Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Athanasios Kotsiopoulos

18 Impact of Ship Traffic to PM 2.5 and Particle Number Concentrations in Three Port-Cities of the Adriatic/Ionian Area

Authors: Daniele Contini, Antonio Donateo, Andrea Gambaro, Athanasios Argiriou, Dimitrios Melas, Daniela Cesari, Anastasia Poupkou, Athanasios Karagiannidis, Apostolos Tsakis, Eva Merico, Rita Cesari, Adelaide Dinoi

Abstract:

Emissions of atmospheric pollutants from ships and harbour activities are a growing concern at International level given their potential impacts on air quality and climate. These close-to-land emissions have potential impact on local communities in terms of air quality and health. Recent studies show that the impact of maritime traffic to atmospheric particulate matter concentrations in several coastal urban areas is comparable with the impact of road traffic of a medium size town. However, several different approaches have been used for these estimates making difficult a direct comparison of results. In this work an integrated approach based on emission inventories and dedicated measurement campaigns has been applied to give a comparable estimate of the impact of maritime traffic to PM2.5 and particle number concentrations in three major harbours of the Adriatic/Ionian Seas. The influences of local meteorology and of the logistic layout of the harbours are discussed.

Keywords: ship emissions, PM2.5, particle number concentrations, impact of shipping to atmospheric aerosol

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17 Cell-free Bioconversion of n-Octane to n-Octanol via a Heterogeneous and Bio-Catalytic Approach

Authors: Shanna Swart, Caryn Fenner, Athanasios Kotsiopoulos, Susan Harrison

Abstract:

Linear alkanes are produced as by-products from the increasing use of gas-to-liquid fuel technologies for synthetic fuel production and offer great potential for value addition. Their current use as low-value fuels and solvents do not maximize this potential. Therefore, attention has been drawn towards direct activation of these aliphatic alkanes to more useful products such as alcohols, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and derivatives. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) can be used for activation of these aliphatic alkanes using whole-cells or cell-free systems. Some limitations of whole-cell systems include reduced mass transfer, stability and possible side reactions. Since the P450 systems are little studied as cell-free systems, they form the focus of this study. Challenges of a cell-free system include co-factor regeneration, substrate availability and enzyme stability. Enzyme immobilization offers a positive outlook on this dilemma, as it may enhance stability of the enzyme. In the present study, 2 different P450s (CYP153A6 and CYP102A1) as well as the relevant accessory enzymes required for electron transfer (ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase) and co-factor regeneration (glucose dehydrogenase) have been expressed in E. coli and purified by metal affinity chromatography. Glucose dehydrogenase (GDH), was used as a model enzyme to assess the potential of various enzyme immobilization strategies including; surface attachment on MagReSyn® microspheres with various functionalities and on electrospun nanofibers, using self-assembly based methods forming Cross Linked Enzymes (CLE), Cross Linked Enzyme Aggregates (CLEAs) and spherezymes as well as in a sol gel. The nanofibers were synthesized by electrospinning, which required the building of an electrospinning machine. The nanofiber morphology has been analyzed by SEM and binding will be further verified by FT-IR. Covalent attachment based methods showed limitations where only ferredoxin reductase and GDH retained activity after immobilization which were largely attributed to insufficient electron transfer and inactivation caused by the crosslinkers (60% and 90% relative activity loss for the free enzyme when using 0.5% glutaraldehyde and glutaraldehyde/ethylenediamine (1:1 v/v), respectively). So far, initial experiments with GDH have shown the most potential when immobilized via their His-tag onto the surface of MagReSyn® microspheres functionalized with Ni-NTA. It was found that Crude GDH could be simultaneously purified and immobilized with sufficient activity retention. Immobilized pure and crude GDH could be recycled 9 and 10 times, respectively, with approximately 10% activity remaining. The immobilized GDH was also more stable than the free enzyme after storage for 14 days at 4˚C. This immobilization strategy will also be applied to the P450s and optimized with regards to enzyme loading and immobilization time, as well as characterized and compared with the free enzymes. It is anticipated that the proposed immobilization set-up will offer enhanced enzyme stability (as well as reusability and easy recovery), minimal mass transfer limitation, with continuous co-factor regeneration and minimal enzyme leaching. All of which provide a positive outlook on this robust multi-enzyme system for efficient activation of linear alkanes as well as the potential for immobilization of various multiple enzymes, including multimeric enzymes for different bio-catalytic applications beyond alkane activation.

