Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 69

Search results for: D. de la Torre Sebastián

39 PTOP Expression Correlates with Telomerase Activity and Grades of Malignancy in Human Glioma Tissues

Authors: F. Polito, M. Cucinotta, A. Conti, C. Lo Giudice, C. Tomasello, F. Angileri, D. La Torre, M. Aguennouz


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive form of brain tumors, with an extremely poor prognosis. Telomeres lenght is associated with tumor progression in several type of human cancers and telomere elongation is a common molecular feature of advanced malignancies. Among the telomeric shelterin proteins PTOP is required for telomeric protein complex assembly, telomerase recruitment and activity, and telomere length regulation through a PTOP-telomerase interaction. Previous studies suggest that PTOP upregulation is involved in radioresistance and telomere lengthening in colorectal cancer cells. Moreover, in human osteosarcoma cells PTOP deletion led to telomere shortening, increased apoptosis and radiation sensitivity enhancement. However, to date, little is known about the role of PTOP in progression of glioma cancers. In light of this background aim of the study is to investigate the expression of PTOP in different grades of human glioma and its correlation with the pathological grade of gliomas, grades of malignancy, proliferative activity and apoptosis. Fifteen Low Grade Astrocytomas (LGA), 18 Anaplastic Astrocytomas (AA) and 26 Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) samples were analyzed. Three samples of normal brain tissue (NBT) were used as controls. The expression levels of PTOP, h-TERT, BIRC1 and cyclin D1 were determined by real time PCR and/or western blot. Results obtained shows that PTOP expression in glioma tissues is tightly correlated with clinical grade ( p < 0.01 ). No correlation was found between PTOP expression and other clinicopathologic parameters. The expression of PTOP was positively correlated with the expression of hTERT and TERF1. Furthermore PTOP positively correlates with cyclin D1 and negatively correlates with the expression of BIRC1. Our findings indicate that PTOP might play key role in the progression of glioma regulating telomerase activity and likely through regulation of cell cycle and apoptosis. In conclusion results obtained prompted us to speculate that PTOP might represents a potential molecular bio marker and a therapeutic target for the treatment of glioblastoma tumors.

Keywords: Brain Tumors, telomere, glioblastoma, PTOP

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38 Towards the Modeling of Lost Core Viability in High-Pressure Die Casting: A Fluid-Structure Interaction Model with 2-Phase Flow Fluid Model

Authors: Sebastian Kohlstädt, Michael Vynnycky, Stephan Goeke, Jan Jäckel, Andreas Gebauer-Teichmann


This paper summarizes the progress in the latest computational fluid dynamics research towards the modeling in of lost core viability in high-pressure die casting. High-pressure die casting is a process that is widely employed in the automotive and neighboring industries due to its advantages in casting quality and cost efficiency. The degrees of freedom are however somewhat limited as it has been so far difficult to use lost cores in the process. This is right now changing and the deployment of lost cores is considered a future growth potential for high-pressure die casting companies. The use of this technology itself is difficult though. The strength of the core material, as chiefly salt is used, is limited and experiments have shown that the cores will not hold under all circumstances and process designs. For this purpose, the publicly available CFD library foam-extend (OpenFOAM) is used, and two additional fluid models for incompressible and compressible two-phase flow are implemented as fluid solver models into the FSI library. For this purpose, the volume-of-fluid (VOF) methodology is used. The necessity for the fluid-structure interaction (FSI) approach is shown by a simple CFD model geometry. The model is benchmarked against analytical models and experimental data. Sufficient agreement is found with the analytical models and good agreement with the experimental data. An outlook on future developments concludes the paper.

Keywords: Multiphase Flow, CFD, Fluid-Structure Interaction, high-pressure die casting

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37 Attitude towards Doping of High-Performance Athletes in a Sports Institute of the City of Medellin, Colombia

Authors: Lina María Martinez-Sanchez, Maria De Los Angeles Rodriguez-Gazquez, Camilo Ruiz-Mejia, Yuban Sebastian Cuartas-Agudelo, Sandra Marcela López-Hincapié, Vivianna Alexandra Garrido-Altamar, Gloria Inés Martínez-Domínguez, Luis Eduardo Contreras, Felipe Eduardo Marino-Isaza


Introduction: Doping is a prohibited practice in competitive sports with potential adverse effects; therefore, it is crucial to describe the attitudes of athletes towards this behavior and to determine which o these increase the susceptibility to carry out this practice. Objective: To determine the attitude of high-performance athletes towards doping in a sports institute in the city of Medellin, Colombia. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study during 2016, with a sample taken to convenience consisting of athletes over 18 years old enrolled in a sports institute of the city of Medellin (Colombia). The athletes filled by themselves the Petroczi and Aidman questionnaire: Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale (PEAS) adapted to the Spanish language by Morente-Sánchez et al. This scale has 17 items with likert answer options, with a score ranging from 1 to 6, with a higher score indicating a stronger tendency towards doping practices. Results: 112 athletes were included with an average age of 21.6 years old, a 60% of them were male and the most frequent sports were karate 17%, judo 12.5% and athletics 9.8%. The average score of the questionnaire was 35.5 points of a 102 possible points. The lowest score was obtained in the following items: Is Doping necessary 1,4 and Doping isn’t cheating, everyone does it 1,5. Conclusion: In our population, there is a low tendency towards doping practices.

Keywords: Sports, Athletic Performance, attitude, doping in sports

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36 3D Medical Printing the Key Component in Future of Medical Applications

Authors: Zahra Asgharpour, Eric Renteria, Sebastian De Boodt


There is a growing trend towards personalization of medical care, as evidenced by the emphasis on outcomes based medicine, the latest developments in CT and MR imaging and personalized treatment in a variety of surgical disciplines. 3D Printing has been introduced and applied in the medical field since 2000. The first applications were in the field of dental implants and custom prosthetics. According to recent publications, 3D printing in the medical field has been used in a wide range of applications which can be organized into several categories including implants, prosthetics, anatomical models and tissue bioprinting. Some of these categories are still in their infancy stage of the concept of proof while others are in application phase such as the design and manufacturing of customized implants and prosthesis. The approach of 3D printing in this category has been successfully used in the health care sector to make both standard and complex implants within a reasonable amount of time. In this study, some of the clinical applications of 3D printing in design and manufacturing of a patient-specific hip implant would be explained. In cases where patients have complex bone geometries or are undergoing a complex revision on hip replacement, the traditional surgical methods are not efficient, and hence these patients require patient-specific approaches. There are major advantages in using this new technology for medical applications, however, in order to get this technology widely accepted in medical device industry, there is a need for gaining more acceptance from the medical device regulatory offices. This is a challenge that is moving onward and will help the technology find its way at the end as an accepted manufacturing method for medical device industry in an international scale. The discussion will conclude with some examples describing the future directions of 3D Medical Printing.

