Aveiro, Portugal
Aveiro, Portugal

The University of Aveiro is a Portuguese public university, headquartered in Aveiro since its 1973 creation. It also provides polytechnic education.Administratively, the teaching and research activities are distributed by Departments and Autonomous Sections, both with specialized faculties.The University has more than 12,500 students distributed across 58 graduate courses, over 40 MSc courses and 25 PhD programs.Its main campus is near the centre of Aveiro, including a nearby Administration and Accounting Institute. The university also has external regional campuses in Águeda, Higher Education Technological and Management School of Águeda, and Oliveira de Azeméis Higher Education School of North Aveiro.It is an R&D university, having a research units developing programmes in fundamental and applied mathematics, physics, chemistry, telecommunications, robotics, bioinformatics, sea science, materials, design, business administration and industrial engineering. Wikipedia.

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Costa L.V.,University of Aveiro | Veloso A.I.,University of Aveiro
TISHW 2016 - 1st International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Sports, Health and Wellbeing, Proceedings | Year: 2016

The aim of this paper is to propose a digital game as a learning strategy to encourage active ageing, based on the participants' learning context and their main motivations to adhere to healthy habits. Thirty-three participants of a Portuguese University of Third Age enrolled a twenty-nine-session course, in which the following topics were discussed: physical activity, nutrition, cognitive activity, security, participation in society, and information and communication technologies. Data were collected using field notes, group discussions and questionnaires. A game design proposal is presented and the main elements and techniques of game design that can be applied in non-game contexts are discussed. © 2016 IEEE.

Santos J.,University of Aveiro | Amado P.,University of Aveiro
TISHW 2016 - 1st International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Sports, Health and Wellbeing, Proceedings | Year: 2016

The purpose of this research is to evaluate how audiovisual sports advertising influences the self-perception and the socio-cultural perception of sedentary individuals. The goal is to understand the effect of the marketing strategies used by sports industry's brands in order to create more effective audiovisual sports advertising. This research explores the influence of sports audiovisual content in sedentary and athletic individuals, creating a bridge between sports advertising and body image. A bridge that many authors have identified to be missing. This research integrates a qualitative research strategy in a quasi-experimental approach, using mixed methods. Specifically, by applying an exploratory Online Research Survey on a heterogeneous population. And conducting a Focus Group Research with a sample of sedentary individuals from the Aveiro Municipality. The evaluation was accomplished through the screening of a sports video in the second session of the Focus Group Research in which, after a 10-minute workout, the participants' behaviors were assessed with the use of an Observation Grid and a post-workout discussion. These methods were progressively used in order to cross information and contribute in the design of the sequential investigation steps. We've come to the conclusions that there is a high chance that audiovisual sports advertising has a detrimental effect on both sedentary and athletic individuals. The main findings of this research identified that, although the Focus Group participants did not verbally confirm it, the video appeared to have a motivational effect on participants. They revealed a better performance and a more focused attitude during the test session. Sedentary individuals seem to be more critical of the female body than athletic individuals and, as opposed to individuals who consider themselves athletic, individuals who consider themselves sedentary will less likely feel especially motivated to exercise when watching inspirational fitness videos. In addition, gender does not seem to be correlated with sports advertising, sports apparel or gear seems to especially motivate athletic individuals to exercise and individuals' self-perception seems to be correlated to their workout motivations. © 2016 IEEE.

Veloso A.I.,University of Aveiro | Costa L.V.,University of Aveiro
TISHW 2016 - 1st International Conference on Technology and Innovation in Sports, Health and Wellbeing, Proceedings | Year: 2016

The aim of this paper is to identify a set of heuristics for designing assistive 'gamer-friendly' environments. These heuristics are based on the literature review on game heuristics, game interfaces addressed to older adults and assistive technologies. Forty-seven papers published between 1980 and 2016 in English and Portuguese-language publications met inclusion criteria. Four web-based games and one exergame co-designed with a group of older adults and developed by our research team were then analysed in terms of the heuristics proposed. The following review presents sets of recommendations for designing assistive 'gamer-friendly' environments, taking into account the challenges posed by an ageing society. © 2016 IEEE.

Fernandes Graca M.P.,University of Aveiro | Valente M.A.,University of Aveiro
MRS Bulletin | Year: 2017

Many current technological applications are based on the electrical properties of materials. Among these, ferroelectricity, antiferroelectricity, paraelectricity, and resistivity are the most important to be studied and controlled. To overcome important drawbacks of sintered ceramics or single crystals with these characteristics, the preparation of glass-ceramics with these phases dispersed in a glass matrix is a possible solution. The formation of glass-ceramics shows great advantages-their properties (optical, electrical, mechanical, and chemical) can be controlled via the volume fraction of the dispersed active phase. Thus, the preparation and properties of glass-ceramics containing ferroelectric crystallites embedded in the glass matrix have received considerable interest. This article discusses state-of-The-Art preparation of glass-ceramics with one important technological ferroelectric crystal, lithium niobate (LiNbO3). Since the preparation of LiNbO3 single crystals by traditional growth techniques is technically difficult and economically costly-and with dense ceramics, it is difficult to achieve a congruent composition-scientific research on the fabrication methods of inorganic glasses containing LiNbO3 crystallites is an important current topic. © 2017 Materials Research Society.

Nandha Kumar P.,Pondicherry University | Ferreira J.M.F.,University of Aveiro | Kannan S.,Pondicherry University
Journal of the European Ceramic Society | Year: 2017

Composite powders comprising various proportions of β-Tricalcium phosphate [β-Ca3(PO4)2] and α-Alumina (α-Al2O3) were synthesized by wet precipitation and then heat treated for drying and crystalline phase development. The phase formation mechanism was assessed through a set of characterization techniques including XRD, FT-IR and Raman spectra, and quantitative Rietveld refinement analysis. Al2O3 additions delayed the transformation kinetics from calcium deficient apatite to β-Ca3(PO4)2 and preserved the thermal stability of β-Ca3(PO4)2 − α-Al2O3 composites till 1400 °C. Such enhancement of thermal stability was due to the occupancy of Al3+ at both Ca2+(4) and Ca2+(5) lattice sites of β-Ca3(PO4)2. Beyond the occupancy saturation limit for Al3+, the excess of aluminium crystallized as α-Al2O3. Morphological analysis revealed the growth of rod-like α-Al2O3 platelets on the surface of micron sized β-Ca3(PO4)2 grains. The mechanical data obtained from indentation of bulk composites displayed enhanced hardness and Young's modulus with increasing α-Al2O3 content in the composites. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Tkach A.,University of Aveiro | Okhay O.,University of Aveiro | Almeida A.,University of Porto | Vilarinho P.M.,University of Aveiro
Acta Materialia | Year: 2017

Development of giant-permittivity and high-tunability dielectric materials has attracted great interest because of growing demand for smaller and faster energy-storage and electronic devices. Materials such as CaCu3Ti4O12, displaying the giant dielectric permittivity due to extrinsic Maxwell-Wagner interfacial polarization effect, have previously been reported. Ferroelectric materials possessing intrinsic ionic polarization due to a phase transition to the polar state have also been indicated to possess a high tunability of the dielectric permittivity by dc electric field. Here, a class of the giant-permittivity materials based on SrTiO3 ceramics doped with up to 1% of yttrium and their processing concept, which yields the dielectric permittivity up to ∼209,000 at 10 kHz for nitrogen sintering atmosphere, and the relative tunability up to ∼74% under 20 kV cm−1 for oxygen sintering atmosphere, is reported. The high tunability is proved to be due to polar clusters created at low temperatures by off-central Y3+ ions on Sr2+ sites. The giant permittivity is explained by a coupling of the polar clusters relaxation mode with the donor substitution induced electrons at low temperatures and by the Maxwell-Wagner relaxation around room temperature. Besides the fundamental understanding, this discovery opens a new development window for high-frequency and low-temperature electronic and energy-storage applications. © 2017 Acta Materialia Inc.

Nandha Kumar P.,Pondicherry University | Ferreira J.M.D.F.,University of Aveiro | Kannan S.,Pondicherry University
Inorganic Chemistry | Year: 2017

Composites with varied proportions of β-Ca3(PO4)2 and ZnO were obtained through an in situ aqueous precipitation method under slightly basic (pH ≈ 8) conditions. The formation of β-Ca3(PO4)2 phase starts at an early heat-treatment stage (∼800 °C) and incorporates Zn2+ ions at both Ca2+(4) and Ca2+(5) sites of the lattice up to its occupancy saturation limit. The incorporation of Zn2+ in the β-Ca3(PO4)2 lattice enhances its thermal stability delaying the allotropic β-Ca3(PO4)2→α-Ca3(PO4)2 phase transformation. The excess zinc beyond the occupancy saturation limit precipitates as Zn(OH)2 and undergoes dehydroxylation to form ZnO at elevated temperatures. The presence of ZnO in the β-Ca3(PO4)2 matrix yields denser microstructures and thus improves the mechanical features of sintered composites up to an optimal ZnO concentration beyond which it tends to exert an opposite effect. © 2017 American Chemical Society.

Orelma H.,Tampere University of Technology | Vieira N.,University of Aveiro
Complex Analysis and Operator Theory | Year: 2017

In this paper we study the fractional analogous of the Laplace–Beltrami equation and the hyperbolic Riesz system studied previously by H. Leutwiler, in (Formula presented.). In both cases we replace the integer derivatives by Caputo fractional derivatives of order (Formula presented.). We characterize the space of solutions of the fractional Laplace–Beltrami equation, and we calculate its dimension. We establish relations between the solutions of the fractional Laplace–Beltrami equation and the solutions of the hyperbolic fractional Riesz system. Some examples of the polynomial solutions will be presented. Moreover, the behaviour of the obtained results when (Formula presented.) is presented, and a final remark about the consideration of Riemann–Liouville fractional derivatives instead of Caputo fractional derivatives is made. © 2017 Springer International Publishing

da Costa J.P.,University of Aveiro
Trends in Food Science and Technology | Year: 2017

Background Nutraceuticals exist in a legal limbo and the existing legislative efforts remain confusing, complex and not harmonized throughout the many regions of the Globe. These compounds are believed to contribute to improvements in physical and/or mental health and to ameliorate or avoid disease or health-related conditions. However, the promised food and health revolution is yet to come. Although some of these compounds have been shown to improve health, similar claims made for others have not been unequivocally demonstrated. Scope and approach Herein, we explore the different definitions of nutraceuticals, associated legal definitions and constraints, while evaluating some of the facts and fictions surrounding these compounds. Lastly, we speculate on how the industry can evolve and how nutraceuticals can, in fact, make good on their promised health benefits. Key findings and conclusions The high value market potential has led government agencies to establish regulatory requirements for the design, testing and marketing of these products, though much remains unregulated. Biologically, the often contradictory available data are based on the fact that the beneficial effects of a given chemical, agent or substance when consumed in food does not automatically translate into an enhanced health effect if consumed in concentrated forms or in higher quantities. How the nutraceutical industry will respond to the current lack of knowledge of these compounds, increasing demands of regulatory agencies and to the growing awareness of the general audience may very well determine the evolution of the industry and, to some extent, the health of their customers. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Gomes C.D.S.F.,University of Aveiro
Environmental Geochemistry and Health | Year: 2017

The use of clay by humans for medicinal and wellness purposes is most probably as old as mankind. Within minerals, due to its ubiquitous occurrence in nature and easy availability, clay was the first to be used and is still used worldwide. Healing clays have been traditionally used by man for therapeutic, nutritional and skin care purposes, but they could impart some important health and skin care risks. For instance, clay particles could adsorb and make available for elimination or excretion any potential toxic elements or toxins being ingested or produced, but they could adsorb and make available for incorporation, through ingestion or through dermal absorption, toxic elements, e.g. heavy metals. Edible clays, a particular case of healing clays, have been traditionally used by man for nutritional and therapeutic purposes. Geophagy, the deliberate soil eating, earth eating, clay eating and pica (medical condition or eating disorder shown by individuals addicted to eat earth substances), has been observed in all parts of the world since antiquity, reflecting cultural practice, religious belief and physiological needs, be they nutritional (dietary supplementation) or as a remedy for disease. This paper pretends to review historical data, basic concepts and functions, as well as benefits and risks of the use of healing clays, in general, for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes, and of edible clays, in particular, for therapeutic purposes. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Martins M.C.,University of Aveiro | Santos E.B.H.,University of Aveiro | Marques C.R.,University of Aveiro
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2017

The efficiency of oyster-shell waste for the removal of phosphorous (P) in saltwater was herein evaluated. For that, different factors were tested, being attained > 56% and > 98% P removal by natural oyster shell (NOS)-fraction < 0.125 mm and COS (calcined oyster shell)-fraction 0.5 mm, respectively. Adsorption was the main mechanism suggested for NOS, whilst a co-mechanism of precipitation occurred with COS. NOS adsorption was consistent with Langmuir model and followed both the Elovich and Intraparticle Difusion kinetic models. COS followed only Pseudo-Second Order and, mainly, the Elovich model. Overall, optimal conditions for P removal from saltwater were established for NOS and COS, which will unquestionably allow to comply with regulated P levels for the discharge of wastewater from saltwater RAS. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Castaneda E.,University of Aveiro | Silva A.,University of Aveiro | Gameiro A.,University of Aveiro | Kountouris M.,Huawei
IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials | Year: 2017

Remarkable research activities and major advances have been occurred over the past decade in multiuser multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO) systems. Several transmission technologies and precoding techniques have been developed in order to exploit the spatial dimension so that simultaneous transmission of independent data streams reuse the same radio resources. The achievable performance of such techniques heavily depends on the channel characteristics of the selected users, the amount of channel knowledge, and how efficiently interference is mitigated. In systems where the total number of receivers is larger than the number of total transmit antennas, user selection becomes a key approach to benefit from multiuser diversity and achieve full multiplexing gain. The overall performance of MU-MIMO systems is a complex joint multi-objective optimization problem since many variables and parameters have to be optimized, including the number of users, the number of antennas, spatial signaling, rate and power allocation, and transmission technique. The objective of this literature survey is to provide a comprehensive overview of the various methodologies used to approach the aforementioned joint optimization task in the downlink of MU-MIMO communication systems. © 2016 IEEE.

Sundar L.S.,University of Aveiro | Sharma K.V.,University of Hyderabad | Singh M.K.,University of Aveiro | Sousa A.C.M.,University of Aveiro
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2017

In the past decade, research on nanofluids has been increased rapidly and reports reveal that nanofluids are beneficial heat transfer fluids for engineering applications. The heat transfer enhancement of nanofluids is primarily dependent on thermal conductivity of nanoparticles, particle volume concentrations and mass flow rates. Under constant particle volume concentrations and flow rates, the heat transfer enhancement only depends on the thermal conductivity of the nanoparticles. The thermal conductivity of nanoparticles may be altered or changed by preparing hybrid (composite) nanoparticles. Hybrid nanoparticles are defined as nanoparticles composed by two or more different materials of nanometer size. The fluids prepared with hybrid nanoparticles are known as hybrid nanofluids. The motivation for the preparation of hybrid nanofluids is to obtain further heat transfer enhancement with augmented thermal conductivity of these nanofluids. This review covers the synthesis of hybrid nanoparticles, preparation of hybrid nanofluids, thermal properties, heat transfer, friction factor and the available Nusselt number and friction factor correlations. The review also demonstrates that hybrid nanofluids are more effective heat transfer fluids than single nanoparticles based nanofluids or conventional fluids. Notwithstanding, full understanding of the mechanisms associated with heat transfer enhancement of hybrid nanofluids is still lacking and, consequently it is required a considerable research effort in this area. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Moutinho V.,University of Aveiro | Madaleno M.,University of Aveiro | Robaina M.,University of Aveiro
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2017

This article aims to estimate the efficiency of 26 different European Countries over 2001 and 2012 comparing their performance. Data Envelopment Analysis technique is used in a first step to evaluate the performance of each European country. The output-oriented model was used with two specifications (Variable and Constant Returns to Scale) including as inputs labour and capital productivity, the weight of fossil energy and the share of renewable energy in GDP (gross domestic product), being the output GDP per GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions. In a second step, the quantile regression technique was used, to explain different efficiency scores through variables as Environmental Taxes Revenues, Resources Productivity and Domestic Material Consumption. Results indicate that share of renewables and non-renewable energy sources are important to explain differences in emissions. They suggest a significant change in the trend of economic and environmental efficiency in European countries and put forward the high disparities existing among them. Policy recommendations point for the need of higher steps if the goal is to equal countries efficiency scores. Moreover, environmental tax revenue effects are negatively stronger in less efficient countries, whereas also exerting negative influence over those more eco-efficient. Transport taxes affect negatively more eco-efficient countries and positively less eco-efficient countries. Energy taxes only seem to positively influence the lower eco-efficient countries. There is also evidence for a negative premium of efficiency considering domestic materials consumption. Finally, resources productivity shows a positive and significant influence independently of the country technical eco-efficiency level. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Silva P.E.S.,University of Aveiro | Silva P.E.S.,New University of Lisbon | Godinho M.H.,New University of Lisbon
Macromolecular Rapid Communications | Year: 2017

There has been an intense research for developing techniques that can produce filaments with helical shapes, given the widespread of potential applications. In this work, how helices with different curvatures can be precisely imprinted in microfilaments is shown. It is also shown that using this technique, it is possible to produce, in a single fiber, helices with different curvatures. This striking and innovative behavior is observed when one side of the stretched filaments is irradiated with UV light, modifying the mechanical properties at surface. Upon release, the regions with higher curvature start to curl first, while regions with lower intrinsic curvature remain stretched until start to curl later. The results presented here can be important to understand why structures adopt a helical shape in general, which can be of interest in nanotechnology, biomolecular science, or even to understand why plant filaments curl. (Figure presented.). © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

Menezes J.C.J.M.D.S.,University of Aveiro | Menezes J.C.J.M.D.S.,Nagasaki International University
RSC Advances | Year: 2017

Arylidene indanone (AI) scaffolds are considered as the rigid cousins of chalcones, incorporating the α,β-unsaturated ketone system of chalcones forming a cyclic 5 membered ring. They are generally synthesized from 1-indanone and benzaldehydes via an aldol reaction. The furnished molecules have been explored as inhibitors of cholinesterases towards the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, as tubulin depolymerizing agents, as inhibitors of breast cancer and leukemia, inhibitors of dual specificity phosphatase (DUSP), as antimalarials, and for many other uses. This review is an effort to highlight the biochemical effects of arylidene indanones designed from natural or known drug compounds, discuss their structure-activity relationships (SAR), and correlate them with related chalcones providing insights for further development of this scaffold. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Da Silva G.,University of Lisbon | Soengas R.G.,University of Aveiro
Current Organic Chemistry | Year: 2017

Spermidine alkaloids are polyaminated macrocycles containing a lactam ring, which are biosynthetically derived from L-Orn or L-Arg via putrescine intermediates. The presence of these polyamines in nature is very limited, occurring in only a few plant families, and therefore the isolation of spermidine alkaloids serves chemotaxonomic purposes. The interest in the isolation and synthesis of these alkaloids also results from the structural complexity and broad range of bioactivity attributed to these macrocyclic structures. In recent years, several research groups have been dedicated to these triaminated compounds and previously unknown natural products, or already described structures in new plant species, with potential biological applications have been reported. Novel synthetic strategies and the application of more recent synthetic methodologies have allowed new perspectives for the development of new bioactive molecules. The latest progress on the isolation, identification, biological activity, and chemical synthesis of spermidine alkaloids is summarized in this review. © 2017 Bentham Science Publishers.

Oliver P.G.,Bangor University | Rodrigues C.F.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Conchology | Year: 2017

Two species of thyasirid bivalve are described from the Kemp Caldera hydrothermal site, South Sandwich Island back arc system, Antarctica. Spinaxinus caldarium n. sp. is chemosymbiotic and closely related to S. emicatus from the Gulf of Mexico with which it shares the same phylotype of symbiotic bacterium. Parathyasira cf. dearborni is not symbiotic and most closely resembles P. dearborn/ a widespread circum antarctic species. The gill anatomy is described for both species and molecular data on the bivalves and the symbiotic bacteria are presented.

Queiros A.,University of Aveiro | Rocha N.P.,University of Aveiro
Proceedings of the 15th International Conference WWW/Internet 2016 | Year: 2016

The study reported in this paper aimed to evaluate if Personal Health Records (PHR) can contribute for the communicating and sharing of clinical information between patients, their informal caregivers, and speech and language therapy (SLT) professionals. Questionnaires were passed out to SLT professionals of different domains (ie, assessments of dysphagia, aphasia and language disorders, and language interventions with children) in order to identify their information requirements. Afterwards, using the Unified Modelling Language (UML), Electronic Health Records (EHR) information models were defined and a deeper analysis was performed in order to determine the type of information that patients, their informal caregivers, and SLT professionals need to communicate and share. The results suggest the importance of the PHR to complement EHR and, therefore, to support the clinical practice in the studied SLT domains.

Marques C.A.F.,University of Aveiro | Castanheira J.M.,University of Aveiro
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society | Year: 2017

The northern and southern polar vortices are subject to quite different dynamical forcings, with the variability of the northern polar vortex much more dominated by baroclinic wave processes. Some recent works describe a barotropic structure in vortex-splitting sudden stratospheric warming events (SSWs). Performing an analysis of the anomalies of the energy cycle, we show that strong decelerations of the southern polar vortex are, in fact, dominated by the transfer of kinetic energy between barotropic components. A major role is played by the barotropic zonal wave number n = 3 in the energy transfer of kinetic energy. This result, conjugated with the fact that stationary tropospheric waves in the southern midlatitudes have an amplitude peak at zonal wave number n = 3, suggests that the barotropic mechanism of ‘nonlinear resonance tuning’ may be the cause of strong decelerations of the southern stratospheric polar vortex. © 2016 Royal Meteorological Society

Costa D.,University of Aveiro | Martins M.A.,University of Aveiro
Proceedings - 2016 International Conference on Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions, ICARSC 2016 | Year: 2016

Inconsistency is nowadays a growing subject of study which yields a lot of care as it is a pervasive, and unavoidable, topic in data and knowledge management. Contradictory information may arise in systems which are safety critical, such as health systems, aviation systems and many others. As a means of increasing the reliability of systems, formal methods, i.e. mathematical tools, have been advocated. In the field of logic, since we are allowing inconsistent data to coexist in a knowledgebase, some kind of paraconsistent logic is required. We aim to present some ideas for the development of a new method for dealing with contradictions that may appear in robotics, namely by considering a programming language and reasoning based on Quasi-Hybrid logic, [4]. © 2016 IEEE.

Mota S.,University of Aveiro | Rocha A.,University of Aveiro | Perez-Fontan F.,University of Vigo
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation | Year: 2017

Physical models describe the radio channel by characterizing the multipath propagation. Also, measurements are frequently employed in the establishment of such models, or for tuning the existing ones. This paper presents a systematic analysis of double-directional radio channel data, obtained by combining two single-input multiple-output measurements (forward and reverse), each, containing the channel frequency responses at the locations of a virtual rectangular antenna array. The measurement setup uses a vector network analyzer, which, together with the adopted data processing, represents an affordable, but very consistent, alternative to more sophisticated equipment, given that, a physical analysis of the identified channel contributions provided sensible results. The study comprised three main steps: 1) the characterization of each single-directional channel by employing a high-resolution algorithm to obtain the parameters of a chosen number of multipath components (MPCs); 2) the classification of the obtained MPCs in a twofold way, first, by grouping MPCs using clustering tools, and, second, by classifying these clusters according to their type of interaction with the propagation scenario; and 3) the extraction of typical values for the number of clusters, the number of MPCs per cluster, rules for power decay, and statistical distributions for inter and intracluster delays and azimuths. © 2017 IEEE.

Lim G.H.,University of Aveiro
IEEE International Conference on Multisensor Fusion and Integration for Intelligent Systems | Year: 2017

Human activity recognition, especially exceptional activity recognition has been regarded as an important aspect in intelligent service robotics. Several challenges in activity recognition-unexpected and untypical exceptional behaviors, a small but growing number of training examples-make it hard to solve this problem. Despite the variety of human behaviors, there are some normal patterns, especially scenario-oriented human activities. This paper presents an incremental learning method for exceptional behavior patterns based on prerequisites. The proposed method models the normal activities as prerequisites from several demonstrations following a given scenario, and learns autonomously and incrementally new exceptional activities, which may not follow the scenario. Case studies show that the proposed method can gradually improve the recognition rate, and incrementally learn new exceptional human activities. © 2016 IEEE.

Biomonitoring of chemical contamination requires the use of well-established and validated tools, including biochemical markers that can be potentially affected by exposure to important environmental toxicants. Cholinesterases (ChEs) are present in a large number of species and have been successfully used for decades to discriminate the environmental presence of specific groups of pollutants. The success of cholinesterase inhibition has been due to their usefulness as a biomarker to address the presence of organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CB) pesticides. However, its use in ecotoxicology has not been limited to such chemicals, and several other putative classes of contaminants have been implicated in cholinesterasic impairment. Nevertheless, the use of cholinesterases as a monitoring tool requires its full characterization in species to be used as test organisms. This study analyzed and differentiated the various cholinesterase forms present in two autochthonous organisms from the Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) area, namely the polychaete Diopatra neapolitana and the bivalve Solen marginatus, to be used in subsequent monitoring studies. In addition, this study also validated the putative use of the now characterized cholinesterasic forms by analyzing the in vitro effects of common anthropogenic contaminants, such as detergents, pesticides, and metals. The predominant cholinesterasic form found in tissues of D. neapolitana was acetylcholinesterase, while homogenates of S. marginatus were shown to possess an atypical cholinesterasic form, with a marked preference for propionylthiocholine. Cholinesterases from D. neapolitana were generally non-responsive towards the majority of the selected chemicals. On the contrary, strong inhibitory effects were reported for ChEs of S. marginatus following exposure to the selected pesticides. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Salvador A.C.,University of Aveiro | Silvestre A.J.D.,University of Aveiro | Rocha S.M.,University of Aveiro
Food Chemistry | Year: 2017

The volatile terpenic and norisoprenoids profile from elderflowers (Sambucus nigra L.) was established for two cultivars by multidimensional gas chromatography. From 47 monoterpenic, 13 sesquiterpenes and 5 norisoprenoids components, 38 are reported for the first time on elderflowers. Elderflower seasonality implies proper handling and storage conditions, for further processing, thus the impact of freezing, freeze-drying, air drying and vacuum packing, was evaluated on these potential aroma metabolites. The most suitable preservation methods, regarding the total metabolites content, were vacuum packing and freezing for intermediary storage times (24–32 weeks) with a reported overall decrease of the volatile terpenic and norisoprenoids of up to 58.6%; and freezing, for longer period (52 weeks), with a decrease of up to 47.4% (compared to fresh elderflowers). This study presents the most detailed terpenic and norisoprenoids elderflower profiling, and linalool oxides were proposed as markers for a more expedite assess to the impact of postharvest conditions. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Vargas C.I.C.,University of Aveiro | Vaz N.,University of Aveiro | Dias J.M.,University of Aveiro
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2017

It is of global interest, for the definition of effective adaptation strategies, to make an assessment of climate change impacts in coastal environments. In this study, the salinity patterns adjustments and the correspondent Venice System zonations adaptations are evaluated through numerical modelling for Ria de Aveiro, a mesotidal shallow water lagoon located in the Portuguese coast, for the end of the 21st century in a climate change context. A reference (equivalent to present conditions) and three future scenarios are defined and simulated, both for wet and dry conditions. The future scenarios are designed with the following changes to the reference: scenario 1) projected mean sea level (MSL) rise; scenario 2) projected river flow discharges; and scenario 3) projections for both MSL and river flow discharges. The projections imposed are: a MSL rise of 0.42 m; a freshwater flow reduction of ∼22% for the wet season and a reduction of ∼87% for the dry season. Modelling results are analyzed for different tidal ranges. Results indicate: a) a salinity upstream intrusion and a generalized salinity increase for sea level rise scenario, with higher significance in middle-to-upper lagoon zones; b) a maximum salinity increase of ∼12 in scenario 3 and wet conditions for Espinheiro channel, the one with higher freshwater contribution; c) an upstream displacement of the saline fronts occurring in wet conditions for all future scenarios, with stronger expression for scenario 3, of ∼2 km in Espinheiro channel; and d) a landward progression of the saltier physical zones established in the Venice System scheme. The adaptation of the ecosystem to the upstream relocation of physical zones may be blocked by human settlements and other artificial barriers surrounding the estuarine environment. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Silva N.A.,University of Aveiro | Pinto A.N.,University of Aveiro
Optics Communications | Year: 2017

The impact of optical amplification on the achievable information rate (AIR) is evaluated, considering continuous and discrete modulation formats. The theoretical model for the AIR considers the optical amplification noise, the nonlinear optical noise, and the coherent receiver shot and thermal noise sources. Two different scenarios for the AIR are analyzed. First, we admit that the gain of each optical amplifier under or over compensate the previous fiber span loss. After that, we consider the case where we remove optical amplifiers from the transmission link. Results show that for the first scenario, when we under or over compensate the span loss the AIR tends to decrease. Nevertheless, for low cardinality constellations the AIR is not primarily limited by the gain of the optical amplifiers. In the second scenario, results show that it is possible to remove amplification stages from the end to the beginning of the transmission link without decreasing the AIR. We observe that for a polarization multiplexing (PM) 4-PSK constellation the plateau of 4 bits/symbol is preserved even if we remove the last two amplifiers from the transmission link. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Castro L.P.,University of Aveiro | Simoes A.M.,University of Beira Interior
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2017

The purpose of this paper is to study different kinds of stability for a class of Hammerstein integral equations. Sufficient conditions are derived in view to obtain Hyers-Ulam stability and Hyers-Ulam-Rassias stability for such a class of Hammerstein integral equations. The consequent different cases of a finite interval and an infinite interval are considered, and some concrete examples are included to illustrate the results. © 2017 Author(s).

Castro L.P.,University of Aveiro | Silva A.S.,University of Aveiro
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2017

The main goal of this paper is to obtain an invertibility criterion for Wiener-Hopf plus Hankel operators acting between variable exponent Lebesgue spaces on the real line. This is obtained by a so-called odd asymmetric factorization which is applied to the Fourier symbols of the operators under study. © 2017 Author(s).

Zuquete A.,University of Aveiro | Vieira J.,University of Aveiro
Wireless Networks | Year: 2017

This article describes and evaluates the performance of DETIboot, a system conceived for securely deploying temporary Linux systems into countless receiving hosts close enough to a Wi-Fi DETIboot server. This system was created with the ultimate goal of installing, in numerous students’ laptops and just-in-time, special Linux distributions for being temporarily used in practical classes. In this document we present an overview of DETIboot, a comprehensive description of the coding used in the broadcast communication and a detailed performance evaluation in a spacious auditorium. This evaluation did not involve security features to reduce the amount of variables influencing the final results. However, previous experiments allow us to extrapolate a maximum of 5% increase in the download time due to security. On average, it took us 50.1 s to download a 225 MiB Slax Linux over 802.11g, taking on average 15% more time than the theoretical lower bound of our setup (43.4 s). The influence of the position of receivers in the auditorium was not prominent. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York

The present solution relates to magnetic probesanoprobes (NP) for the selective enrichment of proteins. Namely, the solution relates to magnetic nanoparticles, which surface is chemically modified with metal ion chelation groups. The use of these magnetic nanoparticles allows the separation of specific proteins from complex mixtures by means of a magnetic field, namely proteins containing metal ions in their composition, such as metalloproteases, and the recovery of metal binding proteins, such as histidine-tagged recombinant proteins. This solution describes a probe for select metalloproteins in a solution comprising at least an inorganic magnetic core particle comprising a paramagnetic, superparamagnetic or ferromagnetic material; wherein such particle is coated with a siliceous coating; wherein the siliceous coating further comprises a plurality of metal ion chelating moieties; wherein the size of the probe is less than 1100 nm. Furthermore, this disclosure also describes a method for producing said probe.

In a new study researchers have found that although warmer weather should benefit badger populations, the predicted human population increase in the Scottish highlands is likely to disturb badgers and counteract that effect. These results emphasise the importance of interactive effects and context-dependent responses when planning conservation management under human-induced rapid environmental change. The new findings, published in the scientific journal Diversity and Distributions, result from a collaboration between researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden and Oxford's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. Building on data from 168 camera trap stations actually collected originally to look at Scottish wildcat distributions, the team was also able to detect local badger (Meles meles) presence and absence. They found that different factors, such as weather conditions, land cover type and human disturbance interact to determine which locations badgers choose to populate across the Scottish Highlands. Overall, badger occupancy was more likely at sites with higher minimum winter temperature and lower elevation. But when study areas of similar temperature and elevation were grouped together, more complex patterns emerged. Specifically, in less favourable cooler upland areas badger occupancy was associated with higher availability of agricultural patches, possibly due to the additional food resources they provide. This pattern was, however, not found in warmer lowland areas. These lowland areas typically provide more favourable foraging conditions, but also include more human infrastructures (farms, roads, villages, etc) that constrained badger occurrence; badgers were more often found further away from settlements and roads. While medium estimates of a 1-3°C increase in mean minimum winter temperature for Northern Scotland by the 2050s would lead to better conditions for badgers in Highland Scotland, forecasts based on this factor alone are likely to prove simplistic and naïve. Disturbances associated with a predicted parallel 5% increase in human population in the Scottish Highlands by 2037 may counteract the benefits of increasing temperatures. It may therefore prove faulty or superficial to assume that species will simply benefit from warming conditions along the former cold-edge of their distribution if other environmental factors are not considered. The study was led by André Silva and Gonçalo Curveira-Santos from Uppsala University and University of Lisbon, in collaboration with WildCRU (Oxford University) and the University of Aveiro.

Neves D.,University of Aveiro | Neves D.,Chalmers University of Technology | Thunman H.,Chalmers University of Technology | Matos A.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
Progress in Energy and Combustion Science | Year: 2011

In this study some literature data on the pyrolysis characteristics of biomass under inert atmosphere were structured and analyzed, constituting a guide to the conversion behavior of a fuel particle within the temperature range of 200-1000 °C. Data is presented for both pyrolytic product distribution (yields of char, total liquids, water, total gas and individual gas species) and properties (elemental composition and heating value) showing clear dependencies on peak temperature. Empirical relationships are derived from the collected data, over a wide range of pyrolysis conditions and considering a variety of fuels, including relations between the yields of gas-phase volatiles and thermochemical properties of char, tar and gas. An empirical model for the stoichiometry of biomass pyrolysis is presented, where empirical parameters are introduced to close the conservation equations describing the process. The composition of pyrolytic volatiles is described by means of a relevant number of species: H2O, tar, CO2, CO, H2, CH4 and other light hydrocarbons. The model is here primarily used as a tool in the analysis of the general trends of biomass pyrolysis, enabling also to verify the consistency of the collected data. Comparison of model results with the literature data shows that the information on product properties is well correlated with the one on product distribution. The prediction capability of the model is briefly addressed, with the results showing that the yields of volatiles released from a specific biomass are predicted with a reasonable accuracy. Particle models of the type presented in this study can be useful as a submodel in comprehensive reactor models simulating pyrolysis, gasification or combustion processes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Rocha-Santos T.A.P.,University of Aveiro | Rocha-Santos T.A.P.,Piaget Institute
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2014

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have attracted a growing interest in the development and fabrication of sensors and biosensors for several applications. MNPs can be integrated into the transducer materials and/or be dispersed in the sample followed by their attraction by an external magnetic field onto the active detection surface of the (bio)sensor. This review describes and discusses the recent applications of MNPs in sensors and biosensors, taking into consideration their analytical figures of merit. This work also addresses the future trends and perspectives of sensors and biosensors based on MNPs. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Shafaii Moghadam H.,Damghan University | Khademi M.,Damghan University | Hu Z.,Wuhan University | Stern R.J.,University of Texas at Dallas | And 2 more authors.
Gondwana Research | Year: 2015

The ChahJam-Biarjmand complex (CJBC), flanked by the Alborz Mountains in the north and the Lut-Tabas block to the south, is part of Central Iranian block, where the oldest continental crust of Iran is found. This complex contains granitic to tonalitic orthogneissic rocks (old plutons) and associated metasediments, amphibolites and paragneisses. Metamorphosed granitic and granodioritic dikes intrude orthogneisses as well as metasediments and are abundant close to the plutons (orthogneissic rocks). Based on the results of bulk rock trace and rare earth elements, the orthogneissic rocks are inferred to have crystallized from subduction-related melts. Amphibolites also have subduction-related signatures and are inferred to have formed both as metamorphosed volcanoclastic sediments and as attenuated basic dikes. The presence of para-amphibolites associated with paragneisses and metasediments (mica schists) could represent a sedimentary basin filled with magmatic arc erosional products. U-Pb zircon dating of the ChahJam-Biarjmand rocks yielded 238U/206Pb crystallization ages of ca. 550 to 530Ma (Ediacaran-early Cambrian). Sr-Nd isotope systematics on whole rocks (εNd(t)=-2.2 to -5.5) and zircon Hf isotope results indicate that CJBC Cadomian granitic rocks contain older, possible Mesoproterozoic, continental crust in their source. The ChahJam-Biarjmand granitic-tonalitic gneissic rocks are coeval with other similar-aged metagranites and gneisses within Iranian basement exposed in Central Iran, the Sanandaj-Sirjan Zone and the Alborz Mountains, as well as in the Tauride-Anatolide platform in western Anatolia and in NW Turkey. All these dispersed Cadomian basement rocks are interpreted to show fragments of Neoproterozoic-early Cambrian continental arcs bordering the northern active margin of Gondwana. © 2013 International Association for Gondwana Research.

