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Concept: Shock absorber


Abstract -  Aim: Experimental materials incorporating fiberglass cloth were used to develop a thin and lightweight face guard (FG). This study aims to evaluate the effect of fiberglass reinforcement on the flexural and shock absorption properties compared with conventional thermoplastic materials. Material and Method: Four commercial 3.2-mm and 1.6-mm medical splint materials (Aquaplast, Polyform, Co-polymer, and Erkodur) and two experimental materials were examined for use in FGs. The experimental materials were prepared by embedding two or four sheets of a plain woven fiberglass cloth on both surfaces of 1.5-mm Aquaplast. The flexural strength and flexural modulus were determined using a three-point bending test. The shock absorption properties were evaluated for a 5200-N impact load using the first peak intensity with a load cell system and the maximum stress with a film sensor system. Results and Conclusions: The flexural strength (74.6 MPa) and flexural modulus (6.3 GPa) of the experimental material with four sheets were significantly greater than those of the 3.2-mm commercial specimens, except for the flexural strength of one product. The first peak intensity (515 N) and maximum stress (2.2 MPa) of the experimental material with four sheets were significantly lower than those of the commercial 3.2-mm specimens, except for one product for each property. These results suggest that the thickness and weight of the FG can be reduced using the experimental fiber-reinforced material.

Concepts: Thermoplastic, Shock absorber, Tensile strength, Pascal, Shock, Material, Young's modulus, Materials science


α-Actinins, a family of critical cytoskeletal actin-binding proteins that usually exist as anti-parallel dimers, play crucial roles in organizing the framework of the cytoskeleton through crosslinking the actin filaments, as well as in focal adhesion maturation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying its functions are unclear. Here, by mechanical manipulation of single human α-actinin 1 using magnetic tweezers, we determined the mechanical stability and kinetics of the functional domains in α-actinin 1. Moreover, we identified the force-dependence of vinculin binding to α-actinin 1, with the demonstration that force is required to expose the high-affinity binding site for vinculin binding. Further, a role of the α-actinin 1 as molecular shock absorber for the cytoskeleton network is revealed. Our results provide a comprehensive analysis of the force-dependent stability and interactions of α-actinin 1, which sheds important light on the molecular mechanisms underlying its mechanotransmission and mechanosensing functions.

Concepts: Cell biology, Focal adhesion, Shock absorber, Myosin, Vinculin, Cytoskeleton, Actin, Protein


Resistive patch array incorporating with metallic backplane provided an effective way to achieve broadband metamaterial absorbers (MAs) in microwave frequency, and the outstanding construction contributed more flexible and diversified broadband absorption. In this paper, we attempted to load metallic resonators (MRs) to three-dimensional resistive MA to further enhance the lower-frequency absorption performance. Simulation showed that the partial absorption peak was separated to the lower frequency, while the rest of broadband absorption was unaffected. Meanwhile, after combining multi-unit of the proposed MAs, the stair-stepping broadband absorption was also achieved. Finally, three samples were fabricated. The agreements between simulations and experimental results demonstrated that resistive MA loaded with MRs provided an effective way for further enhancement of lower-frequency absorption with almost no change of the absorbing structure and lightweight characteristic. Thus, it was worthy to expect a wide range of applications to emerge inspired from the proposed attempt.

Concepts: Microwave oven, Shock absorber, Electromagnetic radiation, Microwave, Simulation, Optics, Acoustics, Electromagnetism


Surfing with transfemoral knee prosthesis requires flexion of the hip, knee, and ankle and balance between flexibility and stiffness of the prosthetic limb. We report on Mr D, a transfemoral amputee, who wanted to surf again. Case Description and Methods: Technical specifications were based on Mr D’s complaint. The prosthesis is salt water resistant and combines a shock absorber associated with elastic tendons to permit the knee to bend easily and to facilitate eccentric braking. Surfing was observed using videos of movements and subjective analysis of compensations. Findings and Outcomes: Mr D uses this prosthesis for surfing with good results and got back to his former level using compensations. During the takeoff, he cannot shorten his left leg. He makes a circumduction movement to put his leg in front of the board.

