Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Ankur Mundhra

22 Seismic Data Scaling: Uncertainties, Potential and Applications in Workstation Interpretation

Authors: Ankur Mundhra, Shubhadeep Chakraborty, Y. R. Singh, Vishal Das

Abstract:

Seismic data scaling affects the dynamic range of a data and with present day lower costs of storage and higher reliability of Hard Disk data, scaling is not suggested. However, in dealing with data of different vintages, which perhaps were processed in 16 bits or even 8 bits and are need to be processed with 32 bit available data, scaling is performed. Also, scaling amplifies low amplitude events in deeper region which disappear due to high amplitude shallow events that saturate amplitude scale. We have focused on significance of scaling data to aid interpretation. This study elucidates a proper seismic loading procedure in workstations without using default preset parameters as available in most software suites. Differences and distribution of amplitude values at different depth for seismic data are probed in this exercise. Proper loading parameters are identified and associated steps are explained that needs to be taken care of while loading data. Finally, the exercise interprets the un-certainties which might arise when correlating scaled and unscaled versions of seismic data with synthetics. As, seismic well tie correlates the seismic reflection events with well markers, for our study it is used to identify regions which are enhanced and/or affected by scaling parameter(s).

Keywords: clipping, compression, resolution, seismic scaling

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21 Establishing a Cause-Effect Relationship among the Key Success Factors of Healthcare Waste Management in India

Authors: Ankur Chauhan, Amol Singh

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The increasing human resource has led to the rapid increment in the generation of healthcare waste across the world. Since, this waste consists of the infectious and hazardous components emerged from the patient care activities in different healthcare facilities; therefore, its proper management becomes vital for mitigating its negative impact on society and environment. The present research work focuses on the identification of the key success factors for developing a successful healthcare waste management plan. In addition, the key success factors have been studied by developing a causal diagram with the help of a decision making trial and evaluation (DEMATEL) approach. The findings of the study would help in the filtration of dominant key success factors which would further help in making a comparative assessment of the waste management plan of different hospitals.

Keywords: healthcare waste disposal, environment and society, multi-criteria decision making, DEMATEL

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20 SISSLE in Consensus-Based Ripple: Some Improvements in Speed, Security, Last Mile Connectivity and Ease of Use

Authors: Mayank Mundhra, Chester Rebeiro

Abstract:

Cryptocurrencies are rapidly finding wide application in areas such as Real Time Gross Settlements and Payments Systems. Ripple is a cryptocurrency that has gained prominence with banks and payment providers. It solves the Byzantine General’s Problem with its Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm (RPCA), where each server maintains a list of servers, called Unique Node List (UNL) that represents the network for the server, and will not collectively defraud it. The server believes that the network has come to a consensus when members of the UNL come to a consensus on a transaction. In this paper we improve Ripple to achieve better speed, security, last mile connectivity and ease of use. We implement guidelines and automated systems for building and maintaining UNLs for resilience, robustness, improved security, and efficient information propagation. We enhance the system so as to ensure that each server receives information from across the whole network rather than just from the UNL members. We also introduce the paradigm of UNL overlap as a function of information propagation and the trust a server assigns to its own UNL. Our design not only reduces vulnerabilities such as eclipse attacks, but also makes it easier to identify malicious behaviour and entities attempting to fraudulently Double Spend or stall the system. We provide experimental evidence of the benefits of our approach over the current Ripple scheme. We observe ≥ 4.97x and 98.22x in speedup and success rate for information propagation respectively, and ≥ 3.16x and 51.70x in speedup and success rate in consensus.

Keywords: Ripple, Kelips, unique node list, consensus, information propagation

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19 Effect of Process Parameters on Mechanical Properties of Friction Stir Welded Aluminium Alloy Joints Using Factorial Design

Authors: Gurjinder Singh, Ankur Gill, Amardeep Singh Kang

Abstract:

In the present work an effort has been made to study the influence of the welding parameters on tensile strength of friction stir welding of aluminum. Three process parameters tool rotation speed, welding speed, and shoulder diameter were selected for the study. Two level factorial design of eight runs was selected for conducting the experiments. The mathematical model was developed from the data obtained. The significance of coefficients and adequacy of developed models were tested by ‘t’ test and ‘F’ test respectively. The effects of process parameters on mechanical properties have been represented in the form of graphs for better understanding.

