• Cholesterol metabolism: A review of how ageing disrupts the biological mechanisms responsible for its regulation

      Morgan, Amy; Mooney, Kathleen M.; Wilkinson, Stephen J.; Pickles, Neil; Mc Auley, Mark T.; University of Chester, Edgehill University (Elsevier, 2016-04-01)
      Cholesterol plays a vital role in the human body as a precursor of steroid hormones and bile acids, in addition to providing structure to cell membranes. Whole body cholesterol metabolism is maintained by a highly coordinated balancing act between cholesterol ingestion, synthesis, absorption, and excretion. The aim of this review is to discuss how ageing interacts with these processes. Firstly, we will present an overview of cholesterol metabolism. Following this, we discuss how the biological mechanisms which underpin cholesterol metabolism are effected by ageing. Included in this discussion are lipoprotein dynamics, cholesterol absorption/synthesis and the enterohepatic circulation/synthesis of bile acids. Moreover, we discuss the role of oxidative stress in the pathological progression of atherosclerosis and also discuss how cholesterol biosynthesis is effected by both the mammalian target of rapamycin and sirtuin pathways. Next, we examine how diet and alterations to the gut microbiome can be used to mitigate the impact ageing has on cholesterol metabolism. We conclude by discussing how mathematical models of cholesterol metabolism can be used to identify therapeutic interventions.
    • Combined heat and power from the intermediate pyrolysis of biomass materials: performance, economics and environmental impact

      Yang, Yang; Brammer, John G.; Wright, Daniel G.; Scott, Jim; Serrano, Clara; Bridgwater, Tony; Aston University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2017-02-10)
      Combined heat and power from the intermediate pyrolysis of biomass materials offers flexible, on demand renewable energy with some significant advantages over other renewable routes. To maximize the deployment of this technology an understanding of the dynamics and sensitivities of such a system is required. In the present work the system performance, economics and life-cycle environmental impact is analysed with the aid of the process simulation software Aspen Plus. Under the base conditions for the UK, such schemes are not currently economically competitive with energy and char products produced from conventional means. However, under certain scenarios as modelled using a sensitivity analysis this technology can compete and can therefore potentially contribute to the energy and resource sustainability of the economy, particularly in on-site applications with low-value waste feedstocks. The major areas for potential performance improvement are in reactor cost reductions, the reliable use of waste feedstocks and a high value end use for the char by-product from pyrolysis.
    • Combustion of fuel blends containing digestate pyrolysis oil in a multi-cylinder compression ignition engine

      Hossain, Abul K.; Serrano, Clara; Brammer, John G.; Omran, Abdelnasir; Ahmed, F.; Smith, David I.; Davies, Philip A.; Aston University (Elsevier, 2015-12-23)
      Digestate from the anaerobic digestion conversion process is widely used as a farm land fertiliser. This study proposes an alternative use as a source of energy. Dried digestate was pyrolysed and the resulting oil was blended with waste cooking oil and butanol (10, 20 and 30 vol.%). The physical and chemical properties of the pyrolysis oil blends were measured and compared with pure fossil diesel and waste cooking oil. The blends were tested in a multi-cylinder indirect injection compression ignition engine. Engine combustion, exhaust gas emissions and performance parameters were measured and compared with pure fossil diesel operation. The ASTM copper corrosion values for 20% and 30% pyrolysis blends were 2c, compared to 1b for fossil diesel. The kinematic viscosities of the blends at 40 C were 5–7 times higher than that of fossil diesel. Digested pyrolysis oil blends produced lower in-cylinder peak pressures than fossil diesel and waste cooking oil operation. The maximum heat release rates of the blends were approximately 8% higher than with fossil diesel. The ignition delay periods of the blends were higher; pyrolysis oil blends started to combust late and once combustion started burnt quicker than fossil diesel. The total burning duration of the 20% and 30% blends were decreased by 12% and 3% compared to fossil diesel. At full engine load, the brake thermal efficiencies of the blends were decreased by about 3–7% when compared to fossil diesel. The pyrolysis blends gave lower smoke levels; at full engine load, smoke level of the 20% blend was 44% lower than fossil diesel. In comparison to fossil diesel and at full load, the brake specific fuel consumption (wt.) of the 30% and 20% blends were approximately 32% and 15% higher. At full engine load, the CO emission of the 20% and 30% blends were decreased by 39% and 66% with respect to the fossil diesel. Blends CO2 emissions were similar to that of fossil diesel; at full engine load, 30% blend produced approximately 5% higher CO2 emission than fossil diesel. The study concludes that on the basis of short term engine experiment up to 30% blend of pyrolysis oil from digestate of arable crops can be used in a compression ignition engine.
    • Comment on “Observations of ammonia, nitric acid, and fine particles in a rural gas production region” by Yi Li, Florian M. Schwandnera, H. James Sewell, Angela Zivkovich, Mark Tigges, Suresh Raja, Stephen Holcomb, John V. Molenar, Lincoln Sherman, Cassie Archuleta, Taehyoung Lee and Jeffrey L. Collett Jr. Atmospheric Environment (in press)

