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#### Faculty / Organisational entity

The fact that long fibre reinforced thermoplastic composites (LFT) have higher tensile
strength, modulus and even toughness, compared to short fibre reinforced
thermoplastics with the same fibre loading has been well documented in literature.
These are the underlying factors that have made LFT materials one of the most
rapidly growing sectors of plastics industry. New developments in manufacturing of
LFT composites have led to improvements in mechanical properties and price
reduction, which has made these materials an attractive choice as a replacement for
metals in automobile parts and other similar applications. However, there are still
several open scientific questions concerning the material selection leading to the
optimal property combinations. The present work is an attempt to clarify some of
these questions. The target was to develop tools that can be used to modify, or to
“tailor”, the properties of LFT composite materials, according to the requirements of
automobile and other applications.
The present study consisted of three separate case studies, focusing on the current
scientific issues on LFT material systems. The first part of this work was focused on
LGF reinforced thermoplastic styrenic resins. The target was to find suitable maleic
acid anhydride (MAH) based coupling agents in order to improve the fibre-matrix
interfacial strength, and, in this way, to develop an LGF concentrate suitable for
thermoplastic styrenic resins. It was shown that the mechanical properties of LGF
reinforced “styrenics” were considerably improved when a small amount of MAH
functionalised polymer was added to the matrix. This could be explained by the better fibre-matrix adhesion, revealed by scanning electron microscopy of fracture surfaces.
A novel LGF concentrate concept showed that one particular base material can be
used to produce parts with different mechanical and thermal properties by diluting the
fibre content with different types of thermoplastic styrenic resins. Therefore, this
concept allows a flexible production of parts, and it can be used in the manufacturing
of interior parts for automobile components.The second material system dealt with so called hybrid composites, consisting of
long glass fibre reinforced polypropylene (LGF-PP) and mineral fillers like calcium
carbonate and talcum. The aim was to get more information about the fracture
behaviour of such hybrid composites under tensile and impact loading, and to
observe the influence of the fillers on properties. It was found that, in general, the
addition of fillers in LGF-PP, increased stiffness but the strength and fracture
toughness were decreased. However, calcium carbonate and talcum fillers resulted
in different mechanical properties, when added to LGF-PP: better mechanical
properties were achieved by using talcum, compared to calcium carbonate. This
phenomenon could be explained by the different nucleation effect of these fillers,
which resulted in a different crystalline morphology of polypropylene, and by the
particle orientation during the processing when talc was used. Furthermore, the
acoustic emission study revealed that the fracture mode of LGF-PP changed when
calcium carbonate was added. The characteristic acoustic signals revealed that the
addition of filler led to the fibre debonding at an earlier stage of fracture sequence
when compared to unfilled LGF-PP.
In the third material system, the target was to develop a novel long glass fibre
reinforced composite material based on the blend of polyamide with thermoset
resins. In this study a blend of polyamide-66 (PA66) and phenol formaldehyde resin
(PFR) was used. The chemical structure of the PA66-PFR resin was analysed by
using small molecular weight analogues corresponding to PA66 and PFR
components, as well as by carrying out experiments using the macromolecular
system. Theoretical calculations and experiments showed that there exists a strong
hydrogen bonding between the carboxylic groups of PA66 and the hydroxylic groups
of PFR, exceeding even the strength of amide-water hydrogen bonds. This was
shown to lead to the miscible blends, when PFR was not crosslinked. It was also
found that the morphology of such thermoplastic-thermoset blends can be controlled
by altering ratio of blend components (PA66, PFR and crosslinking agent). In the
next phase, PA66-PFR blends were reinforced by long glass fibres. The studies
showed that the water absorption of the blend samples was considerably decreased,
which was also reflected in higher mechanical properties at equilibrium state.