Keywords: friction stir welding, aluminium alloy, mathematical model, welding speed

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18 Multishape Task Scheduling Algorithms for Real Time Micro-Controller Based Application

Authors: Ankur Jain, W. Wilfred Godfrey

Abstract:

Embedded systems are usually microcontroller-based systems that represent a class of reliable and dependable dedicated computer systems designed for specific purposes. Micro-controllers are used in most electronic devices in an endless variety of ways. Some micro-controller-based embedded systems are required to respond to external events in the shortest possible time and such systems are known as real-time embedded systems. So in multitasking system there is a need of task Scheduling,there are various scheduling algorithms like Fixed priority Scheduling(FPS),Earliest deadline first(EDF), Rate Monotonic(RM), Deadline Monotonic(DM),etc have been researched. In this Report various conventional algorithms have been reviewed and analyzed, these algorithms consists of single shape task, A new Multishape scheduling algorithms has been proposed and implemented and analyzed.

Keywords: dm, edf, embedded systems, fixed priority, microcontroller, rtos, rm, scheduling algorithms

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17 Dielectric Properties of Ternary Composite Based on Complex Perovskite Oxides Synthesized by Semi-Wet Route

Authors: K. D. Mandal, Anil Kumar Mourya, Ankur Khare

Abstract:

Ceramics of 0.6 CaCu3TiO12 – 0.2 Bi2/3Cu3TiO12 – 0.2 Y2/3Cu3TiO12 (i.e. 0.6CCTO-0.2BCTO-0.2 YCTO) were prepared via semi - wet route. The phase structure of the sample was identified by X-Ray diffraction. The micro structure of the sample was observed by SEM, which displays grains of different shapes having diameter in range of 2 µm–4 µm. We have studied the frequency and temperature dependence of permittivity and impedance of the compound with LCR Meter in the range of 100 Hz–1 MHz and 300–500 K. The material shows its highest dielectric constant (428000) at 100 Hz and 368 K. The material shows Debye–like relaxation and their dielectric constant are independent of frequency and temperature over a wide range. The sample shows two electrical responses in impedance formalism, indicating that there are two distinct contributions. We attribute them to grain and grain boundaries in the ceramic sample and explain the dielectric behaviors by Maxwell–Wagner relaxation arising at the interfaces between grain and their boundaries.

Keywords: complex perovskite, ceramics composite, impedance study, SEM

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16 Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization, and Storage: Sequestration

Authors: Ankur Sachan

Abstract:

Carbon dioxide being the most anthropogenic greenhouse gas,it needs to be isolated from entering into atmosphere. Carbon capture and storage is process that captures CO2 emitted from various sources, separates it from other gases and stores it in a safe place preferably in underground geological formations for large period of time. It is then purified and monitored so that can be made to reuse. Monoethanolamine, zeolitic imidazolate framework, microalgae, membranes etc are utilized to capture CO2. Post-combustion, pre-combustion and oxyfuel combustion along with chemical looping combustion are technologies for scrubbing CO2. The properties of CO2 being easily miscible and readily dissolving in oil with impurities makes it capable for numerous applications such as in producing oil by enhanced oil recovery (EOR), Bio CCS Algal Synthesis etc. CO2-EOR operation is capable to produce million barrels of oil and extend the field's lifetime as in case of Weyburn Oil Field in Canada. The physical storage of CO2 is technically the most feasible direction provided that the associated safety and sustainability issues can be met and new materials for CCUS process at low cost are urgently found so that so that fossil based systems with carbon capture are cost competitive.

