Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 34

Search results for: Christos Kontzinos

34 Leveraging Hyperledger Iroha for the Issuance and Verification of Higher-Education Certificates

Authors: Vasiliki Vlachou, Christos Kontzinos, Ourania Markaki, Panagiotis Kokkinakos, Vagelis Karakolis, John Psarras

Abstract:

Higher Education is resisting the pull of technology, especially as this concerns the issuance and verification of degrees and certificates. It is widely known that education certificates are largely produced in paper form making them vulnerable to damage while holders of such certificates are dependent on the universities and other issuing organisations. QualiChain is an EU Horizon 2020 (H2020) research project aiming to transform and revolutionise the domain of public education and its ties with the job market by leveraging blockchain, analytics and decision support to develop a platform for the verification and sharing of education certificates. Blockchain plays an integral part in the QualiChain solution in providing a trustworthy environment to store, share and manage such accreditations. Under the context of this paper, three prominent blockchain platforms (Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha) were considered as a means of experimentation for creating a system with the basic functionalities that will be needed for trustworthy degree verification. The methodology and respective system developed and presented in this paper used Hyperledger Iroha and proved that this specific platform can be used to easily develop decentralize applications. Future papers will attempt to further experiment with other blockchain platforms and assess which has the best potential.

Keywords: blockchain, degree verification, higher education certificates, Hyperledger Iroha

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33 A Low-Cost Air Quality Monitoring Internet of Things Platform

Authors: Christos Spandonidis, Stefanos Tsantilas, Elias Sedikos, Nektarios Galiatsatos, Fotios Giannopoulos, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, Nikolaos Demagos, Dimitrios Reppas, Christos Giordamlis

Abstract:

In the present paper, a low cost, compact and modular Internet of Things (IoT) platform for air quality monitoring in urban areas is presented. This platform comprises of dedicated low cost, low power hardware and the associated embedded software that enable measurement of particles (PM2.5 and PM10), NO, CO, CO2 and O3 concentration in the air, along with relative temperature and humidity. This integrated platform acts as part of a greater air pollution data collecting wireless network that is able to monitor the air quality in various regions and neighborhoods of an urban area, by providing sensor measurements at a high rate that reaches up to one sample per second. It is therefore suitable for Big Data analysis applications such as air quality forecasts, weather forecasts and traffic prediction. The first real world test for the developed platform took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, where 16 devices were installed in various buildings in the city. In the near future, many more of these devices are going to be installed in the greater Thessaloniki area, giving a detailed air quality map of the city.

Keywords: distributed sensor system, environmental monitoring, Internet of Things, smart cities

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32 A Parallel Implementation of k-Means in MATLAB

Authors: Dimitris Varsamis, Christos Talagkozis, Alkiviadis Tsimpiris, Paris Mastorocostas

Abstract:

The aim of this work is the parallel implementation of k-means in MATLAB, in order to reduce the execution time. Specifically, a new function in MATLAB for serial k-means algorithm is developed, which meets all the requirements for the conversion to a function in MATLAB with parallel computations. Additionally, two different variants for the definition of initial values are presented. In the sequel, the parallel approach is presented. Finally, the performance tests for the computation times respect to the numbers of features and classes are illustrated.

Keywords: K-means algorithm, clustering, parallel computations, Matlab

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31 Destruction of Atherosclerotic Plaque Using Pulse Ultrasound with a Planar Rectangular Ultrasound Transducer

Authors: Christakis Damianou, Christos Christofi, Nicos Mylonas

Abstract:

The aim of the proposed study was to evaluate mechanical mode ultrasound using a flat rectangular (3x10 mm2) MRI compatible transducer operating at 5 MHz for destroying atherosclerotic plaque. The system was tested initially in a Hydroxyapatite-polyalactide (HA/PLA) model. An optimized protocol was decided and then applied in atherosclerotic plaque of a rabbit. The plaque in the rabbit was created using a high cholesterol diet. The atherosclerotic plaque was imaged using MRI. This study shows that the destruction of atherosclerotic plaque is feasible.

Keywords: mri, ultrasound, atherosclerotic, plaque, pulse

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30 Capacity Optimization in Cooperative Cognitive Radio Networks

Authors: Mahdi Pirmoradian, Olayinka Adigun, Christos Politis

Abstract:

Cooperative spectrum sensing is a crucial challenge in cognitive radio networks. Cooperative sensing can increase the reliability of spectrum hole detection, optimize sensing time and reduce delay in cooperative networks. In this paper, an efficient central capacity optimization algorithm is proposed to minimize cooperative sensing time in a homogenous sensor network using OR decision rule subject to the detection and false alarm probabilities constraints. The evaluation results reveal significant improvement in the sensing time and normalized capacity of the cognitive sensors.

