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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Skeletal Muscle Contraction Simulation: A Comparison In Modeling, Jonathan M. Ford Nov 2013

Skeletal Muscle Contraction Simulation: A Comparison In Modeling, Jonathan M. Ford

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Computer generated three-dimensional (3-D) models are being used at increasing rates in the fields of entertainment, education, research, and engineering. One of the aspects of interest includes the behavior and function of the musculoskeletal system. One such tool used by engineers is the finite element method (FEM) to simulate the physics behind muscle mechanics. There are several ways to represent 3-D muscle geometry, namely a bulk, a central line of action and a spline model. The purpose of this study is to exmine how these three representations affect the overall outcome of muscle movement. This is examined in a series ...


Development Of A Corn Stover Yield Monitor, Byron Manternach Jan 2013

Development Of A Corn Stover Yield Monitor, Byron Manternach

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This research developed a sensor to measure the mass flow of corn stover through a combine and determine what harvest parameters affected the response of the sensor. A sensor was developed by installing a curved plate behind the rotor discharge beater of the combine to intersect the flow path of the stover leaving the rotor discharge beater. The plate was instrumented with load cells to measure the impact force of the corn stover on the impact plate. Instrumentation methods for the impact plate were evaluated to determine the most effective method to instrument the impact plate to measure the impact ...


Calibration Optimization And Efficiency In Near Infrared Spectroscopy, Nanning Cao Jan 2013

Calibration Optimization And Efficiency In Near Infrared Spectroscopy, Nanning Cao

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Calibration optimization in near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a complex process, requiring long-term database maintenance and model update by including new variations. A sample selection procedure was introduced to identify the number and choice of samples required in a NIRS calibration model. The example case is the determinations of moisture, protein and oil contents in whole soybeans. The original large database is composed of soybean NIR transmittance spectra (n>8,000) across crop years (2001-2011), varieties and locations. Uniform random, Kennard-Stone and D-optimal algorithms were compared for calibration sample selection. The optimal models based on calibration set selected by uniform ...


Design Of Novel Nano-Carriers For Multi-Enzyme Co-Localization, Feng Jia Jan 2013

Design Of Novel Nano-Carriers For Multi-Enzyme Co-Localization, Feng Jia

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The widely existing MECs in Nature have inspired researchers to design synthetic analogs to promote the overall catalytic efficiency in vitro by co-localizing multiple enzymes to mimic the MECs' unique functionalities. A number of efforts have been devoted to designing synthetic MECs in the past couples of decades. This thesis work has focused on developing novel strategies based on enzyme immobilization to design nano-carriers for multi-enzyme co-localization to realize kinetics enhancement and strong control of spatial arrangement of the enzymes. Three distinct approaches have been designed using different attachment methods and platforms.

First, the multifunctional polystyrene nanoparticles were designed for ...


Analysis Of Sugars And Phenolic Compounds In Bio-Oil, Marjorie Ruth Rover Jan 2013

Analysis Of Sugars And Phenolic Compounds In Bio-Oil, Marjorie Ruth Rover

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The overall goal of this research is to develop methods for analyzing and recovering sugars and phenolic compounds from bio-oil. Specific objectives include (1) adapting analytical methods developed for sugar analysis in the food industry to measure total water-soluble sugars in the aqueous phase of bio-oil; (2) adapting analytical methods developed for total phenolic analysis of wine to measure total phenolic content of bio-oil; (3) separate the heavy fraction of bio-oil into a concentrated sugar solution and a phenolic oligomer-rich raffinate; and (4) determine the effect of pyrolysis temperature on the yield of sugars and phenolic compounds in bio-oil.

Recent ...


A Stigmergic Algorithm For Solving Inverse Thermal Systems, Peter Samuel Broen Finzell Jan 2013

A Stigmergic Algorithm For Solving Inverse Thermal Systems, Peter Samuel Broen Finzell

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This thesis proposes a novel method for solving inverse thermal systems problems based on stigmergy. Inverse problems are those problems that have a desired output but the inputs required to achieve that output are unknown. The example problem examined is an established inverse radiation heat transfer problem in which two parallel plates are separated by a distance. The temperature profile along the top plate is adjusted to achieve a specified temperature profile on the insulated bottom plate. This type of inverse radiation problem arises in annealing, industrial process ovens, and combustion chambers. Stigmergic processes rely on local instructions and interactions ...


