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In many engineering design contexts models are indispensable. They offer decision support and help tackle complex and interconnected design projects, capturing the underlying structure of development processes or resulting products. Because managers and engineers base many decisions on models, it is crucial to understand their properties and how these might influence their behaviour. The level of detail, or granularity, of a model is a key attribute that results from how reality is abstracted in the modelling process. Despite the direct impact granularity has on the use of a model, the general topic has so far only received limited attention and is therefore not well understood or documented. This article provides background on model theory, explores relevant terminology from a range of fields and discusses the implications for engineering design. Based on this, a classification framework is synthesised, which outlines the main manifestations of model granularity. This research contributes to theory by scrutinising the nature of model granularity. It also illustrates how this may manifest in engineering design models, using Design Structure Matrices as an example, and discusses associated challenges to provide a resource for modellers navigating decisions regarding granularity.
Models of products and design processes are key to interacting with engineering designs and managing the processes by which they are developed. In practice, companies maintain networks of many interrelated models which need to be synthesised in the minds of their users when considering issues that cut across them. This article considers how information from product and design process models can be integrated with a view to help manage these complex interrelationships. A framework highlighting key issues surrounding model integration is introduced and terminology for describing these issues is developed. To illustrate the framework and terminology, selected modelling approaches that integrate product and process information are discussed and organised according to their levels and forms of integration. Opportunities for further work to advance integrated modelling in engineering design research and practice are discussed.
Clinical and ethical implications of personality and mood changes in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients treated with subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) are under debate. Although subjectively perceived personality changes are often mentioned by patients and caregivers, few empirical studies concerning these changes exist. Therefore, we analysed subjectively perceived personality and mood changes in STN-DBS PD patients.
In this prospective study of the ELSA-DBS group, 27 PD patients were assessed preoperatively and 1 year after STN-DBS surgery. Two categories, personality and mood changes, were analysed with semi-structured interviews. Patients were grouped into personality change yes/no, as well as positive/negative mood change groups. Caregivers were additionally interviewed about patients’ personality changes. Characteristics of each group were assessed with standard neurological and psychiatric measurements. Predictors for changes were analysed.
Personality changes were perceived by six of 27 (22%) patients and by 10 of 23 caregivers (44%). The preoperative hypomania trait was a significant predictor for personality change perceived by patients. Of 21 patients, 12 (57%) perceived mood as positively changed. Higher apathy and anxiety ratings were found in the negative change group.
Our results show that a high proportion of PD patients and caregivers perceived personality changes under STN-DBS, emphasizing the relevance of this topic. Mood changed in positive and negative directions. Standard measurement scales failed to adequately reflect personality or mood changes subjectively perceived by patients. A more individualized preoperative screening and preparation for patients and caregivers, as well as postoperative support, could therefore be useful.
We studied the effect of a cross-conjugated bridging group (χC) on charge-transfer in a push-pull chromophore system. The hyperpolarizability of such molecules was found to be comparable to that of a fully π-conjugated molecule (πC) with the same donor and acceptor. The cross-conjugated moiety was then applied as a pendant to a fully π-conjugated chromophore containing a tricyanopyrroline acceptor (TCP). The addition of a χC moiety did not alter the intrinsic hyperpolarizability and provides an avenue for extending and aiding πC systems. The molecules were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), hyper-Raleigh scattering (HRS) and UV-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy. Experimental results were compared with the predictions of density functional theory (DFT). Cross-conjugated molecules have comparable β values, relative to πC molecules, due to reduced spatial overlap between the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO). Thus, the χC architecture could facilitate independent modification of donor and acceptor strengths while minimizing unfavorable effects on electronic transitions and dipole moments.
Laser heating and annealing of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films is of interest for improved material properties. Due to the variety of possible laser treatments with regard to wavelength, pulse duration, scan time etc., the definition of laser impact on the material is a challenge which we try to approach by comparing properties of laser and oven treated materials. Here we report on the effect of oven heat treatment (up to TA= 575°C) on microstructure and hydrogen content of hydrogenated amorphous silicon films, as detected by measurements of infrared absorption and of effusion of hydrogen as well as of implanted helium. The latter technique has been found to measure isolated voids (cavities) of the size of silicon divacancies and larger. Undoped as well as phosphorus and boron doped plasma-deposited a-Si:H films of various hydrogen content (< 15 at.%) were investigated, including undoped device grade a-Si:H. The results show little indication for void-related microstructure in the as-deposited and annealed state for material with a concentration of silicon bonded hydrogen below 5 at. %. At higher hydrogen concentration, evidence is found that hydrogen out-diffusion due to annealing causes isolated voids in concentrations up to about 1020 cm-3. A possible mechanism for the annealing induced (micro-)void generation is discussed.