Keywords: cooperative networks, normalized capacity, sensing time

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29 A Conceptual Analysis of Teams’ Climate Role in the Intrapreneurial Process

Authors: Georgia C. Kosta, Christos S. Nicolaidis

Abstract:

The present paper discusses the role of teams’ climate in the intrapreneurial process. Intrapreneurship, which corresponds for entrepreneurship in existing organizations, puts special emphasis on climate as an influential factor of the intrapreneurial behavior. Although climate exists at every level and in every subgroup of the organizational structure, research focuses mainly on the study of climate that characterizes organization as a whole. However, the climate of a work team may differ radically from the organizational climate, and in fact it can be far more influential. The paper provides a conceptual analysis of organizational climate from the intrapreneurial point of view, and sheds light upon teams’ climate role in the intrapreneurial posture.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, innovation, intrapreneurship, organizational climate, teams’ climate

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28 Substrate Coupling in Millimeter Wave Frequencies

Authors: Vasileios Gerakis, Fontounasios Christos, Alkis Hatzopoulos

Abstract:

A study of the impact of metal guard rings on the coupling between two square metal pads is presented. The structure is designed over a bulk silicon substrate with epitaxial layer, so the coupling through the substrate is also involved. A lightly doped profile is adopted and is simulated by means of an electromagnetic simulator for various pad distances and different metal layers, assuming a 65 nm bulk CMOS technology. The impact of various guard ring design (geometrical) parameters is examined. Furthermore, the increase of isolation (resulting in reduction of the noise coupling) between the pads by cutting the ring, or by using multiple rings, is also analyzed. S parameters are used to compare the various structures.

Keywords: guard rings, metal pad coupling, millimeter wave frequencies, substrate noise,

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27 The Efficiency of the Use of Medical Bilingual Dictionary in English Language Teaching in Vocational College

Authors: Zorana Jurinjak, Christos Alexopoulos

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of using a medical bilingual dictionary in teaching English in a vocational college. More precisely, to what extent the use of bilingual medical dictionary in relation to the use of Standard English bilingual dictionaries influences the results on tests, and thus the acquisition of better competence of students mastering the subject terminology. Secondary interest in this paper would be to raise awareness among students and teachers about the advantages of dictionary use. The experiment was conducted at College of Applied Health Sciences in Ćuprija on a sample of 90 students. The respondents translated three medical texts with 42 target terms. Statistical analyses of the data obtained show that the differences in average time and correct answers favor the students who used medical dictionary.

Keywords: bilingual medical dictionary, standard english bilingual dictionary, medical terminology, EOS, ESP

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26 Feasibility Study for Removing Atherosclerotic Plaque Using the Thermal Effects of a Planar Rectangular High Intensity Ultrasound Transducer

Authors: Christakis Damianou, Christos Christofi, Nicos Mylonas

Abstract:

The aim of this paper was to conduct a feasibility study using a flat rectangular (3x10 mm2) MRI compatible transducer operating at 5 MHz for destroying atherosclerotic plaque using the thermal effects of ultrasound in in vitro models. A parametric study was performed where the time needed to ablate the plaque was studied as a function of Spatial Average Temporal Average (SATA) intensity, and pulse duration. The time needed to ablate plaque is directly related to intensity, and pulse duration. The temperature measured close to the artery is above safe limits and therefore thermal ultrasound does not have a place in removing plaques in arteries.

Keywords: ultrasound, atherosclerotic, plaque, pulse

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25 Dark Tourism and Local Development. Creating a Dark Urban Route

Authors: Christos N. Tsironis, Loanna Mitaftsi

Abstract:

Currently, the various forms of tours and touristic visits to destinations associated with the “dark” facets of the past constitute one of the most dynamic fields of touristic initiatives and economic development. This analysis focuses on the potential development of urban dark routes. It aims a) to shed light to touristic, social, and ethical considerations and to describe some of the trends and links combining heritage and dark tourism in post-pandemic societies and b) to explore the possibilities of developing a new and polymorphic form of dark tourism in Thessaloniki, Greece, a distinctive heritage destination. The analysis concludes with a detailed dark route designed to serve a new, polymorphic and sustainable touristic product that describes a dark past with places, sights, and monuments and narrates stories and events stigmatized by death, disaster, and violence throughout the city’s history.

Keywords: dark tourism, dark urban route, local development, polymorphic tourism

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24 Improving the LDMOS Temperature Compensation Bias Circuit to Optimize Back-Off

Authors: Antonis Constantinides, Christos Yiallouras, Christakis Damianou

Abstract:

The application of today's semiconductor transistors in high power UHF DVB-T linear amplifiers has evolved significantly by utilizing LDMOS technology. This fact provides engineers with the option to design a single transistor signal amplifier which enables output power and linearity that was unobtainable previously using bipolar junction transistors or later type first generation MOSFETS. The quiescent current stability in terms of thermal variations of the LDMOS guarantees a robust operation in any topology of DVB-T signal amplifiers. Otherwise, progressively uncontrolled heat dissipation enhancement on the LDMOS case can degrade the amplifier’s crucial parameters in regards to the gain, linearity, and RF stability, resulting in dysfunctional operation or a total destruction of the unit. This paper presents one more sophisticated approach from the traditional biasing circuits used so far in LDMOS DVB-T amplifiers. It utilizes a microprocessor control technology, providing stability in topologies where IDQ must be perfectly accurate.

