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

Search results for: Eugene Benilov

34 Energy Conservation and H-Theorem for the Enskog-Vlasov Equation

Authors: Eugene Benilov, Mikhail Benilov

Abstract:

The Enskog-Vlasov (EV) equation is a widely used semi-phenomenological model of gas/liquid phase transitions. We show that it does not generally conserve energy, although there exists a restriction on its coefficients for which it does. Furthermore, if an energy-preserving version of the EV equation satisfies an H-theorem as well, it can be used to rigorously derive the so-called Maxwell construction which determines the parameters of liquid-vapor equilibria. Finally, we show that the EV model provides an accurate description of the thermodynamics of noble fluids, and there exists a version simple enough for use in applications.

Keywords: Phase Transition, Enskog collision integral, hard spheres, kinetic equation

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33 Fast and Accurate Finite-Difference Method Solving Multicomponent Smoluchowski Coagulation Equation

Authors: Alexander P. Smirnov, Sergey A. Matveev, Dmitry A. Zheltkov, Eugene E. Tyrtyshnikov

Abstract:

We propose a new computational technique for multidimensional (multicomponent) Smoluchowski coagulation equation. Using low-rank approximations in Tensor Train format of both the solution and the coagulation kernel, we accelerate the classical finite-difference Runge-Kutta scheme keeping its level of accuracy. The complexity of the taken finite-difference scheme is reduced from O(N^2d) to O(d^2 N log N ), where N is the number of grid nodes and d is a dimensionality of the problem. The efficiency and the accuracy of the new method are demonstrated on concrete problem with known analytical solution.

Keywords: convolution, tensor train decomposition, multicomponent Smoluchowski equation, runge-kutta scheme

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32 Dependence of the Electro-Stimulation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae by Pulsed Electric Field at the Yeast Growth Phase

Authors: Henri El Zakhem, Jessy Mattar, Mohamad Turk, Maurice Nonus, Nikolai Lebovka, Eugene Vorobiev

Abstract:

The effects of electro-stimulation of S. cerevisiae cells in colloidal suspension by Pulsed Electric Fields ‎‎(PEF) with electric field strength E = 20 – 2000 V.cm-1 and effective PEF treatment time tPEF = 10^−5 – 1 s were ‎investigated. The applied experimental procedure includes variations in the preliminary fermentation time and ‎electro-stimulation by PEF-treatment. Plate counting was performed.‎ At relatively high electric fields (E ≥ 1000 V.cm-1) and moderate PEF treatment time (tPEF > 100 µs), the ‎extraction of ionic components from yeast was observed by conductivity measurements, which can be related to ‎electroporation of cell membranes. Cell counting revealed a dependency of the colonies’ size on the time of ‎preliminary fermentation tf and the power consumption W, however no dependencies were noticeable by varying the initial yeast concentration in the treated suspensions.‎

Keywords: Biotechnology, Fermentation, Yeast, Electroporation, intensification

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31 The Relationship between Impared Fasting Glucose and Serum Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Level

Authors: Nanhee Cho, Eugene Han, Hanbyul Kim, Hochan Cho

Abstract:

Pre-diabetes includes impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and there is a strong probability that pre-diabetes will lead to diabetes mellitus (DM). Serum fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21) is known to be increased as a compensatory response to metabolic imbalance under conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and DM. This study aims to identify the relationship of serum FGF-21 with pre-diabetes, and with biomarkers of related metabolic diseases. Fifty five Korea adult patients participated in a cohort study from June 2012 to December 2015. The analysis revealed that BMI, FBS levels, and serum FGF-21 levels were significantly higher in the IFG group compared to those in the normal group. A multiple regression analysis was conduted on the correlations of serum FGF-21 levels with BMI, and FBS levels, and the result did not show statistical significance. In conclusion, our results revealed that serum FGF-21 level serve as a marker to predict IFG.

Keywords: cytokine, fibroblast growth factor 21, impaired fasting glucose, prediabetes

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30 Solving Ill-Posed Initial Value Problems for Switched Differential Equations

Authors: Arcady Ponosov, Eugene Stepanov

Abstract:

To model gene regulatory networks one uses ordinary differential equations with switching nonlinearities, where the initial value problem is known to be well-posed if the trajectories cross the discontinuities transversally. Otherwise, the initial value problem is usually ill-posed, which lead to theoretical and numerical complications. In the presentation, it is proposed to apply the theory of hybrid dynamical systems, rather than switched ones, to regularize the problem. 'Hybridization' of the switched system means that one attaches a dynamic discrete component ('automaton'), which follows the trajectories of the original system and governs its dynamics at the points of ill-posedness of the initial value problem making it well-posed. The construction of the automaton is based on the classification of the attractors of the specially designed adjoint dynamical system. Several examples are provided in the presentation, which support the suggested analysis. The method can also be of interest in other applied fields, where differential equations contain switchings, e.g. in neural field models.