      Phillips, Gavin J.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2014-03)
      Peer reviewed commentary on a research paper. An artefact of the detection of nitric acid (HNO3) by denuder methods is discussed. This artefact arises from the likely reaction of dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) on the denuder train resulting in the report of some fraction of N2O5 as HNO3.
    • Comparative Potential of Natural Gas, Coal and Biomass Fired Power Plant with Post - combustion CO2 Capture and Compression

      Ali, Usman; Font Palma, Carolina; Akram, Muhammad; Agbonghae, Elvis O.; Ingham, Derek B.; Pourkashanian, Mohamed; University of Sheffield, University of Chester, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (Elsevier, 2017-06-07)
      The application of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon neutral techniques should be adopted to reduce the CO2 emissions from power generation systems. These environmental concerns have renewed interest towards the use of biomass as an alternative to fossil fuels. This study investigates the comparative potential of different power generation systems, including NGCC with and without exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), pulverised supercritical coal and biomass fired power plants for constant heat input and constant fuel flowrate cases. The modelling of all the power plant cases is realized in Aspen Plus at the gross power output of 800 MWe and integrated with a MEA-based CO2 capture plant and a CO2 compression unit. Full-scale detailed modelling of integrated power plant with a CO2 capture and compression system for biomass fuel for two different cases is reported and compared with the conventional ones. The process performance, in terms of efficiency, emissions and potential losses for all the cases, is analysed. In conclusion, NGCC and NGCC with EGR integrated with CO2 capture and compression results in higher net efficiency and least efficiency penalty reduction. Further, coal and biomass fired power plants integrated with CO2 capture and compression results in higher specific CO2 capture and the least specific losses per unit of the CO2 captured. Furthermore, biomass with CO2 capture and compression results in negative emissions.
    • Comparing and combining time series trajectories using Dynamic Time Warping

      Vaughan, Neil; Gabrys, Bogdan; Bournemouth University (Elsevier, 2016-09-04)
      This research proposes the application of dynamic time warping (DTW) algorithm to analyse multivariate data from virtual reality training simulators, to assess the skill level of trainees. We present results of DTW algorithm applied to trajectory data from a virtual reality haptic training simulator for epidural needle insertion. The proposed application of DTW algorithm serves two purposes, to enable (i) two trajectories to be compared as a similarity measure and also enables (ii) two or more trajectories to be combined together to produce a typical or representative average trajectory using a novel hierarchical DTW process. Our experiments included 100 expert and 100 novice simulator recordings. The data consists of multivariate time series data-streams including multi-dimensional trajectories combined with force and pressure measurements. Our results show that our proposed application of DTW provides a useful time-independent method for (i) comparing two trajectories by providing a similarity measure and (ii) combining two or more trajectories into one, showing higher performance compared to conventional methods such as linear mean. These results demonstrate that DTW can be useful within virtual reality training simulators to provide a component in an automated scoring and assessment feedback system.
    • Computational approaches to parameter estimation and model selection in immunology

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Bocharov, Gennady; Ford, Judith M.; Lumb, Patricia M.; Norton, Stewart J.; Paul, C. A. H.; Junt, Tobias; Krebs, Philippe; Ludewig, Burkhard (Elsevier, 2005-12-01)
      This article seeks to illustrate the computational implementation of an information-theoretic approach (associated with a maximum likelihood treatment) to modelling in immunology.
    • Computational methods for a mathematical model of propagation of nerve impulses in myelinated axons