Keywords: LDMOS, amplifier, back-off, bias circuit

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23 Development Strategies for Building Smart Cities: The Case of Kalampaka, Greece

Authors: Christos Stamopoulos

Abstract:

Nowadays, the technological evolution has brought changes and new requirements not only on human’s life but also on the environment in which they live. Cities have begun to be organized in new ways which comply with contemporary living standards. The aim of this paper was to present the characteristics and to introduce good construction strategies of smart cities around the world. Also, a case study of the city of Kalampaka and its residents was surveyed. More specifically, residents’ knowledge about smart cities and their opinion for future progress was examined. Statistical analysis showed that residents’ knowledge about smart cities was fairly good (48% knew the phrase 'smart city'). However, respondents believe that the appearance of the city of Kalampaka needs improvement in many areas (the 75% are disappointed with the current appearance of the city). Furthermore, regression analysis showed that the value of the environmental sustainability is greatly influenced by the energy saving, as well as, innovation has an impact on the level of quality of life, while older people seem satisfied with administration’s efforts for development.

Keywords: development, economy, environment, governance, quality of life, smart city

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22 A Novel Design in the Use of Planar Transformers for LDMOS Based Amplifiers in Bands II, III, DRM+, DVB-T and DAB+

Authors: Antonis Constantinides, Christos Yiallouras, Christakis Damianou

Abstract:

The coaxial transformer-coupled push-pull circuitry has been used widely in HF and VHF amplifiers for many decades without significant changes in the topology of the transformers. Basic changes over the years concerned the construction and turns ratio of the transformers as has been imposed upon the newer technologies active devices demands. The balun transmission line transformers applied in push-pull amplifiers enable input/output impedance transformation, but are mainly used to convert the balanced output into unbalanced and the input unbalanced into balanced. A simple and affordable alternative solution over the traditional coaxial transformer is the coreless planar balun. A key advantage over the traditional approach lies in the high specifications repeatability; simplifying the amplifier construction requirements as the planar balun constitutes an integrated part of the PCB copper layout. This paper presents the performance analysis of a planar LDMOS MRFE6VP5600 Push-Pull amplifier that enables robust operation in Band III, DVB-T, DVB-T2 standards but functions equally well in Band II, for DRM+ new generation transmitters.

Keywords: amplifier, balun, complex impedance, LDMOS, planar-transformers

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21 An Optimized Method for 3D Magnetic Navigation of Nanoparticles inside Human Arteries

Authors: Evangelos G. Karvelas, Christos Liosis, Andreas Theodorakakos, Theodoros E. Karakasidis

Abstract:

In the present work, a numerical method for the estimation of the appropriate gradient magnetic fields for optimum driving of the particles into the desired area inside the human body is presented. The proposed method combines Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Discrete Element Method (DEM) and Covariance Matrix Adaptation (CMA) evolution strategy for the magnetic navigation of nanoparticles. It is based on an iteration procedure that intents to eliminate the deviation of the nanoparticles from a desired path. Hence, the gradient magnetic field is constantly adjusted in a suitable way so that the particles’ follow as close as possible to a desired trajectory. Using the proposed method, it is obvious that the diameter of particles is crucial parameter for an efficient navigation. In addition, increase of particles' diameter decreases their deviation from the desired path. Moreover, the navigation method can navigate nanoparticles into the desired areas with efficiency approximately 99%.

Keywords: computational fluid dynamics, CFD, covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy, discrete element method, DEM, magnetic navigation, spherical particles

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20 Visual Inspection of Road Conditions Using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks

Authors: Christos Theoharatos, Dimitris Tsourounis, Spiros Oikonomou, Andreas Makedonas

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the problem of visually inspecting and recognizing the road conditions in front of moving vehicles, targeting automotive scenarios. The goal of road inspection is to identify whether the road is slippery or not, as well as to detect possible anomalies on the road surface like potholes or body bumps/humps. Our work is based on an artificial intelligence methodology for real-time monitoring of road conditions in autonomous driving scenarios, using state-of-the-art deep convolutional neural network (CNN) techniques. Initially, the road and ego lane are segmented within the field of view of the camera that is integrated into the front part of the vehicle. A novel classification CNN is utilized to identify among plain and slippery road textures (e.g., wet, snow, etc.). Simultaneously, a robust detection CNN identifies severe surface anomalies within the ego lane, such as potholes and speed bumps/humps, within a distance of 5 to 25 meters. The overall methodology is illustrated under the scope of an integrated application (or system), which can be integrated into complete Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) systems that provide a full range of functionalities. The outcome of the proposed techniques present state-of-the-art detection and classification results and real-time performance running on AI accelerator devices like Intel’s Myriad 2/X Vision Processing Unit (VPU).

Keywords: deep learning, convolutional neural networks, road condition classification, embedded systems

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19 The Greek Version of the Southampton Nostalgia Scale: Psychometric Properties in Young Adults and Associations with Life Satisfaction, Positive and Negative Emotions, Time Perspective and Wellbeing

Authors: Eirini Petratou, Pezirkianidis Christos, Anastassios Stalikas

Abstract:

Nostalgia is characterized as a mental state of human’s emotional longing for the past that activates both positive and negative emotions. The bittersweet emotions that are activated by nostalgia aid psychological functions to humans and are depended on the type of stimuli that evoke nostalgia but also on the nostalgia activation context. In general, despite that nostalgia can be activated and experienced by all people; however, it differs both in terms of nostalgia experience but also nostalgia frequency. As a matter of fact, nostalgia experience along with nostalgia frequency differs according to the level of the nostalgia proneness. People with high nostalgia proneness tend to experience nostalgia more intensely and frequently than people with low nostalgia proneness. Nostalgia proneness is considered as a basic individual difference that affects the experience of nostalgia, and it can be measured by the Southampton Nostalgia Scale (SNS); a psychometric instrument that measures human’s nostalgia proneness consisting of seven questions that assess a person’s attitude towards nostalgia, the degree of experience or tendency to nostalgic feelings and the nostalgia frequency. In the current study, we translated, validated and calibrated the SNS in Greek population (N = 267). For the calibration process, we used several scales relevant to positive dimensions, such as life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, time perspective and wellbeing. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed the factors that provide a good Southampton Nostalgia Proneness model fit for young adult Greek population.