The use of organic nonlinear optical (ONLO) materials in electro-optic (EO) modulators requires that the active molecular components (chromophores) be acentrically oriented. The fundamental molecular constituents are in a condensed, glassy phase. Molecular orientation in such systems is typically achieved by applying a DC poling field to the glassy material. We are developing efficient coarse-grained classical Monte Carlo (MC) methods to simulate the order of such systems. The most challenging aspects of these simulations are convergence to an experimentally relevant equilibrium ensemble and verification of simulation accuracy. We use a variety of molecular descriptions and a variety of MC methods to achieve proper order in the shortest number of computational cycles possible. Herein, we illustrate a few examples of the types of calculations and compare with experimental results with representative amorphous organic materials, including electro-optic chromophores.
To prepare cholesteric liquid crystalline nonlinear optical materials with ability to be vitrified on cooling and form long time stability cholesteric glasses at room temperature, a series of platinum acetylide complexes modified with cholesterol has been synthesized. The materials synthesized have the formula trans-Pt(PR3)(cholesterol (3 or 4)-ethynyl benzoate)(1-ethynyl-4-X-benzene), where R = Et, Bu or Oct and X = H, F, OCH3 and CN. A cholesteric liquid crystal phase was observed in the complexes R = Et, and X = F, OCH3 and CN but not in any of the other complexes. When X = CN, a cholesteric glass was observed at room temperature which remained stable up to 130 °C, then converted to a mixed crystalline/cholesteric phase and completely melted to an isotropic phase at 230 °C. When X = F or OCH3 the complexes were crystalline at room temperature with conversion to the cholesteric phase upon heating to 190 and 230 °C, respectively. In the series X = CN, OCH3 and F, the cholesteric pitch was determined to be 1.7, 3.4 and 9.0 µ, respectively.
As physical activity may modify the effect of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele on the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia, we tested for such a gene–environment interaction in a sample of general practice patients aged ⩾75 years.
Data were derived from follow-up waves I–IV of the longitudinal German study on Ageing, Cognition and Dementia in Primary Care Patients (AgeCoDe). The Kaplan–Meier survival method was used to estimate dementia- and AD-free survival times. Multivariable Cox regression was used to assess individual associations of APOE ε4 and physical activity with risk for dementia and AD, controlling for covariates. We tested for gene–environment interaction by calculating three indices of additive interaction.
Among the randomly selected sample of 6619 patients, 3327 (50.3%) individuals participated in the study at baseline and 2810 (42.5%) at follow-up I. Of the 2492 patients without dementia included at follow-up I, 278 developed dementia (184 AD) over the subsequent follow-up interval of 4.5 years. The presence of the APOE ε4 allele significantly increased and higher physical activity significantly decreased risk for dementia and AD. The co-presence of APOE ε4 with low physical activity was associated with higher risk for dementia and AD and shorter dementia- and AD-free survival time than the presence of APOE ε4 or low physical activity alone. Indices of interaction indicated no significant interaction between low physical activity and the APOE ε4 allele for general dementia risk, but a possible additive interaction for AD risk.
Physical activity even in late life may be effective in reducing conversion to dementia and AD or in delaying the onset of clinical manifestations. APOE ε4 carriers may particularly benefit from increasing physical activity with regard to their risk for AD.
An important property of thin film silicon and related materials is the microstructure which may involve the presence of interconnected and isolated voids. We report on effusion measurements of implanted helium (He) to detect such voids. Several series of hydrogenated and unhydrogenated amorphous silicon films prepared by the methods of plasma deposition, hot wire deposition and vacuum evaporation were investigated. The results show common features like a He effusion peak at low temperatures attributed to He out-diffusion through a compact material or through interconnected voids, and a He effusion peak at high temperatures attributed to He trapped in isolated voids. While undoped plasma-grown device-grade hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) films show a rather low concentration of such isolated voids, its concentration can be rather high in doped a-Si:H, in unhydrogenated evaporated material and others.
Although usually thought of as external environmental stressors, a significant heritable component has been reported for measures of stressful life events (SLEs) in twin studies.
We examined the variance in SLEs captured by common genetic variants from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 2578 individuals. Genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) was used to estimate the phenotypic variance tagged by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We also performed a GWAS on the number of SLEs, and looked at correlations between siblings.
