Contact line dynamics of pulsatile fluid interfaces modulated by patterned substrates
Flores Gerónimo J. ;Hernández-Machado A.;Corvera Poiré E.
PHYSICS OF FLUIDS
We study the dynamics of microfluidic fronts driven by pulsatile pressures in the presence of patches of hydrophilic wetting on the walls of the confining media. To do so, we use a recently developed phase-field model that takes inertia into account. We track the interface position in channels with different spacing between the patches and observe that the smaller the spacing, the faster the advancement of the front. We find that the wetting patterning induces a modulating dynamics of the contact line that causes an effective wetting, which in turn determines the modulation of the interface velocity. We characterize the modulation frequency in terms of wetting pattern, inertia, and surface tension, via the capillary pressure, viscosity, and confinement.
Hydrodynamic synchronization and clustering in ratcheting colloidal matter
Leyva, Sergi G.a, b;Stoop, Ralph L.a;Pagonabarraga, Ignacioa, b, c;Tierno, Pietro
Ratchet transport systems are widespread in physics and biology; however, the effect of the dispersing medium in the collective dynamics of these out-of-equilibrium systems has been often overlooked. We show that, in a traveling wave magnetic ratchet, long-range hydrodynamic interactions (HIs) produce a series of remarkable phenomena on the transport and assembly of interacting Brownian particles. We demonstrate that HIs induce the resynchronization with the traveling wave that emerges as a “speed-up” effect, characterized by a net raise of the translational speed, which doubles that of single particles. When competing with dipolar forces and the underlying substrate symmetry, HIs promote the formation of clusters that grow perpendicular to the driving direction. We support our findings both with Langevin dynamics and with a theoretical model that accounts for the fluid-mediated interactions. Our work illustrates the role of the dispersing medium on the dynamics of driven colloidal matter and unveils the growing process and cluster morphologies above a periodic substrate.
Analysis of co-isogenic prion protein deficient mice reveals behavioral deficits, learning impairment, and enhanced hippocampal excitability
Matamoros-Angles A. ;Hervera A. ; Soriano J. ;Martí E. ;Carulla P. ;Llorens F. ;Nuvolone M.l, ;Aguzzi A.l; Ferrer I. ;Gruart A. ;Delgado-García J.M. ; Del Río J.A.
Background: Cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a cell surface GPI-anchored protein, usually known for its role in the pathogenesis of human and animal prionopathies. However, increasing knowledge about the participation of PrPC in prion pathogenesis contrasts with puzzling data regarding its natural physiological role. PrPC is expressed in a number of tissues, including at high levels in the nervous system, especially in neurons and glial cells, and while previous studies have established a neuroprotective role, conflicting evidence for a synaptic function has revealed both reduced and enhanced long-term potentiation, and variable observations on memory, learning, and behavior. Such evidence has been confounded by the absence of an appropriate knock-out mouse model to dissect the biological relevance of PrPC, with some functions recently shown to be misattributed to PrPC due to the presence of genetic artifacts in mouse models. Here we elucidate the role of PrPC in the hippocampal circuitry and its related functions, such as learning and memory, using a recently available strictly co-isogenic Prnp0/0 mouse model (PrnpZH3/ZH3). Results: We performed behavioral and operant conditioning tests to evaluate memory and learning capabilities, with results showing decreased motility, impaired operant conditioning learning, and anxiety-related behavior in PrnpZH3/ZH3 animals. We also carried in vivo electrophysiological recordings on CA3-CA1 synapses in living behaving mice and monitored spontaneous neuronal firing and network formation in primary neuronal cultures of PrnpZH3/ZH3 vs wildtype mice. PrPC absence enhanced susceptibility to high-intensity stimulations and kainate-induced seizures. However, long-term potentiation (LTP) was not enhanced in the PrnpZH3/ZH3 hippocampus. In addition, we observed a delay in neuronal maturation and network formation in PrnpZH3/ZH3 cultures. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that PrPC promotes neuronal network formation and connectivity. PrPC mediates synaptic function and protects the synapse from excitotoxic insults. Its deletion may underlie an epileptogenic-susceptible brain that fails to perform highly cognitive-demanding tasks such as associative learning and anxiety-like behaviors
Characterization and Evolution of Mental Health Problems Attended to in a Telephone Helpline During the Lockdown and De-Escalation by COVID-19