Keywords: nostalgia proneness, nostalgia, psychometric instruments, psychometric properties

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18 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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17 Management Prospects of Winery By-Products Based on Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Grape Skins: The Case of Greek Ionian Islands

Authors: Marinos Xagoraris, Iliada K. Lappa, Charalambos Kanakis, Dimitra Daferera, Christina Papadopoulou, Georgios Sourounis, Charilaos Giotis, Pavlos Bouchagier, Christos S. Pappas, Petros A. Tarantilis, Efstathia Skotti

Abstract:

The aim of this work was to recover phenolic compounds from grape skins produced in Greek varieties of the Ionian Islands in order to form the basis of calculations for their further utilization in the context of the circular economy. Isolation and further utilization of phenolic compounds is an important issue in winery by-products. For this purpose, 37 samples were collected, extracted, and analyzed in an attempt to provide the appropriate basis for their sustainable exploitation. Extraction of the bioactive compounds was held using an eco-friendly, non-toxic, and highly effective water-glycerol solvent system. Then, extracts were analyzed using UV-Vis, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy. Also, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity were measured. LC-MS chromatography showed qualitative differences between different varieties. Peaks were attributed to monomeric 3-flavanols as well as monomeric, dimeric, and trimeric proanthocyanidins. The FT-IR and Raman spectra agreed with the chromatographic data and contributed to identifying phenolic compounds. Grape skins exhibited high total phenolic content (TPC), and it was proved that during vinification, a large number of polyphenols remained in the pomace. This study confirmed that grape skins from Ionian Islands are a promising source of bioactive compounds, suggesting their utilization under a bio-economic and environmental strategic framework.

Keywords: antioxidant activity, grape skin, phenolic compounds, waste recovery

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16 Deficit Drip Irrigation in Organic Cultivation of Aromatic Plant

Authors: Vasileios A. Giouvanis, Christos D. Papanikolaou, Dimitrios S. Dimakas, Maria A. Sakellariou-Makrantonaki

Abstract:

In countries with limited water resources, where the irrigation demands are higher than the 70% of the total water use, the demand for fresh water increases while the quality of this natural resource is downgraded. The aromatic and pharmaceutical plants hold a high position in the culture of the most civilizations through the centuries. The ‘Mountain Tea,’ species of the Greek flora, is part of a series of aromatic plants and herbs that are famous for their pharmaceutical properties as well as their byproducts and their essential oils. The aim of this research was to study the effects of full and deficit irrigation on the growing and productive characteristics of organically cultivated ‘Mountain Tea’ (Sideritis raeseri). The research took place at the University of Thessaly farm in Velestino, Magnesia - Central Greece, during the year 2017, which was the third growing season. The experiment consisted of three treatments in three replications. The experimental design was a fully randomized complete block. Surface drip irrigation was used to irrigate the experimental plots. In the first treatment, the 75% (deficit irrigation) of the daily water needs was applied. In the second treatment, the 100% (full irrigation) of the daily water needs was applied. The third treatment was not irrigated (rainfed). The crop water needs were calculated according to the daily measured evapotranspiration (ETc) using the Penman-Monteith method (FAO 56). The plants’ height, fresh and dry biomass production were measured. The results showed that only the irrigated ‘Mountain Tea’ can be cultivated at low altitude areas with satisfactory results. Moreover, there are no statistically significant differences (P < 0.05) at the growing and productive characteristics between full and deficit irrigation treatments, which proves that by deficit irrigation, an important amount of irrigation water can be saved.

Keywords: mountain tea, surface drip irrigation, deficit irrigation, water saving

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15 Solid Phase Micro-Extraction/Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Study of Volatile Compounds from Strawberry Tree and Autumn Heather Honeys

Authors: Marinos Xagoraris, Elisavet Lazarou, Eleftherios Alissandrakis, Christos S. Pappas, Petros A. Tarantilis

Abstract:

Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo L.) and autumn heather (Erica manipuliflora Salisb.) are important beekeeping plants of Greece. Six monofloral honeys (four strawberry tree, two autumn heather) were analyzed by means of Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (SPME, 60 min, 60 oC) followed by Gas Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) for the purpose of assessing the botanical origin. A Divinylbenzene/Carboxen/Polydimethylsiloxane (DVB/CAR/PDMS) fiber was employed, and benzophenone was used as internal standard. The volatile compounds with higher concentration (μg/ g of honey expressed as benzophenone) from strawberry tree honey samples, were α-isophorone (2.50-8.12); 3,4,5-trimethyl-phenol (0.20-4.62); 2-hydroxy-isophorone (0.06-0.53); 4-oxoisophorone (0.38-0.46); and β-isophorone (0.02-0.43). Regarding heather honey samples, the most abundant compounds were 1-methoxy-4-propyl-benzene (1.22-1.40); p-anisaldehyde (0.97-1.28); p-anisic acid (0.35-0.58); 2-furaldehyde (0.52-0.57); and benzaldehyde (0.41-0.56). Norisoprenoids are potent floral markers for strawberry-tree honey. β-isophorone is found exclusively in the volatile fraction of this type of honey, while also α-isophorone, 4-oxoisophorone and 2-hydroxy-isophorone could be considered as additional marker compounds. The analysis of autumn heather honey revealed that phenolic compounds are the most abundant and p-anisaldehyde; 1-methoxy-4-propyl-benzene; and p-anisic acid could serve as potent marker compounds. In conclusion, marker compounds for the determination of the botanical origin for these honeys could be identified as several norisoprenoids and phenolic components were found exclusively or in higher concentrations compared to common Greek honey varieties.