Keywords: alkane activation, cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, enzyme catalysis, enzyme immobilization

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16 Gravitationally Confined Relativistic Neutrinos and Mathematical Modeling of the Structure of Pions

Authors: Constantinos Vayenas, Athanasios Fokas, Dimitrios Grigoriou

Abstract:

We use special relativity to compute the inertial and thus gravitational mass of relativistic electron and muon neutrinos, and we find that, for neutrino kinetic energies above 150 MeV/c2, these masses are in the Planck mass range. Consequently, we develop a simple Bohr-type model using gravitational rather than electrostatic forces between the rotating neutrinos as the centripetal force in order to examine the bound rotational states formed by two or three such relativistic neutrinos. We find that the masses of the composite rotational structures formed, are in the meson and baryon mass ranges, respectively. These models contain no adjustable parameters and by comparing their predictions with the experimental values of the masses of protons and pions, we compute a mass of 0.0437 eV/c2 for the heaviest electron neutrino mass and of 1.1 x10-3 eV/c2 for the heaviest muon neutrino mass.

Keywords: geons, gravitational confinement, neutrino masses, special relativity

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15 Energy Performance of Buildings Due to Downscaled Seasonal Models

Authors: Anastasia K. Eleftheriadou, Athanasios Sfetsos, Nikolaos Gounaris

Abstract:

The present work examines the suitability of a seasonal forecasting model downscaled with a very high spatial resolution in order to assess the energy performance and requirements of buildings. The application of the developed model is applied on Greece for a period and with a forecast horizon of 5 months in the future. Greece, as a country in the middle of a financial crisis and facing serious societal challenges, is also very sensitive to climate changes. The commonly used method for the correlation of climate change with the buildings energy consumption is the concept of Degree Days (DD). This method can be applied to heating and cooling systems for a better management of environmental, economic and energy crisis, and can be used as medium (3-6 months) planning tools in order to predict the building needs and country’s requirements for residential energy use.

Keywords: downscaled seasonal models, degree days, energy performance

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14 Brewing in a Domestic Refrigerator Using Freeze-Dried Raw Materials

Authors: Angelika-Ioanna Gialleli, Gousi Mantha, Maria Kanellaki, Bekatorou Argyro, Athanasios Koutinas

Abstract:

In this study, a new brewing technology with dry raw materials is proposed with potential application in home brewing. Bio catalysts were prepared by immobilization of the psychrotolerant yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae AXAZ-1 on tubular cellulose. Both the word and the biocatalysts were freeze-dried without any cryoprotectants and used for low temperature brewing. The combination of immobilization and freeze-drying techniques was applied successfully, giving a potential for supplying breweries with preserved and ready-to-use immobilized cells. The effect of wort sugar concentration (7°, 8.5°, 10°Be), temperature (2, 5, 7° C) and carrier concentration (5, 10, 20 g/L) on fermentation kinetics and final product quality (volatiles, colour, polyphenols, bitterness) was assessed. The same procedure was repeated with free cells for comparison of the results. The results for immobilized cells were better compared to free cells regarding fermentation kinetics and organoleptic characteristics.

Keywords: brewing, tubular cellulose, low temperature, biocatalyst

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13 Stationary Methanol Steam Reforming to Hydrogen Fuel for Fuel-Cell Filling Stations

Authors: Athanasios A. Tountas, Geoffrey A. Ozin, Mohini M. Sain

Abstract:

Renewable hydrogen (H₂) carriers such as methanol (MeOH), dimethyl ether (DME), oxymethylene dimethyl ethers (OMEs), and conceivably ammonia (NH₃) can be reformed back into H₂ and are fundamental chemical conversions for the long-term viability of the H₂ economy due to their higher densities and ease of transportability compared to H₂. MeOH is an especially important carrier as it is a simple C1 chemical that can be produced from green solar-PV-generated H₂ and direct-air-captured CO₂ with a current commercially practical solar-to-fuel efficiency of 10% from renewable solar energy. MeOH steam reforming (MSR) in stationary systems next to H₂ fuel-cell filling stations can eliminate the need for onboard mobile reformers, and the former systems can be more robust in terms of attaining strict H₂ product specifications, and MeOH is a safe, lossless, and compact medium for long-term H₂ storage. Both thermal- and photo-catalysts are viable options for achieving the stable, long-term performance of stationary MSR systems.