Keywords: Image Processing, Medical devices, CT/MRI, patient specific implants

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35 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


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: Electroforming, fused deposition modeling, sculptures, DLP 3D printer, microcasting

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34 Influence of High Hydrostatic Pressure Application (HHP) and Osmotic Dehydration (DO) as a Pretreatment to Hot –Air Drying of Abalone (Haliotis Rufescens) Cubes

Authors: Teresa Roco, Mario Perez Won, Roberto Lemus-Mondaca, Sebastian Pizarro


This research presents the simultaneous application of high hydrostatic pressure application (HHP) and osmotic dehydration (DO) as a pretreatment to hot –air drying of abalone cubes. The drying time was reduced to 6 hours at 60ºC as compared to the abalone drying by only a 15% NaCl osmotic pretreatment and at an atmospheric pressure that took 10 hours to dry at the same temperature. This was due to the salt and HHP saturation since osmotic pressure increases as water loss increases, thus needing a more reduced time in a convective drying, so water effective diffusion in drying plays an important role in this research. Different working conditions as pressure (350-550 MPa), pressure time ( 5-10 min), salt concentration, NaCl 15% and drying temperature (40-60ºC) will be optimized according to kinetic parameters of each mathematical model (Table 1). The models used for drying experimental curves were those corresponding to Weibull, Logarithmic and Midilli-Kucuk, but the latest one was the best fitted to the experimental data (Figure 1). The values for water effective diffusivity varied from 4.54 – to 9.95x10-9 m2/s for the 8 curves (DO+HHP) whereas the control samples (neither DO nor HHP) varied among 4.35 and 5.60x10-9 m2/s, for 40 and 60°C, respectively and as to drying by osmotic pretreatment at 15% NaCl from 3.804 to 4.36x10-9 m2/s at the same temperatures. Finally as to energy and efficiency consumption values for drying process (control and pretreated samples) it was found that they would be within a range of 777-1815 KJ/Kg and 8.22–19.20% respectively. Therefore, a knowledge concerning the drying kinetic as well as the consumption energy, in addition to knowledge about the quality of abalones subjected to an osmotic pretreatment (DO) and a high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) are extremely important to an industrial level so that the drying process can be successful at different pretreatment conditions and/or variable processes.

Keywords: abalone, diffusion coefficient, pretreatments, convective drying, high pressure hydrostatic

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33 Tritium Activities in Romania, Potential Support for Development of ITER Project

Authors: Ioan Stefanescu, Gheorghe Ionita, Sebastian Brad


In any fusion device, tritium plays a key role both as a fuel component and, due to its radioactivity and easy incorporation, as tritiated water (HTO). As for the ITER project, to reduce the constant potential of tritium emission, there will be implemented a Water Detritiation System (WDS) and an Isotopic Separation System (ISS). In the same time, during operation of fission CANDU reactors, the tritium content increases in the heavy water used as moderator and cooling agent (due to neutron activation) and it has to be reduced, too. In Romania, at the National Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies (ICIT Rm-Valcea), there is an Experimental Pilot Plant for Tritium Removal (Exp. TRF), with the aim of providing technical data on the design and operation of an industrial plant for heavy water depreciation of CANDU reactors from Cernavoda NPP. The selected technology is based on the catalyzed isotopic exchange process between deuterium and liquid water (LPCE) combined with the cryogenic distillation process (CD). This paper presents an updated review of activities in the field carried out in Romania after the year 2000 and in particular those related to the development and operation of Tritium Removal Experimental Pilot Plant. It is also presented a comparison between the experimental pilot plant and industrial plant to be implemented at Cernavoda NPP. The similarities between the experimental pilot plant from ICIT Rm-Valcea and water depreciation and isotopic separation systems from ITER are also presented and discussed. Many aspects or 'opened issues' relating to WDS and ISS could be checked and clarified by a special research program, developed within ExpTRF. By these achievements and results, ICIT Rm - Valcea has proved its expertise and capability concerning tritium management therefore its competence may be used within ITER project.

Keywords: ITER project, heavy water detritiation, tritium removal, isotopic exchange

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32 Improvement of the Quality Services of Social Robots by Understanding Requirements of People with Dementia

Authors: Konrad Rejdak, Agnieszka Korchut, Sebastian Szklener, Urszula Skrobas, Justyna Gerlowska, Katarzyna Grabowska-Aleksandrowicz, Dorota Szczesniak-Stanczyk


Introduction: Neurodegenerative diseases are frequently accompanied by loss and unwanted change in functional independence, social relationships, and economic circumstances. Currently, the achievements of social robots to date is being projected to improve multidimensional quality of life among people with cognitive impairment and others. Objectives: Identification of particular human needs in context of the changes occurring in course of neurodegenerative diseases. Methods: Based on the 110 surveys performed in Medical University of Lublin from medical staff, patients, and caregivers we made prioritization of the users' needs as: high, medium, and low. The issues included in the surveys concerned four aspects: user acceptance, functional requirements, design of the robotic assistant and preferred types of human-robot interaction. Results: We received completed questionnaires: 50 from medical staff, 30 from caregivers and 30 from potential users. Above 90% of the respondents from each of the three groups, accepted robotic assistant as a potential caregiver. High priority functional capability of assistive technology was to handle emergencies in a private home like recognizing life-threatening situations and reminding about medication intake. With reference to design of the robotic assistant, the majority of the respondent would like to have an anthropomorphic appearance with positive emotionally expressive face. The most important type of human-robot interaction was voice-operated system and by touchscreen. Conclusion: The results from our study might contribute to a better understanding of the system and users’ requirements for the development of a service robot intended to support patients with dementia.

Keywords: Dementia, Requirements, social robot, patients needs

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31 The Impact Evaluation of the Innovation Implementation within the EU Funds on the SMEs Performance Results

Authors: Sebastian Kot, Beata Ślusarczyk


In subjective terms, Polish SME sector occupies a prominent position in the national economic development, in which planning of the management strategies should be primarily based on identifying and meeting the innovation needs. As a research sample, there is chosen a printing sector of industry. SMEs share in printing sector in Poland is estimated at the level of 81% of all enterprises. In recent years, the printing industry achieved one of the highest levels of EU support in Poland. There is a relatively high increase in the development of technological innovations in equipment and the associated significant increase in production capacity. It can be also noticed that on average, every third enterprise belonging to the printing industry has implemented innovations, but not all of them effected in better economic results. Therefore, the aim of this article is to evaluate the impact of the implementation of innovation projects financed from the EU funds for performance of SMEs in the printing industry. As the results of research of EU funds co-financing effects on the development of innovation in the printing industry, it was specified that examined SMEs prefer to implement product innovation to receive a grant to the project at a level between 40% to 60%, the remaining part of the investment is usually covered with equity. The most common type of innovation had indicated a single implementation, related only to the change in process, technology, or organization. The relationship between variables of the EU funds and management of innovative activities was verified. It has been observed that the identified variables arising from the support in a form of the EU funds had a positive effect on the level of earned revenue, the increase in margin and in increase in employment as well. It was confirmed that the implemented innovations supported by the European funds have a positive impact on the performance of the printing companies. Although there is a risk that due to the decreasing demand for printing services such a high level of funding the companies in this sector will significantly increase competition in the long term, that may also contribute to the economic problems of the enterprises belonging to the analyzed branch.

