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The electricity sector is in the midst of a structural change driven by new technologies. In Brazil, the electricity sector regulation has mechanisms to foster innovation, including investments in R&D. Recently, the regulatory agency and the industry have been calling for approaches to increase the rate at which R&D departments generate solutions that end up being adopted. As a result, novel approaches to R&D project management have entered the agenda. In this context, the objective of this paper is to characterise Agile Product Development and its application in a highly regulated sector. The paper presents a systematic literature review with the debates about Agile and new product development. Then, a case study exploring an early adoption of the Agile approach in R&D project management in the Brazilian electricity sector is presented. Results include the identification of the Agile features most frequently mentioned in the literature. Moreover, the case study explores the Agile features that were more easily absorbed in early adoption, such as iterative patterns, and discusses implementation challenges in team structure, feedback loops, and communication.
Thin anodic porous alumina (tAPA), engineered by electrochemical anodization of aluminum and post-fabrication etching, has already shown surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) activity, after overcoating with a thin gold film. On the other hand, the tAPA nanoporous surface, which is biocompatible and presents controlled roughness, has been extensively investigated as a substrate for living cell cultures. Here, we are interested in exploiting the nanoporosity of tAPA as a drug reservoir and demonstrating drug-delivery capabilities of these substrates which can be combined with the above cell-seeding and SERS activities. We focused on the loading/elution of a test drug, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and analgesic molecule Diclofenac. We carried out pore loading of differently concentrated aqueous solutions of the test drug, and characterized the elution profiles by UV-Vis absorbance, using the lipid bilayers coated on the top surface as a mechanism for retarded elution from the pores, providing a more sustained release. We also demonstrated that, by changing an environmental parameter such as the pH, we can trigger an increased release of the drug. Additionally, we investigated the tAPA adsorption properties by quartz crystal microbalance technique with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D). For the purpose, anodization was carried out on an Al-coated quartz, which resulted in successful fabrication of tAPA on the sensor. Finally, the process of lipid bilayer formation on the nanoporous sensor, as well as the test drug loading, was demonstrated by QCM-D.
The presence of water has been considered for a long time as a key condition for life in planetary environments. The Cassini mission discovered water vapour in the Kronian system by detecting absorption of UV emission from a background star (Hansen et al. 2006). Prompted by this discovery, we started an observational campaign for search of another manifestation of the water vapour in the Kronian system, its maser emission at the frequency of 22 GHz (1.35 cm wavelength). Observations with the 32 m Medicina radio telescope (INAF-IRA, Italy) started in 2006 using Mk5A data recording and the JIVE-Huygens software correlator. Later on, an on-line spectrometer was used at Medicina. The 14 m Metsähovi radio telescope (TKK-MRO, Finland) joined the observational campaign in 2008 using a locally developed data capture unit and software spectrometer. More than 300 hours of observations were collected in 2006-2008 campaign with the two radio telescopes. The data were analysed at JIVE using the Doppler tracking technique to compensate the observed spectra for the radial Doppler shift for various bodies in the Kronian system (Pogrebenko et al. 2009). Here we report the observational results for Hyperion, Titan, Enceladus and Atlas, and their physical interpretation. Encouraged by these results we started a campaign of follow up observations including other radio telescopes.
Linear and non-linear optical properties of conjugated polymers are often masked by the inter-chain network in solid state. The formation of aggregates may trap excitons, reduce oscillator strength and modify relaxation processes. The control of the inter-chain interaction is the main reason for developing “threaded” polymers, where supra-molecular encapsulation should reduce aggregation. Here, we investigate the influence of the encapsulation with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) macrocycles on the photophysics of the polyfluorene-alt-biphenylene (PFBP) using femtosecond non-linear spectroscopy. Upon threading we observe enhancement of the stimulated emission (SE) in the visible range and reduction of the charge absorption. These phenomena are ascribed to the reduced inter-chain interaction. In more isolated chains the dynamics of intra and inter-chain charge states are distinguished. In addition, we performed three-beam experiments in which a first pulse (pump) creates singlet excited states; a second (push) pulse re-excite the singlet state and a broadband probe pulse detects the induced changes in transmission. This technique shows: (i) charges are generated from higher lying singlet states also in isolated chains (ii) ultrafast optical gain switching is possible in threaded chain. Finally, we demonstrate that ASE occurs in films of threaded polymers and lasing can be achieved with much lower threshold than the neat polymer chain in the DFB configuration. All our findings point out the potential role of rotaxanes in photonics, as amplifiers and reopen the route to the electrically pumped organic lasers and all-optical logic devices.
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