Zlotnik S.,University of Aveiro | Sahu S.K.,University of California at Davis | Navrotsky A.,University of California at Davis | Vilarinho P.M.,University of Aveiro
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2015

Alkali niobates and tantalates are currently important lead-free functional oxides. The formation and decomposition energetics of potassium tantalum oxide compounds (K2O-Ta2O5) were measured by high-temperature oxide melt solution calorimetry. The enthalpies of formation from oxides of KTaO3 perovskite and defect pyrochlores with K/Ta ratio of less than 1 stoichiometry - K0.873Ta2.226O6, K1.128Ta2.175O6, and K1.291Ta2.142O6 - were experimentally determined, and the values are (-203.63±2.92) kJmol-1 for KTaO3 perovskite, and (-339.54±5.03) kJmol-1, (-369.71±4.84) kJmol-1, and (-364.78±4.24) kJmol-1, respectively, for non-stoichiometric pyrochlores. That of stoichiometric defect K2Ta2O6 pyrochlore, by extrapolation, is (-409.87±6.89) kJmol-1. Thus, the enthalpy of the stoichiometric pyrochlore and perovskite at K/Ta=1 stoichiometry are equal in energy within experimental error. By providing data on the thermodynamic stability of each phase, this work supplies knowledge on the phase-formation process and phase stability within the K2O-Ta2O5 system, thus assisting in the synthesis of materials with reproducible properties based on controlled processing. Additionally, the relation of stoichiometric and non-stoichiometric pyrochlore with perovskite structure in potassium tantalum oxide system is discussed. © 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

Alcantara I.,University of Aveiro | Teixeira-Dias F.,University of Aveiro | Paulino M.,Swinburne University of Technology
Composite Structures | Year: 2013

In this article the authors analyse the characteristics, properties and behaviour of a new composite material, called Core-Y, resulting from the combination of granular cork and an epoxy resin. This article comprises three main parts. The first describes the manufacturing process of Core-Y. The second develops an experimental study of the material based on quasi-static axial compression test on cylindrical specimens of Core-Y. The results of the experimental tests are presented and analysed and the essential mechanical properties are determined. The third part presents a study of constitutive and numerical modelling, based on the experimental results. The main objective of this numerical study is to analyse the energy absorption capacity of metallic tubular structures incorporating Core-Y, aiming to study new applications for this composite material. A numerical model to simulate the tubular structures tested experimentally is developed, implemented and validated, using the finite element analysis software Abaqus. The overall results anticipate interesting expectations in terms of lightweight cork based composite materials and systems. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Bartosiewicz Z.,University of Bialystok | Martins N.,University of Aveiro | Torres D.F.M.,University of Aveiro
European Journal of Control | Year: 2011

The fundamental problem of the calculus of variations on time scales concerns the minimization of a delta-integral over all trajectories satisfying given boundary conditions. In this paper, we prove the second Euler-Lagrange necessary optimality condition for optimal trajectories of variational problems on time scales. As an example of application of the main result, we give an alternative and simpler proof to the Noether theorem on time scales recently obtained in [J. Math. Anal. Appl. 342 (2008), no. 2, 1220-1226]. © 2011 EUCA.

Rocha-Santos T.,University of Aveiro | Rocha-Santos T.,Piaget Institute | Duarte A.C.,University of Aveiro
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2015

Plastics can be found in food packaging, shopping bags, and household items, such as toothbrushes and pens, and facial cleansers. Due to the high disposability and low recovery of discharged materials, plastics materials have become debris accumulating in the environment. Microplastics have a dimension <5 mm and possess physico-chemical properties (e.g., size, density, color and chemical composition) that are key contributors to their bioavailability to organisms. This review addresses the analytical approaches to characterization and quantification of microplastics in the environment and discusses recent studies on their occurrence, fate, and behavior. This critical overview includes a general assessment of sampling and sample handling, and compares methods for morphological and physical classification, and methodologies for chemical characterization and quantification of the microplastics. Finally, this review addresses the advantages and the disadvantages of these techniques, and comments on future applications and potential research interest within this field. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Mata A.S.,Federal University of Viçosa | Ferreira R.S.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira S.C.,Federal University of Viçosa
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2014

Recent works have shown that the contact process running on the top of highly heterogeneous random networks is described by the heterogeneous mean-field theory. However, some important aspects such as the transition point and strong corrections to the finite-size scaling observed in simulations are not quantitatively reproduced in this theory. We develop a heterogeneous pair-approximation, the simplest mean-field approach that takes into account dynamical correlations, for the contact process. The transition points obtained in this theory are in very good agreement with simulations. The proximity with a simple homogeneous pair-approximation is elicited showing that the transition point in successive homogeneous cluster approximations moves away from the simulation results. We show that the critical exponents of the heterogeneous pair-approximation in the infinite-size limit are the same as those of the one-vertex theory. However, excellent matches with simulations, for a wide range of network sizes, are obtained when the sub-leading finite-size corrections given by the new theory are explicitly taken into account. The present approach can be suited to dynamical processes on networks in general providing a profitable strategy to analytically assess and fine-tune theoretical corrections. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.

Rai R.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Alloys and Compounds | Year: 2011

Polycrystalline samples of BaFe0.5Nb0.5O3 and (1 - x)Ba(Fe0.5Nb0.5)O3-xSrTiO3 [referred as BFN and BFN-ST respectively] (x = 0.00, 0.15 and 0.20) have been synthesized by a high-temperature solid-state reaction technique. The XRD patterns of the BFN and BFN-ST at room temperature show a monoclinic phase. The microstructure of the ceramics was examined by the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and shows the polycrystalline nature of the samples with different grain sizes, which are inhomogeneously distributed through the sample surface. Detailed studies of dielectric and impedance properties of the materials in a wide range of frequency (100 Hz-5 MHz) and temperatures (30-270 °C) showed that properties are strongly temperature and frequency dependent. Complex Argand plane plot of ε″ against ε′, usually called Cole-Cole plots is used to check the polydispersive nature of relaxation phenomena in above mentioned compounds. Relaxation phenomena of non-Debye type have been observed in the BFN and BFN-ST ceramics, as confirmed by the Cole-Cole plots. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Odzijewicz T.,University of Aveiro | Malinowska A.B.,University of Bialystok | Torres D.F.M.,University of Aveiro
European Physical Journal: Special Topics | Year: 2013

We prove multidimensional integration by parts formulas for generalized fractional derivatives and integrals. The new results allow us to obtain optimality conditions for multidimensional fractional variational problems with Lagrangians depending on generalized partial integrals and derivatives. A generalized fractional Noether's theorem, a formulation of Dirichlet's principle and an uniqueness result are given. © 2013 EDP Sciences and Springer.

Saggiomo V.,University of Groningen | Otto S.,University of Groningen | Marques I.,University of Aveiro | Felix V.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
Chemical Communications | Year: 2012

The transmembrane anion transport activity of a series of synthetic molecules inspired by the structure of tambjamine alkaloids can be tuned by varying the lipophilicity of the receptor, with carriers within a certain log P range performing best. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ribeiro D.V.,Federal University of Bahia | Labrincha J.A.,University of Aveiro | Morelli M.R.,Federal University of São Carlos
Cement and Concrete Research | Year: 2012

Red mud, the main waste generated in aluminum and alumina production by the Bayer process, is considered "hazardous" due to its high pH. The characteristic of high alkalinity associated with the presence of aluminosilicates facilitates the assimilation and formation of compounds by reaction with chloride ions. The high pH also provides greater protection of rebars, which is reflected in the low corrosion potential and high electrical resistivity (filler effect) of concrete. In this study, the chloride concentration was monitored by measuring the conductivity of the anolyte. Red mud proved to be a promising additive for concrete to inhibit the corrosion process. The corrosion potential was monitored by electrochemical measurements and the electrical resistivity was evaluated using sensors embedded in concrete test specimens. The results showed that the addition of red mud is beneficial to concrete, reducing its chloride migration rate (diffusion coefficients) and corrosion potential and increasing its electrical resistivity. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Yoon J.W.,Swinburne University of Technology | Yoon J.W.,University of Aveiro | Dick R.E.,Alcoa | Barlat F.,Pohang University of Science and Technology
International Journal of Plasticity | Year: 2011

Commercial canmaking processes include drawing, redrawing and several ironing operations. It is experimentally observed that during the drawing and redrawing processes earing develops, but during the ironing processes earing is reduced. It is essential to understand the earing mechanism during drawing and ironing for an advanced material modeling. A new analytical approach that relates the earing profile to r-value and yield stress directionalities is presented in this work. The analytical formula is based on the exact integration of the logarithmic strain. The derivation is for a cylindrical cup under the plane stress condition based on rigid perfect plasticity while force equilibrium is not considered. The earing profile is obtained solely from anisotropic plastic properties in simple tension. The earing mechanism is explained from the present theory with explicit formulae. It has been proved that earing is the combination of the contributions from r-value and yield stress directionalities. From a directionality (y-axis) vs. angle from the rolling (x-axis) plot, the earing profile is generated to be a scaled mirror image of the r-value directionality with respect to 90° (x = 90) and also a scaled mirror image of the yield stress directionality with respect to the reference yield stress (y = 1). Three different materials (Al-5% Mg alloy, AA 2090-T3 and AA 3104 RPDT control coil) are considered for verification purposes. This approach provides a fundamental basis for understanding the earing mechanism. In practice, the present theory is also very useful for the prediction of the earing profile of a drawn and iron cup and its related convolute cut-edge design for an earless cup. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Odzijewicz T.,University of Aveiro | Malinowska A.B.,University of Bialystok | Torres D.F.M.,University of Aveiro
Central European Journal of Physics | Year: 2013

We prove a necessary optimality condition of Euler-Lagrange type for fractional variational problems with derivatives of incommensurate variable order. This allows us to state a version of Noether's theorem without transformation of the independent (time) variable. Considered derivatives of variable order are defined in the sense of Caputo. © 2013 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien.

Justino C.I.L.,University of Aveiro | Rocha-Santos T.A.,University of Aveiro | Duarte A.C.,University of Aveiro | Rocha-Santos T.A.,Piaget Institute
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

Although the development of clinical sensors and biosensors has increased in recent years, improvements in sensitivity, selectivity, limits of detection, fast response and miniaturization are yet to be attained. Health care appears to provide the best opportunity for sensor development. Among the wide range of different sensors and biosensors, electrochemical biosensors are the most common in the clinical field, due to their high sensitivity and selectivity, portability, rapid response time and low cost. This article provides an up-to-date overview of the analytical performance of sensors and biosensors in clinical applications by discussing recent improvements, particularly due to the impact of nanotechnology. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Justino C.I.L.,University of Aveiro | Rocha-Santos T.A.P.,University of Aveiro | Cardoso S.,University of Aveiro | Duarte A.C.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2013

We provide a state-of-the-art review of the main strategies for the enhancement of analytical performance of sensors using nanomaterials, particularly nanowires and carbon-based materials. We emphasize the way to overcome the problem of device-to-device variation. We discuss the study of the influence of nanomaterial characteristics, sensor dimensions and operational conditions on sensing performance, and the application of appropriate calibration models. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Garcia de Maria J.M.,Technical University of Madrid | Bairi A.,GTE | Costa V.A.F.,University of Aveiro
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2010

New Nu-Ra correlations are proposed to evaluate the steady-state natural convection heat transfer taking place in air-filled enclosures of parallelogrammic section. The thermal conditions and dimensions of the cavities treated in the present work lead to high values of the Rayleigh number, reaching 3×109. The cavities considered are formed by two vertical active walls connected by a closing adiabatic channel. The cold wall is maintained isotherm at temperature Tc while the hot one consists of 5 bands, alternately isotherm at temperature Th and adiabatic. The upper and lower walls of the channel are inclined at an angle α with respect to the horizontal. This angle is either positive (hot wall below the level of the cold one) or negative, giving rise respectively to a conducting or insulating cavity in the convective sense of the term. A detailed steady-state 2D numerical study is carried out with the finite volume method and is accompanied with surface temperature experimental measurements. A good agreement between the experimental and numerical results is found in terms of the global heat exchanges and hence of the convective transfer. The dependence of the mean Nusselt number is presented as a function of the inclination angle α and of the Rayleigh number Ra and confirm the convective diode effect taking place. Correlations of the type Nu{combining low line}{combining low line}α=k(α)Ran, suitable for -60°≤α≤+60°, are proposed for the range 5×103≤Ra≤3×109 corresponding to diverse engineering applications. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Lopes M.A.R.,INESC Coimbra | Antunes C.H.,University of Coimbra | Antunes C.H.,INESC Coimbra | Martins N.,University of Aveiro
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2012

Energy behaviours represent a significant untapped potential for the increase of end-use energy efficiency in buildings. Although energy behaviours are a major determinant of energy use in buildings, energy savings potential due to behaviour are usually neglected, albeit being referred to be as high as those from technological solutions. This paper presents a review of recent literature on energy behaviours in order to recognise recent trends, quantify energy behaviours potential savings, characterise energy behaviour modelling strategies and identify potential research gaps. Energy behaviour research is vast and has been essentially focused on the residential sector, striving to establish behaviour determinants and the best strategies and instruments to promote more efficient energy behaviours. Potential savings of energy behaviours are referred to reach 20%, but values differ up to 100% between experiences and additional studies to quantify behavioural savings are needed, in particular by using standard quantification techniques. Different modelling techniques have been used to model energy behaviours: qualitative approaches from the social sciences trying to interpret behaviour, here named energy behaviour frameworks; quantitative approaches from the engineering and economics that quantify energy consumption, here designated by energy models; and hybrid approaches that are considered the most relevant since they integrate multiple dimensions of energy behaviours, here referred as energy behaviour modelling. Energy behaviours have a crucial role in promoting energy efficiency, but energy behaviours characteristics and complexity create several research challenges that must be overcome so energy behaviours may be properly valorised and integrated in the energy policy context. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All right reserved.

Justino C.I.L.,University of Aveiro | Rocha-Santos T.A.P.,University of Aveiro | Rocha-Santos T.A.P.,Piaget Institute | Duarte A.C.,University of Aveiro
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2013

Healthcare is the combination of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of any disease in humans, which is being constantly improved with efficient, rapid, useful point-of-care (POC) technologies as molecular diagnostic devices. In this way, biosensors based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been developed and used in recent years, due to their high sensitivity, specificity, rapidity in analysis, low cost, and ease of use. This review provides an up-to-date overview of the analytical performance of emerging technologies in the form of POC biosensors based on CNTs, which can be implemented in the clinical area, mainly for the detection of cancer biomarkers and glucose (analytes associated with two of the most common diseases in developed world, cancer and diabetes).This review also addresses the synthesis, the properties and the areas of application of CNTs and the characteristics and the clinical importance of POC testing. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Odzijewicz T.,University of Aveiro | Malinowska A.B.,University of Bialystok | Torres D.F.M.,University of Aveiro
Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control | Year: 2012

We introduce three types of partial fractional operators of variable order. An integration by parts formula for partial fractional integrals of variable order and an extension of Green's theorem are proved. These results allow us to obtain a fractional Euler-Lagrange necessary optimality condition for variable order two-dimensional fractional variational problems. © 2012 IEEE.

Sundar L.S.,University of Aveiro | Singh M.K.,University of Aveiro
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2013

In the past decade nanotechnology has developed in many directions. Nanofluid is a mixture of nanosized particles dispersed in fluids. Nanofluids are new generation heat transfer fluids used in heat exchangers for energy conservation. Viscosity is an important property particularly concerning fluids flowing in a tube in heat exchangers. In this regard, an attempt has been made to review the available empirical and theoretical correlations for the estimation of viscosity of nanofluids. The review also extended to preparation of nanofluids, nanoparticle volume concentration, nanofluid temperature, particle size and type of base fluid on viscosity of nanofluids. The available experimental results clearly indicate that with the dispersion of nanoparticles in the base fluid viscosity increases and it further increases with the increase in particle volume concentration. Viscosity of nanofluid decreases with increase of temperature. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Malinowska A.B.,University of Aveiro | Malinowska A.B.,University of Bialystok | Torres D.F.M.,University of Aveiro
Computers and Mathematics with Applications | Year: 2010

This paper presents the necessary and sufficient optimality conditions for problems of the fractional calculus of variations with a Lagrangian depending on the free end-points. The fractional derivatives are defined in the sense of Caputo. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lima P.P.,University of Aveiro | Nolasco M.M.,University of Aveiro | Paz F.A.A.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira R.A.S.,University of Aveiro | And 3 more authors.
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2013

Europium (t-Eu) and gadolinium (t-Gd) β-diketonate complexes with photoactive t-bpete ligand, [Ln(btfa)3(t-bpete)(MeOH)] (Ln = Eu, Gd), where btfa- and t-bpete are 4,4,4-trifluoro-1-phenyl-1,3- butanedionate and trans-1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethylene, respectively, were synthesized, characterized by vibrational, absorption (reflectance) and photoluminescence spectroscopies and their crystal structure was determined using single-crystal X-ray diffraction. B3LYP calculations were performed to support the interpretation and rationalization of the experimental results. The complexes, under UV irradiation, do not display the typical photodegradation of the β-diketonate ligands exhibiting, in turn, an unprecedented photostability during, at least, 10 h. During UV-A exposure (>330 nm), the emission intensities of both complexes increase drastically (∼20 times), whereas for t-Eu the emission quantum yield is enhanced at least 30-fold. A mechanism based on a photoclick trans-to-cis isomerization of both t- and c-bpete moieties was proposed to explain the abnormal photostability of these compounds, either in solid state or in solution. The experimental and computational results are consistent with a photostationary state involving the trans-to-cis isomerization of the bpete ligand under continuous UV-A exposure, which thus diverts the incident radiation from other deleterious photochemical or photophysical processes that cause the typical photobleaching behavior of chelate lanthanide complexes. This shielding mechanism could be extended to other ligands permitting the design of new lanthanide-based photostable systems under UV exposure for applications in lighting, sensing, and displays. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Madaleno L.,University of Aalborg | Schjodt-Thomsen J.,University of Aalborg | Pinto J.C.,University of Aveiro
Composites Science and Technology | Year: 2010

Two types of montmorillonite (MMT), natural sodium montmorillonite (Na-MMT) and organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT), in different amounts of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25. phr (parts per hundred resin), were dispersed in rigid poly (vinyl chloride) by two different methods: solution blending and solution blending. +. melt compounding. The effects on morphology, thermal and mechanical properties of the PVC/MMT nanocomposites were studied by varying the amount of Na-MMT and OMMT in both methods. SEM and XRD analysis revealed that possible intercalated and exfoliated structures were obtained in all of the PVC/MMT nanocomposites. Thermogravimetric analysis revealed that PVC/Na-MMT nanocomposites have better thermal stability than PVC/OMMT nanocomposites and PVC. In general, PVC/MMT nanocomposites prepared by solution blending. +. melt compounding revealed improved thermal properties compared to PVC/MMT nanocomposites prepared by solution blending. Vicat tests revealed a significant decrease in Vicat softening temperature of PVC/MMT nanocomposites prepared by solution blending. +. melt compounding compared to unfilled PVC.The mechanical properties of the PVC/MMT nanocomposites were, in general, greatly improved compared to unfilled PVC. Nanocomposites with 2. phr and 5. phr of OMMT have demonstrated enhanced results in Young's modulus, tensile strength and elongation. The Mori-Tanaka method along with an orientation distribution function was used to predict the effective stiffness of the PVC/OMMT nanocomposites prepared by solution blending. +. melt compounding method. Experimental values for 1 and 2. phr are larger than the calculated values which directly suggest that the MMT particles are exfoliated. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Stenovec M.,University of Ljubljana | Goncalves P.P.,University of Aveiro | Zorec R.,University of Ljubljana
Endocrinology | Year: 2013

In this study we used live-cell immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy to study the release from a single vesicle in a simplified system called membrane lawns. The lawns were prepared by exposing differentiated pituitary prolactin (PRL)-secreting cells to a hypoosmotic shear stress. The density of the immunolabeled ternary soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complexes that bind complexin was approximately 10 times lower than the PRL-positive, lawn-resident vesicles; this indicates that some but not all vesicles are associated with ternary SNARE complexes. However, lawn-resident PRL vesicles colocalized relatively well with particular SNARE proteins: synaptobrevin 2 (35%), syntaxin 1 (22%), and 25-kDa synaptosome associated protein (6%). To study vesicle discharge, we prepared lawn-resident vesicles, derived from atrial natriuretic peptide tagged with emerald fluorescent protein (ANP.emd)-transfected cells, which label vesicles. These maintained the structural passage to the exterior because approximately 40% of ANP.emd-loaded vesicles were labeled by extracellular PRL antibodies. Cargo release from the lawn-resident vesicles, monitored by the decline in the ANP.emd fluorescence intensity, was similar to that in intact cells. It is likely that SNARE proteins are required for calciumdependent release from these vesicles. This is because the expression of the dominant-negative SNARE peptide, which interferes with SNARE complex formation, reduced the number of PRLpositive spots per cell (PRL antibodies placed extracellularly) significantly, from 58±9 to 4±2. In dominant-negative SNARE-treated cells, the PRL-positive area was reduced from 0.259±0.013 to 0.123±0.014 μm2, which is consistent with a hindered vesicle luminal access for extracellular PRL antibodies. These results indicate that vesicle discharge is regulated by SNARE-mediated fusion pore widening. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.7 | Award Amount: 7.86M | Year: 2012

Future advancements in ICT domain are closely linked to the understanding about how multi-level complex systems function. Indeed, multi-level dependencies may amplify cascade failures or make more sudden the collapse of the entire system. Recent large-scale blackouts resulting from cascades in the power-grid coupled to the control communication system witness this point very clearly. A better understanding of multi-level systems is essential for future ICTs and for improving life quality and security in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. In this respect, complex networks science is particularly suitable for the many challenges that we face today, from critical infrastructures and communication systems, to techno-social and socio-economic networks.MULTIPLEX proposes a substantial paradigm shift for the development of a mathematical, computational and algorithmic framework for multi-level complex networks. Firstly, this will lead to a significant progress in the understanding and the prediction of complex multi-level systems. Secondly, it will enable a better control, and optimization of their dynamics. By combining mathematical analyses, modelling approaches and the use of massive heterogeneous data sets, we shall address several prominent aspects of multi-level complex networks, i.e. their topology, dynamical organization and evolution.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-04-2015 | Award Amount: 6.69M | Year: 2016

CLAiR-City will apportion air pollution emissions and concentrations, carbon footprints and health outcomes by city citizens behaviour and day-to-day activities in order to make these challenges relevant to how people chose to live, behave and interact within their city environment. Through an innovative engagement and quantification toolkit, we will stimulate the public engagement necessary to allow citizens to define a range of future city scenarios for reducing their emissions to be used for supporting and informing the development of bespoke city policy packages out to 2050. Using six pilot cities/regions (Amsterdam, NL; Bristol, UK; Aveiro, PT; Liguria, IT; Ljubljana, SI; and Sosnowiec, PO), CLAiR-City will source apportion current emissions/concentrations and carbon emissions not only by technology but by citizens activities, behavior and practices. CLAiR-City will explore and evaluate current local, national and international policy and governance structures to better understand the immediate policy horizon and how that may impact on citizens and their citys future. Then, working with the new methods of source apportionment to combine both baseline citizen and policy evidence, CLAiR-City will use innovative engagement methods such as Games, an App and Citizen Days to inform and empower citizens to understand the current challenges and then subsequently define their own visions of their citys future based on how their want to live out to 2050. The impact of these citizen-led future city scenarios will analysed, to develop city specific policy packages in which the clean-air, low-carbon, healthy future, as democratically defined by the city citizens, is described and quantified. The results of the CLAiR-City process will be evaluated to provide policy lessons at city, national and EU levels. Additionally, the toolkit structure will be developed for all EU cities with more than 50,000 citizens establishing a basis to roll out the CLAiR-City process across Europe.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-1.2.3;INFRA-2007-1.2-03 | Award Amount: 5.11M | Year: 2008

EELA-2 aims to build, on the current EELA e-Infrastructure, a high capacity, production-quality, scalable Grid Facility providing round-the-clock, worldwide access to distributed computing, storage and network resources for a wide spectrum of applications from European and Latin American scientific communities. The project will provide an empowered Grid Facility with versatile services fulfilling application requirements and ensure the long-term sustainability of the e-Infrastructure beyond the term of the project. The specific EELA-2 objectives are: - Build a Grid Facility by: Expanding the current EELA e-Infrastructure to consist of more production sites mobilising more computing nodes and more storage space, at start of the project and to further grow storage over the duration of the project; Providing, in collaboration with related projects (e.g. EGEE), the full set of Grid Services needed by all types of scientific applications; Supporting applications various types (from classical off-line data processing up to control and data acquisition of scientific instruments), selected against well defined criteria (including grid added value, suitability for Grid deployment, outreach/potential impact); - Ensure the Grid Facility sustainability: Through the already established and new contacts with policy/decision makers, collaborating with RedCLARA and NRENs and supporting the ongoing creation of e-Science Initiatives and/or National Grid initiatives (NGI). Building the support of the e-Infrastructure to provide a complete set of Global Services from a Central Operation Centre and to pave the way for the creation of Regional Operation Centres in Latin America: Attracting new applications; Making available knowledge of EELA-2 Grid Facility to all potential users, developers, and decision makers through an extensive Training and Dissemination program; Creating knowledge repositories federated with the EGEE ones.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-28-2014 | Award Amount: 11.30M | Year: 2015

Concept: NanoFASE will deliver an integrated Exposure Assessment Framework, including methods, parameter values, model and guidance that will allow Industry to assess the full diversity of industrial nano-enabled products to a standard acceptable in regulatory registrations. Methods to assess how use phases, waste streams and environmental compartments (air, soil, water biota) act as reactors in modifying and transporting ENMs will be developed and used to derive parameter values. Our nanospecific models will be integrated with the existing multi-media fate model SimpleBox4Nano for use in EUSES and also develop into a flexible multi-media model for risk assessment at different scales and complexities. Information on release form, transformation and transport processes for product relevant ENMs will allow grouping into Functional Fate Groups according to their most probable fate pathways as a contribution to safe-by-design based on fate. Methodology: Inventories of material release forms along the product value chain are established. We then study how released ENMs transform from initial reactive states to modified forms with lower energy states in which nanospecific properties may be lost. Transport studies assess material fluxes within/between compartments. The experimental work underpins models describing ENM transformation and transport. Open access is provided to the models suitable for incorporation into existing exposure assessment tools (e.g. SimpleBox4Nano) and for more detailed assessment. Framework completeness is validated by case studies. Impact: Identified links between ENM material properties and fate outcome (e.g. safe-by-design). Improved representation of nanospecific processes in existing key fate and exposure assessment tools (e.g. SimpleBox4Nano in EUSES). Contribution to standardization. GIS framework to support predictive assessment, catchment and point source management of ENM releases.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.38M | Year: 2013

The SO2S network seeks to exploit Singlet Oxygen (1O2) as a green and benign oxidant for use in novel synthetic methodologies, crosslinking strategies, bioconjugation procedures and materials production. The chemistry described herein generates the means to both understand and influence biological systems by providing probes and reagents from analytical methods to new drugs - and to modulate materials towards optimal properties. Training in this area is highly interdisciplinary in nature requiring the joint efforts and contributions of chemists, physicists, biologists and material scientists. Ultimately our understanding and further development of singlet oxygen mediated oxidations should lead to useful applications in the fields of organic chemistry (improved routes towards natural products), medicinal chemistry (targeted delivery and novel diagnostics), physical chemistry (controlled singlet oxygen generation), and materials science (novel materials for water treatment and new arrays for improved diagnostics). The global objective of this network is to train young researchers to become skilled individuals that meet the current challenges of working in an interdisciplinary industrial environment wherein chemistry often forms the basis, but where it is utilized in a truly diverse range of applications.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-06-2014 | Award Amount: 6.91M | Year: 2015

AQUACROSS aims to support EU efforts to enhance the resilience and stop the loss of biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems as well as to ensure the ongoing and future provision of aquatic ecosystem services. It focuses on advancing the knowledge base and application of the ecosystem-based management concept for aquatic ecosystems by developing cost effective measures and integrated management practices. AQUACROSS considers the EU policy framework (i.e. goals, concepts, time frames) for aquatic ecosystems and builds on knowledge stemming from different sources (i.e. WISE, BISE, Member State reporting, modelling) to develop innovative management tools, concepts, and business models (i.e. indicators, maps, ecosystem assessments, participatory approaches, mechanisms for promoting the delivery of ecosystem services) for aquatic ecosystems at various scales. It thereby provides an unprecedented effort to unify policy concepts, knowledge, and management concepts of freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems to support the cost-effective achievement of the targets set out by the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES | Award Amount: 308.70K | Year: 2012

Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and provide livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people around the globe. At the basis of these ecosystems stands the symbiosis between cnidarians and dinoflagellates. How the coral holobiont with its cnidarian host, the dinoflagellate symbiont and the associated microbial community interact with each other and their environment and how this symbiosis reacts to perturbation is the focus of dynamic research worldwide. This project aims at establishing a multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen existing and establishing new collaborative connections between scientists in the field of coral research and to promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise. The proposed partners are at the forefront of coral research in their respective areas, from coral photobiology, photosynthesis regulation, the metabolism of the coral symbiosis and genomics approaches over photoacclimation patterns and coral bleaching to coral ecophysiology and biogeochemical processes. Some of the questions this team wants to address are: What are the effects of climate change on coral reef primary production, respiration and coral photo-physiology? How do photoacclimation patterns of corals influence bleaching potential? Is there more to coral bleaching than the physiological breakdown of the symbiosis? What are the ecological and biogeochemical consequences of phase shifts in coral reefs? Through the collaborative efforts within the SymbioCoRe project namely, workshops, seminars and staff exchanges to promote knowledge transfer, we will be able to contribute to a holistic understanding of these complex processes. This action will increase the skills and knowledge of all partners involved and will improve the position of the European Research Area in the global effort to develop better models of the host/symbiont relationship and to build effective approaches to better protect coral reefs and the associated ecosystems.

The objective of MOLD-NANONET is to assist the ELIRI Research Institute to develop and implement a research strategy that will expand its activities and increase its level of excellence in micro-nano-electronics related to the development of intelligent systems, so that it can compete and collaborate with leading research institutions in Europe. MOLD-NANONET will create a unified infrastructure in Moldova by integrating the R&D capabilities of the city of BELTI with those of the capital city (Chisinau). Training activities will be opened up and integrate with activities in other relevant research institutions in Moldova and with the new Technological Park affiliated to ELIRI. MOLD-NANONET will stimulate the creation of a bridge between applied research and innovative business. Focus is on a new research and training program for young researchers at ELIRI and BELTI in integrated nanostructure networks for implementation in intelligent systems. This will be realized through: - Combining existing facilities at ELIRI in the field of micro-nano-technology with new equipment to extend the expertise to integrated networks of nanostructures based on magnetic, thermoelectric and shape memory metals for applications in intelligent systems based on synergetic integration of nanoelectronics, fine mechanics, product design and soft development. - Establishment of a training program to integrate the principles of nanoscale science in research and coursework for the development of a new generation of experts at the intersection of nanoelectronics, fine mechanics, product design and soft development. - Training modules to teach Master and PhD students how to promote a new technology, novel material or device to the market via technology transfer based on innovation. - Training modules will assist researchers and staff from across Moldova to attain a practical understanding of FP rules and regulations and receive training to increase success in FP proposals.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 13.58M | Year: 2013

SUN (Sustainable Nanotechnologies) is the first project addressing the entire lifecycle of nanotechnologies to ensure holistic nanosafety evaluation and incorporate the results into tools and guidelines for sustainable manufacturing, easily accessible by industries, regulators and other stakeholders. The project will incorporate scientific findings from over 30 European projects, national and international research programmes and transatlantic co-operations to develop (i) methods and tools to predict nanomaterials exposure and effects on humans and ecosystems, (ii) implementable processes to reduce hazard and exposure to nanomaterials in different lifecycle stages, (iii) innovative technological solutions for risk management in industrial settings, and (iv) guidance on best practices for securing both nano-manufacturing processes and nanomaterials ultimate fate, including development of approaches for safe disposal and recycling. In summary, SUN stands for an integrated approach for the long-term sustainability of nanotechnologies through the development of safe processes for production, use and end-of-life processing of nanomaterials and products, as well as methods reducing both adverse effects and exposure to acceptable levels.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.71M | Year: 2016

The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development (RUNIN) is a European Training Network for Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the field of science and innovation studies. The aim of the network is to train researchers on how universities contribute to innovation and economic growth in their regions through research seeking to examine how universities fulfill their third mission in relation to regional industry and explore the range of university engagement with regional firms and institutions. The project operationalises the main research question of how universities can contribute to innovation and regional development through four main themes: People and Networks, Policies and Interventions, Places and Territories, and Practices and Governance. The aim of the training programme is to equip the next generation of researchers with the skills required to work across employment sectors, collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders and find the practical relevance of their specialist knowledge, in the process creating new knowledge on universities role in innovation and regional development. There is an increased focus on the instrumentalist position of universities as important drivers of regional development, and the aim of the training programme is therefore to equip a new generation of researchers who can work within this field in the academic world or as specialist policy makers at the regional, national or European level. The programme will capitalise on host institutions infrastructure, including supervision, methods training and quality assurance review systems. In addition, it will offer a comprehensive programme of learning through individual research projects, secondments, and eight targeted training events aimed at developing both research-specific and transferable skills.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: BG-01-2016 | Award Amount: 12.22M | Year: 2017

The GENIALG project aims to boost the Blue Biotechnology Economy (BBE) by increasing the production and sustainable exploitation of two high-yielding species of the EU seaweed biomass: the brown alga Saccharina latissima and the green algae Ulva spp. GENIALG will demonstrate the economic feasibility and environmental sustainability of cultivating and refining seaweed biomass in multiple use demanded products of marine renewable origin. The consortium integrates available knowledge in algal biotechnology and ready to use reliable eco-friendly tools and methods for selecting and producing high yielding strains in economically feasible quantities and qualities. By cracking the biomass and supplying a wide diversity of chemical compounds for existing as well as new applications and markets, GENIALG will anticipate the economic, social and environmental impacts of such developments in term of economic benefit and job opportunities liable to increase the socio-economic value of the blue biotechnology sector. In a larger frame, conservation and biosafety issues will be addressed as well as more social aspects such as acceptability and competition for space and water regarding other maritime activities. To achieve these objectives GENIALG will foster a trans-sectorial and complementary consortium of scientists and private companies. GENIALG will involve a diversity of private companies already positioned in the seaweed sector individually for different applications (texturants, feed, agriculture, bioplastics, pharmaceuticals, personal care products) in order to strengthen interactions for developing a bio-refinery concept and accelerate efficient and sustainable exploitation of seaweed biomass to bring new high-value products on the market.

