Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: Eliane Abdo

23 Innovative Small and Medium Sized Firms: Intangible Investment and Financial Constraints - a Literature Review.

Authors: Eliane Abdo

Abstract:

Small and medium sized firms “SMEs” play essential role in the countries’ economic development mainly in terms of production, employment and equitable distribution of income. For innovative SMEs, the investment in the human capital and in research and development are crucial to survive in a competitive environment. In this paper we perform a literature review to underline the financing difficulties and constraints which innovative SMEs face while investing in intangible assets: not only when defining amount of the investments but also while choosing its financing methods. Literature review revealed that in order to finance their intangible assets, SMEs rely in first on their internal financing: the availability of internal cash flows can then determine their investment’s decision. Moreover SMEs face difficulties to finance their intangibles by financial debts due to the uncertainty of future cash flow and the absence of physical guarantees; they will therefore go for the issuance of new shares as a second choice, since innovative companies have high opportunity of growth that attract new shareholders.

Keywords: small and medium sized firms, capital structure, intangible investment, financial constraints

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22 Analyzing the Investment Decision and Financing Method of the French Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Eliane Abdo, Olivier Colot

Abstract:

SMEs are always considered as a national priority due to their contribution to job creation, innovation and growth. Once the start-up phase is crossed with encouraging results, the company enters the phase of growth. In order to improve its competitiveness, maintain and increase its market share, the company is in the necessity even the obligation to develop its tangible and intangible investments. SMEs are generally closed companies with special and critical financial situation, limited resources and difficulty to access the capital markets; their shareholders are always living in a conflict between their independence and their need to increase capital that leads to the entry of new shareholder. The capital structure was always considered the core of research in corporate finance; moreover, the financial crisis and its repercussions on the credit’s availability, especially for SMEs make SME financing a hot topic. On the other hand, financial theories do not provide answers to capital structure’s questions; they offer tools and mode of financing that are more accessible to larger companies. Yet, SME’s capital structure can’t be independent of their governance structure. The classic financial theory supposes independence between the investment decision and the financing decision. Thus, investment determines the volume of funding, but not the split between internal or external funds. In this context, we find interesting to study the hypothesis that SMEs respond positively to the financial theories applied to large firms and to check if they are constrained by conventional solutions used by large companies. In this context, this research focuses on the analysis of the resource’s structure of SME in parallel with their investments’ structure, in order to highlight a link between their assets and liabilities structure. We founded our conceptual model based on two main theoretical frameworks: the Pecking order theory, and the Trade Off theory taking into consideration the SME’s characteristics. Our data were generated from DIANE database. Five hypotheses were tested via a panel regression to understand the type of dependence between the financing methods of 3,244 French SMEs and the development of their investment over a period of 10 years (2007-2016). The results show dependence between equity and internal financing in case of intangible investments development. Moreover, this type of business is constraint to financial debts since the guarantees provided are not sufficient to meet the banks' requirements. However, for tangible investments development, SMEs count sequentially on internal financing, bank borrowing, and new shares issuance or hybrid financing. This is compliant to the Pecking Order Theory. We, therefore, conclude that unlisted SMEs incur more financial debts to finance their tangible investments more than their intangible. However, they always prefer internal financing as a first choice. This seems to be confirmed by the assumption that the profitability of the company is negatively related to the increase of the financial debt. Thus, the Pecking Order Theory predictions seem to be the most plausible. Consequently, SMEs primarily rely on self-financing and then go, into debt as a priority to finance their financial deficit.

Keywords: capital structure, investments, life cycle, pecking order theory, trade off theory

Procedia PDF Downloads 42
21 Impact of Mass Customization for 3D Geographic Information Systems under Turbulent Environments

Authors: Abdo Shabah

Abstract:

Mass customization aims to produce customized goods (allowing economies of scope) at lower cost (to achieve economies of scale) using multiple strategies (modularization and postponement). Through a simulation experiment of organizations under turbulent environment, we aim to compare standardization and mass customization of services and assess the impact of different forms of mass customization (early and late postponement) on performance, quality and consumer satisfaction, on the use of modular dynamic 3D Geographic Information System. Our hypothesis is that mass customization performs better and achieves better quality in turbulent environment than standardization, but only when using early postponement strategies. Using mixed methods study, we try to confirm our hypothesis.

Keywords: mass customization, postponement, experiment, performance, quality, satisfaction, 3D GIS

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20 High-Frequency Induction Heat Sintering of Al/SiC/GNS Nanocomposites and Their Tribological Properties

Authors: Mohammad Islam, Iftikhar Ahmad, Hany S. Abdo, Yasir Khalid

Abstract:

High-frequency induction heat sintering (HFIHS) is a fast, efficient powder consolidation technique. In this work, aluminum (Al) powder was mixed with silicon carbide (SiC) and/or graphene nanosheets (GNS) in different proportions and compacted using HFIHS process to produce dense nanocomposites. The nanostructures dispersion was assessed via electron microscopy using both SEM and TEM. Tribological behavior of the nanocomposites was investigated at different loads to determine wear rate and coefficient of friction. The scratch profiles were examined under the microscope to correlate wear properties with the microstructure. While the addition of SiC nanoparticles enhances microhardness values, GNS incorporation promotes dry lubricity with strikingly different wear scratch morphologies. Such Al/SiC/GNS material compositions can be explored for use in automotive brake pad and thermal management applications.

