Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: Cédric Guyon

12 Surface Sunctionalization Strategies for the Design of Thermoplastic Microfluidic Devices for New Analytical Diagnostics

Authors: Camille Perréard, Yoann Ladner, Fanny D'Orlyé, Stéphanie Descroix, Vélan Taniga, Anne Varenne, Cédric Guyon, Michael. Tatoulian, Frédéric Kanoufi, Cyrine Slim, Sophie Griveau, Fethi Bedioui

Abstract:

The development of micro total analysis systems is of major interest for contaminant and biomarker analysis. As a lab-on-chip integrates all steps of an analysis procedure in a single device, analysis can be performed in an automated format with reduced time and cost, while maintaining performances comparable to those of conventional chromatographic systems. Moreover, these miniaturized systems are either compatible with field work or glovebox manipulations. This work is aimed at developing an analytical microsystem for trace and ultra trace quantitation in complex matrices. The strategy consists in the integration of a sample pretreatment step within the lab-on-chip by a confinement zone where selective ligands are immobilized for target extraction and preconcentration. Aptamers were chosen as selective ligands, because of their high affinity for all types of targets (from small ions to viruses and cells) and their ease of synthesis and functionalization. This integrated target extraction and concentration step will be followed in the microdevice by an electrokinetic separation step and an on-line detection. Polymers consisting of cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) or fluoropolymer (Dyneon THV) were selected as they are easy to mold, transparent in UV-visible and have high resistance towards solvents and extreme pH conditions. However, because of their low chemical reactivity, surface treatments are necessary. For the design of this miniaturized diagnostics, we aimed at modifying the microfluidic system at two scales : (1) on the entire surface of the microsystem to control the surface hydrophobicity (so as to avoid any sample wall adsorption) and the fluid flows during electrokinetic separation, or (2) locally so as to immobilize selective ligands (aptamers) on restricted areas for target extraction and preconcentration. We developed different novel strategies for the surface functionalization of COC and Dyneon, based on plasma, chemical and /or electrochemical approaches. In a first approach, a plasma-induced immobilization of brominated derivatives was performed on the entire surface. Further substitution of the bromine by an azide functional group led to covalent immobilization of ligands through “click” chemistry reaction between azides and terminal alkynes. COC and Dyneon materials were characterized at each step of the surface functionalization procedure by various complementary techniques to evaluate the quality and homogeneity of the functionalization (contact angle, XPS, ATR). With the objective of local (micrometric scale) aptamer immobilization, we developed an original electrochemical strategy on engraved Dyneon THV microchannel. Through local electrochemical carbonization followed by adsorption of azide-bearing diazonium moieties and covalent linkage of alkyne-bearing aptamers through click chemistry reaction, typical dimensions of immobilization zones reached the 50 µm range. Other functionalization strategies, such as sol-gel encapsulation of aptamers, are currently investigated and may also be suitable for the development of the analytical microdevice. The development of these functionalization strategies is the first crucial step in the design of the entire microdevice. These strategies allow the grafting of a large number of molecules for the development of new analytical tools in various domains like environment or healthcare.

Keywords: alkyne-azide click chemistry (CuAAC), electrochemical modification, microsystem, plasma bromination, surface functionalization, thermoplastic polymers

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11 Artificial Neural Network in FIRST Robotics Team-Based Prediction System

Authors: Cedric Leong, Parth Desai, Parth Patel

Abstract:

The purpose of this project was to develop a neural network based on qualitative team data to predict alliance scores to determine winners of matches in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). The game for the competition changes every year with different objectives and game objects, however the idea was to create a prediction system which can be reused year by year using some of the statistics that are constant through different games, making our system adaptable to future games as well. Aerial Assist is the FRC game for 2014, and is played in alliances of 3 teams going against one another, namely the Red and Blue alliances. This application takes any 6 teams paired into 2 alliances of 3 teams and generates the prediction for the final score between them.