Keywords: Hybrid Dynamical Systems, singular perturbation analysis, ill-posed problems, switching nonlinearities

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29 Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids from the Aerial Parts of Alyssum alyssoides

Authors: Olga St. Tsiftsoglou, Diamanto M. Lazari, Eugene L. Kokkalou

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Most of Alyssum species of Brassicaceae family have been mainly studied for their contribution in ecology. In this study, A. alyssoides was examined for its chemical substitutes. The methanol extract of its aerial parts was fractionated with liquid-liquid extraction (distribution) with four different solvents of increasing polarity: diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, 1-butanol and water. The diethyl ether and ethyl acetate extracts were further studied for their chemical composition. So far, secondary metabolites which belong to phenolics were isolated by using several chromatographic methods (C.C. and HPLC) and were identified by using spectroscopic methods (UV/Vis, NMR and MS): two phenolic acids (p-hydroxy-benzoic acid and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-benzoic acid (vanillic acid)), and five flavonoids, which are derivatives of flavonol: kaempferol 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (astragalin), kaempferol 3-O-(6′′-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-β-D-glucopyranoside (nicotiflorin), quercetin 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (isoquercetin), isorhamnetin-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, and isoramnetin 3-O-(6′′-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-β-D-glucopyranoside (narcissin).

Keywords: Flavonoids, phenolic acids, Alyssum, chemical substitutes

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28 Investigating the Interaction of Individuals' Knowledge Sharing Constructs

Authors: Eugene Okyere-Kwakye

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Knowledge sharing is a practice where individuals commonly exchange both tacit and explicit knowledge to jointly create a new knowledge. Knowledge management literature vividly express that knowledge sharing is the keystone and perhaps it is the most important aspect of knowledge management. To enhance the understanding of knowledge sharing domain, this study is aimed to investigate some factors that could influence employee’s attitude and behaviour to share their knowledge. The researchers employed the social exchange theory as a theoretical foundation for this study. Three essential factors namely: Trust, mutual reciprocity and perceived enjoyment that could influence knowledge sharing behaviour has been incorporated into a research model. To empirically validate this model, data was collected from one hundred and twenty respondents. The multiple regression analysis was employed to analyse the data. The results indicate that perceived enjoyment and trust have a significant influence on knowledge sharing. Surprisingly, mutual reciprocity did not influence knowledge sharing. The paper concludes by highlight the practical implications of the findings and areas for future research to consider.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Trust, Knowledge sharing, perceived enjoyment

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27 Supply Chain Decarbonisation – A Cost-Based Decision Support Model in Slow Steaming Maritime Operations

Authors: Eugene Y. C. Wong, Henry Y. K. Lau, Mardjuki Raman

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CO2 emissions from maritime transport operations represent a substantial part of the total greenhouse gas emission. Vessels are designed with better energy efficiency. Minimizing CO2 emission in maritime operations plays an important role in supply chain decarbonisation. This paper reviews the initiatives on slow steaming operations towards the reduction of carbon emission. It investigates the relationship and impact among slow steaming cost reduction, carbon emission reduction, and shipment delay. A scenario-based cost-driven decision support model is developed to facilitate the selection of the optimal slow steaming options, considering the cost on bunker fuel consumption, available speed, carbon emission, and shipment delay. The incorporation of the social cost of cargo is reviewed and suggested. Additional measures on the effect of vessels sizes, routing, and type of fuels towards decarbonisation are discussed.

Keywords: Sustainability, maritime Logistics, Green supply chain, Carbon Emission, slow steaming

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26 Numerical Regularization of Ill-Posed Problems via Hybrid Feedback Controls

Authors: Eugene Stepanov, Arkadi Ponossov

Abstract:

Many mathematical models used in biological and other applications are ill-posed. The reason for that is the nature of differential equations, where the nonlinearities are assumed to be step functions, which is done to simplify the analysis. Prominent examples are switched systems arising from gene regulatory networks and neural field equations. This simplification leads, however, to theoretical and numerical complications. In the presentation, it is proposed to apply the theory of hybrid feedback controls to regularize the problem. Roughly speaking, one attaches a finite state control (‘automaton’), which follows the trajectories of the original system and governs its dynamics at the points of ill-posedness. The construction of the automaton is based on the classification of the attractors of the specially designed adjoint dynamical system. This ‘hybridization’ is shown to regularize the original switched system and gives rise to efficient hybrid numerical schemes. Several examples are provided in the presentation, which supports the suggested analysis. The method can be of interest in other applied fields, where differential equations contain step-like nonlinearities.

Keywords: hybrid feedback control, singular perturbation analysis, ill-posed problems, step-like nonlinearities

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25 Calculating Non-Unique Sliding Modes for Switched Dynamical Systems

Authors: Eugene Stepanov, Arkadi Ponossov

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Ordinary differential equations with switching nonlinearities constitute a very useful tool in many applications. The solutions of such equations can usually be calculated analytically if they cross the discontinuities transversally. Otherwise, one has trajectories that slides along the discontinuity, and the calculations become less straightforward in this case. For instance, one of the problems one faces is non-uniqueness of the sliding modes. In the presentation, it is proposed to apply the theory of hybrid dynamical systems to calculate the solutions that are ‘hidden’ in the discontinuities. Roughly, one equips the underlying switched system with an explicitly designed discrete dynamical system (‘automaton’), which governs the dynamics of the switched system. This construction ‘splits’ the dynamics, which, as it is shown in the presentation, gives uniqueness of the resulting hybrid trajectories and at the same time provides explicit formulae for them. Projecting the hybrid trajectories back onto the original continuous system explains non-uniqueness of its trajectories. The automaton is designed with the help of the attractors of the specially constructed adjoint dynamical system. Several examples are provided in the presentation, which supports the efficiency of the suggested scheme. The method can be of interest in control theory, gene regulatory networks, neural field models and other fields, where switched dynamics is a part of the analysis.