Process Optimization: Ultrasonic Welding Of Coextruded Polymer Film, Jessica Ann Riedl Jan 2013

Process Optimization: Ultrasonic Welding Of Coextruded Polymer Film, Jessica Ann Riedl

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this research is to determine the effect of various weld and machine parameters on ultrasonic weld strength. Specifically, welds with six different triple-layer coextruded polyethylene and metallized polypropylene films were examined. These materials were welded in separate experimental studies using a bench top weld system and a high production volume packaging machine.

The first study investigated the effect of a range of weld forces, energies, and amplitudes in a lap joint geometry using a bench top ultrasonic plunge welding system. Weld strength was determined by measuring resistance to tearing and peel and shear strength. It was observed ...


Analysis Of Properties To Distillers Dried Grains With Solubles (Ddgs) And Using Destoner And Low Moisture Anhydrous Ammonia (Lmaa) To Utilize Ddgs, Weitao Zhang Jan 2013

Analysis Of Properties To Distillers Dried Grains With Solubles (Ddgs) And Using Destoner And Low Moisture Anhydrous Ammonia (Lmaa) To Utilize Ddgs, Weitao Zhang

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

With the rapid development of the ethanol industry, various research on distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) as a main co-product from the ethanol industry has been done in recent years. However, related research about basic properties to DDGS lacks of comprehensiveness. In addition, the efficient method and equipment to separate DDGS to high-valued fraction is still being investigated. Besides these, the possibility about using DDGS to produce ethanol is being explored, which is designed to own the advantages of comprehensiveness and systematicness.

This thesis is prepared in paper format, and is comprised of three manuscripts, as follow: the first ...


Automated Inter-Plant Spacing Sensing Of Corn Plant Seedlings And Quantification Of Laying Hen Behaviors Using 3d Computer Vision, Akash Dev Nakarmi Jan 2013

Automated Inter-Plant Spacing Sensing Of Corn Plant Seedlings And Quantification Of Laying Hen Behaviors Using 3d Computer Vision, Akash Dev Nakarmi

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Within-row plant spacing plays an important role in uniform distribution of water and nutrients among plants, hence affects the final crop yield. While manual in-field manual measurements of within-row plant spacing is time and labor intensive, little work has been carried out to automate the process. An automated system is developed using a state-of-the-art 3D vision sensor that accurately measures within-row corn plant spacing. The system is capable of processing about 1200 images captured from a 61 m crop row containing approximately 280 corn plants in about three and half minutes.

Stocking density of laying hens in egg production remains ...


Development, Validation, And Use Of A Spreadsheet-Based Tool For Early-Stage Technoeconomic Evaluation Of Industrial Biotechnologies, Joshua Thomas Claypool Jan 2013

Development, Validation, And Use Of A Spreadsheet-Based Tool For Early-Stage Technoeconomic Evaluation Of Industrial Biotechnologies, Joshua Thomas Claypool

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This thesis begins with a technoeconomic analysis (TEA) of bio-based sorbic acid (SA). The initial TEA focused only on SA, and did not attempt generalizations. However the experience of building the SA TEA inspired development of a more general tool designed for early-stage TEA's of hybrid biological/chemical systems for producing bio-based chemicals, as proposed by the founders of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC). This early-stage TEA tool, named BioPET (Biorenewables Process Evaluation Tool), was designed for the purpose of conducting rapid early-stage economic analyses of these hybrid systems. BioPET was validated against a commercial ...


Robust Navigation Control And Headland Turning Optimization Of Agricultural Vehicles, Xuyong Tu Jan 2013

Robust Navigation Control And Headland Turning Optimization Of Agricultural Vehicles, Xuyong Tu

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Autonomous agricultural robots have experienced rapid development during the last decade. They are capable of automating numerous field operations such as data collection, spraying, weeding, and harvesting. Because of the increasing demand of field work load and the diminishing labor force on the contrary, it is expected that more and more autonomous agricultural robots will be utilized in future farming systems.

The development of a four-wheel-steering (4WS) and four-wheel-driving (4WD) robotic vehicle, AgRover, was carried out at Agricultural Automation and Robotics Lab at Iowa State University. As a 4WS/4WD robotic vehicle, AgRover was able to work under four steering ...