Keywords: Performance, Innovations, SMEs, results

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30 Roads and Agriculture: Impacts of Connectivity in Peru

Authors: Julio Aguirre, Yohnny Campana, Elmer Guerrero, Daniel De La Torre Ugarte


A well-developed transportation network is a necessary condition for a country to derive full benefits from good trade and macroeconomic policies. Road infrastructure plays a key role in the economic development of rural areas of developing countries; where agriculture is the main economic activity. The ability to move agricultural production from the place of production to the market, and then to the place of consumption, greatly influence the economic value of farming activities, and of the resources involved in the production process, i.e., labor and land. Consequently, investment in transportation networks contributes to enhance or overcome the natural advantages or disadvantages that topography and location have imposed over the agricultural sector. This is of particular importance when dealing with countries, like Peru, with a great topographic diversity. The objective of this research is to estimate the impacts of road infrastructure on the performance of the agricultural sector. Specific variables of interest are changes in travel time, shifts of production for self-consumption to production for the market, changes in farmers income, and impacts on the diversification of the agricultural sector. In the study, a cross-section model with instrumental variables is the central methodological instrument. The data is obtained from agricultural and transport geo-referenced databases, and the instrumental variable specification utilized is based on the Kruskal algorithm. The results show that the expansion of road connectivity reduced farmers' travel time by an average of 3.1 hours and the proportion of output sold in the market increases by up to 40 percentage points. The increase in connectivity has an unexpected increase in the districts index of diversification of agricultural production. The results are robust to the inclusion of year and region fixed-effects, and to control for geography (i.e., slope and altitude), population variables, and mining activity. Other results are also very eloquent. For example, a clear positive impact can be seen in access to local markets, but this does not necessarily correlate with an increase in the production of the sector. This can be explained by the fact that agricultural development not only requires provision of roads but additional complementary infrastructure and investments intended to provide the necessary conditions so that producers can offer quality products (improved management practices, timely maintenance of irrigation infrastructure, transparent management of water rights, among other factors). Therefore, complementary public goods are needed to enhance the effects of roads on the welfare of the population, beyond enabling them to increase their access to markets.

Keywords: Regional Development, agriculture devolepment, market access, road connectivity

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29 Authentication and Traceability of Meat Products from South Indian Market by Species-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction

Authors: J. U. Santhosh Kumar, V. Krishna, Sebin Sebastian, G. S. Seethapathy, G. Ravikanth, R. Uma Shaanker


Food is one of the basic needs of human beings. It requires the normal function of the body part and a healthy growth. Recently, food adulteration increases day by day to increase the quantity and make more benefit. Animal source foods can provide a variety of micronutrients that are difficult to obtain in adequate quantities from plant source foods alone. Particularly in the meat industry, products from animals are susceptible targets for fraudulent labeling due to the economic profit that results from selling cheaper meat as meat from more profitable and desirable species. This work presents an overview of the main PCR-based techniques applied to date to verify the authenticity of beef meat and meat products from beef species. We were analyzed 25 market beef samples in South India. We examined PCR methods based on the sequence of the cytochrome b gene for source species identification. We found all sample were sold as beef meat as Bos Taurus. However, interestingly Male meats are more valuable high price compare to female meat, due to this reason most of the markets samples are susceptible. We were used sex determination gene of cattle like TSPY(Y-encoded, testis-specific protein TSPY is a Y-specific gene). TSPY homologs exist in several mammalian species, including humans, horses, and cattle. This gene is Y coded testis protein genes, which only amplify the male. We used multiple PCR products form species-specific “fingerprints” on gel electrophoresis, which may be useful for meat authentication. Amplicons were obtained only by the Cattle -specific PCR. We found 13 market meat samples sold as female beef samples. These results suggest that the species-specific PCR methods established in this study would be useful for simple and easy detection of adulteration of meat products.

Keywords: Authentication, Meat Products, species-specific, TSPY

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28 Enzyme Involvement in the Biosynthesis of Selenium Nanoparticles by Geobacillus wiegelii Strain GWE1 Isolated from a Drying Oven

Authors: Daniela N. Correa-Llantén, Sebastián A. Muñoz-Ibacache, Mathilde Maire, Jenny M. Blamey


The biosynthesis of nanoparticles by microorganisms, on the contrary to chemical synthesis, is an environmentally-friendly process which has low energy requirements. In this investigation, we used the microorganism Geobacillus wiegelii, strain GWE1, an aerobic thermophile belonging to genus Geobacillus, isolated from a drying oven. This microorganism has the ability to reduce selenite evidenced by the change of color from colorless to red in the culture. Elemental analysis and composition of the particles were verified using transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The nanoparticles have a defined spherical shape and a selenium elemental state. Previous experiments showed that the presence of the whole microorganism for the reduction of selenite was not necessary. The results strongly suggested that an intracellular NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase mediates selenium nanoparticles synthesis under aerobic conditions. The enzyme was purified and identified by mass spectroscopy MALDI-TOF TOF technique. The enzyme is a 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase. Histograms of nanoparticles sizes were obtained. Size distribution ranged from 40-160 nm, where 70% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. Spectroscopic analysis showed that the nanoparticles are composed of elemental selenium. To analyse the effect of pH in size and morphology of nanoparticles, the synthesis of them was carried out at different pHs (4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0). For thermostability studies samples were incubated at different temperatures (60, 80 and 100 ºC) for 1 h and 3 h. The size of all nanoparticles was less than 100 nm at pH 4.0; over 50% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm at pH 5.0; at pH 6.0 and 8.0 over 90% of nanoparticles have less than 100 nm in size. At neutral pH (7.0) nanoparticles reach a size around 120 nm and only 20% of them were less than 100 nm. When looking at temperature effect, nanoparticles did not show a significant difference in size when they were incubated between 0 and 3 h at 60 ºC. Meanwhile at 80 °C the nanoparticles suspension lost its homogeneity. A change in size was observed from 0 h of incubation at 80ºC, observing a size range between 40-160 nm, with 20% of them over 100 nm. Meanwhile after 3 h of incubation at size range changed to 60-180 nm with 50% of them over 100 nm. At 100 °C the nanoparticles aggregate forming nanorod structures. In conclusion, these results indicate that is possible to modulate size and shape of biologically synthesized nanoparticles by modulating pH and temperature.

Keywords: Biosynthesis, genus Geobacillus, NADPH/NADH-dependent reductase, selenium nanoparticles

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

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


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: Electroforming, DLP 3D printer, traditional artistic techniques, artistic casting

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26 Simulation of the FDA Centrifugal Blood Pump Using High Performance Computing

Authors: Mehdi Behbahani, Sebastian Rible, Charles Moulinec, Yvan Fournier, Mike Nicolai, Paolo Crosetto


Computational Fluid Dynamics blood-flow simulations are increasingly used to develop and validate blood-contacting medical devices. This study shows that numerical simulations can provide additional and accurate estimates of relevant hemodynamic indicators (e.g., recirculation zones or wall shear stresses), which may be difficult and expensive to obtain from in-vivo or in-vitro experiments. The most recent FDA (Food and Drug Administration) benchmark consisted of a simplified centrifugal blood pump model that contains fluid flow features as they are commonly found in these devices with a clear focus on highly turbulent phenomena. The FDA centrifugal blood pump study is composed of six test cases with different volumetric flow rates ranging from 2.5 to 7.0 liters per minute, pump speeds, and Reynolds numbers ranging from 210,000 to 293,000. Within the frame of this study different turbulence models were tested including RANS models, e.g. k-omega, k-epsilon and a Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) and, LES. The partitioners Hilbert, METIS, ParMETIS and SCOTCH were used to create an unstructured mesh of 76 million elements and compared in their efficiency. Computations were performed on the JUQUEEN BG/Q architecture applying the highly parallel flow solver Code SATURNE and typically using 32768 or more processors in parallel. Visualisations were performed by means of PARAVIEW. Different turbulence models including all six flow situations could be successfully analysed and validated against analytical considerations and from comparison to other data-bases. It showed that an RSM represents an appropriate choice with respect to modeling high-Reynolds number flow cases. Especially, the Rij-SSG (Speziale, Sarkar, Gatzki) variant turned out to be a good approach. Visualisation of complex flow features could be obtained and the flow situation inside the pump could be characterized.