Keywords: Hybrid Dynamical Systems, singular perturbation analysis, sliding modes, switched dynamics

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24 Development of β-Ti Alloy Powders for Additive Manufacturing for Application in Patient-Specific Orthopedic Implants

Authors: Eugene Ivanov, Eduardo del-Rio, Igor Kapchenko, Maija Nystrӧm, Juha Kotila

Abstract:

Series of low modulus beta Ti alloy billets and powders can be produced in commercial quantities using a combination of electron beam melting (EBM) and EIGA atomization processes. In the present study, TNZT alloy powder was produced and processed in the EOSINT M290 laser sintering system to produce parts for mechanical testing. Post heat treatments such as diffusion annealing to reduce internal stresses or hot isostatic pressing to remove closed pores were not applied. The density can visually be estimated to be > 99,9 %. According to EDS study Nb, Zr, and Ta are distributed homogeneously throughout the printed sample. There are no indications for any segregation or chemical inhomogeneity, i.e. variation of the element distribution. These points to the fact that under the applied experimental conditions the melt generated by the laser rapidly cools down in the SLM (Selective Laser Melting) process. The selective laser sintering yielded dense structures with relatively good surface quality. The mechanical properties, especially the elongation (24%) along with tensile strength ( > 500MPa) and modulus of elasticity (~60GPa), were found to be promising compared to titanium alloys in general.

Keywords: Implants, Additive manufacturing, Powder, beta titanium alloys

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23 Insufficiency Fracture of Femoral Head in Patients Treated With Intramedullary Nailing for Proximal Femur Fracture

Authors: Jai Hyung Park, Eugene Kim, Jin Hun Park, Min Joon Oh

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Introduction: Subchondral insufficiency fracture of the femoral head (SIF) is a rare complication; however, it has been recognized to cause femoral head collapse. Subchondral insufficiency fracture (SIF) is caused by normal or physiological stress without any trauma. It has been reported in osteoporotic patients after the fixation of the proximal femur with an Intramedullary nail. Case presentation: We reported 5 cases with SIF of the femoral head after proximal femur fracture fixation with Intra-medullary nail. All patients had osteoporosis as an underlying disease. Good reduction was achieved in all 5 patients. SIF was found from about 3 months to 4 years after the initial operation, and all the fractures were solidly united at the final diagnosis. We investigated retrospectively the feature of those cases and several factors that affected the occurrence of SIF. Discussion: There are a few discussions regarding the SIF of the femoral head. These discussions may include the predisposing risk factors, how to diagnose the SIF in osteoporotic patients, and the peri-operative factors to prevent SIF. Conclusion: Subchondral insufficiency fracture of the femoral head is a considerable complication after the internal fixation of the proximal femur. There are several factors that can be modified. If they could be controlled in the peri-operative period, SIF could be prevented or handled in advance. Other options related to arthroplasty can be considered in old osteoporotic patients.

Keywords: Osteoporosis, insufficiency fracture of femoral head, intra-medullary nail, proximal femur fracture

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22 Influence of Pulverized Granite on the Mechanical and Durability Properties of Concrete

Authors: Kwabena A. Boakye, Eugene Atiemo, Trinity A. Tagbor, Delali Adjei

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The use of mineral admixtures such as metakaolin, GGBS, fly ash, etc., in concrete is a common practice in the world. However, the only admixture available for use in the Ghanaian construction industry is calcined clay pozzolan. This research, therefore, studies the alternate use of granite dust, a by-product from stone quarrying, as a mineral admixture in concrete. Granite dust, which is usually damped as waste or as an erosion control material, was collected and pulverized to about 75µm. Some physical, chemical, and mineralogical tests were conducted on the granite dust. 5%-25% ordinary Portland cement of Class 42.5N was replaced with granite dust which was used as the main binder in the preparation of 150mm×150mm×150mm concrete cubes according to methods prescribed by BS EN 12390-2:2000. Properties such as workability, compressive strength, flexural strength, water absorption, and durability were determined. Compressive and flexural strength results indicate that granite dust could be used to replace ordinary Portland cement up to an optimum of 15% to achieve C25. Water permeability increased as the granite dust admixture content increased from 5% - 25%. Durability studies after 90 days proved that even though strength decreased as granite dust content increased, the concrete containing granite dust had better resistance to sulphate attack comparable to the reference cement. Pulverized granite can be used to partially replace ordinary Portland cement in concrete.

Keywords: Permeability, admixture, pozzolans, granite dust

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21 Application of Powder Metallurgy Technologies for Gas Turbine Engine Wheel Production

Authors: Liubov Magerramova, Eugene Kratt, Pavel Presniakov

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A detailed analysis has been performed for several schemes of Gas Turbine Wheels production based on additive and powder technologies including metal, ceramic, and stereolithography 3-D printing. During the process of development and debugging of gas turbine engine components, different versions of these components must be manufactured and tested. Cooled blades of the turbine are among of these components. They are usually produced by traditional casting methods. This method requires long and costly design and manufacture of casting molds. Moreover, traditional manufacturing methods limit the design possibilities of complex critical parts of engine, so capabilities of Powder Metallurgy Techniques (PMT) were analyzed to manufacture the turbine wheel with air-cooled blades. PMT dramatically reduce time needed for such production and allow creating new complex design solutions aimed at improving the technical characteristics of the engine: improving fuel efficiency and environmental performance, increasing reliability, and reducing weight. To accelerate and simplify the blades manufacturing process, several options based on additive technologies were used. The options were implemented in the form of various casting equipment for the manufacturing of blades. Methods of powder metallurgy were applied for connecting the blades with the disc. The optimal production scheme and a set of technologies for the manufacturing of blades and turbine wheel and other parts of the engine can be selected on the basis of the options considered.

