Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: Eiji Shimizu

25 The Role of Cognitive Control and Social Camouflage Associated with Social Anxiety Autism Spectrum Conditions

Authors: Siqing Guan, Fumiyo Oshima, Eiji Shimizu, Nozomi Tomita, Toru Takahashi, Hiroaki Kumano

Abstract:

Risk factors for social anxiety in autism spectrum conditions involve executive attention, emotion regulation, and thought regulation as processes of cognitive dysregulation. Social camouflaging behaviors as strategies used to mask and/or compensate for autism characteristics during social interactions in autism spectrum conditions have also been emphasized. However, the role of cognitive dysregulation and social camouflaging related to social anxiety in autism spectrum conditions has not been clarified. Whether these factors are specific to social anxiety in autism spectrum conditions or common to social anxiety independent of autism spectrum conditions needs to be clarified. Here, we explored risk factors specific to social anxiety in autism spectrum conditions and general risk factors for social anxiety independent of autism spectrum conditions. From the Japanese participants in early adulthood (age=18~39) of the online survey in Japan, those who exceeded the Japanese version Autism-Spectrum Quotient cutoff (33 points or more )were divided into the autism spectrum conditions group (ASC; N=255, mean age=32.08, SD age=5.16)and those who did not exceed the cutoff were divided into the non-autism spectrum conditions group (Non-ASC; N=255, mean age=31.70, SD age=5.09). Using the Japanese versions of the Social Phobia Scale, the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, and the Short Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, a composite score for social anxiety was calculated using a method of principal. We also measured emotional control difficulties using the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, executive attention using the Effortful Control Scale for Adults, rumination using the Rumination-Reflection Questionnaire, and worry using the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. This study was passed through the review of the Ethics Committee. No conflicts of interest. Multiple regression analysis with forced entry method was used to predict social anxiety in the ASC and non-ASC groups separately, based on executive attention, emotion dysregulation, worry, rumination, and social camouflage. In the ASC group, emotion dysregulation (β=.277, p<.001), worry (β=.162, p<.05), assimilation (β=.308, p<.001) and masking (β=.275, p<.001) were significant predictors of social anxiety (F (7,247) = 45.791, p <.001, R2=.565). In the non-ASC groups,emotion dysregulation (β=.171, p<.05), worry (β=.344,p <.001), assimilation (β=.366,p <.001) and executive attention (β=-.132,p <.05) were significant predictors of social anxiety (F (7,207) =47.333, p <.001, R2=.615).The findings suggest that masking was shown to be a risk factor for social anxiety specific to autism spectrum conditions, while emotion dysregulation, worry, and assimilation were shown to be common risk factors for social anxiety, regardless of autism spectrum conditions. In addition, executive attention is a risk factor for social anxiety without autism spectrum conditions.

Keywords: autism spectrum, cognitive control, social anxiety, social camouflaging

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24 Analyzing Students’ Preferences for Academic Advising: Cases of Two Institutions in Greater Tokyo in Japan

Authors: Megumi Yamasaki, Eiko Shimizu

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The term academic advisor system first appeared in 2012 in Japan. After ten years, it is not yet functioning. One of Japanese college students’ characteristics is that they choose an institution but may not be interested in a major and want to earn a degree for a career. When the university encourages students to develop competencies as well as students to set personal goals during college life, it is critical to support students develop self-directed attitudes and advocacy skills. This paper will analyze the students’ current stage and how academic advising supports their development.

Keywords: academic advising, student development, self-directed, self-advocacy

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23 Using Probe Person Data for Travel Mode Detection

Authors: Muhammad Awais Shafique, Eiji Hato, Hideki Yaginuma

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Recently GPS data is used in a lot of studies to automatically reconstruct travel patterns for trip survey. The aim is to minimize the use of questionnaire surveys and travel diaries so as to reduce their negative effects. In this paper data acquired from GPS and accelerometer embedded in smart phones is utilized to predict the mode of transportation used by the phone carrier. For prediction, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Adaptive boosting (AdaBoost) are employed. Moreover a unique method to improve the prediction results from these algorithms is also proposed. Results suggest that the prediction accuracy of AdaBoost after improvement is relatively better than the rest.

Keywords: accelerometer, AdaBoost, GPS, mode prediction, support vector machine

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22 A Review of Travel Data Collection Methods

Authors: Muhammad Awais Shafique, Eiji Hato

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Household trip data is of crucial importance for managing present transportation infrastructure as well as to plan and design future facilities. It also provides basis for new policies implemented under Transportation Demand Management. The methods used for household trip data collection have changed with passage of time, starting with the conventional face-to-face interviews or paper-and-pencil interviews and reaching to the recent approach of employing smartphones. This study summarizes the step-wise evolution in the travel data collection methods. It provides a comprehensive review of the topic, for readers interested to know the changing trends in the data collection field.

Keywords: computer, smartphone, telephone, travel survey

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21 Model Predictive Control Using Thermal Inputs for Crystal Growth Dynamics

Authors: Takashi Shimizu, Tomoaki Hashimoto

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Recently, crystal growth technologies have made progress by the requirement for the high quality of crystal materials. To control the crystal growth dynamics actively by external forces is useuful for reducing composition non-uniformity. In this study, a control method based on model predictive control using thermal inputs is proposed for crystal growth dynamics of semiconductor materials. The control system of crystal growth dynamics considered here is governed by the continuity, momentum, energy, and mass transport equations. To establish the control method for such thermal fluid systems, we adopt model predictive control known as a kind of optimal feedback control in which the control performance over a finite future is optimized with a performance index that has a moving initial time and terminal time. The objective of this study is to establish a model predictive control method for crystal growth dynamics of semiconductor materials.