Keywords: High Performance Computing, Turbulence, Scalability, blood flow, centrifugal blood pump

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25 A System Architecture for Hand Gesture Control of Robotic Technology: A Case Study Using a Myo™ Arm Band, DJI Spark™ Drone, and a Staubli™ Robotic Manipulator

Authors: Sebastian van Delden, Matthew Anuszkiewicz, Jayse White, Scott Stolarski


Industrial robotic manipulators have been commonplace in the manufacturing world since the early 1960s, and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) have only begun to realize their full potential in the service industry and the military. The omnipresence of these technologies in their respective fields will only become more potent in coming years. While these technologies have greatly evolved over the years, the typical approach to human interaction with these robots has not. In the industrial robotics realm, a manipulator is typically jogged around using a teach pendant and programmed using a networked computer or the teach pendant itself via a proprietary software development platform. Drones are typically controlled using a two-handed controller equipped with throttles, buttons, and sticks, an app that can be downloaded to one’s mobile device, or a combination of both. This application-oriented work offers a novel approach to human interaction with both unmanned aerial vehicles and industrial robotic manipulators via hand gestures and movements. Two systems have been implemented, both of which use a Myo™ armband to control either a drone (DJI Spark™) or a robotic arm (Stäubli™ TX40). The methodologies developed by this work present a mapping of armband gestures (fist, finger spread, swing hand in, swing hand out, swing arm left/up/down/right, etc.) to either drone or robot arm movements. The findings of this study present the efficacy and limitations (precision and ergonomic) of hand gesture control of two distinct types of robotic technology. All source code associated with this project will be open sourced and placed on GitHub. In conclusion, this study offers a framework that maps hand and arm gestures to drone and robot arm control. The system has been implemented using current ubiquitous technologies, and these software artifacts will be open sourced for future researchers or practitioners to use in their work.

Keywords: Robotics, Human Robot Interaction, Drones, gestures

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24 A Prospective Study on the Pattern of Antibiotics Use and Prevalence of Multidrug Resistant Escherichia Coli in Poultry Chickens and Its Correlation with Urinary Tract Infection

Authors: Stelvin Sebastian, Andriya Annie Tom, Joyalanna Babu, Merin Joshy


Introduction: The worldwide increase in the use of antibiotics in poultry and livestock industry to treat and prevent bacterial diseases and as growth promoters in feeds has led to the problem of development of antibiotic resistance both in animals and human population. Aim: To study the pattern of antibiotic use and prevalence of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli in poultry chickens in selected farms in Muvattupuzha and to compare the spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria from poultry environment to UTI patients. Methodology: Two farms from each of 6 localities in Muvattupuzha were selected. A questionnaire on the pattern of antibiotic use and various farming practices were surveyed from farms. From each farm, 60samples of fresh fecal matter, litter from inside, litter from the outside shed, agricultural soil and control soil were collected, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of E. coli was done. Antibiogram of UTI patients was collected from the secondary care hospital included in the study, and those were compared with resistance patterns of poultry samples. Results: From survey response antibiotics such as ofloxacin, enrofloxacin, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, colistin, ceftriaxone, neomycin, cephalexin, and oxytetracycline were used for treatment and prevention of infections in poultry. 31of 48 samples (51.66%) showed E. coli growth. 7 of 15 antibiotics (46.6%) showed resistance. Ampicillin, amoxicillin, meropenem, tetracycline showed 100% resistance to all samples. Statistical analysis confirmed similar resistance pattern in the poultry environment and UTI patients for antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, amikacin, and ofloxacin. Conclusion: E. coli were resistant not only to extended-spectrum beta-lactams but also to carbapenems, which may be disseminated to the environment where litter was used as manure. This may due to irrational use of antibiotics in chicken or from their use in poultry feed as growth promoters. The study concludes the presence of multidrug-resistant E.coli in poultry and its spread to environment and humans, which may cause potentially serious implications for human health.

Keywords: Urinary tract infection, Poultry, Escherichia coli, multidrug resistance

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23 Preliminary Report on the Assessment of the Impact of the Kinesiology Taping Application versus Placebo Taping on the Knee Joint Position Sense

Authors: Sebastian Wójtowicz, Zbigniew Wroński, Anna Mosiolek, Dariusz Bialoszewski, Patryk Wąsowski, Anna Hadamus


Introduction: Kinesiology Taping is a very popular physiotherapy method, often used for healthy people, especially athletes, in order to stimulate the muscles and improve their performance. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the muscle application of Kinesiology Taping on the joint position sense in active motion. Material and Methods: The study involved 50 healthy people - 30 men and 20 women, mean age was 23.2 years (range 18-30 years). The exclusion criteria were injuries and operations of the knee, which could affect the test results. The participants were divided randomly into two equal groups. The first group consisted of individuals with the applied Kinesiology Taping muscle application (KT group), whereas in the rest of the individuals placebo application from red adhesive tape was used (placebo group). Both applications were to enhance the effects of quadriceps muscle activity. Joint position sense (JPS) was evaluated in this study. Error of Active Reproduction of the Joint Position (EARJP) of the knee was measured in 45° flexion. The test was performed prior to applying the patch, with the applied application, then 24 hours after wearing, and after removing the tape. The interval between trials was not less than 30 minutes. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 12.0. We calculated distribution characteristics, Wilcoxon test, Friedman‘s ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U test. Results. In the KT group and the placebo group average test score of JPS before applying application KT were 3.48° and 5.16° respectively, after its application it was 4.84° and 4.88°, then after 24 hours of experiment JPS was 5.12° and 4.96°, and after application removal we measured 3.84° and 5.12° respectively. Differences over time in any of the groups were not statistically significant. There were also no significant differences between the groups. Conclusions: 1. Applying Kinesiology Taping to quadriceps muscle had no significant effect on the knee joint proprioception. Its use in order to improve sensorimitor skills seems therefore to be unreasonable. 2. No differences between applications of KT and placebo indicates that the clinical effect of stretch tape is minimal or absent. 3. The results are the basis for the continuation of prospective, randomized trials of numerous study groups.

Keywords: knee, joint position sense, kinesiology taping, kinesiotaping

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22 Sentiment Analysis of Tourist Online Reviews Concerning Lisbon Cultural Patrimony, as a Contribute to the City Attractiveness Evaluation

Authors: Joao Ferreira Do Rosario, Maria De Lurdes Calisto, Ana Teresa Machado, Nuno Gustavo, Rui Gonçalves