Keywords: SPME/GC-MS, volatile compounds, heather honey, strawberry tree honey

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14 The Effect of Collisions on the Multi-Fluid Plasma Richtmyer-Meshkov Instability

Authors: Kyriakos Christos Tapinou, Vincent Wheatley, Daryl Bond

Abstract:

The Richtmyer-Meshkov instability (RMI) results from the impulsive acceleration of a perturbed density interface. Density interfaces may arise due to a change in gas species, isotope, temperature, or a combination of these - which all exist within an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) target. Under some scenarios, the plasma RMI is complicated and worsened by electromagnetic effects through increased growth rate and the introduction of secondary instabilities such as the electromagnetically driven Rayleigh-Taylor instability (ERTI). Modelling of the plasma RMI with the multi-fluid plasma (MFP) model has revealed many phenomena but has only been completed within the ideal regime. The addition of collisional modeling is vital for understanding the full suite of effects that affect the ICF fuel capsule during shock compression and expansion. The Braginskii transport coefficients provide theoretically based relations for the calculation of inter-and intra-species collisions that represent the physical processes of thermal equilibriation, viscous momentum- and energy transfers, and thermal conductivity. Numerical simulations of the MFP RMI with Braginskii transport show that, over a range of conditions that ICF capsule implosions span, the transport processes can both reduce and increase the severity of the RMI and associated secondary instabilities. The core mechanisms that are affected by the collisional terms are the (1) relative velocity between the ion and electron fluids, (2) transfer of vorticity from the interface, (3) introduction of momentum and energy anisotropy, and (4) damping of high-frequency electromagnetic waves. The RMI growth rate and presence of density interface surface perturbations are generally reduced in the cases investigated, a positive for ICF efforts; however, the parameter space is large and requires further investigation.

Keywords: plasma, RMI, ICF, Braginskii transport

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13 The Axonal Connectivity of Motor and Premotor Areas as Revealed through Fiber Dissections: Shedding Light on the Structural Correlates of Complex Motor Behavior

Authors: Spyridon Komaitis, Christos Koutsarnakis, Evangelos Drosos, Aristotelis Kalyvas

Abstract:

This study opts to investigate the intrinsic architecture, morphology, and spatial relationship of the subcortical pathways implicated in the connectivity of the motor/premotor cortex and SMA/pre-SMA complex. Twenty normal, adult, formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres were explored through the fiber micro-dissection technique. Lateral to medial and medial to lateral dissections focused on the area of interest were performed in a tandem manner and under the surgical microscope. We traced the subcortical architecture, spatial relationships, and axonal connectivity of four major pathways: a) the dorsal component of the SLF (SLF-I) was found to reside in the medial aspect of the hemisphere and seen to connect the precuneus with the SMA and pre-SMA complex, b) the frontal longitudinal system (FLS) was consistently encountered as the natural anterior continuation of the SLF-II and SLF-III and connected the premotor and prefrontal cortices c) the fronto-caudate tract (FCT), a fan-shaped tract, was documented to participate in connectivity of the prefrontal and premotor cortices to the head and body of the caudate nucleus and d) the cortico-tegmental tract(CTT) was invariably recorded to subserve the connectivity of the tegmental area with the fronto-parietal cortex. No hemispheric asymmetries were recorded for any of the implicated pathways. Sub-segmentation systems were also proposed for each of the aforementioned tracts. The structural connectivity and functional specialization of motor and premotor areas in the human brain remain vague to this day as most of the available evidence derives either from animal or tractographic studies. By using the fiber-microdissection technique as our main method of investigation, we provide sound structural evidence on the delicate anatomy of the related white matter pathways.

Keywords: neuroanatomy, premotor, motor, connectivity

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12 Xerostomia and Caries Incidence in Relation to Metabolic Control in Children and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

Authors: Eftychia Pappa, Heleni Vastardis, Christos Rahiotis, Andriani Vazaiou

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of dry-mouth symptoms (xerostomia) and compare it with alterations in salivary characteristics of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes (DM1), as measured with the use of chair-side saliva tests. This study also investigated the possible association between salivary dysfunction and incidence of caries, in relation to the level of metabolic control. A cross-sectional study was performed on young patients (6-18 years old) allocated among 3 groups: 40 patients poorly-controlled (DM1-A, HbA1c>8%), 40 well-controlled (DM1-B, HbA1c≤8%) and 40 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of University of Athens and the parents signed written informed consent. All subjects were examined for dental caries, oral hygiene and salivary factors. Assessments of salivary function included self-reported xerostomia, quantification of resting and stimulated whole saliva flow rates, pH values, buffering capacity and saliva’s viscosity. Salivary characteristics were evaluated with the use of GC Saliva Check Buffer (3Μ ESPE). Data were analysed by chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Subjects with diabetes reported xerostomia more frequently than healthy controls (p<0.05). Unstimulated salivary flow rate and pH values remained significantly lower in DM1-A compared to DM1-B and controls. Low values of resting salivary flow rate were associated with a higher prevalence of dental caries in children and adolescents with poorly-controlled DM1 (p<0.05). The results suggested that diabetes-induced alterations in salivary characteristics are indicative of higher caries susceptibility of diabetics and chair-side saliva tests are a useful tool for the evaluation of caries risk assessment.