Wie man aus zahlreichen Untersuchungen und Anwendungsbeispielen entnehmen
kann, besitzen langfaserverstärkte Thermoplaste (LFT) eine bessere Zugfestigkeit,
Biege- und Schlagzähigkeit im Vergleich zu kurzfaserverstärkten Thermoplasten. Die
Vorteile in den mechanischen Eigenschaften haben die LFT zu einem
schnellwachsenden Bereich in der Kunststoffindustrie gemacht. Neue Entwicklungen
in Bereich der Herstellung von LFT haben für zusätzliche Verbesserungen der
mechanischen Eigenschaften sowie eine Preisreduzierung der Materialien in den
vergangenen Jahren gesorgt, was die LFT zu einer attraktiven Wahl u.a. als Ersatz
von Metallen in Automobilteilen macht. Es stellen sich allerdings immer noch einige
offene wissenschaftliche Fragen in Bezug auf z.B. die Materialbeschaffenheit, um
optimale Eigenschaftskombinationen zu erreichen. Die vorliegende Arbeit versucht,
einige dieser Fragen zu beantworten. Ziel war es, Vorgehensweisen zu entwickeln,
mit denen man die Eigenschaften von LFT gezielt beeinflussen und so den
Anforderungen von Automobilen oder anderen Anwendungen anpassen oder
„maßschneidern“ kann.
Die vorliegende Arbeit besteht aus drei Teilen, welche sich auf unterschiedliche
Materialsysteme, angepasst an den aktuellen Bedarf und das Interesse der Industrie,
konzentrieren.
Der erste Teil der Arbeit richtet sich auf die Eigenschaftsoptimierung von
langglasfaserverstärkten (LGF) thermoplastischen Styrolcopolymeren und von
Blends aus diesen Materialien. Es wurden passende, auf Maleinsäureanhydride
(MAH) basierende Kopplungsmittel gefunden, um die Faser-Matrix-Haftung zu
optimieren. Weiterhin wurde ein LGF Konzentrat entwickelt, welches mit
verschiedenen thermoplastischen Styrolcopolymeren kompatibel ist und somit als
„Verstärkungsadditiv“ eingesetzt werden kann.Das Konzept für ein neues LGF-Konzentrat auf Basis des kompatiblen
Materialsystems konzentriert sich insbesondere darauf, dass ein Basismaterial für
die Herstellung von Bauteilen bereit gestellt werden kann, mit dessen Hilfe gezielt
verschiedene mechanische und thermomechanischen Eigenschaften durch das
Zumischen von verschiedenen Styrolcopoylmeren und Blends verbessert werden
können. Dieses Konzept ermöglicht eine sehr flexible Produktion von Bauteilen und
wird seine Anwendung bei der Herstellung von Bauteilen u.a. im Interieur von Autos
finden.
Das zweite Materialsystem basiert auf sogenannten hybriden Verbundwerkstoffen,
welche aus Langglasfasern und mineralischen Füllstoffen wie Kalziumkarbonat und
Talkum in einer Polypropylen (PP) - Matrix zusammengesetzt sind. Ziel war es, durch
detaillierte bruchmechanische Analysen genaue Informationen über das
Bruchverhalten dieser hybriden Verbundwerkstoffe bei Zug- und Schlagbelastung zu
bekommen, um dann die Unterschiede zwischen den verschiedenen Füllstoffen in
Bezug auf ihre Eigenschaften zu dokumentieren. Es konnte beobachtet werden, dass
bei Zugabe der Füllstoffe zum LGF-PP normalerweise die Steifigkeit weiter
verbessert wurde, jedoch die Festigkeit und Schlagzähigkeit abnahmen. Weiterhin
zeigten die verschiedenen Füllstoffe wie Kalziumkarbonat und Talkum
unterschiedliche mechanische Eigenschaften auf, wenn sie zusammen mit LGF
Verstärkung eingesetzt wurden: Bei der Zugabe von Talkum wurde u.a. eine deutlich
bessere Schlagzähigkeit als bei der Zugabe von Kalziumkarbonat festgestellt. Dieses
Phänomen konnte durch das unterschiedliche Nukleierungsverhalten des PPs erklärt
werden, welches in einer unterschiedlichen Kristallmorphologie von Polypropylen
resultierte. Weiterhin konnte man durch Messungen der akustischen Emmissionen
während der Zugbelastung eines bruchmechanischen Versuchskörpers aufzeigen,
dass die höhere Bruchzähigkeit von LGF-PP ohne Füllstoffe daraus resultiert, dass
Faser-Pullout schon bei geringeren Kräften vorhanden war.