Keywords: Powder Technology, additive technologies, gas turbine engine, turbine wheel

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20 Stock Market Development and the Growth of Nigerian Economy

Authors: Godwin Chigozie Okpara, Eugene Iheanacho

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This paper examined the dynamic behavior of stock market development and the growth of Nigerian economy. The variables; market capitalization ratio, turnover ratio and liquidity proxies by the ratio of market capitalization to gross domestic product were sourced and computed from the Nigerian stock exchange fact books and the CBN statistical bulletin of the Central Bank of Nigeria. The variables were tested and found stationary and cointregrated using the augumented Dickey Fuller unit root test and the Johnson cointegration test respectively. The dynamic behavior of the stock market development model was verified using the error correction model. The result shows that about 0.4l percent of the short run deviation is corrected every year and also reveals that market capitalization ratio and market liquidity are positive and significant function of economic growth. In other words market capitalization ratio and liquidity positively and significantly impact economic growth. Market development variables such as turnover ratio and market restriction can exert positive but insignificant impact on the growth of the economy suggesting that securities transaction relative to the size of the securities market are not high enough to significantly engender economic growth in Nigeria. In the light of this, the researchers recommend that the regulatory body as well as the government, should provide a conducive environment capable of encouraging the growth and development of the stock market. This if well articulated will enhance the market turnover and the growth of the economy.

Keywords: Liquidity, unit root test, cointegration, market capitalization ratio, turnover ratio

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19 Potentials for Learning History through Role-Playing in Virtual Reality: An Exploratory Study on Role-Playing on a Virtual Heritage Site

Authors: Danzhao Cheng, Eugene Ch'ng

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Virtual Reality technologies can reconstruct cultural heritage objects and sites to a level of realism. Concentrating mostly on documenting authentic data and accurate representations of tangible contents, current virtual heritage is limited to accumulating visually presented objects. Such constructions, however, are fragmentary and may not convey the inherent significance of heritage in a meaningful way. In order to contextualise fragmentary historical contents where history can be told, a strategy is to create a guided narrative via role-playing. Such an approach can strengthen the logical connections of cultural elements and facilitate creative synthesis within the virtual world. This project successfully reconstructed the Ningbo Sanjiangkou VR site in Yuan Dynasty combining VR technology and role-play game approach. The results with 80 pairs of participants suggest that VR role-playing can be beneficial in a number of ways. Firstly, it creates thematic interactivity which encourages users to explore the virtual heritage in a more entertaining way with task-oriented goals. Secondly, the experience becomes highly engaging since users can interpret a historical context through the perspective of specific roles that exist in past societies. Thirdly, personalisation allows open-ended sequences of the expedition, reinforcing user’s acquisition of procedural knowledge relative to the cultural domain. To sum up, role-playing in VR poses great potential for experiential learning as it allows users to interpret a historical context in a more entertaining way.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Experiential Learning, virtual heritage, maritime silk road, role-playing

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18 Dual Set Point Governor Control Structure with Common Optimum Temporary Droop Settings for both Islanded and Grid Connected Modes

Authors: Deepen Sharma, Eugene F. Hill

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For nearly 100 years, hydro-turbine governors have operated with only a frequency set point. This natural governor action means that the governor responds with changing megawatt output to disturbances in system frequency. More and more, power system managers are demanding that governors operate with constant megawatt output. One way of doing this is to introduce a second set point in the control structure called a power set point. The control structure investigated and analyzed in this paper is unique in the way that it utilizes a power reference set point in addition to the conventional frequency reference set point. An optimum set of temporary droop parameters derived based on the turbine-generator inertia constant and the penstock water start time for stable islanded operation are shown to be also equally applicable for a satisfactory rate of generator loading during its grid connected mode. A theoretical development shows why this is the case. The performance of the control structure has been investigated and established based on the simulation study made in MATLAB/Simulink as well as through testing the real time controller performance on a 15 MW Kaplan Turbine and generator. Recordings have been made using the labVIEW data acquisition platform. The hydro-turbine governor control structure and its performance investigated in this paper thus eliminates the need to have a separate set of temporary droop parameters, one valid for islanded mode and the other for interconnected operations mode.

Keywords: frequency set point, hydro governor, interconnected operation, isolated operation, power set point

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17 Assessment of Environmental Implications of Rapid Population Growth on Land Use Dynamics: A Case Study of Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State, Nigeria

Authors: Moses Obenade, Francis I. Okpiliya, Henry U. Okeke, Eugene J. Aniah

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Population growth in Eleme has been rapid over the past 75 years with its attendant pressure on the natural resources of the area. Between 1937 and 2006 the population of Eleme grew from 2,528 to 190,194 and is projected to be above 265,707 in 2016 based on an annual growth rate of 3.4%. Using the combined technologies of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing (RS) and Demography techniques as its methodology, this paper examines the environmental implications of rapid population growth on land use dynamics in Eleme between 1986 and 2015. The study reveals that between 1986 and 2006, Built-up area and Farmland increased by 72.67 and 12.77% respectively, while light and thick vegetation recorded a decrease of -6.92 and -61.64% respectively. Water body remains fairly constant with minimal changes. Also, between 2006 and 2015 covering a period of 9 years, Built-up area further increased by 53% with an annual growth rate of 2.32 km2 gaining more land area on the detriment of other land uses. Built-up area has an annual growth rate of 2.32km2 and is expected to increase from 18.67km2 in 2006 to 41.87km2 in 2016.The observed Land used/Land cover dynamics is derived by the demographic characteristics of the Study area. Eleme has a total area of 138km2 out of which the Federal Government of Nigeria compulsorily acquired an estimated area of 59.34km2 for industrial purposes excluding acquisitions by the Rivers State Government. It is evident from the findings of this study that the carrying capacity of Eleme ecosystem is under threat due to the current population growth and land consumption rates. Therefore, measures such as use of appropriate technologies in farming techniques, waste management; investment in family planning and female empowerment, maternal health and education, afforestation programs; and amendment of Land Use Act of 1978 are recommended.