Keywords: caries risk assessment, saliva diagnostic tests, type 1 diabetes, xerostomia

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11 Validation of Nutritional Assessment Scores in Prediction of Mortality and Duration of Admission in Elderly, Hospitalized Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Christos Lampropoulos, Maria Konsta, Vicky Dradaki, Irini Dri, Konstantina Panouria, Tamta Sirbilatze, Ifigenia Apostolou, Vaggelis Lambas, Christina Kordali, Georgios Mavras

Abstract:

Objectives: Malnutrition in hospitalized patients is related to increased morbidity and mortality. The purpose of our study was to compare various nutritional scores in order to detect the most suitable one for assessing the nutritional status of elderly, hospitalized patients and correlate them with mortality and extension of admission duration, due to patients’ critical condition. Methods: Sample population included 150 patients (78 men, 72 women, mean age 80±8.2). Nutritional status was assessed by Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA full, short-form), Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) and short Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire (sNAQ). Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and ROC curves were assessed after adjustment for the cause of current admission, a known prognostic factor according to previously applied multivariate models. Primary endpoints were mortality (from admission until 6 months afterwards) and duration of hospitalization, compared to national guidelines for closed consolidated medical expenses. Results: Concerning mortality, MNA (short-form and full) and SNAQ had similar, low sensitivity (25.8%, 25.8% and 35.5% respectively) while MUST had higher sensitivity (48.4%). In contrast, all the questionnaires had high specificity (94%-97.5%). Short-form MNA and sNAQ had the best positive predictive value (72.7% and 78.6% respectively) whereas all the questionnaires had similar negative predictive value (83.2%-87.5%). MUST had the highest ROC curve (0.83) in contrast to the rest questionnaires (0.73-0.77). With regard to extension of admission duration, all four scores had relatively low sensitivity (48.7%-56.7%), specificity (68.4%-77.6%), positive predictive value (63.1%-69.6%), negative predictive value (61%-63%) and ROC curve (0.67-0.69). Conclusion: MUST questionnaire is more advantageous in predicting mortality due to its higher sensitivity and ROC curve. None of the nutritional scores is suitable for prediction of extended hospitalization.

Keywords: duration of admission, malnutrition, nutritional assessment scores, prognostic factors for mortality

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10 Self-Assembled Laser-Activated Plasmonic Substrates for High-Throughput, High-Efficiency Intracellular Delivery

Authors: Marinna Madrid, Nabiha Saklayen, Marinus Huber, Nicolas Vogel, Christos Boutopoulos, Michel Meunier, Eric Mazur

Abstract:

Delivering material into cells is important for a diverse range of biological applications, including gene therapy, cellular engineering and imaging. We present a plasmonic substrate for delivering membrane-impermeable material into cells at high throughput and high efficiency while maintaining cell viability. The substrate fabrication is based on an affordable and fast colloidal self-assembly process. When illuminated with a femtosecond laser, the light interacts with the electrons at the surface of the metal substrate, creating localized surface plasmons that form bubbles via energy dissipation in the surrounding medium. These bubbles come into close contact with the cell membrane to form transient pores and enable entry of membrane-impermeable material via diffusion. We use fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry to verify delivery of membrane-impermeable material into HeLa CCL-2 cells. We show delivery efficiency and cell viability data for a range of membrane-impermeable cargo, including dyes and biologically relevant material such as siRNA. We estimate the effective pore size by determining delivery efficiency for hard fluorescent spheres with diameters ranging from 20 nm to 2 um. To provide insight to the cell poration mechanism, we relate the poration data to pump-probe measurements of micro- and nano-bubble formation on the plasmonic substrate. Finally, we investigate substrate stability and reusability by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to inspect for damage on the substrate after laser treatment. SEM images show no visible damage. Our findings indicate that self-assembled plasmonic substrates are an affordable tool for high-throughput, high-efficiency delivery of material into mammalian cells.