Keywords: carbon capture, CCUS, sustainability, oil

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15 Accuracy and Depiction of Mental Illness-Popular Cinema

Authors: Ankur Kapur, Moosath Vasudevan

Abstract:

This movie review looks at the depiction of mental illness in popular cinema, using the movie A Beautiful Mind as a case study. It tries to understand cinema and media from a clinical psychology perspective in terms of the portrayal of symptoms and caregiver support. The review aims to analyze the portrayal of schizophrenia in the book and the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’ on Professor John Nash. It will analyze the differences in portrayal of schizophrenia, under different media and the creative applications of the author, directors and actors in depicting the disorder as closely as it is understood in Clinical Psychology. The differences would be studied for romanticisation of symptoms in the book and the movie. Even within a medium (only the movie), verbal and non-verbal cues of the disorder will be compared for the depiction of schizophrenia. The study will dwell on the comparative description of how the caregivers coped with the patient and his illness. For this, the study will understand it through the lens of Bowen’s Family Systems Theory.

Keywords: caregiver, communication, media, systems theory

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14 Dispersion-Less All Reflective Split and Delay Unit for Ultrafast Metrology

Authors: Akansha Tyagi, Mehar S. Sidhu, Ankur Mandal, Sanjay Kapoor, Sunil Dahiya, Jan M. Rost, Thomas Pfeifer, Kamal P. Singh

Abstract:

An all-reflective split and delay unit is designed for dispersion free measurement of broadband ultrashort pulses using a pair of reflective knife edge prism for splitting and recombining of the measuring pulse. It is based on symmetrical wavefront splitting of the measuring pulse having two separate arms to independently shape both split parts. We have validated our delay line with NIR –femtosecond pulse measurement centered at 800 nm using second harmonic-Interferometric frequency resolved optical gating (SH-IFROG). The delay line is compact, easy to align and provides attosecond stability and precision and thus make it more versatile for wide range of applications in ultrafast measurements. We envision that the present delay line will find applications in IR-IR controlling for high harmonic generation (HHG) and attosecond IR-XUV pump-probe measurements with solids and gases providing attosecond resolution and wide delay range.

Keywords: HHG, nonlinear optics, pump-probe spectroscopy, ultrafast metrology

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13 Robust Data Image Watermarking for Data Security

Authors: Harsh Vikram Singh, Ankur Rai, Anand Mohan

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose secure and robust data hiding algorithm based on DCT by Arnold transform and chaotic sequence. The watermark image is scrambled by Arnold cat map to increases its security and then the chaotic map is used for watermark signal spread in middle band of DCT coefficients of the cover image The chaotic map can be used as pseudo-random generator for digital data hiding, to increase security and robustness .Performance evaluation for robustness and imperceptibility of proposed algorithm has been made using bit error rate (BER), normalized correlation (NC), and peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR) value for different watermark and cover images such as Lena, Girl, Tank images and gain factor .We use a binary logo image and text image as watermark. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm achieves higher security and robustness against JPEG compression as well as other attacks such as addition of noise, low pass filtering and cropping attacks compared to other existing algorithm using DCT coefficients. Moreover, to recover watermarks in proposed algorithm, there is no need to original cover image.

Keywords: data hiding, watermarking, DCT, chaotic sequence, arnold transforms

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12 Semiconducting Nanostructures Based Organic Pollutant Degradation Using Natural Sunlight for Water Remediation

Authors: Ankur Gupta, Jayant Raj Saurav, Shantanu Bhattacharya

Abstract:

In this work we report an effective water filtration system based on the photo catalytic performance of semiconducting dense nano-brushes under natural sunlight. During thin-film photocatalysis usually performed by a deposited layer of photocatalyst, a stagnant boundary layer is created near the catalyst which adversely affects the rate of adsorption because of diffusional restrictions. One strategy that may be used is to disrupt this laminar boundary layer by creating a super dense nanostructure near the surface of the catalyst. Further it is adequate to fabricate a structured filter element for a through pass of the water with as grown nanostructures coming out of the surface of such an element. So, the dye remediation is performed through solar means. This remediation was initially limited to lower efficiency because of diffusional restrictions but has now turned around as a fast process owing to the development of the filter materials with standing out dense nanostructures. The effect of increased surface area due to microholes on fraction adsorbed is also investigated and found that there is an optimum value of hole diameter for maximum adsorption.