Keywords: artifical neural network, prediction system, qualitative team data, FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)

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10 Racial Diversity in Founding Ownership Teams and Business Performance in New Firms

Authors: Cedric Herring, Loren Henderson, Hayward Derrick Horton, Melvin Thomas

Abstract:

This paper asks whether business startups benefit from having racially diverse founding ownership teams. Using nationally representative data from the Kauffman Firm Survey, the analysis examines the relationship between the racial diversity of the founding ownership teams of business startups and their net worth, revenue, debt, and profits. The analysis shows that, net of firm characteristics and human capital characteristics, startups with racially diverse founding teams have higher net worth, lower debt, and greater profits than their non-diverse counterparts. The racial diversity of ownership teams is not, however, related to startup firms’ revenues, net of other factors. The implications of these findings are explored.

Keywords: racial diversity, business startups, founding ownership teams, diversity and business performance

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9 On the Importance of Quality, Liquidity Level and Liquidity Risk: A Markov-Switching Regime Approach

Authors: Tarik Bazgour, Cedric Heuchenne, Danielle Sougne

Abstract:

We examine time variation in the market beta of portfolios sorted on quality, liquidity level and liquidity beta characteristics across stock market phases. Using US stock market data for the period 1970-2010, we find, first, the US stock market was driven by four regimes. Second, during the crisis regime, low (high) quality, high (low) liquidity beta and illiquid (liquid) stocks exhibit an increase (a decrease) in their market betas. This finding is consistent with the flight-to-quality and liquidity phenomena. Third, we document the same pattern across stocks when the market volatility is low. We argue that, during low volatility times, investors shift their portfolios towards low quality and illiquid stocks to seek portfolio gains. The pattern observed in the tranquil regime can be, therefore, explained by a flight-to-low-quality and to illiquidity. Finally, our results reveal that liquidity level is more important than liquidity beta during the crisis regime.

Keywords: financial crises, quality, liquidity, liquidity risk, regime-switching models

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8 Large Scale Method to Assess the Seismic Vulnerability of Heritage Buidings: Modal Updating of Numerical Models and Vulnerability Curves

Authors: Claire Limoge Schraen, Philippe Gueguen, Cedric Giry, Cedric Desprez, Frédéric Ragueneau

Abstract:

Mediterranean area is characterized by numerous monumental or vernacular masonry structures illustrating old ways of build and live. Those precious buildings are often poorly documented, present complex shapes and loadings, and are protected by the States, leading to legal constraints. This area also presents a moderate to high seismic activity. Even moderate earthquakes can be magnified by local site effects and cause collapse or significant damage. Moreover the structural resistance of masonry buildings, especially when less famous or located in rural zones has been generally lowered by many factors: poor maintenance, unsuitable restoration, ambient pollution, previous earthquakes. Recent earthquakes prove that any damage to these architectural witnesses to our past is irreversible, leading to the necessity of acting preventively. This means providing preventive assessments for hundreds of structures with no or few documents. In this context we want to propose a general method, based on hierarchized numerical models, to provide preliminary structural diagnoses at a regional scale, indicating whether more precise investigations and models are necessary for each building. To this aim, we adapt different tools, being developed such as photogrammetry or to be created such as a preprocessor starting from pictures to build meshes for a FEM software, in order to allow dynamic studies of the buildings of the panel. We made an inventory of 198 baroque chapels and churches situated in the French Alps. Then their structural characteristics have been determined thanks field surveys and the MicMac photogrammetric software. Using structural criteria, we determined eight types of churches and seven types for chapels. We studied their dynamical behavior thanks to CAST3M, using EC8 spectrum and accelerogramms of the studied zone. This allowed us quantifying the effect of the needed simplifications in the most sensitive zones and choosing the most effective ones. We also proposed threshold criteria based on the observed damages visible in the in situ surveys, old pictures and Italian code. They are relevant in linear models. To validate the structural types, we made a vibratory measures campaign using vibratory ambient noise and velocimeters. It also allowed us validating this method on old masonry and identifying the modal characteristics of 20 churches. Then we proceeded to a dynamic identification between numerical and experimental modes. So we updated the linear models thanks to material and geometrical parameters, often unknown because of the complexity of the structures and materials. The numerically optimized values have been verified thanks to the measures we made on the masonry components in situ and in laboratory. We are now working on non-linear models redistributing the strains. So we validate the damage threshold criteria which we use to compute the vulnerability curves of each defined structural type. Our actual results show a good correlation between experimental and numerical data, validating the final modeling simplifications and the global method. We now plan to use non-linear analysis in the critical zones in order to test reinforcement solutions.