Faria M.,University of Aveiro | Navas J.M.,Laboratorio Of Ecotoxicologia | Soares A.M.V.M.,University of Aveiro | Barata C.,CSIC - Institute of Environmental Assessment And Water Research
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

There is limited data on the sub-lethal oxidative stress effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticle aggregates (NM-TiO2) and its modulation by simulated solar radiation (SSR) to aquatic organisms. This study aimed to examine sublethal oxidative stress effects of aqueous exposure to three different types of NM-TiO2 differing in their coating or crystal structure but of similar primary size (20nm) plus a micron-sized bulk material to zebrafish embryos without and with SSR. Oxidative stress responses of known model prooxidant (tert-Butyl hydroperoxide) and photoprooxidant (fluoranthene) compounds were also studied. Results evidenced a low bio-availability of NM-TiO2 to embryos with detrimental effects on growth at 1mgml-1. Phototoxicity increased moderately, by 3 and 1.5 fold, under co-exposures to fluoranthene (100μgl-1) and to the NM-TiO2 P25 (1mgml-1), respectively, being unchanged in the other TiO2 aggregates. In vitro exposures under SSR confirmed that the NM-TiO2 P25 had the highest potential to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS). Antioxidant enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase increased shortly after exposure to the studied materials, whereas the levels of glutathione tend to be altered after longer exposures. All compounds were able to produce oxidative stress enhancing the senescence-associated β galactosidase pigment (SA-β-gal). Under SSR radiation the NM-TiO2 P25 affected antioxidant and oxidative stress responses as the phototoxic compound fluoranthene. These results indicated that despite the low bio-availability of NM-TiO2 to zebrafish embryos, P25 was phototoxic due to the production of reactive oxygen species. Nevertheless, overall our results indicated that fish development may not be at high risk in the face of NM-TiO2, even when combined with prooxidant conditions. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.35M | Year: 2011

The focus of modern solid-state technology is currently shifting from the single property (electric, magnetic, and elastic) to a coupling of different fields where a coupled materials response can be either used for their characterization or as a basis of novel applications. In the last few years, it became clear that the coupled electromechanical response of the materials (i.e., mechanical deformation under applied electric bias) can be not only used as an universal tool for studying diverse materials classes at the nanoscale but is becoming indispensable for the development of next generation of multifunctional materials (piezoelectrics, ferroelectrics, multiferroics, ionic conductors, and polar biomaterials) and composites on their base. Novel nanoelectromechanical tools (Piezoresponse Force Microscopy - PFM, Electrochemical Strain Microscopy - ESM, and as well their combination with traditional Scanning Probe Microscopies - SPM) have been introduced for studying emergent materials and applications. This has recently led to the substantial progress in the development of novel multiferroics, photovoltaic, biopiezoelectrics and battery materials. The emergent field of nanoelectromechanics requires coordinated action at the European level as further progress in this field largely relies on the education and dissemination of best practices in application of PFM/ESM to a large number of functional materials NANOMOTION is intended to train the next generation of engineers and technologists in the fundamental aspects of the nanoelectromechanics, to apply advanced PFM/ESM tools to study a wide range of functional materials in collaboration with interested industrial partners and to create a European-based pool of researchers in this area.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.2.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.72M | Year: 2012

The aim of CASCADE is to obtain a better understanding of sudden ecosystem shifts that may lead to major losses in biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to define measures that can be used to prevent such shifts. The focus of CASCADE is explicitly on drylands as being one of the most fragile and threatened ecosystems in Europe. CASCADE will investigate the historical evolution of dryland ecosystems in six Mediterranean study sites, and improve understanding of the biogeochemical mechanisms underlying sudden and catastrophic shifts through a combination of experimentation and modeling. Experiments in laboratory and field will be used to assess the biogeochemical processes that are thought to underlie regime shifts in drylands, to study the interplay between competition and facilitation, and to assess the effects of biotic and abiotic processes on vegetation structure and composition. Field surveys will identify changes in ecosystem structure and functions that indicate approaching or crossing of tipping points, link these findings to experimental results, and assess potentials for restoration. Models will be developed to describe regime shifts in the studied drylands in terms of changes in vegetation composition, abundance and spatial patterning. Based on both experimentation and modelling, CASCADE will develop management schemes for sustainable resource use and conservation of ecosystem services. By combining physical with socio-economic modeling, measures will be defined that work from an ecological as well as a socio-economic perspective. The results of CASCADE will be made accessible to natural resource and biodiversity managers, policy makers, and other audiences, using a variety of dissemination methods such as reports, booklets, newsletters, meetings, videos, and TV. All project results and recommendations will be stored and made accessible to the public by developing a web-based harmonized CASCADE information system (CASCADIS).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 4.10M | Year: 2008

Like any living system, urban communities consume material and energy inputs, process them into usable forms, and eliminate the wastes from the process. This can be seen as metabolism of industry, commerce, municipal operations, and households. Understanding the pattern of these energy and material flows through a communitys economy provides a systemic reading of the present situation for goal and objective setting and development of indicators for sustainability. At present, planning policies often reflect the logic of the market. They would better reflect a vision of urban development, in which environmental and social considerations are fully embedded in spatial planning policies at all steps of the policy cycle from problem identification and policy design through to the implementation and ex-post evaluation stages. Therefore, the widespread inclusion of sustainability objectives in urban planning at all scales (from regional to site level) is necessary, providing the opportunity for the incorporation of bio-physical sciences knowledge into the planning process on a routine basis. To this end, the proposed project BRIDGE (sustainaBle uRban plannIng Decision support accountinG for urban mEtabolism) aims at bridging the gap between bio-physical sciences and urban planners and to illustrate the advantages of accounting for environmental issues on a routine basis in design decisions. BRIDGE will provide the means to quantitative estimate the various components of the urban metabolism (observation of physical flows and modelling), the means for quantitative estimate their impacts (socio-economic and environmental impact assessments and indicators), as well as the means for resource optimisation in urban fabric (support the decision making in urban planning). BRIDGE will focus on the interrelation between energy and material flows and urban structure.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.3-2 | Award Amount: 4.80M | Year: 2012

The main aim of NANOMICEX project is to reduce the potential risk upon workers exposure to the engineered nanoparticles employed in the operative conditions of the inks and pigments industry, by addressing at the health and environmental consequences associated with the inclusion of nanoadditives within all stages of nanotechnology based products (production, use and disposal). To achieve it, new surface modifiers will be designed and developed to obtain less hazardous and more stable nanoparticles. The proposed work will focus on a selected set of nanoparticles relevant to the ink and pigment sector. Full characterisation will be carried out, followed by an exposure measurement in order to characterise and quantify any potential particle release in the production and processing activities. A comprehensive hazard assessment will allow the evaluation of effects on human and environmental models with comparisons between simple and modified nanoparticles carried out. Results from the assessment studies will be used to compile a risk assessment of the use of nanoparticles in the ink and pigment industry, and comparisons will be made with surface-modified nanoparticles. An evaluation of the effectiveness of risk management measures will be undertaken in order to select and design practical and cost effective strategies, which will be easy to implement in the real operative conditions. As part of this assessment, we will conduct a life cycle assessment, by evaluating their impacts during the whole process of manufacture, use and disposal of these products. The project results will involve industrial partners, providing an integrated strategy to mitigate the risk of workers dealing with nanoparticles, considering all relevant worker exposure scenarios. Furthermore, NANOMICEX will provide industrial stakeholders and the general public with appropriate knowledge on the risks of nanoparticles and nanoproducts, establishing synergies with the EU nanosafety infrastructure.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 10.98M | Year: 2009

The HERMIONE project is designed to make a major advance in our knowledge of the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems and their contribution to the production of goods and services. This will be achieved through a highly interdisciplinary approach (including biologists, ecologists, microbiologists, biogeochemists, sedimentologists, physical oceanographers, modelers and socio-economists) that will integrate biodiversity, specific adaptions and biological capacity in the context of a wide range of highly vulnerable deep-sea habitats. Gaining this understanding is crucial, because these ecosystems are now being affected by climate change and impacted by man through fishing, resource extraction, seabed installations and pollution. To design and implement effective governance strategies and management plans we must understand the extent, natural dynamics and interconnection of ocean ecosystems and integrate socio-economic research with natural science. The study sites include the Arctic, North Atlantic and Mediterranean and cover a range of ecosystems including cold-water corals, canyons, cold and hot seeps, seamounts and open slopes and deep-basins. The project will make strong connections between deep-sea science and user needs. HERMIONE will enhance the education and public perception of the deep-ocean issues also through some of the major EU aquaria. These actions, together with GEOSS databases that will be made available, will create a platform for discussion between a range of stakeholders, and contribute to EU environmental policies.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 10.04M | Year: 2012

The overall concept of NanoBarrier is to develop a new nanotechnology platform based on inorganic-organic hybrid polymers, microfibrillated cellulose, nanocapsules with controlled permeability and additive technology and combine this with resource-efficient processing technologies to realize safe and extended shelf-life and multifunctional biopolymer food packaging solutions. These solutions based on CO2 neutral and renewable resources, should work as an enabling technology for innovative companies to stimulate to further consumption growth of fish and seafood and environmental conscious packaging solutions for meat and dairy products; food sectors of major social, economical and health impact in the European region. The project will also bring forward robust biopolymer formulations, compounding expertise and coating approaches to combine nanoparticle technology with biopolymer formulations. Dedicated demonstrators are planned based on resource-efficient processing technologies, such as blow moulding and film blowing. The demonstrators will be multifunctional barrier films for meat packaging, multifunctional barrier bottles for liquid yoghurt and milk and multifunctional barrier jars for crab packaging. NanoBarrier will include sustainable parameters from the demonstrator design step applying ecodesign methodology to minimize the environmental, social and economic impact from the early development step. An LCA will quantify the impact of the foreseen demonstrators and measures are taken to evaluate safety. The objectives of the project will be achieved by implementing the work organized in four technical work packages (in addition to a coordination work package) where each WP are designed to fulfill one- or several of the specific scientific objectives in the project. The project consortium cover the whole value chain from manufacture and competence of nanoparticle technology to end-use supply and include leading organizations and competences throughout Europ

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-1-C | Award Amount: 17.68M | Year: 2012

Despite examples of excellent practice, rare disease (RD) research is still mainly fragmented by data and disease types. Individual efforts have little interoperability and almost no systematic connection between detailed clinical and genetic information, biomaterial availability or research/trial datasets. By developing robust mechanisms and standards for linking and exploiting these data, RD-Connect will develop a critical mass for harmonisation and provide a strong impetus for a global trial-ready infrastructure ready to support the IRDiRC goals for diagnostics and therapies for RD in close collaboration with the successful A/B projects. It will build on and transform the current state-of-the-art across databases, registries, biobanks, bioinformatics, and ethical considerations to develop a quality-assured and comprehensive integrated hub/platform in which complete clinical profiles are combined with -omics data and sample availability for RD research. The integrated, user-friendly RD-Connect platform, built on efficient informatics concepts already implemented in international research infrastructures for large-scale data management, will provide access to federated databases/registries, biobank catalogues, harmonised -omics profiles, and cutting-edge bioinformatics tools for data analysis. All patient data types will be linked via the generation of a unique identifier (RD-ID) developed jointly with the US NIH. The RD-Connect platform will be one of the primary enablers of progress in IRDiRC-funded research and will facilitate gene discovery, diagnosis and therapy development. RD-Connect has the RD field at its heart and brings together partners with a strong track record in RD research (gene discovery and development of innovative treatments), as well as committed IRDiRC funding partners and representatives of all major international RD initiatives (EU/US/AU/JP) spanning patient organisations, research and public health, to maximise impact to RD patients

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2010.4.2.3-2 | Award Amount: 1.27M | Year: 2010

The main objective of VISION RD4SD is to ensure that Europe is able to contribute to a Sustainable Development of the world by formulating policies and decisions based on robust, up to date knowledge of highest scientific quality. The project focuses on a dialogue among European science policy-makers, administrators and those funding-policy makers in general who demand and need solutions from VISION RD4SD. The project will develop an overview of how research and development to support a sustainable development is being funded, supported and evaluated by science policy. This will be done by a number of state of the art studies. These studies will be carried out through desk research and interviews, on country, regional and European scale. The dialogue process will consist of a set of facilitated workshops. The results of these workshops will be synthesised in a shared vision of how to harness Research & Development for Sustainable Development. The final step of the project will disseminate the results to a broader target group in science policy as well as science communities working in support of Sustainable Development.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-1.3-1;ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 3.25M | Year: 2010

Concept: NanoFATE has been conceived to fill knowledge and methodological gaps currently impeding sound assessment of environmental risks posed by engineered nanoparticles (ENPs). Our vision is to assess environmental fate and risk of ENPs from high-volume products for which recycling is not an option; namely; fuel additive, personal care and antibacterial products. Two market ENPs from each product (CeO2, ZnO, Ag of varying size, surface and core chemistries) will be followed through their post-production life cycles i.e. from environmental entry as spent product, through waste treatment to their final fates and potential toxic effects. This will test the applicability of current fate and risk assessment methods and identify improvements required for a scientific assessment of ENPs at an early stage. Objectives: Such systematic study of the environmental fate and toxicity of selected ENPs will entail addressing 9 S&T objectives: 1: Design, tagging and manufacture of ENPs 2: Analysis of ENP interactions with abiotic and biotic entities 3: Generating predictive models for ENP exposure in waters and sludge-amended soils 4: Studying the fate and behaviour of ENPs through wastewater treatment 5: Determining acute and chronic ecotoxicity 6: Assessing effects of physico-chemical properties on ENP bioavailability 7: Defining mechanisms of uptake, internal trafficking, and toxicity 8: Developing spatial RA model(s) 9: Improving understanding of ENP risks Methodology: The work plan is designed to progress beyond the state-of-the-art through focused workpackages. While some objectives are delivered in single WPs, good cross WP integration will secure the key objectives of delivering new methods for quantifying ENP risks. Impact: NanoFATE will provide robust tools, techniques and knowledge needed by stakeholders to understand and communicate risks associated with different ENPs, including their environmental interactions and toxicity.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2013.7.3.3 | Award Amount: 4.42M | Year: 2013

SIRBATT (Stable Interfaces for Rechargeable Batteries) is a multisite collaborative project consisting of 12 full partners from the European Area (6 Universities, 1 Research Institute and 5 industrial partners). Collaboration with leading battery research groups in the USA and Japan is also considered. The diversity of the research organisations in the partnership has been chosen to provide a wide range of complementary expertise in areas relating to the study of battery electrode interfaces, covering both experimental and theoretical aspects of this important contemporary area. SIRBATT will develop microsensors to monitor internal temperature and pressure of lithium cells in order to maintain optimum operating conditions to allow long-life times that can be scaled for use in grid scale batteries. The cells will comprise of candidate electrode materials in which the complex interfacial region and surface layers have been well characterised and understood via utilisation of a suit of advanced in situ measurement techniques complemented by application of transformative modelling methods. The knowledge from these studies will be used to develop candidate electrode materials with an optimised cycle life and stability, for example by the use of novel stable lithium salts and the inclusion of stable film forming additives into the electrolyte. The scientific aim of SIRBATT is the radical improvement in the fundamental understanding of the structure and reactions occurring at lithium battery electrode/electrolyte interfaces which it will seek to achieve through an innovative programme of collaborative research and development.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2013-1 | Award Amount: 5.04M | Year: 2013

The project aims to deal with the numerous requirements of facade panel retrofitting by developing a light-weight, durable, cost effective and high performance panel. Its layered structure allows for separate but also synergistic function regarding high thermal and acoustic insulation, excellent mechanical properties, up to standards flame retardancy and photocatalytic activity. Employing nanofillers such as CNTs, TiO2 and perlite nanoparticles and cellular nanofibers, will lead to reduction of facade panel weight and thickness by at least 40%. Furthermore, individual components have a definite environmental orientation, taking advantage of recycled materials and biomass foams, low energy and low toxicity processes. Finally, project viability and sustainability will be ensured by performing a Life Cycle Analysis in order to optimize individual processes. Hygrothermal behaviour and thermodynamics will also be simulated and modelled to ensure the high performance of the panel. The projects advancements will be 1. Customization possibilities: Apart from panel thickness which can be easily tuned, integrated encapsulated nano-PCMs will be tailored along the customer needs regarding temperature of phase change. 2. Easy and fast to install: It is calculated that 10m2 can be installed in less than 3 hours by 2 workers 3. High acoustic and thermal insulation: The three internal layers offer varying degrees of insulation, with an ultra-light aerogel middle layer boasting thermal coefficients lower than 0.012 W/mK, thus allowing insulating layers 3 to 4 times thinner than conventional ones. 4. Photocatalytic activity offering self cleaning and antimicrobial behaviour, virtue of the surface coating. In addition, the surface coating will also contribute to flame retardancy due to nanofillers. 5. Reduction in weight and volume by 40%, as a result of applying polymeric and light-weight materials reinforced by nanofillers, therefore improving the panel mechanical properties

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-RIA | Phase: ECSEL-01-2014 | Award Amount: 17.29M | Year: 2015

Nowadays, the major part of offshore operations is done by divers in dangerous missions. Since their number is limited, the dependency on their work represents a real threat to the offshore industry. The extended use of unmanned underwater vehicles (AUVs/ROVs) could solve this problem but since they are usually tailor-made for a specific task and difficult to operate their deployment is very expensive. The overall goal of the SWARMs project is to expand the use of AUVs/ROVs and facilitate the creation, planning and execution of maritime and offshore operations. This will reduce the operational cost and increase the safety of tasks assigned to divers. The SWARMs project aims to make AUVs/ROVs accessible to more users by: Enabling AUVs/ROVs to work in a cooperative mesh thus opening up new applications and ensuring re-usability as no specialized vehicles are needed but heterogeneous standard vehicles can combine their capabilities, Increasing the autonomy of AUVs and improving the usability of ROVs The approach is to design and develop an integrated platform (a set of Software/Hardware components), incorporated into the current generation of underwater vehicles in order to improve autonomy, cooperation, robustness, cost-effectiveness, and reliability of the offshore operations. SWARMs achievements will be demonstrated in two field tests in different scenarios: Inspection, maintenance and repair of offshore infrastructure Pollution monitoring Offshore construction operations SWARMs is an industry-led project: big technology companies will collaborate with SMEs specialized in the subsea, robotics and communication sectors and universities and research institutions to ensure that the newest innovations in subsea robotics will arrive fast to market. As voice of the customer, two end-users are also part of the consortium.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2011.4.4-3. | Award Amount: 50.74M | Year: 2011

The project proposal concerns the challenges posed by the physical integration of smart intelligent structural concepts. It addresses aircraft weight and operational cost reductions as well as an improvement in the flight profile specific aerodynamic performance. This concerns material concepts enabling a conformal, controlled distortion of aerodynamically important surfaces, material concepts enabling an active or passive status assessment of specific airframe areas with respect to shape and potential damages and material concepts enabling further functionalities which to date have been unrealizable. Past research has shown the economic feasibility and system maturity of aerodynamic morphing. However, few projects concerned themselves with the challenges arising from the structural integration on commercial aircraft. In particular the skin material and its bonding to the substructure is challenging. It is the aim of this project proposal to demonstrate the structural realizability of individual morphing concepts concerning the leading edge, the trailing edge and the winglet on a full-size external wing by aerodynamic and structural testing. Operational requirements on morphing surfaces necessitate the implementation of an independent, integrated shape sensing system to ensure not only an optimal control of the aerodynamic surface but also failure tolerance and robustness. Developments made for structural health monitoring will be adapted to this task. Similar systems optimized for rapid in-service damage assessment have progressed to a maturity which allows their inclusion in the next generation of aircraft. However, the time consuming application of these sensor systems has to be further improved by integration at the component manufacturing level. The additional benefit of a utilization of these adapted systems for part manufacture process and quality control shall be assessed in SARISTU. Addressing the Nanotechnology aspect of the call, benefits regarding significant damage tolerance and electrical conductivity improvements shall be realized at sub-assembly level.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2013-2 | Award Amount: 9.38M | Year: 2013

The ECO-SEE project aims to develop new eco-materials and components for the purpose of creating both healthier and more energy efficient buildings. We will create and symbiotically use natural eco-materials for healthier indoor environments through hygrothermal (heat and moisture) regulation and the removal airborne contaminants through both chemical capture and photocatalysis. Our objectives include advancing state of the art in the technology and application of multifunctional bio-based insulation materials, vapour permeable and hygrothermal and moisture buffering finishes, together with wood panel products, to create both internal partition and external highly insulated wall panels. Novel chemical treatments and processes will be used to enhance volatile organic compound capture capacity of materials. We will also develop highly novel photocatalytic coatings using nanoparticle technology, which will be suitable for use in interior spaces and compatible with lime and wooden surfaces. Novel material development will be completed in partnership with world-class expert organisations in indoor environmental quality. We will also create a new holistic modelling framework that combines air quality, hygrothermal comfort and acoustic quality for the well-being of building users. We will take new products through to proof of concept development with prototype manufacture, large scale tests and pilot studies. We will deliver products with at least 15% lower embodied energy, at least 20% longer life, and, for at least 20% lower build costs. Our consortium brings together a multi-disciplinary team of world-class researchers from universities and research organisations with a number of large enterprises and innovative SMEs, whose combined expertise and capacity will lead commercial development and exploitation of our products. We will engage with stakeholders, including Public and Health authorities and standards committees, and deliver training and technical guidance.

Perez-Coll D.,CSIC - Institute of Ceramics and Glass | Nunez P.,University of La Laguna | Frade J.R.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2011

The solid solution Ce0.8Sm0.2O2-δ (20CSO) was synthesized by freeze-drying precursor procedure. Well-crystallized powders with nanometric grain sizes were obtained after calcining the precursor at 375 °C for 4 h. The effect of SiO2-addition and sintering temperature on the properties of the bulk and grain boundary processes were studied. For this purpose, 20CSO-SiO2 samples were prepared by the addition of 0.05 or 0.5 mol% SiO2 to Ce0.8Sm 0.2O2-δ, in the form of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS). Also, 2 mol% Co was added to some of the precalcined compositions with and without silica-addition. Cobalt free samples were sintered at 1400, 1500 and 1600 °C and cobalt-added samples were sintered 1150 °C, for 10 h to obtain dense pellets. The electrical behaviour of the bulk was revealed to be nearly independent on sintering temperature and/or on the addition of impurities of SiO2 and Co to the grain boundaries. This was explained by the low solubility of impurities in the grain fluorite structure. However, the grain boundary resistance showed important differences as function of sintering temperature and with the presence of impurities. The analysis of grain boundary properties suggests that segregated impurities affect the microstructure and also segregation of Sm at the space charge layer, thus changing both the specific grain boundary conductivity and microstructural parameters. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bras L.,University of Aveiro | Carvalho N.B.,University of Aveiro | Pinho P.,Telecommunications Institute of Portugal
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation | Year: 2012

A pentagonal patch-excited sectorized antenna (SA) suitable for 2.4-2.5 GHz localization systems was studied and developed. The integration of six patch-excited structures converges into a sectorized antenna called Hive5 that provides gain improvement compared to a patch antenna, maximum variation of 3 dB beam width over the radiation pattern and circular polarization (CP). This antenna is presented and analyzed taking into account the tap length and the flare angle. The proposed antenna in combination with a RF-Switch provides a cost effective solution for localization based on Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) and will be used for implementing angle of arrival (AoA) techniques combined with RF fingerprinting techniques. © 2006 IEEE.

Lamy E.,University of Évora | Lamy E.,Higher School of Tourism and Hospitality Studies, Estoril | Lamy E.,University of Aveiro | Mau M.,King's College London
Journal of Proteomics | Year: 2012

Saliva is an extraordinary fluid in terms of research and diagnostic possibilities. Its composition in electrolytes, hormones and especially its proteome contains information about feeding status, nutritional requirements and adaptations to diet and environment, and also about health status of animals. It is easy to collect on a non-invasive and routine basis without any need for special training. Therefore, the analysis of salivary proteomes is going to emerge into a field of high interest with the future goal to maintain and improve livestock productivity and welfare. Moreover, the comprehensive analysis and identification of salivary proteins and peptides in whole and glandular saliva is a necessary pre-requisite to identify animal disease biomarkers and a powerful tool to better understand animal physiology. This review focuses on the different approaches used to study the salivary proteomes of farm animals, in respect to the physiology of nutrition and food perception in relation to food choices. The potential of animal saliva as a source of disease biomarkers will also be pointed out. Special emphasis is laid on the 'ruminating triad' - cattle, goat and sheep - as well as swine as major species of animal production in Western and Southern Europe. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Farm animal proteomics. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

La F.M.B.,University of Aveiro | Sundberg J.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Journal of Voice | Year: 2012

Objectives: Significant changes in body tissues occur during pregnancy; however, literature concerning the effects of pregnancy on the voice is sparse, especially concerning the professional classically trained voice. Hypotheses: Hormonal variations and associated bodily changes during pregnancy affect phonatory conditions, such as vocal fold motility and glottal adduction. Design: Longitudinal case study with a semiprofessional classically trained singer. Methods: Audio, electrolaryngograph, oral pressure, and air flow signals were recorded once a week during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy, 48 hours after birth and during the following consecutive 11 weeks. Vocal tasks included diminuendo sequences of the syllable /pae/ sung at various pitches, and performing a Lied. Phonation threshold pressures (PTPs) and collision threshold pressures (CTPs), normalized amplitude quotient (NAQ), alpha ratio, and the dominance of the voice source fundamental were determined. Concentrations of sex female steroid hormones were measured on three occasions. A listening test of timbral brightness and vocal fatigue was carried out. Results: Results demonstrated significantly elevated concentrations of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy, which were considerably reduced after birth. During pregnancy, CTPs and PTPs were high; and NAQ, alpha ratio, and dominance of the voice source fundamental suggested elevated glottal adduction. In addition, a perceptible decrease of vocal brightness was noted. Conclusions: The elevated CTPs and PTPs during pregnancy suggest reduced vocal fold motility and increased glottal adduction. These changes are compatible with expected effects of elevated concentrations of estrogen and progesterone on tissue viscosity and water retention. © 2012 The Voice Foundation.

Zamiri R.,University of Aveiro | Singh B.,University of Aveiro | Scott Belsley M.,University of Minho | Ferreira J.M.F.,University of Aveiro
Ceramics International | Year: 2014

Pure and 2 mol% Aluminium (Al) doped ZnO nanostructures were prepared by a simple and low cost wet chemical precipitation technique. Structure and morphology of the prepared samples were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). UV-visible spectrometry and band gap calculations confirmed the presence of structural defects in the samples. A significant enhancement in dielectric constant resulted from the incorporation of Al in ZnO lattice while an opposite trend was observed for dielectric lost. In addition, the electrical conductivity of Al-doped ZnO samples increased in comparison with that of pure ZnO due to the increase of available charge carriers after replacement of Zn ions by Al ions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.

Sendra A.,Asociacion para el Estudio del Medio Subterraneo | Reboleira A.S.S.,University of Aveiro | Reboleira A.S.S.,University of La Laguna
International Journal of Speleology | Year: 2012

Subsurface biota extends over a wide variety of habitats that can be spatially interconnected. The largest communities of this subsurface biota inhabit cavities and are well known mainly in caves where biologists are able to have access. Data about deep subterranean communities and arthropods living under one thousand meters was unknown. An expedition to world's deepest cave, Krubera-Voronja in Western Caucasus, revealed an interesting subterranean community, living below 2000 meters and represented by more than 12 species of arthropods, including several new species for science. This deep cave biota is composed of troglobionts and also epigean species, that can penetrate until -2140 m. Deep subterranean ecosystems should not be seen only as an evolutionary dead end towards the troglomorphic syndrome, but also as a shelter for epigean species populations, especially during long periods of time when surface conditions are severe for their survival. Most of the subsurface biota depends on allochthonous sources of organic carbon coming from: water percolating from the surface, sinking streams that enter caves, and activities of animals moving in and out of caves. The biocoenosis and the vertical distribution of invertebrate fauna of Krubera-Voronja are provided, from its entrance to the remarkable depth of 2140 meters, including the discovery of world's deepest dwelling arthropod.

Duarte I.,University of Aveiro | Vesenjak M.,University of Maribor | Krstulovic-Opara L.,University of Split | Anzel I.,University of Maribor | Ferreira J.M.F.,University of Aveiro
Materials and Design | Year: 2015

The manuscript focuses on manufacturing of new in situ foam-filled tubes (in situ FFTs) of Al-alloys including the foaming stage and studying their mechanical behaviour under quasi-static and dynamic bending loadings. The composite structures were manufactured by the powder compact foaming technique. These structures are fabricated by heating foamable precursor material pieces above their solid temperature inside thin-walled tubes. Different manufacturing parameters were appropriately adjusted based on preliminary experiments. The mechanical crushing behaviour and failure mechanisms were assessed by three-point bending experiments supported by infrared thermography. The bending performance of in situ FFTs and ex situ foam-filled heat treated tubes (ex situ FFTTs) were compared with that of empty tubes subjected to heat treatment. The observed results have been explained in terms of the structural changes in the thermally treated tubes, the surface roughness derived from oxidation, and the dimensions of the interface gap between the two components in the composite structures. The in situ FFTs composite structures confirmed stable and controllable deformation and a promising energy absorption capability. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Malonek H.R.,University of Aveiro | Falcao M.I.,University of Minho
Mathematical Methods in the Applied Sciences | Year: 2010

We consider quasi-conformal 3D-mappings realized by hypercomplex differentiable (monogenic) functions and their polynomial approximation. Main tools are the series development of monogenic functions in terms of hypercomplex variables and the generalization of Kantorovich's approach for approximating conformal mappings by powers of a small parameter. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Muga N.J.,Telecommunications Institute of Portugal | Muga N.J.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira M.F.S.,University of Aveiro | Pinto A.N.,Telecommunications Institute of Portugal | Pinto A.N.,University of Aveiro
Optics Express | Year: 2011

The Raman gain based polarization pulling process in a copropagating scheme is investigated. We map the degree of polarization, the angle between the signal and pump output Stokes vectors, the mean signal gain and its standard deviation considering the entire Raman gain bandwidth. We show that, in the undepleted regime (signal input power ∼ 1 μ W), the degree of polarization is proportional to the pump power and changes with the signal wavelength, following the Raman gain shape. In the depleted regime (signal input power ≥ 1mW), the highest values for the degree of polarization are no more observed for the highest pump powers. Indeed, we show that exists an optimum pump power leading to a maximum degree of polarization. © 2011 Optical Society of America.

Duarte I.,University of Aveiro | Krstulovic-Opara L.,University of Split | Vesenjak M.,University of Maribor
Composite Structures | Year: 2015

Novel ex-situ foam-filled tubes (FFTs) were prepared by inserting an integral-skin foam filler into an empty aluminium alloy tube. The aluminium alloy foam filler is prepared by powder compact foaming technique allowing to combine the Al-alloy integral-skin filler with an Al-alloy tube which has not been studied yet. Axial compressive crush performance of the individual components (empty tubes and integral-skin foams) and FFTs was studied and evaluated using uniaxial compression tests, exploring their deformation and failure mechanisms. The FFTs deform by axisymmetric axial crushing mode (concertina mode) with the formation of a single visible concertina fold, but with the formation and propagation of longitudinal cracks. The results confirm an improved crush performance under axial compressive loads by introducing the integral-skin foam as a filler in empty tubes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Pacheco-Torgal F.,University of Minho | Labrincha J.A.,University of Aveiro
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2013

Although the unsustainability of the human civilization has been recognized long ago, little has ever been done to change it. During the last century, materials use increased 8-fold and as a result Humanity currently uses almost 60 billion tons (Gt) of materials per year. The construction industry alone consumes more raw materials than any other economic activity. However, research on construction materials still is excessively focused on their mechanical properties with minor concerns regarding environmental considerations. In September of 2000 189 UN member states signed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in which the seventh goal is related to environmental sustainability. This is a cornerstone event of paramount significance. However, research in the field of the built environment especially on the field of construction materials still seems unable to recognize its importance. This paper provides some insights on future construction materials research priorities in the context of the seventh MDG. It reviews publication patterns on the field of construction materials highlighting investigations gaps and misdirected research lines. It addresses the importance of nano and biotech hot areas and briefly analyzes the gap between research and market use. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lucas S.S.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira V.M.,University of Aveiro | Aguiar J.L.B.D.,University of Minho
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2013

The incorporation of phase change materials (PCM) into traditional mortars give to these products the ability to store and release heat. In this way it is possible to reduce the energy consumption and improve the thermal comfort in buildings. The introduction of micro and nanomaterials in the mortars matrix can cause microstructural changes that need to be addressed in order to optimize the PCM addition. The relationship between the hardened state performance of different PCM-mortars, its internal microstructure and pore distribution as been observed for different binders such as lime, cement and gypsum. Their hardened state properties, microstructural modifications and heat storage capabilities were evaluated. The ability to store and release heat depends strongly on the size and distribution of internal pores and not only on the PCM content. Using a thermal efficiency test, an important correlation between thermal performance and the mortars microstructure was established, for mortars with 0-30% of PCM added. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Perez-Coll D.,CSIC - Institute of Ceramics and Glass | Nunez P.,University of La Laguna | Frade J.R.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2013

Ce1-xSmxO2-δ powders (x = 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) were prepared by a freeze-drying method, preserving monophasic fluorites when precursors were annealed between 375 and 1600 °C. Dried precursor powders were calcined at 375 °C for 4 h and sintered at 1600 °C for 10 h yielding gas-tight ceramics with densifications >95%. The oxygen-electrochemical permeability measurements were employed to study the oxygen flux under moderate oxidizing conditions which was directly related to the onset of residual electronic conductivity. In the experimental process the charge transport through the membrane was due to the ambipolar conductivity, which was controlled by the minor electronic conductivity in Ce 1-xSmxO2-δ. The electronic properties of the pellets were analysed between pO2 ≈ 10-3-0.21 atm in the range 750-900 °C. The estimated ionic transport number, obtained by combination of the electronic conductivity by oxygen permeability and total conductivity by impedance spectroscopy, remained higher than 0.99 in the studied conditions. The electronic conductivity was found dominated by p-type carriers and dependent on the content of Sm in the ceria lattice. Although the overall electrical conductivity under oxidizing conditions is governed by the ionic behaviour, an increased Sm-doping improved the p-type conductivity. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Magalhaes J.P.,University of Aveiro | Vieira J.M.N.,University of Aveiro | Gomez-Garcia R.,University of Alcalá | Carvalho N.B.,University of Aveiro
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques | Year: 2013

For an efficient exploitation of the RF spectrum, very sophisticated analog-to-digital front-ends for modern cognitive-/software-defined radios featuring high sampling rate and dynamic range are required to properly handle broadband frequency-sparse signals. For this purpose, a receiver solution based on a mixed-analog/digital-domain channelizer can be advantageous, with added benefits regarding system reconfigurability and parallelization of multiband signal processing. Here, a novel receiver architecture using this approach for the commented application is described, with a special focus on the IF hybrid filter bank as its core element. The analog part of the hybrid filter bank is a 50-100-MHz eight-channel analog multiplexer inspired in the human hearing system. The associated digital block can be co-synthesized as a discrete-time filter bank to invert the action of the IF analog channelizer. As a benefit, hardware imperfections inherent to the analog circuitry can be easily counteracted at the digital level. Furthermore, such a channelization enables low-cost analog-to-digital converters to be utilized for the sampling of the signal sub-bands to be later digitally processed for the overall signal reconstruction. For validation, measured and simulated results of a proof-of-concept prototype for the analog channelizer are shown. Besides, the inversion of the measured transfer functions of this multiplexing device by means of the application of the co-designed digital filter bank is demonstrated. An experiment is also carried out showing the reconstruction of a band-limited noise signal with the developed hybrid filter bank. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Pacheco-Torgal F.,University of Minho | Miraldo S.,University of Aveiro | Ding Y.,Dalian University of Technology | Labrincha J.A.,University of Aveiro
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2013

According to the 2011 ERMCO statistics only a mere 11% of the ready-mixed concrete class production relates to the HPC target, furthermore, this percentage remains unchanged at least since the year 2001. This represents a strange option from the construction industry since HPC offers several advantages over normal-strength concrete, namely, high strength and high durability. Therefore, HPC allows for concrete structures with less steel reinforcement and a longer service life, both of which are crucial issues in the eco-efficiency of construction materials. Although nanotechnology is a very hot issue the fact is that investigations on the field of concrete with nanoparticles are rare (100 in 10,000 Scopus concrete related articles published in the last decade). Actually, it remains to be seen how this research area will contribute to concrete eco-efficiency. This paper summarizes current knowledge on the field of concrete containing nanoparticles. It includes the influence of nanoparticles on the mechanical properties of concrete and on its durability. It also includes calcium leaching control. Moreover, the problem of efficient dispersion of nanoparticles is analyzed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Facao M.,University of Aveiro | Rocha A.M.,Telecommunications Institute of Portugal | De Brito Andre P.S.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Lightwave Technology | Year: 2011

In this paper, we reduce a partial differential equation that models the optical fiber fuse to an ordinary differential equation (ODE) using a traveling variable. This similarity reduction neglects the radiation loss term; however, the obtained fuse speeds are in good agreement with the ones obtained with the full propagation equation. The ODE results reveal the dependence of the fuse speed with the thermal parameters of silica and with the optical power density. We have also combined those results with experimental ones in order to adjust fiber absorption parameters. © 2006 IEEE.