Keywords: model predictive control, optimal control, process control, crystal growth

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20 Revisiting the Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Risk from the DSGE View

Authors: Eiji Okano, Kazuyuki Inagaki

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We revisit Uribe's `Fiscal Theory of Sovereign Risk' advocating that there is a trade-off between stabilizing inflation and suppressing default. We develop a class of dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with nominal rigidities and compare two de facto inflation stabilization policies, optimal monetary policy and optimal monetary and fiscal policy with the minimizing interest rate spread policy which completely suppress the default. Under the optimal monetary and fiscal policy, not only the nominal interest rate but also the tax rate work to minimize welfare costs through stabilizing inflation. Under the optimal monetary both inflation and output gap are completely stabilized although those are fluctuating under the optimal monetary policy. In addition, volatility in the default rate under the optimal monetary policy is considerably lower than one under the optimal monetary policy. Thus, there is not the SI-SD trade-off. In addition, while the minimizing interest rate spread policy makes inflation rate severely volatile, the optimal monetary and fiscal policy stabilize both the inflation and the default. A trade-off between stabilizing inflation and suppressing default is not so severe what pointed out by Uribe.

Keywords: sovereign risk, optimal monetary policy, fiscal theory of the price level, DSGE

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19 Prediction of Malawi Rainfall from Global Sea Surface Temperature Using a Simple Multiple Regression Model

Authors: Chisomo Patrick Kumbuyo, Katsuyuki Shimizu, Hiroshi Yasuda, Yoshinobu Kitamura

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This study deals with a way of predicting Malawi rainfall from global sea surface temperature (SST) using a simple multiple regression model. Monthly rainfall data from nine stations in Malawi grouped into two zones on the basis of inter-station rainfall correlations were used in the study. Zone 1 consisted of Karonga and Nkhatabay stations, located in northern Malawi; and Zone 2 consisted of Bolero, located in northern Malawi; Kasungu, Dedza, Salima, located in central Malawi; Mangochi, Makoka and Ngabu stations located in southern Malawi. Links between Malawi rainfall and SST based on statistical correlations were evaluated and significant results selected as predictors for the regression models. The predictors for Zone 1 model were identified from the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans while those for Zone 2 were identified from the Pacific Ocean. The correlation between the fit of predicted and observed rainfall values of the models were satisfactory with r=0.81 and 0.54 for Zone 1 and 2 respectively (significant at less than 99.99%). The results of the models are in agreement with other findings that suggest that SST anomalies in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans have an influence on the rainfall patterns of Southern Africa.

Keywords: Malawi rainfall, forecast model, predictors, SST

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18 Model Predictive Control with Unscented Kalman Filter for Nonlinear Implicit Systems

Authors: Takashi Shimizu, Tomoaki Hashimoto

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A class of implicit systems is known as a more generalized class of systems than a class of explicit systems. To establish a control method for such a generalized class of systems, we adopt model predictive control method which is a kind of optimal feedback control with a performance index that has a moving initial time and terminal time. However, model predictive control method is inapplicable to systems whose all state variables are not exactly known. In other words, model predictive control method is inapplicable to systems with limited measurable states. In fact, it is usual that the state variables of systems are measured through outputs, hence, only limited parts of them can be used directly. It is also usual that output signals are disturbed by process and sensor noises. Hence, it is important to establish a state estimation method for nonlinear implicit systems with taking the process noise and sensor noise into consideration. To this purpose, we apply the model predictive control method and unscented Kalman filter for solving the optimization and estimation problems of nonlinear implicit systems, respectively. The objective of this study is to establish a model predictive control with unscented Kalman filter for nonlinear implicit systems.

Keywords: optimal control, nonlinear systems, state estimation, Kalman filter

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17 Health Promotion Programs for Fifteen Years Decreased Loneliness and Increased Happiness for Elementary School Children in Yuzawa Town, Japan

Authors: Takeo Shibata, Arihito Endo, Chika Hiraga, Akemi Kunimatsu, Yoko Shimizu

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Introduction: A health promotion program, Yuzawa family health plan, was initiated in 2002. It has been held for fifteen years. Yuzawa Town is famous with hot springs and ski resorts. We evaluated the changes in mental status in elementary school children. Methods: questionnaires survey had been held every five years. 196 questionnaires were corrected (94 boys and 102 girls). Changes for their anxieties, loneliness, confiding, problem-solving, risk breaching, communications, happiness, and life satisfaction were evaluated by chi-square test. Results: The rate of loneliness and life dissatisfactions decreased. The rates of happiness, confiding in grandparents, and risk breaching, increased. Especially, happiness rates increased for boys, loneliness rate decreased for girls, confiding in grandparents and risk breaching rate increased for girls. Conclusion: Our health promotion programs could increase mental health status in elementary school children.

Keywords: health promotion, mental status, elementary school, loneliness, happiness

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16 State Estimation Based on Unscented Kalman Filter for Burgers’ Equation

Authors: Takashi Shimizu, Tomoaki Hashimoto

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Controlling the flow of fluids is a challenging problem that arises in many fields. Burgers’ equation is a fundamental equation for several flow phenomena such as traffic, shock waves, and turbulence. The optimal feedback control method, so-called model predictive control, has been proposed for Burgers’ equation. However, the model predictive control method is inapplicable to systems whose all state variables are not exactly known. In practical point of view, it is unusual that all the state variables of systems are exactly known, because the state variables of systems are measured through output sensors and limited parts of them can be only available. In fact, it is usual that flow velocities of fluid systems cannot be measured for all spatial domains. Hence, any practical feedback controller for fluid systems must incorporate some type of state estimator. To apply the model predictive control to the fluid systems described by Burgers’ equation, it is needed to establish a state estimation method for Burgers’ equation with limited measurable state variables. To this purpose, we apply unscented Kalman filter for estimating the state variables of fluid systems described by Burgers’ equation. The objective of this study is to establish a state estimation method based on unscented Kalman filter for Burgers’ equation. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified by numerical simulations.

