Tertiary basins, the Keuper period and the Jurassic-Cretacic transition. The discussion is organized around the following aspects: (a) the intact material and its brittle behavior; (b) the weathering action of atmospheric events; (c) the persistent discontinuities and scale effects; and (d) the modification of strength after failure. In all cases, instability phenomena are addressed in connection with several case histories. Regarding material brittleness and the initial stress state, two cases of first time failures are discussed. Practical implications concerning the selection of operative strength will be given. Field observations of the relevance of weathering and, also, on the rate of weathering, are given for a Weald claystone. Field observations emphasize the importance of sharp transitions between weathered and intact (or slightly weathered) levels. A recent long-term laboratory investigation on the nature of degradation will be summarized. Macroscopic variables such as stiffness and tensile strength have been found to be uniquely predicted by a degradation law in terms of the accumulated plastic deformations. Persistent discontinuities and, in particular, sedimentation planes play a dominant role to explain slope failures not related to the shallow failures, usually associated with weathered profiles. The strength of discontinuities in a Weald formation was investigated by means of tests performed at two scales. Finally, the evolution in time of residual strength induced by chemical actions, associated with groundwater flow, is highlighted in connection with actual field data of unstable slopes. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Alonso E.E.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Pinyol N.M.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Pinyol N.M.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering | Gens A.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Geotechnique | Year: 2013

The paper explores the behaviour of compacted soils throughout the (dry density-water content) compaction plane by means of a conceptual framework that incorporates micro structural information. The engineering properties of compacted soils are described by an initial state in terms of a yielding stress, soil suction and a microstructural state variable. Microstructure is defined by the ratio of microvoid volume to total void volume. The pattern of variation of the microstructural parameter within the compaction plane has been determined, for some compacted soils, by analysing mercury intrusion porosimetry data. The micro structure of wet and dry compaction conditions can then be quantified. To ensure consistency, the framework is cast in the form of a constitutive model defined in terms of an effective suction and a constitutive stress that incorporate the microstructural variable. The model is shown to be consistent with a number of experimental observations and, in particular, it explains the intrinsic collapse potential of compacted soils. It predicts, for a common initial suction, a higher collapse potential for dry of optimum conditions than for wet compaction. It also predicts in a natural manner the observed evolution of soil compressibility during drained or undrained loading. Model capabilities are illustrated by application to a testing programme on statically compacted samples of low-plasticity silty clay. The compression behaviour of samples compacted wet and dry of optimum and the variation of collapse strains with confining stress have been successfully reproduced by the model. © 2013 Thomas Telford Ltd.

Principe J.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering | Codina R.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering | Year: 2010

In this paper we revisit the definition of the stabilization parameter in the finite element approximation of the convection-diffusion-reaction equation. The starting point is the decomposition of the unknown into its finite element component and a subgrid scale that needs to be approximated. In order to incorporate the distortion of the mesh into this approximation, we transform the equation for the subgrid scale within each element to the shape-regular reference domain. The expression for the subgrid scale arises from an approximate Fourier analysis and the identification of the wave number direction where instabilities are most likely to occur. The final outcome is an expression for the stabilization parameter that accounts for anisotropy and the dominance of either convection or reaction terms in the equation. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Carreno M.L.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering | Cardona O.D.,National University of Colombia | Barbat A.H.,University of Barcelona
Earthquake Spectra | Year: 2010

A method and a computational tool oriented to assist the damage and safety evaluation of buildings after strong earthquakes is described in this article. The input of the model is the subjective and incomplete information on the building state, obtained by inspectors which are possibly not expert professionals of the field of building safety. The damage levels of the structural components are usually described by linguistic qualifications which can be adequately processed by computational intelligence techniques based on neuro-fuzzy systems what facilitate the complex and urgent tasks of engineering decision-making on the building occupancy after a seismic disaster. The hybrid neuro-fuzzy system used is based on a special three-layer feedforward artificial neural network and fuzzy rule bases and is an effective tool during the emergency response phase providing decisions about safety, habitability, and reparability of the buildings. Examples of application of the computer program are given for two different building classes. © 2010, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