Keywords: GIS and Remote Sensing, Land Use, population growth, Eleme

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16 Attenuation of Amyloid beta (Aβ) (1-42)-Induced Neurotoxicity by Luteolin

Authors: Dona Pamoda W. Jayatunga, Veer Bala Gupta, Eugene Hone, Ralph N. Martins

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Being a neurodegenerative disorder, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects a majority of the elderly demented worldwide. The key risk factors for AD are age, metabolic syndrome, allele status of APOE gene, head injuries and lifestyle. The progressive nature of AD is characterized by symptoms of multiple cognitive deficits exacerbated over time, leading to death within a decade from clinical diagnosis. However, it is revealed that AD originates via a prodromal phase that spans from one to few decades before symptoms first manifest. The key pathological hallmarks of AD brains are deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). However, the yet unknown etiology of the disease fails to distinguish mitochondrial dysfunction between a cause or an outcome. The absence of early diagnosis tools and definite therapies for AD have permitted recruits of nutraceutical-based approaches aimed at reducing the risk of AD by modulating lifestyle or be used as preventive tools during AD prodromal state before widespread neurodegeneration begins. The objective of the present study was to investigate beneficial effects of luteolin, a plant-based flavone compound, against AD. The neuroprotective effects of luteolin on amyloid beta (Aβ) (1-42)-induced neurotoxicity was measured using cultured human neuroblastoma BE(2)-M17 cells. After exposure to 20μM Aβ (1-42) for 48 h, the neuroblastoma cells exhibited marked apoptotic death. Co-treatment of 20μM Aβ (1-42) with luteolin (0.5-5μM) significantly protected the cells against Aβ (1-42)-induced toxicity, as assessed by the MTS [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2(4sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt; MTS] reduction assay and the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) cell death assay. The results suggest that luteolin prevents Aβ (1-42)-induced apoptotic neuronal death. However, further studies are underway to determine its protective mechanisms in AD including the activity against tau hyperphosphorylation and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Keywords: alzheimer’s disease, luteolin, Aβ (1-42)-induced toxicity, neuroblastoma cells

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15 In situ Ortho-Quinone Methide Reactions for Construction of Flavonoids with Fused Ring Systems

Authors: Naresh Kumar, Vidia A. Nuraini, Eugene M. H. Yee, Mohan Bhadbhade, David StC. Black

Abstract:

Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds that have been shown to exhibit a wide range of biological properties including anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. However, flavonoids suffer from low bioavailability, which limits their overall utility for therapeutic applications. One of the methods to overcome this limitation is through structural modification of natural flavonoids. In this study, flavanone, isoflavanone, and isoflavene, were structurally modified through the introduction of additional fused-ring systems via ortho-quinone methide intermediates (o-QMs). These intermediates can readily undergo a [4+2] cycloaddition through an inverse-electron-demand Diels–Alder reaction with electron-rich dienophiles. A regioselective Mannich reaction using bis-(N,N-dimethylamino)methane was employed to generate the o-QM precursors of flavanone, isoflavanone, and isoflavene. The o-QM intermediates were subsequently generated in situ through thermal elimination of the dimethylamine functionality and reacted with a variety of dienophiles to produce novel flavonoids with fused-ring systems. A total of 21 novel flavonoid analogs were successfully synthesized. The X-ray crystal structure of cycloaddition adducts, particularly those derived from 3,4-dihydro-2H-pyran and p-methoxystyrene revealed a special case of enantiomeric disorder, where two enantiomers in equal amounts superpose with one another, with the exception for atoms that have opposite configuration. The anticancer properties of fused-ring systems derived from isoflavene were evaluated against the neuroblastoma SKN-BE(2)C, the triple negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231, and the glioblastoma U87 cancer cell lines. One of these cycloaddition adducts had displayed improved anti-proliferative activity against MDA-MB-231 and U87 cancer cell lines as compared to the parent compound. Further anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities of the flavanone and isoflavanone analogs are currently being investigated.