Keywords: fuel-cell vehicle filling stations, methanol steam reforming, hydrogen transport and storage, stationary reformer, liquid hydrogen carriers

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12 Chairussyuhur Arman, Totti Tjiptosumirat, Muhammad Gunawan, Mastur, Joko Priyono, Baiq Tri Ratna Erawati

Authors: Maria M. Giannakou, Athanasios K. Ziliaskopoulos

Abstract:

Transmission pipelines carrying natural gas are often routed through populated cities, industrial and environmentally sensitive areas. While the need for these networks is unquestionable, there are serious concerns about the risk these lifeline networks pose to the people, to their habitat and to the critical infrastructures, especially in view of natural disasters such as earthquakes. This work presents an Integrated Pipeline Risk Management methodology (IPRM) for assessing the hazard associated with a natural gas pipeline failure due to natural or manmade disasters. IPRM aims to optimize the allocation of the available resources to countermeasures in order to minimize the impacts of pipeline failure to humans, the environment, the infrastructure and the economic activity. A proposed knapsack mathematical programming formulation is introduced that optimally selects the proper mitigation policies based on the estimated cost – benefit ratios. The proposed model is demonstrated with a small numerical example. The vulnerability analysis of these pipelines and the quantification of consequences from such failures can be useful for natural gas industries on deciding which mitigation measures to implement on the existing pipeline networks with the minimum cost in an acceptable level of hazard.

Keywords: cost benefit analysis, knapsack problem, natural gas distribution network, risk management, risk mitigation

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11 Cheese Production at Low Temperatures Using Probiotic L. casei ATCC 393 and Rennin Enzyme Entrapped in Tubular Cellulose

Authors: Eleftheria Barouni, Antonia Terpou, Maria Kanellaki, Argyro Bekatorou, Athanasios A.Koutinas

Abstract:

The aim of the present work was to evaluate the production of cheese using a composite filter of tubular cellulose (TC) with [a] entrapped rennin enzyme and [b] immobilized L.casei and entrapped enzyme. Tubular cellulose from sawdust was prepared after lignin removal with 1% NaOH. The biocatalysts were thermally dried at 38oC and used for milk coagulation. The effect of temperature (5,20,37 oC) of the first dried biocatalyst on the pH kinetics of milk coagulation was examined. The optimum temperature (37oC) of the first biocatalyst was used for milk coagulation with the second biocatalyst prepared by entrapment of both rennin enzyme and probiotic lactic acid bacteria in order to introduce a sour taste in cheeses. This co-biocatalyst was used for milk coagulation. Samples were studied as regards its effect on lactic acid formation and its correlation with taste test results in cheeses. For both biocatalysts samples were analyzed for total acidity and lactic acid formation by HPLC. The quality of the produced cheeses was examined through the determination of volatile compounds by SPME GC/MS analysis. Preliminary taste tests and microbiological analysis were performed and encourage us for further research regarding scale up.

Keywords: tubular cellulose, Lactobacillus casei, rennin enzyme, cheese production

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10 Discrete Choice Modeling in Education: Evaluating Early Childhood Educators’ Practices

Authors: Michalis Linardakis, Vasilis Grammatikopoulos, Athanasios Gregoriadis, Kalliopi Trouli

Abstract:

Discrete choice models belong to the family of Conjoint analysis that are applied on the preferences of the respondents towards a set of scenarios that describe alternative choices. The scenarios have been pre-designed to cover all the attributes of the alternatives that may affect the choices. In this study, we examine how preschool educators integrate physical activities into their everyday teaching practices through the use of discrete choice models. One of the advantages of discrete choice models compared to other more traditional data collection methods (e.g. questionnaires and interviews that use ratings) is that the respondent is called to select among competitive and realistic alternatives, rather than objectively rate each attribute that the alternatives may have. We present the effort to construct and choose representative attributes that would cover all possible choices of the respondents, and the scenarios that have arisen. For the purposes of the study, we used a sample of 50 preschool educators in Greece that responded to 4 scenarios (from the total of 16 scenarios that the orthogonal design resulted), with each scenario having three alternative teaching practices. Seven attributes of the alternatives were used in the scenarios. For the analysis of the data, we used multinomial logit model with random effects, multinomial probit model and generalized mixed logit model. The conclusions drawn from the estimated parameters of the models are discussed.