Materials in general can be divided into insulators, semiconductors and conductors,
depending on their degree of electrical conductivity. Polymers are classified as
electrically insulating materials, having electrical conductivity values lower than 10-12
S/cm. Due to their favourable characteristics, e.g. their good physical characteristics,
their low density, which results in weight reduction, etc., polymers are also
considered for applications where a certain degree of conductivity is required. The
main aim of this study was to develop electrically conductive composite materials
based on epoxy (EP) matrix, and to study their thermal, electrical, and mechanical
properties. The target values of electrical conductivity were mainly in the range of
electrostatic discharge protection (ESD, 10-9-10-6 S/cm).
Carbon fibres (CF) were the first type of conductive filler used. It was established that
there is a significant influence of the fibre aspect ratio on the electrical properties of
the fabricated composite materials. With longer CF the percolation threshold value
could be achieved at lower concentrations. Additional to the homogeneous CF/EP
composites, graded samples were also developed. By the use of a centrifugation
method, the CF created a graded distribution along one dimension of the samples.
The effect of the different processing parameters on the resulting graded structures
and consequently on their gradients in the electrical and mechanical properties were
systematically studied.
An intrinsically conductive polyaniline (PANI) salt was also used for enhancing the
electrical properties of the EP. In this case, a much lower percolation threshold was
observed compared to that of CF. PANI was found out to have, up to a particular
concentration, a minimal influence on the thermal and mechanical properties of the
EP system.
Furthermore, the two above-mentioned conductive fillers were jointly added to the EP
matrix. Improved electrical and mechanical properties were observed by this
incorporation. A synergy effect between the two fillers took place regarding the
electrical conductivity of the composites.
The last part of this work was engaged in the application of existing theoretical
models for the prediction of the electrical conductivity of the developed polymer composites. A good correlation between the simulation and the experiments was
observed.
Allgemein werden Materialien in Bezug auf ihre elektrische Leitfähigkeit in Isolatoren,
Halbleiter oder Leiter unterteilt. Polymere gehören mit einer elektrischen Leitfähigkeit
niedriger als 10-12 S/cm in die Gruppe der Isolatoren. Aufgrund vorteilhafter
Eigenschaften der Polymere, wie z.B. ihren guten physikalischen Eigenschaften,
ihrer geringen Dichte, welche zur Gewichtsreduktion beiträgt, usw., werden Polymere
auch für Anwendungen in Betracht gezogen, bei denen ein gewisser Grad an
Leitfähigkeit gefordert wird. Das Hauptziel dieser Studie war, elektrisch leitende
Verbundwerkstoffe auf der Basis von Epoxidharz (EP) zu entwickeln und deren
elektrische, mechanische und thermische Eigenschaften zu studieren. Die Zielwerte
der elektrischen Leitfähigkeit lagen hauptsächlich im Bereich der Vermeidung
elektrostatischer Aufladungen (ESD, 10-9-10-6 S/cm).
Bei der Herstellung elektrisch leitender Kunststoffen wurden als erstes
Kohlenstofffasern (CF) als leitfähige Füllstoffe benutzt. Bei den durchgeführten
Experimenten konnte man beobachten, dass das Faserlängenverhältnis einen
bedeutenden Einfluss auf die elektrischen Eigenschaften der fabrizierten
Verbundwerkstoffe hat. Mit längeren CF wurde die Perkolationsschwelle bereits bei
einer niedrigeren Konzentration erreicht. Zusätzlich zu den homogenen CF/EP
Verbundwerkstoffen, wurden auch Gradientenwerkstoffe entwickelt. Mit Hilfe einer
Zentrifugation konnte eine gradierte Verteilung der CF entlang der Probenlängeachse
erreicht werden. Die Effekte der unterschiedlichen Zentrifugationsparameter
auf die resultierenden Gradientenwerkstoffe und die daraus
resultierenden, gradierten elektrischen und mechanischen Eigenschaften wurden
systematisch studiert.
