A droplet-based microfluidic platform enables high-throughput combinatorial optimization of cyanobacterial cultivation. - In: Scientific reports, ISSN 2045-2322, Bd. 12 (2022), 1, 15536, insges. 12 S.
Cyanobacteria are fast-growing, genetically accessible, photoautotrophs. Therefore, they have attracted interest as sustainable production platforms. However, the lack of techniques to systematically optimize cultivation parameters in a high-throughput manner is holding back progress towards industrialization. To overcome this bottleneck, here we introduce a droplet-based microfluidic platform capable of one- (1D) and two-dimension (2D) screening of key parameters in cyanobacterial cultivation. We successfully grew three different unicellular, biotechnologically relevant, cyanobacteria: Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973 and Synechococcus sp. UTEX 3154. This was followed by a highly-resolved 1D screening of nitrate, phosphate, carbonate, and salt concentrations. The 1D screening results suggested that nitrate and/or phosphate may be limiting nutrients in standard cultivation media. Finally, we use 2D screening to determine the optimal N:P ratio of BG-11. Application of the improved medium composition in a high-density cultivation setup led to an increase in biomass yield of up to 15.7%. This study demonstrates that droplet-based microfluidics can decrease the volume required for cyanobacterial cultivation and screening up to a thousand times while significantly increasing the multiplexing capacity. Going forward, microfluidics have the potential to play a significant role in the industrial exploitation of cyanobacteria.
Contactless optical and impedimetric sensing for droplet-based dose-response investigations of microorganisms. - In: Sensors and actuators, ISSN 0925-4005, Bd. 372 (2022), 132688
The principle of droplet-based microfluidics was used for the characterization of dose/response functions of the soil bacteria Rhodococcus sp. and Chromobacterium vaccinii using a combination of optical and electrical sensors for the detection of bacterial growth and metabolic activity. For electrical characterization, a micro flow-through impedance module was developed which assessed the response of bacterial populations inside 500 nL fluid segments without direct galvanic contact between the electrodes and the electrolyte. It was found that the impedance sensor can detect an increase in cell density and is particularly suited for monitoring the metabolic response due to changes in the cultivation medium inside the separated fluid segments. Due to this sensitivity, the sensor is useful for investigating growing bacteria or cell cultures in small fluid compartments and obtaining highly resolved dose-response functions by microfluid segment sequences. The impedimetric data agree well with the optical data concerning the characteristic response of bacteria populations in the different concentration regions of heavy metal ions. However, the sensor supplies valuable complementary data on metabolic activity in case of low or negligible cell division rates.
Eigenvalues of parametric rank one perturbations of matrix pencils. - Ilmenau : Technische Universität Ilmenau, Institut für Mathematik, 2022. - 1 Online-Ressource (37 Seiten). - (Preprint ; M22,04)
The behavior of eigenvalues of regular matrix pencils under rank one perturbations which depend on a scalar parameter is studied. In particular we address the change of the algebraic multiplicities, the change of the eigenvalues for small parameter variations as well as the asymptotic eigenvalue behavior as the parameter tends to infinity. Besides that, an interlacing result for rank one perturbations of matrix pencils is obtained. Finally, we apply the result to a redesign problem for electrical circuits.
Highly efficient passive Tesla valves for microfluidic applications. - In: Microsystems & nanoengineering, ISSN 2055-7434, Bd. 8 (2022), 1, 97, S. 1-12
A multistage optimization method is developed yielding Tesla valves that are efficient even at low flow rates, characteristic, e.g., for almost all microfluidic systems, where passive valves have intrinsic advantages over active ones. We report on optimized structures that show a diodicity of up to 1.8 already at flow rates of 20 μl s^-1 corresponding to a Reynolds number of 36. Centerpiece of the design is a topological optimization based on the finite element method. It is set-up to yield easy-to-fabricate valve structures with a small footprint that can be directly used in microfluidic systems. Our numerical two-dimensional optimization takes into account the finite height of the channel approximately by means of a so-called shallow-channel approximation. Based on the three-dimensionally extruded optimized designs, various test structures were fabricated using standard, widely available microsystem manufacturing techniques. The manufacturing process is described in detail since it can be used for the production of similar cost-effective microfluidic systems. For the experimentally fabricated chips, the efficiency of the different valve designs, i.e., the diodicity defined as the ratio of the measured pressure drops in backward and forward flow directions, respectively, is measured and compared to theoretical predictions obtained from full 3D calculations of the Tesla valves. Good agreement is found. In addition to the direct measurement of the diodicities, the flow profiles in the fabricated test structures are determined using a two-dimensional microscopic particle image velocimetry (μPIV) method. Again, a reasonable good agreement of the measured flow profiles with simulated predictions is observed.