Keywords: heritage structures, masonry numerical modeling, seismic vulnerability assessment, vibratory measure

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7 Ulnar Nerve Changes Associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Effect on Median Ersus Ulnar Comparative Studies

Authors: Emmanuel K. Aziz Saba, Sarah S. El-Tawab

Abstract:

Objectives: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) was found to be associated with high pressure within the Guyon’s canal. The aim of this study was to assess the involvement of sensory and/or motor ulnar nerve fibers in patients with CTS and whether this affects the accuracy of the median versus ulnar sensory and motor comparative tests. Patients and methods: The present study included 145 CTS hands and 71 asymptomatic control hands. Clinical examination was done for all patients. The following tests were done for the patients and control: (1) Sensory conduction studies: median nerve, ulnar nerve, dorsal ulnar cutaneous nerve and median versus ulnar digit (D) four sensory comparative study; (2) Motor conduction studies: median nerve, ulnar nerve and median versus ulnar motor comparative study. Results: There were no statistically significant differences between patients and control group as regards parameters of ulnar motor study and dorsal ulnar cutaneous sensory conduction study. It was found that 17 CTS hands (11.7%) had ulnar sensory abnormalities in 17 different patients. The median versus ulnar sensory and motor comparative studies were abnormal among all these 17 CTS hands. There were statistically significant negative correlations between median motor latency and both ulnar sensory amplitudes recording D5 and D4. There were statistically significant positive correlations between median sensory conduction velocity and both ulnar sensory nerve action potential amplitude recording D5 and D4. Conclusions: There is ulnar sensory nerve abnormality among CTS patients. This abnormality affects the amplitude of ulnar sensory nerve action potential. The presence of abnormalities in ulnar nerve occurs in moderate and severe degrees of CTS. This does not affect the median versus ulnar sensory and motor comparative tests accuracy and validity for use in electrophysiological diagnosis of CTS.

Keywords: carpal tunnel syndrome, ulnar nerve, median nerve, median versus ulnar comparative study, dorsal ulnar cutaneous nerve

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6 Aire-Dependent Transcripts have Shortened 3’UTRs and Show Greater Stability by Evading Microrna-Mediated Repression

Authors: Clotilde Guyon, Nada Jmari, Yen-Chin Li, Jean Denoyel, Noriyuki Fujikado, Christophe Blanchet, David Root, Matthieu Giraud

Abstract:

Aire induces ectopic expression of a large repertoire of tissue-specific antigen (TSA) genes in thymic medullary epithelial cells (MECs), driving immunological self-tolerance in maturing T cells. Although important mechanisms of Aire-induced transcription have recently been disclosed through the identification and the study of Aire’s partners, the fine transcriptional functions underlied by a number of them and conferred to Aire are still unknown. Alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA) is an essential mRNA processing step regulated by the termination complex consisting of 85 proteins, 10 of them have been related to Aire. We evaluated APA in MECs in vivo by microarray analysis with mRNA-spanning probes and RNA deep sequencing. We uncovered the preference of Aire-dependent transcripts for short-3’UTR isoforms and for proximal poly(A) site selection marked by the increased binding of the cleavage factor Cstf-64. RNA interference of the 10 Aire-related proteins revealed that Clp1, a member of the core termination complex, exerts a profound effect on short 3’UTR isoform preference. Clp1 is also significantly upregulated in the MECs compared to 25 mouse tissues in which we found that TSA expression is associated with longer 3’UTR isoforms. Aire-dependent transcripts escape a global 3’UTR lengthening associated with MEC differentiation, thereby potentiating the repressive effect of microRNAs that are globally upregulated in mature MECs. Consistent with these findings, RNA deep sequencing of actinomycinD-treated MECs revealed the increased stability of short 3’UTR Aire-induced transcripts, resulting in TSA transcripts accumulation and contributing for their enrichment in the MECs.