Calvo A.I.,University of Aveiro | Alves C.,University of Aveiro | Castro A.,University of León | Pont V.,CNRS Laboratory for Aerology | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Research | Year: 2013

In spite of considerable progresses in recent years, a quantitative and predictive understanding of atmospheric aerosol sources, chemical composition, transformation processes and environmental effects is still rather limited, and therefore represents a major research challenge in atmospheric science. This review begins with a historical perspective on the scientific questions regarding atmospheric aerosols over the past centuries, followed by a description of the distribution, sources, transformation processes, and chemical and physical properties as they are currently understood. The major open questions and suggestions for future research priorities are outlined to narrow the gap between the present understanding of the contribution of both anthropogenic and biogenic aerosols to radiative forcing resulting from the spatial non-uniformity, intermittency of sources, unresolved composition and reactivity. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Cacao I.,University of Aveiro | Falcao M.I.,University of Minho | Malonek H.R.,University of Aveiro
Mathematical and Computer Modelling | Year: 2011

Hypercomplex function theory generalizes the theory of holomorphic functions of one complex variable by using Clifford Algebras and provides the fundamentals of Clifford Analysis as a refinement of Harmonic Analysis in higher dimensions. We define the Laguerre derivative operator in hypercomplex context and by using operational techniques we construct generalized hypercomplex monogenic Laguerre polynomials. Moreover, Laguerre-type exponentials of order m are defined. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Pacheco-Torgal F.,University of Minho | Labrincha J.A.,University of Aveiro
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2013

The deterioration of reinforced concrete structures is a very common problem due to the fact that this material has a high permeability which allows water and other aggressive media to enter, thus leading to corrosion problems. The use of sealers is a common way of contributing to concrete durability. However, the most common ones are based on organic polymers which have some degree of toxicity. The Regulation (EU) 305/2011 related to the Construction Products Regulation emphasizes the need to reduce hazardous substances. Therefore, new low toxicity forms to increase concrete durability are needed. Recent investigations in the field of biotechnology show the potential of bioinspired materials in the development of low toxic solutions. This paper reviews current knowledge on the use of bacteria for concrete with enhanced durability. It covers the use of bacteria in concrete mix and also biomineralization in concrete surface treatments. Investigation gaps are described. Results from practical applications in which there is exposure to environmental conditions are still needed in order to confirm the importance of this new approach. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lucas S.S.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira V.M.,University of Aveiro | De Aguiar J.L.B.,University of Minho
Cement and Concrete Research | Year: 2013

The environmental pollution in urban areas is one of the causes for poor indoor air quality in buildings, particularly in suburban areas. The development of photocatalytic construction materials can contribute to clean the air and improve sustainability levels. Previous studies have focused mainly in cement and concrete materials, disregarding the potential application in historic buildings. In this work, a photocatalytic additive (titanium dioxide) was added to mortars prepared with aerial lime, cement and gypsum binders. The main goal was to study the way that microstructural changes affect the photocatalytic efficiency. The photocatalytic activity was determined using a reactor developed to assess the degradation rate with a common urban pollutant, NOx. The laboratory results show that all the compositions tested exhibited high photocatalytic efficiency. It was demonstrated that photocatalytic mortars can be applied in new and old buildings, because the nanoadditives do not compromise the mortar hardened state properties. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Goel A.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Rajagopal R.R.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira J.M.F.,University of Aveiro
Acta Biomaterialia | Year: 2011

The present study investigates the influence of SrO on structure, apatite-forming ability, physico-chemical degradation and sintering behaviour of melt-quenched bioactive glasses with the composition (mol.%): (36.07 - x) CaO-xSrO-19.24MgO-5.61P 2O 5-38.49SiO 2-0. 59CaF 2, where x varies between 0 and 10. The detailed structural analysis of the glasses is made by infrared spectroscopy and magic angle spinning-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Silicon is predominantly present as Q 2 (Si) species, while phosphorus is found as orthophosphate in all the investigated glasses. The apatite-forming ability of glasses is investigated by immersion of glass powders in simulated body fluid for time durations varying between 1 h and 7 days. While increasing the Sr 2+/Ca 2+ ratio in the glasses does not affect their structure significantly, their apatite-forming ability is decreased considerably. Further, physico-chemical degradation of glasses is studied in accordance with ISO 10993-14 "Biological evaluation of medical devices - Part 14: Identification and quantification of degradation products from ceramics" in Tris-HCl and citric acid buffer, and the possible implications of the ion release profiles from the glasses in different solutions are discussed. The addition of strontium to the glasses leads to a sevenfold decrease in chemical degradation of glasses in Tris-HCl. The sintering of glass powders renders glass ceramics (GCs) with varying degrees of crystallinity and good flexural strength (98-131 MPa), where the mechanical properties depend on the nature and amount of crystalline phases present in the GCs. © 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ferdov S.,University of Minho | Lin Z.,University of Aveiro
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2010

We report an inorganic, highly selective structural sensor for cesium ions that effectively works at room temperature in water solutions with different competing alkaline elements. The process of sensing realizes via selective transformation of Na3MnH(P0.9O4)2 to a new type of struvite-like cesium-containing solid CsMn(PO4) ·6H2O. The inclusion of the cesium in the structure is stable and no reverse exchange is possible. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Jeffery S.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Verheijen F.G.A.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Verheijen F.G.A.,University of Aveiro | van der Velde M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 2 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2011

Increased crop yield is a commonly reported benefit of adding biochar to soils. However, experimental results are variable and dependent on the experimental set-up, soil properties and conditions, while causative mechanisms are yet to be fully elucidated. A statistical meta-analysis was undertaken with the aim of evaluating the relationship between biochar and crop productivity (either yield or above-ground biomass). Results showed an overall small, but statistically significant, benefit of biochar application to soils on crop productivity, with a grand mean increase of 10%. However, the mean results for each analysis performed within the meta-analysis covered a wide range (from -28% to 39%). The greatest (positive) effects with regard to soil analyses were seen in acidic (14%) and neutral pH soils (13%), and in soils with a coarse (10%) or medium texture (13%). This suggests that two of the main mechanisms for yield increase may be a liming effect and an improved water holding capacity of the soil, along with improved crop nutrient availability. The greatest positive result was seen in biochar applications at a rate of 100 t ha -1 (39%). Of the biochar feedstocks considered and in relation to crop productivity, poultry litter showed the strongest (significant) positive effect (28%), in contrast to biosolids, which were the only feedstock showing a statistically significant negative effect (-28%). However, many auxiliary data sets (i.e. information concerning co-variables) are incomplete and the full range of relevant soil types, as well as environmental and management conditions are yet to be investigated. Furthermore, only shortterm studies limited to periods of 1 to 2 years are currently available. This paper highlights the need for a strategic research effort, to allow elucidation of mechanisms, differentiated by environmental and management factors and to include studies over longer time frames. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Costa M.,University of Aveiro | Goncalves A.M.,University of Minho
Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment | Year: 2011

The aim of this contribution is to combine statistical methodologies to geographically classify homogeneous groups of water quality monitoring sites based on similarities in the temporal dynamics of the dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration, in order to obtain accurate forecasts of this quality variable. Our methodology intends to classify the water quality monitoring sites into spatial homogeneous groups, based on the DO concentration, which has been selected and considered relevant to characterize the water quality. We apply clustering techniques based on Kullback Information, measures that are obtained in the state space modelling process. For each homogeneous group of water quality monitoring sites we model the DO concentration using linear and state space models, which incorporate tendency and seasonality components in different ways. Both approaches are compared by the mean squared error (MSE) of forecasts. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Duarte I.,University of Aveiro | Vesenjak M.,University of Maribor | Krstulovic-Opara L.,University of Split
Composite Structures | Year: 2014

This paper aims to evaluate the potential use of closed-cell aluminium alloy integral-skin foams as stiffening elements for aluminium alloy thin-walled structures that are main basic components in the concept and design of automotive body parts. Foam specimens were prepared using the powder metallurgical route, inserted into empty thin-walled tubes and subjected to quasi-static and dynamic bending loading conditions. The effect of introducing foam into tubes was evaluated using the infrared thermography during the three-point bending tests. The foam-filled tubes, empty tubes and foams are compared in terms of the maximum load carrying capacity, crash energy absorption, specific energy absorption and deformation modes. Results showed that the foam filling leads due to interaction between the tube wall and foam filler, causing an increased bending response of the filled tubes which exceeds the sum of the bending response for the individual components. Their deformation mode is a combination between the modes of the individual components. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.1-6 | Award Amount: 2.75M | Year: 2009

Our comprehensive approach to clinical continuity by integrated care (IC) across the secondary-primary interface departs from a preliminary literature review selecting frequent chronic conditions (CC) as stroke, COPD and HF as our focus areas. However, within each of these areas IC is a small activity, still, requiring more basic research. As IC for these different CC are based on the same patient values (feeling safe, participation and primary feedback) the synergistic effect from cross-sectional relationships arising from this project should be significant. In all, our 11 deliverables may be important to trespass the critical mass required for an expansion of this kind of IC as far as justified by the empirical results. In general, moderately improved health at minimal costs might be expected from some point of their life to a large segment of the population in EU suffering from the CC in study. That would deliver goodwill to the EU! Special projects are going to investigate the relevance of the access to health improvements by these Low-Tech-IC-interventions in low- and middle-income MS with distinct problems of fragmented care systems. The project has several milestones: 1) A kick-off Symposium aiming to establish a common decision-making framework introducing the HTA method 2) A systematic literature review checking preliminary choices of focus areas after 6 months 3) After 18 months a comprehensive status of the progress of the different trials and surveys is scheduled with respect to both timeliness and scientific content 4) After 30 months the practical IC-guides for clinicians on stroke, heart failure and COPD, respectively, should be concluded after an extensive hearing in an international network related to the 2nd Annual meeting of the consortium. 5) After 36 months the final reporting and dissemination of an HTA of IC should provide the top level of clinical, administrative and political decision-makers with a solid base for progressive decision-making. In conclusion, a meso-strategy for dissemination of IC in EU with formation of a country-specific, multidisciplinary network of specialists in the involved fields as corner-stone for setting up new clinical implementations and recommendations for adaptation of financial and organisation conditions.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-CSA | Phase: WIDESPREAD-1-2014 | Award Amount: 499.85K | Year: 2015

This proposal aims to develop the necessary endeavours to elaborate a robust and feasible Business Plan that will be the basis for the creation of a new Centre of Excellence in Portugal The Discoveries Centre for Regenerative and Precision Medicine. It is an initiative of the Portuguese Foundation for Science & Technology, scientifically coordinated by the University of Minho and involving a national partnership formed by the 6 top-ranked Portuguese universities. The new Centre will result from a teaming process with the University College London, an institution of research and innovation excellence from the UK. The experience and expertise of all these entities future founding members of the new Centre will be used to design the necessary strategies and approaches to build the final business plan. The Discoveries Centre to be created will perform world-leading research, by anchoring research activities of the best research groups in Portugal, promoting excellence, advanced training, translational research outputs and commercialisation strategies. In the long-run, these are expected to generate an important economic impact, as well as a positive social effect by contributing to the increase of the quality of life of an ageing European population affected by neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases. Therefore, it is anticipated that The Discoveries Centre will be able to foster a knowledge-based economy aligned with national and regional strategic priority areas and European societal challenges, thus reinforcing Portugals scientific capabilities and social and economic development. It will also contribute to a global recognition of the national scientific production, having a structuring effect in the Portuguese science, generating high value-added products, attracting top-level international scientists, as well as enhancing the capacity to retain the best Portuguese researchers.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EJD | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-EJD | Award Amount: 3.78M | Year: 2015

EJD-FunMat is a European Joint Doctoral programme in the field of functional materials research. EJD-FunMat is embedded in an existing research network, with previous experience in co-tutelle doctorates, but the project will add new major elements, with the strategic aim of becoming a permanent reference European Joint Doctoral School in Materials Science and beyond. The key innovative aspects of the programme are: - Research in PhD clusters: The 15 PhD projects are grouped into 6 thematic clusters: Photocatalysis, Transparent Conductors, Lead-Free Piezoelectrics, Photonics, Cellulose-based Polymers, Bone Tissue Engineering. Each cluster has 3-4 academic, and several industry partners, thus forming a small-scale collaborative project. This concept will (i) will be a practical training in interdisciplinary teamwork for the PhD candidates and (ii) provide a critical mass of researchers with the potential to achieve breakthrough research and innovation, compared to individual PhD projects. Additional, locally funded PhD projects will be added to the clusters. - Industry partner for each PhD: All PhD candidates will spend time in industry research laboratories, and will interact with industry throughout their project. - Joint supervision rules centered on a series of common Deliverables for all PhD candidates, to be achieved during the PhD project - Training in eco-design and life-cycle analysis of materials: topics such as critical raw materials and materials recycling have become crucial issues - Training in project and risk management - Training in industrial intelligence, entrepreneurship and innovation skills - Development of a sustainable framework for a joint PhD School. This strategic goal is based on 4 components: - scientific excellence - development of a legal framework for exploiting the research results - joint rules for co-tutelle PhDs, and joint PhD diplomas - attracting additional funding for PhD scholarships, during and after the project

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-RIA | Phase: BBI.VC2.R2 | Award Amount: 2.41M | Year: 2015

The main objective of the PROVIDES project is to develop a radically new, sustainable and techno-economically feasible pulping technology for wood and agro-based lignocellulose raw materials based on deep eutectic solvents (DES), a new class of natural solvents which have the unique ability to dissolve and thus mildly fractionate lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose at low temperature and atmospheric pressure for further processing into high added value materials and chemicals. The aim is to transfer recent scientific findings in novel lignin dissolving DES to process concept level that can be evaluated against current pulping processes. The technological breakthrough expected through the development of such new DES pulping technology could reduce process energy intensity by at least 40% and investment costs by 50% compared to traditional chemical pulping technology. In parallel, the development of efficient novel cellulose-dissolving DES and other DESs to process lignocellulose materials, starting with paper for recycling, is aimed at with focus on sustainability in selecting DES chemical components and technical and economic applicability of the solvent system. PROVIDES will create both fundamental and industry driven technological knowledge based on lab to bench/pilot scale experimentation, through: mapping and selection of most effective DES families; investigating processes and process technology options, including DES regeneration and recycling, in order to define full industrial processes that would isolate high quality cellulose/fibres, lignin and hemicelluloses; providing products for industrial evaluation; establishing technical data to evaluate industrial feasibility and integration; performing life-cycle oriented assessment of environmental and socio-economic performance; assessing impacts in terms of energy and cost reductions as well as new high added value applications PROVIDES could provide to the pulp and paper industry sector.

Dao Sul Sociedade Vitivinicola S.A. and University of Aveiro | Date: 2012-11-02

The present invention relates to a winemaking process using the traditional method of vinification except that, after fermentation, a chitosan-based film is placed in contact with the wine and no sulfur dioxide is added. The present invention also relates to a process for preparation of a chitosan-based film by modification of the chitosan with natural compounds, which allows to produce chitosan films stable in acidic medium, with high antioxidant activity, while maintaining the antimicrobial activity. In one embodiment, the films are prepared by covalent linkage to the chitosan of molecules, such as genipin, which results in decreasing its solubility in acidic medium, and also of molecules with high antioxidant activity, such as caffeic acid, or grape and wine extracts rich in compounds with antioxidant activity.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-ADG | Phase: ERC-ADG-2014 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2015

New generations of devices for tissue engineering (TE) should rationalize better the physical and biochemical cues operating in tandem during native regeneration, in particular at the scale/organizational-level of the stem cell niche. The understanding and the deconstruction of these factors (e.g. multiple cell types exchanging both paracrine and direct signals, structural and chemical arrangement of the extra-cellular matrix, mechanical signals) should be then incorporated into the design of truly biomimetic biomaterials. ATLAS proposes rather unique toolboxes combining smart biomaterials and cells for the ground-breaking advances of engineering fully time-self-regulated complex 2D and 3D devices, able to adjust the cascade of processes leading to faster high-quality new tissue formation with minimum pre-processing of cells. Versatile biomaterials based on marine-origin macromolecules will be used, namely in the supramolecular assembly of instructive multilayers as nanostratified building-blocks for engineer such structures. The backbone of these biopolymers will be equipped with a variety of (bio)chemical elements permitting: post-processing chemistry and micro-patterning, specific/non-specific cell attachment, and cell-controlled degradation. Aiming at being applied in bone TE, ATLAS will integrate cells from different units of tissue physiology, namely bone and hematopoietic basic elements and consider the interactions between the immune and skeletal systems. These ingredients will permit to architect innovative films with high-level dialogue control with cells, but in particular sophisticated quasi-closed 3D capsules able to compartmentalise such components in a globe-like organization, providing local and long-range order for in vitro microtissue development and function. Such hybrid devices could be used in more generalised front-edge applications, including as disease models for drug discovery or test new therapies in vitro.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-1.2-1 | Award Amount: 9.81M | Year: 2009

Past years have made the radical change of the European paper industry evident to everyone. To accelerate growth, the industry has to beat the product commoditization and renew its product base with value-added products. Energy saving is not just part of the environmental agenda, it has become the most crucial topic for the competitiveness of European paper industry. In order to maintain the advantage, the development of technologically advanced manufacturing processes is a must, along with reduced specific energy consumption. Nanocellulose is the most promising nano-material for wide-variety applications in papermaking, today only prepared and applied in lab-scale. SUNPAP addresses the enhancement of European paper industry competitiveness by means of nanofibrillouscellulose (NFC) based processes. SUNPAP proposes a program based on an integrated and complementary approach for: a) scaling up efficient and innovative production routes to deliver nanofibrillous cellulose (NFC) as functional additive for industrial processes and innovative added value products; b) innovating the papermaking processes by the introduction of NFC additive; c) assessing impacts of nanotechnologies on consumer and occupational safety, public health in general and environment, and enhancing the related European foreground d) demonstrating the economic, environment and social sustainability of the innovative papermaking processes and products and therefore, e) successfully transferring the nanotechnology innovation to the paper value chain. Through demonstrations of the processes, the project will deliver new extremely light-weight and multifunctional products for a wide range of end-uses in the graphical and packaging paper industries. Economical and sustainability assessments in the project cover the whole value chain. However, the targeted advantages are not possible without dramatically changing the total value chain, encompassing it from the pulp to the end of life-cycle of the product

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: H2020-TWINN-2015 | Award Amount: 1.01M | Year: 2016

CHEM2NATURE addresses current limitations of UMINHO in the Chemistry field regarding its scientific know-how and partnerships with world-leading institutions. UMINHO seeks to improve the multifunctionality of natural-origin polymers, often with limited bioactivity and stimuli-responsiveness, and increase the performance of cell-based therapies. Introducing such properties by precision chemical modifications would allow the development of added-value products with instructive and adaptive properties for cellular response control, drug delivery and diagnosis. The main goal of CHEM2NATURE is to combat UMINHOs limited knowledge, expertise and experience on advanced chemical routes for biopolymer, biomaterials and living surface modification. To this aim, an international training and scientific network will be established to accelerate the generation of technologies amenable to be used in the production of innovative healthcare devices. The capability of UMINHO to train highly-qualified researchers and staff would greatly increase, giving rise to a new generation of specialized professionals with scientific/translational competence. The consortium will comprise UMINHO, UAVR and 3 international competitive institutions in Chemistry: 2 European and 1 Asian. The latter will improve UMINHOs know-how in the translational/clinical fields and raise opportunities to establish new contacts with high-performing and Emerging Asian countries. CHEM2NATURE proposes the joint organisation of events and short-term exchange of senior researchers and staff, aiming at training actions and execution of scientific work in the scope of ongoing scientific projects. Outputs include the increase of number and quality of scientific publications, intellectual property and regional-to-national economic development. CHEM2NATURE will endorse the establishment of a long-lasting consortium beyond the project timeframe for the preparation of new scientific projects and research lines in UMINHO.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES | Award Amount: 222.00K | Year: 2013

The Fregean-inspired Principle of Compositionality of Meaning (PoC), for formal languages, may be construed as asserting that the meaning of a compound expression is deterministically (and often recursively) analysable in terms of the meaning of its constituents, taking into account the mode in which these constituents are combined so as to form the compound expression. From a logical point of view, this amounts to prescribing a constraint --that may or may not be respected-- on the internal mechanisms that build and give meaning to a given formal system. Within the domain of formal semantics and of the structure of logical derivations, PoC is often directly reflected by metaproperties such as truth-functionality and analyticity, characteristic of computationally well-behaved logical systems. The project GeTFun aims at being a coordinated exchange programme for the investigation of compositional meaning in logic and applications. The consortium will study various well-motivated ways in which the attractive properties and metaproperties of truth-functional logics may be stretched so as to cover more extensive logical grounds. The ubiquity of non-classical logics in the formalization of practical reasoning demands the formulation of more flexible theories of meaning and compositionality that allow for the establishment of coherent and inclusive bases for their understanding. Such investigations presuppose not only the development of adequate frameworks from the perspectives of Model Theory, Proof Theory and Universal Logic, but also the construction of solid bridges between the related approaches based on various generalizations of truth-functionality. Applications of broadly truth-functional logics, in their various guises, are envisaged in several areas of computer science, mathematics, philosophy and linguistics, where the ever increasing complexity of systems continuously raise new and difficult challenges to compositionality.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.64M | Year: 2012

Luminescent materials have entered our every day life. They can be found in lamps, traffic lights, computer screens, cell phones, in labels for goods, are used in medical applications, airport security check devices and many more. Indeed, they have become indispensable and much of societies convenience and welfare depend on them. No wonder that the development and use of luminescent materials has truly exploded in the past decade stimulated by the challenging requirements of technological applications spanning domains from solid-state lighting, optics and photonics, energy conversion and storage to well as labelling, detection and imaging in biomedicine. The production of luminescent materials and related devices also is the basis for a large industrial sector with the most key stake holders situated in Europe. There is and there will be a strong demand for skilled scientists in the area of luminescent materials which demands the definition of a precise human resource policy to attract young and highly motivated students that can be well qualified to address the exigent technological requirements of the field and help to strengthen the European technology and research area and allow European companies to keep their status as world market leaders. At the same time sustainable employment opportunities can be guaranteed with high quality jobs. To address theses topics, LUMINET intends, through a rigorous training programme, to strategically position the EU with respect to new and improved possibilities and educated young scientists. It aims at educating a number of well-educated and talented young researchers with a broad, interdisciplinary knowledge in chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering but also in soft-skills like problem-solving and project management that are able to meet the challenges of the future.

Ananias D.,University of Aveiro | Paz F.A.A.,University of Aveiro | Yufit D.S.,Durham University | Carlos L.D.,University of Aveiro | Rocha J.,University of Aveiro
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2015

The hydrothermal synthesis of the novel Na[LnSiO4] (Ln = Gd, Eu, Tb) disordered orthorhombic system is reported. At 100 K, and above, these materials are best described in the centrosymmetric orthorhombic Pnma space group. At lower temperatures (structure solved at 30 K) the unit cell changes to body-centered with Imma symmetry. The materials exhibit unique photophysical properties, arising from both, this phase transformation, and the disorder of the Ln3+ ions, located at a site with D2d point symmetry. Na[(Gd0.8Eu0.1Tb0.1)SiO4] is an unprecedented case of a luminescent ratiometric thermometer based on a very stable silicate matrix. Moreover, it is the first example of an optical thermometer whose performance (viz., excellent sensitivity at cryogenic temperatures <100 K) is determined mainly by a structural transition, opening up new opportunities for designing such devices. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-4 | Award Amount: 10.92M | Year: 2013

Although there is a large body of knowledge available on soil threats in Europe, this knowledge is fragmented and incomplete, in particular regarding the complexity and functioning of soil systems and their interaction with human activities. The main aim of RECARE is to develop effective prevention, remediation and restoration measures using an innovative trans-disciplinary approach, actively integrating and advancing knowledge of stakeholders and scientists in 17 Case Studies, covering a range of soil threats in different bio-physical and socio-economic environments across Europe. Within these Case Study sites, i) the current state of degradation and conservation will be assessed using a new methodology, based on the WOCAT mapping procedure, ii) impacts of degradation and conservation on soil functions and ecosystem services will be quantified in a harmonized, spatially explicit way, accounting for costs and benefits, and possible trade-offs, iii) prevention, remediation and restoration measures selected and implemented by stakeholders in a participatory process will be evaluated regarding efficacy, and iv) the applicability and impact of these measures at the European level will be assessed using a new integrated bio-physical and socio-economic model, accounting for land use dynamics as a result of for instance economic development and policies. Existing national and EU policies will be reviewed and compared to identify potential incoherence, contradictions and synergies. Policy messages will be formulated based on the Case Study results and their integration at European level. A comprehensive dissemination and communication strategy, including the development of a web-based Dissemination and Communication Hub, will accompany the other activities to ensure that project results are disseminated to a variety of stakeholders at the right time and in the appropriate formats to stimulate renewed care for European soils.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.8.2 | Award Amount: 2.82M | Year: 2008

The emerging information society is widely expected to experience massive embedding of both fixed and portable devices into our local physical spaces, with more and more devices having the capacity to initiate, store and communicate information and content in all aspects of life. This results in significant challenges for communication and information provision, based on required scalability, heterogeneity, re-configurability and dynamicity. The Social Networking for Pervasive Adaptation project (SOCIALNETS) proposes a radical re-think for this ICT challenge by significantly departing from the traditional engineering notion of communication network. Instead, SOCIALNETS seeks to embed in devices the key characteristics that enable humans to adapt and exhibit agility beyond any other species. A human-centric approach to communication is developed by establishing social network of relations between fixed and mobile devices, as defined by the human user and their particular actions and behaviour with respect to each other and technology in the environment. Social networks are intimately connected with the human and are the basis for the SOCIALNETS paradigm. The project seeks to understand, model and exploit these structures using an interdisciplinary approach involving social anthropology, complex systems, network engineering and computer science. Relations between devices can be inherently flexible, based on casual interactions, using social models of trust and security, and without the need for always-on connectivity. Furthermore, such relations build into social networks with desirable and inclusive properties that can be exploited for communication and knowledge acquisition for large numbers of devices.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-12 | Award Amount: 3.25M | Year: 2009

The protein synthesis machinery represents one of the most useful targets for the development of new anti-infectives. Several families of broadly used antibiotics (tetracyclines, macrolides, and novel glycopeptides like vancomycin, among others) exert their function by blocking the protein synthesis machinery. Doxicycline, a tetracycline antibiotic, remains a useful tool for the prevention of paludism among travellers, despite its numerous secondary effects. And yet, very little is known about the specifics of the protein synthesis machinery in Plasmodium. A search of articles in the PubMed library with the words Plasmodium and ribosome/ribosomal in their titles will yield 6 publications since the year 2000. Only one article contains the words tRNA (or transfer RNA) and Plasmodium in its title, in the same period. And only one article in PubMed (Snewin et al., 1996) contains the words Plasmodium and tRNA synthetase (or ligase) in its title. This lack of information about this central metabolic pathway in Plasmodium clearly blocks the possibility of transferring the knowledge in protein synthesis to the development of new anti-malarial drugs directed against the translational machinery of the parasite. Thus, the study of components of the genetic code in Plasmodium has the potential for providing new and important information on the biology of the parasite and, more importantly, open new leads for the development of novel anti-malarials. This proposal coordinates an effort to study tRNA biology in Plasmodium falciparum. It contains specific schemes for the development of new pharmacological screens, several initiatives for the selection of new potential anti-malarial drugs, and projects designed to answer fundamental questions regarding protein synthesis in Plasmodium. The laboratories in MEPHITIS accumulate a large body of experience in the biology of this parasite, and in different aspects of tRNA biology in model species.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-4.0-3 | Award Amount: 10.51M | Year: 2008

The project MUST will provide new technologies based on active multi-level protective systems for future vehicle materials. Smart release nanocontainers will be developed and incorporated in commercial paints, lacquers and adhesive systems to prepare new products exhibiting self-healing properties. A multi-level self-healing approach will combine - in a same system - several damage prevention and reparation mechanisms, which will be activated in response to environmental conditions. The main objective of the project will cover design, development, testing and application of coated materials and adhesives used as novel multi-level protection systems for future vehicles. The new active protection systems will be based on different types of smart nanocontainers incorporated in polymer matrixes and adapted to the level of protection. These systems will result in a radical improvement of the long-term performance of metallic or polymer substrates. To achieve the objectives, MUST has been configured in four main activities (WP): WP2 is divided in 6 sub-projects (SP) where SP1 is technology-oriented, and concerns the production of nanocontainers.SP2 and SP3 are directed to basic research, and consider fundamental studies on self-healing mechanisms and development of simulation models. SP4, 5 and 6 consider exploitation, costs and upscaling of the most promising systems in automotive, aerospace and maritime sectors, respectively. The demonstration of the technologies will be performed together with continuous risk management in WP3. WP4 also will manage dissemination of the results and training activities and WP1 will consider the whole coordination of the project. MUST will increase considerably the life cycle of materials and therefore boost the competitive strength of the European transport industry. The multi-level protection approach will also open opportunities for the application of new light materials (magnesium and aluminium alloys) in vehicle manufacturing.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: FoF.NMP.2013-11 | Award Amount: 4.13M | Year: 2013

The aim of FaBiMed proposal is to improve and develop new manufacturing techniques, based on micromoulding, specific for biomedical microdevices. The project will be to reducing the cost of mass production of diagnosis and therapeutic micro devices which have a common problematic: medium sized batches, customization needs, micron-scale geometrical features. These include optofluidic sensors (MIR technology) used for different lab-on-chip diagnostic systems, and micro-needle arrays used for drug delivery and micropiezodevices for intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and similar medical imaging techniques. This kind of medical microdevices lack nowadays of specific manufacturing techniques, and depend from conventional miniaturization methods inherited from silicon processing technologies, developed for the microelectronics industry. Such methods, based on expensive masters and masks, are only economic for high volume production, and prevent for applying the modern tendency of personalized medical devices. The development in this market is dominated by technology based SMEs, start-ups and spin-offs from academy, which have very strong product development capabilities, but depend on the existing technologies for the manufacturing, due to their difficulty for development their own materials processing equipment.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-19-2015 | Award Amount: 7.97M | Year: 2016

The main goal of the LORCENIS project is to develop long reinforced concrete for energy infrastructures with lifetime extended up to a 100% under extreme operating conditions. The concept is based on an optimal combination of novel technologies involving customized methodologies for cost-efficient operation. 4 scenarios of severe operating conditions are considered: 1. Concrete infrastructure in deep sea, arctic and subarctic zones: Offshore windmills, gravity based structures, bridge piles and harbours 2. Concrete and mortar under mechanical fatigue in offshore windmills and sea structures 3. Concrete structures in concentrated solar power plants exposed to high temperature thermal fatigue 4. Concrete cooling towers subjected to acid attack The goal will be realized through the development of multifunctional strategies integrated in concrete formulations and advanced stable bulk concretes from optimized binder technologies. A multi-scale show case will be realized towards service-life prediction of reinforced concretes in extreme environments to link several model approaches and launch innovation for new software tools. The durability of sustainable advanced reinforced concrete structures developed will be proven and validated within LORCENIS under severe operating conditions based on the TRL scale, starting from a proof of concept (TRL 3) to technology validation (TRL 5). LORCENIS is a well-balanced consortium of multidisciplinary experts from 9 universities and research institutes and 7 industries whose 2 are SMEs from 8 countries who will contribute to training by exchange of personnel and joint actions with other European projects and increase the competitiveness and sustainability of European industry by bringing innovative materials and new methods closer to the marked and permitting the establishment of energy infrastructures in areas with harsh climate and environmental conditions at acceptable costs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-IA | Phase: ECSEL-14-2015 | Award Amount: 61.99M | Year: 2016

Addressing European Policies for 2020 and beyond the Power Semiconductor and Electronics Manufacturing 4.0 (SemI40) project responds to the urgent need of increasing the competitiveness of the Semiconductor manufacturing industry in Europe through establishing smart, sustainable, and integrated ECS manufacturing. SemI40 will further pave the way for serving highly innovative electronic markets with products powered by microelectronics Made in Europe. Positioned as an Innovation Action it is the high ambition of SemI40 to implement technical solutions on TRL level 4-8 into the pilot lines of the industry partners. Challenging use cases will be implemented in real manufacturing environment considering also their technical, social and economic impact to the society, future working conditions and skills needed. Applying Industry 4.0, Big Data, and Industrial Internet technologies in the electronics field requires holistic and complex actions. The selected main objectives of SemI40 covered by the MASP2015 are: balancing system security and production flexibility, increase information transparency between fields and enterprise resource planning (ERP), manage critical knowledge for improved decision making and maintenance, improve fab digitalization and virtualization, and enable automation systems for agile distributed production. SemI40s value chain oriented consortium consists of 37 project partners from 5 European countries. SemI40 involves a vertical and horizontal supply chain and spans expertise and partners from raw material research, process and assembly innovation and pilot line, up to various application domains representing enhanced smart systems. Through advancing manufacturing of electronic components and systems, SemI40 contributes to safeguard more than 20.000 jobs of people directly employed in the participating facilities, and in total more than 300.000 jobs of people employed at all industry partners facilities worldwide.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EEB-04-2016 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2016

The Green INSTRUCT project will develop a prefabricated modular structural building block that is superior to conventional precast reinforced concrete panels by virtue of its reduced weight, improved acoustic and thermal performance and multiple functionalities. The Green INSTRUCT block consists of over 70% of CDW in weight. The Green INSTRUCT project will: (i) achieve sustainability and cost savings through CDW sourced materials and C2C, (ii) develop efficient, robust, eco-friendly and replicable processes, (iii) to enable novel cost efficient products and new supply chains, (iv) develop a building block that renders refurbished or new buildings safe and energy efficient and (v) safeguard a comfortable, healthy and productive environment. They can be achieved by defining the structural, thermal and acoustic performance of our final product to be competitive to similar products in the market. The types and sources of CDW are carefully identified, selected and processed while the supply chain from the sources, processing, fabrication units to assembly site of the whole modular panel will be optimized. The project is guided by a holistic view through building information modelling and optimal overall performance. This includes considering the life cycle analysis, weight, structural performance, thermal and acoustic insulation, connectivity among modular panels and other structural/non-structural components as well as the compatibility of different internal parts of the each modular panel. In order to homogenize the production process, all individual elements are fabricated by extrusion which is a proven cost effective, reliable, scalable and high yield manufacturing technique. The concept, viability and performance of developed modular panels will be verified and demonstrated in two field trials in test cells.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-1-2014 | Award Amount: 2.96M | Year: 2016

2D-INK is targeted at developing inks of novel 2D semiconducting materials for low-cost large-area fabrication processes on insulating substrates through a new methodology, which will exceed the properties of state-of-the-art graphene- and graphene oxide based inks. Achieving this would represent an important step forward in the processing of 2D semiconducting materials and will provide the key parameters for fabricating the next generation of ultrathin electronic appliances. The inherent high-risk of 2D-INK is countered by a strongly interdisciplinary research team composed of 9 partners (8 academics \ 1 SME) with demonstrated experience in their corresponding fields and with different yet highly complementary backgrounds. Therefore only together and in synergy they will be able to address the challenges of the multiple research and innovation aspects of 2D-INK that cover the entire value chain from materials design and synthesis, characterisation, formulation and processing to device implementation. In addition 2D-INK has the potential to revolutionise research on 2D semiconducting materials way beyond the current interests on synthesis (high impact), since the efficient dispersion and formulation of 2D semiconducting materials into inks enables the applications of 2D semiconducting materials over different scientific and technological disciplines, such as electronics, sensing, photonics, energy storage and conversion, spintronics, etc. Overall, 2D-INK addresses perfectly the challenge of this call as it is an archetype of an early stage, high risk visionary science and technology collaborative research project that explores radically new manufacturing and processing technologies for novel 2D semiconducting materials.

ELASTISLET aims to create a breakthrough development in encapsulation technology and its use in cell and tissue therapies for the treatment of type 1 and 2 diabetes. ELASTISLET will combine leading technologies in biomaterial design, production and processing, cross-linking/grafting technology and cell therapy, to synergistically integrate them into a new immune-isolation and biomimetic scaffolding approach for islet and cell transplantation in diabetes treatment. ELASTISLETs starting point is a highly innovative and versatile family of superior biomaterials, the Elastin-like Recombinamers (ELRs). Those innovative materials will be combined with the most cutting-edge encapsulation technologies, such as reactive LbL. ELASTISLET relies on the most innovative ideas taken from synthetic biology, nanobiotechnology and molecular and cellular biology to build the ideal niche for islet/cell encapsulation and transplantation. ELASTISLET main objective is to achieve a functional coating that fulfils, first, the basic requirements of optimal biocompatibility and physical properties (permselectivity) but, second, generate a capsule that can promote an intense and directed cross talk through all cell-material interfaces involved: the implant-surrounding tissue (outer) interface and cargo cells-capsule (inner) interface. At the end, a capsule that is able not only to cloak its content and isolate it from the immune rejection but that it is able to biologically interact with the surrounding tissues and its cargo simultaneously in a way that the implanted capsule will immediately interact and fuse with the surrounding tissues creating a real continuity of the extracellular matrix from the core of the capsule to the surrounding hosts tissues and procuring adequate nutrient supply. That will provide a physiologically ideal biomimetic environment for the implanted islets/cells to survive and function in the long term without perceiving a foreign, unusual or hostile environment.

Lee K.K.,King's College London | Matos S.,University of Aveiro | Evans D.H.,Royal Infirmary | White P.,King's College London | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2013

Rationale: Cough can be assessed with visual analog scales (VAS), health status measures, and 24-hour cough frequency monitors (CF24). Evidence for their measurement properties in acute cough caused by upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and longitudinal data is limited. Objectives: To assess cough long itudinally in URTI with subjective and objective outcome measures and determine sample size for future studies. Methods: Thirty-three previously healthy subjects with URTI completed cough VAS, Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ-acute), and CF24 monitoring (Leicester Cough Monitor) on three occasions, 4 days apart. Changes in subjects' condition were assessed with a global rating of change questionnaire. The potential for baseline first-hour cough frequency (CF1), VAS, and LCQ to identify low CF24 was assessed. Measurements and Main Results: Mean ±D duration of cough at visit 1 was 4.1 ± 2.5 days. Geometric mean ± log SD baseline CF24 and median (interquartile range) cough bouts were high (14.9 ± 0.4 coughs/h and 85 [39-195] bouts/24 h). Health status was severely impaired. There was a significant reduction in CF24 and VAS, and improvement in LCQ, from visits 1-3. At visit 3, CF24 remained above normal limits in 52% of subjects. The smallest changes in CF 24, LCQ, and VAS that subjects perceived important were 54%,2-and 17-mm change from baseline, respectively. The sample sizes required for parallel group studies to detect these changes are 27, 51, and 25 subjects per group, respectively. CF1 (<20.5 coughs/h) was predictive of low CF 24. Conclusions: CF24, VAS, and LCQ are responsive outcome tools for the assessment of acute cough. The smallest change in cough frequency perceived important by subjects is 54%. The sample sizes required for future studies are modest and achievable. Copyright © 2013 by the American Thoracic Society.

News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: phys.org

a,b, AFM images of triangulene on Cu (Δz = 1.66 Å, Isp = 2 pA, Vsp = 0.1 V) (a) and Xe (Δz = −0.82 Å, Isp = 1 pA, Vsp = 0.1 V) (b). Credit: (c) Nature Nanotechnology (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2016.305 (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with IBM Research in Switzerland and the University of Warwick in the U.K. has successfully created a triangulene molecule by manipulating a precursor molecule physically using a scanning probe microscope tip. In their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the team describes their approach and what they have learned about the molecule's properties thus far. Manuel Melle-Franco with the University of Aveiro in Portugal offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. A triangulene molecule, as its name suggests, is a hydrocarbon molecule that is shaped like a triangle—it is also flat because it is just one atom thick—chemists have been trying in vain for years to synthesize such molecules because of their expected unique properties, but have failed due to the instability of unpaired electrons. In this new effort, the researchers took a new approach, using a scanning probe microscope tip to nudge pieces into place and then to tear away the parts that were not needed. To create the molecule, the researches began with a dihydrotriangulene molecule because it did not have the reactive unpaired electrons—they used it as a precursor, laying it on a base (they tried xenon, copper and salt) and then probing it with the electron microscope tip to get the molecules to align in the desired way. Next, they fired an electron beam at the molecule two times to remove the hydrogen, leaving behind a triangulene. The team then created an image of the molecule they had created using the same microscope, which showed its unique triangular shape. They also found they were able to keep the molecule stable as long as they kept it in a vacuum at low temperatures. In testing the molecule, they found that its two unpaired electrons had aligned spins, which was expected. That property was one of the reasons that chemists have been trying to synthesize the molecule—it is believed it could prove very useful in various electronic devices and might even have applications in a quantum computer. The research team plans to continue their work with creating triangulene molecules to learn more about their properties and possible uses. They also hope to find out why their technique worked when a copper bases was used—they thought the two materials would react. Explore further: Researchers reveal the structure of individual chemical bonds using specialized imaging techniques More information: Niko Pavliček et al. Synthesis and characterization of triangulene, Nature Nanotechnology (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2016.305 Abstract Triangulene, the smallest triplet-ground-state polybenzenoid (also known as Clar's hydrocarbon), has been an enigmatic molecule ever since its existence was first hypothesized. Despite containing an even number of carbons (22, in six fused benzene rings), it is not possible to draw Kekulé-style resonant structures for the whole molecule: any attempt results in two unpaired valence electrons. Synthesis and characterization of unsubstituted triangulene has not been achieved because of its extreme reactivity, although the addition of substituents has allowed the stabilization and synthesis of the triangulene core and verification of the triplet ground state via electron paramagnetic resonance measurements. Here we show the on-surface generation of unsubstituted triangulene that consists of six fused benzene rings. The tip of a combined scanning tunnelling and atomic force microscope (STM/AFM) was used to dehydrogenate precursor molecules. STM measurements in combination with density functional theory (DFT) calculations confirmed that triangulene keeps its free-molecule properties on the surface, whereas AFM measurements resolved its planar, threefold symmetric molecular structure. The unique topology of such non-Kekulé hydrocarbons results in open-shell π-conjugated graphene fragments6 that give rise to high-spin ground states, potentially useful in organic spintronic devices. Our generation method renders manifold experiments possible to investigate triangulene and related open-shell fragments at the single-molecule level.

