201 research outputs found

    Non-destructive seed detection in mandarins: comparison of automatic threshold methods FLASH and COMSPIRA MRIs

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    Here, we review different methods for non-destructive horticultural produce size determination, focusing on electronic technologies capable of measuring fruit volume. The usefulness of produce size estimation is justified and a comprehensive classification system of the existing electronic techniques to determine dimensional size is proposed. The different systems identified are compared in terms of their versatility, precision and throughput. There is general agreement in considering that online measurement of axes, perimeter and projected area has now been achieved. Nevertheless, rapid and accurate volume determination of irregular-shaped produce, as needed for density sorting, has only become available in the past few years. An important application of density measurement is soluble solids content (SSC) sorting. If the range of SSC in the batch is narrow and a large number of classes are desired, accurate volume determination becomes important. A good alternative for fruit three-dimensional surface reconstruction, from which volume and surface area can be computed, is the combination of height profiles from a range sensor with a two-dimensional object image boundary from a solid-state camera (brightness image) or from the range sensor itself (intensity image). However, one of the most promising technologies in this field is 3-D multispectral scanning, which combines multispectral data with 3-D surface reconstruction

    Optimum ground states for spin-32\frac{3}{2} chains

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    We present a set of {\em optimum ground states} for a large class of spin-32\frac{3}{2} chains. Such global ground states are simultaneously ground states of the local Hamiltonian, i.e. the nearest neighbour interaction in the present case. They are constructed in the form of a matrix product. We find three types of phases, namely a {\em weak antiferromagnet}, a {\em weak ferromagnet}, and a {\em dimerized antiferromagnet}. The main physical properties of these phases are calculated exactly by using a transfer matrix technique, in particular magnetization and two spin correlations. Depending on the model parameters, they show a surprisingly rich structure.Comment: LaTeX, 22 pages, 6 embedded Postscript figure

    Ring resonator based SOI biosensors

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    In this paper, two recent advances in silicon ring resonator biosensors are presented. First, we address the problem that due to the high index contrast, small deviations from perfect symmetry lift the degeneracy of the normal resonator mode. This severely deteriorates the quality of the output signal. To address this, we discuss an integrated interferometric approach to give access to the unsplit, high-quality normal modes of the microring resonator. Second, we demonstrate how digital microfluidics can be used for effective fluid delivery to nanophotonic microring resonator sensors fully constructed in SOI

    Use of the SAW sensor electronic nose for detecting the adulteration of virgin coconut oil with RBD palm kernel olein.

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    An electronic nose (zNose™) was applied to the detection of adulteration of virgin coconut oil. The system, which is based on a surface acoustic wave sensor was used to generate a pattern of volatile compounds present in the samples. Virgin coconut oil was mixed with refined, bleached and deodorized palm kernel olein at a level of adulteration from 1 to 20% (wt/wt). Adulterant peaks were identified from the chromatogram profile and fitted to a curve using linear regression. The best relationship (R 2 = 0.91) was obtained between the peak tentatively identified as methyl dodecanoate and the percentage of palm kernel olein added. Pearson’s correlation coefficients (r) of 0.92 and 0.89 were obtained between adulterant peak methyl dodecanoate and of the iodine and peroxide values, respectively. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to differentiate between pure and adulterated samples. The PCA provided good differentiation of samples with 74% of the variation accounted for by PC 1 and 17% accounted for by PC 2. Pure samples formed a separate cluster from all of the adulterated samples

    Real-Time Monitoring of Aptamer Functionalization and Detection of Ara H1 by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy and Dissipation-Mode Quartz Crystal Microbalance

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    Peanut allergy, the most common cause of fatal-food-related anaphylaxis, is a lifelong disorder and the only existing therapy is avoidance of allergen-containing food. Detection of Ara h 1, the most important peanut allergen, is commonly performed by immunoassay techniques relying on the use of expensive and relatively unstable antibodies. Aptamers can overcome these drawbacks and offer a great potential for the development of reliable biosensors. Therefore, we will present a novel aptamer-based sensor for the label-free detection of Ara h 1. Amino (NH2)-terminated Ara h 1 aptamers were covalently attached to carboxylated gold surfaces employing carbodiimide chemistry. This functionalization procedure was followed in real time by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring. Subsequently, the functionalized surfaces were exposed to Ara h 1 solutions in TGK buffer. By combining the two techniques, we can measure in a wide concentration regime varying from the low nanomolar range (1-15 nM) via electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to the higher concentrations (25-250 nM) by microgravimetric detection. In summary, a fast, low-cost and sensitive sensor platform for Ara h 1 detection has been developed, which can be operated as a ‘stand-alone device’, making it well suited for applications such as the screening of trace allergens

    Drug use and nightlife: more than just dance music

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Research over the last decade has focused almost exclusively on the association between electronic music and MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or "ecstasy") or other stimulant drug use in clubs. Less attention has been given to other nightlife venues and music preferences, such as rock music or southern/funky music. This study aims to examine a broader spectrum of nightlife, beyond dance music. It looks at whether certain factors influence the frequency of illegal drug and alcohol use: the frequency of going to certain nightlife venues in the previous month (such as, pubs, clubs or goa parties); listening to rock music, dance music or southern and funky music; or sampling venues (such as, clubs, dance events or rock festivals). The question of how these nightlife variables influence the use of popular drugs like alcohol, MDMA, cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines is addressed.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The study sample consisted of 775 visitors of dance events, clubs and rock festivals in Belgium. Study participants answered a survey on patterns of going out, music preferences and drug use. Odds ratios were used to determine whether the odds of being an illegal substance user are higher for certain nightlife-related variables. Furthermore, five separate ordinal regression analyses were used to investigate drug use in relation to music preference, venues visited during the last month and sampling venue.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Respondents who used illegal drugs were 2.5 times more likely to report that they prefer dance music. Goa party visitors were nearly 5 times more likely to use illegal drugs. For those who reported visiting clubs, the odds of using illegal drugs were nearly 2 times higher. Having gone to a pub in the last month was associated with both more frequent alcohol use and more frequent illegal substance use. People who reported liking rock music and attendees of rock festivals used drugs less frequently.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>It was concluded that a more extended recreational environment, beyond dance clubs, is associated with frequent drug use. This stresses the importance of targeted prevention in various recreational venues tailored to the specific needs of the setting and its visitors.</p