Polyanhydride Particle Platform For Design Of Novel Influenza Vaccines, Lucas Mark Huntimer Jan 2013

Polyanhydride Particle Platform For Design Of Novel Influenza Vaccines, Lucas Mark Huntimer

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Vaccines remain the most effective medical intervention to disease in which effective vaccines are available. Designing vaccines that elicit protective immunity while minimizing adverse events is difficult. Exacerbating the challenges of vaccine design is the increased emphasis on using pure preparation of antigens that alleviate safety concerns but also show decreased potency. Therefore the need for safe adjuvants to boost immunity of subunit immunizations is great. This work demonstrates the capability of a novel bio-erodible polyanhydride particle platform to enhance humoral and cellular immunity. Encapsulation of 25 µg of Ovalbumin (Ova) antigen in microparticles elicits humoral immune responses equivalent to ...


Evaluation Of A Pilot Land-Based Marine Integrated Aquaculture System, Suzanne Boxman Jan 2013

Evaluation Of A Pilot Land-Based Marine Integrated Aquaculture System, Suzanne Boxman

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) produce aquaculture products on land with minimal discharge of waste products and minimal water loss. High costs associated with waste treatment for RAS have triggered the growth of integrated aquaculture systems (IAS) which incorporate macrophytes (aquatic plants) into the treatment train. The objective of this research was to examine a pilot scale inland marine IAS with three different methods for solids treatment: a sand filter followed by a plant bed, only a plant bed, and geotextile bags. Florida Pompano (Trachinotus carolinus) were grown along with Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), Black Needle Rush (Juncus romerianus), and Red ...


Assessment Of A Modified Double Agar Layer Method To Detect Bacteriophage For Assessing The Potential Of Wastewater Reuse In Rural Bolivia, Sakira N. Hadley Jan 2013

Assessment Of A Modified Double Agar Layer Method To Detect Bacteriophage For Assessing The Potential Of Wastewater Reuse In Rural Bolivia, Sakira N. Hadley

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Water scarcity is a global concern that impacts many developing countries, forcing people to depend on unclean water sources for domestic, agricultural, and industrial needs. Wastewater is an alternative water source that contains nutrients needed for crop growth. Wastewater reuse for agriculture can cause public health problems because of human exposure to pathogens. Pathogen monitoring is essential to evaluate the compliance of wastewater with established World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wastewater reuse guidelines. Indicator organisms are commonly used to detect pathogens in water and wastewater because they are quick and easy to measure, non-pathogenic ...


Fabricating And Characterizing Physical Properties Of Electrospun Polypeptide-Based Nanofibers, Dhan Bahadur Khadka Jan 2013

Fabricating And Characterizing Physical Properties Of Electrospun Polypeptide-Based Nanofibers, Dhan Bahadur Khadka

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation has aimed to fabricate polypeptide based biomaterial and characterize physical properties. Electrospinning is used as a tool for the sample fabrication. Project focused on determining the feasibility of electrospinning of certain synthetic polypeptides and certain elastin-like peptides from aqueous feedstocks and to characterize physical properties of polymer aqueous solution, cast film and spun fibers and fiber mats. The research involves peptide design, polymer electrospinning, fibers crosslinking, determining the extent of crosslinking, fibers protease degradation study, fibers stability and self-organization analysis, structure and composition determination by various spectroscopy and microscopy techniques and characterization of mechanical properties of individual suspended ...


Synthetic Nanoparticle-Based Vaccines Against Respiratory Pathogens, Kathleen Alaine Ross Jan 2013

Synthetic Nanoparticle-Based Vaccines Against Respiratory Pathogens, Kathleen Alaine Ross

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Avian influenza A H5N1 is rapidly gaining the potential to be the next influenza pandemic threat. Human cases of H5N1 have proven to be approximately 60% fatal with a growing number of strains becoming resistant to antiviral treatments. Therefore, there is a strong need for new research to develop a pandemic H5N1 avian influenza vaccine. In this work, a synthetic polyanhydride nanoparticle-based vaccine (or nanovaccine) platform for respiratory pathogens such as H5N1 was designed. In particular, the work focused on the design of a subunit vaccine based on antigens specific to H5N1 avian influenza.

Intranasal administration of vaccines can increase ...


