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  1. A novel kind of seismic isolation technique called “Periodic Barriers,” which combines trench-type wave barriers and metamaterial, is introduced in this research. Metamaterial possesses a unique frequency-selective property that enables the metamaterial to manipulate the wave propagation. By infilling the metamaterials in the trench-type wave barriers, the periodic barriers are expected to display advantages of both the wave barriers and the metamaterials. The two-dimensional (2D) finite-element (FE) simulation is conducted to study the performance of the barriers adapting the metamaterial. This FE model is validated with the experiment on the metamaterial-based foundation. The convergence test on mesh size with differentmore »element types are investigated, and the minimum mesh size and property element type are determined for simulating the behavior of metamaterial. To simulate the unbounded domain, the absorbing boundary is implemented to eliminate the reflection from the boundaries. The dynamic responses obtained from models with infinite element boundary and viscoelastic boundary are found to converge with the increasing model size. To boost the computing efficiency, two analysis methods (fix-frequency harmonic analysis, and the time-history analysis) are adopted and found to have a strong correlation with each other. Based on the proposed modeling techniques and the analysis methods, the simulation of the periodic barriers embedded in the soil is performed.With various loading distance and the number of periodic barriers, the performance of the periodic barriers is found to comply with its theoretical frequency band gaps.« less
  2. Introduction: The plasma membrane protects a cell from the extracellular environment. As such it presents an obstacle that therapeutics needs to traverse in order to achieve efficacy. For example, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) need to be delivered to the cytoplasm, where they can interact with the RNA interference machinery and initiate gene silencing. However, these macromolecules have poor membrane permeability, largely limiting their therapeutic potential. To address this challenge, current strategies involve encapsulating siRNAs into nanoparticles. However, upon cellular uptake, these nanoparticles are trapped in endosomes, which lack access to the cytoplasm. Towards developing an alternative strategy that provides directmore »access to the cytoplasm, we have been inspired by the unique capabilities of gap junctions to establish passageways between the cytoplasm of neighboring cells. Specifically, six connexins hexamerize to form a connexon hemichannel. Two hemichannels from neighboring cells dock to each other to form a complete gap junction channel, facilitating the exchange of molecular cargoes such as ions and siRNA. Therefore, incorporating the gap junction network into therapeutic delivery materials has the potential to enhance the delivery efficiency of siRNAs by directly depositing siRNAs into the cytoplasm.« less
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  5. Abstract We search for gravitational-wave signals associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi and Swift satellites during the second half of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 November 1 15:00 UTC–2020 March 27 17:00 UTC). We conduct two independent searches: a generic gravitational-wave transients search to analyze 86 GRBs and an analysis to target binary mergers with at least one neutron star as short GRB progenitors for 17 events. We find no significant evidence for gravitational-wave signals associated with any of these GRBs. A weighted binomial test of the combined results finds nomore »evidence for subthreshold gravitational-wave signals associated with this GRB ensemble either. We use several source types and signal morphologies during the searches, resulting in lower bounds on the estimated distance to each GRB. Finally, we constrain the population of low-luminosity short GRBs using results from the first to the third observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. The resulting population is in accordance with the local binary neutron star merger rate.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  7. Intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) span the approximate mass range 100−10 5   M ⊙ , between black holes (BHs) that formed by stellar collapse and the supermassive BHs at the centers of galaxies. Mergers of IMBH binaries are the most energetic gravitational-wave sources accessible by the terrestrial detector network. Searches of the first two observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo did not yield any significant IMBH binary signals. In the third observing run (O3), the increased network sensitivity enabled the detection of GW190521, a signal consistent with a binary merger of mass ∼150  M ⊙ providing direct evidencemore »of IMBH formation. Here, we report on a dedicated search of O3 data for further IMBH binary mergers, combining both modeled (matched filter) and model-independent search methods. We find some marginal candidates, but none are sufficiently significant to indicate detection of further IMBH mergers. We quantify the sensitivity of the individual search methods and of the combined search using a suite of IMBH binary signals obtained via numerical relativity, including the effects of spins misaligned with the binary orbital axis, and present the resulting upper limits on astrophysical merger rates. Our most stringent limit is for equal mass and aligned spin BH binary of total mass 200  M ⊙ and effective aligned spin 0.8 at 0.056 Gpc −3 yr −1 (90% confidence), a factor of 3.5 more constraining than previous LIGO-Virgo limits. We also update the estimated rate of mergers similar to GW190521 to 0.08 Gpc −3 yr −1 .« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023