Keywords: observer systems, unscented Kalman filter, nonlinear systems, Burgers' equation

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15 Combustion Improvements by C4/C5 Bio-Alcohol Isomer Blended Fuels Combined with Supercharging and EGR in a Diesel Engine

Authors: Yasufumi Yoshimoto, Enkhjargal Tserenochir, Eiji Kinoshita, Takeshi Otaka

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Next generation bio-alcohols produced from non-food based sources like cellulosic biomass are promising renewable energy sources. The present study investigates engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions of a small single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fueled by four kinds of next generation bio-alcohol isomer and diesel fuel blends with a constant blending ratio of 3:7 (mass). The tested bio-alcohol isomers here are n-butanol and iso-butanol (C4 alcohol), and n-pentanol and iso-pentanol (C5 alcohol). To obtain simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions, the experiments employed supercharging combined with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). The boost pressures were fixed at two conditions, 100 kPa (naturally aspirated operation) and 120 kPa (supercharged operation) provided with a roots blower type supercharger. The EGR rates were varied from 0 to 25% using a cooled EGR technique. The results showed that both with and without supercharging, all the bio-alcohol blended diesel fuels improved the trade-off relation between NOx and smoke emissions at all EGR rates while maintaining good engine performance, when compared with diesel fuel operation. It was also found that regardless of boost pressure and EGR rate, the ignition delays of the tested bio-alcohol isomer blends are in the order of iso-butanol > n-butanol > iso-pentanol > n-pentanol. Overall, it was concluded that, except for the changes in the ignition delays the influence of bio-alcohol isomer blends on the engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions are relatively small.

Keywords: alternative fuel, butanol, diesel engine, EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation), next generation bio-alcohol isomer blended fuel, pentanol, supercharging

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14 Chemical Kinetics and Computational Fluid-Dynamics Analysis of H2/CO/CO2/CH4 Syngas Combustion and NOx Formation in a Micro-Pilot-Ignited Supercharged Dual Fuel Engine

Authors: Ulugbek Azimov, Nearchos Stylianidis, Nobuyuki Kawahara, Eiji Tomita

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A chemical kinetics and computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) analysis was performed to evaluate the combustion of syngas derived from biomass and coke-oven solid feedstock in a micro-pilot ignited supercharged dual-fuel engine under lean conditions. For this analysis, a new reduced syngas chemical kinetics mechanism was constructed and validated by comparing the ignition delay and laminar flame speed data with those obtained from experiments and other detail chemical kinetics mechanisms available in the literature. The reaction sensitivity analysis was conducted for ignition delay at elevated pressures in order to identify important chemical reactions that govern the combustion process. The chemical kinetics of NOx formation was analyzed for H2/CO/CO2/CH4 syngas mixtures by using counter flow burner and premixed laminar flame speed reactor models. The new mechanism showed a very good agreement with experimental measurements and accurately reproduced the effect of pressure, temperature and equivalence ratio on NOx formation. In order to identify the species important for NOx formation, a sensitivity analysis was conducted for pressures 4 bar, 10 bar and 16 bar and preheat temperature 300 K. The results show that the NOx formation is driven mostly by hydrogen based species while other species, such as N2, CO2 and CH4, have also important effects on combustion. Finally, the new mechanism was used in a multidimensional CFD simulation to predict the combustion of syngas in a micro-pilot-ignited supercharged dual-fuel engine and results were compared with experiments. The mechanism showed the closest prediction of the in-cylinder pressure and the rate of heat release (ROHR).

Keywords: syngas, chemical kinetics mechanism, internal combustion engine, NOx formation

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13 Analyzing Habits of Brushing Teeth in Yuzawa Town, Japan

Authors: Takeo Shibata, Arihito Endo, Akemi Kunimatsu, Chika Hiraga, Yoko Shimizu

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Introduction: Yuzawa Town, located in the Niigata prefecture of Japan, is famous for its hot springs. A health promotion program, Yuzawa family health plan, was initiated in 2002. It has been held for fifteen years. We evaluated the profiles of brushing teeth in adults. Subjects: 368 questionnaires were corrected from people who live in Yuzawa town. The range of age was between nineteen and sixty-four years old. Methods: Mann-Whitney’s U test and Kruskal-Wallis test were used to evaluate significant differences in frequencies of brushing teeth per a day. Chi-square test and the adjusted residuals were used to evaluate when they brush their teeth. Results: Women showed greater frequencies of brushing teeth per a day than men. No difference was shown by age. Construction workers showed fewer frequencies of brushing teeth. Specialized technicians, clerical workers, and housewives showed greater frequencies. People who know Yuzawa family health plan, take a regular life, or take a breakfast every day showed greater frequencies. People who think not healthy, don’t care a balance of foods, don’t take yearly health check-up, or smoke showed fewer frequencies. After breakfast, women and specialized technicians showed greater frequencies, and construction workers and self-employed workers showed fewer frequencies. After lunch, clerical workers and specialized technicians showed greater frequencies. There was no significant difference at after waking up, after dinner, and before going to bed. Construction workers showed a lower rate of having a marital partner and having information of health. Conclusion: Gender and occupational differences were shown in frequencies of brushing teeth per a day. A promotion of teeth brushing for male, especially construction workers and self-employed workers, is needed.

Keywords: health promotion, Yuzawa family health plan, brushing teeth, occupational difference

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12 Effect of Retention Time on Kitchen Wastewater Treatment Using Mixed Algal-Bacterial Consortia

Authors: Keerthi Katam, Abhinav B. Tirunaghari, Vinod Vadithya, Toshiyuki Shimizu, Satoshi Soda, Debraj Bhattacharyya

