Recently Published Documents
Value of the 3D Product Model Use in Assembly Processes: Process Planning, Design and Shop Floor Execution
Organizations can enhance the value of their assembly planning, assembly design, and assembly shop floor execution through the use of the 3D product model. Once a tool targeted at product design, the 3D product model, enabled by current and emerging manufacturing process management technologies, can create additional value for organizations when used in assembly processes. The research survey conducted and described in this paper demonstrates the value organizations have seen in using the 3D product model in the assembly process. The paper also explores the current state of those organizations who have not yet implemented the use of the 3D product model in their assembly processes and the value that they foresee for possible future implementation. The essential findings of this research are the five qualitative areas in which value is derived from using the 3D product model in complex assembly processes and how those value drivers apply across various industries and organization sizes. These results provide a framework for future research to develop quantitative models of the value of the 3D product model use in assembly processes.
An anthropomorphic maxillofacial phantom using 3-dimensional printing, polyurethane rubber and epoxy resin for dental imaging and dosimetry
Objective: The aim of this study was to construct an anthropomorphic maxillofacial phantom for dental imaging and dosimetry purposes using three-dimensional (3D) printing technology and materials that simulate the radiographic properties of tissues. Methods: Stereolithography photoreactive resins, polyurethane rubber and epoxy resin were modified by adding calcium carbonate and strontium carbonate powders or glass bubbles. These additives were used to change the materials’ CT numbers to mimic various body tissues. A maxillofacial phantom was designed using CT images of a head. Results: Commercial 3D printing resins were found to have CT numbers near 120 HU and were used to print intervertebral discs and an external skin for the maxillofacial phantom. By adding various amounts of calcium carbonate and strontium carbonate powders the CT number of the resin was raised to 1000 & 1500 HU and used to print bone mimics. Epoxy resin modified by adding glass bubbles was used in assembly and as a cartilaginous mimic. Glass bubbles were added to polyurethane rubber to reduce the CT number to simulate soft tissue and filled spaces between the printed anatomy and external skin of the phantom. Conclusion: The maxillofacial phantom designed for dental imaging and dosimetry constructed using 3D printing, polyurethane rubbers and epoxy resins represented a patient anatomically and radiographically. The results of the designed phantom, materials and assembly process can be applied to generate different phantoms that better represent diverse patient types and accommodate different ion chambers.
Sb2S3 is a promising nanomaterial for application in solar cells and other fields of electronics and optoelectronics. Sb2S3 nanoparticles were prepared via the hot-injection approach. In contrast to earlier work, the reaction temperature was decreased to 150°C, so that the reaction was slowed down and could be stopped at defined reaction stages. Thereby, the formation mechanism of the nanomaterial and the associated kinetics could be revealed. Based on morphological and structural analysis, it is suggested that seed particles (type 0) form immediately after injecting the antimony precursor into the sulfur precursor. These seeds fuse to form amorphous nanoparticles (type I) that contain a lower percentage of sulfur than that corresponding to the expected stoichiometric ratio of Sb2S3. The reason for this possibly lies in the formation of an oxygen- or carbon-containing intermediate during the seeding process. Afterward, the type I nanoparticles aggregate into larger amorphous nanoparticles (type II) in a second hierarchical assembly process and form superordinated structures (type III). This process is followed by the crystallization of these particles and a layer-like growth of the crystalline particles by an Ostwald ripening process at the expense of the amorphous particles. It was demonstrated that the kinetic control of the reaction allows tuning of the optical bandgap of the amorphous nanoparticles in the range of 2.2 – 2.0 eV. On the contrary, the optical bandgap of the crystalline particles decreases to a value of 1.7 eV and remains constant when the reaction progresses. Based on the proposed formation mechanism, future syntheses for Sb2S3 particles can be developed, allowing tuning the particles' properties in a broad range. In this way, the selective use of this material in a wide range of applications will become possible.