Keywords: nano materials, photocatalysis, waste water treatment, water remediation

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11 Performance of Buildings with Base-Isolation System under Geometric Irregularities

Authors: Firoz Alam Faroque, Ankur Neog

Abstract:

Earthquake causes significant loss of lives and severe damage to infrastructure. Base isolator is one of the most suitable solutions to make a building earthquake resistant. Base isolation consists of installing an isolator along with the steel plates covered with pads of strong material like steel, rubber, etc. In our study, we have used lead rubber bearing (LRB). The basic idea of seismic isolation is based on the reduction of the earthquake-induced inertia forces by shifting the fundamental period of the structure out of dangerous resonance range, and concentration of the deformation and energy dissipation demands at the isolation and energy dissipation systems, which are designed for this purpose. In this paper, RC frame buildings have been modeled and analyzed by response spectrum method using ETABS software. The LRB used in the model is designed as per uniform building code (UBC) 97. It is found that time period for the base isolated structures are higher than that of the fixed base structure and the value of base shear significantly reduces in the case of base-isolated buildings. It has also been found that buildings with vertical irregularities give better performance as compared to building with plan irregularities using base isolators.

Keywords: base isolation, base shear, irregularities in buildings, lead rubber bearing (LRB)

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10 Uncertainty and Optimization Analysis Using PETREL RE

Authors: Ankur Sachan

Abstract:

The ability to make quick yet intelligent and value-added decisions to develop new fields has always been of great significance. In situations where the capital expenses and subsurface risk are high, carefully analyzing the inherent uncertainties in the reservoir and how they impact the predicted hydrocarbon accumulation and production becomes a daunting task. The problem is compounded in offshore environments, especially in the presence of heavy oils and disconnected sands where the margin for error is small. Uncertainty refers to the degree to which the data set may be in error or stray from the predicted values. To understand and quantify the uncertainties in reservoir model is important when estimating the reserves. Uncertainty parameters can be geophysical, geological, petrophysical etc. Identification of these parameters is necessary to carry out the uncertainty analysis. With so many uncertainties working at different scales, it becomes essential to have a consistent and efficient way of incorporating them into our analysis. Ranking the uncertainties based on their impact on reserves helps to prioritize/ guide future data gathering and uncertainty reduction efforts. Assigning probabilistic ranges to key uncertainties also enables the computation of probabilistic reserves. With this in mind, this paper, with the help the uncertainty and optimization process in petrel RE shows how the most influential uncertainties can be determined efficiently and how much impact so they have on the reservoir model thus helping in determining a cost effective and accurate model of the reservoir.

Keywords: uncertainty, reservoir model, parameters, optimization analysis

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9 Service Life Modelling of Concrete Deterioration Due to Biogenic Sulphuric Acid (BSA) Attack-State-of-an-Art-Review

Authors: Ankur Bansal, Shashank Bishnoi

Abstract:

Degradation of Sewage pipes, sewage pumping station and Sewage treatment plants(STP) is of major concern due to difficulty in their maintenance and the high cost of replacement. Most of these systems undergo degradation due to Biogenic sulphuric acid (BSA) attack. Since most of Waste water treatment system are underground, detection of this deterioration remains hidden. This paper presents a literature review, outlining the mechanism of this attack focusing on critical parameters of BSA attack, along with available models and software to predict the deterioration due to this attack. This paper critically examines the various steps and equation in various Models of BSA degradation, detail on assumptions and working of different softwares are also highlighted in this paper. The paper also focuses on the service life design technique available through various codes and method to integrate the servile life design with BSA degradation on concrete. In the end, various methods enhancing the resistance of concrete against Biogenic sulphuric acid attack are highlighted. It may be concluded that the effective modelling for degradation phenomena may bring positive economical and environmental impacts. With current computing capabilities integrated degradation models combining the various durability aspects can bring positive change for sustainable society.