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Researchers worldwide are increasingly focusing on the removal of carbon and nutrient from wastewater using algal-bacterial hybrid systems. Algae produce oxygen during photosynthesis, which is taken up by heterotrophic bacteria for mineralizing organic carbon to carbon dioxide. This phenomenon reduces the net mechanical aeration requirement of aerobic biological wastewater treatment processes. Consequently, the treatment cost is also reduced. Microalgae also participate in the treatment process by taking up nutrient (N, P) from wastewater. Algal biomass, if harvested, can generate value-added by-products. The aim of the present study was to compare the performance of two systems - System A (mixed microalgae and bacteria) and System B (diatoms and bacteria) in treating kitchen wastewater (KWW). The test reactors were operated at five different solid retention times (SRTs) -2, 4, 6, 8, and 10-days in draw-and-fill mode. The KWW was collected daily from the dining hall-kitchen area of the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. The influent and effluent samples were analyzed for total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN) using TOC-L analyzer. A colorimetric method was used to analyze anionic surfactant. Phosphorus (P) and chlorophyll were measured by following standard methods. The TOC, TN, and P of KWW were in the range of 113.5 to 740 mg/L, 2 to 22.8 mg/L, and 1 to 4.5 mg/L, respectively. Both the systems gave similar results with 85% of TOC removal and 60% of TN removal at 10-d SRT. However, the anionic surfactant removal in System A was 99% and 60% in System B. The chlorophyll concentration increased with an increase in SRT in both the systems. At 2-d SRT, no chlorophyll was observed in System B, whereas 0.5 mg/L was observed in System A. At 10-d SRT, the chlorophyll concentration in System A was 7.5 mg/L, whereas it was 4.5 mg/L in System B. Although both the systems showed similar performance in treatment, the increase in chlorophyll concentration suggests that System A demonstrated a better algal-bacterial symbiotic relationship in treating KWW than System B.

Keywords: diatoms, microalgae, retention time, wastewater treatment

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11 Evaluation of Different Anticoagulant Effects on Flow Properties of Human Blood Using Falling Needle Rheometer

Authors: Hiroki Tsuneda, Takamasa Suzuki, Hideki Yamamoto, Kimito Kawamura, Eiji Tamura, Katharina Wochner, Roberto Plasenzotti

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Flow property of human blood is one of the important factors on the prevention of the circulatory condition such as a high blood pressure, a diabetes mellitus, and a cardiac infarction. However, the measurement of flow property of human blood, especially blood viscosity, is not so easy, because of their coagulation or aggregation behaviors after taking a sample from blood vessel. In the experiment, some kinds of anticoagulant were added into the human blood to avoid its solidification. Anticoagulant used in the blood test has been chosen for each purpose of blood test, for anticoagulant effect on blood is different mechanism for each. So that, there is a problem that the evaluation of measured blood property with different anticoagulant is so difficult. Therefore, it is so important to make clear the difference of anticoagulant effect on the blood property. In the previous work, a compact-size falling needle rheometer (FNR) has been developed in order to measure the flow property of human blood such as a flow curve, an apparent viscosity. It was found that FNR system can apply to a rheometer or a viscometry for various experimental conditions for not only human blood but also mammalians blood. In this study, the measurements of human blood viscosity with different anticoagulant (EDTA and Heparin) were carried out using newly developed FNR system. The effect of anticoagulant on blood viscosity was also tested by using the standard liquid for each. The accuracy on the viscometry was also tested by using the standard liquid for calibrating materials (JS-10, JS-20) and observed data have satisfactory agreement with reference data around 1.0% at 310K. The flow curve of six males and females with different anticoagulant were measured using FNR. In this experiment, EDTA and Heparin were chosen as anticoagulant for blood. Heparin can inhibit the coagulation of human blood by activating the body of anti-thrombin. To examine the effect of human blood viscosity on anticoagulant, flow curve was measured at high shear rate (>350s-1), and apparent viscosity of each person were determined with different anticoagulant. The apparent viscosity of human blood with heparin was 2%-9% higher than that with EDTA. However, the difference of blood viscosity for two anticoagulants for same blood was different for each. Further discussion, we need the consideration of effect on other physical property, such as cellular component and plasma component.

Keywords: falling-needle rheometer, human blood, viscosity, anticoagulant

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10 Childhood Obesity in Japan: Trends in Obesity Prevalence among Japanese Kids under 17 Years Old from 2007 to 2016

Authors: Houda Mnif Sellami, Toshi Umehara, Yuriko Yamazaki, Reie Matoba, Anna Sakashita, Yoshimi Abe, Hiroyuki Otake, Satoko Morita, Yoshitaka Akiyama, Chieko Morisawa, Eiji Omura, Masako Yazawa, Yoshie Koike, Mitsugu Tokunaga, Seiki Wada, Shinya Minagawa, Masafumi Matsuda

Abstract:

Childhood obesity has been, for decades, a very serious public health problem worldwide. Some Asian countries have already reached alarming rates, as lifestyle changed dramatically in this part of the world. In many concerned countries, strategies including educational, promotional and awareness-raising activities have been established to combat obesity within kids. Objective: To estimate the obesity and also the underweight trends of Japanese kids from 5 to 17 years, by single year of age and by gender, over the last decade. Methods We used the data from the cross-sectional annual Nationwide surveys (National Nutrition Survey, Japan, Ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology) conducted from 2007 to 2016. We compared trajectories of obesity prevalence, with the data on sex and age groups. We also analyzed energy and macronutrients intakes of Japanese kids using Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare-Japan annual data, from 2007 to 2014. Results: From 2007 to 2016, Boys obesity was higher than Girls obesity for the over 6 YO participants. Both Boys and Girls obesity trends had 2 peaks of prevalence at (11-13 YO) and then at (15-16 YO). From 2007 to 2012, Kids obesity decreased considerably in both sex and all year of age; then obesity decline was more modest till 2016.On the other side, Kids underweight prevalence increased in both sexes. The macronutrients analyze couldn’t show an evident association between obesity trends and foods intake. Conclusion: Japanese kids’ obesity has been decreased since 2007, in opposition to some other countries reports. We didn’t find an observed association with food intake using Health Ministry data; we need further investigation to estimate energy intake, lifestyle and physical activity by year of age to know whether there is any possible relation.