News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

How do you handle nuclear waste that will be radioactive for millions of years, keeping it from harming people and the environment? It isn't easy, but Rutgers researcher Ashutosh Goel has discovered ways to immobilize such waste -- the offshoot of decades of nuclear weapons production -- in glass and ceramics. Goel, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is the primary inventor of a new method to immobilize radioactive iodine in ceramics at room temperature. He's also the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for six glass-related research projects totaling $6.34 million in federal and private funding, with $3.335 million going to Rutgers. "Glass is a perfect material for immobilizing the radioactive wastes with excellent chemical durability," said Goel, who works in the School of Engineering. Developing ways to immobilize iodine-129, which is especially troublesome, is crucial for its safe storage and disposal in underground geological formations. The half-life of iodine-129 is 15.7 million years, and it can disperse rapidly in air and water, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If it's released into the environment, iodine will linger for millions of years. Iodine targets the thyroid gland and can increase the chances of getting cancer. Among Goel's major funders is the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which oversees one of the world's largest nuclear cleanups following 45 years of producing nuclear weapons. The national weapons complex once had 16 major facilities that covered vast swaths of Idaho, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington state, according to the DOE. The agency says the Hanford site in southeastern Washington, which manufactured more than 20 million pieces of uranium metal fuel for nine nuclear reactors near the Columbia River, is its biggest cleanup challenge. Hanford plants processed 110,000 tons of fuel from the reactors. Some 56 million gallons of radioactive waste -- enough to fill more than 1 million bathtubs -- went to 177 large underground tanks. As many as 67 tanks -- more than one third -- are thought to have leaked, the DOE says. The liquids have been pumped out of the 67 tanks, leaving mostly dried solids. The Hanford cleanup mission commenced in 1989, and construction of a waste treatment plant for the liquid radioactive waste in tanks was launched a decade later and is more than three-fifths finished. "What we're talking about here is highly complex, multicomponent radioactive waste which contains almost everything in the periodic table," Goel said. "What we're focusing on is underground and has to be immobilized." Goel, a native of Punjab state in northern India, earned a doctorate in glasses and glass-ceramics from the University of Aveiro in Portugal in 2009 and was a postdoctoral researcher there. He worked as a "glass scientist" at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2011 and 2012, and then as a senior scientist at Sterlite Technologies Ltd. in India before joining the Rutgers faculty in January 2014. The six projects he's leading or co-leading are funded by the DOE Office of River Protection, National Science Foundation and Corning Inc., with collaborators from Washington State University, University of North Texas and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. One of his inventions involves mass producing chemically durable apatite minerals, or glasses, to immobilize iodine without using high temperatures. A second innovation deploys synthesizing apatite minerals from silver iodide particles. He's also studying how to immobilize sodium and alumina in high-level radioactive waste in borosilicate glasses that resist crystallization. At the Hanford site, creating glass with radioactive waste is expected to start in around 2022 or 2023, Goel said, and "the implications of our research will be much more visible by that time." The research may eventually help lead to ways to safely dispose of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel that is stored now at commercial nuclear power plants. "It depends on its composition, how complex it is and what it contains," Goel said. "If we know the chemical composition of the nuclear waste coming out from those plants, we can definitely work on it."

News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

How do you handle nuclear waste that will be radioactive for millions of years, keeping it from harming people and the environment? It isn't easy, but Rutgers researcher Ashutosh Goel has discovered ways to immobilize such waste – the offshoot of decades of nuclear weapons production – in glass and ceramics. Goel, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is the primary inventor of a new method to immobilize radioactive iodine in ceramics at room temperature. He's also the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for six glass-related research projects totaling $6.34 million in federal and private funding, with $3.335 million going to Rutgers. "Glass is a perfect material for immobilizing the radioactive wastes with excellent chemical durability," said Goel, who works in the School of Engineering. Developing ways to immobilize iodine-129, which is especially troublesome, is crucial for its safe storage and disposal in underground geological formations. The half-life of iodine-129 is 15.7 million years, and it can disperse rapidly in air and water, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If it's released into the environment, iodine will linger for millions of years. Iodine targets the thyroid gland and can increase the chances of getting cancer. Among Goel's major funders is the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which oversees one of the world's largest nuclear cleanups following 45 years of producing nuclear weapons. The national weapons complex once had 16 major facilities that covered vast swaths of Idaho, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington state, according to the DOE. The agency says the Hanford site in southeastern Washington, which manufactured more than 20 million pieces of uranium metal fuel for nine nuclear reactors near the Columbia River, is its biggest cleanup challenge. Hanford plants processed 110,000 tons of fuel from the reactors. Some 56 million gallons of radioactive waste – enough to fill more than 1 million bathtubs – went to 177 large underground tanks. As many as 67 tanks – more than one third – are thought to have leaked, the DOE says. The liquids have been pumped out of the 67 tanks, leaving mostly dried solids. The Hanford cleanup mission commenced in 1989, and construction of a waste treatment plant for the liquid radioactive waste in tanks was launched a decade later and is more than three-fifths finished. "What we're talking about here is highly complex, multicomponent radioactive waste which contains almost everything in the periodic table," Goel said. "What we're focusing on is underground and has to be immobilized." Goel, a native of Punjab state in northern India, earned a doctorate in glasses and glass-ceramics from the University of Aveiro in Portugal in 2009 and was a postdoctoral researcher there. He worked as a "glass scientist" at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2011 and 2012, and then as a senior scientist at Sterlite Technologies Ltd. in India before joining the Rutgers faculty in January 2014. The six projects he's leading or co-leading are funded by the DOE Office of River Protection, National Science Foundation and Corning Inc., with collaborators from Washington State University, University of North Texas and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. One of his inventions involves mass producing chemically durable apatite minerals, or glasses, to immobilize iodine without using high temperatures. A second innovation deploys synthesizing apatite minerals from silver iodide particles. He's also studying how to immobilize sodium and alumina in high-level radioactive waste in borosilicate glasses that resist crystallization. At the Hanford site, creating glass with radioactive waste is expected to start in around 2022 or 2023, Goel said, and "the implications of our research will be much more visible by that time." The research may eventually help lead to ways to safely dispose of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel that is stored now at commercial nuclear power plants. "It depends on its composition, how complex it is and what it contains," Goel said. "If we know the chemical composition of the nuclear waste coming out from those plants, we can definitely work on it."

News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: phys.org

It isn't easy, but Rutgers researcher Ashutosh Goel has discovered ways to immobilize such waste – the offshoot of decades of nuclear weapons production – in glass and ceramics. Goel, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is the primary inventor of a new method to immobilize radioactive iodine in ceramics at room temperature. He's also the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for six glass-related research projects totaling $6.34 million in federal and private funding, with $3.335 million going to Rutgers. "Glass is a perfect material for immobilizing the radioactive wastes with excellent chemical durability," said Goel, who works in the School of Engineering. Developing ways to immobilize iodine-129, which is especially troublesome, is crucial for its safe storage and disposal in underground geological formations. The half-life of iodine-129 is 15.7 million years, and it can disperse rapidly in air and water, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If it's released into the environment, iodine will linger for millions of years. Iodine targets the thyroid gland and can increase the chances of getting cancer. Among Goel's major funders is the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which oversees one of the world's largest nuclear cleanups following 45 years of producing nuclear weapons. The national weapons complex once had 16 major facilities that covered vast swaths of Idaho, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington state, according to the DOE. The agency says the Hanford site in southeastern Washington, which manufactured more than 20 million pieces of uranium metal fuel for nine nuclear reactors near the Columbia River, is its biggest cleanup challenge. Hanford plants processed 110,000 tons of fuel from the reactors. Some 56 million gallons of radioactive waste – enough to fill more than 1 million bathtubs – went to 177 large underground tanks. As many as 67 tanks – more than one third – are thought to have leaked, the DOE says. The liquids have been pumped out of the 67 tanks, leaving mostly dried solids. The Hanford cleanup mission commenced in 1989, and construction of a waste treatment plant for the liquid radioactive waste in tanks was launched a decade later and is more than three-fifths finished. "What we're talking about here is highly complex, multicomponent radioactive waste which contains almost everything in the periodic table," Goel said. "What we're focusing on is underground and has to be immobilized." Goel, a native of Punjab state in northern India, earned a doctorate in glasses and glass-ceramics from the University of Aveiro in Portugal in 2009 and was a postdoctoral researcher there. He worked as a "glass scientist" at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2011 and 2012, and then as a senior scientist at Sterlite Technologies Ltd. in India before joining the Rutgers faculty in January 2014. The six projects he's leading or co-leading are funded by the DOE Office of River Protection, National Science Foundation and Corning Inc., with collaborators from Washington State University, University of North Texas and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. One of his inventions involves mass producing chemically durable apatite minerals, or glasses, to immobilize iodine without using high temperatures. A second innovation deploys synthesizing apatite minerals from silver iodide particles. He's also studying how to immobilize sodium and alumina in high-level radioactive waste in borosilicate glasses that resist crystallization. At the Hanford site, creating glass with radioactive waste is expected to start in around 2022 or 2023, Goel said, and "the implications of our research will be much more visible by that time." The research may eventually help lead to ways to safely dispose of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel that is stored now at commercial nuclear power plants. "It depends on its composition, how complex it is and what it contains," Goel said. "If we know the chemical composition of the nuclear waste coming out from those plants, we can definitely work on it."

Gouveia L.,University of Lisbon | Moura P.,University of Lisbon | De Sousa A.,University of Aveiro
Computers and Operations Research | Year: 2010

We discuss a variant of the prize-collecting Steiner tree problem with node degree dependent costs using a telecommunications setting to motivate these costs. We present and test models which are tailored for this variant of the problem. Results taken from instances with up to 100 nodes are used to evaluate the quality of the proposed models for solving the problem, as well as, in terms of the correspondent linear programming relaxation. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bartrum S.,University of Edinburgh | Bastero-Gil M.,University of Granada | Berera A.,University of Edinburgh | Cerezo R.,University of Granada | And 2 more authors.
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

The amplitude of primordial curvature perturbations is enhanced when a radiation bath at a temperature T > H is sustained during inflation by dissipative particle production, which is particularly significant when a non-trivial statistical ensemble of inflaton fluctuations is also maintained. Since gravitational modes are oblivious to dissipative dynamics, this generically lowers the tensor-to-scalar ratio and yields a modified consistency relation for warm inflation, as well as changing the tilt of the scalar spectrum. We show that this alters the landscape of observationally allowed inflationary models, with for example the quartic chaotic potential being in very good agreement with the Planck results for nearly-thermal inflaton fluctuations, whilst essentially ruled out for an underlying vacuum state. We also discuss other simple models that are in agreement with the Planck data within a renormalizable model of warm inflation. © 2014 The Authors.

Pinto M.L.,University of Lisbon | Pinto M.L.,University of Aveiro | Dias S.,University of Lisbon | Pires J.,University of Lisbon
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces | Year: 2013

Composite MOF foams were prepared using a direct synthesis of UiO-66 over a polyurethane foam template. Under optimized conditions, the composite materials maintained the macrostructure and flexibility of the polyurethane foam, and exhibited the microporosity, high surface area, and adsorption properties of the UiO-66. The composite MOF foam has hierarchical porosity and high adsorption capacity for benzene and n-hexane, maintaining more than 70% of the adsorption capacity of the UiO-66. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Bastos A.C.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira M.G.S.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira M.G.S.,University of Lisbon | Simoes A.M.P.,University of Lisbon
Corrosion Science | Year: 2013

This paper presents a morphological and electrochemical characterisation of electrogalvanised steel (EG) and phosphated electrogalvanised steel (PEG) after plastic deformation. Previous investigations focused on the deformation of a coil-coating with the same substrates. The effect of forming on the complete system is known but not its influence on the individual layers. The study now reported used SEM to analyse the surface changes of EG and PEG after uniaxial and biaxial deformation and EIS and SVET to characterise the corrosion of the samples when immersed in 0.1. M NaCl. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Russo A.,University of Lisbon | Trigo R.M.,University of Lisbon | Martins H.,University of Aveiro | Mendes M.T.,Instituto Portugues do Mar e da Atmosfera
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2014

High levels of atmospheric pollutants are frequently measured in Portugal, a country which has been affected by several pollution episodes, exceeding PM10, O3 and NO2 legal limits repeatedly during the last decade. The occurrence of these episodes is often related to either local-scale conditions or regional-scale transport. In order to better understand the atmospheric factors responsible for poor air quality, the relationships between air pollution and meteorological variables or atmospheric synoptic patterns represent an important research area. Here an objective classification scheme of the atmospheric circulation affecting Portugal, between 2002 and 2010, is presented, where daily circulation is characterized through the use of a set of indices associated with the direction and vorticity of the geostrophic flow in the lower atmosphere. The synoptic characteristics and the frequency of ten basic circulation weather types (CWTs) are discussed and a framework that permits the identification of the main characteristics associated to the occurrence of pollution episodes is mapped based on the identified patterns. The relationship between CWTs and poor air quality allowed distinguishing between which types are most frequently associated to pollution episodes. It is shown that the anticyclonic and north types, although being the most frequent classes during the majority of the year, do not prevail during pollution episodes that are dominated by easterly types. In general, higher concentration of all three pollutants and the two extreme events analysed occur associated predominantly with synoptic circulation characterized by an eastern component and advection of dry air masses. Moreover, results on the link between CWTs and air quality for Lisbon and Porto urban areas suggest that air quality regimes are generally similar for the northern and southern regions considered with the exception of spring and autumn PM10. Results obtained highlight the existence of strong links between the interannual variability of daily air quality and interannual variability of CWTs. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Tariq M.,New University of Lisbon | Freire M.G.,New University of Lisbon | Freire M.G.,University of Aveiro | Saramago B.,University of Lisbon | And 4 more authors.
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

Some of the most active scientific research fronts of the past decade are centered on ionic liquids. These fluids present characteristic surface behavior and distinctive trends of their surface tension versus temperature. One way to explore and understand their unique nature is to study their surface properties. This critical review analyses most of the surface tension data reported between 2001 and 2010 (187 references). © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Calhorda M.J.,University of Lisbon | Costa P.J.,University of Aveiro
Current Organic Chemistry | Year: 2012

Mo(VI) complexes MoO 2X 2L 2 (X=halide or Me, L neutral ligand) behave as catalysts for olefin epoxidation in the presence of t-butylhydroperoxide (TBHP). The active species results from OH activation of TBHP, which protonates one oxo group and leads to a seven coordinate complex, with a new OOR ligand. It was found that several Mo(II) complexes Cp'Mo(CO) 3X (Cp'=C 5R 5, Cp* or C 5H 5, Cp) acted as precursors for the same reactions and the resulting Cp'MoO 2X could also oxidize sulfides and sulfoxides, both with TBHP and H 2O 2 as oxidants. A review of the reaction mechanisms proposed for these reactions, by us and some other authors, and based on computational studies is given in this work. More than one active species can be found for the CpMoO(OH)(η 1-OOR)X intermediate, opening several competitive pathways. They differ by the O-H···O hydrogen bond formed between OH and one oxygen of the OOR ligand. This complex can also further react with oxidant to afford a peroxide complex CpMoO(η 2-O 2)X, which can also promote oxidation reactions. The activation energies depend on hydrogen bond assistance, so that the Cl and Me derivatives of CpMoO 2X behave differently (the peroxide complex has only been found active with Me), and on the steric constraints, more obvious when comparing Cp with Cp*. The preferred mechanism will thus depend on the specific infstituents, but energy barriers are comparable. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.

Cleary D.F.R.,University of Aveiro | Smalla K.,Julius Kuhn Institute | Mendonca-Hagler L.C.S.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Gomes N.C.M.,University of Aveiro
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Here, we use DGGE fingerprinting and barcoded pyrosequencing data, at six cut-off levels (85-100%), of all bacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria to assess composition in the rhizosphere of nursery plants and nursery-raised transplants, native plants and bulk sediment in a mangrove habitat. When comparing compositional data based on DGGE fingerprinting and barcoded pyrosequencing at different cut-off levels, all revealed highly significant differences in composition among microhabitats. Procrustes superimposition revealed that ordination results using cut-off levels from 85-100% and DGGE fingerprint data were highly congruent with the standard 97% cut-off level. The various approaches revealed a primary gradient in composition from nursery to mangrove samples. The affinity between the nursery and transplants was greatest when using Betaproteobacteria followed by Alphaproteobacteria data. There was a distinct secondary gradient in composition from transplants to bulk sediment with native plants intermediate, which was most prevalent using all bacteria at intermediate cut-off levels (92-97%). Our results show that PCR-DGGE provides a robust and cost effective exploratory approach and is effective in distinguishing among a priori defined groups. © 2012 Cleary et al.

Freire M.G.,New University of Lisbon | Freire M.G.,University of Aveiro | Claudio A.F.M.,University of Aveiro | Araujo J.M.M.,New University of Lisbon | And 6 more authors.
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2012

During the past decade, ionic-liquid-based Aqueous Biphasic Systems (ABS) have been the focus of a significant amount of research. Based on a compilation and analysis of the data hitherto reported, this critical review provides a judicious assessment of the available literature on the subject. We evaluate the quality of the data and establish the main drawbacks found in the literature. We discuss the main issues which govern the phase behaviour of ionic-liquid-based ABS, and we highlight future challenges to the field. In particular, the effect of the ionic liquid structure and the various types of salting-out agents (inorganic or organic salts, amino acids and carbohydrates) on the phase equilibria of ABS is discussed, as well as the influence of secondary parameters such as temperature and pH. More recent approaches using ionic liquids as additives or as replacements for common salts in polymer-based ABS are also presented and discussed to emphasize the expanding number of aqueous two-phase systems that can actually be obtained. Finally, we address two of the main applications of ionic liquid-based ABS: extraction of biomolecules and other added-value compounds, and their use as alternative approaches for removing and recovering ionic liquids from aqueous media. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Leal M.C.,University of Aveiro | Leal M.C.,Skidaway Institute of Oceanography | Puga J.,Bio3 Estudos e Projectos em Biologia e Valorizacao de Recursos Naturais lda | Serodio J.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

It is acknowledged that marine invertebrates produce bioactive natural products that may be useful for developing new drugs. By exploring untapped geographical sources and/or novel groups of organisms one can maximize the search for new marine drugs to treat human diseases. The goal of this paper is to analyse the trends associated with the discovery of new marine natural products from invertebrates (NMNPI) over the last two decades. The analysis considers different taxonomical levels and geographical approaches of bioprospected species. Additionally, this research is also directed to provide new insights into less bioprospected taxa and world regions. In order to gather the information available on NMNPI, the yearly-published reviews of Marine Natural Products covering 1990-2009 were surveyed. Information on source organisms, specifically taxonomical information and collection sites, was assembled together with additional geographical information collected from the articles originally describing the new natural product. Almost 10000 NMNPI were discovered since 1990, with a pronounced increase between decades. Porifera and Cnidaria were the two dominant sources of NMNPI worldwide. The exception was polar regions where Echinodermata dominated. The majority of species that yielded the new natural products belong to only one class of each Porifera and Cnidaria phyla (Demospongiae and Anthozoa, respectively). Increased bioprospecting efforts were observed in the Pacific Ocean, particularly in Asian countries that are associated with the Japan Biodiversity Hotspot and the Kuroshio Current. Although results show comparably less NMNPI from polar regions, the number of new natural products per species is similar to that recorded for other regions. The present study provides information to future bioprospecting efforts addressing previously unexplored taxonomic groups and/or regions. We also highlight how marine invertebrates, which in some cases have no commercial value, may become highly valuable in the ongoing search for new drugs from the sea. © 2012 Leal et al.

Castanheira J.M.,University of Aveiro | Barriopedro D.,University of Lisbon
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2010

The dynamical connection between Northern Hemisphere blocking events and the variability of the stratospheric polar vortex strength is studied. The analysis is based on the composite time evolution of the energy of baroclinic planetary waves during regional blocking occurrence. During Euro-Atlantic blocking events, an in phase forcing of stationary zonal wavenumber 1 occurs. The enhanced wave amplitude is associated with a stratospheric polar vortex deceleration, which may result, at times, in Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events of displacement type. Pacific blocking composites reveal an in phase forcing of stationary zonal wavenumber 2. In most cases, the amplification of the wavenumber 2 does not reduce the vortex strength, being even accompanied by a mean vortex acceleration. However, if the amplification of wavenumber 2 is preceded by an amplification of wavenumber 1, the initial vortex deceleration forced by wavenumber 1 may be continued by wavenumber 2, and a SSW event of splitting type may occur. © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Shahriari S.,University of Aveiro | Shahriari S.,Islamic Azad University at Tehran | Neves C.M.S.S.,University of Aveiro | Freire M.G.,University of Aveiro | Coutinho J.A.P.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2012

Among the numerous and interesting features of ionic liquids is their ability to form aqueous biphasic systems (ABSs) when combined with inorganic or organic salts in aqueous media. In this work, a wide range of salts was studied, aiming at gathering a detailed picture on the molecular mechanisms that govern the ability of the salt ions to induce the formation of ionic-liquid-based ABSs. For that purpose, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate was chosen due to its facility to undergo liquid-liquid demixing in aqueous media containing conventional salts. The corresponding ternary phase diagrams, tie-lines, and tie-line lengths were determined at 298 K and atmospheric pressure. With the large body of data measured in this work, it was possible to establish a scale on the salt cation and anion abilities to induce the formation of ionic-liquid-based ABSs, which follows the Hofmeister series, and to show that the molar entropy of hydration of the salt ions is the driving force for aqueous two-phase system formation. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Cruz S.,University of Aveiro | Calado R.,University of Aveiro | Serodio J.,University of Aveiro | Cartaxana P.,University of Lisbon
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2013

Some species of sacoglossan sea slugs can maintain functional chloroplasts from specific algal food sources in the cells of their digestive diverticula. These 'stolen' chloroplasts (kleptoplasts) can survive in the absence of the plant cell and continue to photosynthesize, in some cases for as long as one year. Within the Metazoa, this phenomenon (kleptoplasty) seems to have only evolved among sacoglossan sea slugs. Known for over a century, the mechanisms of interaction between the foreign organelle and its host animal cell are just now starting to be unravelled. In the study of sacoglossan sea slugs as photosynthetic systems, it is important to understand their relationship with light. This work reviews the state of knowledge on autotrophy as a nutritional source for sacoglossans and the strategies they have developed to avoid excessive light, with emphasis to the behavioural and physiological mechanisms suggested to be involved in the photoprotection of kleptoplasts. A special focus is given to the advantages and drawbacks of using pulse amplitude modulated fluorometry in photobiological studies addressing sacoglossan sea slugs. Finally, the classification of photosynthetic sacoglossan sea slugs according to their ability to retain functional kleptoplasts and the importance of laboratory culturing of these organisms are briefly discussed. © 2013 The Author.

Henriques J.,University of Lisbon | Costa P.J.,University of Aveiro | Calhorda M.J.,University of Lisbon | MacHuqueiro M.,University of Lisbon
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2013

We studied the effect of using different heme group charge parametrization methods and schemes (Merz-Kollman, CHELPG, and single- and multiconformational RESP) on the quality of the results produced by the constant-(pH,E) MD method, applied to the redox titration of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough cytochrome c3. These new and more accurate charge sets enabled us to overcome the previously reported dependence of the method's performance on the dielectric constant, ε, assigned to the protein region. In particular, we found a systematic, clear shift of the Emod toward more negative values than those previously reported, in agreement with an electrostatics based reasoning. The simulations showed strong coupling between protonating/redox sites. We were also able to capture significant direct and, especially, indirect interactions between hemes, such as those mediated by histidine 67. Our results highlight the importance of having a good quantum description of the system before deriving atomic partial charges for classic force fields. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Marques C.A.F.,University of Aveiro | Rocha A.,University of Aveiro | Corte-Real J.,University of Évora
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2011

In this study, the global energy cycle of five state-of-the-art climate models is evaluated in the wave number domain for all seasons. The energy cycle estimates are based on 30 years of 6-hourly data obtained at pressure levels of all models. The models energetics are compared to those obtained from three reanalysis datasets (ERA-40, JRA-25 and NCEP-R2). The results show that the distributions of the energetics integrands and the shape of the various wave number spectra are reasonably well simulated. Many important features can be found in most models, namely both the upscale and downscale energy cascade for the wave-wave interactions of kinetic energy, the downscale energy cascade for the wave-wave interactions of available potential energy and the downscale energy transfer for the zonal-wave interactions of kinetic energy. However, the magnitude in the integrands distributions is generally excessive, yielding too much energy and an overactive energy cycle in the models. Accordingly, this energy excess is also reflected in the various spectra, specially but not exclusively, at the synoptic scale wave numbers for the energy conversion/transfer rates. The well known cold pole bias and the too strong tropospheric jets, along with their dislocation in some cases, still persist in the climate models. These are some of the deficiencies in the models directly implicated in the energy cycle. Apparently, simply increasing the horizontal and vertical resolutions is not enough to eliminate these deficiencies due to somewhat opposite effects achieved by refining both spatial resolutions. Therefore, more accurate physics parameterisations as well as improved numerical schemes and resolution dependence of parameterisations seem to be essential for a significant improvement in the models energetics. Moreover, efforts should be made to improve the physical processes controlling the generation of zonal available potential energy and dissipation of eddy kinetic energy, in which the synoptic scale should be fundamental, as inferred from the excessive energy conversion/transfer rates in the models spectra. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Costa A.A.,University of Porto | Arede A.,University of Porto | Costa A.,University of Aveiro | Oliveira C.S.,University of Lisbon
Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics | Year: 2011

The present work reports on an in situ experimental test campaign carried out on abandoned traditional masonry houses after the 9th July 1998 earthquake that seriously hit the Faial island of Azores. For the testing purposes, an experimental test setup was developed based on a self-equilibrated scheme, which is herein described reporting on the advantages and drawbacks of this in situ test setup. Five specimens were tested aiming at characterizing the out-of-plane behavior of stone masonry walls and strengthening solutions recommended for post-earthquake interventions. A detailed comparison between solutions' efficiency is presented including a cost vs benefit analysis. In order to assess the efficiency of the developed test setup for other applications on stone masonry walls, an in-plane test on an existing URM panel is also presented. Several related issues are discussed, namely the advantages of dealing with the real boundary conditions and the capacity of providing valuable information of the response, as well as a detailed analysis of the obtained results. The authors believe that this work provides an increase in knowledge on the seismic behavior of the existing masonry constructions, resulting from the development of an in situ test setup and the efficiency quantification of strengthening solutions. Therefore, the work is thought to positively contribute for the preservation of architectural heritage and for its seismic vulnerability reduction. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Kukhar V.G.,Visual Trading Systems LLC | Pertsev N.A.,University of Aveiro | Kholkin A.L.,University of Aveiro
Nanotechnology | Year: 2010

A nonlinear thermodynamic theory is developed for the strain-mediated direct magnetoelectric(ME) effect displayed by ferroelectric-ferromagnetic nanostructures. This effect results from transmission of magnetic-field-induced deformations of a thick ferromagnetic substrate to a thin ferroelectric overlayer, where the polarization changes due to lattice strains. The strain-dependent polarization and permittivity of an epitaxial nanolayer (few tens of nm thick) are calculated using the thermodynamic theory of single-domain ferroelectric films. The substrate magnetostrictive deformations are described phenomenologically, taking into account their nonlinear variation with magnetic field. The calculations show that ME polarization and voltage coefficients strongly depend on the initial strain state of the film. For BaTiO3 and PbTiO3 films deposited on Co0.8Zn0.2Fe 2O4, the out-of-plane polarization and related ME coefficients are calculated numerically as a function of magnetic field parallel to the interface. For films stabilized in the monoclinic phase, this transverse ME response depends on the orientation of magnetic field relative to their in-plane crystallographic axes. The longitudinal ME coefficient is also evaluated and, for a substrate geometry minimizing the demagnetizing field, predicted to be comparable to the transverse one. For BaTiO3 and PbTiO3 films deposited on Terfenol-D, the calculations yield high ME polarization coefficients ∼ 10-7sm-1 and giant ME voltage coefficients ∼ 50Vcm-1Oe-1. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

M'Guil S.,University of Strasbourg | Ahzi S.,University of Strasbourg | Ahzi S.,University of Aveiro | Barlat F.,Korean University of Science and Technology | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Plasticity | Year: 2011

Polycrystalline yield surfaces of metals are a good way to characterize the anisotropy of plastic deformation. The evolution of these surfaces is impossible to accurately reproduce without taking into account the evolution of the material microstructure such as texture development. In this paper, a numerical computation of yield surfaces using the viscoplastic φ-model is proposed. Results concerning face-centered cubic metals subjected to a plane strain compression test are presented. The influence of several mechanical parameters (strain hardening, strain rate sensitivity coefficient and accumulated deformation) on subsequent yield surfaces evolution is studied. The analysis of the change in the shape and size of the yield surfaces shows that the results depend strongly on the parameter φ which controls the strength of the interactions in the polycrystal. In addition, the predictions are compared to the widely used viscoplastic self-consistent model as well as to experimental yield loci taken from the literature for various aluminum alloy sheets. A fairly good qualitative agreement between our φ-model results and the experimental ones is found. The probable links between the parameter φ and the microstructural features such as the stacking fault energy and the grain size of the polycrystal are also briefly discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Carvalho A.,University of Aveiro | Rayson M.J.,Lulea University of Technology | Briddon P.R.,Northumbria University
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2012

Substitutional group III and group V elements, though commonly used as shallow dopants in bulk silicon, have a limited efficiency in silicon nanocrystals. In this work, we use first-principles models of 1.5 nm nanocrystals with hydride- and silanol-terminated surfaces to understand how oxidation influences the segregation and deactivation of dopants at the surface and the dopant binding energies. We show that the surface oxygen layer changes drastically the radial dependence of the dopant formation energy both for donors and for acceptors, but that, independently from the oxidation, dopant diffusion does not take place at operating conditions. Additionally, we show that the oxidation increases the electron binding energy of the P, As, and Sb and decreases the hole binding energy of B, Al, Ga, and In. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Chen C.-T.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Ball V.,CRP Henri Tudor | Ball V.,University of Strasbourg | Ball V.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 6 more authors.
ACS Nano | Year: 2013

Eumelanin is a ubiquitous pigment in nature and has many intriguing physicochemical properties, such as broad-band and monotonous absorption spectrum, antioxidant and free radical scavenging behavior, and strong nonradiative relaxation of photoexcited electronic states. These properties are highly related to its structural and mechanical properties and make eumelanin a fascinating candidate for the design of multifunctional nanomaterials. Here we report joint experimental-computational investigation of the structural and mechanical properties of eumelanin assemblies produced from dopamine, revealing that the mass density of dry eumelanin is 1.55 g/cm3 and its Young's modulus is ≈5 GPa. We also find that wet eumelanin has a lower mass density and Young's modulus depending on the water-to-melanin ratio. Most importantly, our data show that eumelanin molecules tend to form secondary structures based on noncovalent π stacking in both dry and wet conditions, with an interlayer distance between eumelanin molecules of 3.3 Å. Corresponding transmission electron microscope images confirm the supramolecular organization predicted in our simulations. Our simulations show that eumelanin is an isotropic material at a larger scale when eumelanin molecules are randomly oriented to form secondary structures. These results are in good agreement with experimental observations, density functional theory calculations, and bridge the gap between earlier experimental and small-scale quantum mechanical studies of eumelanin. We use the knowledge acquired from the simulations to select a partner molecule, a cationic phthalocyanine, allowing us to produce layer-by-layer films containing eumelanin that display an electrical conductivity 5 orders of magnitudes higher than that of pure eumelanin films. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Benali A.,New University of Lisbon | Benali A.,University of Lisbon | Carvalho A.C.,New University of Lisbon | Nunes J.P.,University of Aveiro | And 3 more authors.
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2012

Air surface temperature (T air) is an important parameter for a wide range of applications such as vector-borne disease bionomics, hydrology and climate change studies. Air temperature data is usually obtained from measurements made in meteorological stations, providing only limited information about spatial patterns over wide areas. The use of remote sensing data can help overcome this problem, particularly in areas with low station density, having the potential to improve the estimation of T air at both regional and global scales. Some studies have tried to derive maximum (T max), minimum (T min) and average air temperature (T avg) using different methods, with variable estimation accuracy; errors generally fall in the 2-3°C range while the level of precision generally considered as accurate is 1-2°C. The main objective of this study was to accurately estimate T max, T min and T avg for a 10year period based on remote sensing-Land Surface Temperature (LST) data obtained from MODIS-and auxiliary data using a statistical approach. An optimization procedure with a mixed bootstrap and jackknife resampling was employed. The statistical models estimated Tavg with a MEF (Model Efficiency Index) of 0.941 and a RMSE of 1.33°C. Regarding T max and T min, the best MEF achieved was 0.919 and 0.871, respectively, with a 1.83 and 1.74°C RMSE. The developed datasets provided weekly 1km estimations and accurately described both the intra and inter annual temporal and spatial patterns of T air. Potential sources of uncertainty and error were also analyzed and identified. The most promising developments were proposed with the aim of developing accurate T air estimations at a larger scale in the future. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Costa R.,University of Lisbon | Morais A.P.,University of Lisbon | Morais A.P.,University of Aveiro | Sampaio M.O.P.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

Motivated by the dark matter and the baryon asymmetry problems, we analyze a complex singlet extension of the Standard Model with a Z2 symmetry (which provides a dark matter candidate). After a detailed two-loop calculation of the renormalization group equations for the new scalar sector, we study the radiative stability of the model up to a high energy scale (with the constraint that the 126 GeV Higgs boson found at the LHC is in the spectrum) and find it requires the existence of a new scalar state mixing with the Higgs with a mass larger than 140 GeV. This bound is not very sensitive to the cutoff scale as long as the latter is larger than 1010GeV. We then include all experimental and observational constraints/measurements from collider data, from dark matter direct detection experiments, and from the Planck satellite and in addition force stability at least up to the grand unified theory scale, to find that the lower bound is raised to about 170 GeV, while the dark matter particle must be heavier than about 50 GeV. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Gomes S.I.L.,University of Aveiro | Scott-Fordsmand J.J.,University of Aarhus | Amorim M.J.B.,University of Aveiro
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2014

Metals are among the most common contaminants in soils in Europe. Although their effects are relatively well known regarding survival and reproduction to soil invertebrates, their mode of action is poorly understood. Enchytraeus albidus is a model organism in ecotoxicology and with the development of a gene library for this species, transcriptomic studies are now possible. The main aim of this study is to understand the Cu and Ni mechanisms of response in E. albidus, in comparison with Cd and Zn (already studied). E. albidus were exposed to Cu and Ni for 4 days to the reproduction effect concentrations EC 50 and EC90. Results indicate that Cu and Ni have similar mechanisms of toxicity. When comparing four elements (hierarchical clustering) it was possible to observe a clear separation of Cd from all other metals. This separation correlates with the available information from other species regarding the toxicokinetics of the tested elements. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Patricio Silva A.L.,University of Aveiro | Holmstrup M.,University of Aarhus | Kostal V.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Amorim M.J.B.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2013

Enchytraeus albidus is a freeze-tolerant enchytraeid found in diverse habitats, ranging from supralittoral to terrestrial and spanning temperate to arctic regions. Its freeze tolerance is well known but the effect of salinity in this strategy is still poorly understood. We therefore studied the combined effect of salinity (0, 15, 35, 50‰ NaCl) and sub-zero temperatures (-5, -14, -20°C) on the freeze tolerance of E. albidus collected from two distinct geographical regions (Greenland and Germany). A full factorial design was used to study survival, and physiological and biochemical end points. The effect of salinity on the reproduction of German E. albidus was also assessed. Exposure for 48 h to saline soils prior to cold exposure triggered an increase in osmolality and decrease in water content. Worms exposed to saline soils had an improved survival of freezing compared to worms frozen in non-saline soils, particularly at -20°C (survival more than doubled). Differential scanning calorimetry measurements showed that the fraction of water frozen at -5 and -14°C was lower in worms exposed to 35‰ NaCl than in control worms. The lowering of ice content by exposure to saline soils was probably the main explanation for the better freeze survival in saline-exposed worms. Glucose increased with decreasing temperature, but was lower in saline than in non-saline soils. Thus, glucose accumulation patterns did not explain differences in freeze survival. Overall, the physiological responses to freezing of E. albidus from Greenland and Germany were similar after exposure to saline soils. Soil salinity up to 30‰ improved reproduction by a factor of ca. 10. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Loureiro S.M.C.,University of Aveiro | Dias Sardinha I.M.,University of Lisbon | Reijnders L.,University of Amsterdam
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2012

Previous research has suggested that a good record of corporate social responsibility (CSR) or corporate social performance (CSP) positively influences corporate financial performance (CFP) by lowering costs and increasing productivity. Corporate financial performance might also be impacted by the effect of perceived CSR on consumer satisfaction. In this study, we present research on the contribution to consumer satisfaction of the perceived CSR of three car manufacturers in terms of labor practices, community development and environmental performance within a group of 329 Portuguese car buyers and users. These consumers valued environmental performance much more than activities related to labor practices and community development. However, determinants outside the realm of CSR, such as perceived product and service quality and empathy with the brand, were much more important for Portuguese consumers than CSR. The overall importance of CSR for consumer satisfaction suggests that in the automobile industry, CSR may not only contribute to better financial performance by directly reducing costs and increasing productivity but may also contribute indirectly by increasing consumer satisfaction. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gomes S.I.L.,University of Aveiro | Hansen D.,University of Aarhus | Scott-Fordsmand J.J.,University of Aarhus | Amorim M.J.B.,University of Aveiro
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2015

Silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) are among the most produced NPs worldwide having several applications in consumer products. Ag-NPs are known to cause oxidative stress in several organisms and cell lines, however comparatively less information is available regarding their effects on soil living invertebrates. The purpose of this study was to investigate if Ag-NPs cause oxidative stress on soil invertebrates. The model soil species Eisenia fetida was used. Our results showed that total glutathione (TG) is the first mechanism triggered by Ag-NPs, followed by glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GR), however oxidative damage was observed for higher doses and exposure time (increased lipid peroxidation, LPO). AgNO3 exposure caused impairment in GPx and glutathione-S-transferase (GST), probably as result of the higher bioavailability of Ag in the salt-form. The current results indicate that effects are partly caused by Ag ions released from Ag-NPs, but specific particle effects cannot be excluded. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Barlat F.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Barlat F.,University of Aveiro | Gracio J.J.,University of Aveiro | Lee M.-G.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Plasticity | Year: 2011

In this work, an approach is proposed for the description of the plastic behavior of materials subjected to multiple or continuous strain path changes. In particular, although it is not formulated with a kinematic hardening rule, it provides a reasonable description of the Bauschinger effect when loading is reversed. This description of anisotropic hardening is based on homogeneous yield functions/plastic potentials combining a stable, isotropic hardening-type, component and a fluctuating component. The latter captures, in average, the effect of dislocation interactions during strain path changes. For monotonic loading, this approach is identical to isotropic hardening, with an expanding isotropic or anisotropic yield surface around the active stress state. The capability of this constitutive description is illustrated with applications on a number of materials, namely, low carbon, dual phase and ferritic stainless steel samples.© 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Silva A.R.,University of Aveiro | Guimaraes V.,University of Aveiro | Carvalho A.P.,University of Lisbon | Pires J.,University of Lisbon
Catalysis Science and Technology | Year: 2013

A copper(ii) chiral aza-bis(oxazoline) catalyst (CuazaBox) was anchored onto ordered mesoporous silicas and their carbon replicas. The materials were characterized by elemental analysis (C, N, H, S), ICP-AES, FTIR, XPS, thermogravimetry and isotherms of N2 adsorption at -196 °C. The materials were tested as heterogeneous catalysts in the reaction of cyclopropanation of styrene to check the effect of porous material type on the catalytic parameters, as well as on their reutilization. Generally, the composites were more active and enantioselective in the cyclopropanation of styrene than the corresponding homogeneous phase reaction run under similar experimental conditions. The materials pHpzc proved to be an important factor not only in the CuazaBox anchoring yields, but also in their catalytic performance. Less acidic surfaces (SPSi and CMK-3) yielded heterogeneous catalysts with higher styrene conversion and enantioselectivity. The materials could also be recycled with comparable enantioselectivities or generally a slight decrease in the enantioselectivity. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Silva A.R.,University of Aveiro | Carneiro L.,University of Aveiro | Carvalho A.P.,University of Lisbon | Pires J.,University of Lisbon
Catalysis Science and Technology | Year: 2013

A copper(ii) complex with a commercial chiral bis(oxazoline) was anchored onto ordered mesoporous silica materials and their respective carbon replicas. The amount of transition metal complex loaded onto the mesostructured solids was determined by ICP-AES and the materials were also characterized by elemental analysis, FTIR, TG/DSC and isotherms of N2 adsorption at -196°C. For the first time the asymmetric benzoylation of a 1,2-diol was performed in the heterogeneous phase by using an anchored commercial bis(oxazoline) ligand. The effect of the type of mesoporous material on the catalytic parameters, as well as on the reutilization of catalysts in several catalytic cycles, was checked. All the composites prepared were active, selective and enantioselective in this asymmetric organic transformation. Using the two ordered mesoporous silicas as supports good selectivities, with comparable yields and TONs to the homogeneous phase reaction, were obtained. Furthermore these two heterogeneous catalysts are more stable upon reuse than the corresponding ordered carbon replica materials. One of the former heterogeneous catalysts, with mesoporous silica as a support, could be further reused for 4 consecutive cycles without significant loss of selectivity, the TON or enantioselectivity. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2013.