Tandem nanostructures: a prospective platform for photoelectrochemical water splitting. - In: Solar RRL, ISSN 2367-198X, Bd. 6 (2022), 9, 2200181, S. 1-33
A platform for efficient photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting must fulfil different requirements: the absorption of the solar spectrum should be maximized in use for charge carrier generation. To avoid recombination, fast separation of charge carriers is required and the energetic positions of the band structure(s) must be optimized with respect to the water splitting reactions. In these respects, constructing tandem nanostructures with rationally designed nanostructured units offers a potential opportunity to break the performance bottleneck imposed by the unitary nanostructure. So far, quite a few tandem nanostructures have been designed, fabricated, and employed to improve the efficiency of PEC water splitting, and significant achievements have been realized. This review focuses on the current advances in tandem nanostructures for PEC water splitting. Firstly, the state of the art for tandem nanostructures applied in PEC water splitting is summarized. Secondly, the advances in this field and advantages arising of employing tandem nanostructures for PEC water splitting are outlined. Subsequently, different types of tandem nanostructures are reviewed, including core-shell tandem nanostructured photoelectrode, the two-photoelectrode tandem cell, and the tandem nanostructures of plasmon related devices for PEC water splitting. Based on this, the future perspective of this field is proposed.
Structure elucidation and toxicological evaluation of cyclic Polyethersulfone oligomers present in extracts of membrane filters. - In: Polymer engineering & science, ISSN 1548-2634, Bd. 62 (2022), 9, S. 2817-2825
Polyethersulfone (PES) is a widely used polymer in consumer and technical products. An important application is PES membranes used in the biopharmaceutical industry for sterilizing-grade filtration and for filtration of food and beverages. For both uses, detailed information about migrating compounds that can be extracted from the polymeric material into a liquid must be gathered. In the pharmaceutical industry, comprehensive extractables studies are required for contact materials, and the data is used in the qualification of the process equipment. PES is generated via polycondensation, which forms cyclic oligomers as a by-product of the reaction. However, no structural information is available for these cyclic oligomers so far. In this publication, we present the analytical determination of PES cyclic oligomers. Their presence in extracts of PES membrane filters is confirmed. The structure of the PES cyclic trimer is elucidated by X-ray and NMR investigation, obtained as crystals from the sublimation of the PES raw material. A strategy is shown to assess the toxicity of such cyclic oligomers and to derive a permitted daily exposure (PDE). The data will reduce the levels of unknowns in extractables and leachables screenings and supports the risk assessment of PES sterile filters.
Development of low-gain avalanche detectors in the frame of the acceptor removal phenomenon. - In: Physica status solidi, ISSN 1521-396X, Bd. 219 (2022), 17, 2200177, S. 1-7
Low-gain avalanche detectors (LGAD) suffer from an acceptor removal phenomenon due to irradiation. This acceptor removal phenomenon is investigated in boron, gallium, and indium implanted samples by 4-point-probe (4pp) measurements, low-temperature photoluminescence spectroscopy (LTPL), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) before and after irradiation with electrons and protons. Different co-implantation species are evaluated with respect to their ability to reduce the acceptor removal phenomenon. In case of boron, the beneficial effect is found to be most pronounced for the low-dose fluorine and high-dose nitrogen co-implantation. In case of gallium, the low-dose implantations of carbon and oxygen are found to be beneficial. For indium, the different co-implantation species have no beneficial effect. SIMS boron concentration depth profiles measured before and after irradiation show no indication of a fast movement of boron at room temperature. Hence, the discussed BSi-Sii-defect explanation approach of the acceptor removal phenomenon seems to be more likely than the other discussed Bi-Oi-defect explanation approach.