Keywords: childhood, Japan, obesity, underweight

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9 Effects of Lateness Gene on Yield and Related Traits in Indica Rice

Authors: B. B. Rana, M. Yokota, Y. Shimizu, Y. Koide, I. Takamure, T. Kawano, M. Murai

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Various genes which control or affect heading time have been found in rice. Out of them, Se1 and E1 loci play important roles in determining heading time by controlling photosensitivity. An isogenic-line pair of late and early lines were developed from progenies of the F1 from Suweon 258 × 36U. A lateness gene tentatively designated as “Ex” was found to control the difference in heading time between the early and late lines mentioned above. The present study was conducted to examine the effect of Ex on yield and related traits. Indica-type variety Suweon 258 was crossed with 36U, which is an Ur1 (Undulate rachis-1) isogenic line of IR36. In the F2 population, comparatively early-heading, late-heading and intermediate-heading plants were segregated. Segregation similar to that by the three types of heading was observed in the F3 and later generations. A late-heading plant and an early-heading plant were selected in the F8 population from an intermediate-heading F7 plant, for developing L and E of the isogenic-line pair, respectively. Experiments for L and E were conducted by randomized block design with three replications. Transplanting was conducted on May 3 at a planting distance of 30 cm × 15 cm with two seedlings per hill to an experimental field of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University. Chemical fertilizers containing N, P2O5 and K2O were applied at the nitrogen levels of 4 g/m2, 9 g/m2 and 18 g/m2 in total being denoted by "N4", "N9" and "N18", respectively. Yield, yield components and other traits were measured. Ex delayed 80%-heading by 17 or 18 days in L as compared with E. In total brown rice yield (g/m2), L was 635, 606 and 590, and E was 577, 548 and 501, respectively, at N18, N9 and N4, indicating that Ex increased this trait by 10% to 18%. Ex increased yield-1.5 mm sieve (g/m2) b 9% to 15% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex increased the spikelet number per panicle by 16% to 22%. As a result, the spikelet number per m2 was increased by 11% to 18% at the three fertilizer levels. Ex decreased 1000-grain weight (g) by 2 to 4%. L was not significantly different from E in ripened-grain percentage, fertilized-spikelet percentage and percentage of ripened grains to fertilized spikelets. Hence, it is inferred that Ex increased yield by increasing spikelet number per panicle. Hence, Ex could be utilized to develop high yielding varieties for warmer districts.

Keywords: heading time, lateness gene, photosensitivity, yield, yield components

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8 Proposed Design of an Optimized Transient Cavity Picosecond Ultraviolet Laser

Authors: Marilou Cadatal-Raduban, Minh Hong Pham, Duong Van Pham, Tu Nguyen Xuan, Mui Viet Luong, Kohei Yamanoi, Toshihiko Shimizu, Nobuhiko Sarukura, Hung Dai Nguyen

Abstract:

There is a great deal of interest in developing all-solid-state tunable ultrashort pulsed lasers emitting in the ultraviolet (UV) region for applications such as micromachining, investigation of charge carrier relaxation in conductors, and probing of ultrafast chemical processes. However, direct short-pulse generation is not as straight forward in solid-state gain media as it is for near-IR tunable solid-state lasers such as Ti:sapphire due to the difficulty of obtaining continuous wave laser operation, which is required for Kerr lens mode-locking schemes utilizing spatial or temporal Kerr type nonlinearity. In this work, the transient cavity method, which was reported to generate ultrashort laser pulses in dye lasers, is extended to a solid-state gain medium. Ce:LiCAF was chosen among the rare-earth-doped fluoride laser crystals emitting in the UV region because of its broad tunability (from 280 to 325 nm) and enough bandwidth to generate 3-fs pulses, sufficiently large effective gain cross section (6.0 x10⁻¹⁸ cm²) favorable for oscillators, and a high saturation fluence (115 mJ/cm²). Numerical simulations are performed to investigate the spectro-temporal evolution of the broadband UV laser emission from Ce:LiCAF, represented as a system of two homogeneous broadened singlet states, by solving the rate equations extended to multiple wavelengths. The goal is to find the appropriate cavity length and Q-factor to achieve the optimal photon cavity decay time and pumping energy for resonator transients that will lead to ps UV laser emission from a Ce:LiCAF crystal pumped by the fourth harmonics (266nm) of a Nd:YAG laser. Results show that a single ps pulse can be generated from a 1-mm, 1 mol% Ce³⁺-doped LiCAF crystal using an output coupler with 10% reflectivity (low-Q) and an oscillator cavity that is 2-mm long (short cavity). This technique can be extended to other fluoride-based solid-state laser gain media.

Keywords: rare-earth-doped fluoride gain medium, transient cavity, ultrashort laser, ultraviolet laser

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7 Circle of Learning Using High-Fidelity Simulators Promoting a Better Understanding of Resident Physicians on Point-of-Care Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine

Authors: Takamitsu Kodama, Eiji Kawamoto

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Introduction: Ultrasound in emergency room has advantages of safer, faster, repeatable and noninvasive. Especially focused Point-Of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is used daily for prompt and accurate diagnoses, for quickly identifying critical and life-threatening conditions. That is why ultrasound has demonstrated its usefulness in emergency medicine. The true value of ultrasound has been once again recognized in recent years. It is thought that all resident physicians working at emergency room should perform an ultrasound scan to interpret signs and symptoms of deteriorating patients in the emergency room. However, a practical education on ultrasound is still in development. To resolve this issue, we established a new educational program using high-fidelity simulators and evaluated the efficacy of this course. Methods: Educational program includes didactic lectures and skill stations in half-day course. Instructor gives a lecture on POCUS such as Rapid Ultrasound in Shock (RUSH) and/or Focused Assessment Transthoracic Echo (FATE) protocol at the beginning of the course. Then, attendees are provided for training of scanning with cooperation of normal simulated patients. In the end, attendees learn how to apply focused POCUS skills at clinical situation using high-fidelity simulators such as SonoSim® (SonoSim, Inc) and SimMan® 3G (Laerdal Medical). Evaluation was conducted through surveillance questionnaires to 19 attendees after two pilot courses. The questionnaires were focused on understanding course concept and satisfaction. Results: All attendees answered the questionnaires. With respect to the degree of understanding, 12 attendees (number of valid responses: 13) scored four or more points out of five points. High-fidelity simulators, especially SonoSim® was highly appreciated to enhance learning how to handle ultrasound at an actual practice site by 11 attendees (number of valid responses: 12). All attendees encouraged colleagues to take this course because the high level of satisfaction was achieved. Discussion: Newly introduced educational course using high-fidelity simulators realizes the circle of learning to deepen the understanding on focused POCUS by gradual stages. SonoSim® can faithfully reproduce scan images with pathologic findings of ultrasound and provide experimental learning for a growth number of beginners such as resident physicians. In addition, valuable education can be provided if it is used combined with SimMan® 3G. Conclusions: Newly introduced educational course using high-fidelity simulators is supposed to be effective and helps in providing better education compared with conventional courses for emergency physicians.