Keywords: Flavonoids, Diels-Alder reaction, Mannich reaction, ortho-quinone methide

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14 Technico-Economical Study of a Rapeseed Based Biorefinery Using High Voltage Electrical Discharges and Ultrasounds as Pretreatment Technologies

Authors: Eugene Vorobiev, Nicolas Brosse, Marwa Brahim, Nadia Boussetta, Nabil Grimi

Abstract:

Rapeseed plant is an established product in France which is mainly dedicated to oil production. However, the economic potential of residues from this industry (rapeseed hulls, rapeseed cake, rapeseed straw etc.), has not been fully exploited. Currently, only low-grade applications are found in the market. As a consequence, it was deemed of interest to develop a technological platform aiming to convert rapeseed residues into value- added products. Specifically, a focus is given on the conversion of rapeseed straw into valuable molecules (e.g. lignin, glucose). Existing pretreatment technologies have many drawbacks mainly the production of sugar degradation products that limit the effectiveness of saccharification and fermentation steps in the overall scheme of the lignocellulosic biorefinery. In addition, the viability of fractionation strategies is a challenge in an environmental context increasingly standardized. Hence, the need to find cleaner alternatives with comparable efficiency by implementing physical phenomena that could destabilize the structural integrity of biomass without necessarily using chemical solvents. To meet environmental standards increasingly stringent, the present work aims to study the new pretreatment strategies involving lower consumption of chemicals with an attenuation of the severity of the treatment. These strategies consist on coupling physical treatments either high voltage electrical discharges or ultrasounds to conventional chemical pretreatments (soda and organosolv). Ultrasounds treatment is based on the cavitation phenomenon, and high voltage electrical discharges cause an electrical breakdown accompanied by many secondary phenomena. The choice of process was based on a technological feasibility study taking into account the economic profitability of the whole chain after products valorization. Priority was given to sugars valorization into bioethanol and lignin sale.

Keywords: ultrasounds, high voltage electrical discharges, organosolv, pretreatment strategies, rapeseed straw, soda

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13 Development of Immersive Virtual Reality System for Planning of Cargo Loading Operations

Authors: Eugene Y. C. Wong, Henry Y. K. Lau, Daniel Y. W. Mo, Cosmo T. Y. Ng, Jessica K. Y. Chan, Leith K. Y. Chan

Abstract:

The real-time planning visualisation, precise allocation and loading optimisation in air cargo load planning operations are increasingly important as more considerations are needed on dangerous cargo loading, locations of lithium batteries, weight declaration and limited aircraft capacity. The planning of the unit load devices (ULD) can often be carried out only in a limited number of hours before flight departure. A dynamic air cargo load planning system is proposed with the optimisation of cargo load plan and visualisation of planning results in virtual reality systems. The system aims to optimise the cargo load planning and visualise the simulated loading planning decision on air cargo terminal operations. Adopting simulation tools, Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) and virtual reality technologies, the results of planning with reference to weight and balance, Unit Load Device (ULD) dimensions, gateway, cargo nature and aircraft capacity are optimised and presented. The virtual reality system facilities planning, operations, education and training. Staff in terminals are usually trained in a traditional push-approach demonstration with enormous manual paperwork. With the support of newly customized immersive visualization environment, users can master the complex air cargo load planning techniques in a problem based training with the instant result being immersively visualised. The virtual reality system is developed with three-dimensional (3D) projectors, screens, workstations, truss system, 3D glasses, and demonstration platform and software. The content will be focused on the cargo planning and loading operations in an air cargo terminal. The system can assist decision-making process during cargo load planning in the complex operations of air cargo terminal operations. The processes of cargo loading, cargo build-up, security screening, and system monitoring can be further visualised. Scenarios are designed to support and demonstrate the daily operations of the air cargo terminal, including dangerous goods, pets and animals, and some special cargos.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Optimisation, air cargo load planning, weight and balance, unit load device

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12 Development of Internet of Things (IoT) with Mobile Voice Picking and Cargo Tracing Systems in Warehouse Operations of Third-Party Logistics

Authors: Eugene Y. C. Wong

Abstract:

The increased market competition, customer expectation, and warehouse operating cost in third-party logistics have motivated the continuous exploration in improving operation efficiency in warehouse logistics. Cargo tracing in ordering picking process consumes excessive time for warehouse operators when handling enormous quantities of goods flowing through the warehouse each day. Internet of Things (IoT) with mobile cargo tracing apps and database management systems are developed this research to facilitate and reduce the cargo tracing time in order picking process of a third-party logistics firm. An operation review is carried out in the firm with opportunities for improvement being identified, including inaccurate inventory record in warehouse management system, excessive tracing time on stored products, and product misdelivery. The facility layout has been improved by modifying the designated locations of various types of products. The relationship among the pick and pack processing time, cargo tracing time, delivery accuracy, inventory turnover, and inventory count operation time in the warehouse are evaluated. The correlation of the factors affecting the overall cycle time is analysed. A mobile app is developed with the use of MIT App Inventor and the Access management database to facilitate cargo tracking anytime anywhere. The information flow framework from warehouse database system to cloud computing document-sharing, and further to the mobile app device is developed. The improved performance on cargo tracing in the order processing cycle time of warehouse operators have been collected and evaluated. The developed mobile voice picking and tracking systems brings significant benefit to the third-party logistics firm, including eliminating unnecessary cargo tracing time in order picking process and reducing warehouse operators overtime cost. The mobile tracking device is further planned to enhance the picking time and cycle count of warehouse operators with voice picking system in the developed mobile apps as future development.