Keywords: conjoint analysis, discrete choice models, educational data, multivariate statistical analysis

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9 Design of a Recombinant Expression System for Bacterial Cellulose Production

Authors: Gizem Buldum, Alexander Bismarck, Athanasios Mantalaris

Abstract:

Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth and it is currently being utilised in a multitude of industrial applications. Over the last 30 years, attention has been paid to the bacterial cellulose (BC), since BC exhibits unique physical, chemical and mechanical properties when compared to plant-based cellulose, including high purity and biocompatibility. Although Acetobacter xylinum is the most efficient producer of BC, it’s long doubling time results in insufficient yields of the cellulose production. This limits widespread and continued use of BC. In this study, E. coli BL21 (DE3) or E. coli HMS cells are selected as host organisms for the expression of bacterial cellulose synthase operon (bcs) of A.xylinum. The expression system is created based on pET-Duet1 and pCDF plasmid vectors, which carry bcs operon. The results showed that all bcs genes were successfully transferred and expressed in E.coli strains. The expressions of bcs proteins were shown by SDS and Native page analyses. The functionality of the bcs operon was proved by congo red binding assay. The effect of culturing temperature and the inducer concentration (IPTG) on cell growth and plasmid stability were monitored. The percentage of plasmid harboring cells induced with 0.025 mM IPTG was obtained as 85% at 22˚C in the end of 10-hr culturing period. It was confirmed that the high output cellulose production machinery of A.xylinum can be transferred into other organisms.

Keywords: bacterial cellulose, biopolymer, recombinant expression system, production

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8 Encapsulated Rennin Enzyme in Nano and Micro Tubular Cellulose/Starch Gel Composite for Milk Coagulation

Authors: Eleftheria Barouni, Theano Petsi, Argyro Bekatorou, Dionysos Kolliopoulos, Dimitrios Vasileiou, Panayiotis Panas, Maria Kanellaki, Athanasios A. Koutinas

Abstract:

The aim of the present work was the production and use of a composite filter (TC/starch), containing rennin enzyme, in continuous system and in successive fermentation batches (SFB) for milk coagulation in order to compare the operational stability of both systems and cheese production cost. Tubular cellulose (TC) was produced after removal of lignin from lignocellulosic biomass using several procedures, e.g. alkaline treatment [1] and starch gel was added for the reduction of TC tubes dimensions to micro- and nano- range[2]. Four immobilized biocatalysts were prepared using different ways of the enzyme entrapment. 1) TC/ rennin (rennin entrapped in the tubes of TC), 2) TC/SG-rennin (rennin entrapped in the tubes of the composite), 3) TC-SG/rennin (rennin entrapped into the layer of starch gel) and 4) TC/rennin- SG/rennin (rennin is entrapped both in the tubes of the TC and into the layer of starch gel). Firstly these immobilized biocatalysts were examined in ten SFB regarding the coagulation time and their activity All the above immobilized biocatalysts remained active and the coagulation time was ranged from 90 to 480, 120-480, 330-510, and 270-540 min for (1), (2), (3), and (4) respectively. The quality of the cheese was examined through the determination of volatile compounds by SPME GC/MS analysis. These results encouraged us to study a continuous coagulation system of milk. Even though the (1) immobilized biocatalyst gave lower coagulation time, we used the (2) immobilized biocatalyst in the continuous system. The results were promising.

