Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Cecile Feraudet-Tarisse

17 Mechanical Cortical Bone Characterization with the Finite Element Method Based Inverse Method

Authors: Djamel Remache, Marie Semaan, Cécile Baron, Martine Pithioux, Patrick Chabrand, Jean-Marie Rossi, Jean-Louis Milan

Abstract:

Cortical bone is a complex multi-scale structure. Even though several works have contributed significantly to understanding its mechanical behavior, this behavior remains poorly understood. Nanoindentation testing is one of the primary testing techniques for the mechanical characterization of bone at small scales. The purpose of this study was to provide new nanoindentation data of cortical bovine bone in different directions and at different bone microstructures (osteonal, interstitial and laminar bone), and then to identify anisotropic properties of samples with FEM (finite element method) based inverse method. Experimentally and numerical results were compared. Experimental and numerical results were compared. The results compared were in good agreement.

Keywords: mechanical behavior of bone, nanoindentation, finite element analysis, inverse optimization approach

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16 How to Reconcile Financial Incentives and Pro-Social Motivations of Loan Officers in Microfinance?

Authors: Julie De Pril, Cécile Godfroid

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Nowadays, achieving double bottom line has become a widely recognized objective for microfinance institutions (MFIs). They would like to be financially sustainable or even profitable while continuing to focus on their social mission. In order to rise their financial performance, MFIs tend to grant financial bonuses to loan officers so that they increase their performance and efficiency. However, as argued by motivation crowding theory, monetary rewards may not have only positive effects but can also erode intrinsic motivation. Since MFIs pursue social objectives in addition to their financial ones, their employees’ intrinsic motivations may include the willingness to help others, like in many non-profit organizations. This is called pro-social motivation in the psychology literature. Particularly, this type of motivation should be highly reflected among microfinance loan officers as a part of their role consists in improving clients’ welfare. Therefore, it seems to be crucial for MFIs to find an equilibrium between the efficiency benefits obtained thanks to the granting of financial incentives and the deterioration of social performance that may result from the reduction of the loan officers’ pro-social motivation. This paper attempts to suggest, with a mathematical model, an optimal incentive scheme MFIs could rely on.

Keywords: loan officers, microfinance, prosocial motivation, rewards

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15 Nonlinear Analysis of Postural Sway in Multiple Sclerosis

Authors: Hua Cao, Laurent Peyrodie, Olivier Agnani, Cecile Donze

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease, which affects the central nervous system, and causes balance problem. In clinical, this disorder is usually evaluated using static posturography. Some linear or nonlinear measures, extracted from the posturographic data (i.e. center of pressure, COP) recorded during a balance test, has been used to analyze postural control of MS patients. In this study, the trend (TREND) and the sample entropy (SampEn), two nonlinear parameters were chosen to investigate their relationships with the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score. Forty volunteers with different EDSS scores participated in our experiments with eyes open (EO) and closed (EC). TREND and two types of SampEn (SampEn1 and SampEn2) were calculated for each combined COP’s position signal. The results have shown that TREND had a weak negative correlation to EDSS while SampEn2 had a strong positive correlation to EDSS. Compared to TREND and SampEn1, SampEn2 showed a better significant correlation to EDSS and an ability to discriminate the MS patients in the EC case. In addition, the outcome of the study suggests that the multi-dimensional nonlinear analysis could provide some information about the impact of disability progression in MS on dynamics of the COP data.

Keywords: balance, multiple sclerosis, nonlinear analysis, postural sway

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14 Energy Management System and Interactive Functions of Smart Plug for Smart Home

Authors: Win Thandar Soe, Innocent Mpawenimana, Mathieu Di Fazio, Cécile Belleudy, Aung Ze Ya

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Intelligent electronic equipment and automation network is the brain of high-tech energy management systems in critical role of smart homes dominance. Smart home is a technology integration for greater comfort, autonomy, reduced cost, and energy saving as well. These services can be provided to home owners for managing their home appliances locally or remotely and consequently allow them to automate intelligently and responsibly their consumption by individual or collective control systems. In this study, three smart plugs are described and one of them tested on typical household appliances. This article proposes to collect the data from the wireless technology and to extract some smart data for energy management system. This smart data is to quantify for three kinds of load: intermittent load, phantom load and continuous load. Phantom load is a waste power that is one of unnoticed power of each appliance while connected or disconnected to the main. Intermittent load and continuous load take in to consideration the power and using time of home appliances. By analysing the classification of loads, this smart data will be provided to reduce the communication of wireless sensor network for energy management system.