Keywords: Aire, central tolerance, miRNAs, transcription termination

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5 Corrosion Resistance of 17-4 Precipitation Hardenable Stainless Steel Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting

Authors: Michella Alnajjar, Frederic Christien, Krzysztof Wolski, Cedric Bosch

Abstract:

Additive manufacturing (AM) has gained more interest in the past few years because it allows 3D parts often having a complex geometry to be directly fabricated, layer by layer according to a CAD model. One of the AM techniques is the selective laser melting (SLM) which is based on powder bed fusion. In this work, the corrosion resistance of 17-4 PH steel obtained by SLM is investigated. Wrought 17-4 PH steel is a martensitic precipitation hardenable stainless steel. It is widely used in a variety of applications such as aerospace, medical and food industries, due to its high strength and relatively good corrosion resistance. However, the combined findings of X-Ray diffraction and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) proved that SLM-ed 17-4 PH steel has a fully ferritic microstructure, more specifically δ ferrite. The microstructure consists of coarse ferritic grains elongated along the build direction, with a pronounced solidification crystallographic texture. These results were associated with the high cooling and heating rates experienced throughout the SLM process (10⁵-10⁶ K/s) that suppressed the austenite formation and produced a 'by-passing' phenomenon of this phase during the numerous thermal cycles. Furthermore, EDS measurements revealed a uniform distribution of elements without any dendritic structure. The extremely high cooling kinetics induced a diffusionless solidification, resulting in a homogeneous elemental composition. Consequently, the corrosion properties of this steel are altered from that of conventional ones. By using electrochemical means, it was found that SLM-ed 17-4 PH is more resistant to general corrosion than the wrought steel. However, the SLM-ed material exhibits metastable pitting due to its high porosity density. In addition, the hydrogen embrittlement of SLM-ed 17-4 PH steel is investigated, and a correlation between its behavior and the observed microstructure is made.

Keywords: corrosion resistance, 17-4 PH stainless steel, selective laser melting, hydrogen embrittlement

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4 Competitive DNA Calibrators as Quality Reference Standards (QRS™) for Germline and Somatic Copy Number Variations/Variant Allelic Frequencies Analyses

Authors: Eirini Konstanta, Cedric Gouedard, Aggeliki Delimitsou, Stefania Patera, Samuel Murray

Abstract:

Introduction: Quality reference DNA standards (QRS) for molecular testing by next-generation sequencing (NGS) are essential for accurate quantitation of copy number variations (CNV) for germline and variant allelic frequencies (VAF) for somatic analyses. Objectives: Presently, several molecular analytics for oncology patients are reliant upon quantitative metrics. Test validation and standardisation are also reliant upon the availability of surrogate control materials allowing for understanding test LOD (limit of detection), sensitivity, specificity. We have developed a dual calibration platform allowing for QRS pairs to be included in analysed DNA samples, allowing for accurate quantitation of CNV and VAF metrics within and between patient samples. Methods: QRS™ blocks up to 500nt were designed for common NGS panel targets incorporating ≥ 2 identification tags (IDTDNA.com). These were analysed upon spiking into gDNA, somatic, and ctDNA using a proprietary CalSuite™ platform adaptable to common LIMS. Results: We demonstrate QRS™ calibration reproducibility spiked to 5–25% at ± 2.5% in gDNA and ctDNA. Furthermore, we demonstrate CNV and VAF within and between samples (gDNA and ctDNA) with the same reproducibility (± 2.5%) in a clinical sample of lung cancer and HBOC (EGFR and BRCA1, respectively). CNV analytics was performed with similar accuracy using a single pair of QRS calibrators when using multiple single targeted sequencing controls. Conclusion: Dual paired QRS™ calibrators allow for accurate and reproducible quantitative analyses of CNV, VAF, intrinsic sample allele measurement, inter and intra-sample measure not only simplifying NGS analytics but allowing for monitoring clinically relevant biomarker VAF across patient ctDNA samples with improved accuracy.