Keywords: concrete degradation, modelling, service life, sulphuric acid attack

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8 Analysis of Impact of Air Pollution over Megacity Delhi Due to Agricultural Biomass Burning in the Neighbouring States

Authors: Ankur P. Sati, Manju Mohan

Abstract:

The hazardous combination of smoke and pollutant gases, smog, is harmful for health. There are strong evidences that the Agricultural waste burning (AWB) in the Northern India leads to adverse air quality in Delhi and its surrounding regions. A severe smog episode was observed over Delhi, India during November 2012 which resulted in very low visibility and various respiratory problems. Very high values of pollutants (PM10 as high as 989 µg m-3, PM2.5 as high as 585 µg m-3 an NO2 as high as 540 µg m-3) were measured all over Delhi during the smog episode. Ultra Violet Aerosol Index (UVAI) from Aura satellite and Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) are used in the present study along with the output trajectories from HYSPLIT model and the in-situ data. Satellite data also reveal that AOD, UVAI are always at its highest during the farmfires duration in Punjab region of India and the extent of these farmfires may be increasing. It is observed that during the smog episode all the AOD, UVAI, PM2.5 and PM10 values surpassed those of the Diwali period (one of the most polluted events in the city) by a considerable amount at all stations across Delhi. The parameters used from the remote sensing data and the ground based observations at various stations across Delhi are very well in agreement about the intensity of Smog episode. The analysis clearly shows that regional pollution can have greater contributions in deteriorating the air quality than the local under adverse meteorological conditions.

Keywords: smog, farmfires, AOD, remote sensing

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7 A Combination of Anisotropic Diffusion and Sobel Operator to Enhance the Performance of the Morphological Component Analysis for Automatic Crack Detection

Authors: Ankur Dixit, Hiroaki Wagatsuma

Abstract:

The crack detection on a concrete bridge is an important and constant task in civil engineering. Chronically, humans are checking the bridge for inspection of cracks to maintain the quality and reliability of bridge. But this process is very long and costly. To overcome such limitations, we have used a drone with a digital camera, which took some images of bridge deck and these images are processed by morphological component analysis (MCA). MCA technique is a very strong application of sparse coding and it explores the possibility of separation of images. In this paper, MCA has been used to decompose the image into coarse and fine components with the effectiveness of two dictionaries namely anisotropic diffusion and wavelet transform. An anisotropic diffusion is an adaptive smoothing process used to adjust diffusion coefficient by finding gray level and gradient as features. These cracks in image are enhanced by subtracting the diffused coarse image into the original image and the results are treated by Sobel edge detector and binary filtering to exhibit the cracks in a fine way. Our results demonstrated that proposed MCA framework using anisotropic diffusion followed by Sobel operator and binary filtering may contribute to an automation of crack detection even in open field sever conditions such as bridge decks.

Keywords: anisotropic diffusion, coarse component, fine component, MCA, Sobel edge detector and wavelet transform

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6 Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Land Use Change and Green Cover Index

Authors: Poonam Sharma, Ankur Srivastav

Abstract:

Cities are complex and dynamic systems that constitute a significant challenge to urban planning. The increasing size of the built-up area owing to growing population pressure and economic growth have lead to massive Landuse/Landcover change resulted in the loss of natural habitat and thus reducing the green covers in urban areas. Urban environmental quality is influenced by several aspects, including its geographical configuration, the scale, and nature of human activities occurring and environmental impacts generated. Cities have transformed into complex and dynamic systems that constitute a significant challenge to urban planning. Cities and their sustainability are often discussed together as the cities stand confronted with numerous environmental concerns as the world becoming increasingly urbanized, and the cities are situated in the mesh of global networks in multiple senses. A rapid transformed urban setting plays a crucial role to change the green area of natural habitats. To examine the pattern of urban growth and to measure the Landuse/Landcover change in Gurgoan in Haryana, India through the integration of Geospatial technique is attempted in the research paper. Satellite images are used to measure the spatiotemporal changes that have occurred in the land use and land cover resulting into a new cityscape. It has been observed from the analysis that drastically evident changes in land use has occurred with the massive rise in built up areas and the decrease in green cover and therefore causing the sustainability of the city an important area of concern. The massive increase in built-up area has influenced the localised temperatures and heat concentration. To enhance the decision-making process in urban planning, a detailed and real world depiction of these urban spaces is the need of the hour. Monitoring indicators of key processes in land use and economic development are essential for evaluating policy measures.