A significant proportion of variance in SLEs was captured by SNPs (30%, p = 0.04). When events were divided into those considered to be dependent or independent, an equal amount of variance was explained for both. This ‘heritability’ was in part confounded by personality measures of neuroticism and psychoticism. A GWAS for the total number of SLEs revealed one SNP that reached genome-wide significance (p = 4 × 10−8), although this association was not replicated in separate samples. Using available sibling data for 744 individuals, we also found a significant positive correlation of R2 = 0.08 in SLEs (p = 0.03).
These results provide independent validation from molecular data for the heritability of reporting environmental measures, and show that this heritability is in part due to both common variants and the confounding effect of personality.
Whether late-onset depression is a risk factor for or a prodrome of dementia remains unclear. We investigated the impact of depressive symptoms and early- v. late-onset depression on subsequent dementia in a cohort of elderly general-practitioner patients (n = 2663, mean age = 81.2 years).
Risk for subsequent dementia was estimated over three follow-ups (each 18 months apart) depending on history of depression, particularly age of depression onset, and current depressive symptoms using proportional hazard models. We also examined the additive prediction of incident dementia by depression beyond cognitive impairment.
An increase of dementia risk for higher age cut-offs of late-onset depression was found. In analyses controlling for age, sex, education, and apolipoprotein E4 genotype, we found that very late-onset depression (aged ⩾70 years) and current depressive symptoms separately predicted all-cause dementia. Combined very late-onset depression with current depressive symptoms was specifically predictive for later Alzheimer's disease (AD; adjusted hazard ratio 5.48, 95% confidence interval 2.41–12.46, p < 0.001). This association was still significant after controlling for cognitive measures, but further analyses suggested that it was mediated by subjective memory impairment with worries.
Depression might be a prodrome of AD but not of dementia of other aetiology as very late-onset depression in combination with current depressive symptoms, possibly emerging as a consequence of subjectively perceived worrisome cognitive deterioration, was most predictive. As depression parameters and subjective memory impairment predicted AD independently of objective cognition, clinicians should take this into account.
High-throughput synthesis and screening rely on structurally diverse catalyst libraries. As a consequence of increased parallelization and integration of reactor and analysis systems, the requirements for new synthesis methodologies include even smaller amounts of samples, e.g. different multi-component mixed oxides in the mg or even μg-range have to be prepared reproducibly and fully automated. We tried to bring solution chemistry, composition spread libraries and a very high sample density together within one approach and tested inkjet printing of materials libraries using sol-gel recipes as synthesis method. Inkjet printing allows the deposition of liquid volumes in the pL range thus enabling the deposition of very small catalyst amounts. For the application of this technique in sol-gel chemistry several restrictions have to be handled, such as viscosity limitations of the printing head. Parameters as solvent, solvent amount, metal precursors, metal salt concentrations, deposition sequences etc. as well as gelification procedures have to be optimized. Catalytic screening relies on porous samples with high surface area to get conversions, which can be detected by HT screening methods. Thus, additionally the recipe itself as well as the support structure has to be optimized. In our first tests we used emission corrected IR thermography for screening.
The study of molecules in space, known as astrochemistry or molecular astrophysics, is a rapidly growing field. Molecules exist in a wide range of environments in both gaseous and solid form, from our own solar system to the distant early universe. To astronomers, molecules are indispensable and unique probes of the physical conditions and dynamics of regions in which they are detected, especially the interstellar medium. In particular, the many stages of both low-mass and high-mass star formation are better understood today thanks to the analysis of molecular observations. Molecules can also yield a global picture of the past and present of sources. Moreover, molecules affect their environment by contributing to the heating and cooling processes that occur.
Early improvement with treatment is thought to be important in patients with first-episode schizophrenia, yet a valid definition is still outstanding.
To develop a valid definition of early improvement and test its predictive validity regarding response and remission.
We examined 188 in-patients with first-episode schizophrenia. Early improvement was defined as improvement in Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total score at week 2, response as a 40% PANSS total score improvement at end-point, and remission according to consensus criteria.
Reasonable predictive validity of early improvement was found for a 46% PANSS total score improvement at week 2 and a 50% improvement for remission (area under the curve: response 0.707, remission 0.692). Estimated confidence intervals ranged from 26 to 62% PANSS reduction for response and remission.
Patients with a first episode of schizophrenia should improve by at least 30% in PANSS total score at week 2 to achieve response and remission.