Keywords: Warehouse, Mobile app, third-party logistics, order picking process, cargo tracing

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11 Optimizing Cell Culture Performance in an Ambr15 Microbioreactor Using Dynamic Flux Balance and Computational Fluid Dynamic Modelling

Authors: William Kelly, Sorelle Veigne, Xianhua Li, Zuyi Huang, Shyamsundar Subramanian, Eugene Schaefer

Abstract:

The ambr15™ bioreactor is a single-use microbioreactor for cell line development and process optimization. The ambr system offers fully automatic liquid handling with the possibility of fed-batch operation and automatic control of pH and oxygen delivery. With operating conditions for large scale biopharmaceutical production properly scaled down, micro bioreactors such as the ambr15™ can potentially be used to predict the effect of process changes such as modified media or different cell lines. In this study, gassing rates and dilution rates were varied for a semi-continuous cell culture system in the ambr15™ bioreactor. The corresponding changes to metabolite production and consumption, as well as cell growth rate and therapeutic protein production were measured. Conditions were identified in the ambr15™ bioreactor that produced metabolic shifts and specific metabolic and protein production rates also seen in the corresponding larger (5 liter) scale perfusion process. A Dynamic Flux Balance model was employed to understand and predict the metabolic changes observed. The DFB model-predicted trends observed experimentally, including lower specific glucose consumption when CO₂ was maintained at higher levels (i.e. 100 mm Hg) in the broth. A Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model of the ambr15™ was also developed, to understand transfer of O₂ and CO₂ to the liquid. This CFD model predicted gas-liquid flow in the bioreactor using the ANSYS software. The two-phase flow equations were solved via an Eulerian method, with population balance equations tracking the size of the gas bubbles resulting from breakage and coalescence. Reasonable results were obtained in that the Carbon Dioxide mass transfer coefficient (kLa) and the air hold up increased with higher gas flow rate. Volume-averaged kLa values at 500 RPM increased as the gas flow rate was doubled and matched experimentally determined values. These results form a solid basis for optimizing the ambr15™, using both CFD and FBA modelling approaches together, for use in microscale simulations of larger scale cell culture processes.

Keywords: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Cell Culture, microbioreactor, dynamic flux balance analysis

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10 Engaging Medical Students in Research through Student Research Mentorship Programme

Authors: Qi En Han, Si En Wai, Eugene Quek

Abstract:

As one of the two Academic Medical Centres (AMCs) in Singapore, SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC strives to improve patients’ lives through excellent clinical care, research and education. These efforts are enhanced with the establishment of Academic Clinical Programmes (ACPs). Each ACP brings together specialists in a particular discipline from different institutions to maximize the power of shared knowledge and resources. Initiated by Surgery ACP, the student research mentorship programme is a programme designed to facilitate engagement between medical students and the surgical faculty. The programme offers mentors not only the opportunity to supervise research but also to nurture future clinician scientists. In turn, medical students acquire valuable research experience which may be useful in their future careers. The programme typically lasts one year, depending on the students’ commitment. Surgery ACP matches students’ research interests with the mentor's area of expertise whenever possible. Surgery ACP organizes informal tea sessions to bring students and prospective mentors together. Once a match is made, the pair is required to submit a project proposal which includes the title, proposed start and end dates, ethical and biosafety considerations and project details. The mentees either think of their own research question with guidance from the mentors or join an existing project. The mentees may participate in data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing and conference presentation. The progress of each research project is monitored through half-yearly progress report. The mentees report problems encountered or changes made to existing proposal on top of the progress made. A total of 18 mentors were successfully paired with 36 mentees since 2013. Currently, there are 23 on-going and 13 completed projects. The mentees are encouraged to present their projects at conferences and to publish in peer-reviewed journals. Six mentees have presented their completed projects at local or international conferences and one mentee has her work published. To further support student research, Surgery ACP organized a Research Day in 2015 to recognize their research efforts and to showcase their wide-range of research. Surgery ACP recognizes that early exposure of medical students to research is important in developing them into clinician scientists. As interest in research take time to develop and are usually realized during various research attachments, it is crucial that programmes such as the student research mentorship programme exist. Surgery ACP will continue to build on this programme.

Keywords: Mentoring, academic clinical programme, clinician scientist, medical student

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9 Assessment of Hydrologic Response of a Naturalized Tropical Coastal Mangrove Ecosystem Due to Land Cover Change in an Urban Watershed

Authors: Bryan Clark B. Hernandez, Eugene C. Herrera, Kazuo Nadaoka

Abstract:

Mangrove forests thriving in intertidal zones in tropical and subtropical regions of the world offer a range of ecosystem services including carbon storage and sequestration. They can regulate the detrimental effects of climate change due to carbon releases two to four times greater than that of mature tropical rainforests. Moreover, they are effective natural defenses against storm surges and tsunamis. However, their proliferation depends significantly on the prevailing hydroperiod at the coast. In the Philippines, these coastal ecosystems have been severely threatened with a 50% decline in areal extent observed from 1918 to 2010. The highest decline occurred in 1950 - 1972 when national policies encouraged the development of fisheries and aquaculture. With the intensive land use conversion upstream, changes in the freshwater-saltwater envelope at the coast may considerably impact mangrove growth conditions. This study investigates a developing urban watershed in Kalibo, Aklan province with a 220-hectare mangrove forest replanted for over 30 years from coastal mudflats. Since then, the mangrove forest was sustainably conserved and declared as protected areas. Hybrid land cover classification technique was used to classify Landsat images for years, 1990, 2010, and 2017. Digital elevation model utilized was Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR) with a 5-meter resolution to delineate the watersheds. Using numerical modelling techniques, the hydrologic and hydraulic analysis of the influence of land cover change to flow and sediment dynamics was simulated. While significant land cover change occurred upland, thereby increasing runoff and sediment loads, the mangrove forests abundance adjacent to the coasts for the urban watershed, was somehow sustained. However, significant alteration of the coastline was observed in Kalibo through the years, probably due to the massive land-use conversion upstream and significant replanting of mangroves downstream. Understanding the hydrologic-hydraulic response of these watersheds to change land cover is essential to helping local government and stakeholders facilitate better management of these mangrove ecosystems.