Keywords: aluminum nanocomposites, silicon carbide, graphene nanosheets, tribology

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19 Investigation of a Hybrid Process: Multipoint Incremental Forming

Authors: Safa Boudhaouia, Mohamed Amen Gahbiche, Eliane Giraud, Wacef Ben Salem, Philippe Dal Santo

Abstract:

Multi-point forming (MPF) and asymmetric incremental forming (ISF) are two flexible processes for sheet metal manufacturing. To take advantages of these two techniques, a hybrid process has been developed: The Multipoint Incremental Forming (MPIF). This process accumulates at once the advantages of each of these last mentioned forming techniques, which makes it a very interesting and particularly an efficient process for single, small, and medium series production. In this paper, an experimental and a numerical investigation of this technique are presented. To highlight the flexibility of this process and its capacity to manufacture standard and complex shapes, several pieces were produced by using MPIF. The forming experiments are performed on a 3-axis CNC machine. Moreover, a numerical model of the MPIF process has been implemented in ABAQUS and the analysis showed a good agreement with experimental results in terms of deformed shape. Furthermore, the use of an elastomeric interpolator allows avoiding classical local defaults like dimples, which are generally caused by the asymmetric contact and also improves the distribution of residual strain. Future works will apply this approach to other alloys used in aeronautic or automotive applications.

Keywords: incremental forming, numerical simulation, MPIF, multipoint forming

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18 Green Energy, Fiscal Incentives and Conflicting Signals: Analysing the Challenges Faced in Promoting on Farm Waste to Energy Projects

Authors: Hafez Abdo, Rob Ackrill

Abstract:

Renewable energy (RE) promotion in the UK relies on multiple policy instruments, which are required to overcome the path dependency pressures favouring fossil fuels. These instruments include targeted funding schemes and economy-wide instruments embedded in the tax code. The resulting complexity of incentives raises important questions around the coherence and effectiveness of these instruments for RE generation. This complexity is exacerbated by UK RE policy being nested within EU policy in a multi-level governance (MLG) setting. To gain analytical traction on such complexity, this study will analyse policies promoting the on-farm generation of energy for heat and power, from farm and food waste, via anaerobic digestion. Utilising both primary and secondary data, it seeks to address a particular lacuna in the academic literature. Via a localised, in-depth investigation into the complexity of policy instruments promoting RE, this study will help our theoretical understanding of the challenges that MLG and path dependency pressures present to policymakers of multi-dimensional policies.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, energy, green, policy, renewable, tax, UK

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17 Active Food Packaging Films Based on Functionalized Graphene/Polymer Composites

Authors: Ahmad Ghanem, Mohamad Yasin, Mona Abdel Rehim, Fabrice Gouanve, Eliane Espuche

Abstract:

Biodegradable polymers are of great interest, especially for biomedical and packaging applications. Current research efforts are focused on the development of biopolymers with the purpose of reducing the plastic pollution induced by the widely used in biodegradable polyolefins. The main challenge is focused on the elaboration of biopolymers having properties competitive to those of polyolefins. On the other hand, graphene oxide (GO), a graphene derivative, is characterized by the presence of several functional groups on the surface such as carboxylic, hydroxyl and epoxide. This feature enables modification of GO surface with different modifiers to obtain versatile surface properties and overcome the problem of graphene sheets aggregations during inclusion in a polymer matrix. In this context, poly (butylene succinate) (PBS) as promising biopolyester is modified through blending with different ratios of functionalized (GO) to improve its barrier properties. Modification of GO has been carried out using different hyperbranched polymeric structures in order to increase miscibility of the nanosheets in the hosting polymeric matrix. Films have been prepared from the modified PBS and their mechanical, thermal and gas barrier properties were investigated. The results reveal enhancement in the thermal and mechanical properties beside observed improvement of the barrier properties for the films prepared from the modified PBS. This improvement is related to the strong dependence on tortuosity effects of dispersion, exfoliation levels of fillers into the polymer matrix and interactions between the fillers and the polymer matrix.

Keywords: gas barrier properties, graphene oxide, food packaging, transport properties

Procedia PDF Downloads 165
16 From Bureaucracy to Organizational Learning Model: An Organizational Change Process Study

Authors: Vania Helena Tonussi Vidal, Ester Eliane Jeunon

Abstract:

This article aims to analyze the change processes of management related bureaucracy and learning organization model. The theoretical framework was based on Beer and Nohria (2001) model, identified as E and O Theory. Based on this theory the empirical research was conducted in connection with six key dimensions: goal, leadership, focus, process, reward systems and consulting. We used a case study of an educational Institution located in Barbacena, Minas Gerais. This traditional center of technical knowledge for long time adopted the bureaucratic way of management. After many changes in a business model, as the creation of graduate and undergraduate courses they decided to make a deep change in management model that is our research focus. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews with director, managers and courses supervisors. The analysis were processed by the procedures of Collective Subject Discourse (CSD) method, develop by Lefèvre & Lefèvre (2000), Results showed the incremental growing of management model toward a learning organization. Many impacts could be seeing. As negative factors we have: people resistance; poor information about the planning and implementation process; old politics inside the new model and so on. Positive impacts are: new procedures in human resources, mainly related to manager skills and empowerment; structure downsizing, open discussions channel; integrated information system. The process is still under construction and now great stimulus is done to managers and employee commitment in the process.