Pérez-González, Alba ;Benítez-Borrego, Sonia ;Garcia-Sicard, Jordi ;Cuartero, Andrés ;Ruiz-Torras, Silvia ;Guàrdia-Olmos, Joan
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Objectives: To picture the psychological impact on the general population consulting the Emergency Medical System (EMS) of Catalonia for psychological assistance due to the COVID-19. Methods: Calls received to the 061 emergency phone number between the months of March and June 2020 (period of lockdown and de-escalation) were analyzed. The reason, most prevalent psychological symptoms, presence of psychological antecedents, and type of intervention that was carried out were analyzed. Results: A total of 2,516 calls were analyzed. Weeks 6, 7, 8 and 9 of lockdown saw the highest volume of calls (298, 314, 282 and 290 daily calls, respectively). The main profile of the affected person was women, under the age of 50 who are responsible for others. Psychologically, they present symptoms of depression (7.33%) and anxiety (39.44%). The greatest impacts on mental health throughout lockdown seem to be related to an increase of interpersonal conflict (8.8% < 11.2%), work-related problems (1.7% < 4.6%), and problems of psychological distress (6.5% < 17.0%). Conclusion: The information obtained enables us to better understand the possible evolution of the impacts on mental health derived from the lockdown.
Glass-Based Devices to Generate Drops and Emulsions
Guerrero, Josefa .;Rojo, Javier ;de La Cotte, Alexis ;Vila, Enric ;Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto
Journal of Visualized Experiments
In this manuscript, three different step-by-step protocols to generate highly monodisperse emulsion drops using glass-based microfluidics are described. The first device is built for the generation of simple drops driven by gravity. The second device is designed to generate emulsion drops in a coflowing scheme. The third device is an extension of the coflowing device with the addition of a third liquid that acts as an electric ground, allowing the formation of electrified drops that subsequently discharge. In this setup, two of the three liquids have an appreciable electrical conductivity. The third liquid mediates between these two and is a dielectric. A voltage difference applied between the two conducting liquids creates an electric field that couples with hydrodynamic stresses of the coflowing liquids, affecting the jet and drop formation process. The addition of the electric field provides a path to generate smaller drops than in simple coflow devices and for generating particles and fibers with a wide range of sizes.
Maximizing friction by liquid flow clogging in confinement
Chen, Shan; Guo, Zhenjiang ;Zhang, Hongguang ;Pagonabarraga, Ignacio .;Zhang, Xianren
EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL
In the nanoscale regime, flow behaviors for liquids show qualitative deviations from bulk expectations. In this work, we reveal by molecular dynamics simulations that plug flow down to nanoscale induces molecular friction that leads to a new flow structure due to the molecular clogging of the encaged liquid. This plug-like nanoscale liquid flow shows several features differ from the macroscopic plug flow and Poiseuille flow: It leads to enhanced liquid/solid friction, producing a friction of several order of magnitude larger than that of Couette flow; the friction enhancement is sensitively dependent of the liquid column length and the wettability of the solid substrates; it leads to the local compaction of liquid molecules that may induce solidification phenomenon for a long liquid column.
Temporal mapping of derived high-frequency gene variants supports the mosaic nature of the evolution of Homo sapiens
Andirkó, Alejandro, Moriano, Juan ; Vitriolo, Alessandro, ;Kuhlwilm, Martinf, ;Testa, Giuseppe, ; Boeckx, Cedric
Large-scale estimations of the time of emergence of variants are essential to examine hypotheses concerning human evolution with precision. Using an open repository of genetic variant age estimations, we offer here a temporal evaluation of various evolutionarily relevant datasets, such as Homo sapiens-specific variants, high-frequency variants found in genetic windows under positive selection, introgressed variants from extinct human species, as well as putative regulatory variants specific to various brain regions. We find a recurrent bimodal distribution of high-frequency variants, but also evidence for specific enrichments of gene categories in distinct time windows, pointing to different periods of phenotypic changes, resulting in a mosaic. With a temporal classification of genetic mutations in hand, we then applied a machine learning tool to predict what genes have changed more in certain time windows, and which tissues these genes may have impacted more. Overall, we provide a fine-grained temporal mapping of derived variants in Homo sapiens that helps to illuminate the intricate evolutionary history of our species.