Keywords: energy management, load profile, smart plug, wireless sensor network

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13 Performance in the Delivery of Environmental Management Programs of the Local Government Unit of Malay, Aklan, Philippines

Authors: Tomas O. Ortega, Cecilia T. Reyes, Cecile O. Legaspi, Cylde G. Abayon, Anna Mae C. Relingo, Mary Eden M. Teruel

Abstract:

A study was conducted to evaluate the performance in the delivery of environmental management programs of the local government of Malay, Aklan, Philippines. The samples were determined by adopting the Multi-Stage Random Probability Sampling technique. The 150 respondents were drawn from barangays with larger shares of the population based on the Philippine Statistical Authority’s Data on Census Population and Housing for the year 2015. The qualified sample respondents were selected using the Kish Grid. Female respondents were targeted for even numbered questionnaires while male respondents were targeted for odd numbers. The four major core concepts namely awareness, availment, satisfaction and need for action were used in measuring the rating of the respondents and presented in frequency and percentage distributions. The reasons for their response were likewise gathered. The study inferred that a large portion of the respondents was profoundly aware of the environmental management programs implemented by their local government unit especially the solid waste management and the clean-up programs/projects. Programs to control air pollution and waste water management obtained the least awareness ratings from the respondents. A high percentage of respondents had availed of environmental management programs, particularly solid waste management. Overall, majority of the respondents were satisfied with the environmental management programs rendered by the local government unit and therefore needs less action. It is recommended that the local government unit must strengthen air pollution control program. Appropriate action must be taken to support the people’s interest in this program most particularly to the individuals who burn their garbage. Seminars and training-workshops about appropriate waste disposal will most likely help settle this issue.

Keywords: availment, awareness, environmental management, need for action, satisfaction

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12 Use of Giant Magneto Resistance Sensors to Detect Micron to Submicron Biologic Objects

Authors: Manon Giraud, Francois-Damien Delapierre, Guenaelle Jasmin-Lebras, Cecile Feraudet-Tarisse, Stephanie Simon, Claude Fermon

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Early diagnosis or detection of harmful substances at low level is a growing field of high interest. The ideal test should be cheap, easy to use, quick, reliable, specific, and with very low detection limit. Combining the high specificity of antibodies-functionalized magnetic beads used to immune-capture biologic objects and the high sensitivity of a GMR-based sensors, it is possible to even detect these biologic objects one by one, such as a cancerous cell, a bacteria or a disease biomarker. The simplicity of the detection process makes its use possible even for untrained staff. Giant Magneto Resistance (GMR) is a recently discovered effect consisting in the electrical resistance modification of some conductive layers when exposed to a magnetic field. This effect allows the detection of very low variations of magnetic field (typically a few tens of nanoTesla). Magnetic nanobeads coated with antibodies targeting the analytes are mixed with a biological sample (blood, saliva) and incubated for 45 min. Then the mixture is injected in a very simple microfluidic chip and circulates above a GMR sensor that detects changes in the surrounding magnetic field. Magnetic particles do not create a field sufficient to be detected. Therefore, only the biological objects surrounded by several antibodies-functionalized magnetic beads (that have been captured by the complementary antigens) are detected when they move above the sensor. Proof of concept has been carried out on NS1 mouse cancerous cells diluted in PBS which have been bonded to magnetic 200nm particles. Signals were detected in cells-containing samples while none were recorded for negative controls. Binary response was hence assessed for this first biological model. The precise quantification of the analytes and its detection in highly diluted solution is the step now in progress.

Keywords: early diagnosis, giant magnetoresistance, lab-on-a-chip, submicron particle

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11 Exploring the Facets of Sexuality among Older Adults

Authors: Vivienne Cloude C. Bersabe, Nuelle Anne Castro, Christy P. Gonzales, Nathalie Ann D. Ocbo, Araceli Chuwaley C. Padcayan, Michelle Gaile Lianne S. Peralta, Cecile A. Perez, Eiden Mae A. Roque, Frances Bea S. Sabaten, Korina Louise A. Saculles, Jada Kristen O. Taska, Jose Reinhard C. Laoingco, Don Leonardo N. Dacumos

Abstract:

The rationale of the study: Since discussion about sexuality is considered taboo in the Filipino culture, provision of quality holistic care often lacks sexuality aspect. This research was conducted to highlight the need for nurses to incorporate sexuality in their care of older adults. Research Objectives: To measure the levels of older adults’ sexual desire, sexual behavior, and sexual intimacy and relate them to sex, living arrangement, educational level, and presence of chronic illness, whether with or without treatment. Methods: This study is of quantitative descriptive design that utilized purposive sampling. 400 older adults of Baguio City participated. The study used a 30 point researcher-made questionnaire, one-on-one interview and focused group discussion to gather data. Data were treated using weighted mean, t-test, F-test, and Scheffe's test. Results and Conclusions: The overall findings revealed that Filipino older adults have a low level of sexuality expressed by the participants’ sexual desire, behavior, and intimacy. Males have significantly higher level of sexual desire, behavior, and intimacy. Living arrangement does not seem to influence the level of sexuality in all its 3 facets. Sexual desire was significantly higher among those with tertiary education and without chronic illness. Recommendation: It is recommended that nurses carry out their assessment of clients to include the exploration of their sexuality especially the older adults. A similar study may be done to explore other variables like demographic location, i.e., rural or urban setting; socio-cultural factors; and functional performance status. It is also recommended that a similar study may be done exploring the different facets of sexuality among homosexual older persons.