Keywords: bureaucracy, organizational learning, organizational change, E and O theory

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15 Heterologous Expression of a Clostridium thermocellum Proteins and Assembly of Cellulosomes 'in vitro' for Biotechnology Applications

Authors: Jessica Pinheiro Silva, Brenda Rabello De Camargo, Daniel Gusmao De Morais, Eliane Ferreira Noronha

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The utilization of lignocellulosic biomass as source of polysaccharides for industrial applications requires an arsenal of enzymes with different mode of action able to hydrolyze its complex and recalcitrant structure. Clostridium thermocellum is gram-positive, thermophilic bacterium producing lignocellulosic hydrolyzing enzymes in the form of multi-enzyme complex, termed celulossomes. This complex has several hydrolytic enzymes attached to a large and enzymically inactive protein known as Cellulosome-integrating protein (CipA), which serves as a scaffolding protein for the complex produced. This attachment occurs through specific interactions between cohesin modules of CipA and dockerin modules in enzymes. The present work aims to construct celulosomes in vitro with the structural protein CipA, a xylanase called Xyn10D and a cellulose called CelJ from C.thermocellum. A mini-scafoldin was constructed from modules derived from CipA containing two cohesion modules. This was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The other two genes were cloned under the control of the alcohol oxidase 1 promoter (AOX1) in the vector pPIC9 and integrated into the genome of the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris GS115. Purification of each protein is being carried out. Further studies regarding enzymatic activity of the cellulosome is going to be evaluated. The cellulosome built in vitro and composed of mini-CipA, CelJ and Xyn10D, can be very interesting for application in industrial processes involving the degradation of plant biomass.

Keywords: cellulosome, CipA, Clostridium thermocellum, cohesin, dockerin, yeast

Procedia PDF Downloads 161
14 Motivation for Work and Organizational Commitment in an Engineering Public Faculty: A Perception of Technical and Administrative Employees

Authors: Fátima Aparecida de Carvalho, Ester Eliane Jeunon

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This study addresses issues in the public service: motivation to work and organizational commitment. The goal of this research was to examine how it configures the motivation to work and organizational commitment of the technical and administrative effective staff of the School of Engineering at UFMG. For this purpose a descriptive research under a quantitative and qualitative approach has been performed. In the quantitative research it has been applied a questionnaire to all 146 technical and administrative institution effective staff, that configures a census research. This questionnaire was divided into three parts, the first one aimed at performing a socio-demographic survey of participants, the second one aimed to measure motivation and the third one aimed at measuring organizational commitment. The Bases Organizational Commitment Scale (EBACO) was used in the analysis of data obtained in the third part of the questionnaire. The qualitative research was conducted through interviews with 08 managers, with open-ended questions structured in an analysis category, thus contemplating the administrative structure of the School of Engineering. The results of the research revealed that there is no relevant difference between the hygiene and motivational indices, related to the staff´s gender and area of work. Nonetheless, it was observed higher motivational indices for staff with shorter duration of employment in the institution. Also, the results shown high organizational commitment of the staff with the institution, with a predominance of the component “Requirement for performance”, followed by commitments “Consistent line of activity”, “Affiliative” and “Affective”, which reached almost tge some average in this study. Finally the results showed that all commitment indices have positive moderated correlation to the motivational indices, except the “shortage of alternative” index.

Keywords: motivation to work, organizational commitment, public service, human resources

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13 Enhanced Solar-Driven Evaporation Process via F-Mwcnts/Pvdf Photothermal Membrane for Forward Osmosis Draw Solution Recovery

Authors: Ayat N. El-Shazly, Dina Magdy Abdo, Hamdy Maamoun Abdel-Ghafar, Xiangju Song, Heqing Jiang

Abstract:

Product water recovery and draw solution (DS) reuse is the most energy-intensive stage in forwarding osmosis (FO) technology. Sucrose solution is the most suitable DS for FO application in food and beverages. However, sucrose DS recovery by conventional pressure-driven or thermal-driven concentration techniques consumes high energy. Herein, we developed a spontaneous and sustainable solar-driven evaporation process based on a photothermal membrane for the concentration and recovery of sucrose solution. The photothermal membrane is composed of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (f-MWCNTs)photothermal layer on a hydrophilic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) substrate. The f-MWCNTs photothermal layer with a rough surface and interconnected network structures not only improves the light-harvesting and light-to-heat conversion performance but also facilitates the transport of water molecules. The hydrophilic PVDF substrate can promote the rapid transport of water for adequate water supply to the photothermal layer. As a result, the optimized f-MWCNTs/PVDF photothermal membrane exhibits an excellent light absorption of 95%, and a high surface temperature of 74 °C at 1 kW m−2 . Besides, it realizes an evaporation rate of 1.17 kg m−2 h−1 for 5% (w/v) of sucrose solution, which is about 5 times higher than that of the natural evaporation. The designed photothermal evaporation process is capable of concentrating sucrose solution efficiently from 5% to 75% (w/v), which has great potential in FO process and juice concentration.