From motility-induced phase-separation to glassiness in dense active matter
Paoluzzi, Matteo ;Levis, Demian ;Pagonabarraga, Ignacio
Dense active systems are widespread in nature, examples range from bacterial colonies to biological tissues. Dense clusters of active particles can be obtained by increasing the packing fraction of the system or taking advantage of a peculiar phenomenon named motility-induced phase separation (MIPS). In this work, we explore the phase diagram of a two-dimensional model of active glass and show that disordered active materials develop a rich collective behaviour encompassing both MIPS and glassiness. We find that, although the glassy state is almost indistinguishable from that of equilibrium glasses, the mechanisms leading to its fluidization do not have any equilibrium counterpart. Our results can be rationalized in terms of a crossover between a low-activity regime, where glassy dynamics is controlled by an effective temperature, and a high-activity regime, which drives the system towards MIPS. © 2022, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.
Scale-free behavioral cascades and effective leadership in schooling fish
Múgica, Julia;Torrents, Jordi ; Cristín, Javier ;Puy, Andreu; Miguel, M. Carmen,; Pastor-Satorras, Romualdo
Behavioral contagion and the presence of behavioral cascades are natural features in groups of animals showing collective motion, such as schooling fish or grazing herbivores. Here we study empirical behavioral cascades observed in fish schools defined as avalanches of consecutive large changes in the heading direction of the trajectory of fish. In terms of a minimum turning angle introduced to define a large change, avalanches are characterized by distributions of size and duration showing scale-free signatures, reminiscent of self-organized critical behavior. We observe that avalanches are generally triggered by a small number of fish, which act as effective leaders that induce large rearrangements of the group’s trajectory. This observation motivates the proposal of a simple model, based in the classical Vicsek model of collective motion, in which a given individual acts as a leader subject to random heading reorientations. The model reproduces qualitatively the empirical avalanche behavior observed in real schools, and hints towards a connection between effective leadership, long range interactions and avalanche behavior in collective movement.
Reconstructing Mesolithic social networks on the Iberian Peninsula using ornaments
Cucart-Mora, Carolina;Gómez-Puche, Magdalenaa;Romano, Valéria ;de Pablo, Javier Fernández-López .;Lozano, Sergi
ARCHEOLOGICAL AND ANTROPOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Archaeologists have been reconstructing interactions amongst hunter-gatherer populations for a long time. These exchanges are materialised in the movements of raw materials and symbolic objects which are found far from their original sources. Social network, i.e. the structure constituted by these interactions, is a well-established concept in archaeology that is used to address the connectivity of hunter-gatherer populations. The heuristic potential of formal network analysis, however, has been scarcely exploited in prehistoric hunter-gatherer archaeology. Here, social network analysis is used to analyse the interactions amongst hunter-gatherers on the Iberian Peninsula in the Early and Late Mesolithic (10,200 to 7600 cal BP). We used ornaments to explore social interaction and constructed one network per phase of the Iberian Mesolithic. We applied a three-steps analysis: First, we characterised the overall structure of the networks. Second, we performed centrality analysis to uncover the most relevant nodes. Finally, we conducted an exploratory analysis of the networks’ spatial characteristics. No significant differences were found between the overall network topology of the Early and Late Mesolithic. This suggests that the interaction patterns amongst human groups did not change significantly at a peninsular scale. Moreover, the spatial analysis showed that most interactions between human groups took place over distances under 300 km, but that specific ornament types like Columbella rustica were distributed over more extensive distances. Our findings suggest that Iberian Mesolithic social networks were maintained through a period of environmental, demographic and cultural transformation and that interactions took place at different scales of social integration.