Two decades ago, Tsg101, a component of the Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport (ESCRT) complex 1, was identified as a cellular factor recruited by the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to facilitate budding of viral particles assembled at the cell periphery. A highly conserved Pro-(Thr/Ser)-Ala-Pro [P(T/S)AP] motif in the HIV-1 structural polyprotein, Gag, engages a P(T/S)AP-binding pocket in the Tsg101 N-terminal domain. Since the same domain in Tsg101 that houses the pocket was found to bind mono-ubiquitin (Ub) non-covalently, Ub binding was speculated to enhance P(T/S)AP interaction. Within the past five years, we found that the Ub-binding site also accommodates di-Ub, with Lys63-linked di-Ub exhibiting the highest affinity. We also identified small molecules capable of disrupting Ub binding and inhibiting budding. The structural similarity of these molecules, prazoles, to nucleosides prompted testing for nucleic acid binding and led to identification of tRNA as a Tsg101 binding partner. Here, we discuss these recently identified interactions and their contribution to the viral assembly process. These new partners may provide additional insight into the control and function of Tsg101 as well as identify opportunities for anti-viral drug design.
Revealing Microbiome Structure and Assembly Process in Three Rhizocompartments of Achyranthes bidentata Under Continuous Monoculture Regimes
The complex composition and interaction of root-associated microbes are critical to plant health and performance. In this study, we presented a detailed characterization of three rhizocompartment (rhizosphere, rhizoplane, and root) microbiomes of Achyranthes bidentata under different years of consecutive monoculture by deep sequencing in order to determine keystone microorganisms via co-occurrence network analysis. The network analysis showed that multiple consecutive monoculture (MCM, represented 5Y and 10Y) soils generated some distinct beneficial bacterial taxa such as Bacillus, Fictibacillus, Bradyrhizobium, Shinella, and Herbaspirillum. For fungi, Mortierella substituted for Fusarium in occupying an important position in different rhizocompartments under A. bidentate monoculture. Quantitative PCR analysis confirmed a significant increase in Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Burkholderia spp. The results of the inoculation assay showed that addition of beneficial bacteria Bacillus subtilis 74 and Bacillus halodurans 75 significantly increased the root length and fresh weight of A. bidentata. Furthermore, three types of phytosterones, as the main allochemicals, were identified both in the rhizosphere soil and in culture medium under sterile conditions by LC-MS/MS. When looking at in vitro interactions, it was found that phytosterones displayed a positive interaction with dominant beneficial species (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens 4 and B. halodurans 75) and had a negative effect on the presence of the pathogenic fungi Fusarium solani and Fusarium oxysporum. Overall, this study demonstrated that consecutive monoculture of A. bidentata can alter the bacterial and fungal community by secreting root exudates, leading to recruitment of beneficial microbes and replacement of plant-specific pathogenic fungi with plant beneficial fungi.
Enzyme immobilization techniques are widely researched due to their wide range of applications. Polymer–protein core–shell nanoparticles (CSNPs) have emerged as a promising technique for enzyme/protein immobilization via a self-assembly process. Based on the desired application, different sizes and distribution of the polymer–protein CSNPs may be required. This work systematically studies the assembly process of poly(4-vinyl pyridine) and bovine serum albumin CSNPs. Average particle size was controlled by varying the concentrations of each reagent. Particle size and size distributions were monitored by dynamic light scattering, ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering, small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy. Results showed a wide range of CSNPs could be assembled ranging from an average radius as small as 52.3 nm, to particles above 1 µm by adjusting reagent concentrations. In situ X-ray scattering techniques monitored particle assembly as a function of time showing the initial particle growth followed by a decrease in particle size as they reach equilibrium. The results outline a general strategy that can be applied to other CSNP systems to better control particle size and distribution for various applications.