Keywords: solar, pothothermal, membrane, MWCNT

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12 Sun-Driven Evaporation Enhanced Forward Osmosis Process for Application in Wastewater Treatment and Pure Water Regeneration

Authors: Dina Magdy Abdo, Ayat N. El-Shazly, E. A. Abdel-Aal

Abstract:

Forward osmosis (FO) is one of the important processes during the wastewater treatment system for environmental remediation and fresh water regeneration. Both Egypt and China are troubled by over millions of tons of wastewater every year, including domestic and industrial wastewater. However, the traditional FO process in wastewater treatment usually suffers low efficiency and high energy consumption because of the continuously diluted draw solution. An additional concentration process is necessary to keep running of FO separation, causing energy waste. Based on the previous study on photothermal membrane, a sun-driven evaporation process is integrated into the draw solution side of FO system. During the sun-driven evaporation, not only the draw solution can be concentrated to maintain a stable and sustainable FO system, but fresh water can be directly separated for regeneration. Solar energy is the ultimate energy source of everything we have on Earth and is, without any doubt, the most renewable and sustainable energy source available to us. Additionally, the FO membrane process is rationally designed to limit the concentration polarization and fouling. The FO membrane’s structure and surface property will be further optimized by the adjustment of doping ratio of controllable nano-materials, membrane formation conditions, and selection of functional groups. A novel kind of nano-composite functional separation membrane with bi-interception layers and high hydrophilicity will be developed for the application in wastewater treatment. So, herein we aim to design a new wastewater treatment system include forward osmosis with high-efficiency energy recovery via the integration of photothermal membrane.

Keywords: forward osmosis, membrane, solar, water treatement

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11 Development and Evaluation of Dehydrated Soups with Frog Meat by Freeze Drying

Authors: Sílvia Pereira Mello, Eliane Rodrigues, Maria de Lourdes Andrade, Marcelo Pereira, Giselle Dias, Jose Seixas Filho

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Frog meat is a highly digestible food and its use is recommended in diets aimed at fighting cholesterol, obesity, and arterial hypertension, as well as for treating gastrointestinal disorders. In this study, the soups were developed with frog meat in addition to other ingredients which did not present allergenic potential. The carcasses of the thawed frogs went through bleaching and deboning, and other ingredients (vegetables and condiments) were then added to the separated meat. After the process of cooking, the soups were cooled and later on frozen at -40° C for 3 hours and then taken to the LS 3000 B lyophilizer for 24 hours. The soups were submitted to microbiological analysis: enumeration of total coliforms and Bacillus cereus; identification of coagulase positive Staphylococcus; isolation and identification of Salmonella spp.; and physical-chemical analysis; application of micro-Kjeldahl method for protein, Soxhlet method for lipids, use of a heating chamber at 105ºC for moisture, incineration method (500-550°C) for ash, and Decagon's Pawkit equipment for determining water activity. Acceptance test was performed with 50 elderly people, all between 60 and 85 years of age. The degree of acceptance was demonstrated using a seven points structured hedonic scale in which the taster expressed their impression towards the product. Results of the microbiological analysis showed that all samples met the standards established by the National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil (ANVISA). Results of the acceptance test indicated that all the soups were accepted considering overall impression and intended consumption. In addition to its excellent nutritional quality, the dehydrated soups made with frog meat are presented as a solution for consumers due to convenience in preparation, consumption and storage.

Keywords: bacteriological quality, lithobates catesbeianus, instant soup, proximate composition, sensory analysis

Procedia PDF Downloads 47
10 Sun-Driven Evaporation Enhanced Forward Osmosis Process for Application in Wastewater Treatment and Pure Water Regeneration

Authors: Dina Magdy Abdo, Ayat N. El-Shazly, Hamdy Maamoun Abdel-Ghafar, E. A. Abdel-Aal

Abstract:

Forward osmosis (FO) is one of the important processes during the wastewater treatment system for environmental remediation and fresh water regeneration. Both Egypt and China are troubled by over millions of tons of wastewater every year, including domestic and industrial wastewater. However, traditional FO process in wastewater treatment usually suffers low efficiency and high energy consumption because of the continuously diluted draw solution. An additional concentration process is necessary to keep running of FO separation, causing energy waste. Based on the previous study on photothermal membrane, a sun-driven evaporation process is integrated into the draw solution side of FO system. During the sun-driven evaporation, not only the draw solution can be concentrated to maintain a stable and sustainable FO system, but fresh water can be directly separated for regeneration. Solar energy is the ultimate energy source of everything we have on Earth and is, without any doubt, the most renewable and sustainable energy source available to us. Additionally, the FO membrane process is rationally designed to limit the concentration polarization and fouling. The FO membrane’s structure and surface property will be further optimized by the adjustment of the doping ratio of controllable nano-materials, membrane formation conditions, and selection of functional groups. A novel kind of nano-composite functional separation membrane with bi-interception layers and high hydrophilicity will be developed for the application in wastewater treatment. So, herein we aim to design a new wastewater treatment system include forward osmosis with high-efficiency energy recovery via the integration of photothermal membrane.