Development Of A Specialty Crop Harvester And Separation System, Kevin Lee Muell Jan 2013

Development Of A Specialty Crop Harvester And Separation System, Kevin Lee Muell

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Mechanization has enabled many crops to be grown on a large scale due to the development and utilization of mechanical crop cultivation, harvesting, and processing technology. However, the development and utilization of specialty crops is commonly obstructed by the lack of harvesting technology available to mechanically harvest the crop. Post-harvest processing of harvested material also poses a challenge for the development of many crops. One such specialty crop that remains under-utilized due to the lack of mechanical harvesting and processing systems is Physalis alkekengi, or Chinese lantern.

Chinese lantern, a herbaceous perennial plant growing to heights of 30 - 110 cm ...


Raman Spectroscopic Characterization And Analysis Of Agricultural And Biological Systems, Qi Wang Jan 2013

Raman Spectroscopic Characterization And Analysis Of Agricultural And Biological Systems, Qi Wang

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Technical progresses in the past two decades in instrumental design, laser and electronic technology, and computer-based data analysis have made Raman spectroscopy, a noninvasive, nondestructive optical molecular spectroscopic imaging technique, an attractive choice for analytical tasks. Raman spectroscopy provides chemical structural information at molecular level with minimal sample preparation in a quick, easy-to-operate and reproducible fashion. In recent years it has been applied more and more to the analysis and characterization of agricultural products and biological samples. This dissertation documents the innovative research in Raman spectroscopic characterization and analysis in both biomedical and agricultural systems that I have been working ...


Development And Optimization Of Algal Cultivation Systems, Martin Gross Jan 2013

Development And Optimization Of Algal Cultivation Systems, Martin Gross

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This thesis describes research done on two novel algae cultivation systems. The first system was an attached algal growth system to facilitate biomass harvest with improved biomass yield. In the attached system, algal cells were grown on the surface of a material rotating between the nutrient-rich liquid phase and the carbon dioxide-rich gaseous phase. The algal cells from the attached growth system were harvested by simply scraping off the algal biofilm. The operation conditions of the attached growth system were optimized to improve biomass productivity. A harvesting frequency of 7 days with a rotational speed of 4 rpm resulted in ...


Fatty Acid And Polyketide Synthesis Enzymes: Sequences, Structures, And Mechanisms, David Cantu Jan 2013

Fatty Acid And Polyketide Synthesis Enzymes: Sequences, Structures, And Mechanisms, David Cantu

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The fatty acid and polyketide synthesis enzymes were studied, and findings compose this dissertation. The thioester-active enzyme database (ThYme) was constructed, which provides almost all known sequences of fatty acid and polyketide synthesis enzymes classified and organized into families based on amino acid sequence similarity. ThYme aids in predicting active sites, catalytic residues, and mechanisms of individual sequences, as well as providing a standardized nomenclature. Detailed and timely reviews on thioesterases, ketoacyl reductases, hydroxyacyl dehydratases, enoyl reductases, and acyl carrier proteins, as well as their products and pathways, were also done.

Normal vibrational mode analysis showed that the dynamic behavior ...


Assessment Of Utilization And Downtime Of A Commercial Level Multi-Pass Corn Stover Harvesting Systems, Benjamin Ross Covington Jan 2013

Assessment Of Utilization And Downtime Of A Commercial Level Multi-Pass Corn Stover Harvesting Systems, Benjamin Ross Covington

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

With commercial scale cellulosic ethanol in the formative stages of building large-scale feedstock supply chains there is a requirement for biomass harvesting equipment to be capable of increasing the densification of agricultural residue. The current technologies in use are large square balers, which were not specifically designed for the harvesting of agricultural residues such as corn stover. With the growing demand for corn stover harvesting, the equipment needs to be improved and refined to overcome the challenges that corn stover harvesting presents, while meeting and exceeding industry standards for custom harvesting. The harvest capacity of this equipment set is greatly ...


Purification And Optimization Of Sequential Biosynthetic Enzymes For Co-Localization Onto A Nanocarrier, Mollie Tiernan Jan 2013

Purification And Optimization Of Sequential Biosynthetic Enzymes For Co-Localization Onto A Nanocarrier, Mollie Tiernan

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Flavonoids are polyphenolic plant secondary metabolites with many purposes, including providing pigmentation in plants and anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous activities in humans. There are over 10,000 different flavonoids known, making them one of the largest groups of natural products. One major sub-class of flavonoids is the flavan-3-ols, which are known for their health benefits and the ability to form proanthocyanidins, or condensed tannins. Many of the intermediates in this pathway are unstable and have not been isolated in planta. Another natural product of interest is sclareol, a diterpene alcohol, which is important in the fragrance and flavor industry as a ...