The tourism sector is increasingly important to the economic performance of countries and a relevant theme to academic research, increasing the importance of understanding how and why tourists evaluate tourism locations. The city of Lisbon is currently a tourist destination of excellence in the European and world-wide panorama, registering a significant growth of the economic weight of its tourist activities in the Gross Added Value of the region. Although there is research on the feedback of those who visit tourist sites and different methodologies for studying tourist sites have been applied, this research seeks to be innovative in the objective of obtaining insights on the competitiveness in terms of attractiveness of the city of Lisbon as a tourist destination, based the feedback of tourists in the Facebook pages of the most visited museums and monuments of Lisbon, an interpretation that is relevant in the development of strategies of tourist attraction. The intangible dimension of the tourism offer, due to its unique condition of simultaneous production and consumption, makes eWOM particularly relevant. The testimony of consumers is thus a decisive factor in the decision-making and buying process in tourism. Online social networks are one of the most used platforms for tourists to evaluate the attractiveness's points of a tourism destination (e.g. cultural and historical heritage), with this user-generated feedback enabling relevant information about the customer-tourists. This information is related to the tourist experience representing the true voice of the customer. Furthermore, this voice perceived by others as genuine, opposite to marketing messages, may have a powerful word-of-mouth influence on other potential tourists. The relevance of online reviews sharing, however, becomes particularly complex, considering social media users’ different profiles or the possible and different sources of information available, as well as their associated reputation associated with each source. In the light of these trends, our research focuses on the tourists’ feedback on Facebook pages of the most visited museums and monuments of Lisbon that contribute to its attractiveness as a tourism destination. Sentiment Analysis is the methodology selected for this research, using public available information in the online context, which was deemed as an appropriate non-participatory observation method. Data will be collected from two museums (Museu dos Coches and Museu de Arte Antiga) and three monuments ((Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém and Panteão Nacional) Facebook pages during a period of one year. The research results will help in the evaluation of the considered places by the tourists, their contribution to the city attractiveness and present insights helpful for the management decisions regarding this museums and monuments. The results of this study will also contribute to a better knowledge of the tourism sector, namely the identification of attributes in the evaluation and choice of the city of Lisbon as a tourist destination. Further research will evaluate the Lisbon attraction points for tourists in different categories beyond museums and monuments, will also evaluate the tourist feedback from other sources like TripAdvisor and apply the same methodology in other cities and country regions.

Keywords: Opinion mining, sentiment analysis, Lisbon tourism, tourism location attractiveness evaluation

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21 Using Two-Mode Network to Access the Connections of Film Festivals

Authors: Qiankun Zhong


In a global cultural context, film festival awards become authorities to define the aesthetic value of films. To study which genres and producing countries are valued by different film festivals and how those evaluations interact with each other, this research explored the interactions between the film festivals through their selection of movies and the factors that lead to the tendency of film festivals to nominate the same movies. To do this, the author employed a two-mode network on the movies that won the highest awards at five international film festivals with the highest attendance in the past ten years (the Venice Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival) and the film festivals that nominated those movies. The title, genre, producing country and language of 50 movies, and the range (regional, national or international) and organizing country or area of 129 film festivals were collected. These created networks connected by nominating the same films and awarding the same movies. The author then assessed the density and centrality of these networks to answer the question: What are the film festivals that tend to have more shared values with other festivals? Based on the Eigenvector centrality of the two-mode network, Palm Springs, Robert Festival, Toronto, Chicago, and San Sebastian are the festivals that tend to nominate commonly appreciated movies. In contrast, Black Movie Film Festival has the unique value of generally not sharing nominations with other film festivals. A homophily test was applied to access the clustering effects of film and film festivals. The result showed that movie genres (E-I index=0.55) and geographic location (E-I index=0.35) are possible indicators of film festival clustering. A blockmodel was also created to examine the structural roles of the film festivals and their meaning in real-world context. By analyzing the same blocks with film festival attributes, it was identified that film festivals either organized in the same area, with the same history, or with the same attitude on independent films would occupy the same structural roles in the network. Through the interpretation of the blocks, language was identified as an indicator that contributes to the role position of a film festival. Comparing the result of blockmodeling in the different periods, it is seen that international film festivals contrast with the Hollywood industry’s dominant value. The structural role dynamics provide evidence for a multi-value film festival network.

Keywords: Film Studies, Network Analysis, Media Industry Studies, film festivals

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20 Nutritional Value Determination of Different Varieties of Oats and Barley Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Method for the Horses Nutrition

Authors: V. Viliene, A. Raceviciute-Stupeliene, V. Sasyte, R. Gruzauskas


In horse nutrition, the most suitable cereal for their rations composition could be defined as oats and barley. Oats have high nutritive value because it provides more protein, fiber, iron and zinc than other whole grains, has good taste, and an activity of stimulating metabolic changes in the body. Another cereal – barley is very similar to oats as a feed except for some characteristics that affect how it is used; however, barley is lower in fiber than oats and is classified as a "heavy" feed. The value of oats and barley grain, first of all is dependent on its composition. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has long been considered and used as a significant method in component and quality analysis and as an emerging technology for authenticity applications for cereal quality control. This paper presents the chemical and amino acid composition of different varieties of barley and oats, also digestible energy of different cereals for horses. Ten different spring barley (n = 5) and oats (n = 5) varieties, grown in one location in Lithuania, were assayed for their chemical composition (dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, crude fiber, starch) and amino acids content, digestible amino acids and amino acids digestibility. Also, the grains digestible energy for horses was calculated. The oats and barley samples reflectance spectra were measured by means of NIRS using Foss-Tecator DS2500 equipment. The chemical components: fat, crude protein, starch and fiber differed statistically (P<0.05) between the oats and barley varieties. The highest total amino acid content between oats was determined in variety Flamingsprofi (4.56 g/kg) and the lowest – variety Circle (3.57 g/kg), and between barley - respectively in varieties Publican (3.50 g/kg) and Sebastian (3.11 g/kg). The different varieties of oats digestible amino acid content varied from 3.11 g/kg to 4.07 g/kg; barley different varieties varied from 2.59 g/kg to 2.94 g/kg. The average amino acids digestibility of oats varied from 74.4% (Liz) to 95.6% (Fen) and in barley - from 75.8 % (Tre) to 89.6% (Fen). The amount of digestible energy in the analyzed varieties of oats and barley was an average compound 13.74 MJ/kg DM and 14.85 MJ/kg DM, respectively. An analysis of the results showed that different varieties of oats compared with barley are preferable for horse nutrition according to the crude fat, crude fiber, ash and separate amino acids content, but the analyzed barley varieties dominated the higher amounts of crude protein, the digestible Liz amount and higher DE content, and thus, could be recommended for making feed formulation for horses combining oats and barley, taking into account the chemical composition of using cereal varieties.

Keywords: Nutritional Value, oats, barley, horses, digestive energy

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19 Nano-Sized Iron Oxides/ZnMe Layered Double Hydroxides as Highly Efficient Fenton-Like Catalysts for Degrading Specific Pharmaceutical Agents

Authors: Marius Sebastian Secula, Mihaela Darie, Gabriela Carja


Persistent organic pollutant discharged by various industries or urban regions into the aquatic ecosystems represent a serious threat to fauna and human health. The endocrine disrupting compounds are known to have toxic effects even at very low values of concentration. The anti-inflammatory agent Ibuprofen is an endocrine disrupting compound and is considered as model pollutant in the present study. The use of light energy to accomplish the latest requirements concerning wastewater discharge demands highly-performant and robust photo-catalysts. Many efforts have been paid to obtain efficient photo-responsive materials. Among the promising photo-catalysts, layered double hydroxides (LDHs) attracted significant consideration especially due to their composition flexibility, high surface area and tailored redox features. This work presents Fe(II) self-supported on ZnMeLDHs (Me =Al3+, Fe3+) as novel efficient photo-catalysts for Fenton-like catalysis. The co-precipitation method was used to prepare ZnAlLDH, ZnFeAlLDH and ZnCrLDH (Zn2+/Me3+ = 2 molar ratio). Fe(II) was self-supported on the LDHs matrices by using the reconstruction method, at two different values of weight concentration. X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TG/DTG), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to investigate the structural, textural, and micromorphology of the catalysts. The Fe(II)/ZnMeLDHs nano-hybrids were tested for the degradation of a model pharmaceutical agent, the anti-inflammatory agent ibuprofen, by photocatalysis and photo-Fenton catalysis, respectively. The results point out that the embedment Fe(II) into ZnFeAlLDH and ZnCrLDH lead to a slight enhancement of ibuprofen degradation by light irradiation, whereas in case of ZnAlLDH, the degradation process is relatively low. A remarkable enhancement of ibuprofen degradation was found in the case of Fe(II)/ZnMeLDHs by photo-Fenton process. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS - UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0405.