Keywords: forword, membrane, solar, water treatment

Procedia PDF Downloads 10
9 Photovoltaic Solar Energy in Public Buildings: A Showcase for Society

Authors: Eliane Ferreira da Silva

Abstract:

This paper aims to mobilize and sensitize public administration leaders to good practices and encourage investment in the PV system in Brazil. It presents a case study methodology for dimensioning the PV system in the roofs of the public buildings of the Esplanade of the Ministries, Brasilia, capital of the country, with predefined resources, starting with the Sustainable Esplanade Project (SEP), of the exponential growth of photovoltaic solar energy in the world and making a comparison with the solar power plant of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), active since: 6/10/2016. In order to do so, it was necessary to evaluate the energy efficiency of the buildings in the period from January 2016 to April 2017, (16 months) identifying the opportunities to reduce electric energy expenses, through the adjustment of contracted demand, the tariff framework and correction of existing active energy. The instrument used to collect data on electric bills was the e-SIC citizen information system. The study considered in addition to the technical and operational aspects, the historical, cultural, architectural and climatic aspects, involved by several actors. Identifying the reductions of expenses, the study directed to the following aspects: Case 1) economic feasibility for exchanges of common lamps, for LED lamps, and, Case 2) economic feasibility for the implementation of photovoltaic solar system connected to the grid. For the case 2, PV*SOL Premium Software was used to simulate several possibilities of photovoltaic panels, analyzing the best performance, according to local characteristics, such as solar orientation, latitude, annual average solar radiation. A simulation of an ideal photovoltaic solar system was made, with due calculations of its yield, to provide a compensation of the energy expenditure of the building - or part of it - through the use of the alternative source in question. The study develops a methodology for public administration, as a major consumer of electricity, to act in a responsible, fiscalizing and incentive way in reducing energy waste, and consequently reducing greenhouse gases.

Keywords: energy efficiency, esplanade of ministries, photovoltaic solar energy, public buildings, sustainable building

Procedia PDF Downloads 75
8 Changing Patterns of Colorectal Cancer in Hail Region

Authors: Laila Salah Seada, Ashraf Ibrahim, Fawaz Al Rashid, Ihab Abdo, Hassan Kasim, Waleed Al Mansi, Saud Al Shabli

Abstract:

Background and Objectives: Colorectal carcinoma is increasing among both men and women worldwide. It has a multifactorial etiology including genetic factors, environmental factors and inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract. A clinicopathologic assessment of colorectal carcinoma in Hail region is done, considering any changing patterns in two 5-year periods from 2005-2009 (A) and from 2012 to 2017 (B). All data had been retrieved from histopathology files of King Khalid Hospital, Hail. Results: During period (A), 75 cases were diagnosed as colorectal carcinoma. Male patients comprised 56/75 (74.7%) of the study, with a mean age of 58.4 (36-97), while females were 19/75 (25.3%) with a mean age of 50.3(30-85) and the difference was significant (p = 0.05). M:F ratio was 2.9:1. Most common histological type was adenocarcioma in 68/75 (90.7%) patients mostly well differentiated in 44/68 (64.7%). Mucinous neoplasms comprised only 7/75 (9.3%) of cases and tended to have a higher stage (p = 0.04). During period (B), 115 cases were diagnosed with an increase of 53.3% in number of cases than period (A). Male to female ratio also decreased to 1.35:1, females being 44.83% more affected. Adenocarcinoma remained the prevalent type (93.9%), while mucinous type was still rare (5.2%). No distal metastases found at time of presentation. Localization of tumors was rectosigmoid in group (A) in 41.4%, which increased to 56.6% in group (B), with an increase of 15.2%. Iliocecal location also decreased from 8% to 3.5%, being 56.25% less. Other proximal areas of the colon were decreased by 25.75%, from 53.9% in group (A) to 40% in group (B). Conclusion: Colorectal carcinoma in Hail region has increased by 53.3% in the past 5 years, with more females being diagnosed. Localization has also shifted distally by 15.2%. These findings are different from Western world patterns which experienced a decrease in incidence and proximal shift of the colon cancer localization. This might be due to better diagnostic tools, population awareness of the disease, as well as changing of life style and/or food habits in the region.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, Hail Region, changing pattern, distal shift

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7 The Importance of Municipal Agenda for Gender Policies in Brazilian Federalism

Authors: Eliane Cristina De Carvalho Mendoza Meza

Abstract:

The Brazilian Federal Constitution from 1988 innovated with decentralized management, sharing the decision process among the federal government, states, and municipality (federalism). This innovation gave the opportunity to the civil society participates in the public policy agenda, including the municipal one; the state recognized that new actors were needed now it has been one more actor and not the only one. It was in this context that the woman’s Policy Secretaries were created in the three levels of government: federal, state and municipal. It intend to reduce the historical and social differences between men and women, especially in the poorest municipalities, working in a network basis with other secretaries, governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations to promote actions that can result in benefits and empowerment for women. In addition, they promote actions to protect them from domestic violence and to help them to learn how generate income. It was not a calm process, women have been fighting for their rights since the 1970s and despite the gender equality was recognized in the Federal Constitution of 1988, just in 2013 it was possible to see a real growth in the creation of municipal Women’s Policy Secretary. In 2009, just 6.5% of the cities in Brazil had implemented the Secretary; in 2013, it was 11%. The municipality realized that the gender issue was in reality a public problem, so the municipal agenda incorporated it and transformed in public policy, creating the municipal Women’s Policy Secretary. The introduction of a gender policy in Brazilian municipalities shows us that the female citizens are treated as political subjects and it is the first step to try to compensate inequality between men and women in the local level. It becomes more important when the Brazilian federalism is analyzed. In Brazil, the federal government controls the municipalities’ budgets to implement federal public policies and others federal interests, so having a public policy of gender approved by the actors in the local government with so little freedom to manage is something very important. It is necessary mark some points: taking a gender policy to the poorest cities is a form to protect all citizens with no distinction, men and women, as recommended in the Federal Constitution; not all problems in a city center in the municipal agenda, this only happens when a problem is perceived as an issue, it means the women situation was perceived as important, so that it became a public policy; at least, the gender public policy intend to emancipate and contemplate the empowerment of women.

Keywords: federalism, gender, municipal agenda, social participation

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6 Relation Between Traffic Mix and Traffic Accidents in a Mixed Industrial Urban Area

Authors: Michelle Eliane Hernández-García, Angélica Lozano

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The traffic accidents study usually contemplates the relation between factors such as the type of vehicle, its operation, and the road infrastructure. Traffic accidents can be explained by different factors, which have a greater or lower relevance. Two zones are studied, a mixed industrial zone and the extended zone of it. The first zone has mainly residential (57%), and industrial (23%) land uses. Trucks are mainly on the roads where industries are located. Four sensors give information about traffic and speed on the main roads. The extended zone (which includes the first zone) has mainly residential (47%) and mixed residential (43%) land use, and just 3% of industrial use. The traffic mix is composed mainly of non-trucks. 39 traffic and speed sensors are located on main roads. The traffic mix in a mixed land use zone, could be related to traffic accidents. To understand this relation, it is required to identify the elements of the traffic mix which are linked to traffic accidents. Models that attempt to explain what factors are related to traffic accidents have faced multiple methodological problems for obtaining robust databases. Poisson regression models are used to explain the accidents. The objective of the Poisson analysis is to estimate a vector to provide an estimate of the natural logarithm of the mean number of accidents per period; this estimate is achieved by standard maximum likelihood procedures. For the estimation of the relation between traffic accidents and the traffic mix, the database is integrated of eight variables, with 17,520 observations and six vectors. In the model, the dependent variable is the occurrence or non-occurrence of accidents, and the vectors that seek to explain it, correspond to the vehicle classes: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, and C6, respectively, standing for car, microbus, and van, bus, unitary trucks (2 to 6 axles), articulated trucks (3 to 6 axles) and bi-articulated trucks (5 to 9 axles); in addition, there is a vector for the average speed of the traffic mix. A Poisson model is applied, using a logarithmic link function and a Poisson family. For the first zone, the Poisson model shows a positive relation among traffic accidents and C6, average speed, C3, C2, and C1 (in a decreasing order). The analysis of the coefficient shows a high relation with bi-articulated truck and bus (C6 and the C3), indicating an important participation of freight trucks. For the expanded zone, the Poisson model shows a positive relation among traffic accidents and speed average, biarticulated truck (C6), and microbus and vans (C2). The coefficients obtained in both Poisson models shows a higher relation among freight trucks and traffic accidents in the first industrial zone than in the expanded zone.

Keywords: freight transport, industrial zone, traffic accidents, traffic mix, trucks

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5 Matrix-Based Linear Analysis of Switched Reluctance Generator with Optimum Pole Angles Determination

Authors: Walid A. M. Ghoneim, Hamdy A. Ashour, Asmaa E. Abdo

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In this paper, linear analysis of a Switched Reluctance Generator (SRG) model is applied on the most common configurations (4/2, 6/4 and 8/6) for both conventional short-pitched and fully-pitched designs, in order to determine the optimum stator/rotor pole angles at which the maximum output voltage is generated per unit excitation current. This study is focused on SRG analysis and design as a proposed solution for renewable energy applications, such as wind energy conversion systems. The world’s potential to develop the renewable energy technologies through dedicated scientific researches was the motive behind this study due to its positive impact on economy and environment. In addition, the problem of rare earth metals (Permanent magnet) caused by mining limitations, banned export by top producers and environment restrictions leads to the unavailability of materials used for rotating machines manufacturing. This challenge gave authors the opportunity to study, analyze and determine the optimum design of the SRG that has the benefit to be free from permanent magnets, rotor windings, with flexible control system and compatible with any application that requires variable-speed operation. In addition, SRG has been proved to be very efficient and reliable in both low-speed or high-speed applications. Linear analysis was performed using MATLAB simulations based on the (Modified generalized matrix approach) of Switched Reluctance Machine (SRM). About 90 different pole angles combinations and excitation patterns were simulated through this study, and the optimum output results for each case were recorded and presented in detail. This procedure has been proved to be applicable for any SRG configuration, dimension and excitation pattern. The delivered results of this study provide evidence for using the 4-phase 8/6 fully pitched SRG as the main optimum configuration for the same machine dimensions at the same angular speed.