Keywords: tubular cellulose, starch gel, composite biocatalyst, Rennin, milk coagulation

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7 A Novel Marketable Dried Mixture for High-Quality Sweet Wine Production in Domestic Refrigerator Using Tubular Cellulose

Authors: Ganatsios Vassilios, Terpou Antonia, Maria Kanellaki, Bekatorou Argyro, Athanasios Koutinas

Abstract:

In this study, a new fermentation technology is proposed with potential application in home wine-making. Delignified cellulosic material was used to preserve Tubular Cellulose (TC), an effective fermentation support material in high osmotic pressure, low temperature, and alcohol concentration. The psychrotolerant yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae AXAZ-1 was immobilized on TC to preserve a novel home wine making biocatalyst (HWB) and the entrapment was examined by SEM. Various concentrations of HWB was added in high-density grape must and the mixture was dried immediately. The dried mixture was stored for various time intervals and its fermentation examined after addition of potable water. The percentage of added water was also examined to succeed high alcohol and residual sugar concentration. The effect of low temperature (1-10 oC) on fermentation kinetics was studied revealing the ability of HBW on low-temperature sweet wine making. Sweet wines SPME GC-MS analysis revealed the promotion effect of TC on volatile by-products formation in comparison with free cells. Kinetics results and aromatic profile of final product encouraged the efforts of high-quality sweet wine making in domestic refrigerator and potential marketable opportunities are also assessed and discussed.

Keywords: tubular cellulose, sweet wine, Saccharomyces cerevisiae AXAZ-1, residual sugar concentration

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6 Under the 'Umbrella' Project: A Volunteer-Mentoring Approach for Socially Disadvantaged University Students

Authors: Evridiki Zachopoulou, Vasilis Grammatikopoulos, Michail Vitoulis, Athanasios Gregoriadis

Abstract:

In the last ten years, the recent economic crisis in Greece has decreased the financial ability and strength of several families when it comes to supporting their children’s studies. As a result, the number of students who are significantly delaying or even dropping out of their university studies is constantly increasing. The students who are at greater risk for academic failure are those who are facing various problems and social disadvantages, like health problems, special needs, family poverty or unemployment, single-parent students, immigrant students, etc. The ‘Umbrella’ project is a volunteer-based initiative to tackle this problem at International Hellenic University. The main purpose of the project is to provide support to disadvantaged students at a socio-emotional, academic, and practical level in order to help them complete their undergraduate studies. More specifically, the ‘Umbrella’ project has the following goals: (a) to develop a consulting-supporting network based on volunteering senior students, called ‘i-mentors’. (b) to train the volunteering i-mentors and create a systematic and consistent support procedure for students at-risk, (c), to develop a service that, parallel to the i-mentor network will be ensuring opportunities for at-risk students to find a job, (d) to support students who are coping with accessibility difficulties, (e) to secure the sustainability of the ‘Umbrella’ project after the completion of the funding of the project. The innovation of the Umbrella project is in its holistic-person-centered approach that will be providing individualized support -via the i-mentors network- to any disadvantaged student that will come ‘under the Umbrella.’

Keywords: peer mentoring, student support, socially disadvantaged students, volunteerism in higher education

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5 Contrast-to-Noise Ratio Comparison of Different Calcification Types in Dual Energy Breast Imaging

Authors: Vaia N. Koukou, Niki D. Martini, George P. Fountos, Christos M. Michail, Athanasios Bakas, Ioannis S. Kandarakis, George C. Nikiforidis

Abstract:

Various substitute materials of calcifications are used in phantom measurements and simulation studies in mammography. These include calcium carbonate, calcium oxalate, hydroxyapatite and aluminum. The aim of this study is to compare the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) values of the different calcification types using the dual energy method. The constructed calcification phantom consisted of three different calcification types and thicknesses: hydroxyapatite, calcite and calcium oxalate of 100, 200, 300 thicknesses. The breast tissue equivalent materials were polyethylene and polymethyl methacrylate slabs simulating adipose tissue and glandular tissue, respectively. The total thickness was 4.2 cm with 50% fixed glandularity. The low- (LE) and high-energy (HE) images were obtained from a tungsten anode using 40 kV filtered with 0.1 mm cadmium and 70 kV filtered with 1 mm copper, respectively. A high resolution complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensor (APS) X-ray detector was used. The total mean glandular dose (MGD) and entrance surface dose (ESD) from the LE and HE images were constrained to typical levels (MGD=1.62 mGy and ESD=1.92 mGy). On average, the CNR of hydroxyapatite calcifications was 1.4 times that of calcite calcifications and 2.5 times that of calcium oxalate calcifications. The higher CNR values of hydroxyapatite are attributed to its attenuation properties compared to the other calcification materials, leading to higher contrast in the dual energy image. This work was supported by Grant Ε.040 from the Research Committee of the University of Patras (Programme K. Karatheodori).