Keywords: geriatrics, older adults, Philippines, sexuality

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10 The Competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: Digital Transformation of Business Models

Authors: Chante Van Tonder, Bart Bossink, Chris Schachtebeck, Cecile Nieuwenhuizen

Abstract:

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in national economies around the world, being contributors to economic and social well-being. Due to this, the success, growth and competitiveness of SMEs are critical. However, there are many factors that undermine this, such as resource constraints, poor information communication infrastructure (ICT), skills shortages and poor management. The Fourth Industrial Revolution offers new tools and opportunities such as digital transformation and business model innovation (BMI) to the SME sector to enhance its competitiveness. Adopting and leveraging digital technologies such as cloud, mobile technologies, big data and analytics can significantly improve business efficiencies, value proposition and customer experiences. Digital transformation can contribute to the growth and competitiveness of SMEs. However, SMEs are lagging behind in the participation of digital transformation. Extant research lacks conceptual and empirical research on how digital transformation drives BMI and the impact it has on the growth and competitiveness of SMEs. The purpose of the study is, therefore, to close this gap by developing and empirically validating a conceptual model to determine if SMEs are achieving BMI through digital transformation and how this is impacting the growth, competitiveness and overall business performance. An empirical study is being conducted on 300 SMEs, consisting of 150 South-African and 150 Dutch SMEs, to achieve this purpose. Structural equation modeling is used, since it is a multivariate statistical analysis technique that is used to analyse structural relationships and is a suitable research method to test the hypotheses in the model. Empirical research is needed to gather more insight into how and if SMEs are digitally transformed and how BMI can be driven through digital transformation. The findings of this study can be used by SME business owners, managers and employees at all levels. The findings will indicate if digital transformation can indeed impact the growth, competitiveness and overall performance of an SME, reiterating the importance and potential benefits of adopting digital technologies. In addition, the findings will also exhibit how BMI can be achieved in light of digital transformation. This study contributes to the body of knowledge in a highly relevant and important topic in management studies by analysing the impact of digital transformation on BMI on a large number of SMEs that are distinctly different in economic and cultural factors

Keywords: business models, business model innovation, digital transformation, SMEs

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9 Electroforming of 3D Digital Light Processing Printed Sculptures Used as a Low Cost Option for Microcasting

Authors: Cecile Meier, Drago Diaz Aleman, Itahisa Perez Conesa, Jose Luis Saorin Perez, Jorge De La Torre Cantero

Abstract:

In this work, two ways of creating small-sized metal sculptures are proposed: the first by means of microcasting and the second by electroforming from models printed in 3D using an FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling‎) printer or using a DLP (Digital Light Processing) printer. It is viable to replace the wax in the processes of the artistic foundry with 3D printed objects. In this technique, the digital models are manufactured with resin using a low-cost 3D FDM printer in polylactic acid (PLA). This material is used, because its properties make it a viable substitute to wax, within the processes of artistic casting with the technique of lost wax through Ceramic Shell casting. This technique consists of covering a sculpture of wax or in this case PLA with several layers of thermoresistant material. This material is heated to melt the PLA, obtaining an empty mold that is later filled with the molten metal. It is verified that the PLA models reduce the cost and time compared with the hand modeling of the wax. In addition, one can manufacture parts with 3D printing that are not possible to create with manual techniques. However, the sculptures created with this technique have a size limit. The problem is that when printed pieces with PLA are very small, they lose detail, and the laminar texture hides the shape of the piece. DLP type printer allows obtaining more detailed and smaller pieces than the FDM. Such small models are quite difficult and complex to melt using the lost wax technique of Ceramic Shell casting. But, as an alternative, there are microcasting and electroforming, which are specialized in creating small metal pieces such as jewelry ones. The microcasting is a variant of the lost wax that consists of introducing the model in a cylinder in which the refractory material is also poured. The molds are heated in an oven to melt the model and cook them. Finally, the metal is poured into the still hot cylinders that rotate in a machine at high speed to properly distribute all the metal. Because microcasting requires expensive material and machinery to melt a piece of metal, electroforming is an alternative for this process. The electroforming uses models in different materials; for this study, micro-sculptures printed in 3D are used. These are subjected to an electroforming bath that covers the pieces with a very thin layer of metal. This work will investigate the recommended size to use 3D printers, both with PLA and resin and first tests are being done to validate use the electroforming process of microsculptures, which are printed in resin using a DLP printer.