Otin R.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Computer Physics Communications | Year: 2013

In this work we present a new finite element code in frequency domain called ERMES. The novelty of this computational tool rests on the formulation behind it. ERMES is the C++ implementation of a simplified version of the weighted regularized Maxwell equation method. This finite element formulation has the advantage of producing well-conditioned matrices and the capacity of solving problems in the low (quasi-static) and high frequency regimens. As a consequence of this versatility, ERMES has been applied successfully to microwave engineering, antenna design, electromagnetic compatibility and eddy currents problems. This paper describes the main features of ERMES and explains how to use this numerical tool for computing electromagnetic fields in frequency domain. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Otin R.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Electromagnetics | Year: 2010

This article presents an alternative approach to the usual finite element formulation based on edge elements and double-curl Maxwell equations. This alternative approach is based on nodal elements and regularized Maxwell equations. The advantage is that, without adding extra unknowns (such as Lagrange multipliers), it provides spurious-free solutions and well-conditioned matrices. The drawback is that a globally wrong solution is obtained when the electromagnetic field has a singularity in the problem domain. The main objective of this work is to obtain accurate solutions with nodal elements and the regularized formulation, even in the presence of electromagnetic field singularities.

Otin R.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Progress In Electromagnetics Research Letters | Year: 2011

This paper presents a numerical study of the thermal effects induced by a commercial RFID antenna in vials filled with blood plasma. The antenna is located under a conveyor belt which transports cardboard boxes bearing test tubes or pooling bottles. Part of the energy used to read the RFID tags penetrates into the vials and heats the plasma. Our aim is to assess if the RFID technology can alter the quality of the blood plasma by increasing excessively its temperature. To do so, we first compute the specific absorption rate inside the vials with the finite element method. Then, assuming that no heat dissipation process is present, we estimate the number of continuous reading cycles required to increase the plasma temperature 0.1 °C in the worst-case scenario.

Otin R.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering
International Journal of Solids and Structures | Year: 2013

Electromagnetic forming (EMF) is a high velocity forming technique that reshapes electrically conductive materials by abruptly discharging a bank of capacitors through a coil. The oscillation frequency of the discharge is a key parameter in the design of an EMF system. For a given initial stored energy, there exist a frequency that produces the maximum workpiece deformation. Once we know it, we can set the electrical parameters of the EMF system to make the current intensity oscillate with this optimum frequency. This saves energy and money, preventing also the premature wearing of the coil. The objective of the present paper is to find the optimum frequency of an EMF system. Using the results provided by a finite element model in frequency domain, we are able to obtain the current flowing trough the coil, the Lorentz force acting on the workpiece, a function relating the electrical parameters of the EMF system with frequency and the optimum frequency of the discharge. Our approach can be very useful for coil design and for modeling complex three-dimensional geometries. To validate the method presented here, we apply it to tube compression and tube expansion processes and compare our results with those provided by other authors. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Ryzhakov P.B.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering | Rossi R.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering | Idelsohn S.R.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Onate E.,International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Computational Mechanics | Year: 2010

Current work presents a monolithic method for the solution of fluid-structure interaction problems involving flexible structures and free-surface flows. The technique presented is based upon the utilization of a Lagrangian description for both the fluid and the structure. A linear displacement-pressure interpolation pair is used for the fluid whereas the structure utilizes a standard displacement-based formulation. A slight fluid compressibility is assumed that allows to relate the mechanical pressure to the local volume variation. The method described features a global pressure condensation which in turn enables the definition of a purely displacement-based linear system of equations. A matrix-free technique is used for the solution of such linear system, leading to an efficient implementation. The result is a robust method which allows dealing with FSI problems involving arbitrary variations in the shape of the fluid domain. The method is completely free of spurious added-mass effects. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

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