Keywords: calibrator, CNV, gene copy number, VAF

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3 Deciphering Orangutan Drawing Behavior Using Artificial Intelligence

Authors: Benjamin Beltzung, Marie Pelé, Julien P. Renoult, Cédric Sueur

Abstract:

To this day, it is not known if drawing is specifically human behavior or if this behavior finds its origins in ancestor species. An interesting window to enlighten this question is to analyze the drawing behavior in genetically close to human species, such as non-human primate species. A good candidate for this approach is the orangutan, who shares 97% of our genes and exhibits multiple human-like behaviors. Focusing on figurative aspects may not be suitable for orangutans’ drawings, which may appear as scribbles but may have meaning. A manual feature selection would lead to an anthropocentric bias, as the features selected by humans may not match with those relevant for orangutans. In the present study, we used deep learning to analyze the drawings of a female orangutan named Molly († in 2011), who has produced 1,299 drawings in her last five years as part of a behavioral enrichment program at the Tama Zoo in Japan. We investigate multiple ways to decipher Molly’s drawings. First, we demonstrate the existence of differences between seasons by training a deep learning model to classify Molly’s drawings according to the seasons. Then, to understand and interpret these seasonal differences, we analyze how the information spreads within the network, from shallow to deep layers, where early layers encode simple local features and deep layers encode more complex and global information. More precisely, we investigate the impact of feature complexity on classification accuracy through features extraction fed to a Support Vector Machine. Last, we leverage style transfer to dissociate features associated with drawing style from those describing the representational content and analyze the relative importance of these two types of features in explaining seasonal variation. Content features were relevant for the classification, showing the presence of meaning in these non-figurative drawings and the ability of deep learning to decipher these differences. The style of the drawings was also relevant, as style features encoded enough information to have a classification better than random. The accuracy of style features was higher for deeper layers, demonstrating and highlighting the variation of style between seasons in Molly’s drawings. Through this study, we demonstrate how deep learning can help at finding meanings in non-figurative drawings and interpret these differences.

Keywords: cognition, deep learning, drawing behavior, interpretability

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2 Trajectory Generation Procedure for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Authors: Amor Jnifene, Cedric Cocaud

Abstract:

One of the most constraining problems facing the development of autonomous vehicles is the limitations of current technologies. Guidance and navigation controllers need to be faster and more robust. Communication data links need to be more reliable and secure. For an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to be useful, and fully autonomous, one important feature that needs to be an integral part of the navigation system is autonomous trajectory planning. The work discussed in this paper presents a method for on-line trajectory planning for UAV’s. This method takes into account various constraints of different types including specific vectors of approach close to target points, multiple objectives, and other constraints related to speed, altitude, and obstacle avoidance. The trajectory produced by the proposed method ensures a smooth transition between different segments, satisfies the minimum curvature imposed by the dynamics of the UAV, and finds the optimum velocity based on available atmospheric conditions. Given a set of objective points and waypoints a skeleton of the trajectory is constructed first by linking all waypoints with straight segments based on the order in which they are encountered in the path. Secondly, vectors of approach (VoA) are assigned to objective waypoints and their preceding transitional waypoint if any. Thirdly, the straight segments are replaced by 3D curvilinear trajectories taking into account the aircraft dynamics. In summary, this work presents a method for on-line 3D trajectory generation (TG) of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The method takes as inputs a series of waypoints and an optional vector of approach for each of the waypoints. Using a dynamic model based on the performance equations of fixed wing aircrafts, the TG computes a set of 3D parametric curves establishing a course between every pair of waypoints, and assembling these sets of curves to construct a complete trajectory. The algorithm ensures geometric continuity at each connection point between two sets of curves. The geometry of the trajectory is optimized according to the dynamic characteristics of the aircraft such that the result translates into a series of dynamically feasible maneuvers. In summary, this work presents a method for on-line 3D trajectory generation (TG) of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The method takes as inputs a series of waypoints and an optional vector of approach for each of the waypoints. Using a dynamic model based on the performance equations of fixed wing aircraft, the TG computes a set of 3D parametric curves establishing a course between every pair of waypoints, and assembling these sets of curves to construct a complete trajectory. The algorithm ensures geometric continuity at each connection point between two sets of curves. The geometry of the trajectory is optimized according to the dynamic characteristics of the aircraft such that the result translates into a series of dynamically feasible maneuvers.