Keywords: photocatalysis, layered double hydroxide, heterogeneous Fenton, micropollutant

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18 Self-Assembled ZnFeAl Layered Double Hydroxides as Highly Efficient Fenton-Like Catalysts

Authors: Marius Sebastian Secula, Mihaela Darie, Gabriela Carja


Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) and is among the most frequently detected pharmaceuticals in environmental samples and among the most widespread drug in the world. Its concentration in the environment is reported to be between 10 and 160 ng L-1. In order to improve the abatement efficiency of this compound for water source prevention and reclamation, the development of innovative technologies is mandatory. AOPs (advanced oxidation processes) are known as highly efficient towards the oxidation of organic pollutants. Among the promising combined treatments, photo-Fenton processes using layered double hydroxides (LDHs) attracted significant consideration especially due to their composition flexibility, high surface area and tailored redox features. This work presents the self-supported Fe, Mn or Ti on ZnFeAl LDHs obtained by co-precipitation followed by reconstruction method as novel efficient photo-catalysts for Fenton-like catalysis. Fe, Mn or Ti/ZnFeAl LDHs nano-hybrids were tested for the degradation of a model pharmaceutical agent, the anti-inflammatory agent ibuprofen, by photocatalysis and photo-Fenton catalysis, respectively, by means of a lab-scale system consisting of a batch reactor equipped with an UV lamp (17 W). The present study presents comparatively the degradation of Ibuprofen in aqueous solution UV light irradiation using four different types of LDHs. The newly prepared Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 catalyst results in the best degradation performance. After 60 minutes of light irradiation, the Ibuprofen removal efficiency reaches 95%. The slowest degradation of Ibuprofen solution occurs in case of Fe/ZnFeAl 4:1 LDH, (67% removal efficiency after 60 minutes of process). Evolution of Ibuprofen degradation during the photo Fenton process is also studied using Ti/ZnFeAl 2:1 and 4:1 LDHs in the presence and absence of H2O2. It is found that after 60 min the use of Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 LDH in presence of 100 mg/L H2O2 leads to the fastest degradation of Ibuprofen molecule. After 120 min, both catalysts Ti/ZnFeAl 4:1 and 2:1 result in the same value of removal efficiency (98%). In the absence of H2O2, Ibuprofen degradation reaches only 73% removal efficiency after 120 min of degradation process. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS - UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0405.

Keywords: layered double hydroxide, advanced oxidation process, heterogeneous Fenton, micropollutant

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17 Assessment of Influence of Short-Lasting Whole-Body Vibration on the Proprioception of Lower Limbs

Authors: Anna Mosiołek, Anna Słupik, Sebastian Wójtowicz, Dariusz Białoszewski, Zbigniew Wroński


Introduction: In whole-body vibration (WBV) high-frequency mechanical stimuli is generated by a vibration plate and is transferred through bone, muscle and connective tissues to the whole body. The research has shown that the implementation of a vibration plate training over a long period of time leads to improvement of neuromuscular facilitation, especially in afferent neural pathways, which are responsible for the conduction of vibration and proprioceptive stimuli, muscle function, balance, and proprioception. The vibration stimulus is suggested to briefly inhibit the conduction of afferent signals from proprioceptors and may hinder the maintenance of body balance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the result of a single set of exercises connected with whole-body vibration on the proprioception. Material and Methods: The study enrolled 60 people aged 19-24 years. These individuals were divided into a test group (group A) and a control group (group B). Both groups consisted of 30 persons and performed the same set of exercises on a vibration plate. The following vibration parameters: frequency of 20Hz and amplitude of 3mm, were used in the group A. The vibration plate was turned off while the control group did their exercises. All participants performed six dynamic 30-seconds-long exercises with a 60-second resting period between them. Large muscle groups of the trunk, pelvis, and lower limbs were involved while taking the exercises. The results were measured before and immediately after the exercises. The proprioception of lower limbs was measured in a closed kinematic chain using a Humac 360®. Participants were instructed to perform three squats with biofeedback in a defined range of motion. Then they did three squats without biofeedback which were measured. The final result was the average of three measurements. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 10.0 PL software. Results: There were no significant differences between the groups, both before and after the exercise (p > 0.05). The proprioception did not change in both the group A and the group B. Conclusions: 1. Deterioration in proprioception was not observed immediately after the vibration stimulus. This suggests that vibration-induced blockage of proprioceptive stimuli conduction can only have a short-lasting effect occurring only in the presence of the vibration stimulus. 2. Short-term use of vibration seems to be safe for patients with proprioceptive impairment due to the fact that the treatment does not decrease proprioception. 3. There is a need for supplementing the results with evaluation of proprioception while vibration stimuli are being applied. Moreover, the effects of vibration parameters used in the exercises should be evaluated.

Keywords: Whole body vibration, squat, proprioception, joint position sense

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16 High Performance Computing Enhancement of Agent-Based Economic Models

Authors: Amit Gill, Lalith Wijerathne, Sebastian Poledna


This research presents the details of the implementation of high performance computing (HPC) extension of agent-based economic models (ABEMs) to simulate hundreds of millions of heterogeneous agents. ABEMs offer an alternative approach to study the economy as a dynamic system of interacting heterogeneous agents, and are gaining popularity as an alternative to standard economic models. Over the last decade, ABEMs have been increasingly applied to study various problems related to monetary policy, bank regulations, etc. When it comes to predicting the effects of local economic disruptions, like major disasters, changes in policies, exogenous shocks, etc., on the economy of the country or the region, it is pertinent to study how the disruptions cascade through every single economic entity affecting its decisions and interactions, and eventually affect the economic macro parameters. However, such simulations with hundreds of millions of agents are hindered by the lack of HPC enhanced ABEMs. In order to address this, a scalable Distributed Memory Parallel (DMP) implementation of ABEMs has been developed using message passing interface (MPI). A balanced distribution of computational load among MPI-processes (i.e. CPU cores) of computer clusters while taking all the interactions among agents into account is a major challenge for scalable DMP implementations. Economic agents interact on several random graphs, some of which are centralized (e.g. credit networks, etc.) whereas others are dense with random links (e.g. consumption markets, etc.). The agents are partitioned into mutually-exclusive subsets based on a representative employer-employee interaction graph, while the remaining graphs are made available at a minimum communication cost. To minimize the number of communications among MPI processes, real-life solutions like the introduction of recruitment agencies, sales outlets, local banks, and local branches of government in each MPI-process, are adopted. Efficient communication among MPI-processes is achieved by combining MPI derived data types with the new features of the latest MPI functions. Most of the communications are overlapped with computations, thereby significantly reducing the communication overhead. The current implementation is capable of simulating a small open economy. As an example, a single time step of a 1:1 scale model of Austria (i.e. about 9 million inhabitants and 600,000 businesses) can be simulated in 15 seconds. The implementation is further being enhanced to simulate 1:1 model of Euro-zone (i.e. 322 million agents).