Ein intrinsisch leitendes Polyanilin-Salz (PANI) wurde auch für das Erhöhen der
elektrischen Eigenschaften des EP benutzt. In diesem Fall wurde eine viel niedrigere
Perkolationsschwelle verglichen mit der von CF beobachtet. Der Einsatz von PANI hat bis zu einer bestimmten Konzentration nur einen minimalen Einfluß auf die
thermischen und mechanischen Eigenschaften des EP Systems.
In einem dritte Schritt wurden die zwei oben erwähnten, leitenden Füllstoffe
gemeinsam der EP Matrix hinzugefügt. Erhöhte elektrische und mechanische
Eigenschaften wurden in diesem Fall beobachtet, wobei sich ein Synergie-Effekt
zwischen den zwei Füllstoffen bezogen auf die elektrische Leitfähigkeit der
Verbundwerkstoffe ergab.
Im letzten Teil dieser Arbeit fand die Anwendung von theoretischen Modelle zur
Vorhersage der elektrischen Leitfähigkeit der entwickelten Verbundwerkstoffe statt.
Dabei konnte eine gute Übereinstimmung mit den experimentellen Ergebnissen
festgestellt werden .

In my doctoral thesis, I present new information about the developmental expression pattern of the potassium chloride cotransporter KCC2 in the rat auditory brain stem and the morphometrical effects caused by KCC2 gene silencing in mice. The thesis is divided into 3 Chapters. Chapter 1 is a general introduction which gives a brief outline of the primary ascending auditory pathway in mammals. Also, it provides information about the presence of a large number of inhibitory inputs in the auditory system and how these inputs develop; the involvement of inhibition in the acoustic processing is mentioned. In addition, the role of the KCC2 cotransporter in the shift of GABA/glycine transmission, and thus, in maintaining the normal level of inhibition in the mature brain, is described. The focus of Chapter 2 was to investigate the KCC2 immunofluorescent signal from postnatal day (P) 0 to P60 in four major nuclei of the rats superior olivary complex (SOC), namely the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB), the medial superior olive (MSO), the lateral superior olive (LSO), and the superior paraolivary nucleus (SPN). The lack of a correlation between the continuous presence of KCC2 mRNA/protein in the postnatal rat brain stem on one side, and the shift in GABA/glycinergic polarity (i.e. KCC2 functionality) on the other side, prompted me to search for a specific cellular expression pattern of the KCC2 protein that might correlate with the switch in GABA/glycine signalling. To do so, the KCC2 immunoreactivity was analysed using high-resolution confocal microscopy in three cellular regions of interest: the soma surface, the soma interior, and the neuropil. In the soma surface, I observed an increase of the KCC2 immunofluorescent signal intensity, yet with a moderate magnitude (1.1 to 1.6-fold). Therefore, I conclude that the change in the soma surface signal is only of minor importance and does not explain the change in KCC2 functionality. The KCC2 signal intensity in the soma interior decreased in all nuclei (1.4 to 2-fold) with the exception of the MNTB where no statistically significant change was found. The decrease in the soma interior was probably related to the increase in the soma surface immunoreactivity and the proposed (weak) intracellular trafficking process of the KCC2 protein. The main developmental reorganization (in qualitative as well as in quantitative aspects) of the KCC2 immunofluorescence in the SOC nuclei was observed in the neuropil. The signal changed its pattern from a diffusely stained neuropil early in development (P0-P4) to a crisp and membrane-confined signal later on (P8-P60), with single dendrites becoming apparent. The exception was found in the MNTB, where the neuropil became almost unlabeled. Quantification revealed a statistically significant decrease (2.2 to 3.8-fold) in the neuropil immunoreactivity in all four nuclei, although the remaining KCC2-stained dendrites became thicker and the signal became stronger. I suppose that, at least in part, the neuropil reorganization can be explained by an age-related reduction of dendritic branches via a pruning mechanism and with the absence of an abnormal Cl- load via extrasynaptic GABAA receptors. This is consistent with the proposed additional role of KCC2, namely to maintain the cellular ionic homeostasis and to prevent dendritic