Gonalves G.,University of Aveiro | Marques P.A.A.P.,University of Aveiro | Barros-Timmons A.,University of Aveiro | Bdkin I.,University of Aveiro | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Materials Chemistry | Year: 2010

Graphene is a two-dimensional new allotrope of carbon, which is stimulating great curiosity due to its superior mechanical, electrical, thermal and optical properties. Particularly attractive is the availability of bulk quantities of graphene (G) which can be easily processed by chemical exfoliation, yielding graphene oxide (GO). The resultant oxygenated graphene sheets covered with hydroxyl, epoxy and carboxyl groups offer tremendous opportunities for further functionalization opening plenty of opportunities for the preparation of advanced composite materials. In this work poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) chains have been grafted from the GO surface via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), yielding a nanocomposite which was soluble in chloroform. The surface of the PMMA grafted GO (GPMMA) was characterized by AFM, HRTEM, Raman, FTIR and contact angle. The interest of these novel nanocomposites lies in their potential to be homogenously dispersed in polymeric dense matrices and to promote good interfacial adhesion, of particular relevance in stress transfer to the fillers. PMMA composite films were prepared using different percentages of GPMMA and pristine GO. Mechanical analysis of the resulting films showed that loadings as low as 1% (w/w) of GPMMA are effective reinforcing agents, yielding tougher films than pure PMMA films and even than composite films of PMMA prepared with GO. In fact, addition of 1% (w/w) of GPMMA fillers led to a significant improvement of the elongation at break, yielding a much more ductile and therefore tougher material. Thermal analysis showed an increase of the thermal stability properties of these films providing evidence that strong interfacial interactions between PMMA and GPMMA are achieved. In addition, AFM analysis, in friction force mode, is demonstrated to be an effective tool to analyse the surface filler distribution on polymer matrices. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Robaina-Alves M.,University of Aveiro | Moutinho V.,University of Aveiro | Moutinho V.,University of Évora
Applied Energy | Year: 2014

The objective of this work is to identify the effects in which the intensity of GHG emissions (EI) in agriculture can be broken down and analysed, as well as their evolution and which of them has more importance in determining the intensity of emissions in agriculture. For that, we used the 'complete decomposition' technique in the 1995-2008 period, for a set of European countries. The change of EI can be decomposed into five effects: (i) the changes in GHG emissions compared to the fossil fuels consumption (EF effect), (ii) the changes in fossil fuels consumption compared to the use of Nitrogen in agriculture (FN effect), (iii) the change in use of Nitrogen in agriculture per ha of utilized agricultural area (NA effect), (iv) the change in utilized agricultural area per worker (AL effect) and the inverse of average labour productivity in agriculture (LVA effect). It is shown that in most countries studied, there was an increase in agriculture emissions intensity, and in only five countries this variable declined. The greatest decrease was seen in Italy (-0.01), while the highest raises were found in the Netherlands (+0.394), Belgium (+0.277) and Luxembourg (+0.203). NA effect and LVA effect were the ones that had a greater contribution to the variation of emissions intensity. In the countries in which the variation of EI is positive, the effect of NA is the main one responsible for this increase (for instance 100%, 118.6% and 104% for Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg respectively), which means that the use of Nitrogen per cultivated area is an important factor of emissions. The effect LVA proves to be the most important, specifically in the countries where the change in EI is negative (for instance 113.9% for Italy). This means that in countries where labour productivity increases (LVA decreases), emissions intensity tends to decrease. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Robaina Alves M.,University of Aveiro | Moutinho V.,University of Aveiro | Moutinho V.,University of Évora
Energy | Year: 2013

'Complete decomposition' technique was used to examine CO2 emissions intensity and its components, considering 36 economic sectors and the 1996-2009 period. Additionally, Innovative Accounting Approach was implemented, that includes forecast error variance decomposition and impulse response functions, applied to factors in which emissions intensity was decomposed. It is shown that CO2 emissions intensity diminished significantly. Energy intensity of economic sectors is the most important effect in the determination of CO2 emissions intensity. The technologies used could be more efficient and less polluting, for the same amount of fuel used. This means that there was a substitution between fossil fuels in favour of less polluting fuels, but the technologies related to fossil fuels may still have a significant role. The industry (in particular 5 industrial sectors) is contributing largely to the effects of variation of CO2 emissions intensity. There is bidirectional causality between CO2 emissions intensity and the share of fossil fuels in total energy consumption. Emissions by fossil fuel and energy intensity affect the structure of the economy in favour of less energy intensive sectors. Emissions intensity reacts more significantly to shocks in the weight of fossil fuels in total energy consumption compared to shocks in other variables. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Lee D.G.,KAIST | Ferreira P.J.S.G.,University of Aveiro
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2014

Superoscillations occur when a bandlimited signal oscillates at a rate higher than its maximum frequency. We show that it is possible to construct superoscillations by constraining not only the value of the signal but also that of its derivative. This allows a better control of the shape of the superoscillations. We find that for any given bandwidth, no matter how small, there exists a unique signal of minimum energy that satisfies any combination of amplitude and derivative constraints, on a sampling grid as fine as desired. We determine the energy of the signal, for any grid, regular or irregular. When the set of derivative constraints is empty the results reduce to minimum energy interpolation. In the absence of amplitude constraints, we obtain pure derivative-constrained extremals. The flexibility gained by having two different types of constraints makes it possible to design superoscillations based only on amplitudes, based only on derivatives, or based on both. In the last case, the amplitude and derivative sampling grids can be interleaved or aligned. We explore this flexibility to build superoscillations that cost less energy. Illustrating examples are given. © 2014 IEEE.

Lee D.G.,KAIST | Ferreira P.J.S.G.,University of Aveiro
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2014

Oscillations of a bandlimited signal at a rate faster than its maximum frequency are called 'superoscillations' and have been found useful e.g., in connection with superresolution and superdirectivity. We consider signals of fixed bandwidth and with a finite or infinite number of samples at the Nyquist rate, which are regarded as the adjustable signal parameters. We show that this class of signals can be made to superoscillate by prescribing its values on an arbitrarily fine and possibly nonuniform grid. The superoscillations can be made to occur at a large distance from the nonzero samples of the signal. We give necessary and sufficient conditions for the problem to have a solution, in terms of the nature of the two sets involved in the problem. Since the number of constraints can in general be different from the number of signal parameters, the problem can be exactly determined, underdetermined or overdetermined. We describe the solutions in each of these situations. The connection with oversampling and variational formulations is also discussed. © 2014 IEEE.

Cerezo R.,University of Granada | Rosa J.G.,University of Aveiro
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2013

While ubiquitous in supersymmetric and string theory models, inflationary scenarios near an inflection point in the scalar potential generically require a severe fine-tuning of a priori unrelated supersymmetry breaking effects. We show that this can be significantly alleviated by the inclusion of dissipative effects that damp the inflaton's motion and produce a nearly-thermal radiation bath. We focus on the case where the slow-rolling inflaton directly excites heavy virtual modes that then decay into light degrees of freedom, although our main qualitative results should apply in other regimes. Furthermore, our analysis shows that the minimum amount of dissipation required to keep the temperature of the radiation bath above the Hubble rate during inflation is largely independent of the degree of flatness of the potential, although it depends on the field value at the inflection point. We then discuss the relevance of this result to warm inflation model building. © 2013 SISSA, Trieste, Italy.

Brito R.,University of Lisbon | Cardoso V.,University of Lisbon | Cardoso V.,Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics | Herdeiro C.A.R.,University of Aveiro | Radu E.,University of Aveiro
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2016

We establish that massive complex Abelian vector fields (mass μ) can form gravitating solitons, when minimally coupled to Einstein's gravity. Such Proca stars (PSs) have a stationary, everywhere regular and asymptotically flat geometry. The Proca field, however, possesses a harmonic time dependence (frequency w), realizing Wheeler's concept of geons for an Abelian spin 1 field. We obtain PSs with both a spherically symmetric (static) and an axially symmetric (stationary) line element. The latter form a countable number of families labelled by an integer m∈Z+ PSs, like (scalar) boson stars, carry a conserved Noether charge, and are akin to the latter in many ways. In particular, both types of stars exist for a limited range of frequencies and there is a maximal ADM mass, Mmax, attained for an intermediate frequency. For spherically symmetric PSs (rotating PSs with m=1, 2, 3), Mmax≃1.058MPl 2/μ (Mmax≃1.568, 2.337, 3.247MPl 2/μ), slightly larger values than those for (mini-)boson stars. We establish perturbative stability for a subset of solutions in the spherical case and anticipate a similar conclusion for fundamental modes in the rotating case. The discovery of PSs opens many avenues of research, reconsidering five decades of work on (scalar) boson stars, in particular as possible dark matter candidates. © 2015 The Authors.

Vilela C.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Vilela C.,University of Aveiro | Silvestre A.J.D.,University of Aveiro | Meier M.A.R.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2012

The self-metathesis of erucic acid with ruthenium-based catalysts, followed by the hydrogenation of the double bond, yielded 1,26-hexacosanedioic acid (AA). Polycondensation of this biobased long-chain α,ω-dicarboxylic acid with hexacosane-1,26-diol (BB), generated from the former by reduction, yielded the polyester 26,26. Monomer AA was also polymerized with short-chain alkanediols, namely dodecane-1,12-diol and butane-1,4-diol, generating polyesters 12,26 and 4,26, respectively. The properties of these aliphatic polyesters were investigated by various techniques, revealing high crystallinity, melting, and degradation temperatures, depending on the monomers used. These materials are an attractive alternative to fossil resource-based polymeric materials. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Ramalho J.P.P.,University of Évora | Gomes J.R.B.,University of Aveiro | Illas F.,University of Barcelona
RSC Advances | Year: 2013

This article reviews the different density functional theory (DFT) methods available in the literature for dealing with dispersion interactions and recent applications of DFT approaches including van der Waals corrections in the study of the interaction of atoms and molecules with several different surfaces. Focus is given to the interaction of atoms and molecules with metal, metal oxide and graphite surfaces or more complex systems. It will be shown that DFT approaches including van der Waals corrections present significant advances over standard exchange-correlation functionals for treating systems dominated by weak interactions. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Sher B.R.,Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon | Moreira R.A.S.,University of Aveiro
Composite Structures | Year: 2013

One of the most effective ways of controlling vibrations in plate or beam structures is by means of constrained viscoelastic damping treatments. Contrary to the unconstrained configuration, the design of constrained and integrated layer damping treatments is multifaceted because the thickness of the viscoelastic layer acts distinctly on the two main counterparts of the strain energy - the volume of viscoelastic material and the shear strain field. In this work, a parametric study is performed exploring the effect that the design parameters, namely the thickness/length ratio, constraining layer thickness, material modulus, natural mode and boundary conditions have on these two counterparts and subsequently, on the treatment efficiency. This paper presents five parametric studies, namely, the thickness/length ratio, the constraining layer thickness, material properties, natural mode and boundary conditions. The results obtained evidence an interesting effect when dealing with very thin viscoelastic layers that contradicts the standard treatment efficiency vs. layer thickness relation; hence, the potential optimisation of constrained and integrated viscoelastic treatments through the use of properly designed thin multilayer configurations is justified. This work presents a dimensionless analysis and provides useful general guidelines for the efficient design of constrained and integrated damping treatments based on single or multi-layer configurations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Amorim M.J.B.,University of Aveiro | Scott-Fordsmand J.J.,University of Aarhus
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2012

Environmental effects of copper nanoparticles are little studied in terrestrial ecosystems. In the present article, the toxicity of copper nanoparticles (Cu-NP) on the enchytraeid Enchytraeus albidus is compared to the toxicity of a copper-salt (CuCl 2). The effect parameters studied were survival, reproductive output and avoidance behaviour. The results show that Cu-NP were more toxic to E. albidus than the same concentrations of the CuCl 2-salt. The physic-chemical analysis of the particles indicated that only a small fraction was released as ions. Hence, the results indicated a nanoparticle-specific effect - lower reproductive output and higher avoidance. This was observed as 2-8 fold (significant) lower ECx values for Cu-NP (EC 50-reprod = 95 mg Cu/kg; EC 50-avoid = 241 mg Cu/kg) exposed organisms compared to CuCl 2 (EC 50- reprod = 251 mg Cu/kg; EC 50-avoid = 475 mg Cu/kg) exposed organisms. These results corroborate with a nanoparticle-specific effect. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Mateus M.,University of Lisbon | Vaz N.,University of Aveiro | Neves R.,University of Lisbon
Journal of Marine Systems | Year: 2012

The main goal of this study is to use an integrated ecosystem model to study the role of physical, chemical and environmental parameters on the biogeochemistry of the Tagus estuary, the main estuarine system in Portugal. This work was developed as part of EU-funded INSEA project and tried to accomplish two major aims: (1) the development and implementation of a coupled modeling system capable of reproducing all the major characteristics both in physical and biological environments, and (2) to create a coastal management system based on the efficient integration of observations and biophysical models. Our results suggest that both aims were met. In this study we have used a 2D hydrodynamic application coupled to a complex ecological model presented in a companion paper which captures the state of the art of marine ecological models, and also developed during the project. Special emphasis is given to the processes governing temporal and spatial patterns of both phytoplankton and bulk properties, and the physical-biological interactions shaping their variability. The results shown in this paper are indicative of a reasonable performance of the model. It captures the complexity of the Tagus estuary and provides reasonable estimates of the biomass trends of a highly dynamic and interactive community. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Costa L.F.,University of Porto | Herdeiro C.,University of Aveiro | Natario J.,University of Lisbon | Zilhao M.,University of Porto
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

It has been asserted in the literature that Mathisson's helical motions are unphysical, with the argument that their radius can be arbitrarily large. We revisit Mathisson's helical motions of a free spinning particle, and observe that such statement is unfounded. Their radius is finite and confined to the disk of centroids. We argue that the helical motions are perfectly valid and physically equivalent descriptions of the motion of a spinning body, the difference between them being the choice of the representative point of the particle, thus a gauge choice. We discuss the kinematical explanation of these motions, and we dynamically interpret them through the concept of hidden momentum. We also show that, contrary to previous claims, the frequency of the helical motions coincides, even in the relativistic limit, with the zitterbewegung frequency of the Dirac equation for the electron. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Jongen M.,University of Lisbon | Pereira J.S.,University of Lisbon | Aires L.M.I.,Polytechnic Institute of Leiria | Pio C.A.,University of Aveiro
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2011

We studied the seasonal and inter-annual variation in carbon, water and energy fluxes over a Mediterranean grassland ecosystem in Portugal, dominated by annual species, using the eddy-covariance technique. The study period, from 2004 to 2008, was characterised by high intra- and inter-annual precipitation variation: the hydrological years 2004-2005 and 2007-2008 had precipitation below average ('dry' years) whereas the other two hydrological years had precipitation above average ('wet' years).The variation in energy partitioning into sensible heat (H) and latent heat (λE) fluxes was associated with changes in soil water content, coinciding with plant emergence and senescence. The ecosystem was λE-dominated in those periods with soil water content above 15%, and became H-dominated when soil water content fell below 15%.Annually integrated net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) was highly sensitive to drought, varying from a carbon sink in 'wet' years (e.g., 2005-2006, -190gCm-2y-1), to a carbon source in 'dry' years (e.g., 2004-2005, +49gCm-2y-1). There was a negative correlation between annually integrated NEE and annual precipitation (r2=0.78). However, timing of precipitation influenced NEE, with individual rain events in the dry season resulting in large pulses of ecosystem respiration (Reco). Low precipitation at the peak of the growing season, as in the spring of 2007, decreased carbon sequestration. The best descriptor for inter-annual variation in NEE was leaf area duration (LAD), which explained 96% of the variance.Average radiation-use efficiency (RUE) was 1.59gMJ-1 and inherent water-use efficiency (IWUE) was 24.6gChPakg-1 H2O. RUE and IWUE had similar trends in inter-annual variation, reflecting differences in productivity and timing of precipitation.Our study showed that carbon and energy fluxes in this Mediterranean environment depended strongly upon water availability. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Pinto M.L.,University of Lisbon | Pinto M.L.,University of Aveiro | Mafra L.,University of Aveiro | Guil J.M.,CSIC - Institute of Physical Chemistry "Rocasolano" | And 2 more authors.
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2011

The interaction of gaseous CO2 with the surface of amine-modified nanoporous clays has been studied. CO2 adsorption and adsorption microcalorimetry revealed high adsorption capacity and strong interaction with the surface at low pressures, due to the presence of amine groups. Considerable surface heterogeneity and high initial adsorption heat (125 kJ mol-1) have been observed, although the adsorption was reversible with hysteresis at low pressures and very slow desorption kinetics. Interaction between 13CO2 and the surface of the nanoporous clay materials has been investigated by 13C and 15N magic-angle spinning (MAS) NMR. 13C NMR resonances at ca. 164 and 160 ppm have been assigned to, respectively, carbamate and carbamic acid, and the stability of these species have been studied. Peak areas and the amount of 13CO2 adsorbed allowed the determination of the concentration of carbamate and carbamic acid. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that solid-state NMR is used to clearly establish the formation of amine-CO2 bonding at the surface of amine-modified nanoporous materials and to identify the nature of the species formed. The results presented here shed light on the mechanism of CO2 activation, since the CO2 adsorption on the surface of such materials is the activation step that allows further reactions to occur. The instability of the carbamate and carbamic acid species formed on the surface is important in explaining the reactivity of these intermediates and supports the possible application of these materials in CO2 activation. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the concentrations of trace elements, such as cadmium, lead, copper, zinc and nickel in sediments and oysters of the species Crassostrea brasiliana (bivalve quite abundant and of great economic value to the region) and taking into account that the choice of these nature may reflect specific environmental conditions and, from then on, diagnose quality for cultivation in this region, in particular in relation to food security and still provide for long and medium-term effects of disturbances. The Pb, relative to other metals analyzed, 75% of the sampled points predominated and their surface distribution 0.137 ± 0.015; 0.127 ± 0.006; 0.127 ± 0.015 and 0.030 ± 0.052 ppm, for order of points sampled. Already the concentration in oysters followed in the order Zn > Cu > Pb > Ni and Cd missing in all the samples collected.

Gomes S.I.L.,University of Aveiro | Soares A.M.V.M.,University of Aveiro | Scott-Fordsmand J.J.,University of Aarhus | Amorim M.J.B.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Hazardous Materials | Year: 2013

Silver has antimicrobial properties and silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) have been some of the most widely used NPs. Information regarding their effects is still insufficient, in particular for soil dwelling organisms. The standard soil Oligochaete Enchytraeus albidus was used to study the effects of Ag in soils, using differential gene expression (microarray) and population (survival, reproduction) response to Ag-NPs (PVP coated) and AgNO3. Results showed higher toxicity of AgNO3 (EC50<50mg/kg) compared to toxicity of Ag-NPs (EC50=225mg/kg). Based on the biological and material identity, the difference in toxicity between Ag-NPs and AgNO3 could possibly be explained by a release of Ag+ ions from the particles or by a slower uptake of Ag-NPs. The indications were that the responses to Ag-NPs reflect an effect of Ag ions and Ag-NPs given the extent of similar/dissimilar genes activated. The particles characterization supports this deduction as there were limited free ions measured in soil extracts, maybe related to little oxidation and/or complexation in the soil matrix. The possibility that gene differences were due to different levels of biological impact (i.e. physiological responses) should not be excluded. Testing of Ag-NPs seem to require longer exposure period to be comparable in terms of effect/risk assessment with other chemicals. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Plakhov A.,University of Aveiro | Roshchina V.,University of Évora
Nonlinearity | Year: 2011

The problem of invisibility for bodies with a mirror surface is studied in the framework of geometrical optics. A closely related problem concerning the existence of bodies that have zero aerodynamical resistance is also studied here. We construct bodies that are invisible/have zero resistance in two directions, and prove that bodies which are invisible/have zero resistance do not exist in all possible directions of incidence. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd & London Mathematical Society.

Pinto M.L.,University of Aveiro | Pinto M.L.,University of Lisbon | Rocha J.,University of Aveiro | Gomes J.R.B.,University of Aveiro | Pires J.,University of Lisbon
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2011

A novel approach to designing nitric oxide (NO) storage and releasing microporous agents based on very stable, zeolite-type silicates possessing framework unsaturated transition-metal centers has been proposed. This idea has been illustrated with ETS-4 [Na9Si12Ti5O 38(OH)·xH2O], a titanosilicate that displays excellent NO adsorption capacity and a slow releasing kinetics. The performance of these materials has been compared to the performance of titanosilicate ETS-10, [(Na,K)2Si5TiO13·xH 2O], of benchmark zeolites mordenite and CaA, and of natural and pillared clays. DFT periodic calculations have shown that the presence of water in the pores of ETS-4 promotes the NO adsorption at the unsaturated (pentacoordinated) Ti4+ framework ions. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Barlat F.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Barlat F.,University of Aveiro | Vincze G.,University of Aveiro | Gracio J.J.,University of Aveiro | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Plasticity | Year: 2014

The formulation of the so-called homogeneous anisotropic hardening (HAH) model, which was originally proposed in Barlat et al. (2011), is refined. With the new features, this distortional plasticity-based constitutive model predicts the mechanical response of metals subjected to non-proportional loading with improved accuracy, in particular for cross-loading. In that case, applications to two different steels are provided for illustration purposes. For mild steel, the stress overshoot of the monotonic flow curve observed during a double load change is well reproduced by the model. In addition, for a dual-phase steel deformed in a two-step tension test with axes at 45° from each other, the new features allow the reloading yield stress to be lower than the unloading flow stress, in good agreement with experimental observations. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Antunes P.F.C.,University of Aveiro | Domingues M.F.F.,University of Aveiro | Alberto N.J.,University of Aveiro | Andre P.S.,University of Lisbon
IEEE Photonics Technology Letters | Year: 2014

We present an innovative and cost effective approach to produced sensors based on optical fiber microcavities. The proposed microcavities were manufactured by splicing a standard optical fiber with recycled optical fibers destroyed by the catastrophic fuse effect, yielding strain sensors with sensitivity up to 2.56 pm·με-1. The feasibility of this solution employing recycled optical fibers was demonstrated, presenting an economical solution for sensing purposes, when compared with cavities produced using complex methods. We also show, for the first time, that the sensitivity of these microcavities Fabry-Perot interferometers sensors depends on the cavity volume. © 2013 IEEE.

Moura A.,University of Aveiro | Henriques I.,University of Aveiro | Smalla K.,Julius Kuhn Institute | Correia A.,University of Aveiro
Research in Microbiology | Year: 2010

To investigate the mobile gene pool present in wastewater environments, total community DNA was obtained from two distinct raw effluents: urban and slaughterhouse wastewaters. Bacterial community structure was evaluated by DGGE analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments. Detection of broad-host-range plasmid sequences and integrase encoding genes was carried out through PCR and Southern hybridization. Gene cassette libraries were obtained using primers targeting consensus sequences that flank gene cassettes. Analysis of DGGE profiles revealed a complex and distinct bacterial community among effluents (similarity < 25%). Despite that, All plasmid-specific sequences searched (rep for IncN, trfA for IncP-1 and oriV for IncQ and IncW) and integrase genes were present in both effluents. Gene cassettes recovered from clone libraries showed low homology with genes encoding putative enzymes involved in the metabolism of amino sugars, cell wall synthesis, motility, gene regulation, intercellular signalling and secretion pathways and in the synthesis of cellulose, folic acid and antibiotics. Additionally, in the majority of clones, no identifiable open reading frames homologues were found in the databases. According to our results, wastewater environments promote the development of bacterial communities that support and bring together different types of molecular elements that, in association, play a major role in bacterial adaptation and evolution. © 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Cardoso V.,University of Lisbon | Cardoso V.,Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics | Gualtieri L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Herdeiro C.,University of Aveiro | Sperhake U.,University of Cambridge
Living Reviews in Relativity | Year: 2015

The demand to obtain answers to highly complex problems within strong-field gravity has been met with significant progress in the numerical solution of Einstein’s equations – along with some spectacular results – in various setups. We review techniques for solving Einstein’s equations in generic spacetimes, focusing on fully nonlinear evolutions but also on how to benchmark those results with perturbative approaches. The results address problems in high-energy physics, holography, mathematical physics, fundamental physics, astrophysics and cosmology. © The Author(s).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 288.00K | Year: 2016

This project explores strong-gravity phenomena involving black holes in the context of high-energy physics applications and astrophysical observations including gravitational waves. The proposed studies can be loosely classified into four groups with considerable overlap. (i) Fundamental fields in strong gravity. Fundamental fields coupled to curvature are essential for cosmological models, for explaining the nature of dark matter or to extend the Standard Model of particle physics. In addition, scalar fields are often used as proxy for other, more complex interactions. Through numerical, perturbative and analytical modeling, we will explore the dynamics and wave emission of neutron stars and black holes in dark-matter environments and infer bounds on axion-like particles. (ii) Stability of black holes. The physical stability of black-hole solutions with or without the presence of fundamental matter fields will be studied. Such solutions represent possible end states of the dynamical processes and their importance critically relies on whether they form long-term stable spacetimes. (iii) Modified theories of gravity. Modifications and extensions of general relativity are being explored for a variety of reasons ranging from cosmological observations to attempts to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics. We will explore observable effects of various such theories in astrophysical systems with a particular focus on gravitational-wave and electromagnetic signatures, that could allow us to test general relativity against modified theories of gravity. (iv) High-energy collisions. The gravitational interaction of ultrarelativistic collisions will be modeled numerically and perturbatively to probe the possibility of black-hole formation in the framework of TeV gravity scenarios.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC5-13c-2015 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016

MIN-GUIDE is a project addressing the need for a secure and sustainable supply of minerals in Europe by developing a Minerals Policy Guide. The key objectives of the project are (1) providing guidance for EU and MS minerals policy, (2) facilitating minerals policy decision making through knowledge co-production for transferability of best practice minerals policy, and (3) fostering community and network building for the co-management of an innovation catalysing minerals policy framework. This will be achieved through a systematic profiling and policy benchmarking of relevant policy and legislation in Europe, which includes the identification of innovation friendly best practices through quantitative indicators and a qualitative analysis country-specific framework conditions, as well as through the compilation of minerals statistics and reporting systems. These insights will form the basis for developing an interactive, tailor-made online Minerals Policy Guide. Another key feature of the MIN-GUIDE project will be knowledge co-production for minerals policy decision makers through Policy Laboratories exploring these best practice examples along the whole mineral production value chain (exploration and extraction, processing, recycling and mine closure). Furthermore, MIN-GUIDE will facilitate the building of a sustainable minerals policy stakeholder network through this knowledge co-production and utilization in Policy Laboratories as well as through three major Conferences. These Conferences will explore the minerals governance framework, work on recommendations for promoting innovation along the whole minerals production value chain, and put it into the wider context of the circular economy. The MIN-GUIDE project and in particular the dissemination of the Minerals Policy Guide to specific target audiences will have the expected impact of guiding EU MS and EU level minerals policy-making towards a more coherent, transparent and innovation-catalysing framework.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES | Award Amount: 168.60K | Year: 2012

Numerical relativity, the gauge/gravity duality and trans-Planckian scattering have been tremendously active and successful areas in gravitational/high energy physics in recent years. They are strongly motivated by direct experimental connections: gravitational wave detection, probing strong interactions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and even black hole production at the LHC. Numerical relativity methods, applied to black holes, will be essential (and powerful) in studying these high energy physics topics. Such merging is a new born field, pioneered by the proponents. It involves a strong numerical effort, requiring access to supercomputing facilities, expertise in theoretical and phenomenological modeling in high energy physics and contact with research teams working on dedicated experiments in particle accelerators. The necessary numerical relativity techniques have only very recently reached a state of sufficient maturity, which, together with the ongoing scientific runs at LHC and the beginning of science runs for advanced LIGO in the near future make this research programme extremely timely. This action will be instrumental in mainting the existing collaboration and synergies between the proponents, and stimulating European leadership in this flourishing research field.

Wen W.,University of Strasbourg | M'Guil S.,University of Strasbourg | Ahzi S.,University of Strasbourg | Ahzi S.,University of Aveiro | Gracio J.J.,University of Aveiro
International Journal of Plasticity | Year: 2013

Prediction of the rolling texture evolution in FCC metals is controlled by interaction laws, deformation mechanisms and definition of the lattice spin. The coupled effect of these three factors on the FCC rolling texture evolution is hereby analyzed using the viscoplastic φ-model. Without the Eshelby theory, this model yields an interaction law spanning predicted results from the upper to lower bound ones by varying a scalar weight parameter φ (0<φ<1). In this work, two definitions of the lattice spin, the mathematical analysis (MA) and the plane-strain analysis (PSA), are considered in the φ-model. The influence of the MA and PSA definitions on the FCC rolling texture evolution is deeply analyzed in conjunction with twinning and grain interaction strength, from a stiff to a more compliant interaction. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.All rights reserved.

Kitayama K.,University of Aveiro | Tome C.N.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | Rauch E.F.,Grenoble Institute of Technology | Gracio J.J.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Plasticity | Year: 2013

Polycrystal aggregates subjected to plastic forming exhibit large changes in the yield stress and extended transients in the flow stress following strain path changes. Since these effects are related to the rearrangement of the dislocation structure induced during previous loading, here we propose a crystallographically-based dislocation hardening model for capturing such behavior. The model is implemented in the polycrystal code VPSC and is applied to simulate strain path changes in low carbon steel. The path changes consist of tension followed by shear at different angles with respect to the preload direction, and forward simple shear followed by reverse shear. The results are compared to experimental data and highlight the role that directional dislocation structures induced during preload play during the reload stage. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.All rights reserved.

Barlat F.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Barlat F.,University of Aveiro | Ha J.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Gracio J.J.,University of Aveiro | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Plasticity | Year: 2013

The homogeneous anisotropic hardening (HAH) approach, which captures the Bauschinger effect in metallic materials effectively during load reversal, was extended to cross-loading cases with latent hardening effects. This continuum approach is based on the physical understanding of dislocation structure evolution during strain path changes but does not include the concept of kinematic hardening. The model was well validated for a deep drawing quality sheet sample. However, for a dual-phase steel, differences between predicted and experimental results were observed and discussed. Based on these results, additional validation tests and further improvement in the approach were suggested. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.All rights reserved.

Costa P.J.,University of Lisbon | Costa P.J.,University of Aveiro | Calhorda M.J.,University of Lisbon | Kuhn F.E.,TU Munich
Organometallics | Year: 2010

η5-Cyclopentadienyl(tricarbonyl)methylmolybdenum(II) (1) is oxidized by tert-butylhydroperoxide (TBHP) to yield η5- cyclopentadienyl(dioxo)methylmolybdenum(VI) (2) and η5- cyclopentadienyl(oxo)-(peroxo)methylmolybdenum(VI) (3). These two complexes are active catalysts for olefin epoxidation in the presence of TBHP, but inactive in its absence. DFT calculations of the possible pathways, with MP2 single-point energies, indicate that TBHP can react with 2 to form the active intermediate CpMo(O)(OH)(OOCH3)CH3 (B) or the peroxo complex 3. Formation of B and epoxidation from B have relatively low activation barriers (gas-phase MP2 ΔE 21 kcal mol-1), while formation of complex 3 from 2 exhibits a higher barrier (38 kcal mol-1). The peroxo complex 3 can be further activated by excess TBHP to yield a second active intermediate, CPMO(O2)(OH)(OOCH3)CH3 (C) (24 kcal mol -1), that undergoes reaction with olefin, forming epoxide and the intermediate B. Both intermediates B and C display end-on-bound alkyl peroxo ligands. Barriers are comparable for several pathways, suggesting that more than one may take place. The role of solvent (PCM, dichloromethane) is negligible, since the deviations between gas-phase and solvent free energies are ∼1-3 kcal mol-1. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IRSES | Award Amount: 238.80K | Year: 2011

The SISET joint exchange programme aims to establish long-term research cooperation between Portuguese, Belgian, Belarusian and Chinese scientists in the field of instrumental techniques for corrosion science. Collaboration brings together the experts from conventional and localized electro analytical techniques, electro chemical modeling, corrosion science and protective coatings in order to develop new experimental protocols for studying corrosion and healing processes on a micro scale. The work programme intends to synergistically unite the existing localized electro analytical techniques via realization of new ideas allowing their simultaneous use. Combination of two or even three localized techniques dramatically increases the value of data acquired by each of them since all numerical parameters are collected without considerable time lag and therefore can be unconditionally used as the input parameters for modeling and simulation. For example, SVET-SIET measurements performed simultaneously correlate information about two essential components of corrosion processes: electrochemical oxidation-reduction equilibriums with acid-base chemical interactions, dramatically improving the understanding and prediction of corrosion processes. In view of indicated project objectives, no high financial investment is required since the individual techniques are well developed and the research activities at the partner institutions are already in progress. To achieve the goals, complementary combination of the existing expertise and groundwork is needed. Mutually beneficial transfer of knowledge will be implemented through an intensive exchange program between five partner organizations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-4.0-6 | Award Amount: 10.75M | Year: 2009

The approach of AFORE project is to develop novel, industrially adaptable and techno-economically viable bio-based solutions for the separation, fractionation, and primary upgrading of green chemicals from forest residues, wood chips, and chemical pulping liquors to be used as starting materials for current and novel value-added applications. It is targeted that by this means European forest and pulping industry can substantially increase its profitability and overall income within 10 years with positive impact on the waste formation and sustainability of the process. The project will focus on two paths, namely upgrading the current kraft pulping process into a multi-product biorefinery concept and development of entirely new wood-based biorefinery concepts, in which the wood cellulose is exploited in value-added applications with simultaneous production of a multitude of novel non-cellulosic products. The success of the technological developments will be evaluated using different modelling and assessment tools and by pilot and mill scale demonstrations. The techno-economical evaluations will also include a thorough investigation of how the new side-stream -based value chains will affect the current end-uses (mainly energy) as well as the environmental footprint of production. The multidisciplinary project consortium consists of research and industrial partners covering the whole value chain from wood to end products. The expertises of the partners include wood and pulp and paper processing, physical, chemical and biotechnical biomaterial processing, component isolation and upgrading, sophisticated biomaterial analysis, environmental and techno-economical modelling and assessment of processes, products and business scenarios related thereof.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.2.1 | Award Amount: 3.96M | Year: 2011

The overall aim of this project is to develop an artificial cognitive system, embodied by a service robot, able to build a high-level understanding of the world it inhabits by storing and exploiting appropriate memories of its experiences. Experiences will be recorded internally at multiple levels: high-level descriptions in terms of goals, tasks and behaviours, connected to constituting subtasks, and finally to sensory and actuator skills at the lowest level. In this way, experiences provide a detailed account of how the robot has achieved past goals or how it has failed, and what sensory events have accompanied the activities.\n\nRobot competence is obtained by abstracting and generalising from experiences, extending task planning and execution beyond preconceived situations. Activities successfully carried out by the robot for specific objects at specific locations may be generalised to activity concepts applicable to a larger variety of objects at variable locations. Conceptualisations may also result in commonsense insights, e.g. about object behaviour on tilted surfaces.\n\n\nThe project aims to produce the following key results:\n(i) \tRobots capable of storing experiences in their memory in terms of multi-level representations connecting actuator and sensory experiences with meaningful high-level structures,\n(ii)\tMethods for learning and generalising from experiences obtained from behaviour in realistically scaled real-world environments,\n(iii)\tRobots demonstrating superior robustness and effectiveness in new situations and unknown environments using experience-based planning and behaviour adaptation.\n\n\nTo achieve these ambitious goals, a consortium has been formed of research groups with long-standing expertise in high-level cognitive models, planning, learning, spatio-temporal knowledge representation, and robot sensing, navigation, and grasping. The consortium will establish a common conceptual framework for representing robot experiences, planning and learning. Results will be integrated and evaluated in an operational mobile platform with grasping facilities. We will demonstrate how a robot can evolve its understanding of the world as a result of novel experiences; and show how such understanding allows a robot to better cope with new situations and perform at a level of robustness and effectiveness not previously achievable.