Keywords: point-of-care ultrasound, high-fidelity simulators, education, circle of learning

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6 Comparison between Conventional Bacterial and Algal-Bacterial Aerobic Granular Sludge Systems in the Treatment of Saline Wastewater

Authors: Philip Semaha, Zhongfang Lei, Ziwen Zhao, Sen Liu, Zhenya Zhang, Kazuya Shimizu

Abstract:

The increasing generation of saline wastewater through various industrial activities is becoming a global concern for activated sludge (AS) based biological treatment which is widely applied in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As for the AS process, an increase in wastewater salinity has negative impact on its overall performance. The advent of conventional aerobic granular sludge (AGS) or bacterial AGS biotechnology has gained much attention because of its superior performance. The development of algal-bacterial AGS could enhance better nutrients removal, potentially reduce aeration cost through symbiotic algae-bacterial activity, and thus, can also reduce overall treatment cost. Nonetheless, the potential of salt stress to decrease biomass growth, microbial activity and nutrient removal exist. Up to the present, little information is available on saline wastewater treatment by algal-bacterial AGS. To the authors’ best knowledge, a comparison of the two AGS systems has not been done to evaluate nutrients removal capacity in the context of salinity increase. This study sought to figure out the impact of salinity on the algal-bacterial AGS system in comparison to bacterial AGS one, contributing to the application of AGS technology in the real world of saline wastewater treatment. In this study, the salt concentrations tested were 0 g/L, 1 g/L, 5 g/L, 10 g/L and 15 g/L of NaCl with 24-hr artificial illuminance of approximately 97.2 µmol m¯²s¯¹, and mature bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS were used for the operation of two identical sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) with a working volume of 0.9 L each, respectively. The results showed that salinity increase caused no apparent change in the color of bacterial AGS; while for algal-bacterial AGS, its color was progressively changed from green to dark green. A consequent increase in granule diameter and fluffiness was observed in the bacterial AGS reactor with the increase of salinity in comparison to a decrease in algal-bacterial AGS diameter. However, nitrite accumulation peaked from 1.0 mg/L and 0.4 mg/L at 1 g/L NaCl in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems, respectively to 9.8 mg/L in both systems when NaCl concentration varied from 5 g/L to 15 g/L. Almost no ammonia nitrogen was detected in the effluent except at 10 g/L NaCl concentration, where it averaged 4.2 mg/L and 2.4 mg/L, respectively, in the bacterial and algal-bacterial AGS systems. Nutrients removal in the algal-bacterial system was relatively higher than the bacterial AGS in terms of nitrogen and phosphorus removals. Nonetheless, the nutrient removal rate was almost 50% or lower. Results show that algal-bacterial AGS is more adaptable to salinity increase and could be more suitable for saline wastewater treatment. Optimization of operation conditions for algal-bacterial AGS system would be important to ensure its stably high efficiency in practice.

Keywords: algal-bacterial aerobic granular sludge, bacterial aerobic granular sludge, Nutrients removal, saline wastewater, sequencing batch reactor

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5 Predicting Long-Term Performance of Concrete under Sulfate Attack

Authors: Elakneswaran Yogarajah, Toyoharu Nawa, Eiji Owaki

Abstract:

Cement-based materials have been using in various reinforced concrete structural components as well as in nuclear waste repositories. The sulfate attack has been an environmental issue for cement-based materials exposed to sulfate bearing groundwater or soils, and it plays an important role in the durability of concrete structures. The reaction between penetrating sulfate ions and cement hydrates can result in swelling, spalling and cracking of cement matrix in concrete. These processes induce a reduction of mechanical properties and a decrease of service life of an affected structure. It has been identified that the precipitation of secondary sulfate bearing phases such as ettringite, gypsum, and thaumasite can cause the damage. Furthermore, crystallization of soluble salts such as sodium sulfate crystals induces degradation due to formation and phase changes. Crystallization of mirabilite (Na₂SO₄:10H₂O) and thenardite (Na₂SO₄) or their phase changes (mirabilite to thenardite or vice versa) due to temperature or sodium sulfate concentration do not involve any chemical interaction with cement hydrates. Over the past couple of decades, an intensive work has been carried out on sulfate attack in cement-based materials. However, there are several uncertainties still exist regarding the mechanism for the damage of concrete in sulfate environments. In this study, modelling work has been conducted to investigate the chemical degradation of cementitious materials in various sulfate environments. Both internal and external sulfate attack are considered for the simulation. In the internal sulfate attack, hydrate assemblage and pore solution chemistry of co-hydrating Portland cement (PC) and slag mixing with sodium sulfate solution are calculated to determine the degradation of the PC and slag-blended cementitious materials. Pitzer interactions coefficients were used to calculate the activity coefficients of solution chemistry at high ionic strength. The deterioration mechanism of co-hydrating cementitious materials with 25% of Na₂SO₄ by weight is the formation of mirabilite crystals and ettringite. Their formation strongly depends on sodium sulfate concentration and temperature. For the external sulfate attack, the deterioration of various types of cementitious materials under external sulfate ingress is simulated through reactive transport model. The reactive transport model is verified with experimental data in terms of phase assemblage of various cementitious materials with spatial distribution for different sulfate solution. Finally, the reactive transport model is used to predict the long-term performance of cementitious materials exposed to 10% of Na₂SO₄ for 1000 years. The dissolution of cement hydrates and secondary formation of sulfate-bearing products mainly ettringite are the dominant degradation mechanisms, but not the sodium sulfate crystallization.