Concepts: Human leg, Shock absorber, Prosthetics, C-Leg, Amputation, Prosthesis


Low fresh gas flows (FGFs) decrease the use of anesthetic gases, but increase CO2 absorbent usage. CO2 absorbent usage remains poorly quantified. The goal of this study is to determine canister life of 8 commercially available CO2 absorbent prepacks with the Zeus®. Pre-packed CO2 canisters of 8 different brands were tested in vitro: Amsorb Plus, Spherasorb, LoFloSorb, LithoLyme, SpiraLith, SpheraSorb, Drägersorb 800+, Drägersorb Free, and CO2ntrol. CO2 (160 mL min- 1) flowed into the tip of a 2 L breathing bag that was ventilated with a tidal volume of 500 mL, a respiratory rate of 10/min, and an I:E ratio of 1:1 using the controlled mechanical ventilation mode of the Zeus® (Dräger, Lubeck, Germany). In part I, canister life of 5 canisters each of 2 different lots of each brand was determined with a 350 mL min- 1 FGF. Canister life is the time it takes for the inspired CO2 concentration (FICO2) to rise to 0.5%. In part II, canister life was measured accross a FGF range of 0.25 to 4 L min- 1 for Drägersorb 800+ (2 lots) and SpiraLith (1 lot). In part III, the calculated canister life per 100 g fresh granule content of the different brands was compared between the Zeus and (previously published data for) the Aisys. In vitro canister life of prefilled CO2 absorber canisters differed between brands, and depended on the amount of CO2 absorbent and chemical composition. Canister life expressed as FCU0.5 (the fraction of the canister used per hour) was proportional to FGF over 0.2-2 L min-1 range only, but was non-linear with higher FGF: FCU0.5 was larger than expected with FGF > 2 L min-1, and even with FGF > minute ventilation FCU0.5 did not become zero, indicating some CO2 was being absorbed. Canister life on a per weight basis of the same brand is higher with the Zeus than the Aisys. Canister life of prefilled CO2 absorber canisters differs between brands. The FCU0.5-FGF relationship is not linear across the entire FGF range. Canister life of prepacks of the same brand for the Zeus and Aisys differs, the exact etiology of which is probably multifactorial, and may include differences in the absolute amount of absorbent and different rebreathing characteristics of the machines.

Concepts: Brand, Canister, Carbon dioxide, Graphic design, Respiratory physiology, Shock absorber, Mechanical ventilation


Nurses and other NHS staff have become ‘shock absorbers’ for a health service under chronic strain, according to a report.

Concepts: Shock, Health care, Medicine, Shock absorber


Hedgehogs are agile climbers, scaling trees and plants to heights exceeding 10m while foraging insects. Hedgehog spines (a.k.a. quills) provide fall protection by absorbing shock and could offer insights for the design of lightweight, material-efficient, impact-resistant structures. There has been some study of flexural properties of hedgehog spines, but an understanding of how this keratinous biological material is affected by various temperature and relative humidity treatments, or how spine color (multicolored vs. white) affects mechanics, is lacking. To bridge this gap in the literature, we use three-point bending to analyze the effect of temperature, humidity, spine color, and their interactions on flexural strength and modulus of hedgehog spines. We also compare specific strength and stiffness of hedgehog spines to conventional engineered materials. We find hedgehog spine flexural properties can be finely tuned by modifying environmental conditioning parameters. White spines tend to be stronger and stiffer than multicolored spines. Finally, for most temperature and humidity conditioning parameters, hedgehog spines are ounce for ounce stronger than 201 stainless steel rods of the same diameter but as pliable as styrene rods with a slightly larger diameter. This unique combination of strength and elasticity makes hedgehog spines exemplary shock absorbers, and a suitable reference model for biomimicry.

Concepts: Humidity, Stiffness, Specific strength, Hedgehog, Relative humidity, Shock absorber, Physical quantities, Materials science


The intervertebral discs (IVDs) provide unique flexibility to the spine and exceptional shock absorbing properties under impact. The inner core of the IVD, the nucleus pulposus (NP) is responsible for this adaptive behavior. Herein we evaluate an injectable, self-healing dynamic hydrogel (DH) based on gold(I)-thiolate/disulfide (Au-S/SS) exchange as NP replacement on ex-vivo models. For the first time we report the application of dynamic covalent hydrogels inside biological tissues. The dynamic exchange between Au-S species and disulfide bonds (SS) resulted in self-healing ability and frequency-dependent stiffness of the hydrogel, which was also confirmed in spine motion segments. Injection of DH into nucleotomized IVDs restored the biomechanical properties of intact IVDs, including the stiffening effect observed at increasing frequencies. DH has the potential to counteract IVD degeneration associated with high frequency vibrations. The persistence of DH in the IVD space following cyclic high-frequency loading, confirmed by tomography after mechanical testing, suggests that this material would have long life span as NP replacement material.