Keywords: trajectory planning, unmanned autonomous air vehicle, vector of approach, waypoints

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1 Colocalization Analysis to Understand Yttrium Uptake in Saxifraga paniculata Using Complementary Imaging Technics

Authors: Till Fehlauer, Blanche Collin, Bernard Angeletti, Andrea Somogyi, Claire Lallemand, Perrine Chaurand, Cédric Dentant, Clement Levard, Jerome Rose

Abstract:

Over the last decades, yttrium (Y) has gained importance in high-tech applications. It is an essential part of alloys and compounds used for lasers, displays, or cell phones, for example. Due to its chemical similarities with the lanthanides, Y is often considered a rare earth element (REE). Despite their increased usage, the environmental behavior of REEs remains poorly understood. Especially regarding their interactions with plants, many uncertainties exist. On the one hand, Y is known to have a negative effect on root development and germination, but on the other hand, it appears to promote plant growth at low concentrations. In order to understand these phenomena, a precise knowledge is necessary about how Y is absorbed by the plant and how it is handled once inside the organism. Contradictory studies exist, stating that due to a similar ionic radius, Y and the other REEs might be absorbed through Ca²⁺-channels, while others suspect that Y has a shared pathway with Al³⁺. In this study, laser ablation coupled ICP-MS, and synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence (µXRF, beamline Nanoscopium, SOLEIL, France) have been used in order to localize Y within the plant tissue and identify associated elements. The plant used in this study is Saxifraga paniculata, a rugged alpine plant that has shown an affinity for Y in previous studies (in prep.). Furthermore, Saxifraga paniculata performs guttation, which means that it possesses phloem sap secreting openings on the leaf surface that serve to regulate root pressure. These so-called hydathodes could provide special insights in elemental transport in plants. The plants have been grown on Y doped soil (500mg/kg DW) for four months. The results showed that Y was mainly concentrated in the roots of Saxifraga paniculata (260 ± 85mg/kg), and only a small amount was translocated to the leaves (10 ± 7.8mg/kg). µXRF analysis indicated that within the root transects, the majority of Y remained in the epidermis and hardly penetrated the stele. Laser ablation coupled ICP-MS confirmed this finding and showed a positive correlation in the roots between Y, Fe, Al, and to a lesser extent Ca. In the stem transect, Y was mainly detected in a hotspot of approximately 40µm in diameter situated in the endodermis area. Within the stem and especially in the hotspot, Y was highly colocalized with Al and Fe. Similar-sized Y hotspots have been detected in/on the leaves. All of them were strongly colocalized with Al and Fe, except for those situated within the hydathodes, which showed no colocalization with any of the measured elements. Accordingly, a relation between Y and Ca during root uptake remains possible, whereas a correlation to Fe and Al appears to be dominant in the aerial parts, suggesting common storage compartments, the formation of complexes, or a shared pathway during translocation.

Keywords: laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), Phytoaccumulation, Rare earth elements, Saxifraga paniculata, Synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence, Yttrium

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