swelling (Gulyás et al., 2001). In conclusion, neither the increase in the KCC2 soma surface signal intensity, nor the reorganization in the neuropil can be strictly related to the developmental switch in the GABA/glycine polarity and the onset of KCC2 function, although some correlation (the appearance of a specific membrane-confined dendritic pattern) between structure and function was found. Further implication of different molecular methods, regarding the proposed posttranslational modification of KCC2, will shed light upon the question of what leads to the functional activation of the cotransporter. In Chapter 3, the advantage of loss-of-function KCC2 mice made it possible, via manipulating the duration of the depolarizing phase of GABA/glycine transmission, to analyse the effect of disturbed Cl- regulation and, thus, the effect of disrupted GABA/glycine neurotransmission (lack of inhibition). I asked the following question: how important is the Cl- homeostasis to maintain general aspects (brain weight) and specific aspects (nucleus volume, neuron number, and soma cross-sectional area) of brain development? Brain stem slices from KCC2 knock-out animals (-/-), with a trace amount of transporter (~5%), as well as from wild type animals (+/+) at P3 and P12 were stained for Nissl substance and the analyses were performed with the help of basic morphometrical and stereological methods. In KCC2 (-/-) animals, body growth impairment was observed, in part related to the seizure activity preventing normal feeding (Woo et al., 2002). However, their brains, in terms of brain weight, were less affected. Therefore, I conclude that Cl- homeostasis is not essential per se to maintain the brain weight. Four auditory nuclei (MNTB, MSO, LSO, and ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN)), were compared with respect to the KCC2 null mutation. The SOC nuclei were not influenced by the lack of KCC2 at P3 considering the morphometric parameters. A difference in the number of neurons occurred in the VCN at P3. I suggest to perform additional immunohistochemical studies of glial presence related to its involvement in the structural and functional support of the neurons and their survival. At P12, the volume of the auditory nuclei in KCC2 (-/-) animals was smaller than in (+/+) animals. However, this is likely to be an epiphenomenon since the brain weight increase was also impaired with the same magnitude. Therefore, I suppose that the Cl- homeostasis is not crucial for the nucleus volume increase in the VCN, the MNTB and the MSO during development. An exception was found for the LSO. Regarding the other morphometric parameters at P12, the four nuclei behaved in a different way: (1) in the VCN, after P3, no parameter underwent a disproportional change due to impaired Cl- homeostasis; (2) the MNTB and the LSO showed less pronounced neuropil in mutants in comparison to age-matched controls and two reasons were proposed: first, the depolarizing GABA/glycine transmission in mutants may contribute to excessive Ca2+ load, excitotoxicity and dendrite damage; second, a decrease of some trophic factors may prevent dendrite development in addition to impaired normal body growth; (3) the MSO neurons in P12 (-/-) animals had smaller soma cross-sectional area than in P12 (+/+) animals. I conclude that the normal Cl- homeostasis is required in the MSO at older ages (P12) to achieve and maintain a proper soma size; (4) the lack of KCC2 did not prevent the process of neuronal differentiation in the VCN and the MNTB during development in both mutant and control animals. In conclusion, the various auditory nuclei have to be discussed independently regarding the influence of Cl- homeostasis on some morphometric parameters. Presumably, this is related to the different time of the shift in the GABA/glycine polarity i.e., the onset of KCC2 function (Srinivasan et al., 2004a). Taken together, my thesis accumulated data about the immunohistological expression pattern of KCC2 in various auditory brain stem nuclei and the influence of impaired Cl- homeostasis on some morphometric features in these nuclei. This information will be helpful for further investigations involved to discover the mechanisms and the events that govern the inhibition and the inhibitory pathway in the central auditory system.