Concepts: High frequency, Shock absorber, The Spine, Spinal disc herniation, Frequency, Intervertebral disc, Shock, Disulfide bond


The periodontal ligament (PDL) connects the tooth root and alveolar bone. It is an aligned fibrous network that is interposed between, and anchored to, both mineralized surfaces. Periodontal disease is common and reduces the ability of the PDL to act as a shock absorber, a barrier for pathogens and a sensor of mastication. Although disease progression can be stopped, current therapies do not primarily focus on tissue regeneration. Functional regeneration of PDL may be achieved using innovative techniques, such as tissue engineering. However, the complex fibrillar architecture of the PDL, essential to withstand high forces, makes PDL tissue engineering very challenging. This challenge may be met by studying PDL anatomy and development. Understanding PDL anatomy, development and maintenance provides clues regarding the specific events that need to be mimicked for the formation of this intricate tissue. Owing to the specific composition of the PDL, which develops by self-organization, a different approach than the typical combination of biomaterials, growth factors and regenerative cells is necessary for functional PDL engineering. Most specifically, the architecture of the new PDL to be formed does not need to be dictated by textured biomaterials but can emerge from the local mechanical loading conditions. Elastic hydrogels are optimal to fill the space properly between tooth and bone, may house cells and growth factors to enhance regeneration and allow self-optimization by the alignment to local stresses. We suggest that cells and materials should be placed in a proper mechanical environment to initiate a process of self-organization resulting in a functional architecture of the PDL.

Concepts: Engineering, Ligament, Liver, Developmental biology, Periodontal ligament, Periodontology, Shock absorber, Cellular differentiation


The long-term chemical instability and the presence of toxic Pb in otherwise stellar solar absorber APbX3 made of organic molecules on the A site and halogens for X have hindered their large-scale commercialization. Previously explored ways to achieve Pb-free halide perovskites involved replacing Pb(2+) with other similar M(2+) cations in ns(2) electron configuration, e.g., Sn(2+) or by Bi(3+) (plus Ag(+)), but unfortunately this showed either poor stability (M = Sn) or weakly absorbing oversized indirect gaps (M = Bi), prompting concerns that perhaps stability and good optoelectronic properties might be contraindicated. Herein, we exploit the electronic structure underpinning of classic Cu[In,Ga]Se2 (CIGS) chalcopyrite solar absorbers to design Pb-free halide perovskites by transmuting 2Pb to the pair [B(IB) + C(III)] such as [Cu + Ga] or [Ag + In] and combinations thereof. The resulting group of double perovskites with formula A2BCX6 (A = K, Rb, Cs; B = Cu, Ag; C = Ga, In; X = Cl, Br, I) benefits from the ionic, yet narrow-gap character of halide perovskites, and at the same time borrows the advantage of the strong and rapidly rising Cu(d)/Se(p)→Ga/In(s/p) valence-to-conduction-band absorption spectra known from CIGS. This constitutes a new group of CuIn-based Halide Perovskite (CIHP). Our first-principles calculations guided by such design principles indicate that the CIHPs class has members with clear thermodynamic stability, showing rather strong direct-gap optical transitions, and manifesting a wide-range of tunable gap values (from zero to about 2.5 eV) and combination of light electron and heavy-light hole effective masses. Materials screening of candidate CIHPs then identifies the best-of-class Rb2[CuIn]Cl6, Rb2[AgIn]Br6, and Cs2[AgIn]Br6, having direct band gaps of 1.36, 1.46, and 1.50 eV, and theoretical spectroscopic limited maximal efficiency comparable to chalcopyrites and CH3NH3PbI3. Our finding offers new routine for designing new-type Pb-free halide perovskite solar absorbers.

Concepts: Atom, Shock absorber, Spectroscopy, Perovskite, Halogen, Absorption, Atomic orbital, Electron configuration