Low-temperature photoluminescence investigation of light-induced degradation in boron-doped CZ silicon. - In: Physica status solidi, ISSN 1521-396X, Bd. 219 (2022), 17, 2200180, S. 1-9
Light-induced degradation (LID) in boron-doped Czochralski grown (CZ) silicon is a severe problem for silicon devices such as solar cells or radiation detectors. Herein, boron-doped CZ silicon is investigated by low-temperature photoluminescence (LTPL) spectroscopy. An LID-related photoluminescence peak is already found while analyzing indium-doped p-type silicon samples and is associated with the ASi-Sii defect model. Herein, it is investigated whether a similar peak is present in the spectra of boron-doped p-type CZ silicon samples. The presence of change in the photoluminescence signal intensity due to activation of the boron defect is investigated as well. Numerous measurements on boron-doped samples are made. For this purpose, samples with four different boron doping concentrations are analyzed. The treatments for activation of the boron defect are based on the LID cycle. During an LID cycle, an additional peak or shoulder neither in the areas of the boron-bound exciton transverse acoustic and nonphonon-assisted peaks (BTA, BNP) nor in the area of the boron-bound exciton transverse optical phonon-assisted peak (BTO) is found. The defect formation also does not lead to a lower photoluminescence (PL) intensity ratio BTO(BE)/ITO(FE).
Three soil bacterial communities from an archaeological excavation site of an ancient coal mine near Bennstedt (Germany) characterized by 16S r-RNA sequencing. - In: Environments, ISSN 2076-3298, Bd. 9 (2022), 9, 115, S. 1-19
This metagenomics investigation of three closely adjacent sampling sites from an archaeological excavation of a pre-industrial coal mining exploration shaft provides detailed information on the composition of the local soil bacterial communities. The observed significant differences between the samples, reflected in the 16S r-RNA analyses, were consistent with the archaeologically observed situation distinguishing the coal seam, the rapidly deposited bright sediment inside an exploration shaft, and the topsoil sediment. In general, the soils were characterized by a dominance of Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, and Archaea, whereas the coal seam was characterized by the highest proportion of Proteobacteria; the topsoil was characterized by very high proportions of Archaea - in particular, Nitrosotaleaceae - and Acidobacteria, mainly of Subgroup 2. Interestingly, the samples of the fast-deposited bright sediment showed a rank function of OTU abundances with disproportional values in the lower abundance range. This could be interpreted as a reflection of the rapid redeposition of soil material during the refilling of the exploration shaft in the composition of the soil bacterial community. This interpretation is supported by the observation of a comparatively high proportion of reads relating to bacteria known to be alkaliphilic in this soil material. In summary, these investigations confirm that metagenomic analyses of soil material from archaeological excavations can provide valuable information about the local soil bacterial communities and the historical human impacts on them.
Model predictive control tailored to epidemic models. - In: IEEE Xplore digital library, ISSN 2473-2001, (2022), S. 743-748
We propose a model predictive control (MPC) approach for minimising the social distancing and quarantine measures during a pandemic while maintaining a hard infection cap. To this end, we study the admissible and the maximal robust positively invariant set (MRPI) of the standard SEIR compartmental model with control inputs. Exploiting the fact that in the MRPI all restrictions can be lifted without violating the infection cap, we choose a suitable subset of the MRPI to define terminal constraints in our MPC routine and show that the number of infected people decays exponentially within this set. Furthermore, under mild assumptions we prove existence of a uniform bound on the time required to reach this terminal region (without violating the infection cap) starting in the admissible set. The findings are substantiated based on a numerical case study.