Electrostatic Actuation Based Modulation Of Polar Molecules And Associated Force Interaction Studies, Xiao Ma Jan 2013

Electrostatic Actuation Based Modulation Of Polar Molecules And Associated Force Interaction Studies, Xiao Ma

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Seamless integration of artificial components with biological systems to form an elegant biotic-abiotic interface or smart surface has promising application potential in biomedical engineering. The specific aim of this study is to implement the actuation and modulation of binding behavior between biomolecules under electrostatic stimuli, and investigate the corresponding force interaction between the complementary pairs. The nanofabrication technology was utilized to establish the patterned binding pair of thrombin and DNA aptamer on gold substrate, and different electrical fields were applied on the system to evaluate electrostatic influence. The atomic force microscopy (AFM) surface imaging was then used to explicate the ...


Using Gis And Intelligent Transportation Tools For Biomass Supply Chain Modeling And Cost Assessment, Slobodan Gutesa Jan 2013

Using Gis And Intelligent Transportation Tools For Biomass Supply Chain Modeling And Cost Assessment, Slobodan Gutesa

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Stable, functional, and efficient bioethanol production systems on the national level must emphasize solutions of feedstock availability and transportation problems. Transportation logistics are a critical factor in the optimization of biomass supply chains. A single 25 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol biorefinery will require delivery of 18,500 semi loads of bales to the plant. For a typical corn-stover biomass supply chain, baled corn stover must be transported in two phases, first from the field to a storage site and then from the storage site to the biorefinery. All activities between these two points are interconnected and together they ...


Fpga-Based Acceleration Of The Rmap Short Read Mapping Tool, Pooja N. Mhapsekar Jan 2013

Fpga-Based Acceleration Of The Rmap Short Read Mapping Tool, Pooja N. Mhapsekar

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Bioinformatics is a quickly emerging field. Next generation sequencing technologies are producing data up to several gigabytes per day, making bioinformatics applications increasingly computationally intensive. In order to achieve greater speeds for processing this data, various techniques have been developed. These techniques involve parallelizing algorithms and/or spreading data across many computing nodes composed of devices such as Microprocessors, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs).

In this thesis, an FPGA is used to accelerate a bioinformatics application called RMAP, which is used for Short-Read Mapping. The most computationally intensive function in RMAP, the read mapping function ...


Biomechanical Impact Of Lower-Body Ppe On The Football Athlete: An Evaluation And Redesign Of The Knee Pad, Brandon F. Moeller Jan 2013

Biomechanical Impact Of Lower-Body Ppe On The Football Athlete: An Evaluation And Redesign Of The Knee Pad, Brandon F. Moeller

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Although football personal protective equipment (PPE) has developed considerably since the game's conception, knee pad design has lagged behind. Players at all levels of competition are dissatisfied with the device, claiming it impedes performance more than it protects from injury. To date, no published research has studied the football knee pad's effect on athletic performance, and no ergonomic evaluation of the design has been completed.

This research first created a new knee pad design based on survey feedback from 138 collegiate and high school football athletes. This new design, called the Vastus And Patella Protection with Range of ...


Bioinspired Synthesis And Characterization Of Organic/Inorganic Nanocomposite Materials, Xunpei Liu Jan 2013

Bioinspired Synthesis And Characterization Of Organic/Inorganic Nanocomposite Materials, Xunpei Liu

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In Nature, hybrid materials with hierarchical structure are formed by biomineralization of organic macromolecules that act as templates for the nucleation and/or growth of the inorganic component. The building blocks of the natural organic macromolecules provide the template architectures that result in chemical and morphological diversity in the inorganic phases. Inspired by the formation of biominerals in living organisms, novel organic-inorganic hybrid materials have been designed and developed by biomimetic routes. There is a growing interest in using synthetic polymers, engineered proteins, and various polymer-based hybrid architectures as templates for bioinspired synthesis.

In this work, we have used amphiphilic ...