Keywords: High Performance Computing, agent-based economic model, MPI-communication, MPI-process

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15 Effects of Long-Term Exposure of Cadmium to the Ovary of Lithobius forficatus (Myriapoda, Chilopoda)

Authors: Magdalena Rost-Roszkowska, Izabela Poprawa, Alina Chachulska-Zymelka, Lukasz Chajec, Grazyna Wilczek, Piotr Wilczek, Sebastian Student


Heavy metals polluting the environment, especially soil, have a harmful effect on organisms, because they can damage the organ structure, disturb their function and cause developmental disorders. They can affect not only the somatic tissues but also the germinal tissues. In the natural environment, plants and animals are exposed to short- and long-term exposure to these stressors, which have a major influence on the functioning of these organisms. Numerous animals have been treated as the bioindicators of the environment. Therefore, studies on any alterations caused by, e.g., heavy metals are in the center of interests of not only environmental but also medical and biological science. Myriapods are invertebrates which are bioindicators of the environment. One of the species which lives in the upper layers of soil, particularly under stones and rocks is Lithobius forficatus (Chilopoda), commonly known as the brown centipede or stone centipede. It is a European species of the family Lithobiidae. This centipede living in the soil is exposed to, e.g., heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, arsenic. The main goal of our project was to analyze the impact of long-term exposure to cadmium on the structure of ovary with the emphasis on the course of oogenesis. As the material for analysis of cadmium exposure to ovaries, we chose the centipede species, L. forficatus. Animals were divided into two experimental groups: C – the control group, the animals cultured in laboratory conditions in a horticultural soil; Cd2 – the animals cultured in a horticultural soil supplemented with 80 mg/kg (dry weight) of CdCl2 for 45 days – long-term exposure. Animals were fed with Acheta and Chironomus larvae maintained in tap water. The analyzes were carried out using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), flow cytometry and laser scanning (confocal) microscopy. Here we present the results of long-term exposure to cadmium concentration in soil on the organ responsible for female germ cell formation. Analysis with the use of the transmission electron microscope showed changes in the ultrastructure of both somatic and germ cells in the ovary. Moreover, quantitative analysis revealed the decrease in the percentage of cells viability, the increase in the percentage of cells with depolarized mitochondria and increasing the number of early apoptotic cells. All these changes were statistically significant compared to the control. Additionally, an increase in the ADP/ATP index was recorded. However, changes were not statistically significant to the control. Acknowledgment: The study has been financed by the National Science Centre, Poland, grant no 2017/25/B/NZ4/00420.

Keywords: Ultrastructure, Ovary, cadmium, centipede

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14 Modeling of Anisotropic Hardening Based on Crystal Plasticity Theory and Virtual Experiments

Authors: Bekim Berisha, Sebastian Hirsiger, Pavel Hora


Advanced material models involving several sets of model parameters require a big experimental effort. As models are getting more and more complex like e.g. the so called “Homogeneous Anisotropic Hardening - HAH” model for description of the yielding behavior in the 2D/3D stress space, the number and complexity of the required experiments are also increasing continuously. In the context of sheet metal forming, these requirements are even more pronounced, because of the anisotropic behavior or sheet materials. In addition, some of the experiments are very difficult to perform e.g. the plane stress biaxial compression test. Accordingly, tensile tests in at least three directions, biaxial tests and tension-compression or shear-reverse shear experiments are performed to determine the parameters of the macroscopic models. Therefore, determination of the macroscopic model parameters based on virtual experiments is a very promising strategy to overcome these difficulties. For this purpose, in the framework of multiscale material modeling, a dislocation density based crystal plasticity model in combination with a FFT-based spectral solver is applied to perform virtual experiments. Modeling of the plastic behavior of metals based on crystal plasticity theory is a well-established methodology. However, in general, the computation time is very high and therefore, the computations are restricted to simplified microstructures as well as simple polycrystal models. In this study, a dislocation density based crystal plasticity model – including an implementation of the backstress – is used in a spectral solver framework to generate virtual experiments for three deep drawing materials, DC05-steel, AA6111-T4 and AA4045 aluminum alloys. For this purpose, uniaxial as well as multiaxial loading cases, including various pre-strain histories, has been computed and validated with real experiments. These investigations showed that crystal plasticity modeling in the framework of Representative Volume Elements (RVEs) can be used to replace most of the expensive real experiments. Further, model parameters of advanced macroscopic models like the HAH model can be determined from virtual experiments, even for multiaxial deformation histories. It was also found that crystal plasticity modeling can be used to model anisotropic hardening more accurately by considering the backstress, similar to well-established macroscopic kinematic hardening models. It can be concluded that an efficient coupling of crystal plasticity models and the spectral solver leads to a significant reduction of the amount of real experiments needed to calibrate macroscopic models. This advantage leads also to a significant reduction of computational effort needed for the optimization of metal forming process. Further, due to the time efficient spectral solver used in the computation of the RVE models, detailed modeling of the microstructure are possible.

Keywords: micro structure, crystal plasticity, anisotropic hardening, spectral solver

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13 Assessment of Influence of Short-Lasting Whole-Body Vibration on Joint Position Sense and Body Balance–A Randomised Masked Study

Authors: Sebastian Wójtowicz, Anna Slupik, Anna Mosiolek, Dariusz Bialoszewski


Introduction: Whole-body vibration (WBV) uses high frequency mechanical stimuli generated by a vibration plate and transmitted through bone, muscle and connective tissues to the whole body. Research has shown that long-term vibration-plate training improves neuromuscular facilitation, especially in afferent neural pathways, responsible for the conduction of vibration and proprioceptive stimuli, muscle function, balance and proprioception. Some researchers suggest that the vibration stimulus briefly inhibits the conduction of afferent signals from proprioceptors and can interfere with the maintenance of body balance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of a single set of exercises associated with whole-body vibration on the joint position sense and body balance. Material and methods: The study enrolled 55 people aged 19-24 years. These individuals were randomly divided into a test group (30 persons) and a control group (25 persons). Both groups performed the same set of exercises on a vibration plate. The following vibration parameters: frequency of 20Hz and amplitude of 3mm, were used in the test group. The control group performed exercises on the vibration plate while it was off. All participants were instructed to perform six dynamic exercises lasting 30 seconds each with a 60-second period of rest between them. The exercises involved large muscle groups of the trunk, pelvis and lower limbs. Measurements were carried out before and immediately after exercise. Joint position sense (JPS) was measured in the knee joint for the starting position at 45° in an open kinematic chain. JPS error was measured using a digital inclinometer. Balance was assessed in a standing position with both feet on the ground with the eyes open and closed (each test lasting 30 sec). Balance was assessed using Matscan with FootMat 7.0 SAM software. The surface of the ellipse of confidence and front-back as well as right-left swing were measured to assess balance. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 10.0 PL software. Results: There were no significant differences between the groups, both before and after the exercise (p> 0.05). JPS did not change in both the test (10.7° vs. 8.4°) and control groups (9.0° vs. 8.4°). No significant differences were shown in any of the test parameters during balance tests with the eyes open or closed in both the test and control groups (p> 0.05). Conclusions. 1. Deterioration in proprioception or balance was not observed immediately after the vibration stimulus. This suggests that vibration-induced blockage of proprioceptive stimuli conduction can have only a short-lasting effect that occurs only as long as a vibration stimulus is present. 2. Short-term use of vibration in treatment does not impair proprioception and seems to be safe for patients with proprioceptive impairment. 3. These results need to be supplemented with an assessment of proprioception during the application of vibration stimuli. Additionally, the impact of vibration parameters used in the exercises should be evaluated.