Keywords: cityscape, geospatial techniques, green cover index, urban environmental quality, urban planning

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5 Compensation of Bulk Charge Carriers in Bismuth Based Topological Insulators via Swift Heavy Ion Irradiation

Authors: Jyoti Yadav, Rini Singh, Anoop M.D, Nisha Yadav, N. Srinivasa Rao, Fouran Singh, Takayuki Ichikawa, Ankur Jain, Kamlendra Awasthi, Manoj Kumar

Abstract:

Nanocrystalline films exhibit defects and strain induced by its grain boundaries. Defects and strain affect the physical as well as topological insulating properties of the Bi2Te3 thin films by changing their electronic structure. In the present studies, the effect of Ni7+ ion irradiation on the physical and electrical properties of Bi2Te3 thin films was studied. The films were irradiated at five different fluences (5x1011, 1x1012, 3x1012, 5x1012, 1x1013 ions/cm2). Thin films synthesized using the e-beam technique possess a rhombohedral crystal structure with the R-3m space group. The average crystallite size, as determined by x-ray diffraction (XRD) peak broadening, was found to be 18.5 ± 5 (nm). It was also observed that irradiation increases the induced strain. Raman Spectra of the films demonstrate the splitting of A_1u^1 modes originating from the vibrations along the c-axis. This is by the variation in the lattice parameter ‘c,’ as observed through XRD. The atomic force microscopy study indicates the decrease in surface roughness up to the fluence of 3x1012 ions/cm2 and further increasing the fluence increases the roughness. The decrease in roughness may be due to the growth of smaller nano-crystallites on the surface of thin films due to irradiation-induced annealing. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies reveal the composition to be in close agreement to the nominal values i.e. Bi2Te3. The resistivity v/s temperature measurements revealed an increase in resistivity up to the fluence 3x1012 ions/cm2 and a decrease on further increasing the fluence. The variation in electrical resistivity is corroborated with the change in the carrier concentration as studied through low-temperature Hall measurements. A crossover from the n-type to p-type carriers was achieved in the irradiated films. Interestingly, tuning of the Fermi level by compensating the bulk carriers using ion-irradiation could be achieved.

Keywords: Annealing, Irradiation, Fermi level, Tuning

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4 Prognosis of Patients with COVID-19 and Hematologic Malignancies

Authors: Elizabeth Behrens, Anne Timmermann, Alexander Yerkan, Joshua Thomas, Deborah Katz, Agne Paner, Melissa Larson, Shivi Jain, Seo-Hyun Kim, Celalettin Ustun, Ankur Varma, Parameswaran Venugopal, Jamile Shammo

Abstract:

Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) causes persistent concern for poor outcomes in vulnerable populations. Patients with hematologic malignancies (HM) have been found to have higher COVID-19 case fatality rates compared to those without malignancy. While cytopenias are common in patients with HM, especially in those undergoing chemotherapy treatment, hemoglobin (Hgb) and platelet count have not yet been studied, to our best knowledge, as potential prognostic indicators for patients with HM and COVID-19. The goal of this study is to identify factors that may increase the risk of mortality in patients with HM and COVID-19. In this single-center, retrospective, observational study, 65 patients with HM and laboratory confirmed COVID-19 were identified between March 2020 and January 2021. Information on demographics, laboratory data the day of COVID-19 diagnosis, and prognosis was extracted from the electronic medical record (EMR), chart reviewed, and analyzed using the statistical software SAS version 9.4. Chi-square testing was used for categorical variable analyses. Risk factors associated with mortality were established by logistic regression models. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (37%), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (20%), and plasma cell dyscrasia (15%) were the most common HM. Higher Hgb level upon COVID-19 diagnosis was related to decreased mortality, odd ratio=0.704 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.511-0.969; P = .0263). Platelet count the day of COVID-19 diagnosis was lower in patients who ultimately died (mean 127 ± 72K/uL, n=10) compared to patients who survived (mean 197 ±92K/uL, n=55) (P=.0258). Female sex was related to decreased mortality, odd ratio=0.143 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.026-0.785; P = .0353). There was no mortality difference between the patients who were on treatment for HM the day of COVID-19 diagnosis compared to those who were not (P=1.000). Lower Hgb and male sex are independent risk factors associated with increased mortality of HM patients with COVID-19. Clinicians should be especially attentive to patients with HM and COVID-19 who present with cytopenias. Larger multi-center studies are urgently needed to further investigate the impact of anemia, thrombocytopenia, and demographics on outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies diagnosed with COVID-19.