Keywords: femtosecond laser, intracellular delivery, plasmonic, self-assembly

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9 Radio Frequency Energy Harvesting Friendly Self-Clocked Digital Low Drop-Out for System-On-Chip Internet of Things

Authors: Christos Konstantopoulos, Thomas Ussmueller

Abstract:

Digital low drop-out regulators, in contrast to analog counterparts, provide an architecture of sub-1 V regulation with low power consumption, high power efficiency, and system integration. Towards an optimized integration in the ultra-low-power system-on-chip Internet of Things architecture that is operated through a radio frequency energy harvesting scheme, the D-LDO regulator should constitute the main regulator that operates the master-clock and rest loads of the SoC. In this context, we present a D-LDO with linear search coarse regulation and asynchronous fine regulation, which incorporates an in-regulator clock generation unit that provides an autonomous, self-start-up, and power-efficient D-LDO design. In contrast to contemporary D-LDO designs that employ ring-oscillator architecture which start-up time is dependent on the frequency, this work presents a fast start-up burst oscillator based on a high-gain stage with wake-up time independent of coarse regulation frequency. The design is implemented in a 55-nm Global Foundries CMOS process. With the purpose to validate the self-start-up capability of the presented D-LDO in the presence of ultra-low input power, an on-chip test-bench with an RF rectifier is implemented as well, which provides the RF to DC operation and feeds the D-LDO. Power efficiency and load regulation curves of the D-LDO are presented as extracted from the RF to regulated DC operation. The D-LDO regulator presents 83.6 % power efficiency during the RF to DC operation with a 3.65 uA load current and voltage regulator referred input power of -27 dBm. It succeeds 486 nA maximum quiescent current with CL 75 pF, the maximum current efficiency of 99.2%, and 1.16x power efficiency improvement compared to analog voltage regulator counterpart oriented to SoC IoT loads. Complementary, the transient performance of the D-LDO is evaluated under the transient droop test, and the achieved figure-of-merit is compared with state-of-art implementations.

Keywords: D-LDO, Internet of Things, RF energy harvesting, voltage regulators

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8 Mediterranean Diet, Duration of Admission and Mortality in Elderly, Hospitalized Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Christos Lampropoulos, Maria Konsta, Ifigenia Apostolou, Vicky Dradaki, Tamta Sirbilatze, Irini Dri, Christina Kordali, Vaggelis Lambas, Kostas Argyros, Georgios Mavras

Abstract:

Objectives: Mediterranean diet has been associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The purpose of our study was to examine the hypothesis that Mediterranean diet may protect against mortality and reduce admission duration in elderly, hospitalized patients. Methods: Sample population included 150 patients (78 men, 72 women, mean age 80±8.2). The following data were taken into account in analysis: anthropometric and laboratory data, dietary habits (MedDiet score), patients’ nutritional status [Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) score], physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaires, IPAQ), smoking status, cause and duration of current admission, medical history (co-morbidities, previous admissions). Primary endpoints were mortality (from admission until 6 months afterwards) and duration of admission, compared to national guidelines for closed consolidated medical expenses. Logistic regression and linear regression analysis were performed in order to identify independent predictors for mortality and admission duration difference respectively. Results: According to MNA, nutrition was normal in 54/150 (36%) of patients, 46/150 (30.7%) of them were at risk of malnutrition and the rest 50/150 (33.3%) were malnourished. After performing multivariate logistic regression analysis we found that the odds of death decreased 30% per each unit increase of MedDiet score (OR=0.7, 95% CI:0.6-0.8, p < 0.0001). Patients with cancer-related admission were 37.7 times more likely to die, compared to those with infection (OR=37.7, 95% CI:4.4-325, p=0.001). According to multivariate linear regression analysis, admission duration was inversely related to Mediterranean diet, since it is decreased 0.18 days on average for each unit increase of MedDiet score (b:-0.18, 95% CI:-0.33 - -0.035, p=0.02). Additionally, the duration of current admission increased on average 0.83 days for each previous hospital admission (b:0.83, 95% CI:0.5-1.16, p<0.0001). The admission duration of patients with cancer was on average 4.5 days higher than the patients who admitted due to infection (b:4.5, 95% CI:0.9-8, p=0.015). Conclusion: Mediterranean diet adequately protects elderly, hospitalized patients against mortality and reduces the duration of hospitalization.

Keywords: Mediterranean diet, malnutrition, nutritional status, prognostic factors for mortality

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7 Evaluating the Ability to Cycle in Cities Using Geographic Information Systems Tools: The Case Study of Greek Modern Cities

Authors: Christos Karolemeas, Avgi Vassi, Georgia Christodoulopoulou

Abstract:

Although the past decades, planning a cycle network became an inseparable part of all transportation plans, there is still a lot of room for improvement in the way planning is made, in order to create safe and direct cycling networks that gather the parameters that positively influence one's decision to cycle. The aim of this article is to study, evaluate and visualize the bikeability of cities. This term is often used as the 'the ability of a person to bike' but this study, however, adopts the term in the sense of bikeability as 'the ability of the urban landscape to be biked'. The methodology used included assessing cities' accessibility by cycling, based on international literature and corresponding walkability methods and the creation of a 'bikeability index'. Initially, a literature review was made to identify the factors that positively affect the use of bicycle infrastructure. Those factors were used in order to create the spatial index and quantitatively compare the city network. Finally, the bikeability index was applied in two case studies: two Greek municipalities that, although, they have similarities in terms of land uses, population density and traffic congestion, they are totally different in terms of geomorphology. The factors suggested by international literature were (a) safety, (b) directness, (c) comfort and (d) the quality of the urban environment. Those factors were quantified through the following parameters: slope, junction density, traffic density, traffic speed, natural environment, built environment, activities coverage, centrality and accessibility to public transport stations. Each road section was graded for the above-mentioned parameters, and the overall grade shows the level of bicycle accessibility (low, medium, high). Each parameter, as well as the overall accessibility levels, were analyzed and visualized through Geographic Information Systems. This paper presents the bikeability index, its' results, the problems that have arisen and the conclusions from its' implementation through Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats analysis. The purpose of this index is to make it easy for researchers, practitioners, politicians, and stakeholders to quantify, visualize and understand which parts of the urban fabric are suitable for cycling.