Keywords: thermodynamic calculations, reactive transport, radioactive waste disposal, PHREEQC

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4 Development of Three-Dimensional Bio-Reactor Using Magnetic Field Stimulation to Enhance PC12 Cell Axonal Extension

Authors: Eiji Nakamachi, Ryota Sakiyama, Koji Yamamoto, Yusuke Morita, Hidetoshi Sakamoto

Abstract:

The regeneration of injured central nerve network caused by the cerebrovascular accidents is difficult, because of poor regeneration capability of central nerve system composed of the brain and the spinal cord. Recently, new regeneration methods such as transplant of nerve cells and supply of nerve nutritional factor were proposed and examined. However, there still remain many problems with the canceration of engrafted cells and so on and it is strongly required to establish an efficacious treating method of a central nerve system. Blackman proposed the electromagnetic stimulation method to enhance the axonal nerve extension. In this study, we try to design and fabricate a new three-dimensional (3D) bio-reactor, which can load a uniform AC magnetic field stimulation on PC12 cells in the extracellular environment for enhancement of an axonal nerve extension and 3D nerve network generation. Simultaneously, we measure the morphology of PC12 cell bodies, axons, and dendrites by the multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscope (MPM) and evaluate the effectiveness of the uniform AC magnetic stimulation to enhance the axonal nerve extension. Firstly, we designed and fabricated the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation bio-reactor. For the AC magnetic stimulation system, we used the laminated silicon steel sheets for a yoke structure of 3D chamber, which had a high magnetic permeability. Next, we adopted the pole piece structure and installed similar specification coils on both sides of the yoke. We searched an optimum pole piece structure using the magnetic field finite element (FE) analyses and the response surface methodology. We confirmed that the optimum 3D chamber structure showed a uniform magnetic flux density in the PC12 cell culture area by using FE analysis. Then, we fabricated the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation bio-reactor by adopting analytically determined specifications, such as the size of chamber and electromagnetic conditions. We confirmed that measurement results of magnetic field in the chamber showed a good agreement with FE results. Secondly, we fabricated a dish, which set inside the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation of bio-reactor. PC12 cells were disseminated with collagen gel and could be 3D cultured in the dish. The collagen gel were poured in the dish. The collagen gel, which had a disk shape of 6 mm diameter and 3mm height, was set on the membrane filter, which was located at 4 mm height from the bottom of dish. The disk was full filled with the culture medium inside the dish. Finally, we evaluated the effectiveness of the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation to enhance the nurve axonal extension. We confirmed that a 6.8 increase in the average axonal extension length of PC12 under the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation at 7 days culture in our bio-reactor, and a 24.7 increase in the maximum axonal extension length. Further, we confirmed that a 60 increase in the number of dendrites of PC12 under the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation. Finally, we confirm the availability of our uniform AC magnetic stimulation bio-reactor for the nerve axonal extension and the nerve network generation.

Keywords: nerve regeneration, axonal extension , PC12 cell, magnetic field, three-dimensional bio-reactor

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3 Sugar-Induced Stabilization Effect of Protein Structure

Authors: Mitsuhiro Hirai, Satoshi Ajito, Nobutaka Shimizu, Noriyuki Igarashi, Hiroki Iwase, Shinichi Takata

Abstract:

Sugars and polyols are known to be bioprotectants preventing such as protein denaturation and enzyme deactivation and widely used as a nontoxic additive in various industrial and medical products. The mechanism of their protective actions has been explained by specific bindings between biological components and additives, changes in solvent viscosities, and surface tension and free energy changes upon transfer of those components into additive solutions. On the other hand, some organisms having tolerances against extreme environment produce stress proteins and/or accumulate sugars in cells, which is called cryptobiosis. In particular, trehalose has been drawing attention relevant to cryptobiosis under external stress such as high or low temperature, drying, osmotic pressure, and so on. The function of cryptobiosis by trehalose has been explained relevant to the restriction of the intra-and/or-inter-molecular movement by vitrification or from the replacement of water molecule by trehalose. Previous results suggest that the structure and interaction between sugar and water are a key determinant for understanding cryptobiosis. Recently, we have shown direct evidence that the protein hydration (solvation) and structural stability against chemical and thermal denaturation significantly depend on sugar species and glycerol. Sugar and glycerol molecules tend to be preferentially or weakly excluded from the protein surface and preserved the native protein hydration shell. Due to the protective action of the protein hydration shell by those molecules, the protein structure is stabilized against chemical (guanidinium chloride) and thermal denaturation. The protective action depends on sugar species. To understand the above trend and difference in detail, it is essentially important to clarify the characteristics of solutions containing those additives. In this study, by using wide-angle X-ray scattering technique covering a wide spatial region (~3-120 Å), we have clarified structures of sugar solutions with the concentration from 5% w/w to 65% w/w. The sugars measured in the present study were monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, mannose) and disaccharides (sucrose, trehalose, maltose). Due to observed scattering data with a wide spatial resolution, we have succeeded in obtaining information on the internal structure of individual sugar molecules and on the correlation between them. Every sugar gradually shortened the average inter-molecular distance as the concentration increased. The inter-molecular interaction between sugar molecules was essentially showed an exclusive tendency for every sugar, which appeared as the presence of a repulsive correlation hole. This trend was more weakly seen for trehalose compared to other sugars. The intermolecular distance and spread of individual molecule clearly showed the dependence of sugar species. We will discuss the relation between the characteristic of sugar solution and its protective action of biological materials.