      Lima, Pedro M.; Ford, Neville J.; Lumb, Patricia M.; CEMAT, IST, Lisbon ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2014-06-26)
      This paper is concerned with the approximate solution of a nonlinear mixed type functional differential equation (MTFDE) arising from nerve conduction theory. The equation considered describes conduction in a myelinated nerve axon. We search for a monotone solution of the equation defined in the whole real axis, which tends to given values at ±∞. We introduce new numerical methods for the solution of the equation, analyse their performance, and present and discuss the results of the numerical simulations.
    • Computational modelling with functional differential equations: Identification, selection, and sensitivity

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Bocharov, Gennady; Paul, C. A. H.; Rihan, F. A. R.; University College Chester ; Institute of Numerical Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences ; University of Salford (Elsevier, 2005-05)
      Mathematical models based upon certain types of differential equations, functional differential equations, or systems of such equations, are often employed to represent the dynamics of natural, in particular biological, phenomena. We present some of the principles underlying the choice of a methodology (based on observational data) for the computational identification of, and discrimination between, quantitatively consistent models, using scientifically meaningful parameters. We propose that a computational approach is essential for obtaining meaningful models. For example, it permits the choice of realistic models incorporating a time-lag which is entirely natural from the scientific perspective. The time-lag is a feature that can permit a close reconciliation between models incorporating computed parameter values and observations. Exploiting the link between information theory, maximum likelihood, and weighted least squares, and with distributional assumptions on the data errors, we may construct an appropriate objective function to be minimized computationally. The minimizer is sought over a set of parameters (which may include the time-lag) that define the model. Each evaluation of the objective function requires the computational solution of the parametrized equations defining the model. To select a parametrized model, from amongst a family or hierarchy of possible best-fit models, we are able to employ certain indicators based on information-theoretic criteria. We can evaluate confidence intervals for the parameters, and a sensitivity analysis provides an expression for an information matrix, and feedback on the covariances of the parameters in relation to the best fit. This gives a firm basis for any simplification of the model (e.g., by omitting a parameter).
    • Computational simulation of the damage response for machining long fibre reinforced plastic (LFRP) composite parts: A review

      Wang, Xiaonan; Wang, Fuji; Gu, Tianyu; Jia, Zhenyuan; Shi, Yu; Dalian University of Technology; University of Chester
      Long fibre reinforced plastics (LFRPs) possess excellent mechanical properties and are widely used in the aerospace, transportation and energy sectors. However, their anisotropic and inhomogeneous characteristics as well as their low thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity make them prone to subsurface damage, delamination and thermal damage during the machining process, which seriously reduces the bearing capacity and shortens the service life of the components. To improve the processing quality of composites, finite element (FE) models were developed to investigate the material removal mechanism and to analyse the influence of the processing parameters on the damage. A review of current studies on composite processing modelling could significantly help researchers to understand failure initiation and development during machining and thus inspire scholars to develop new models with high prediction accuracy and computational efficiency as well as a wide range of applications. To this aim, this review paper summarises the development of LFRP machining simulations reported in the literature and the factors that can be considered in model improvement. Specifically, the existing numerical models that simulate the mechanical and thermal behaviours of LFRPs and LFRP-metal stacks in orthogonal cutting, drilling and milling are analysed. The material models used to characterise the constituent phases of the LFRP parts are reviewed. The mechanism of material removal and the damage responses during the machining of LFRP laminates under different tool geometries and processing parameters are discussed. In addition, novel and objective evaluations that concern the current simulation studies are conducted to summarise their advantages. Aspects that could be improved are further detailed, to provide suggestions for future research relating to the simulation of LFRP machining.
    • Computationally modeling lipid metabolism and aging: A mini-review

      Mc Auley, Mark T.; Mooney, Kathleen M.; University of Chester; Edge Hill University (Elsevier, 2014-11-15)
      One of the greatest challenges in biology is to improve the understanding of the mechanisms which underpin aging and how these affect health. The need to better understand aging is amplified by demographic changes, which have caused a gradual increase in the global population of older people. Aging western populations have resulted in a rise in the prevalence of age-related pathologies. Of these diseases, cardiovascular disease is the most common underlying condition in older people. The dysregulation of lipid metabolism due to aging impinges significantly on cardiovascular health. However, the multifaceted nature of lipid metabolism and the complexities of its interaction with aging make it challenging to understand by conventional means. To address this challenge computational modeling, a key component of the systems biology paradigm is being used to study the dynamics of lipid metabolism. This mini-review briefly outlines the key regulators of lipid metabolism, their dysregulation, and how computational modeling is being used to gain an increased insight into this system.
    • Constructions for Self-Dual Codes Induced from Group Rings