Keywords: generalized matrix approach, linear analysis, renewable applications, switched reluctance generator

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4 Magnitude and Determinants of Overweight and Obesity among High School Adolescents in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Authors: Mulugeta Shegaze, Mekitie Wondafrash, Alemayehu A. Alemayehu, Shikur Mohammed, Zewdu Shewangezaw, Mukerem Abdo, Gebresilasea Gendisha

Abstract:

Background: The 2004 World Health Assembly called for specific actions to halt the overweight and obesity epidemic that is currently penetrating urban populations in the developing world. Adolescents require particular attention due to their vulnerability to develop obesity and the fact that adolescent weight tracks strongly into adulthood. However, there is scarcity of information on the modifiable risk factors to be targeted for primary intervention among urban adolescents in Ethiopia. This study was aimed at determining the magnitude and risk factors of overweight and obesity among high school adolescents in Addis Ababa. Methods: An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted in February and March 2014 on 456 randomly selected adolescents from 20 high schools in Addis Ababa city.  Demographic data and other risk factors of overweight and obesity were collected using self-administered structured questionnaire, whereas anthropometric measurements of weight and height were taken using calibrated equipment and standardized techniques. The WHO STEPS instrument for chronic disease risk was applied to assess dietary habit and physical activity. Overweight and obesity status was determined based on BMI-for-age percentiles of WHO 2007 reference population. Results: The prevalence rates of overweight, obesity, and overall overweight/ obesity among high school adolescents in Addis Ababa were 9.7% (95%CI = 6.9-12.4%), 4.2% (95%CI = 2.3-6.0%), and 13.9% (95%CI = 10.6-17.1%), respectively. Overweight/obesity prevalence was highest among female adolescents, in private schools, and in the higher wealth category. In multivariable regression model, being female [AOR(95%CI) = 5.4(2.5,12.1)], being from private school [AOR(95%CI) = 3.0(1.4,6.2)], having >3 regular meals [AOR(95%CI) = 4.0(1.3,13.0)], consumption of sweet foods [AOR(95%CI) = 5.0(2.4,10.3)] and spending >3 hours/day sitting [AOR(95%CI) = 3.5(1.7,7.2)] were found to increase overweight/ obesity risk, whereas high Total Physical Activity level [AOR(95%CI) = 0.21(0.08,0.57)] and better nutrition knowledge [AOR(95%CI) = 0.160.07,0.37)] were found protective. Conclusions: More than one in ten of the high school adolescents were affected by overweight/obesity with dietary habit and physical activity are important modifiable risk factors. Well-tailored nutrition education program targeting lifestyle change should be initiated with more emphasis to female adolescents and students in private schools.

Keywords: adolescents, NCDs, overweight, obesity

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3 Development and Validation of a Green Analytical Method for the Analysis of Daptomycin Injectable by Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

Authors: Eliane G. Tótoli, Hérida Regina N. Salgado

Abstract:

Daptomycin is an important antimicrobial agent used in clinical practice nowadays, since it is very active against some Gram-positive bacteria that are particularly challenges for the medicine, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE). The importance of environmental preservation has receiving special attention since last years. Considering the evident need to protect the natural environment and the introduction of strict quality requirements regarding analytical procedures used in pharmaceutical analysis, the industries must seek environmentally friendly alternatives in relation to the analytical methods and other processes that they follow in their routine. In view of these factors, green analytical chemistry is prevalent and encouraged nowadays. In this context, infrared spectroscopy stands out. This is a method that does not use organic solvents and, although it is formally accepted for the identification of individual compounds, also allows the quantitation of substances. Considering that there are few green analytical methods described in literature for the analysis of daptomycin, the aim of this work was the development and validation of a green analytical method for the quantification of this drug in lyophilized powder for injectable solution, by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Method: Translucent potassium bromide pellets containing predetermined amounts of the drug were prepared and subjected to spectrophotometric analysis in the mid-infrared region. After obtaining the infrared spectrum and with the assistance of the IR Solution software, quantitative analysis was carried out in the spectral region between 1575 and 1700 cm-1, related to a carbonyl band of the daptomycin molecule, and this band had its height analyzed in terms of absorbance. The method was validated according to ICH guidelines regarding linearity, precision (repeatability and intermediate precision), accuracy and robustness. Results and discussion: The method showed to be linear (r = 0.9999), precise (RSD% < 2.0), accurate and robust, over a concentration range from 0.2 to 0.6 mg/pellet. In addition, this technique does not use organic solvents, which is one great advantage over the most common analytical methods. This fact contributes to minimize the generation of organic solvent waste by the industry and thereby reduces the impact of its activities on the environment. Conclusion: The validated method proved to be adequate to quantify daptomycin in lyophilized powder for injectable solution and can be used for its routine analysis in quality control. In addition, the proposed method is environmentally friendly, which is in line with the global trend.