Keywords: hydration, protein, sugar, X-ray scattering

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2 Visco-Hyperelastic Finite Element Analysis for Diagnosis of Knee Joint Injury Caused by Meniscal Tearing

Authors: Eiji Nakamachi, Tsuyoshi Eguchi, Sayo Yamamoto, Yusuke Morita, H. Sakamoto

Abstract:

In this study, we aim to reveal the relationship between the meniscal tearing and the articular cartilage injury of knee joint by using the dynamic explicit finite element (FE) method. Meniscal injuries reduce its functional ability and consequently increase the load on the articular cartilage of knee joint. In order to prevent the induction of osteoarthritis (OA) caused by meniscal injuries, many medical treatment techniques, such as artificial meniscus replacement and meniscal regeneration, have been developed. However, it is reported that these treatments are not the comprehensive methods. In order to reveal the fundamental mechanism of OA induction, the mechanical characterization of meniscus under the condition of normal and injured states is carried out by using FE analyses. At first, a FE model of the human knee joint in the case of normal state – ‘intact’ - was constructed by using the magnetron resonance (MR) tomography images and the image construction code, Materialize Mimics. Next, two types of meniscal injury models with the radial tears of medial and lateral menisci were constructed. In FE analyses, the linear elastic constitutive law was adopted for the femur and tibia bones, the visco-hyperelastic constitutive law for the articular cartilage, and the visco-anisotropic hyperelastic constitutive law for the meniscus, respectively. Material properties of articular cartilage and meniscus were identified using the stress-strain curves obtained by our compressive and the tensile tests. The numerical results under the normal walking condition revealed how and where the maximum compressive stress occurred on the articular cartilage. The maximum compressive stress and its occurrence point were varied in the intact and two meniscal tear models. These compressive stress values can be used to establish the threshold value to cause the pathological change for the diagnosis. In this study, FE analyses of knee joint were carried out to reveal the influence of meniscal injuries on the cartilage injury. The following conclusions are obtained. 1. 3D FE model, which consists femur, tibia, articular cartilage and meniscus was constructed based on MR images of human knee joint. The image processing code, Materialize Mimics was used by using the tetrahedral FE elements. 2. Visco-anisotropic hyperelastic constitutive equation was formulated by adopting the generalized Kelvin model. The material properties of meniscus and articular cartilage were determined by curve fitting with experimental results. 3. Stresses on the articular cartilage and menisci were obtained in cases of the intact and two radial tears of medial and lateral menisci. Through comparison with the case of intact knee joint, two tear models show almost same stress value and higher value than the intact one. It was shown that both meniscal tears induce the stress localization in both medial and lateral regions. It is confirmed that our newly developed FE analysis code has a potential to be a new diagnostic system to evaluate the meniscal damage on the articular cartilage through the mechanical functional assessment.

Keywords: finite element analysis, hyperelastic constitutive law, knee joint injury, meniscal tear, stress concentration

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1 Membrane Permeability of Middle Molecules: A Computational Chemistry Approach

Authors: Sundaram Arulmozhiraja, Kanade Shimizu, Yuta Yamamoto, Satoshi Ichikawa, Maenaka Katsumi, Hiroaki Tokiwa

Abstract:

Drug discovery is shifting from small molecule based drugs targeting local active site to middle molecules (MM) targeting large, flat, and groove-shaped binding sites, for example, protein-protein interface because at least half of all targets assumed to be involved in human disease have been classified as “difficult to drug” with traditional small molecules. Hence, MMs such as peptides, natural products, glycans, nucleic acids with various high potent bioactivities become important targets for drug discovery programs in the recent years as they could be used for ‘undruggable” intracellular targets. Cell membrane permeability is one of the key properties of pharmacodynamically active MM drug compounds and so evaluating this property for the potential MMs is crucial. Computational prediction for cell membrane permeability of molecules is very challenging; however, recent advancement in the molecular dynamics simulations help to solve this issue partially. It is expected that MMs with high membrane permeability will enable drug discovery research to expand its borders towards intracellular targets. Further to understand the chemistry behind the permeability of MMs, it is necessary to investigate their conformational changes during the permeation through membrane and for that their interactions with the membrane field should be studied reliably because these interactions involve various non-bonding interactions such as hydrogen bonding, -stacking, charge-transfer, polarization dispersion, and non-classical weak hydrogen bonding. Therefore, parameters-based classical mechanics calculations are hardly sufficient to investigate these interactions rather, quantum mechanical (QM) calculations are essential. Fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method could be used for such purpose as it performs ab initio QM calculations by dividing the system into fragments. The present work is aimed to study the cell permeability of middle molecules using molecular dynamics simulations and FMO-QM calculations. For this purpose, a natural compound syringolin and its analogues were considered in this study. Molecular simulations were performed using NAMD and Gromacs programs with CHARMM force field. FMO calculations were performed using the PAICS program at the correlated Resolution-of-Identity second-order Moller Plesset (RI-MP2) level with the cc-pVDZ basis set. The simulations clearly show that while syringolin could not permeate the membrane, its selected analogues go through the medium in nano second scale. These correlates well with the existing experimental evidences that these syringolin analogues are membrane-permeable compounds. Further analyses indicate that intramolecular -stacking interactions in the syringolin analogues influenced their permeability positively. These intramolecular interactions reduce the polarity of these analogues so that they could permeate the lipophilic cell membrane. Conclusively, the cell membrane permeability of various middle molecules with potent bioactivities is efficiently studied using molecular dynamics simulations. Insight of this behavior is thoroughly investigated using FMO-QM calculations. Results obtained in the present study indicate that non-bonding intramolecular interactions such as hydrogen-bonding and -stacking along with the conformational flexibility of MMs are essential for amicable membrane permeation. These results are interesting and are nice example for this theoretical calculation approach that could be used to study the permeability of other middle molecules. This work was supported by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) under Grant Number 18ae0101047.

Keywords: fragment molecular orbital theory, membrane permeability, middle molecules, molecular dynamics simulation

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