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Taylor, Rhian; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy, University of Chester; Northern Arizona University (Elsevier, 2018-02-03)
      In this work, we establish a strong connection between group rings and self-dual codes. We prove that a group ring element corresponds to a self-dual code if and only if it is a unitary unit. We also show that the double-circulant and four-circulant constructions come from cyclic and dihedral groups, respectively. Using groups of order 8 and 16 we find many new construction methods, in addition to the well-known methods, for self-dual codes. We establish the relevance of these new constructions by finding many extremal binary self-dual codes using them, which we list in several tables. In particular, we construct 10 new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68.
    • Data-driven selection and parameter estimation for DNA methylation mathematical models

      Larson, Karen; Zagkos, Loukas; Mc Auley, Mark T.; Roberts, Jason A.; Kavallaris, Nikos I.; Matzavinos, Anastasios; Brown University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2019-01-10)
      Epigenetics is coming to the fore as a key process which underpins health. In particular emerging experimental evidence has associated alterations to DNA methylation status with healthspan and aging. Mammalian DNA methylation status is maintained by an intricate array of biochemical and molecular processes. It can be argued changes to these fundamental cellular processes ultimately drive the formation of aberrant DNA methylation patterns, which are a hallmark of diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease. In recent years mathematical models have been used as e ective tools to help advance our understanding of the dynamics which underpin DNA methylation. In this paper we present linear and nonlinear models which encapsulate the dynamics of the molecular mechanisms which de ne DNA methylation. Applying a recently developed Bayesian algorithm for parameter estimation and model selection, we are able to estimate distributions of parameters which include nominal parameter values. Using limited noisy observations, the method also identifed which methylation model the observations originated from, signaling that our method has practical applications in identifying what models best match the biological data for DNA methylation.
    • Design and finite element simulation of metal-core piezoelectric fiber/epoxy matrix composites for virus detection

      Wang, Yinli; Shi, Yu; Narita, Fumio; Tohoku University; University of Chester
      Undoubtedly, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has received the greatest concern with a global impact, and this situation will continue for a long period of time. Looking back in history, airborne transimission diseases have caused huge casualties several times. COVID-19 as a typical airborne disease caught our attention and reminded us of the importance of preventing such diseases. Therefore, this study focuses on finding a new way to guard against the spread of these diseases such as COVID-19. This paper studies the dynamic electromechanical response of metal-core piezoelectric fiber/epoxy matrix composites, designed as mass load sensors for virus detection, by numerical modelling. The dynamic electromechanical response is simulated by applying an alternating current (AC) electric field to make the composite vibrate. Furthermore, both concentrated and distributed loads are considered to assess the sensitivity of the biosensor during modelling of the combination of both biomarker and viruses. The design parameters of this sensor, such as the resonant frequency, the position and size of the biomarker, will be studied and optimized as the key values to determine the sensitivity of detection. The novelty of this work is to propose functional composites that can detect the viruses from changes of the output voltage instead of the resonant frequency change using piezoelectric sensor and piezoelectric actuator. The contribution of this detection method will significantly shorten the detection time as it avoids fast Fourier transform (FFT) or discrete Fourier transform (DFT). The outcome of this research offers a reliable numerical model to optimize the design of the proposed biosensor for virus detection, which will contribute to the production of high-performance piezoelectric biosensors in the future.
    • The diagnostic analysis of the fault coupling effects in planet bearing

      Xue, Song; Wang, Congsi; Howard, Ian; Lian, Peiyuan; Chen, Gaige; Wang, yan; Yan, Yuefei; Xu, Qian; Shi, Yu; Jia, Yu; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-11-09)
      The purpose of this paper is to investigate the fault coupling effects in the planet bearing as well as the corresponding vibration signatures in the resultant vibration spectrum. In a planetary gear application, the planet bearing can not only spin around the planet gear axis, but also revolve about the sun gear axis and this rotating mechanism poses a big challenge for the diagnostic analysis of the planet bearing vibration spectrum. In addition, the frequency component interaction and overlap phenomenon in the vibration spectrum caused by the fault coupling effect can even worsen the diagnosis results. To further the understanding of the fault coupling effects in a planet bearing, a 34° of freedom planetary gear model with detailed planet bearing model was established to obtain the dynamic response in the presence of various bearing fault scenarios. The method of modelling the bearing distributed faults and localized faults has been introduced in this paper, which can be further incorporated into the planetary gear model to obtain the faulted vibration signal. The “benchmark” method has been adopted to enhance the planet bearing fault impulses in the vibration signals and in total, the amplitude demodulation results from 20 planet bearing fault scenarios have been investigated and analyzed. The coherence estimation over the vibration frequency domain has been proposed as a tool to quantify the fault impact contribution from different fault modes and the results suggested that the outer raceway fault contributes most to the resultant planet bearing vibration spectrum in all the investigated fault scenarios.
    • The diffusion-driven instability and complexity for a single-handed discrete Fisher equation