In traditional portfolio optimization under the threat of a crash the investment horizon or time to maturity is neglected. Developing the so-called crash hedging strategies (which are portfolio strategies which make an investor indifferent to the occurrence of an uncertain (down) jumps of the price of the risky asset) the time to maturity turns out to be essential. The crash hedging strategies are derived as solutions of non-linear differential equations which itself are consequences of an equilibrium strategy. Hereby the situation of changing market coefficients after a possible crash is considered for the case of logarithmic utility as well as for the case of general utility functions. A benefit-cost analysis of the crash hedging strategy is done as well as a comparison of the crash hedging strategy with the optimal portfolio strategies given in traditional crash models. Moreover, it will be shown that the crash hedging strategies optimize the worst-case bound for the expected utility from final wealth subject to some restrictions. Another application is to model crash hedging strategies in situations where both the number and the height of the crash are uncertain but bounded. Taking the additional information of the probability of a possible crash happening into account leads to the development of the q-quantile crash hedging strategy.

Inappropriate speed is the most common reason for road traffic accidents world wide. Thus, a necessity for speed management exists. The so-called SUNflower states Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands - each spending strong effort in traffic safety policies - have great success in reducing mean road speeds and speed variances through speed management. However, the effect is still insufficient for gaining real traffic safety. Thus, there is a discussion to make use of technical in-vehicle devices. One of these technologies called Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) reduces vehicle speeds. This is done either by warning the driver that he is speeding, or activating the accelerator pedal with a counterforce, or reducing the gasoline supply to the motor. The three ways of reducing the speed are called version 1-3. The EC-project for research on speed adaptation policies on European roads (PROSPER) deals with strategic proposals for the implementation of the different ISA-versions. This thesis includes selected results of PROSPER. In this thesis two empiric surveys were done in order to give an overview about the basic conditions (e.g. social, economic, technical aspects) for an ISA implementation in Germany. On one hand, a stakeholder analysis and questionnaire using the Delphi-method has been accomplished in two rounds. On the other hand, a questionnaire with speed offenders has been accomplished, too, in two rounds. In addition, the author created an expert pool consisting of 23 experts representing the most important fields of science and practice in which ISA is involved. The author made phone or personal interviews with most of the experts. 12 experts also produced a detailed publication on their professional point of view towards ISA. The two surveys and the professional comments on ISA led to four possible implementation scenarios for ISA in Germany. However, due to a strong political opposition against ISA it is also thinkable that ISA is not implemented or the implementation process starts after 2015 (i.e. outside the aimed period of time). The scenarios are as follows: A) Implementation of version 1 by market forces with governmental subventions. B) Implementation of version 2 by market forces supported by traffic safety institutions and image-making processes. C) Implementation of a modified version 3 by law for speed offenders instead of cancellation of the driving licence. D) Implementation of various versions in Germany because of a broad implementation of ISA in the SUNflower states. X) Non-implementation of ISA leads to the necessity of alternative speed management measures. The author prefers scenario B because - ceteris paribus - it seems to be the most likely way to implement the technology. As soon as ISA reaches technical maturity, the implementation process has to be accomplished in three steps. 1) Marketing and image making 2) Margin introduction 3) Market penetration This implementation process for ISA by market forces could effect a percentage of at least 15% of all vehicles equipped with ISA before the year 2015.

In the filling process of a car tank, the formation of foam plays an unwanted role, as it may prevent the tank from being completely filled or at least delay the filling. Therefore it is of interest to optimize the geometry of the tank using numerical simulation in such a way that the influence of the foam is minimized. In this dissertation, we analyze the behaviour of the foam mathematically on the mezoscopic scale, that is for single lamellae. The most important goals are on the one hand to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction of the relevant physical effects, on the other hand to obtain a model for the simulation of the decay of a lamella which can be integrated in a global foam model. In the first part of this work, we give a short introduction into the physical properties of foam and find that the Marangoni effect is the main cause for its stability. We then develop a mathematical model for the simulation of the dynamical behaviour of a lamella based on an asymptotic analysis using the special geometry of the lamella. The result is a system of nonlinear partial differential equations (PDE) of third order in two spatial and one time dimension. In the second part, we analyze this system mathematically and prove an existence and uniqueness result for a simplified case. For some special parameter domains the system can be further simplified, and in some cases explicit solutions can be derived. In the last part of the dissertation, we solve the system using a finite element approach and discuss the results in detail.