Breaking action-reaction with active apolar colloids: emergent transport and velocity inversion
Codina, Joan ;Massana-Cid, Helena ;Tierno, Pietro ;Pagonabarraga, Ignacio
Artificial active particles are autonomous agents able to convert energy from the environment into net propulsion, breaking detailed balance and the action-reaction law, clear signatures of their out-of-equilibrium nature. Here we investigate the emergence of directed motion in clusters composed of passive and catalytically active apolar colloids. We use a light-induced chemophoretic flow to rapidly assemble hybrid self-propelling clusters composed of hematite particles and passive silica spheres. By increasing the size of the passive cargo, we observe a reversal in the transport direction of the pair. We explain this complex yet rich phenomenon using a theoretical model which accounts for the generated chemical field and its coupling with the surrounding medium. We exploit further our technique to build up more complex, chemically driven, architectures capable of carrying several passive or active species, that quickly assemble and disassemble under light control
Moving beyond domain-specific versus domain-general options in cognitive neuroscience
Asano, Rie .;Boeckx, Cedric ;Fujita, Kojie
Comparative research on language, music, and action in cognitive neuroscience keeps finding evidence for both shared and non-shared components of cognitive systems. The discussions, then, tend to quickly fall into the sterile dichotomy between domain-specific versus domain-general options. In this position paper, we take issue with this dichotomy and argue for an alternative account based on neural reuse theories to understand findings on the relationship between language, music, and action. We argue that the differences between those cognitive systems can be explained in terms of the specialization of the same brain mechanism(s) for each domain, which emerges in the course of development and/or evolution.
A lattice Boltzmann model for self-diffusiophoretic particles near and at liquid-liquid interfaces
Palacios, Lucas S.; Scagliarini, Andrea ;Pagonabarraga, Ignacio
JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS
We introduce a novel mesoscopic computational model based on a multiphase-multicomponent lattice Boltzmann method for the simulation of self-phoretic particles in the presence of liquid-liquid interfaces. Our model features fully resolved solvent hydrodynamics, and, thanks to its versatility, it can handle important aspects of the multiphysics of the problem, including particle wettability and differential solubility of the product in the two liquid phases. The method is extensively validated in simple numerical experiments, whose outcome is theoretically predictable, and then applied to the study of the behavior of active particles next to and trapped at interfaces. We show that their motion can be variously steered by tuning relevant control parameters, such as the phoretic mobilities, the contact angle, and the product solubility.
Pulsatile parallel flow of air and a viscoelastic fluid with multiple characteristic times. An application to mucus in the trachea and the frequency of cough
De La Guerra, Pablo Alberto ;Corvera Poiré E.
JOURNAL OF PHYSICS CONDENSED MATTER
We study the dynamics of a binary fluid, where the two fluids are flowing parallel to each other in a cylindrical geometry, and driven by a pulsatile pressure gradient. One of the fluids is a low viscosity Newtonian fluid, the other one is viscoelastic. In order to be able to apply the model to different biofluids, we consider that the viscoelastic fluid has several characteristic times. We characterize the dynamics of the fluids as generalized Darcy's laws, with linear response functions to pulsatile pressure gradients, whose parameters are coupled for both fluids through the fluid-fluid boundary conditions. We apply our results to the dynamics of mucus and air in the trachea and find that the frequency that allows for a larger movement of the mucus, coincides with the experimental frequency of cough. This allows us to propose a plausible explanation for the frequency of cough in healthy individuals, a mechanical process to expel noxious substances from the respiratory system.
Impact of dipole-dipole interactions on motility-induced phase separation
Sesé-Sansa, Elena; Liao, Guo-Jun ;Levis, Demian ;Pagonabarraga, Ignacio ;Klapp, Sabine H. L.