The optimal control of assembly deviation for large thin-walled structures based on basic deviation patterns
The deviation vector at arbitrary location of large thin-walled structure caused by manufacturing process is different and has the characteristic of field distribution, which has great influence on the assemble quality. The deviation of each point on the part is not independent, and the final assembly deviation is difficult to be controlled. In this paper, the deviation field of large thin-walled structure is described by the linear combination of a series of basic deviation patterns. The deviation propagation model is established to quantify the contribution of basic deviation patterns between parts and assembly. A new two-step optimization method based on the adjustment of key control points of the part is proposed for the deviation control of large thin-walled structures. Firstly, the effective independent method is employed to obtain the optimal measurement points, which may characterize all basic deviation patterns of the part accurately. Then a new optimization model is developed to determine the key control points for special basic deviation pattern, which have little influence on the other basic deviation patterns. Based on the genetic optimization algorithm, the optimal key control points and the adjusted quantities for special basic deviation pattern are obtained, simultaneously. A case study on the assembly process of two cylindrical thin-walled parts with initial deviations measured by the Laser Scan Device is conducted. The basic deviation pattern with great influence on the deviation of assembly is determined firstly. The key control points and the corresponding adjusted quantities for this basic deviation pattern are calculated. The results indicate that the deviation of the assembled structure may be suppressed by the adjusted deformation of the key control points of parts. It is useful on the deviation control for the assembly process of large thin-walled structures.
Centrins are conserved calcium (Ca2+)-binding proteins typically associated with centrosomes that have been implicated in several biological processes. In Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, three centrin isoforms have been recognized. We have recently characterized the metal binding and structural features of isoform 1 (TgCEN1), demonstrating that it possesses properties consistent with a role as a Ca2+ sensor and displays a Ca2+-dependent tendency to self-assemble. Herein, we expanded our studies, focusing on the self-association and target binding properties of TgCEN1 by combining biophysical techniques including dynamic light scattering, isothermal titration calorimetry, nuclear magnetic resonance, circular dichroism, and fluorescence spectroscopy. We found that the self-assembly process of TgCEN1 depends on different physicochemical factors, including Ca2+ concentration, temperature, and protein concentration, and is mediated by both electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. The process is completely abolished upon removal of the first 21-residues of the protein and is significantly reduced in the presence of a binding target peptide derived from the human XPC protein (P17-XPC). Titration of P17-XPC to the intact protein and isolated domains showed that TgCEN1 possesses two binding sites with distinct affinities and Ca2+ sensitivity; a high-affinity site in the C-lobe which may be constitutively bound to the peptide and a low-affinity site in the N-lobe which is active only upon Ca2+ stimulus. Overall, our results suggest a specific mechanism of TgCEN1 for Ca2+-modulated target binding and support a N-to-C self-assembly mode, in which the first 21-residues of one molecule likely interact with the C-lobe of the other.
Self-Assembled Nanomaterials Based on Complementary Sn(IV) and Zn(II)-Porphyrins, and Their Photocatalytic Degradation for Rhodamine B Dye
A series of porphyrin triads (1–6), based on the reaction of trans-dihydroxo-[5,15-bis(3-pyridyl)-10,20-bis(phenyl)porphyrinato]tin(IV) (SnP) with six different phenoxy Zn(II)-porphyrins (ZnLn), was synthesized. The cooperative metal–ligand coordination of 3-pyridyl nitrogens in the SnP with the phenoxy Zn(II)-porphyrins, followed by the self-assembly process, leads to the formation of nanostructures. The red-shifts and remarkable broadening of the absorption bands in the UV–vis spectra for the triads in CHCl3 indicate that nanoaggregates may be produced in the self-assembly process of these triads. The emission intensities of the triads were also significantly reduced due to the aggregation. Microscopic analyses of the nanostructures of the triads reveal differences due to the different substituents on the axial Zn(II)-porphyrin moieties. All these nanomaterials exhibited efficient photocatalytic performances in the degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) dye under visible light irradiation, and the degradation efficiencies of RhB in aqueous solution were observed to be 72~95% within 4 h. In addition, the efficiency of the catalyst was not impaired, showing excellent recyclability even after being applied for the degradation of RhB in up to five cycles.