University of Aveiro and Unipessoal Lda. | Date: 2014-06-24

System and method for providing data access to mobile network nodes of a digital data network, said system comprising: a local mobility anchor node, herewith LMA, which has an uplink interface to an upstream network, a plurality of mobility access gateways, herewith MAGs, which are fixed access points comprising a wired interface to the LMA, one or more mobile mobility access gateways, herewith mMAGs, which are mobile, in particular vehicle, access points comprising a wireless interface to a MAGs or other mMAGs, a mobile network node, herewith MNN, comprising a wireless interface to a MAG or mMAG, each of said mMAGs configured for establishing a network binding to the LMA through an access point, by connecting to said access point, the access point being a MAG or another mMAG, such that data packets arrived at the LMA and destined to the MNN are routed and forwarded to the MNN through the mMAG.

University of Aveiro and Unipessoal Lda | Date: 2016-01-22

Wireless network data router for a vehicle, and operating method thereof, comprising: a multi-connection interface for wireless access in vehicular environments, herewith WAVE; a wireless local area network, herewith Wi-Fi, interface; a mobile network data interface; a downlink data connection for the vehicle and/or users in the vehicle and its vicinity; a data processing unit for routing data between said interfaces; wherein the data processing unit is configured to: calculate a score for each reachable network on the WAVE, Wi-Fi and mobile network interfaces; switch the uplink connection of the wireless network data router to the reachable network with the best score. Also a wireless network data router for vehicles for connecting vehicles to the Internet through a multi-network device, said router being a mobile router suitable to form a mesh network of connected vehicles, wherein the router is arranged for using parked cars for redistributing Wi-Fi signal from fixed hotspots.

Carvalho T.M.,Agencia Portuguesa do Ambiente | Fidelis T.,University of Aveiro
Land Use Policy | Year: 2013

The latest theories on the governance of water resources point to the need to adopt integrated approaches, allowing the mediation of conflict between public and private interests by building consensus to include the participation of stakeholders and civil society in formulating and implementing policies, thereby ensuring their legitimacy. Models of governance have particular relevance in the context of estuaries, because of the complexity associated with them. Estuaries are areas where valuable, highly sensitive and diverse natural systems coexist, which are frequently threatened by the numerous human activities concentrated there. They are also areas where several organizations overlap, with their own jurisdictions and management instruments and where there is a wide range of users with distinct interests. At a time when the Planos de Ordenamento de Estuários (POE) (Estuary Land Use and Management Plan), a new tool for water resource management and planning, are being drawn up in Portugal, this paper discusses the specificities of the new Portuguese estuary plans, as well as associated potentials and constraints to further understand how water resources and land use policies may effectively be integrated in estuary contexts. It critically analyses the Portuguese legal framework established for these plans, arguing that, in spite of the novelty of the newly defined legal measures to better plan and manage estuaries, implementation of its ambitious objectives requires a robust governance model for plan preparation and implementation. Taking into account the main institutional features of complex estuaries with various agencies, stakeholders and users, as well as relevant governance principles, this paper proposes a governance model capable of enriching the implementation of estuary plans by contributing to a stronger involvement of all stakeholders and users in the construction of the plan, allowing conciliation of interests and participation in decision-making, within a framework of collaborative governance. Whilst the paper focuses on the Portuguese Law, the approach adopted is also of interest to other countries to assessing estuary planning regulations and associated collaborative measures. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Ceriani R.,University of Campinas | Goncalves C.B.,University of Sao Paulo | Coutinho J.A.P.,University of Aveiro
Energy and Fuels | Year: 2011

In the present work, a group contribution method is proposed for the estimation of viscosity of fatty compounds and biodiesel esters as a function of the temperature. The databank used for regression of the group contribution parameters (1070 values for 65 types of substances) included fatty compounds, such as fatty acids, methyl and ethyl esters and alcohols, tri- and diacylglycerols, and glycerol. The inclusion of new experimental data for fatty esters, a partial acylglycerol, and glycerol allowed for a further refinement in the performance of this methodology in comparison to a prior group contribution equation (Ceriani, R.; Gonçalves, C. B.; Rabelo, J.; Caruso, M.; Cunha, A. C. C.; Cavaleri, F. W.; Batista, E. A. C.; Meirelles, A. J. A.Group contribution model for predicting viscosity of fatty compounds. J. Chem. Eng. Data 2007, 52, 965-972) for all classes of fatty compounds. Besides, the influence of small concentrations of partial acylglycerols, intermediate compounds in the transesterification reaction, in the viscosity of biodiesels was also investigated. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Islinger M.,University of Aveiro | Grille S.,University of Aveiro | Fahimi H.D.,University of Heidelberg | Schrader M.,University of Exeter
Histochemistry and Cell Biology | Year: 2012

Peroxisomes contribute to several crucial metabolic processes such as β-oxidation of fatty acids, biosynthesis of ether phospholipids and metabolism of reactive oxygen species, which render them indispensable to human health and development. Peroxisomes are highly dynamic organelles that rapidly assemble, multiply and degrade in response to metabolic needs. In recent years, the interest in peroxisomes and their physiological functions has significantly increased. This review intends to highlight recent discoveries and trends in peroxisome research, and represents an update as well as a continuation of a former review article. Novel exciting findings on the biological functions, biogenesis, formation and degradation of eroxisomes, on peroxisomal dynamics and division, as well as on the interaction and cross-talk of peroxisomes with other subcellular compartments are addressed. Furthermore, recent findings on the role of peroxisomes in the brain are discussed. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Ribeiro D.,University of Aveiro | Castro I.,University of Aveiro | Dariush Fahimi H.,University of Heidelberg | Schrader M.,University of Aveiro
Histology and Histopathology | Year: 2012

Peroxisomes are remarkably dynamic and versatile organelles that are essential for human health and development. They respond to physiological changes in the cellular environment by adapting their morphology, number, enzyme content and metabolic functions accordingly. With the discovery of the first key peroxisomal morphology proteins, the investigation of peroxisomal shape, distribution and dynamics has become an exciting new field in cell biology and biomedical sciences because of its relation to organelle functionality and its impact on developmental and physiological processes. In this review, we summarize recent findings on peroxisome biology, dynamics and the modulation of peroxisome morphology, especially in mammals. Furthermore, we discuss the roles of peroxisome dynamics and morphology in cell pathology and present recent examples for alterations in peroxisome morphology under disease conditions. Besides defects in the peroxisomal morphology machinery, we also address peroxisome biogenesis disorders, alterations of peroxisome number during carcinogenesis and liver cirrhosis, and morphological alterations of peroxisomes during viral infection.

Brites C.D.S.,University of Aveiro | Lima P.P.,University of Aveiro | Silva N.J.O.,University of Aveiro | Millan A.,University of Zaragoza | And 3 more authors.
Nanoscale | Year: 2012

Non-invasive precise thermometers working at the nanoscale with high spatial resolution, where the conventional methods are ineffective, have emerged over the last couple of years as a very active field of research. This has been strongly stimulated by the numerous challenging requests arising from nanotechnology and biomedicine. This critical review offers a general overview of recent examples of luminescent and non-luminescent thermometers working at nanometric scale. Luminescent thermometers encompass organic dyes, QDs and Ln 3+ions as thermal probes, as well as more complex thermometric systems formed by polymer and organic-inorganic hybrid matrices encapsulating these emitting centres. Non-luminescent thermometers comprise of scanning thermal microscopy, nanolithography thermometry, carbon nanotube thermometry and biomaterials thermometry. Emphasis has been put on ratiometric examples reporting spatial resolution lower than 1 micron, as, for instance, intracellular thermometers based on organic dyes, thermoresponsive polymers, mesoporous silica NPs, QDs, and Ln 3+-based up-converting NPs and β-diketonate complexes. Finally, we discuss the challenges and opportunities in the development for highly sensitive ratiometric thermometers operating at the physiological temperature range with submicron spatial resolution. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Correia A.C.M.,University of Aveiro | Correia A.C.M.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Rodriguez A.,University of Sao Paulo
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

Many exoplanets have been observed close to their parent stars with orbital periods of a few days. As for the major satellites of the Jovian planets, the figure of these planets is expected to be strongly shaped by tidal forces. However, contrary to solar system satellites, exoplanets may present high values for the obliquity and eccentricity due to planetary perturbations, and may also be captured in spin-orbit resonances different from the synchronous one. Here we give a general formulation of the equilibrium figure of those bodies that makes no particular assumption on the spin and/or orbital configurations. The gravity field coefficients computed here are well suited for describing the figure evolution of a body whose spin and orbit undergo substantial variations in time. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Ribas de Pouplana L.,Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine | Ribas de Pouplana L.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Santos M.A.S.,University of Aveiro | Zhu J.-H.,Tsinghua University | And 3 more authors.
Trends in Biochemical Sciences | Year: 2014

The translation of genes into functional proteins involves error. Mistranslation is a known cause of disease, but, surprisingly, recent studies suggest that certain organisms from all domains of life have evolved diverse pathways that increase their tolerance of translational error. Although the reason for these high error rates are not yet clear, evidence suggests that increased mistranslation may have a role in the generation of diversity within the proteome and other adaptive functions. Error rates are regulated, and there appears to be an optimal mistranslation rate that varies by organism and environmental condition. Advances in unbiased interrogation of error types and experiments involving wild organisms may help our understanding of the potentially adaptive roles for protein translation errors. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Cunha T.R.,University of Aveiro | Lima E.G.,Federal University of Paraná | Pedro J.C.,University of Aveiro
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques | Year: 2010

Although the Cartesian signal decomposition has been the preferred representation in baseband polynomial power-amplifier (PA) behavioral models, this is not the only 2-D reference frame that could be considered for representing the input complex envelope signal. Indeed, in this paper, we demonstrate that, if the alternative polar representation is considered, the resulting Volterra series model is much more adequate to model the physical behavior of PA devices. This is the feature that supports the design of an innovative PA model, denominated the Polar Volterra model, which is more flexible and general than the traditional Volterra series commonly used in PA baseband modeling. The closeness of the new model formulation with the PA physical operation enabled, for the first time in PA low-pass equivalent behavioral modeling, the theoretical derivation of a Volterra series model directly from the PA circuit analysis. In fact, as the proposed model directly isolates such PA physical characteristics, a significant reduction of the number of model coefficients is achieved when compared with the traditional Cartesian Volterra model. Finally, validation results that highlight the advantages of the Polar Volterra model are presented. These were based on the laboratory measurements performed on two PAs with distinct architectures: a conventional class-AB amplifier and a polar transmitter. © 2006 IEEE.

Jin Z.,Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research | Tkach A.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Tkach A.,University of Aveiro | Casper F.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | And 8 more authors.
Nature Physics | Year: 2015

Spin-dependent conduction in metals underlies all modern magnetic memory technologies, such as giant magnetoresistance (GMR). The charge current in ferromagnetic transition metals is carried by two non-mixing populations of sp-band Fermi-level electrons: one of majority-spin and one of minority-spin. These electrons experience spin-dependent momentum scattering with localized electrons, which originate from the spin-split d-band. The direct observation of magnetotransport under such fundamental conditions, however, requires magnetotransport measurements on the same timescale as the electron momentum scattering, which takes place in the sub-100 fs regime. Using terahertz electromagnetic probes, we directly observe the magnetotransport in a metallic system under the fundamental conditions, and determine the spin-dependent densities and momentum scattering times of conduction electrons. We show that traditional measurements significantly underestimate the spin asymmetry in electron scattering, a key parameter responsible for effects such as GMR. Furthermore, we demonstrate the possibility of magnetic modulation of terahertz waves, along with heat- and contact-free GMR readout using ultrafast terahertz signals. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Islinger M.,University of Heidelberg | Cardoso M.J.R.,University of Aveiro | Schrader M.,University of Aveiro
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research | Year: 2010

Peroxisomes represent so-called "multipurpose organelles" as they contribute to various anabolic as well as catabolic pathways. Thus, with respect to the physiological specialization of an individual organ or animal species, peroxisomes exhibit a functional diversity, which is documented by significant variations in their proteome. These differences are usually regarded as an adaptational response to the nutritional and environmental life conditions of a specific organism. Thus, human peroxisomes can be regarded as an in part physiologically unique organellar entity fulfilling metabolic functions that differ from our animal model systems. In line with this, a profound understanding on how peroxisomes acquired functional heterogeneity in terms of an evolutionary and mechanistic background is required. This review summarizes our current knowledge on the heterogeneity of peroxisomal physiology, providing insights into the genetic and cell biological mechanisms, which lead to the differential localization or expression of peroxisomal proteins and further gives an overview on peroxisomal biochemical pathways, which are specialized in different animal species and organs. Moreover, it addresses the impact of proteome studies on our understanding of differential peroxisome function describing the utility of mass spectrometry and computer-assisted algorithms to identify peroxisomal target sequences for the detection of new organ- or species-specific peroxisomal proteins. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Kasperczyk M.,ETH Zurich | Person S.,University of Rochester | Ananias D.,University of Aveiro | Carlos L.D.,University of Aveiro | Novotny L.,ETH Zurich
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

We use the magnetic field distribution of an azimuthally polarized focused laser beam to excite a magnetic dipole transition in Eu3+ ions embedded in a Y2O3 nanoparticle. The absence of the electric field at the focus of an azimuthally polarized beam allows us to unambiguously demonstrate that the nanoparticle is excited by the magnetic dipole transition near 527.5 nm. When the laser wavelength is resonant with the magnetic dipole transition, the nanoparticle maps the local magnetic field distribution, whereas when the laser wavelength is resonant with an electric dipole transition, the nanoparticle is sensitive to the local electric field. Hence, by tuning the excitation wavelength, we can selectively excite magnetic or electric dipole transitions through optical fields. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Brites C.D.S.,University of Aveiro | Lima P.P.,University of Aveiro | Silva N.J.O.,University of Aveiro | Millan A.,University of Zaragoza | And 3 more authors.
Advanced Materials | Year: 2010

A unique Eu3+/Tb3+ luminescent self-referencing nanothermometer allowing absolute measurements in the 10-350 K temperature range and sub-micrometer spatial resolution is reported (see Figure). It has up to 4.9%K-1 temperature sensitivity and high photostability for long-term use. The combination of molecular thermometry, superparamagnetism and luminescence in a nanometric host matrix provides multifunctionality opening the way for new exciting applications. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Azimi-Tafreshi N.,Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences | Gomez-Gardenes J.,University of Zaragoza | Dorogovtsev S.N.,University of Aveiro | Dorogovtsev S.N.,RAS Ioffe Physical - Technical Institute
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2014

We generalize the theory of k-core percolation on complex networks to k-core percolation on multiplex networks, where k≡(k1,k2,...,kM). Multiplex networks can be defined as networks with vertices of one kind but M different types of edges, representing different types of interactions. For such networks, the k-core is defined as the largest subgraph in which each vertex has at least ki edges of each type, i=1,2,...,M. We derive self-consistency equations to obtain the birth points of the k-cores and their relative sizes for uncorrelated multiplex networks with an arbitrary degree distribution. To clarify our general results, we consider in detail multiplex networks with edges of two types and solve the equations in the particular case of Erdos-Rényi and scale-free multiplex networks. We find hybrid phase transitions at the emergence points of k-cores except the (1,1)-core for which the transition is continuous. We apply the k-core decomposition algorithm to air-transportation multiplex networks, composed of two layers, and obtain the size of (k1,k2)-cores. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Vilela C.,University of Aveiro | Silvestre A.J.D.,University of Aveiro | Gandini A.,University of Aveiro | Gandini A.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2013

Novel trifunctional monomers based on renewable resources were prepared and subsequently polymerized via the Diels-Alder (DA) polycondensation between furan and maleimide complementary moieties. Three basic approaches were considered for these nonlinear DA polycondensations, namely the use of (i) a bisfuran monomer in combination with a trismaleimide (A2 + B 3 system) and (ii) a trisfuran monomer in conjunction with a bismaleimide (A3 + B2 system) leading to branched or crosslinked materials, and (iii) the use of monomers incorporating both furan and maleimide end groups (A2B or AB2 systems), which lead to hyperbranched structures. The application of the retro-DA reaction to the ensuing polymers confirmed their thermoreversible character. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2013 This study deals with the thermoreversible non-linear Diels-Alder polycondensation of monomers based on plant oil and furan derivatives. The monomers were synthesized using both conventional mechanisms and the thiol-ene click reaction. Those bearing both furan and maleimide moieties were protected to avoid premature polymerization. All the ensuing polymers, whether highly branched, or crosslinked, displayed a clear-cut thermal reversibility to the starting monomers thanks to the retro-Diels-Alder reaction, applied at 110 °C. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Gandini A.,University of Sao Paulo | Silvestre A.,University of Aveiro | Coelho D.,University of Munster
Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2013

The polymerisation of furan monomers and the exploitation of some of the chemical peculiarities of the furan heterocycle have generated a wide diversity of macromolecular materials based on renewable resources. In particular, the application of the DA cycloaddition to the macromolecular chemistry opened new ways to synthesize materials with unique properties, such as self-mendability and network recyclability. In this study, non-linear polycondensations between di- and tri-functional furan (An) and maleimide (Bm) monomers by means of the DA reaction are presented. The use of complementary monomers bearing more than two functionalities led to highly crosslinked structures under appropriate stoichiometric conditions, and thus, can be applied in the preparation of "mendable" materials. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2012.6.5-4 | Award Amount: 1.08M | Year: 2012

Air quality in Europe is still facing a continued wide-spread of exceedances, particularly regarding PM, NOx and O3. The 2008 Air Quality Directive requests Member States (MS) to design local and regional plans and assess their impacts on air quality and human health. MS have therefore developed and applied a wide range of modeling methods to cope with these obligations. Today, with the revision of the EU air quality policy pending, there is the need to consolidate and assess the research results in the field and to make them accessible to policy makers. This is the main aim of APPRAISAL project, split in the following objectives: -Undertake on overall review of the methodologies used in different countries, from the simple (scenario analysis) to the more comprehensive (cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness analysis). This would include evaluating top-down and bottom-up approaches to systematically analyze their strengths and weaknesses and to identify key areas to be addressed by further research. The result would be captured in a readily updatable, user friendly relational data base. -Design an integrated assessment (IA) modeling framework where existing components are efficiently inter-connected, produce guidelines describing the key components of best practices. A number of test cases will be explored to confirm the robustness of the guidelines in practice. -Communicate with key stake-holders and in particular to policy-makers the state-of-the-art scientific knowledge on emission abatement assessment. APPRAISAL includes 15 highly experienced groups working on both air quality and health impacts assessment. Partners come from all over Europe to guarantee the review process representativeness. A group of stakeholders will closely be connected to the Consortium to ensure a direct line of communication with key policy makers. APPRAISAL will contribute to improved knowledge on regional and local IA methodologies and will support the revision of EU air quality policies.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2008

Todays economic environment is characterised by a high level of competitiveness emphasised by globalisation which enables access to low cost skills and services. Competing in a global economy and facing the challenges of tomorrow requires a movement towards innovation that recognises the key importance of creativity and design. The proposed project aims to establish an interdisciplinary network of researchers investigating creative design in various applied domains including interaction design, industrial design and arts design. The goal is to create an internationally recognised programme of research that will expand the current state-of-the-art in creative design. This research proposal aims to strengthen the dialogue among the different disciplines contributing to creative design and to provide a basis for interdisciplinary investigation of technological creativity and innovation. This network seeks to provide new researchers with knowledge and skills needed to investigate and support creative design, as well as apply it in practice in technological fields such as humancomputer interaction and ubiquitous computing. The research programme will focus on the following topics: Creative problem solving in design; Studying creative design process; Supporting creativity; Modelling creativity; and Innovation in teaching/learning design.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.22M | Year: 2014

The overall goal of IRIS is to provide a natural interaction communication platform accessible and adapted for all users, particularly for people with speech impairments and elderly in indoor scenarios. Human-Computer interaction with this platform will adopt the principles of universal design and natural user interfaces such as speech, silent speech, gestures, tactile and haptic devices, pictograms, animated characters and personalized synthetic voices. The platform will provide a set of services that allow easy access to social networks, friends and remote family members, fighting social-exclusion of people with special needs or impairments. Application of these features will be performed in the context of serious games, virtual reality environments and assisted living scenarios. We will also explore the use of personalized avatars (that resemble with the user) in asynchronous human-human and human-machine communications, in situations where the user has lost his/her voice and in scenarios where it is not possible to have a video signal transmission due to low bandwidth or privacy reasons. Biometrics will complement the platform, in the sense that authentication and authorization are fundamental aspects for assuring access security to personal information in a natural way. These goals will be accomplished through multiple Transfer of Knowledge mechanisms between Industry and Academia that include secondments, recruitments, seminars, workshops and short courses given by specialized researchers about a diverse range of topics that target both project objectives and career development. The project consortium composed by 5 partners (2 Industry and 3 Academic partners) will also organize a relevant number of outreach activities directed at the general public and events, paving the way for strong and durable repercussions in the scientific, technological, social and economic domains of our society.

Morais J.,University of Aveiro | Kou K.I.,Macau University of Science and Technology | Sprossig W.,TU Bergakademie Freiberg
Computers and Mathematics with Applications | Year: 2013

Monogenic orthogonal polynomials over 3D prolate spheroids were previously introduced and shown to have some remarkable properties. In particular, the underlying functions take values in the quaternions (identified with R4), and are generally assumed to be nullsolutions of the well known Moisil-Théodoresco system. In this paper, we show that these polynomial functions play an important role in defining the Szegö kernel function over the surface of 3D (prolate) spheroids. As a concrete application, we prove an explicit expression of the monogenic Szegö kernel function over 3D (prolate) spheroids and present two numerical examples. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Daridon J.-L.,University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour | Coutinho J.A.P.,University of Aveiro | Ndiaye E.H.I.,University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour | Paredes M.L.L.,State University of Rio de Janeiro
Fuel | Year: 2013

Speed of sound of fatty acid esters are relevant for the formulation of biodiesel fuels but data on this property are scarce on literature. In this work speeds of sound of three saturated fatty acid methyl esters (caprate, myristate, palmitate) two unsaturated (oleate, linoleate) as well as two fatty acid ethyl esters (caprate, myristate) were measured using a pulse echo technique operating at 3 MHz. The measurements were carried out at atmospheric pressure in the temperature range 283.15-373.15 K. Additional density measurements were performed in order to estimate the isentropic compressibility and the molecular compressibility. From these data, a group contribution method was developed to predict the molecular compressibility and speed of sound of both methyl and ethyl esters with an uncertainty of circa 0.1%. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Carlos L.D.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira R.A.S.,University of Aveiro | De Zea Bermudez V.,University of Trás os Montes e Alto Douro | Julian-Lopez B.,Jaume I University | Escribano P.,Jaume I University
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2011

Research on organic-inorganic hybrid materials containing trivalent lanthanide ions (Ln3+) is a very active field that has rapidly shifted in the last couple of years to the development of eco-friendly, versatile and multifunctional systems, stimulated by the challenging requirements of technological applications spanning domains as diverse as optics, environment, energy, and biomedicine. This tutorial review offers a general overview of the myriad of advanced Ln3+-based organic-inorganic hybrid materials recently synthesised, which may be viewed as a major innovation in areas of phosphors, lighting, integrated optics and optical telecommunications, solar cells, and biomedicine. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Schwaiger M.,Center for Organismal Systems Biology | Schonauer A.,Oxford Brookes University | Rendeiro A.F.,University of Aveiro | Pribitzer C.,Center for Organismal Systems Biology | And 6 more authors.
Genome Research | Year: 2014

Despite considerable differences in morphology and complexity of body plans among animals, a great part of the gene set is shared among Bilateria and their basally branching sister group, the Cnidaria. This suggests that the common ancestor of eumetazoans already had a highly complex gene repertoire. At present it is therefore unclear how morphological diversification is encoded in the genome. Here we address the possibility that differences in gene regulation could contribute to the large morphological divergence between cnidarians and bilaterians. To this end, we generated the first genome-wide map of gene regulatory elements in a nonbilaterian animal, the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing of five chromatin modifications and a transcriptional cofactor, we identified over 5000 enhancers in the Nematostella genome and could validate 75% of the tested enhancers in vivo. We found that in Nematostella, but not in yeast, enhancers are characterized by the same combination of histone modifications as in bilaterians, and these enhancers preferentially target developmental regulatory genes. Surprisingly, the distribution and abundance of gene regulatory elements relative to these genes are shared between Nematostella and bilaterian model organisms. Our results suggest that complex gene regulation originated at least 600 million yr ago, predating the common ancestor of eumetazoans. © 2014 Schwaiger et al.

Reis A.,Aston University | Rudnitskaya A.,University of Aveiro | Blackburn G.J.,University of Strathclyde | Fauzi N.M.,National University of Malaysia | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Lipid Research | Year: 2013

Lipidome profile of fluids and tissues is a growing field as the role of lipids as signaling molecules is increasingly understood, relying on an effective and representative extraction of the lipids present. A number of solvent systems suitable for lipid extraction are commonly in use, though no comprehensive investigation of their effectiveness across multiple lipid classes has been carried out. To address this, human LDL from normolipidemic volunteers was used to evaluate five different solvent extraction protocols [Folch, Bligh and Dyer, acidified Bligh and Dyer, methanol (MeOH)-tert-butyl methyl ether (TBME), and hexane-isopropanol] and the extracted lipids were analyzed by LC-MS in a high-resolution instrument equipped with polarity switching. Overall, more than 350 different lipid species from 19 lipid subclasses were identified. Solvent composition had a small effect on the extraction of predominant lipid classes (triacylglycerides, cholesterol esters, and phosphatidylcholines). In contrast, extraction of less abundant lipids (phosphatidylinositols, lyso-lipids, ceramides, and cholesterol sulfates) was greatly influenced by the solvent system used. Overall, the Folch method was most effective for the extraction of a broad range of lipid classes in LDL, although the hexane-isopropanol method was best for apolar lipids and the MeOH-TBME method was suitable for lactosyl ceramides. Copyright © 2013 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Krishnamoorthy A.,Sathyabama University | Rajendra Boopathy S.,Anna University | Palanikumar K.,Sri Sairam Institute of Technology | Paulo Davim J.,University of Aveiro
Measurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation | Year: 2012

Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) composite materials have potential applications in various domains. In machining, drilling is essentially required to join different structures. But CFRP drilling poses many problems that decrease the quality of holes. In this paper, Taguchi's L 27 orthogonal array is used to perform drilling of CFRP composite plates. To improve the quality of the holes drilled, the optimal combination of drilling parameters is chosen using grey relational analysis. Grey fuzzy optimization of drilling parameters is based on five different output performance characteristics, namely, thrust force, torque, entry delamination, exit delamination and eccentricity of the holes. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is used to find the percentage contribution of the drilling parameters and found that feed rate is the most influential factor in drilling of CFRP composites. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ameloot N.,Ghent University | Graber E.R.,Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences | Verheijen F.G.A.,University of Aveiro | De Neve S.,Ghent University
European Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2013

The stability of biochar in soils is the cornerstone of the burgeoning worldwide interest in the potential of the pyrolysis/biochar platform for carbon (C) sequestration. While biochar is more recalcitrant in soil than the original organic feedstock, an increasing number of studies report greater C-mineralization in soils amended with biochar than in unamended soils. Soil organisms are believed to play a central role in this process. In this review, the variety of interactions that occur between soil micro-, meso- and macroorganisms and biochar stability are assessed. In addition, different factors reported to influence biochar stability, such as biochar physico-chemical characteristics, soil type, soil organic carbon (SOC) content and agricultural management practices are evaluated. A meta-analysis of data in the literature revealed that biochar-C mineralization rates decreased with increasing pyrolysis temperature, biochar-C content and time. Enhanced release of CO2 after biochar addition to soil may result from (i) priming of native SOC pools, (ii) biodegradation of biochar components from direct or indirect stimulation of soil organisms by biochar or (iii) abiotic release of biochar-C (from carbonates or chemi-sorbed CO2). Observed biphasic mineralization rates suggest rapid mineralization of labile biochar compounds by microorganisms, with stable aromatic components decomposed at a slower rate. Comparatively little information is available on the impact of soil fauna on biochar stability in soil, although they may decrease biochar particle size and enhance its dispersion in the soil. Elucidating the impacts of soil fauna directly and indirectly on biochar stability is a top research priority. © 2013 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2013 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2013 British Society of Soil Science.

Silva A.M.N.,University of Aveiro | Vitorino R.,University of Aveiro | Domingues M.R.M.,University of Aveiro | Spickett C.M.,Aston University | Domingues P.,University of Aveiro
Free Radical Biology and Medicine | Year: 2013

In this review, we provide a comprehensive bibliographic overview of the role of mass spectrometry and the recent technical developments in the detection of post-translational modifications (PTMs). We briefly describe the principles of mass spectrometry for detecting PTMs and the protein and peptide enrichment strategies for PTM analysis, including phosphorylation, acetylation and oxidation. This review presents a bibliographic overview of the scientific achievements and the recent technical development in the detection of PTMs is provided. In order to ascertain the state of the art in mass spectrometry and proteomics methodologies for the study of PTMs, we analyzed all the PTM data introduced in the Universal Protein Resource (UniProt) and the literature published in the last three years. The evolution of curated data in UniProt for proteins annotated as being post-translationally modified is also analyzed. Additionally, we have undertaken a careful analysis of the research articles published in the years 2010 to 2012 reporting the detection of PTMs in biological samples by mass spectrometry. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Shvartsman V.V.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Kholkin A.L.,University of Aveiro
Zeitschrift fur Kristallographie | Year: 2011

The polarization state of relaxor PbMg1/3Nb2/3O 3 single crystals was studied using piezoresponse force microscopy. Areas of correlated polarization with a size of ∼50 nm were observed in the nominally ergodic relaxor state. These areas were attributed to ensembles of frozen polar nanoregions, which may exist in vicinity of the sample surface. Relatively strong piezoresponse could be induced by applying a dc electric field. After removing the field, a relaxation of the piezoelectric signal obeying power time dependence was observed. This induced piezoresponse was attributed to a contribution from dynamic polar nanoregions. © by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, München.

Shvartsman V.V.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Dkhil B.,École Centrale Paris | Kholkin A.L.,University of Aveiro
Annual Review of Materials Research | Year: 2013

Ferroelectric relaxors continue to be one of the most mysterious solid-state materials. Since their discovery by Smolenskii and coworkers, there have been many attempts to understand the properties of these materials, which are exotic, yet useful for applications. On the basis of the numerous experimental data, several theories have been established, but none of them can explain all the properties of relaxors. The recent advent of piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) has allowed for polarization mapping on the surface of relaxors with subnanometer resolution. This development thus leads to the question of whether the polar nanoregions that contribute to diffuse X-ray scattering and a range of macroscopic properties can be visualized. This review summarizes recent advancements in the application of PFM to a number of ferroelectric relaxors and provides a tentative explanation of the peculiar polarization distributions related to the intriguing physical phenomena in these materials. © Copyright © 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Rohde H.,Coriant GmbH | Gottwald E.,Coriant GmbH | Teixeira A.,University of Aveiro | Reis J.D.,Brazilian Center for Research and Development in Telecommunications | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Lightwave Technology | Year: 2014

Coherent optical communication has been well established as the technology of choice for long haul and high bit rate communication systems since a decade ago. Recent technology advances and ongoing price erosion further open the window of opportunity for the application of coherent optical transmission technology in other domains. This paper describes in detail the capabilities, design and implementation of a coherent ultra dense WDM technology for optical metro and access networks. Its capabilities enable a number of attractive options, such as variable downstream bit rates from 150 Mbit/s up to 10 Gbit/s per user, embedded OTDR and the coexistence with legacy systems such as GPON, EPON, XGPON or RF-Video in optical distribution networks. Due to its flexibility and capacity, it is also suitable for deployments in metropolitan networks, as well as for mobile front-haul and back-haul applications. © 2014 IEEE.

Pereira R.N.,University of Aveiro | Almeida A.J.,University of Aveiro | Stegner A.R.,TU Munich | Brandt M.S.,TU Munich | Wiggers H.,University of Duisburg - Essen
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Doping of semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) is expected to enable the control of key NC properties, yet its practical exploitation requires an understanding of exchange interactions when multiple dopants are incorporated in a single NC. Here, we experimentally probe the exchange of donor dimers in NCs via a deviation of their triplet-state magnetic resonance from Curie paramagnetism. We show that the exchange coupling of the closely spaced donors can be well described by effective mass theory, which allows the consideration of statistical effects crucial in NC ensembles. While a dimer induces discrete states in a NC, their energy splitting differs by up to 3 orders of magnitude for randomly placed dimers in a NC ensemble, due to an enormous dependence of the exchange energy on the dimer configuration. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Gomes A.P.,Harvard University | Gomes A.P.,Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology | Gomes A.P.,University of Coimbra | Price N.L.,Harvard University | And 20 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2013

Ever since eukaryotes subsumed the bacterial ancestor of mitochondria, the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes have had to closely coordinate their activities, as each encode different subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) system. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of aging, but its causes are debated. We show that, during aging, there is a specific loss of mitochondrial, but not nuclear, encoded OXPHOS subunits. We trace the cause to an alternate PGC-1α/β-independent pathway of nuclear-mitochondrial communication that is induced by a decline in nuclear NAD+ and the accumulation of HIF-1α under normoxic conditions, with parallels to Warburg reprogramming. Deleting SIRT1 accelerates this process, whereas raising NAD+ levels in old mice restores mitochondrial function to that of a young mouse in a SIRT1-dependent manner. Thus, a pseudohypoxic state that disrupts PGC-1α/β-independent nuclear-mitochondrial communication contributes to the decline in mitochondrial function with age, a process that is apparently reversible. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.55M | Year: 2015

MASSTRPLAN will train the next generation of interdisciplinary research leaders in advanced molecular analytical techniques to detect oxidized phospholipids & proteins in biological & clinical samples, evaluate their biochemical roles in inflammation, and translate these findings to develop new diagnostic tools. Chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) & cancer are major causes of mortality and cost the EU economy dearly in healthcare and lost working time; CVD alone is estimated to be responsible for 47% of deaths and to cost the EU 196 billion a year. Scientists able to develop advanced analytical tools for detecting oxidative biomolecule modifications and assessing their contribution to cell dysfunction & disease are urgently needed. The objectives of MASSTRPLAN are to 1) train early stage researchers (ESRs) in advanced and novel chromatography, mass spectrometry, and complementary techniques including microscopy and bioinformatics to detect challenging heterogeneous biomolecule modifications and determine their functional effects; 2) give ESRs a broad perspective on relevance & mechanisms of oxidative modifications in pathophysiology and biotechnology; 3) enable ESRs trained in technology development to engage effectively with the clinical sector; and 4) train ESRs in translational and development skills to produce new protocols, materials and commercializable diagnostic tools. The ETN will achieve this by bringing together 10 beneficiaries and 15 partners from academic, industrial and healthcare organizations working in analytical, bioinformatic, biological, clinical & biotech fields to provide multidisciplinary, cross-sector training. Extensive mobility, industrial secondments and network-wide training will yield a cohort of analytical scientists with the unique theoretical, technological, and entrepreneurial skill set to yield new understanding of oxidative inflammatory disorders, leading to better tools and therapies.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 814.50K | Year: 2015

The main objective of the project is development of new lead-free multiferroic materialshe for prospective application in forms of films and/or arranged layers in which the cross-coupling (magnetic-dipolar-elastic) can be tuned by both internal and external factors. This objective is to be achieved through preparation, investigation, and optimization of two kinds of Bi-containing oxygen-octahedral (BCOO) systems with paramagnetic ions involved: metastable perovskites and layered double hydroxides (LDHs). The characteristic feature of such materials is a possibility of supplementary control parameters in addition to temperature and external electric/magnetic field. Polarization in such metastable perovskites is easily switched by application of external pressure (or stress in the case of films). Electric and magnetic characteristics of BCOO LDHs are tuned through appropriate anion exchanges. It makes these characteristics dependent on environment conditions: humidity, pH, and presence of specific anion species. The BCOO materials of both mentioned groups are of interest as new and unusual multiferroics. No LDH materials have been considered as potential multiferroics so far, while the metastable BCOO materials proposed in this project have not been obtained before. Besides, a tuneability and high sensibility of their properties to external impacts make them promising for applications in sensors. Exploration and development of such materials require consolidation of specialists of complementary expertise in Physics, Chemistry, and Materials Science, with access to and skills in using specific and unique equipment and facilities. Therefore, formation of an interdisciplinary network of teams with different scientific culture and ensuring the effective knowledge & expertise transfer is important objective of the project. Advance in development of the BCOO multiferroics has potential market opportunities for R&D SME involved in this project.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.19M | Year: 2014

The sefors research project seeks to understand the potential of social enterprise in the EU and beyond to improve social inclusiveness of society through greater stakeholder engagement, promotion of civic capitalism and changes to social service provision through a) investigation of key processes within social enterprises for delivering inclusion and innovation, including organisation and governance, financing, innovation and behavioural change and b) investigation of formal and informal institutional context, including political, cultural and economic environments and institutions directly and indirectly support social enterprises. The methodology will be to start from policy and social enterprise practitioner issues to develop a theoretical framework for inclusion and innovation processes in context, followed by novel experimentation with social enterprises and in depth case study analysis to expand and enrich. Longitudinal survey data will be used to test and validate conclusions. Representative policy makers and social enterprises will be engaged throughout the process to ensure relevancy and transmission of results and findings.