Nowadays one of the major objectives in geosciences is the determination of the gravitational field of our planet, the Earth. A precise knowledge of this quantity is not just interesting on its own but it is indeed a key point for a vast number of applications. The important question is how to obtain a good model for the gravitational field on a global scale. The only applicable solution - both in costs and data coverage - is the usage of satellite data. We concentrate on highly precise measurements which will be obtained by GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady State Ocean Circulation Explorer, launch expected 2006). This satellite has a gradiometer onboard which returns the second derivatives of the gravitational potential. Mathematically seen we have to deal with several obstacles. The first one is that the noise in the different components of these second derivatives differs over several orders of magnitude, i.e. a straightforward solution of this outer boundary value problem will not work properly. Furthermore we are not interested in the data at satellite height but we want to know the field at the Earth's surface, thus we need a regularization (downward-continuation) of the data. These two problems are tackled in the thesis and are now described briefly. Split Operators: We have to solve an outer boundary value problem at the height of the satellite track. Classically one can handle first order side conditions which are not tangential to the surface and second derivatives pointing in the radial direction employing integral and pseudo differential equation methods. We present a different approach: We classify all first and purely second order operators which fulfill that a harmonic function stays harmonic under their application. This task is done by using modern algebraic methods for solving systems of partial differential equations symbolically. Now we can look at the problem with oblique side conditions as if we had ordinary i.e. non-derived side conditions. The only additional work which has to be done is an inversion of the differential operator, i.e. integration. In particular we are capable to deal with derivatives which are tangential to the boundary. Auto-Regularization: The second obstacle is finding a proper regularization procedure. This is complicated by the fact that we are facing stochastic rather than deterministic noise. The main question is how to find an optimal regularization parameter which is impossible without any additional knowledge. However we could show that with a very limited number of additional information, which are obtainable also in practice, we can regularize in an asymptotically optimal way. In particular we showed that the knowledge of two input data sets allows an order optimal regularization procedure even under the hard conditions of Gaussian white noise and an exponentially ill-posed problem. A last but rather simple task is combining data from different derivatives which can be done by a weighted least squares approach using the information we obtained out of the regularization procedure. A practical application to the downward-continuation problem for simulated gravitational data is shown.

The hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), a heterodimer composed of HIF-1alpha and HIF-1beta, is activated in response to low oxygen tension and serves as the master regulator for cells to adapt to hypoxia. HIF-1 is usually considered to be regulated via degradation of its a-subunit. Recent findings, however, point to the existence of alternative mechanisms of HIF-1 regulation which appear to be important for down-regulating HIF-1 under prolonged and severe oxygen depletion. The aims of my Ph.D. thesis, therefore, were to further elucidate mechanisms involved in such down-regulation of HIF-1. The first part of the thesis addresses the impact of the severity and duration of oxygen depletion on HIF-1alpha protein accumulation and HIF-1 transcriptional activity. A special focus was put on the influence of the transcription factor p53 on HIF-1. I found that p53 only accumulates under prolonged anoxia (but not hypoxia), thus limiting its influence on HIF-1 to severe hypoxic conditions. At low expression levels, p53 inhibits HIF-1 transactivity. I attributed this effect to a competition between p53 and HIF-1alpha for binding to the transcriptional co-factor p300, since p300 overexpression reverses this inhibition. This assumption is corroborated by competitive binding of IVTT-generated p53 and HIF-1alpha to the CH1-domain of p300 in vitro. High p53 expression, on the other hand, affects HIF-1alpha protein negatively, i.e., p53 provokes pVHL-independent degradation of HIF-1alpha. Therefore, I conclude that low p53 expression attenuates HIF-1 transactivation by competing for p300, while high p53 