The finite element method (FEM) has been commonly employed in a variety of fields as a computer simulation method to solve such problems as solid, fluid, electro-magnetic phenomena and so on. However, creation of a quality mesh for the problem domain is a prerequisite when using FEM, which becomes a major part of the cost of a simulation. It is natural that the concept of meshless method has evolved. The free mesh method (FMM) is among the typical meshless methods intended for particle-like finite element analysis of problems that are difficult to handle using global mesh generation, especially on parallel processors. FMM is an efficient node-based finite element method that employs a local mesh generation technique and a node-by-node algorithm for the finite element calculations. In this paper, FMM and its variation are reviewed focusing on their fundamental conception, algorithms and accuracy.
The free mesh method (FMM) is a kind of the meshless methods intended for particle-like finite element analysis of problems that are difficult to handle using global mesh generation, or a node-based finite element method that employs a local mesh generation technique and a node-by-node algorithm. The aim of the present paper is to review some unique numerical solutions of fluid and solid mechanics by employing FMM as well as the Enriched Free Mesh Method (EFMM), which is a new version of FMM, including compressible flow and sounding mechanism in air-reed instruments as applications to fluid mechanics, and automatic remeshing for slow crack growth, dynamic behavior of solid as well as large-scale Eigen-frequency of engine block as applications to solid mechanics.
In late 2010, the nation-wide screening of pregnant women for human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection was implemented in Japan to prevent milk-borne transmission of HTLV-1. In the late 1970s, recognition of the adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) cluster in Kyushu, Japan, led to the discovery of the first human retrovirus, HTLV-1. In 1980, we started to investigate mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) for explaining the peculiar endemicity of HTLV-1. Retrospective and prospective epidemiological data revealed the MTCT rate at ∼20%. Cell-mediated transmission of HTLV-1 without prenatal infection suggested a possibility of milk-borne transmission. Common marmosets were successfully infected by oral inoculation of HTLV-1 harboring cells. A prefecture-wide intervention study to refrain from breast-feeding by carrier mothers, the ATL Prevention Program Nagasaki, was commenced in July 1987. It revealed a marked reduction of HTLV-1 MTCT by complete bottle-feeding from 20.3% to 2.5%, and a significantly higher risk of short-term breast-feeding (<6 months) than bottle-feeding (7.4% vs. 2.5%, P < 0.001).
We previously isolated a novel tyrosine kinase receptor, Flt-1, now known as VEGF-receptor (VEGFR)-1. The VEGF–VEGFR system plays a pivotal role in not only physiological but also pathological angiogenesis. We examined the role of Flt-1 in carcinogenesis using Flt-1-signal-deficient (Flt-1 TK−/−) mice, and found that this receptor stimulates tumor growth and metastasis most likely via macrophages, making it an important potential target in the treatment of cancer. In addition to the full-length receptor, the Flt-1 gene produces a soluble protein, sFlt-1, an endogenous VEGF-inhibitor. sFlt-1 is expressed in trophoblasts of the placenta between fetal and maternal blood vessels, suggesting it to be a barrier against extreme VEGF-signaling. Abnormally high expression of sFlt-1 occurs in most preeclampsia patients, whose main symptoms are hypertension and proteinurea. In cancer patients, strong suppression of VEGF–VEGFR by drugs induces similar side effects including hypertension. These results indicate a close relationship between abnormal VEGF-block and hypertension/proteinurea. sFlt-1 is an attractive target for the control of preeclampsia.
Since I was involved in the molecular cloning of GM3 synthase (SAT-I), which is the primary enzyme for the biosynthesis of gangliosides in 1998, my research group has been concentrating on our efforts to explore the physiological and pathological implications of gangliosides especially for GM3. During the course of study, we demonstrated the molecular pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance focusing on the interaction between insulin receptor and gangliosides in membrane microdomains and propose a new concept: Life style-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, are a membrane microdomain disorder caused by aberrant expression of gangliosides. We also encountered an another interesting aspect indicating the indispensable role of gangliosides in auditory system. After careful behavioral examinations of SAT-I knockout mice, their hearing ability was seriously impaired with selective degeneration of the stereocilia of hair cells in the organ of Corti. This is the first observation demonstrating a direct link between gangliosides and hearing functions.
We examined intracellular pH (pHi) of ten cancer cell lines derived from different organs and two normal cell lines including human embryonic lung fibroblast cells (HEL) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro, and found that pHi of most of these cancer cells was evidently higher (pH 7.5 to 7.7) than that of normal cells (7.32 and 7.44 for HEL and HUVEC, respectively) and that of primary leukemic cells and erythrocytes hitherto reported (≤7.2). Higher pHi in these cancer cells could be related to the Warburg effect in cancer cells with enhanced glycolytic metabolism. Since reversal of the Warburg effect may perturb intracellular homeostasis in cancer cells, we looked for compounds that cause extensive reduction of pHi, a major regulator of the glycolytic pathway and its associated metabolic pathway. We found that phenoxazine compounds, 2-aminophenoxazine-3-one (Phx-3) and 2-amino-4,4α-dihydro-4α,7-dimethyl-3H-phenoxazine-3-one (Phx-1) caused a rapid and drastic dose-dependent decrease of pHi in ten different cancer cells within 30 min, though the extent of the decrease of pHi was significantly larger for Phx-3 (ΔpHi = 0.6 pH units or more for 100 µM Phx-3) than for Phx-1 (ΔpHi = 0.1 pH units or more for 100 µM Phx-1). This rapid and drastic decrease of pHi in a variety of cancer cells caused by Phx-3 and Phx-1 possibly perturbed their intracellular homeostasis, and extensively affected the subsequent cell death, because these phenoxazines exerted dose-dependent proapoptotic and cytotoxic effects on these cells during 72 h incubation, confirming a causal relationship between ΔpHi and cytotoxic effects due to Phx-3 and Phx-1. Phx-3 and Phx-1 also reduced pHi of normal cells including HEL and HUVEC, although they exerted less proapoptotic and cytotoxic effects on these cells than on cancer cells. Drugs such as Phx-3 and Phx-1 that reduce pHi and thereby induce cellular apoptosis might serve as benevolent anticancer drugs.