We present a hydrodynamic theory for systems of dipolar active Brownian particles which, in the regime of weak dipolar coupling, predicts the onset of motility-induced phase separation (MIPS), consistent with Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations. The hydrodynamic equations are derived by explicitly coarse-graining the microscopic Langevin dynamics, thus allowing for a mapping of the coarse-grained model and particle-resolved simulations. Performing BD simulations at fixed density, we find that dipolar interactions tend to hinder MIPS, as first reported in [Liao et al., Soft Matter, 2020, 16, 2208]. Here we demonstrate that the theoretical approach indeed captures the suppression of MIPS. Moreover, the analysis of the numerically obtained, angle-dependent correlation functions sheds light into the underlying microscopic mechanisms leading to the destabilization of the homogeneous phase.
BRAVO self-confined expression through WOX5 in the Arabidopsis root stem-cell niche
Mercadal, Josep ;Betegón-Putze, Isabel ;Bosch, Nadj; Caño-Delgado, Ana ;Ibañes, Marta
In animals and plants, stem-cell niches are local microenvironments that are tightly regulated to preserve their unique identity while communicating with adjacent cells that will give rise to specialized cell types. In the primary root of Arabidopsis thaliana, two transcription factors, BRAVO and WOX5, among others, are expressed in the stem-cell niche. Intriguingly, BRAVO, a repressor of quiescent center divisions, confines its own gene expression to the stem-cell niche, as evidenced in a bravo mutant background. Here, we propose through mathematical modeling that BRAVO confines its own expression domain to the stem-cell niche by attenuating a WOX5-dependent diffusible activator of BRAVO. This negative feedback drives WOX5 activity to be spatially restricted as well. The results show that WOX5 diffusion and sequestration by binding to BRAVO are sufficient to drive the experimentally observed confined BRAVO expression at the stem-cell niche. We propose that the attenuation of a diffusible activator can be a general mechanism acting at other stem-cell niches to spatially confine genetic activity to a small region while maintaining signaling within them and with the surrounding cells.
Collective motion of run-And-Tumble repulsive and attractive particles in one-dimensional systems
Gutiérrez, C. Miguel Barriuso ;Vanhille-Campos, Christian ;Alarcón, Francisco ;Pagonabarraga, Ignacio ;Brito, Ricardo ;Valeriani, Chantal
Active matter deals with systems whose particles consume energy at the individual level in order to move. To unravel features such as the emergence of collective structures, several models have been suggested, such as the on-lattice model of run-And-Tumble particles implemented via the persistent exclusion process (PEP). In our work, we study a one-dimensional system of run-And-Tumble repulsive or attractive particles, both on-lattice and off-lattice. Additionally, we implement cluster motility dynamics in the on-lattice case (since in the off-lattice case, cluster motility arises from the individual particle dynamics). While we observe important differences between discrete and continuous dynamics, few common features are of particular importance. Increasing particle density drives aggregation across all different systems explored. For non-Attractive particles, the effects of particle activity on aggregation are largely independent of the details of the dynamics. In contrast, once attractive interactions are introduced, the steady-state, which is completely determined by the interplay between these and the particles' activity, becomes highly dependent on the details of the dynamics.
Involvement of Mechanical Cues in the Migration of Cajal-Retzius Cells in the Marginal Zone During Neocortical Development
López-Mengual, Ana ;Segura-Feliu, Miriam ;Sunyer, Raimon ;Sanz-Fraile, Héctor ;Otero, Jorge ;Mesquida-Veny, Francina ;Gil, Vanessa ;Hervera, Arnau ;Ferrer, Isidre ;Soriano, Jordi ;Trepat, Xavier ;Farré, Ramon
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Emerging evidence points to coordinated action of chemical and mechanical cues during brain development. At early stages of neocortical development, angiogenic factors and chemokines such as CXCL12, ephrins, and semaphorins assume crucial roles in orchestrating neuronal migration and axon elongation of postmitotic neurons. Here we explore the intrinsic mechanical properties of the developing marginal zone of the pallium in the migratory pathways and brain distribution of the pioneer Cajal-Retzius cells. These neurons are generated in several proliferative regions in the developing brain (e.g., the cortical hem and the pallial subpallial boundary) and migrate tangentially in the preplate/marginal zone covering the upper portion of the developing cortex. These cells play crucial roles in correct neocortical layer formation by secreting several molecules such as Reelin. Our results indicate that the motogenic properties of Cajal-Retzius cells and their perinatal distribution in the marginal zone are modulated by both chemical and mechanical factors, by the specific mechanical properties of Cajal-Retzius cells, and by the differential stiffness of the migratory routes. Indeed, cells originating in the cortical hem display higher migratory capacities than those generated in the pallial subpallial boundary which may be involved in the differential distribution of these cells in the dorsal-lateral axis in the developing marginal zone.