Keywords: daptomycin, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, green analytical chemistry, quality control, spectrometry in IR region

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2 Study of Biomechanical Model for Smart Sensor Based Prosthetic Socket Design System

Authors: Wei Xu, Abdo S. Haidar, Jianxin Gao

Abstract:

Prosthetic socket is a component that connects the residual limb of an amputee with an artificial prosthesis. It is widely recognized as the most critical component that determines the comfort of a patient when wearing the prosthesis in his/her daily activities. Through the socket, the body weight and its associated dynamic load are distributed and transmitted to the prosthesis during walking, running or climbing. In order to achieve a good-fit socket for an individual amputee, it is essential to obtain the biomechanical properties of the residual limb. In current clinical practices, this is achieved by a touch-and-feel approach which is highly subjective. Although there have been significant advancements in prosthetic technologies such as microprocessor controlled knee and ankle joints in the last decade, the progress in designing a comfortable socket has been rather limited. This means that the current process of socket design is still very time-consuming, and highly dependent on the expertise of the prosthetist. Supported by the state-of-the-art sensor technologies and numerical simulations, a new socket design system is being developed to help prosthetists achieve rapid design of comfortable sockets for above knee amputees. This paper reports the research work related to establishing biomechanical models for socket design. Through numerical simulation using finite element method, comprehensive relationships between pressure on residual limb and socket geometry were established. This allowed local topological adjustment for the socket so as to optimize the pressure distributions across the residual limb. When the full body weight of a patient is exerted on the residual limb, high pressures and shear forces between the residual limb and the socket occur. During numerical simulations, various hyperplastic models, namely Ogden, Yeoh and Mooney-Rivlin, were used, and their effectiveness in representing the biomechanical properties of soft tissues of the residual limb was evaluated. This also involved reverse engineering, which resulted in an optimal representative model under compression test. To validate the simulation results, a range of silicone models were fabricated. They were tested by an indentation device which yielded the force-displacement relationships. Comparisons of results obtained from FEA simulations and experimental tests showed that the Ogden model did not fit well the soft tissue material indentation data, while the Yeoh model gave the best representation of the soft tissue mechanical behavior under indentation. Compared with hyperplastic model, the result showed that elastic model also had significant errors. In addition, normal and shear stress distributions on the surface of the soft tissue model were obtained. The effect of friction in compression testing and the influence of soft tissue stiffness and testing boundary conditions were also analyzed. All these have contributed to the overall goal of designing a good-fit socket for individual above knee amputees.

Keywords: above knee amputee, finite element simulation, hyperplastic model, prosthetic socket

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1 Psoriasis Diagnostic Test Development: Exploratory Study

Authors: Salam N. Abdo, Orien L. Tulp, George P. Einstein

Abstract:

The purpose of this exploratory study was to gather the insights into psoriasis etiology, treatment, and patient experience, for developing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis diagnostic test. Data collection methods consisted of a comprehensive meta-analysis of relevant studies and psoriasis patient survey. Established meta-analysis guidelines were used for the selection and qualitative comparative analysis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis research studies. Only studies that clearly discussed psoriasis etiology, treatment, and patient experience were reviewed and analyzed, to establish a qualitative data base for the study. Using the insights gained from meta-analysis, an existing psoriasis patient survey was modified and administered to collect additional data as well as triangulate the results. The hypothesis is that specific types of psoriatic disease have specific etiology and pathophysiologic pattern. The following etiology categories were identified: bacterial, environmental/microbial, genetic, immune, infectious, trauma/stress, and viral. Additional results, obtained from meta-analysis and confirmed by patient survey, were the common age of onset (early to mid-20s) and type of psoriasis (plaque; mild; symmetrical; scalp, chest, and extremities, specifically elbows and knees). Almost 70% of patients reported no prescription drug use due to severe side effects and prohibitive cost. These results will guide the development of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis diagnostic test. The significant number of medical publications classified psoriatic arthritis disease as inflammatory of an unknown etiology. Thus numerous meta-analyses struggle to report any meaningful conclusions since no definitive results have been reported to date. Therefore, return to the basics is an essential step to any future meaningful results. To date, medical literature supports the fact that psoriatic disease in its current classification could be misidentifying subcategories, which in turn hinders the success of studies conducted to date. Moreover, there has been an enormous commercial support to pursue various immune-modulation therapies, thus following a narrow hypothesis/mechanism of action that is yet to yield resolution of disease state. Recurrence and complications may be considered unacceptable in a significant number of these studies. The aim of the ongoing study is to focus on a narrow subgroup of patient population, as identified by this exploratory study via meta-analysis and patient survey, and conduct an exhaustive work up, aiming at mechanism of action and causality before proposing a cure or therapeutic modality. Remission in psoriasis has been achieved and documented in medical literature, such as immune-modulation, phototherapy, various over-the-counter agents, including salts and tar. However, there is no psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis diagnostic test to date, to guide the diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating and, thus far, incurable disease. Because psoriasis affects approximately 2% of population, the results of this study may affect the treatment and improve the quality of life of a significant number of psoriasis patients, potentially millions of patients in the United States alone and many more millions worldwide.

Keywords: biologics, early diagnosis, etiology, immune disease, immune modulation therapy, inflammation skin disorder, phototherapy, plaque psoriasis, psoriasis, psoriasis classification, psoriasis disease marker, psoriasis diagnostic test, psoriasis marker, psoriasis mechanism of action, psoriasis treatment, psoriatic arthritis, psoriatic disease, psoriatic disease marker, psoriatic patient experience, psoriatic patient quality of life, remission, salt therapy, targeted immune therapy

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