expression negatively affects HIF-1alpha protein, thereby eliminating HIF-1 transactivity. Thus, once p53 becomes activated under prolonged anoxia, it contributes to terminating HIF-1 responses. In the second part of my study, I intended to further characterize the effects induced by prolonged periods of low oxygen, i.e., hypoxia, as compared to anoxia, with respect to alterations in HIF-1alpha mRNA. Prolonged anoxia, but not hypoxia, showed pronounced effects on HIF-1alpha mRNA. Long-term anoxia induced destabilization of HIF-1alpha mRNA, which manifests itself in a dramatic reduction of the half-life. The mechanistic background points to natural anti-sense HIF-1alpha mRNA, which is induced in a HIF-1-dependent manner, and additional factors, which most likely influence HIF-1alpha mRNA indirectly via anti-sense HIF-1alpha mRNA mediated trans-effects. In summary, the data provide new information concerning the impact of p53 on HIF-1, which might be of importance for the decision between pro- and anti-apoptotic mechanisms depending upon the severity and duration of hypoxia. Furthermore, the results of this project give further insights into a novel mechanism of HIF-1 regulation, namely mRNA down-regulation under prolonged anoxic incubations. These mechanisms appear to be activated only in response to prolonged anoxia, but not to hypoxia. These considerations regarding HIF-1 regulation should be taken into account when prolonged incubations to hypoxic or anoxic conditions are analyzed at the level of HIF-1 stability regulation.

In this dissertation we consider complex, projective hypersurfaces with many isolated singularities. The leading questions concern the maximal number of prescribed singularities of such hypersurfaces in a given linear system, and geometric properties of the equisingular stratum. In the first part a systematic introduction to the theory of equianalytic families of hypersurfaces is given. Furthermore, the patchworking method for constructing hypersurfaces with singularities of prescribed types is described. In the second part we present new existence results for hypersurfaces with many singularities. Using the patchworking method, we show asymptotically proper results for hypersurfaces in P^n with singularities of corank less than two. In the case of simple singularities, the results are even asymptotically optimal. These statements improve all previous general existence results for hypersurfaces with these singularities. Moreover, the results are also transferred to hypersurfaces defined over the real numbers. The last part of the dissertation deals with the Castelnuovo function for studying the cohomology of ideal sheaves of zero-dimensional schemes. Parts of the theory of this function for schemes in P^2 are generalized to the case of schemes on general surfaces in P^3. As an application we show an H^1-vanishing theorem for such schemes.

In the present work, various aspects of the mixed continuum-atomistic modelling of materials are studied, most of which are related to the problems arising due to a development of microstructures during the transition from an elastic to plastic description within the framework of continuum-atomistics. By virtue of the so-called Cauchy-Born hypothesis, which is an essential part of the continuum-atomistics, a localization criterion has been derived in terms of the loss of infinitesimal rank-one convexity of the strain energy density. According to this criterion, a numerical yield condition has been computed for two different interatomic energy functions. Therewith, the range of the Cauchy-Born rule validity has been defined, since the strain energy density remains quasiconvex only within the computed yield surface. To provide a possibility to continue the simulation of material response after the loss of quasiconvexity, a relaxation procedure proposed by Tadmor et al. leading necessarily to the development of microstructures has been used. Thereby, various notions of convexity have been overviewed in details. Alternatively to the above mentioned criterion, a stability criterion has been applied to detect the critical deformation. For the study in the postcritical region, the path-change procedure proposed by Wagner and Wriggers has been adapted for the continuum-atomistic and modified. To capture the deformation inhomogeneity arising due to the relaxation, the Cauchy-Born hypothesis has been extended by assumption that it represents only the 1st term in the Taylor's series expansion of the deformation map. The introduction of the 2nd, quadratic term results in the higher-order materials theory. Based on a simple computational example, the relevance of this theory in the postcritical region has been shown. For all simulations including the finite element examples, the development tool MATLAB 6.5 has been used.