Keywords: sculptures, DLP 3D printer, microcasting, electroforming, fused deposition modeling

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8 A Quadratic Model to Early Predict the Blastocyst Stage with a Time Lapse Incubator

Authors: Cecile Edel, Sandrine Giscard D'Estaing, Elsa Labrune, Jacqueline Lornage, Mehdi Benchaib

Abstract:

Introduction: The use of incubator equipped with time-lapse technology in Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART) allows a continuous surveillance. With morphocinetic parameters, algorithms are available to predict the potential outcome of an embryo. However, the different proposed time-lapse algorithms do not take account the missing data, and then some embryos could not be classified. The aim of this work is to construct a predictive model even in the case of missing data. Materials and methods: Patients: A retrospective study was performed, in biology laboratory of reproduction at the hospital ‘Femme Mère Enfant’ (Lyon, France) between 1 May 2013 and 30 April 2015. Embryos (n= 557) obtained from couples (n=108) were cultured in a time-lapse incubator (Embryoscope®, Vitrolife, Goteborg, Sweden). Time-lapse incubator: The morphocinetic parameters obtained during the three first days of embryo life were used to build the predictive model. Predictive model: A quadratic regression was performed between the number of cells and time. N = a. T² + b. T + c. N: number of cells at T time (T in hours). The regression coefficients were calculated with Excel software (Microsoft, Redmond, WA, USA), a program with Visual Basic for Application (VBA) (Microsoft) was written for this purpose. The quadratic equation was used to find a value that allows to predict the blastocyst formation: the synthetize value. The area under the curve (AUC) obtained from the ROC curve was used to appreciate the performance of the regression coefficients and the synthetize value. A cut-off value has been calculated for each regression coefficient and for the synthetize value to obtain two groups where the difference of blastocyst formation rate according to the cut-off values was maximal. The data were analyzed with SPSS (IBM, Il, Chicago, USA). Results: Among the 557 embryos, 79.7% had reached the blastocyst stage. The synthetize value corresponds to the value calculated with time value equal to 99, the highest AUC was then obtained. The AUC for regression coefficient ‘a’ was 0.648 (p < 0.001), 0.363 (p < 0.001) for the regression coefficient ‘b’, 0.633 (p < 0.001) for the regression coefficient ‘c’, and 0.659 (p < 0.001) for the synthetize value. The results are presented as follow: blastocyst formation rate under cut-off value versus blastocyst rate formation above cut-off value. For the regression coefficient ‘a’ the optimum cut-off value was -1.14.10-3 (61.3% versus 84.3%, p < 0.001), 0.26 for the regression coefficient ‘b’ (83.9% versus 63.1%, p < 0.001), -4.4 for the regression coefficient ‘c’ (62.2% versus 83.1%, p < 0.001) and 8.89 for the synthetize value (58.6% versus 85.0%, p < 0.001). Conclusion: This quadratic regression allows to predict the outcome of an embryo even in case of missing data. Three regression coefficients and a synthetize value could represent the identity card of an embryo. ‘a’ regression coefficient represents the acceleration of cells division, ‘b’ regression coefficient represents the speed of cell division. We could hypothesize that ‘c’ regression coefficient could represent the intrinsic potential of an embryo. This intrinsic potential could be dependent from oocyte originating the embryo. These hypotheses should be confirmed by studies analyzing relationship between regression coefficients and ART parameters.

Keywords: ART procedure, blastocyst formation, time-lapse incubator, quadratic model

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7 A Longitudinal Study of Social Engagement in Classroom in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Cecile Garry, Katia Rovira, Julie Brisson