Keywords: anemia, COVID-19, hematologic malignancy, prognosis

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3 Opto-Thermal Frequency Modulation of Phase Change Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems

Authors: Syed A. Bukhari, Ankur Goswmai, Dale Hume, Thomas Thundat

Abstract:

Here we demonstrate mechanical detection of photo-induced Insulator to metal transition (MIT) in ultra-thin vanadium dioxide (VO₂) micro strings by using < 100 µW of optical power. Highly focused laser beam heated the string locally resulting in through plane and along axial heat diffusion. Localized temperature increase can cause temperature rise > 60 ºC. The heated region of VO₂ can transform from insulating (monoclinic) to conducting (rutile) phase leading to lattice compressions and stiffness increase in the resonator. The mechanical frequency of the resonator can be tuned by changing optical power and wavelength. The first mode resonance frequency was tuned in three different ways. A decrease in frequency below a critical optical power, a large increase between 50-120 µW followed by a large decrease in frequency for optical powers greater than 120 µW. The dynamic mechanical response was studied as a function of incident optical power and gas pressure. The resonance frequency and amplitude of vibration were found to be decreased with increasing laser power from 25-38 µW and increased by1-2 % when the laser power was further increased to 52 µW. The transition in films was induced and detected by a single pump and probe source and by employing external optical sources of different wavelengths. This trend in dynamic parameters of the strings can be co-related with reversible Insulator to metal transition in VO₂ films which creates change in density of the material and hence the overall stiffness of the strings leading to changes in string dynamics. The increase in frequency at a particular optical power manifests a transition to a more ordered metallic phase which tensile stress onto the string. The decrease in frequency at higher optical powers can be correlated with poor phonon thermal conductivity of VO₂ in conducting phase. Poor thermal conductivity of VO₂ can force in-plane penetration of heat causing the underneath SiN supporting VO₂ which can result as a decrease in resonance frequency. This noninvasive, non-contact laser-based excitation and detection of Insulator to metal transition using micro strings resonators at room temperature and with laser power in few µWs is important for low power electronics, and optical switching applications.

Keywords: thermal conductivity, vanadium dioxide, MEMS, frequency tuning

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2 Global Digital Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lending Platform Empowering Rural India: Determinants of Funding

Authors: Ankur Mehra, M. V. Shivaani

Abstract:

With increasing digitization, the world is coming closer, not only in terms of informational flow but also in terms of capital flows. And micro-finance institutions (MFIs) have perfectly leveraged this digital world by resorting to the innovative digital social peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms, such as, Kiva. These digital P2P platforms bring together micro-borrowers and lenders from across the world. The main objective of this study is to understand the funding preferences of social investors primarily from developed countries (such as US, UK, Australia), lending money to borrowers from rural India at zero interest rates through Kiva. Further, the objective of this study is to increase awareness about such a platform among various MFIs engaged in providing micro-loans to those in need. The sample comprises of India based micro-loan applications posted by various MFIs on Kiva lending platform over the period Sept 2012-March 2016. Out of 7,359 loans, 256 loans failed to get funded by social investors. On an average a micro-loan with 30 days to expiry gets fully funded in 7,593 minutes or 5.27 days. 62% of the loans raised on Kiva are related to livelihood, 32.5% of the loans are for funding basic necessities and balance 5.5% loans are for funding education. 47% of the loan applications have more than one borrower; while, currency exchange risk is on the social lenders for 45% of the loans. Controlling for the loan amount and loan tenure, the analyses suggest that those loan applications where the number of borrowers is more than one have a lower chance of getting funded as compared to the loan applications made by a sole borrower. Such group applications also take more time to get funded. Further, loan application by a solo woman not only has a higher chance of getting funded but as such get funded faster. The results also suggest that those loan applications which are supported by an MFI that has a religious affiliation, not only have a lower chance of getting funded, but also take longer to get funded as compared to the loan applications posted by secular MFIs. The results do not support cross-border currency risk to be a factor in explaining the determinants of loan funding. Finally, analyses suggest that loans raised for the purpose of earning livelihood and education have a higher chance of getting funded and such loans get funded faster as compared to the loans applied for purposes related to basic necessities such a clothing, housing, food, health, and personal use. The results are robust to controls for ‘MFI dummy’ and ‘year dummy’. The key implication from this study is that global social investors tend to develop an emotional connect with single woman borrowers and consequently they get funded faster Hence, MFIs should look for alternative ways for funding loans whose purpose is to meet basic needs; while, more loans related to livelihood and education should be raised via digital platforms.