Keywords: calcification materials, CNR, dual energy, X-rays

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4 Numerical Investigation of the Integration of a Micro-Combustor with a Free Piston Stirling Engine in an Energy Recovery System

Authors: Ayodeji Sowale, Athanasios Kolios, Beatriz Fidalgo, Tosin Somorin, Aikaterini Anastasopoulou, Alison Parker, Leon Williams, Ewan McAdam, Sean Tyrrel

Abstract:

Recently, energy recovery systems are thriving and raising attention in the power generation sector, due to the request for cleaner forms of energy that are friendly and safe for the environment. This has created an avenue for cogeneration, where Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technologies have been recognised for their feasibility, and use in homes and small-scale businesses. The efficiency of combustors and the advantages of the free piston Stirling engines over other conventional engines in terms of output power and efficiency, have been observed and considered. This study presents the numerical analysis of a micro-combustor with a free piston Stirling engine in an integrated model of a Nano Membrane Toilet (NMT) unit. The NMT unit will use the micro-combustor to produce waste heat of high energy content from the combustion of human waste and the heat generated will power the free piston Stirling engine which will be connected to a linear alternator for electricity production. The thermodynamic influence of the combustor on the free piston Stirling engine was observed, based on the heat transfer from the flue gas to working gas of the free piston Stirling engine. The results showed that with an input of 25 MJ/kg of faecal matter, and flue gas temperature of 773 K from the micro-combustor, the free piston Stirling engine generates a daily output power of 428 W, at thermal efficiency of 10.7% with engine speed of 1800 rpm. An experimental investigation into the integration of the micro-combustor and free piston Stirling engine with the NMT unit is currently underway.

Keywords: free piston stirling engine, micro-combustor, nano membrane toilet, thermodynamics

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3 Biomechanics of Ceramic on Ceramic vs. Ceramic on Xlpe Total Hip Arthroplasties During Gait

Authors: Athanasios Triantafyllou, Georgios Papagiannis, Vassilios Nikolaou, Panayiotis J. Papagelopoulos, George C. Babis

Abstract:

In vitro measurements are widely used in order to predict THAs wear rate implementing gait kinematic and kinetic parameters. Clinical tests of materials and designs are crucial to prove the accuracy and validate such measurements. The purpose of this study is to examine the affection of THA gait kinematics and kinetics on wear during gait, the essential functional activity of humans, by comparing in vivo gait data to in vitro results. Our study hypothesis is that both implants will present the same hip joint kinematics and kinetics during gait. 127 unilateral primary cementless total hip arthroplasties were included in the research. Independent t-tests were used to identify a statistically significant difference in kinetic and kinematic data extracted from 3D gait analysis. No statistically significant differences observed at mean peak abduction, flexion and extension moments between the two groups (P.abduction= 0,125, P.flexion= 0,218, P.extension= 0,082). The kinematic measurements show no statistically significant differences too (Prom flexion-extension= 0,687, Prom abduction-adduction= 0,679). THA kinematics and kinetics during gait are important biomechanical parameters directly associated with implants wear. In vitro studies report less wear in CoC than CoXLPE when tested with the same gait cycle kinematic protocol. Our findings confirm that both implants behave identically in terms of kinematics in the clinical environment, thus strengthening in vitro results of CoC advantage. Correlated to all other significant factors that affect THA wear could address in a complete prism the wear on CoC and CoXLPE.

Keywords: total hip arthroplasty biomechanics, THA gait analysis, ceramic on ceramic kinematics, ceramic on XLPE kinetics, total hip replacement wear

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2 Assessing Local Authorities’ Interest in Addressing Urban Challenges through Nature Based Solutions in Romania

Authors: Athanasios A. Gavrilidis, Mihai R. Nita, Larissa N. Stoia, Diana A. Onose

Abstract:

Contemporary global environmental challenges must be primarily addressed at local levels. Cities are under continuous pressure as they must ensure high quality of life levels for their citizens and at the same time to adapt and address specific environmental issues. Innovative solutions using natural features or mimicking natural systems are endorsed by the scientific community as efficient approaches for both mitigating climate change effects and the decrease of environmental quality and for maintaining high standards of living for urban dwellers. The aim of this study was to assess whether Romanian cities’ authorities are considering nature-based innovation as solutions for their planning, management, and environmental issues. Data were gathered by applying 140 questionnaires to urban authorities throughout the country. The questionnaire was designed for assessinglocal policy makers’ perspective over the efficiency of nature-based innovations as a tool to address specific challenges. It also focused on extracting data about financing sources and challenges they must overcome for adopting nature-based approaches. The gather results from the municipalities participating in our study were statistically processed, and they revealed that Romanian city managers acknowledge the benefits of nature-based innovations, but investments in this sector are not on top of their priorities. More than 90% of the selected cities have agreed that in the last 10 years, their major concern was to expand the grey infrastructure (roads and public amenities) using traditional approaches. When asked how they would react if faced with different socio-economic and environmental challenges, local urban managers indicated investments nature-based solutions as a priority only in case of biodiversity loss and extreme weather, while for other 14 proposed scenarios, they would embrace the business-as-usual approach. Our study indicates that while new concepts of sustainable urban planning emerge within the scientific community, local authorities need more time to understand and implement them. Without the proper knowledge, personnel, policies, or dedicated budgets, local administrators will not embrace nature-based innovations as solutions for their challenges.

Keywords: nature based innovations, perception analysis, policy making, urban planning

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1 Environmental Sanitation Parameters Recording in Refugee-Migrants Camps in Greece, 2017

Authors: Crysovaladou Kefaloudi, Kassiani Mellou, Eirini Saranti-Papasaranti, Athanasios Koustenis, Chrysoula Botsi, Agapios Terzidis

Abstract:

Recent migration crisis led to a vast migrant – refugees movement to Greece which created an urgent need for hosting settlements. Taken into account the protection of public health from possible pathogens related to water and food supply as well as waste and sewage accumulation, a 'Living Conditions Recording Form' was created in the context of 'PHILOS' European Program funded by the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) of EU’s DG Migration and Home Affairs, in order to assess a number of environmental sanitation parameters, in refugees – migrants camps in mainland. The assessment will be completed until the end of July. From March to June 2017, mobile unit teams comprised of health inspectors of sub-action 2 of “PHILOS” proceeded with the assessment of living conditions in twenty-two out of thirty-one camps and 'Stata' was used for the statistical analysis of obtained information. Variables were grouped into the following categories: 1) Camp administration, 2) hosted population number, 3) accommodation, 4) heating installations, 5) personal hygiene, 6) sewage collection and disposal, 7) water supply, 8) waste collection and management, 9) pest control, 10) fire safety, 11) food handling and safety. Preliminary analysis of the results showed that camp administration was performed in 90% of the camps by a public authority with the coordination of various NGOs. The median number of hosted population was 222 ranging from 62 to 3200, and the median value of hosted population per accommodation type was 4 in 19 camps. Heating facilities were provided in 86.1% of camps. In 18.2 % of the camps, one personal hygiene facility was available per 6 people ranging in the rest of the camps from 1 per 3 to 1 per 20 hosted refugees-migrants. Waste and sewage collection was performed depending on populations demand in an adequate way in all recorded camps. In 90% of camps, water was supplied through the central water supply system. In 85% of camps quantity and quality of water supply inside camps was regularly monitored for microbial and chemical indices. Pest control was implemented in 86.4% of the camps as well as fire safety measures. Food was supplied by catering companies in 50% of the camps, and the quality and quantity food was monitored at a regular basis. In 77% of camps, food was prepared by the hosted population with the availability of proper storage conditions. Furthermore, in all camps, hosted population was provided with personal hygiene items and health sanitary educational programs were implemented in 77.3% of camps. In conclusion, in the majority of the camps, environmental sanitation parameters were satisfactory. However, waste and sewage accumulation, as well as inadequate pest control measures were recorded in some camps. The obtained data have led to a number of recommendations for the improvement of sanitary conditions, disseminated to all relevant stakeholders. Special emphasis was given to hygiene measures implementation during food handling by migrants – refugees, as well as to waste and sewage accumulation taking in to account the population’s cultural background.

Keywords: environmental sanitation parameters, food borne diseases risk assessment, refugee – migrants camps, water borne diseases risk assessment

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