Janssen effect in columns of fire ants
Anderson, Caleb J. ;Gibson, Pryor A. ;Fernandez-Nieves, Alberto
PHYSICAL REVIEW E
We study fire-ant columns, an active version of passive granular columns, and find that, despite the inherent activity of the ants and their natural tendency to rearrange, the ants develop force-chain structures that help support the weight of the column. Hence, the apparent mass at the bottom of the column saturates with added mass in a Janssen-like fashion, reminiscent of what is seen in passive-grain columns in wide containers. Activity-induced rearrangements within the column, however, lead to changes in the force-chain structure that slightly reduce the supportive nature of the force-chains over time and to fluctuations in the pressure at the bottom of the column that scale like the law of large numbers. We capture the experimental results in simulations that include not only friction with the walls, but also a fluctuating force that introduces activity and that effectively affects the force-chain structure of the ant collective.
From radial to unidirectional water pumping in zeta-potential modulated Nafion nanostructures
Esplandiu, María J. ;Reguera, David ;Romero-Guzmán, Daniel ;Gallardo-Moreno, Amparo M. ;Fraxedas, Jordi
Chemically propelled micropumps are promising wireless systems to autonomously drive fluid flows for many applications. However, many of these systems are activated by nocuous chemical fuels, cannot operate at high salt concentrations, or have difficulty for controlling flow directionality. In this work we report on a self-driven polymer micropump fueled by salt which can trigger both radial and unidirectional fluid flows. The micropump is based on the cation-exchanger Nafion, which produces chemical gradients and local electric fields capable to trigger interfacial electroosmotic flows. Unidirectional pumping is predicted by simulations and achieved experimentally by nanostructuring Nafion into microarrays with a fine tune modulation of surrounding surface zeta potentials. Nafion micropumps work in a wide range of salt concentrations, are reusable, and can be fueled by different salt cations. We demonstrate that they work with the common water-contaminant cadmium, using the own capture of this ion as fuel to drive fluid pumping. Thus, this system has potential for efficient and fast water purification strategies for environmental remediation. Unidirectional Nafion pumps also hold promise for effective analyte delivery or preconcentration for (bio)sensing assays
Dynamics of topological defects in the noisy Kuramoto model in two dimensions
Rouzaire, Ylann; Levis, Demian
FRONTIERS IN PHYSICS
We consider the two-dimensional (2D) noisy Kuramoto model of synchronization with short-range coupling and a Gaussian distribution of intrinsic frequencies, and investigate its ordering dynamics following a quench. We consider both underdamped (inertial) and over-damped dynamics, and show that the long-term properties of this intrinsically out-of-equilibrium system do not depend on the inertia of individual oscillators. The model does not exhibit any phase transition as its correlation length remains finite, scaling as the inverse of the standard deviation of the distribution of intrinsic frequencies. The quench dynamics proceeds via domain growth, with a characteristic length that initially follows the growth law of the 2D XY model, although is not given by the mean separation between defects. Topological defects are generically free, breaking the Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless scenario of the 2D XY model. Vortices perform a random walk reminiscent of the self-avoiding random walk, advected by the dynamic network of boundaries between synchronised domains; featuring long-time super-diffusion, with the anomalous exponent α = 3/2.