Keywords: P2P lending, social investing, fintech, financial inclusion

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1 Pharmacophore-Based Modeling of a Series of Human Glutaminyl Cyclase Inhibitors to Identify Lead Molecules by Virtual Screening, Molecular Docking and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study

Authors: Ankur Chaudhuri, Sibani Sen Chakraborty

Abstract:

In human, glutaminyl cyclase activity is highly abundant in neuronal and secretory tissues and is preferentially restricted to hypothalamus and pituitary. The N-terminal modification of β-amyloids (Aβs) peptides by the generation of a pyro-glutamyl (pGlu) modified Aβs (pE-Aβs) is an important process in the initiation of the formation of neurotoxic plaques in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This process is catalyzed by glutaminyl cyclase (QC). The expression of QC is characteristically up-regulated in the early stage of AD, and the hallmark of the inhibition of QC is the prevention of the formation of pE-Aβs and plaques. A computer-aided drug design (CADD) process was employed to give an idea for the designing of potentially active compounds to understand the inhibitory potency against human glutaminyl cyclase (QC). This work elaborates the ligand-based and structure-based pharmacophore exploration of glutaminyl cyclase (QC) by using the known inhibitors. Three dimensional (3D) quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) methods were applied to 154 compounds with known IC50 values. All the inhibitors were divided into two sets, training-set, and test-sets. Generally, training-set was used to build the quantitative pharmacophore model based on the principle of structural diversity, whereas the test-set was employed to evaluate the predictive ability of the pharmacophore hypotheses. A chemical feature-based pharmacophore model was generated from the known 92 training-set compounds by HypoGen module implemented in Discovery Studio 2017 R2 software package. The best hypothesis was selected (Hypo1) based upon the highest correlation coefficient (0.8906), lowest total cost (463.72), and the lowest root mean square deviation (2.24Å) values. The highest correlation coefficient value indicates greater predictive activity of the hypothesis, whereas the lower root mean square deviation signifies a small deviation of experimental activity from the predicted one. The best pharmacophore model (Hypo1) of the candidate inhibitors predicted comprised four features: two hydrogen bond acceptor, one hydrogen bond donor, and one hydrophobic feature. The Hypo1 was validated by several parameters such as test set activity prediction, cost analysis, Fischer's randomization test, leave-one-out method, and heat map of ligand profiler. The predicted features were then used for virtual screening of potential compounds from NCI, ASINEX, Maybridge and Chembridge databases. More than seven million compounds were used for this purpose. The hit compounds were filtered by drug-likeness and pharmacokinetics properties. The selective hits were docked to the high-resolution three-dimensional structure of the target protein glutaminyl cyclase (PDB ID: 2AFU/2AFW) to filter these hits further. To validate the molecular docking results, the most active compound from the dataset was selected as a reference molecule. From the density functional theory (DFT) study, ten molecules were selected based on their highest HOMO (highest occupied molecular orbitals) energy and the lowest bandgap values. Molecular dynamics simulations with explicit solvation systems of the final ten hit compounds revealed that a large number of non-covalent interactions were formed with the binding site of the human glutaminyl cyclase. It was suggested that the hit compounds reported in this study could help in future designing of potent inhibitors as leads against human glutaminyl cyclase.

Keywords: glutaminyl cyclase, hit lead, pharmacophore model, simulation

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