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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined by a qualitative and quantitative impairment of social interaction. Indeed early intervention programs, such as the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), aimed at encouraging the development of social skills. In classroom, the children need to be socially engaged to learn. Early intervention programs can thus be implemented in kindergarten schools. In these schools, ASD children have more opportunities to interact with their peers or adults than in elementary schools. However, the preschool children with ASD are less socially engaged than their typically developing peers in the classroom. They initiate, respond and maintain less the social interactions. In addition, they produce more responses than initiations. When they interact, the non verbal communication is more used than verbal or symbolic communication forms and they are more engaged with adults than with peers. Nevertheless, communicative patterns may vary according to the clinical profiles of ASD children. Indeed, the ASD children with better cognitive skills interact more with their peers and use more symbolic communication than the ASD children with a low cognitive level. ASD children with the less severe symptoms use more the verbal communication than ASD children with the more severe symptoms. Small groups and structured activities encourage coordinated joint engagement episodes in ASD children. Our goal is to evaluate ASD children’s social engagement development in class, with their peers or adults, during dyadic or group activities. Participants were 19 preschool children with ASD aged from 3 to 6 years old that benefited of an early intervention in special kindergarten schools. Severity of ASD symptoms was measured with the CARS at the beginning of the follow-up. Classroom situations of interaction were recorded during 10 minutes (5 minutes of dyadic interaction and 5 minutes of a group activity), every 2 months, during 10 months. Social engagement behaviors of children, including initiations, responses and imitation, directed to a peer or an adult, were then coded. The Observer software (Noldus) that allows to annotate behaviors was the coding system used. A double coding was conducted and revealed a good inter judges fidelity. Results show that ASD children were more often and longer socially engaged in dyadic than in groups situations. They were also more engaged with adults than with peers. Children with the less severe symptoms of ASD were more socially engaged in groups situations than children with the more severe symptoms of ASD. Then, ASD children with the less severe symptoms of ASD were more engaged with their peers than ASD children with the more severe symptoms of ASD. However, the engagement frequency increased during the 10 month of follow-up but only for ASD children with the more severe symptoms at the beginning. To conclude, these results highlighted the necessity of individualizing early intervention programs according to the clinical profile of the child.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, preschool children, developmental psychology, early interventions, social interactions

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6 Fabrication of Aluminum Nitride Thick Layers by Modified Reactive Plasma Spraying

Authors: Cécile Dufloux, Klaus Böttcher, Heike Oppermann, Jürgen Wollweber

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Hexagonal aluminum nitride (AlN) is a promising candidate for several wide band gap semiconductor compound applications such as deep UV light emitting diodes (UVC LED) and fast power transistors (HEMTs). To date, bulk AlN single crystals are still commonly grown from the physical vapor transport (PVT). Single crystalline AlN wafers obtained from this process could offer suitable substrates for a defect-free growth of ultimately active AlGaN layers, however, these wafers still lack from small sizes, limited delivery quantities and high prices so far.Although there is already an increasing interest in the commercial availability of AlN wafers, comparatively cheap Si, SiC or sapphire are still predominantly used as substrate material for the deposition of active AlGaN layers. Nevertheless, due to a lattice mismatch up to 20%, the obtained material shows high defect densities and is, therefore, less suitable for high power devices as described above. Therefore, the use of AlN with specially adapted properties for optical and sensor applications could be promising for mass market products which seem to fulfill fewer requirements. To respond to the demand of suitable AlN target material for the growth of AlGaN layers, we have designed an innovative technology based on reactive plasma spraying. The goal is to produce coarse grained AlN boules with N-terminated columnar structure and high purity. In this process, aluminum is injected into a microwave stimulated nitrogen plasma. AlN, as the product of the reaction between aluminum powder and the plasma activated N2, is deposited onto the target. We used an aluminum filament as the initial material to minimize oxygen contamination during the process. The material was guided through the nitrogen plasma so that the mass turnover was 10g/h. To avoid any impurity contamination by an erosion of the electrodes, an electrode-less discharge was used for the plasma ignition. The pressure was maintained at 600-700 mbar, so the plasma reached a temperature high enough to vaporize the aluminum which subsequently was reacting with the surrounding plasma. The obtained products consist of thick polycrystalline AlN layers with a diameter of 2-3 cm. The crystallinity was determined by X-ray crystallography. The grain structure was systematically investigated by optical and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, we performed a Raman spectroscopy to provide evidence of stress in the layers. This paper will discuss the effects of process parameters such as microwave power and deposition geometry (specimen holder, radiation shields, ...) on the topography, crystallinity, and stress distribution of AlN.

Keywords: aluminum nitride, polycrystal, reactive plasma spraying, semiconductor

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5 Improvement of the Traditional Techniques of Artistic Casting through the Development of Open Source 3D Printing Technologies Based on Digital Ultraviolet Light Processing

Authors: Drago Diaz Aleman, Jose Luis Saorin Perez, Cecile Meier, Itahisa Perez Conesa, Jorge De La Torre Cantero

Abstract:

Traditional manufacturing techniques used in artistic contexts compete with highly productive and efficient industrial procedures. The craft techniques and associated business models tend to disappear under the pressure of the appearance of mass-produced products that compete in all niche markets, including those traditionally reserved for the work of art. The surplus value derived from the prestige of the author, the exclusivity of the product or the mastery of the artist, do not seem to be sufficient reasons to preserve this productive model. In the last years, the adoption of open source digital manufacturing technologies in small art workshops can favor their permanence by assuming great advantages such as easy accessibility, low cost, and free modification, adapting to specific needs of each workshop. It is possible to use pieces modeled by computer and made with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printers that use PLA (polylactic acid) in the procedures of artistic casting. Models printed by PLA are limited to approximate minimum sizes of 3 cm, and optimal layer height resolution is 0.1 mm. Due to these limitations, it is not the most suitable technology for artistic casting processes of smaller pieces. An alternative to solve size limitation, are printers from the type (SLS) "selective sintering by laser". And other possibility is a laser hardens, by layers, metal powder and called DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering). However, due to its high cost, it is a technology that is difficult to introduce in small artistic foundries. The low-cost DLP (Digital Light Processing) type printers can offer high resolutions for a reasonable cost (around 0.02 mm on the Z axis and 0.04 mm on the X and Y axes), and can print models with castable resins that allow the subsequent direct artistic casting in precious metals or their adaptation to processes such as electroforming. In this work, the design of a DLP 3D printer is detailed, using backlit LCD screens with ultraviolet light. Its development is totally "open source" and is proposed as a kit made up of electronic components, based on Arduino and easy to access mechanical components in the market. The CAD files of its components can be manufactured in low-cost FDM 3D printers. The result is less than 500 Euros, high resolution and open-design with free access that allows not only its manufacture but also its improvement. In future works, we intend to carry out different comparative analyzes, which allow us to accurately estimate the print quality, as well as the real cost of the artistic works made with it.

Keywords: traditional artistic techniques, DLP 3D printer, artistic casting, electroforming

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4 Lentiviral-Based Novel Bicistronic Therapeutic Vaccine against Chronic Hepatitis B Induces Robust Immune Response

Authors: Mohamad F. Jamiluddin, Emeline Sarry, Ana Bejanariu, Cécile Bauche

Abstract:

Introduction: Over 360 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), of whom 1 million die each year from HBV-associated liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Current treatment options for chronic hepatitis B depend on interferon-α (IFNα) or nucleos(t)ide analogs, which control virus replication but rarely eliminate the virus. Treatment with PEG-IFNα leads to a sustained antiviral response in only one third of patients. After withdrawal of the drugs, the rebound of viremia is observed in the majority of patients. Furthermore, the long-term treatment is subsequently associated with the appearance of drug resistant HBV strains that is often the cause of the therapy failure. Among the new therapeutic avenues being developed, therapeutic vaccine aimed at inducing immune responses similar to those found in resolvers is of growing interest. The high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B necessitates the design of better vaccination strategies capable of eliciting broad-spectrum of cell-mediated immunity(CMI) and humoral immune response that can control chronic hepatitis B. Induction of HBV-specific T cells and B cells by therapeutic vaccination may be an innovative strategy to overcome virus persistence. Lentiviral vectors developed and optimized by THERAVECTYS, due to their ability to transduce non-dividing cells, including dendritic cells, and induce CMI response, have demonstrated their effectiveness as vaccination tools. Method: To develop a HBV therapeutic vaccine that can induce a broad but specific immune response, we generated recombinant lentiviral vector carrying IRES(Internal Ribosome Entry Site)-containing bicistronic constructs which allow the coexpression of two vaccine products, namely HBV T- cell epitope vaccine and HBV virus like particle (VLP) vaccine. HBV T-cell epitope vaccine consists of immunodominant cluster of CD4 and CD8 epitopes with spacer in between them and epitopes are derived from HBV surface protein, HBV core, HBV X and polymerase. While HBV VLP vaccine is a HBV core protein based chimeric VLP with surface protein B-cell epitopes displayed. In order to evaluate the immunogenicity, mice were immunized with lentiviral constructs by intramuscular injection. The T cell and antibody immune responses of the two vaccine products were analyzed using IFN-γ ELISpot assay and ELISA respectively to quantify the adaptive response to HBV antigens. Results: Following a single administration in mice, lentiviral construct elicited robust antigen-specific IFN-γ responses to the encoded antigens. The HBV T- cell epitope vaccine demonstrated significantly higher T cell immunogenicity than HBV VLP vaccine. Importantly, we demonstrated by ELISA that antibodies are induced against both HBV surface protein and HBV core protein when mice injected with vaccine construct (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Our results highlight that THERAVECTYS lentiviral vectors may represent a powerful platform for immunization strategy against chronic hepatitis B. Our data suggests the likely importance of Lentiviral vector based novel bicistronic construct for further study, in combination with drugs or as standalone antigens, as a therapeutic lentiviral based HBV vaccines. THERAVECTYS bicistronic HBV vaccine will be further evaluated in animal efficacy studies.