Onsager reciprocal relations and chemo-mechanical coupling for chemically active colloids
De Corato, Marco; Pagonabarraga, Ignacio
JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS
Similar to cells, bacteria, and other micro-organisms, synthetic chemically active colloids can harness the energy from their environment through a surface chemical reaction and use the energy to self-propel in fluidic environments. In this paper, we study the chemo-mechanical coupling that leads to the self-propulsion of chemically active colloids. The coupling between chemical reactions and momentum transport is a consequence of Onsager reciprocal relations. They state that the velocity and the surface reaction rate are related to mechanical and chemical affinities through a symmetric matrix. A consequence of Onsager reciprocal relations is that if a chemical reaction drives the motion of the colloid, then an external force generates a reaction rate. Here, we investigate Onsager reciprocal relations for a spherical active colloid that catalyzes a reversible surface chemical reaction between two species. We solve the relevant transport equations using a perturbation expansion and numerical simulations to demonstrate the validity of reciprocal relations around the equilibrium. Our results are consistent with previous studies and highlight the key role of solute advection in preserving the symmetry of the Onsager matrix. Finally, we show that Onsager reciprocal relations break down around a nonequilibrium steady state, which has implications for the thermal fluctuations of the active colloids used in experiments.
The long cross-over dynamics of capillary imbibition
Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Élfego ;Armstrong, Steven ;Lévêque, Simon ;Michel, Célestin ;Pagonabarraga, Ignacio ;Wells, Gary G. ;Hernández-Machado, Aurora ;Ledesma-Aguilar, Rodrigo
JOURNAL OF FLUID MECHANICS
Spontaneous capillary imbibition is a classical problem in interfacial fluid dynamics with a broad range of applications, from microfluidics to agriculture. Here we study the duration of the cross-over between an initial linear growth of the imbibition front to the diffusive-like growth limit of Washburn's law. We show that local-resistance sources, such as the inertial resistance and the friction caused by the advancing meniscus, always limit the motion of an imbibing front. Both effects give rise to a cross-over of the growth exponent between the linear and the diffusive-like regimes. We show how this cross-over is much longer than previously thought - even longer than the time it takes the liquid to fill the porous medium. Such slowly slowing-down dynamics is likely to cause similar long cross-over phenomena in processes governed by wetting.
Adsorption of amphiphilic grafted polymers as polymer corrosion inhibitors: insights from mesoscopic simulations
Díaz, Javier .;Soltau, Marko ;Lísal, Martin; Carbone, Paola ;Pagonabarraga, Ignacio
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
The homogeneous covering of amphiphillic polymer molecules onto metallic surfaces is of great importance for corrosion inhibitor applications. Lyophillic side chains grafted onto a lyophobic backbone act as anchors that allow the molecule to absorb at the metallic surface preventing the exposure with the solvent. Coarse-grained simulations are used to study the sorption and conformation behaviour of amphiphillic grafted polymers for corrosion inhibition. The backbone insolubility is found to play a key role in the sorption and conformation behaviour in the dilute limit. For finite concentrations, moderate backbone solubility and moderate molecule concentrations achieve optimal surface coverage, while highly a lyophobic backbone leads to bulk-like structures as a consequence of aggregation.
TASE: Task-Aware Speech Enhancement for Wake-Up Word Detection in Voice Assistants
Cámbara, Guillermo; López, Fernando; Bonet, David ;Gómez, Pablo ;Segura, Carlos ;Farrús, Mireia ;Luque, Jordi
Wake-up word spotting in noisy environments is a critical task for an excellent user experience with voice assistants. Unwanted activation of the device is often due to the presence of noises coming from background conversations, TVs, or other domestic appliances. In this work, we propose the use of a speech enhancement convolutional autoencoder, coupled with on-device keyword spotting, aimed at improving the trigger word detection in noisy environments. The end-to-end system learns by optimizing a linear combination of losses: a reconstruction-based loss, both at the log-mel spectrogram and at the waveform level, as well as a specific task loss that accounts for the cross-entropy error reported along the keyword spotting detection. We experiment with several neural network classifiers and report that deeply coupling the speech enhancement together with a wake-up word detector, e.g., by jointly training them, significantly improves the performance in the noisiest conditions. Additionally, we introduce a new publicly available speech database recorded for the Telefónica’s voice assistant, Aura. The OK Aura Wake-up Word Dataset incorporates rich metadata, such as speaker demographics or room conditions, and comprises hard negative examples that were studiously selected to present different levels of phonetic similarity with respect to the trigger words “OK Aura”.