CSIC - Institute of Refrigeration and University of Aveiro | Date: 2012-05-02

Thermometer comprising an organic-inorganic matrix which contains tris complex (-diketonate) of two cations of different lanthanide elements. In addition, the invention also relates to said matrix, to the method for obtaining it and the use of the thermometer to measure absolute temperatures.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.5.2 | Award Amount: 5.87M | Year: 2008

Serious adverse effects resulting from the treatment with thalidomide prompted modern drug legislation more than 40 years ago. Post-marketing spontaneous reporting systems for suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) have been a cornerstone to detect safety signals in pharmacovigilance. It has become evident that adverse effects of drugs may be detected too late, when millions of persons have already been exposed.In this project, an alternative approach for the detection of ADR signals will be developed. Rather than relying on the physicians capability and willingness to recognize and report suspected ADRs, the system will systematically calculate the occurrence of disease (potentially ADRs) during specific drug use based on data available in electronic patient records. In this project, electronic health records (EHRs) of over 30 million patients from several European countries will be available. In an environment where rapid signal detection is feasible, rapid signal assessment is equally important. To rapidly assess signals, a number of resources will be used to substantiate the signals: causal reasoning based on information in the EHRs, semantic mining of the biomedical literature, and computational analysis of biological and chemical information (drugs, targets, anti-targets, SNPs, pathways, etc.).The overall objective of this project is the design, development and validation of a computerized system that exploits data from electronic healthcare records and biomedical databases for the early detection of adverse drug reactions. The EU-ADR system will generate signals using data and text mining, epidemiological and other computational techniques, and subsequently substantiate these signals in the light of current knowledge of biological mechanisms and in silico prediction capabilities. The system should be able to detect signals better and faster than spontaneous reporting systems and should allow for identification of subpopulations at higher risk for ADRs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES | Award Amount: 306.60K | Year: 2012

We are proposing a 4-year program of knowledge transfer and networking between Aston University, UK (Aston), the University of Aveiro, Portugal (UAvr), University of Rochester, USA (URoc), Old Dominion University, USA (ODU), National Institute for Materials Science, Japan (NIMS), Chinese Academy of Science, China (CAS), and Changshu Institute of Technology, China (CIT). The objective of the proposed joint exchange programme is to establish long-term stable research cooperation between the partners with complimentary expertise and knowledge. The project objectives and challenges present a balanced mix between industrial application focused knowledge transfer and development and more far-looking studies for potentially ground-breaking applications of using carbon-based nanomaterials and nanostructures for advanced sensing applications (CarbonNASA).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 14.82M | Year: 2008

The GEN2PHEN project aims to unify human and model organism genetic variation databases towards increasingly holistic views into Genotype-To-Phenotype (G2P) data, and to link this system into other biomedical knowledge sources via genome browser functionality. The project will establish the technological building-blocks needed for the evolution of todays diverse G2P databases into a future seamless G2P biomedical knowledge environment. The project will then utilise these elements to construct an operational first-version of that knowledge environment, by the projects end. This will consist of a European-centred but globally-networked hierarchy of bioinformatics GRID-linked databases, tools and standards, all tied into the Ensembl genome browser. The project has the following specific objectives: 1) To analyse the G2P field and thus determine emerging needs and practices; 2) To develop key standards for the G2P database field; 3) To create generic database components, services, and integration infrastructures for the G2P database domain; 4) To create search modalities and data presentation solutions for G2P knowledge; 5) To facilitate the process of populating G2P databases; 6) To build a major G2P internet portal; 7) To deploy GEN2PHEN solutions to the community; 8) To address system durability and long-term financing; 9) To undertake a whole-system utility and validation pilot study GEN2PHEN Consortium members have been selected from a talented pool of European research groups and companies that are interested in the G2P database challenge. Additionally, a few non-EU participants have been included to bring extra capabilities to the initiative. The final constellation is characterised by broad and proven competence, a network of established working relationships, and high-level roles/connections within other significant projects in this domain.

Saha D.,Jadavpur University | Sen R.,Jadavpur University | Sen R.,University of Aveiro | Maity T.,Jadavpur University | Koner S.,Jadavpur University
Dalton Transactions | Year: 2012

A new three-dimensional alkaline-earth metal-organic framework (MOF) compound, [Mg(Pdc)(H 2O)] n (1) (H 2Pdc = pyridine-2,5-dicarboxylic acid), has been synthesized and structurally characterized by single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. Compound 1 features a 3D porous framework afforded by the Mg 2-diad centers through formation of interconnected chair like structural motifs. A nitrogen adsorption study confirms the microporosity of compound 1 with a BET surface area of 211 ± 12 m 2 g -1. Upon dehydration, the BET surface area of 1 is enhanced to a value of 463 ± 36 m 2 g -1 due to removal of coordinated water molecule. After rehydration, the compound reverts to its original form as evidenced by powder X-ray diffraction and IR spectroscopic analysis and N 2 sorption measurement. Compound 1 retains its pore structure with a variable BET surface area in several cycles of dehydration and rehydration processes indicating robustness of the framework in [Mg(Pdc)(H 2O)] n (1). Compound 1 catalyzes the aldol condensation reactions of various aromatic aldehydes with acetone and cyclohexanone in heterogeneous conditions. Notably, the catalytic activity of the compound is enhanced upon dehydration. The catalyst can be recycled and reused several times without significant loss of activity. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ramos A.,University of Aveiro | Mesnard M.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery | Year: 2014

This study analyses load transfer in the fossa component based on two numerical models of total temporomandibular joint (TMJ) implants for two mouth openings. The TMJ articulation is a very complex system with muscles, ligaments and cartilage. Until now, studies of TMJ implants have analysed only condylar behaviour. The finite element models were constructed based on CT scans of a cadaveric mandible and cranium, considering the bone geometry and position. The influence of five principal muscle actions was simulated for two mouth positions, 5 mm and 15 mm openings at the incisive tooth support. Strain distributions into the surrounding bone tissue were analysed in both models in the condyle and fossa components. The results demonstrate that in Christensen® TJR of the temporomandibular joint the fossa component is the more critical part, presenting more stress near the screw holes and contact regions with the cranium. The most critical region is around the first two screws and the least critical is in the condyle component. For the mandible condyle reconstructed with a Christensen® prosthesis, the 15 mm mouth opening was more critical, as compression was increased, but for the fossa component the most critical situation occurred with the 5 mm opening. The micromovements observed suggest that the number of screws could be reduced to increase osteointegration of screws in the mandible condyle. © 2014 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Rodrigues C.F.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Rodrigues C.F.,University of Aveiro | Duperron S.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2011

Thyasiridae are one of the less studied groups of chemosymbiotic bivalves. Here, we investigated symbioses in three different thyasirid species collected at three cold seeps from the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Phylogenetic analysis of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences demonstrated that each thyasirid species harbours a single phylotype of symbiont that belongs to a distinct lineage of putative sulphur-oxidizing Gammaproteobacteria. This result is confirmed by other marker genes (encoding 23S rRNA and APS reductase) and fluorescence in situ hybridization. This work highlights the diversity of bacteria involved in symbiosis with thyasirids and underlines the relevance of this group as a target for future symbiosis studies. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Aoun M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Mesnard M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Monede-Hocquard L.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Ramos A.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery | Year: 2014

Purpose People with bruxism exert parafunctional grinding and clenching activities. Those habits are suspected to be associated with temporomandibular disorder development. The aim of this study was to analyze the behavior of the temporomandibular joint disc under maintained clenching. Materials and Methods For this analysis, a viscohyperelastic finite element model was used. The model included half the mandible, the left disc, and the left temporal bone and used muscular efforts as loading conditions. The viscohyperelastic properties of the disc were based on literature data from asymptomatic human cadaveric disc specimens. Results Stresses in the disc decreased slightly (<15%) after 10 seconds of maintained clenching. In contrast, strains increased in nearly all disc regions, with the maximum (33%) in the lateral part of the disc. The greatest creep strain (-0.1) also was found in the lateral part. Conclusion Results suggest that maintained clenching leads to an increase in strains in the entire disc and to greater creep strain in the lateral part. This may be related to disc damage. © 2014 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

Correia A.C.M.,University of Aveiro | Correia A.C.M.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2016

Cassini states correspond to the equilibria of the spin axis of a body when its orbit is perturbed. They were initially described for planetary satellites, but the spin axes of black hole binaries also present this kind of equilibria. In previous works, Cassini states were reported as spinorbit resonances, but actually the spin of black hole binaries is in circulation and there is no resonant motion. Here we provide a general description of the spin dynamics of black hole binary systems based on a Hamiltonian formalism. In absence of dissipation, the problem is integrable and it is easy to identify all possible trajectories for the spin for a given value of the total angular momentum. As the system collapses due to radiation reaction, the Cassini states are shifted to different positions, which modifies the dynamics around them. This is why the final spin distribution may differ from the initial one. Our method provides a simple way of predicting the distribution of the spin of black hole binaries at the end of the inspiral phase. © 2016 The Authors.

Correia A.C.M.,University of Aveiro | Correia A.C.M.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Laskar J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2012

Impact basins identified by Mariner 10 and Messenger flyby images provide us with a fossilized record of the impactor flux of asteroids on Mercury during the last stages of the early solar system. The distribution of these basins is not uniform across the surface and is consistent with a primordial synchronous rotation. By analyzing the size of the impacts, we derive a simple collisional model coherent with the observations. When combining it with the secular evolution of the spin of Mercury, we are able to reproduce the present 3/2 spin-orbit resonance (50% of chances), as well as a primordial synchronous rotation. This result is robust with respect to variations in the dissipation and collisional models, or in the initial spin state of the planet. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Ahmad N.,Patna University | Sharma S.,Magadh University | Rai R.,University of Aveiro
Advanced Materials Letters | Year: 2012

We present a simple and eco-friendly biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using Pomegranate peel extract as the reducing agent. Peel extract of Pomegranate was challenged with silver nitrate (AgNO3) and chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) solution for the production of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), respectively. The reaction process was simple for the formation of highly stable silver and gold nanoparticles at room temperature by using the biowaste of the fruit. The morphology and crystalline phase of the NPs were determined from UV-Vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area electron diffraction (SAED) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectra. TEM studies showed that the average particle size of silver nanoparticles were 5 ±1.5 nm whereas the gold nanoparticles were found to be 10 ±1.5 nm. An effort has been also been made to understand the possible involved mechanism for the biosynthesis of the NPs. Presumably biosynthetic products or reduced cofactors play an important role in the reduction of respective salts to nanoparticles. © 2012 VBRI Press.

Huber N.,ETH Zurich | Guimaraes S.,University of Aveiro | Schrader M.,University of Aveiro | Schrader M.,University of Exeter | And 2 more authors.
EMBO Reports | Year: 2013

Mitochondria and peroxisomes can be fragmented by the process of fission. The fission machineries of both organelles share a set of proteins. GDAP1 is a tail-anchored protein of mitochondria and induces mitochondrial fragmentation. Mutations in GDAP1 lead to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), an inherited peripheral neuropathy, and affect mitochondrial dynamics. Here, we show that GDAP1 is also targeted to peroxisomes mediated by the import receptor Pex19. Knockdown of GDAP1 leads to peroxisomal elongation that can be rescued by re-expressing GDAP1 and by missense mutated forms found in CMT patients. GDAP1-induced peroxisomal fission is dependent on the integrity of its hydrophobic domain 1, and on Drp1 and Mff, as is mitochondrial fission. Thus, GDAP1 regulates mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission by a similar mechanism. However, our results reveal also a more critical role of the amino-terminal GDAP1 domains, carrying most CMT-causing mutations, in the regulation of mitochondrial compared to peroxisomal fission. © 2013 European Molecular Biology Organization.

Wieczorek M.A.,CNRS Paris Institute of Global Physics | Correia A.C.M.,University of Aveiro | Correia A.C.M.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Le Feuvre M.,University of Nantes | And 2 more authors.
Nature Geoscience | Year: 2012

The planet Mercury rotates three times about its spin axis for every two orbits about the Sun, in a 3/2 spin- orbit resonance. This unique state has been explained by an initial rapid prograde rotation, which was then decelerated by tidal torques to the present resonance. When friction at the core- mantle boundary is accounted for, capture into the 3/2 resonance occurs with a probability of only 26%, whereas the most likely outcome is capture into one of the higher-order resonances. Here we use a numerical model of Mercury's rotational evolution to investigate the consequences of an initial retrograde rotation of Mercury. We find that in this case, the planet would be captured into synchronous rotation, with one hemisphere always facing the Sun, with a probability of 68%. Strong lateral variations in the impact cratering rate would have existed, consistent with the observed distribution of large impact basins. Escape from this highly stable resonance can be initiated by the momentum imparted by large, basin-forming impact events 8-10, and subsequent capture into the 3/2 resonance is likely. During synchronous rotation, substantial quantities of volatile deposits would have accumulated on the hemisphere facing away from the Sun, potentially explaining the existence of sublimation hollows on Mercury's surface 11.

Morais M.H.M.,University of Aveiro | Namouni F.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2013

We identify a set of asteroids among Centaurs and Damocloids, which orbit contrary to the common direction of motion in the Solar system and which enter into resonance with Jupiter and Saturn. Their orbits have inclinations I ≳ 140° and semimajor axes a<15 au. Two objects are currently in retrograde resonance with Jupiter: 2006 BZ8 in the 2/-5 resonance and 2008 SO218 in the 1/-2 resonance. One object, 2009 QY6, is currently in the 2/-3 retrograde resonance with Saturn. These are the first examples of Solar system objects in retrograde resonance. The present resonant configurations last for several thousand years. Brief captures in retrograde resonance with Saturn are also possible during the 20 000 yr integration timespan, particularly in the 1/-1 resonance (2006 BZ8) and the 9/-7 resonance (1999 LE31). © 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Morais M.H.M.,University of Aveiro | Namouni F.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy | Year: 2013

We continue the investigation of the dynamics of retrograde resonances initiated in Morais and Giuppone (Mon Notices R Astron Soc 424:52-64, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21151.x, 2012). After deriving a procedure to deduce the retrograde resonance terms from the standard expansion of the three-dimensional disturbing function, we concentrate on the planar problem and construct surfaces of section that explore phase-space in the vicinity of the main retrograde resonances (2/2/-1, 1/-1 and 1/-2). In the case of the 1/-1 resonance for which the standard expansion is not adequate to describe the dynamics, we develop a semi-analytic model based on numerical averaging of the unexpanded disturbing function, and show that the predicted libration modes are in agreement with the behavior seen in the surfaces of section. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Zuniga J.C.,InterDigital | Bernardos C.J.,Charles III University of Madrid | De La Oliva A.,Charles III University of Madrid | Melia T.,Polytechnic University of Turin | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Communications Magazine | Year: 2013

In this article, we introduce distributed mobility management (DMM) - a new architectural paradigm for evolving mobile IP networks. We discuss the technology trends that are driving a move toward DMM and what the relevant standards development organizations (IETF and 3GPP) are doing to address these new needs. We conclude with a discussion of how 3GPP's evolved packet core can evolve toward a DMM-based architecture. © 1979-2012 IEEE.

Mesnard M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Ramos A.,University of Aveiro
Procedia CIRP | Year: 2013

The primary objective when designing an innovative medical device (MD) is to improve the patient's condition and autonomy. Normally, therefore, there must be a strong focus on continuous interaction with the human element. Despite this interaction, value analysis (VA) tools are in fact used very little at the design stage. We describe the procedure we have devised and the characterization studies that result when applying VA to the design of a radically innovative temporomandibular joint (TMJ) prosthesis. From needs analysis to general availability of the device, there are three main phases in developing an MD: design, clinical validation and production/marketing. In the design phase, functional and technical specifications are defined from which digital and/or physical prototypes are created. Our multidisciplinary team defined and prioritized service functions after first analyzing clinical need. Next it specified the performances of a healthy TMJ which had to be reproduced, and then devised the experimental methods to achieve this characterization. A finite element (FE) model of the jaw was created and validated. Using simulations, the FE model compared strains and displacements in the healthy and the implanted mandibles. We then considered the influence of the implant geometry, the connections between implant and bone tissue to guide our decisions when creating innovative technical solutions. A new patent is currently under analysis and registration. © 2013 The Authors.

Sen R.,Jadavpur University | Sen R.,University of Aveiro | Saha D.,Jadavpur University | Koner S.,Jadavpur University
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2012

The role of pH in the formation of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) has been studied for a series of magnesium-based carboxylate framework systems. Our investigations have revealed the formation of five different zero-dimensional (0D) to three-dimensional (3D) ordered frameworks from the same reaction mixture, merely by varying the pH of the medium. The compounds were synthesized by the hydrothermal method and characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Increase of the pH of the medium led to abstraction of the imine hydrogen from the ligand and a concomitant increase in the OH - ion concentration in the solution, facilitating the construction of higher dimensional framework compounds. A stepwise increase in pH resulted in a stepwise increase in the dimensionality of the network, ultimately leading to the formation of a 3D porous solid. A gas adsorption study of the 3D framework compound confirmed its microporosity with a BET surface area of approximately 450 m 2 g -1. Notably, the 3D framework compound catalyzes aldol condensation reactions of various aromatic aldehydes with acetone under heterogeneous conditions. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Mirnaghi F.S.,University of Waterloo | Mousavi F.,University of Waterloo | Rocha S.M.,University of Aveiro | Pawliszyn J.,University of Waterloo
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2013

An automated 96-thin-film solid phase microextraction system was optimized for high throughput analysis of phenolic compounds in wine, berry, and grape samples. Liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry methods were optimized and applied for separation and detection of compounds. Evaluation of five different stationary phases showed that polystyrene-divinylbenzene-polyacrylonitrile (PS-DVB-PAN) is the optimum extraction phase for the extraction of phenolic compounds under study. The thin-film PS-DVB-PAN SPME coating provided almost exhaustive extraction recovery for all phenolics compounds under study, except for naringenin with 80% recovery. Extraction efficiency, inter- and intra-day reproducibility, sensitivity, linearity, limit of detection and quantitation, and matrix effect were evaluated. Intra-day and inter-day reproducibility were in the respective range of 4-8 and 7-13% relative standard deviation (RSD) for all eight phenolic compounds. Limits of detection and quantitation of the proposed SPME-LC-MS/MS system for the analysis of analytes under study were found in the range of 0.2-3 and 0.5-10. ng/mL, respectively. Standard addition calibration was applied for the quantitative determination of unknown phenolic compounds from wine, berry, and grape samples. The assessment of matrix effect showed significant reduction of ion suppression/enhancement using SPME method in comparison with that of solvent extraction technique. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Costa L.C.,University of Aveiro | Henry F.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids | Year: 2011

The understanding of the charge transport mechanism of the conducting polymers and their composites is important for the successful fabrication of semiconductor devices. In this work, the DC electrical conductivity of carbon black particles in a polystyrene matrix, in the temperature range of 80 to 250 K is examined, for concentrations below the critical percolation concentration. We show that three-dimensional variable range hopping is observed, that is, the temperature behavior of the DC conductivity can be expressed by σ= σ0exp- (T0/T)1/4. From the hopping parameter we obtained the mean hopping distance, the density of active centers and the energy associated with it. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Saha D.,Jadavpur University | Sen R.,Jadavpur University | Sen R.,University of Aveiro | Maity T.,Jadavpur University | Koner S.,Jadavpur University
Langmuir | Year: 2013

An ecofriendly solid catalyst has been synthesized by anchoring palladium(II) into post synthetically modified metal organic framework IRMOF-3. The pore of IRMOF-3 was first modified with pyridine-2-aldehyde. The amine group of IRMOF-3 upon condensation with pyridine-2-aldehyde afforded a bidentate Schiff base moiety in the porous matrix. The Schiff base moieties were used to anchor palladium(II) ions. The prepared catalyst has been characterized by UV-vis, IR spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, and nitrogen sorption measurements. Framework structure of the catalyst is not being destroyed in the multistep synthesis procedure as evidenced in X-ray powder diffraction studies. The catalyst has shown high activity toward the Suzuki and Stille cross-coupling reaction in 20% H2O/EtOH and EtOH medium, respectively, at 80 C. The immobilized complex did not leach or decompose during the catalytic reactions, showing practical advantages over the homogeneous catalysis. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Sanchis-Gual N.,University of Valencia | Degollado J.C.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Degollado J.C.,University of Guadalajara | Montero P.J.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2016

A Reissner-Nordström black hole (BH) is superradiantly unstable against spherical perturbations of a charged scalar field enclosed in a cavity, with a frequency lower than a critical value. We use numerical relativity techniques to follow the development of this unstable system - dubbed a charged BH bomb - into the nonlinear regime, solving the full Einstein-Maxwell-Klein-Gordon equations, in spherical symmetry. We show that (i) the process stops before all the charge is extracted from the BH, and (ii) the system settles down into a hairy BH: a charged horizon in equilibrium with a scalar field condensate, whose phase is oscillating at the (final) critical frequency. For a low scalar field charge q, the final state is approached smoothly and monotonically. For large q, however, the energy extraction overshoots, and an explosive phenomenon, akin to a bosenova, pushes some energy back into the BH. The charge extraction, by contrast, does not reverse. © 2016 American Physical Society.

Morais M.H.M.,University of Aveiro | Correia A.C.M.,University of Aveiro | Correia A.C.M.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2012

We model the secular evolution of a star's orbit when it has a nearby binary system We assume a hierarchical triple system where the inter-binary distance is small in comparison with the distance to the star. We show that the major secular effect is precession of the star's orbit around the binary system's centre of mass. We explain how we can obtain this precession rate from the star's radial velocity data, and thus infer the binary system's parameters. We show that the secular effect of a nearby binary system on the star's radial velocity can sometimes mimic a planet. We analyse the radial velocity data for ν-Octantis A which has a nearby companion (ν-Octantis B) and we obtain retrograde precession of -086 ± 002yr -1. We show that if ν-Octantis B was itself a double star, it could mimic a signal with similarities to that previously identified as a planet of ν-Octantis A. Nevertheless, we need more observations in order to decide in favour of the double-star hypothesis. © 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS.

Correia A.C.M.,University of Aveiro | Laskar J.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Farago F.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Boue G.,University of Porto
Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy | Year: 2011

We investigate the dynamical evolution of hierarchical three-body systems under the effect of tides, when the ratio of the orbital semi-major axes is small and the mutual inclination is relatively large (greater than 20°). Using the quadrupolar non-restricted approximation for the gravitational interactions and the viscous linear model for tides, we derive the averaged equations of motion in a vectorial formalism which is suitable to model the long-term evolution of a large variety of exoplanetary systems in very eccentric and inclined orbits. In particular, it can be used to derive constraints for stellar spin-orbit misalignment, capture in Cassini states, tidal-Kozai migration, or damping of the mutual inclination. Because our model is valid for the non-restricted problem, it can be used to study systems of identical mass or for the outer restricted problem, such as the evolution of a planet around a binary of stars. Here, we apply our model to various situations in the HD 11964, HD 80606, and HD 98800 systems. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Correia A.C.M.,University of Aveiro | Correia A.C.M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Laskar J.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Icarus | Year: 2010

The present obliquity of Mercury is very low (less than 0.1°), which led previous studies to always adopt a nearly zero obliquity during the planet's past evolution. However, the initial orientation of Mercury's rotation axis is unknown and probably much different than today. As a consequence, we believe that the obliquity could have been significant when the rotation rate of the planet first encountered spin-orbit resonances. In order to compute the capture probabilities in resonance for any evolutionary scenario, we present in full detail the dynamical equations governing the long-term evolution of the spin, including the obliquity contribution. The secular spin evolution of Mercury results from tidal interactions with the Sun, but also from viscous friction at the core-mantle boundary. Here, this effect is also regarded with particular attention. Previous studies show that a liquid core enhances drastically the chances of capture in spin-orbit resonances. We confirm these results for null obliquity, but we find that the capture probability generally decreases as the obliquity increases. We finally show that, when core-mantle friction is combined with obliquity evolution, the spin can evolve into some unexpected configurations as the synchronous or the 1/2 spin-orbit resonance. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Phillips A.J.L.,New University of Lisbon | Alves A.,University of Aveiro | Abdollahzadeh J.,University of Kurdistan | Slippers B.,University of Pretoria | And 5 more authors.
Studies in Mycology | Year: 2013

In this paper we give an account of the genera and species in the Botryosphaeriaceae. We consider morphological characters alone as inadequate to define genera or identify species, given the confusion it has repeatedly introduced in the past, their variation during development, and inevitable overlap as representation grows. Thus it seems likely that all of the older taxa linked to the Botryosphaeriaceae, and for which cultures or DNA sequence data are not available, cannot be linked to the species in this family that are known from culture. Such older taxa will have to be disregarded for future use unless they are epitypified. We therefore focus this paper on the 17 genera that can now be recognised phylogenetically, which concentrates on the species that are presently known from culture. Included is a historical overview of the family, the morphological features that define the genera and species and detailed descriptions of the 17 genera and 110 species. Keys to the genera and species are also provided. Phylogenetic relationships of the genera are given in a multi-locus tree based on combined SSU, ITS, LSU, EF1-α and β-tubulin sequences. The morphological descriptions are supplemented by phylogenetic trees (ITS alone or ITS + EF1-α) for the species in each genus. © CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity CentreCBS-KNAW.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.10.1.1 | Award Amount: 1.77M | Year: 2011

The diagnosis and discrimination of infectious diseases (such as leishmaniasis, dengue, malaria, HIV, chagas) in geographic regions with poor or low-density medical infrastructure is of high socioeconomic importance. While so-called rapid in-vitro diagnostic (ivD) tests for single diseases are already on the market, more complex analytical protocols are necessary to clearly identify a certain tropical disease AND to determine the status of the disease - the latter being crucial for proper treatment. Such complex analytical protocols would include liquid handling as well as sample preparation like transcription and amplification (PCR) of the virus` RNA (dengue, HIV) or the parasite (lechimaniasis, malaria, Chagas). These sample preparation steps are currently only available in laboratories and have not yet found their way in mass-producible, integrated point-of-care diagnostic tests.\nThus, the PodiTrodi project aims to overcome the draw-backs of current Point-of-Care tests by developing technologies for really integrated (but low-cost!) sample preparation. The prototype to be developed for this proof of concept will be an instrument that integrates the heterogeneous Microsystems (biosensors and microfluidics), control electronics, sensor read-out, human-machine interface, embedded processor and power supply, in a self-contained unit, suitable for point-of-care diagnosis of the diseases selected as first targets.\nTo achieve these challenging goals, PodiTrodi follows a multidimensional, multi-material system integration approach on four project levels (Heterogeneous System Integration, Instrumentation, Fabrication Infrastructure, Development Infrastructure). The Consortium comprises 8 partners from 5 European countries (Germany, France, Italy, Finland, Portugal) as well as 5 partners from Brazil (PodiTrodi-BR). They represent industry, research and academia and bring a range of complementary skills required for this multidisciplinary research project.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.3.1-2 | Award Amount: 5.67M | Year: 2009

We propose a systems biology study of the specificity of response of the cell-mediated immune system to fungal microorganisms in order to investigate the genetic basis of susceptibility to fungal disease and elucidate molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in fungal pathogens. An integrative approach, combining high-throughput and traditional wet-lab work with computational and bioinformatics methods, will be applied to identify biomarkers of resistance to currently available treatments and to develop novel putative drug target genes and pathways in different fungi. We will use Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a normally non-pathogenic yeast model organism, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus, two major recognized fungal pathogens as well as other Aspergillus spp. known to be multi-drug resistant and difficult to treat. This project meets the criteria of the call, the strategic objective of which is to confront the increasing emergence and spread of antimicrobial drug resistant pathogens in Europe by addressing a well-defined class of infectious disease caused by fungal pathogens, with significant morbidity and mortality in a large segment of the population, and a high economic cost due to resistance. The anticipated results are highly relevant to society in terms of reducing the burden of mortality and suffering in immunosuppressed patients and in terms of reducing medical costs associated with treating opportunistic fungal infections. The potential economic upside for novel broad-spectrum anti-infectives is very large. The worldwide market for antifungals is currently estimated at $4 billion US annually. We tackle the issues of anti-microbial drug resistance head on via a multidisciplinary systems biology study combining bacterial genetics, clinical and pharmacological research in a systems biology approach, integrating traditional wet-lab methods with those of functional genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics.

University of Bordeaux 1, French National Center for Scientific Research and University of Aveiro | Date: 2013-08-05

The condylar prosthesis (10) for a temporo-mandibular joint includes a mandibular implant (12), which is intended to be rigidly attached to the branch of a mandible, and a joint head (16), which is intended to serve as a replacement mandibular condyle, the mandibular implant (12) including an anchoring stem (14) permitting the use of an intramedullary connection in the summit of the branch of the mandible, and the distal end of the anchoring stem (14) being offset towards the front of the prosthesis (10) with respect to the joint head (16) and in a median plane of the prosthesis (10), the condylar prosthesis (10) being characterized in that the anchoring stem (14) follows a curved profile along its length and in the median plane of the prosthesis, the direction of curvature of the anchoring stem being oriented towards the front of the prosthesis.

Kortshagen U.R.,University of Minnesota | Sankaran R.M.,Case Western Reserve University | Pereira R.N.,University of Aveiro | Pereira R.N.,TU Munich | And 3 more authors.
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2016

Nonthermal plasmas have emerged as a viable synthesis technique for nanocrystal materials. Inherently solvent and ligand-free, nonthermal plasmas offer the ability to synthesize high purity nanocrystals of materials that require high synthesis temperatures. The nonequilibrium environment in nonthermal plasmas has a number of attractive attributes: energetic surface reactions selectively heat the nanoparticles to temperatures that can strongly exceed the gas temperature; charging of nanoparticles through plasma electrons reduces or eliminates nanoparticle agglomeration; and the large difference between the chemical potentials of the gaseous growth species and the species bound to the nanoparticle surfaces facilitates nanocrystal doping. This paper reviews the state of the art in nonthermal plasma synthesis of nanocrystals. It discusses the fundamentals of nanocrystal formation in plasmas, reviews practical implementations of plasma reactors, surveys the materials that have been produced with nonthermal plasmas and surface chemistries that have been developed, and provides an overview of applications of plasma-synthesized nanocrystals. © 2016 American Chemical Society.

Menezes S.,University of Aveiro | Baird D.J.,University of New Brunswick | Soares A.M.V.M.,University of Aveiro
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2010

Species traits have been frequently used in ecological studies in an attempt to develop a general ecological framework linking biological communities to habitat pressures. The trait approach offers a mechanistic alternative to traditional taxonomy-based descriptors. This review focuses on research employing traits as biomonitoring tools for freshwater ecosystems, although the lessons learned have wider application in the assessment of other ecosystem types. We review the support from ecological theory to employ species traits for biomonitoring purposes (e.g. the habitat templet concept, landscape filtering hypothesis), and the subsequent studies that test the hypotheses arising from these theories, and apply this knowledge under real freshwater biomonitoring scenarios. We also include studies that deal with more specific issues such as trait trade-offs and trait syndromes. We highlight the functional trait approach as one of the most promising tools emerging for biomonitoring freshwater ecosystems. Several technical issues are addressed and solutions are proposed. We discuss the need for: a broader unified trait biomonitoring tool; a more accurate understanding of the natural variation of community patterns of trait expression; approaches to diminish the effects of trait trade-offs and trait syndromes; additional life history and ecological requirement studies; and the detection of specific impacts under multiple stressor scenarios. Synthesis and applications. This review provides biologists with the conceptual underpinning for the use of species traits as community descriptors and for freshwater biomonitoring and management. We expect that the functional trait approach will ultimately improve communication to managers and legislators of the importance of protecting freshwater ecosystem functions. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

Pereira R.N.,University of Aveiro | Rowe D.J.,University of Minnesota | Anthony R.J.,University of Minnesota | Kortshagen U.,University of Minnesota
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

The future exploitation of the exceptional properties of freestanding silicon nanocrystals (Si NCs) in marketable applications relies upon our ability to produce large amounts of defect-free Si NCs by means of a low-cost method. Here, we demonstrate that Si NCs fabricated by scalable rf plasma-assisted decomposition of silane with additional hydrogen gas injected into the afterglow region of the plasma exhibit immediately after synthesis the lowest reported defect density, corresponding to a value of only about 0.002-0.005 defects per NC for Si NCs of 4 nm size. In addition, the virtually perfect hydrogen termination of these Si NCs yields an enhanced resistance against natural oxidation in comparison to Si NCs with nearly one order of magnitude larger initial defect density. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Queiros D.,University of Aveiro | Rossetti S.,CNR Water Research Institute | Serafim L.S.,University of Aveiro
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2014

In this work, hardwood spent sulfite liquor (HSSL), a complex feedstock originating from the pulp industry, was tested for the first time as a substrate for polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production by a mixed microbial culture (MMC) under aerobic dynamic feeding (ADF) conditions. A sequencing batch reactor (SBR) fed with HSSL was operated for 67. days and the selected MMC reached a maximum PHA content of 67.6%. The MMC demonstrated a differential utilization of the carbon sources present in HSSL. Acetic acid was fully consumed, while xylose and lignosulphonates were partially consumed (30% and 14%, respectively). The selected culture was characterized by Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH). Bacteria belonging to the three main classes were identified: Alpha- (72.7. ±. 4.0%), Beta- (11.1. ±. 0.37%) and Gammaproteobacteria (10.3. ±. 0.3%). Within Alphaproteobacteria, a small amount of Paracoccus (4.2. ±. 0.51%) and Defluvicoccus related to Tetrad Forming Organisms (9.0. ±. 0.28%) were detected. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Bai X.,University of Aveiro | Pucci A.,University of Aveiro | Freitas V.T.,University of Aveiro | Ferreira R.A.S.,University of Aveiro | And 2 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2012

A simple one-pot approach based on the "benzyl alcohol route" is used for the preparation of benzoate- and biphenolate-capped zirconia and, benzoate-capped Eu-doped zirconia nanoparticles. Powder X-ray diffraction studies and high- resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM) showed that the nanoparticles present high crystallinity and uniform particle sizes ranging from 3 to 4 nm. FT-IR and solid state NMR (SS-NMR) studies revealed that the nanoparticles are coated with a large amount of organic species when the reaction temperature is above 300 °C. It was found that the alcohol used as solvent is oxidized at the surface of the nanoparticles to the respective carboxylic acid which acts as a stabilizer, controlling the nanoparticles growth. The optical properties of these hybrid nanoparticles were studied by room and low (12K) temperature photoluminescence spectroscopy, time-resolved spectroscopy and absolute emission quantum yield. The as-synthesized benzoate- and biphenolate-capped nanoparticles exhibit interesting emission properties in the UV and blue spectral regions together with values of emission quantum yields much higher than those reported for zirconia nanoparticles of similar size. The photoluminescent properties were attributed to a cooperative effect of the capping ligands and the defects associated to the ZrO 2 nanoparticles. Due to the overlapping of the various emission components involved (i.e., the emission of europium(III) intra-4f 6 transitions, defects in the zirconia and capping ligands) a tunable emission color ranging from purplish-pink to greenish-blue could be obtained for the europium-doped zirconia nanoparticles by simply selecting different excitation wavelengths. A simple one-pot nonaqueous sol-gel approach is used for the preparation of gram quantities of benzoate- and biphenolate-capped zirconia and, benzoate-capped Eu-doped zirconia nanoparticles. The as-synthesized nanoparticles exhibit interesting emission properties in the UV, blue, and red spectral regions. Tunable emission is obtained by simply selecting different excitation wavelengths. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Senff L.,University of Aveiro | Hotza D.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Labrincha J.A.,University of Aveiro
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2011

This paper reports on the use of red mud (RM) in mortars, applying design of experiments. Portland cement was replaced up to 50 wt.% RM, adjusting the relative amount of water (34-38 wt.%) in order to get mortars with suitable workability as defined by rheometry and flow table measurements. Temperature of hydration, compressive strength and water absorption were also determined. RM decreases the workability and increases the torque, but causes lower impact than water variation. The effect on initial yield stress depends on water content. Mortars with similar spread on table show different behaviour along the rheology test. Values of spread on table follow a quadratic model and RM exhibited an interactive effect with water. RM did not change the hydration process, but above 20% the maximum temperature decreases. The reduction of compressive strength is not constant and depends on the water added. Its variation also follows a quadratic model. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Freire M.G.,University of Aveiro | Freire M.G.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica | Louros C.L.S.,University of Aveiro | Rebelo L.P.N.,Institute Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica | Coutinho J.A.P.,University of Aveiro
Green Chemistry | Year: 2011

A water-stable ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate, [C4mim][CF3SO3], is herein proposed to be used in the formation of aqueous biphasic systems (ABS) with a large range of mono- and disaccharides, as well as polyols. Binodal curves, tie-lines, and densities and viscosities of the co-existing aqueous phases, were determined for each ternary system. The proposed systems are low-viscous offering enhanced features o