      Yan, Yubin; Zhang, Guang; Zhang, Ruixuan; University of Chester; Tianjin University of Commerce (Elsevier, 2019-12-19)
      For a reaction diffusion system, it is well known that the diffusion coefficient of the inhibitor must be bigger than that of the activator when the Turing instability is considered. However, the diffusion-driven instability/Turing instability for a single-handed discrete Fisher equation with the Neumann boundary conditions may occur and a series of 2-periodic patterns have been observed. Motivated by these pattern formations, the existence of 2-periodic solutions is established. Naturally, the periodic double and the chaos phenomenon should be considered. To this end, a simplest two elements system will be further discussed, the flip bifurcation theorem will be obtained by computing the center manifold, and the bifurcation diagrams will be simulated by using the shooting method. It proves that the Turing instability and the complexity of dynamical behaviors can be completely driven by the diffusion term. Additionally, those effective methods of numerical simulations are valid for experiments of other patterns, thus, are also beneficial for some application scientists.
    • Discontinuous Galerkin time stepping method for solving linear space fractional partial differential equations

      Liu, Yanmei; Yan, Yubin; Khan, Monzorul; LuLiang University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2017-01-23)
      In this paper, we consider the discontinuous Galerkin time stepping method for solving the linear space fractional partial differential equations. The space fractional derivatives are defined by using Riesz fractional derivative. The space variable is discretized by means of a Galerkin finite element method and the time variable is discretized by the discontinuous Galerkin method. The approximate solution will be sought as a piecewise polynomial function in $t$ of degree at most $q-1, q \geq 1$, which is not necessarily continuous at the nodes of the defining partition. The error estimates in the fully discrete case are obtained and the numerical examples are given.
    • A discrete mutualism model: analysis and exploration of a financial application

      Roberts, Jason A.; Kavallaris, Nikos I.; Rowntree, Andrew P.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2019-09-16)
      We perform a stability analysis on a discrete analogue of a known, continuous model of mutualism. We illustrate how the introduction of delays affects the asymptotic stability of the system’s positive nontrivial equilibrium point. In the second part of the paper we explore the insights that the model can provide when it is used in relation to interacting financial markets. We also note the limitations of such an approach.
    • Distributed order equations as boundary value problems

      Ford, Neville J.; Morgado, Maria L.; University of Chester ; University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Elsevier, 2012-01-20)
      This preprint discusses the existence and uniqueness of solutions and proposes a numerical method for their approximation in the case where the initial conditions are not known and, instead, some Caputo-type conditions are given away from the origin.
    • Effect of cell-size on the energy absorption features of closed-cell aluminium foams

      Nammi, Sathish K.; Edwards, Gerard; Shirvani, Hassan; Anglia Ruskin University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2016-07-02)
      The effect of cell-size on the compressive response and energy absorption features of closed-cell aluminium (Al) foam were investigated by finite element method. Micromechanical models were constructed with a repeating unit-cell (RUC) which was sectioned from tetrakaidecahedra structure. Using this RUC, three Al foam models with different cell-sizes (large, medium and small) and all of same density, were built. These three different cell-size pieces of foam occupy the same volume and their domains contained 8, 27 and 64 RUCs respectively. However, the smaller cell-size foam has larger surface area to volume ratio compared to other two. Mechanical behaviour was modelled under uniaxial loading. All three aggregates (3D arrays of RUCs) of different cell-sizes showed an elastic region at the initial stage, then followed by a plateau, and finally, a densification region. The smaller cell size foam exhibited a higher peak-stress and a greater densification strain comparing other two cell-sizes investigated. It was demonstrated that energy absorption capabilities of smaller cell-size foams was higher compared to the larger cell-sizes examined.