Keywords: accessibility, cycling, green spaces, spatial data, urban environment

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6 Full Mini Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire and the Risk of Malnutrition and Mortality in Elderly, Hospitalized Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Christos E. Lampropoulos, Maria Konsta, Tamta Sirbilatze, Ifigenia Apostolou, Vicky Dradaki, Konstantina Panouria, Irini Dri, Christina Kordali, Vaggelis Lambas, Georgios Mavras

Abstract:

Objectives: Full Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) questionnaire is one of the most useful tools in diagnosis of malnutrition in hospitalized patients, which is related to increased morbidity and mortality. The purpose of our study was to assess the nutritional status of elderly, hospitalized patients and examine the hypothesis that MNA may predict mortality and extension of hospitalization. Methods: One hundred fifty patients (78 men, 72 women, mean age 80±8.2) were included in this cross-sectional study. The following data were taken into account in analysis: anthropometric and laboratory data, physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaires, IPAQ), smoking status, dietary habits, cause and duration of current admission, medical history (co-morbidities, previous admissions). Primary endpoints were mortality (from admission until 6 months afterwards) and duration of admission. The latter was compared to national guidelines for closed consolidated medical expenses. Logistic regression and linear regression analysis were performed in order to identify independent predictors for mortality and extended hospitalization respectively. Results: According to MNA, nutrition was normal in 54/150 (36%) of patients, 46/150 (30.7%) of them were at risk of malnutrition and the rest 50/150 (33.3%) were malnourished. After performing multivariate logistic regression analysis we found that the odds of death decreased 20% per each unit increase of full MNA score (OR=0.8, 95% CI 0.74-0.89, p < 0.0001). Patients who admitted due to cancer were 23 times more likely to die, compared to those with infection (OR=23, 95% CI 3.8-141.6, p=0.001). Similarly, patients who admitted due to stroke were 7 times more likely to die (OR=7, 95% CI 1.4-34.5, p=0.02), while these with all other causes of admission were less likely (OR=0.2, 95% CI 0.06-0.8, p=0.03), compared to patients with infection. According to multivariate linear regression analysis, each increase of unit of full MNA, decreased the admission duration on average 0.3 days (b:-0.3, 95% CI -0.45 - -0.15, p < 0.0001). Patients admitted due to cancer had on average 6.8 days higher extension of hospitalization, compared to those admitted for infection (b:6.8, 95% CI 3.2-10.3, p < 0.0001). Conclusion: Mortality and extension of hospitalization is significantly increased in elderly, malnourished patients. Full MNA score is a useful diagnostic tool of malnutrition.

Keywords: duration of admission, malnutrition, mini nutritional assessment score, prognostic factors for mortality

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5 Conservation Agriculture under Mediterranean Climate: Effects on below and Above-Ground Processes during Wheat Cultivation

Authors: Vasiliki Kolake, Christos Kavalaris, Sofia Megoudi, Maria Maxouri, Panagiotis A. Karas, Aris Kyparissis, Efi Levizou

Abstract:

Conservation agriculture (CA), is a production system approach that can tackle the challenges of climate change mainly through facilitating carbon storage into the soil and increasing crop resilience. This is extremely important for the vulnerable Mediterranean agroecosystems, which already face adverse environmental conditions. The agronomic practices used in CA, i.e. permanent soil cover and no-tillage, result in reduced soil erosion and increased soil organic matter, preservation of water and improvement of quality and fertility of the soil in the long-term. Thus the functional characteristics and processes of the soil are considerably affected by the implementation of CA. The aim of the present work was to assess the effects of CA on soil nitrification potential and mycorrhizal colonization about the above-ground production in a wheat field. Two adjacent but independent field sites of 1.5ha each were used (Thessaly plain, Central Greece), comprising the no-till and conventional tillage treatments. The no-tillage site was covered by residues of the previous crop (cotton). Potential nitrification and the nitrate and ammonium content of the soil were measured at two different soil depths (3 and 15cm) at 20-days intervals throughout the growth period. Additionally, the leaf area index (LAI) was monitored at the same time-course. The mycorrhizal colonization was measured at the commencement and end of the experiment. At the final harvest, total yield and plant biomass were also recorded. The results indicate that wheat yield was considerably favored by CA practices, exhibiting a 42% increase compared to the conventional tillage treatment. The superior performance of the CA crop was also depicted in the above-ground plant biomass, where a 26% increase was recorded. LAI, which is considered a reliable growth index, did not show statistically significant differences between treatments throughout the growth period. On the contrary, significant differences were recorded in endomycorrhizal colonization one day before the final harvest, with CA plants exhibiting 20% colonization, while the conventional tillage plants hardly reached 1%. The on-going analyses of potential nitrification measurements, as well as nitrate and ammonium determination, will shed light on the effects of CA on key processes in the soil. These results will integrate the assessment of CA impact on certain below and above-ground processes during wheat cultivation under the Mediterranean climate.

Keywords: conservation agriculture, LAI, mycorrhizal colonization, potential nitrification, wheat, yield

Procedia PDF Downloads 52