Keywords: chronic hepatitis B, lentiviral vectors, therapeutic vaccine, virus-like particle

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3 The Positive Effects of Processing Instruction on the Acquisition of French as a Second Language: An Eye-Tracking Study

Authors: Cecile Laval, Harriet Lowe

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Processing Instruction is a psycholinguistic pedagogical approach drawing insights from the Input Processing Model which establishes the initial innate strategies used by second language learners to connect form and meaning of linguistic features. With the ever-growing use of technology in Second Language Acquisition research, the present study uses eye-tracking to measure the effectiveness of Processing Instruction in the acquisition of French and its effects on learner’s cognitive strategies. The experiment was designed using a TOBII Pro-TX300 eye-tracker to measure participants’ default strategies when processing French linguistic input and any cognitive changes after receiving Processing Instruction treatment. Participants were drawn from lower intermediate adult learners of French at the University of Greenwich and randomly assigned to two groups. The study used a pre-test/post-test methodology. The pre-tests (one per linguistic item) were administered via the eye-tracker to both groups one week prior to instructional treatment. One group received full Processing Instruction treatment (explicit information on the grammatical item and on the processing strategies, and structured input activities) on the primary target linguistic feature (French past tense imperfective aspect). The second group received Processing Instruction treatment except the explicit information on the processing strategies. Three immediate post-tests on the three grammatical structures under investigation (French past tense imperfective aspect, French Subjunctive used for the expression of doubt, and the French causative construction with Faire) were administered with the eye-tracker. The eye-tracking data showed the positive change in learners’ processing of the French target features after instruction with improvement in the interpretation of the three linguistic features under investigation. 100% of participants in both groups made a statistically significant improvement (p=0.001) in the interpretation of the primary target feature (French past tense imperfective aspect) after treatment. 62.5% of participants made an improvement in the secondary target item (French Subjunctive used for the expression of doubt) and 37.5% of participants made an improvement in the cumulative target feature (French causative construction with Faire). Statistically there was no significant difference between the pre-test and post-test scores in the cumulative target feature; however, the variance approximately tripled between the pre-test and the post-test (3.9 pre-test and 9.6 post-test). This suggests that the treatment does not affect participants homogenously and implies a role for individual differences in the transfer-of-training effect of Processing Instruction. The use of eye-tracking provides an opportunity for the study of unconscious processing decisions made during moment-by-moment comprehension. The visual data from the eye-tracking demonstrates changes in participants’ processing strategies. Gaze plots from pre- and post-tests display participants fixation points changing from focusing on content words to focusing on the verb ending. This change in processing strategies can be clearly seen in the interpretation of sentences in both primary and secondary target features. This paper will present the research methodology, design and results of the experimental study using eye-tracking to investigate the primary effects and transfer-of-training effects of Processing Instruction. It will then provide evidence of the cognitive benefits of Processing Instruction in Second Language Acquisition and offer suggestion in second language teaching of grammar.

Keywords: eye-tracking, language teaching, processing instruction, second language acquisition

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2 A Study of Seismic Design Approaches for Steel Sheet Piles: Hydrodynamic Pressures and Reduction Factors Using CFD and Dynamic Calculations

Authors: Helena Pera, Arcadi Sanmartin, Albert Falques, Rafael Rebolo, Xavier Ametller, Heiko Zillgen, Cecile Prum, Boris Even, Eric Kapornyai

Abstract:

Sheet piles system can be an interesting solution when dealing with harbors or quays designs. However, current design methods lead to conservative approaches due to the lack of specific basis of design. For instance, some design features still deal with pseudo-static approaches, although being a dynamic problem. Under this concern, the study particularly focuses on hydrodynamic water pressure definition and stability analysis of sheet pile system under seismic loads. During a seismic event, seawater produces hydrodynamic pressures on structures. Currently, design methods introduce hydrodynamic forces by means of Westergaard formulation and Eurocodes recommendations. They apply constant hydrodynamic pressure on the front sheet pile during the entire earthquake. As a result, the hydrodynamic load may represent 20% of the total forces produced on the sheet pile. Nonetheless, some studies question that approach. Hence, this study assesses the soil-structure-fluid interaction of sheet piles under seismic action in order to evaluate if current design strategies overestimate hydrodynamic pressures. For that purpose, this study performs various simulations by Plaxis 2D, a well-known geotechnical software, and CFD models, which treat fluid dynamic behaviours. Knowing that neither Plaxis nor CFD can resolve a soil-fluid coupled problem, the investigation imposes sheet pile displacements from Plaxis as input data for the CFD model. Then, it provides hydrodynamic pressures under seismic action, which fit theoretical Westergaard pressures if calculated using the acceleration at each moment of the earthquake. Thus, hydrodynamic pressures fluctuate during seismic action instead of remaining constant, as design recommendations propose. Additionally, these findings detect that hydrodynamic pressure contributes a 5% to the total load applied on sheet pile due to its instantaneous nature. These results are in line with other studies that use added masses methods for hydrodynamic pressures. Another important feature in sheet pile design is the assessment of the geotechnical overall stability. It uses pseudo-static analysis since the dynamic analysis cannot provide a safety calculation. Consequently, it estimates the seismic action. One of its relevant factors is the selection of the seismic reduction factor. A huge amount of studies discusses the importance of it but also about all its uncertainties. Moreover, current European standards do not propose a clear statement on that, and they recommend using a reduction factor equal to 1. This leads to conservative requirements when compared with more advanced methods. Under this situation, the study calibrates seismic reduction factor by fitting results from pseudo-static to dynamic analysis. The investigation concludes that pseudo-static analyses could reduce seismic action by 40-50%. These results are in line with some studies from Japanese and European working groups. In addition, it seems suitable to account for the flexibility of the sheet pile-soil system. Nevertheless, the calibrated reduction factor is subjected to particular conditions of each design case. Further research would contribute to specifying recommendations for selecting reduction factor values in the early stages of the design. In conclusion, sheet pile design still has chances for improving its design methodologies and approaches. Consequently, design could propose better seismic solutions thanks to advanced methods such as findings of this study.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics, hydrodynamic pressures, pseudo-static analysis, quays, seismic design, steel sheet pile

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1 A Digital Clone of an Irrigation Network Based on Hardware/Software Simulation

Authors: Pierre-Andre Mudry, Jean Decaix, Jeremy Schmid, Cesar Papilloud, Cecile Munch-Alligne

Abstract:

In most of the Swiss Alpine regions, the availability of water resources is usually adequate even in times of drought, as evidenced by the 2003 and 2018 summers. Indeed, important natural stocks are for the moment available in the form of snow and ice, but the situation is likely to change in the future due to global and regional climate change. In addition, alpine mountain regions are areas where climate change will be felt very rapidly and with high intensity. For instance, the ice regime of these regions has already been affected in recent years with a modification of the monthly availability and extreme events of precipitations. The current research, focusing on the municipality of Val de Bagnes, located in the canton of Valais, Switzerland, is part of a project led by the Altis company and achieved in collaboration with WSL, BlueArk Entremont, and HES-SO Valais-Wallis. In this region, water occupies a key position notably for winter and summer tourism. Thus, multiple actors want to apprehend the future needs and availabilities of water, on both the 2050 and 2100 horizons, in order to plan the modifications to the water supply and distribution networks. For those changes to be salient and efficient, a good knowledge of the current water distribution networks is of most importance. In the current case, the water drinking network is well documented, but this is not the case for the irrigation one. Since the water consumption for irrigation is ten times higher than for drinking water, data acquisition on the irrigation network is a major point to determine future scenarios. This paper first presents the instrumentation and simulation of the irrigation network using custom-designed IoT devices, which are coupled with a digital clone simulated to reduce the number of measuring locations. The developed IoT ad-hoc devices are energy-autonomous and can measure flows and pressures using industrial sensors such as calorimetric water flow meters. Measurements are periodically transmitted using the LoRaWAN protocol over a dedicated infrastructure deployed in the municipality. The gathered values can then be visualized in real-time on a dashboard, which also provides historical data for analysis. In a second phase, a digital clone of the irrigation network was modeled using EPANET, a software for water distribution systems that performs extended-period simulations of flows and pressures in pressurized networks composed of reservoirs, pipes, junctions, and sinks. As a preliminary work, only a part of the irrigation network was modelled and validated by comparisons with the measurements. The simulations are carried out by imposing the consumption of water at several locations. The validation is performed by comparing the simulated pressures are different nodes with the measured ones. An accuracy of +/- 15% is observed on most of the nodes, which is acceptable for the operator of the network and demonstrates the validity of the approach. Future steps will focus on the deployment of the measurement devices on the whole network and the complete modelling of the network. Then, scenarios of future consumption will be investigated. Acknowledgment— The authors would like to thank the Swiss Federal Office for Environment (FOEN), the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (OFAG) for their financial supports, and ALTIS for the technical support, this project being part of the Swiss Pilot program 'Adaptation aux changements climatiques'.

Keywords: hydraulic digital clone, IoT water monitoring, LoRaWAN water measurements, EPANET, irrigation network

Procedia PDF Downloads 30