Keywords: Whole body vibration, Balance, proprioception, joint position sense

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12 Trainability of Executive Functions during Preschool Age Analysis of Inhibition of 5-Year-Old Children

Authors: Christian Andrä, Pauline Hähner, Sebastian Ludyga


Introduction: In the recent past, discussions on the importance of physical activity for child development have contributed to a growing interest in executive functions, which refer to cognitive processes. By controlling, modulating and coordinating sub-processes, they make it possible to achieve superior goals. Major components include working memory, inhibition and cognitive flexibility. While executive functions can be trained easily in school children, there are still research deficits regarding the trainability during preschool age. Methodology: This quasi-experimental study with pre- and post-design analyzes 23 children [age: 5.0 (mean value) ± 0.7 (standard deviation)] from four different sports groups. The intervention group was made up of 13 children (IG: 4.9 ± 0.6), while the control group consisted of ten children (CG: 5.1 ± 0.9). Between pre-test and post-test, children from the intervention group participated special games that train executive functions (i.e., changing rules of the game, introduction of new stimuli in familiar games) for ten units of their weekly sports program. The sports program of the control group was not modified. A computer-based version of the Eriksen Flanker Task was employed in order to analyze the participants’ inhibition ability. In two rounds, the participants had to respond 50 times and as fast as possible to a certain target (direction of sight of a fish; the target was always placed in a central position between five fish). Congruent (all fish have the same direction of sight) and incongruent (central fish faces opposite direction) stimuli were used. Relevant parameters were response time and accuracy. The main objective was to investigate whether children from the intervention group show more improvement in the two parameters than the children from the control group. Major findings: The intervention group revealed significant improvements in congruent response time (pre: 1.34 s, post: 1.12 s, p<.01), while the control group did not show any statistically relevant difference (pre: 1.31 s, post: 1.24 s). Likewise, the comparison of incongruent response times indicates a comparable result (IG: pre: 1.44 s, post: 1.25 s, p<.05 vs. CG: pre: 1.38 s, post: 1.38 s). In terms of accuracy for congruent stimuli, the intervention group showed significant improvements (pre: 90.1 %, post: 95.9 %, p<.01). In contrast, no significant improvement was found for the control group (pre: 88.8 %, post: 92.9 %). Vice versa, the intervention group did not display any significant results for incongruent stimuli (pre: 74.9 %, post: 83.5 %), while the control group revealed a significant difference (pre: 68.9 %, post: 80.3 %, p<.01). The analysis of three out of four criteria demonstrates that children who took part in a special sports program improved more than children who did not. The contrary results for the last criterion could be caused by the control group’s low results from the pre-test. Conclusion: The findings illustrate that inhibition can be trained as early as in preschool age. The combination of familiar games with increased requirements for attention and control processes appears to be particularly suitable.

Keywords: Executive Functions, inhibition, preschool children, flanker task

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11 Control of Belts for Classification of Geometric Figures by Artificial Vision

Authors: Juan Sebastian Huertas Piedrahita, Jaime Arturo Lopez Duque, Eduardo Luis Perez Londoño, Julián S. Rodríguez


The process of generating computer vision is called artificial vision. The artificial vision is a branch of artificial intelligence that allows the obtaining, processing, and analysis of any type of information especially the ones obtained through digital images. Actually the artificial vision is used in manufacturing areas for quality control and production, as these processes can be realized through counting algorithms, positioning, and recognition of objects that can be measured by a single camera (or more). On the other hand, the companies use assembly lines formed by conveyor systems with actuators on them for moving pieces from one location to another in their production. These devices must be previously programmed for their good performance and must have a programmed logic routine. Nowadays the production is the main target of every industry, quality, and the fast elaboration of the different stages and processes in the chain of production of any product or service being offered. The principal base of this project is to program a computer that recognizes geometric figures (circle, square, and triangle) through a camera, each one with a different color and link it with a group of conveyor systems to organize the mentioned figures in cubicles, which differ from one another also by having different colors. This project bases on artificial vision, therefore the methodology needed to develop this project must be strict, this one is detailed below: 1. Methodology: 1.1 The software used in this project is QT Creator which is linked with Open CV libraries. Together, these tools perform to realize the respective program to identify colors and forms directly from the camera to the computer. 1.2 Imagery acquisition: To start using the libraries of Open CV is necessary to acquire images, which can be captured by a computer’s web camera or a different specialized camera. 1.3 The recognition of RGB colors is realized by code, crossing the matrices of the captured images and comparing pixels, identifying the primary colors which are red, green, and blue. 1.4 To detect forms it is necessary to realize the segmentation of the images, so the first step is converting the image from RGB to grayscale, to work with the dark tones of the image, then the image is binarized which means having the figure of the image in a white tone with a black background. Finally, we find the contours of the figure in the image to detect the quantity of edges to identify which figure it is. 1.5 After the color and figure have been identified, the program links with the conveyor systems, which through the actuators will classify the figures in their respective cubicles. Conclusions: The Open CV library is a useful tool for projects in which an interface between a computer and the environment is required since the camera obtains external characteristics and realizes any process. With the program for this project any type of assembly line can be optimized because images from the environment can be obtained and the process would be more accurate.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Images, RGB, artificial vision, binarized, grayscale

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10 Optimization of the Jatropha curcas Supply Chain as a Criteria for the Implementation of Future Collection Points in Rural Areas of Manabi-Ecuador

Authors: Edward Jimenez, Boris G. German, Sebastián Espinoza, Andrés G. Chico, Ricardo A. Narváez


The unique flora and fauna of The Galapagos Islands has leveraged a tourism-driven growth in the islands. Nonetheless, such development is energy-intensive and requires thousands of gallons of diesel each year for thermoelectric electricity generation. The needed transport of fossil fuels from the continent has generated oil spillages and affectations to the fragile ecosystem of the islands. The Zero Fossil Fuels initiative for The Galapagos proposed by the Ecuadorian government as an alternative to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the islands, considers the replacement of diesel in thermoelectric generators, by Jatropha curcas vegetable oil. However, the Jatropha oil supply cannot entirely cover yet the demand for electricity generation in Galapagos. Within this context, the present work aims to provide an optimization model that can be used as a selection criterion for approving new Jatropha Curcas collection points in rural areas of Manabi-Ecuador. For this purpose, existing Jatropha collection points in Manabi were grouped under three regions: north (7 collection points), center (4 collection points) and south (9 collection points). Field work was carried out in every region in order to characterize the collection points, to establish local Jatropha supply and to determine transportation costs. Data collection was complemented using GIS software and an objective function was defined in order to determine the profit associated to Jatropha oil production. The market price of both Jatropha oil and residual cake, were considered for the total revenue; whereas Jatropha price, transportation and oil extraction costs were considered for the total cost. The tonnes of Jatropha fruit and seed, transported from collection points to the extraction plant, were considered as variables. The maximum and minimum amount of the collected Jatropha from each region constrained the optimization problem. The supply chain was optimized using linear programming in order to maximize the profits. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was performed in order to find a profit-based criterion for the acceptance of future collection points in Manabi. The maximum profit reached a value of $ 4,616.93 per year, which represented a total Jatropha collection of 62.3 tonnes Jatropha per year. The northern region of Manabi had the biggest collection share (69%), followed by the southern region (17%). The criteria for accepting new Jatropha collection points in the rural areas of Manabi can be defined by the current maximum profit of the zone and by the variation in the profit when collection points are removed one at a time. The definition of new feasible collection points plays a key role in the supply chain associated to Jatropha oil production. Therefore, a mathematical model that assists decision makers in establishing new collection points while assuring profitability, contributes to guarantee a continued Jatropha oil supply for Galapagos and a sustained economic growth in the rural areas of Ecuador.

Keywords: Supply Chain, Linear Programming, jatropha curcas, collection points

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