Keywords: Land Cover Change, Philippines, hydrologic model, coastal mangroves

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8 An Analysis of the Strategic Pathway to Building a Successful Mobile Advertising Business in Nigeria: From Strategic Intent to Competitive Advantage

Authors: Pius A. Onobhayedo, Eugene A. Ohu

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Nigeria has one of the fastest growing mobile telecommunications industry in the world. In the absence of fixed connection access to the Internet, access to the Internet is primarily via mobile devices. It, therefore, provides a test case for how to penetrate the mobile market in an emerging economy. We also hope to contribute to a sparse literature on strategies employed in building successful data-driven mobile businesses in emerging economies. We, therefore, sought to identify and analyse the strategic approach taken in a successful locally born mobile data-driven business in Nigeria. The analysis was carried out through the framework of strategic intent and competitive advantages developed from the conception of the company to date. This study is based on an exploratory investigation of an innovative digital company based in Nigeria specializing in the mobile advertising business. The projected growth and high adoption of mobile in this African country, coinciding with the smartphone revolution triggered by the launch of iPhone in 2007 opened a new entrepreneurial horizon for the founder of the company, who reached the conclusion that ‘the future is mobile’. This dream led to the establishment of three digital businesses, designed for convergence and complementarity of medium and content. The mobile Ad subsidiary soon grew to become a truly African network with operations and campaigns across West, East and South Africa, successfully delivering campaigns in several African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia amongst others. The company recently declared a 40% year-end profit which was nine times that of the previous financial year. This study drew from an in-depth interview with the company’s founder, analysis of primary and secondary data from and about the business, as well as case studies of digital marketing campaigns. We hinge our analysis on the strategic intent concept which has been proposed to be an engine that drives the quest for sustainable strategic advantage in the global marketplace. Our goal was specifically to identify the strategic intents of the founder and how these were transformed creatively into processes that may have led to some distinct competitive advantages. Along with the strategic intents, we sought to identify the respective absorptive capacities that constituted favourable antecedents to the creation of such competitive advantages. Our recommendations and findings will be pivotal information for anybody wishing to invest in the world’s fastest technology business space - Africa.

Keywords: Mobile Business, Marketing, Digital, Africa, competitive advantage, competitive strategy, strategic intent

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7 Biorefinery as Extension to Sugar Mills: Sustainability and Social Upliftment in the Green Economy

Authors: Asfaw Gezae Daful, Mohsen Alimandagari, Kathleen Haigh, Somayeh Farzad, Eugene Van Rensburg, Johann F. Görgens

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The sugar industry has to 're-invent' itself to ensure long-term economic survival and opportunities for job creation and enhanced community-level impacts, given increasing pressure from fluctuating and low global sugar prices, increasing energy prices and sustainability demands. We propose biorefineries for re-vitalisation of the sugar industry using low value lignocellulosic biomass (sugarcane bagasse, leaves, and tops) annexed to existing sugar mills, producing a spectrum of high value platform chemicals along with biofuel, bioenergy, and electricity. Opportunity is presented for greener products, to mitigate climate change and overcome economic challenges. Xylose from labile hemicellulose remains largely underutilized and the conversion to value-add products a major challenge. Insight is required on pretreatment and/or extraction to optimize production of cellulosic ethanol together with lactic acid, furfural or biopolymers from sugarcane bagasse, leaves, and tops. Experimental conditions for alkaline and pressurized hot water extraction dilute acid and steam explosion pretreatment of sugarcane bagasse and harvest residues were investigated to serve as a basis for developing various process scenarios under a sugarcane biorefinery scheme. Dilute acid and steam explosion pretreatment were optimized for maximum hemicellulose recovery, combined sugar yield and solids digestibility. An optimal range of conditions for alkaline and liquid hot water extraction of hemicellulosic biopolymers, as well as conditions for acceptable enzymatic digestibility of the solid residue, after such extraction was established. Using data from the above, a series of energy efficient biorefinery scenarios are under development and modeled using Aspen Plus® software, to simulate potential factories to better understand the biorefinery processes and estimate the CAPEX and OPEX, environmental impacts, and overall viability. Rigorous and detailed sustainability assessment methodology was formulated to address all pillars of sustainability. This work is ongoing and to date, models have been developed for some of the processes which can ultimately be combined into biorefinery scenarios. This will allow systematic comparison of a series of biorefinery scenarios to assess the potential to reduce negative impacts on and maximize the benefits of social, economic, and environmental factors on a lifecycle basis.

Keywords: biomass, Sustainability, Biorefinery, Green Economy

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6 Forum Shopping in Biotechnology Law: Understanding Conflict of Laws in Protecting GMO-Based Inventions as Part of a Patent Portfolio in the Greater China Region

Authors: Eugene C. Lim

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This paper seeks to examine the extent to which ‘forum shopping’ is available to patent filers seeking protection of GMO (genetically modified organisms)-based inventions in Hong Kong. Under Hong Kong’s current re-registration system for standard patents, an inventor must first seek patent protection from one of three Designated Patent Offices (DPO) – those of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Europe Union (EU) (designating the UK), or the United Kingdom (UK). The ‘designated patent’ can then be re-registered by the successful patentee in Hong Kong. Interestingly, however, the EU and the PRC do not adopt a harmonized approach toward the patenting of GMOs, and there are discrepancies in their interpretation of the phrase ‘animal or plant variety’. In view of these divergences, the ability to effectively manage ‘conflict of law’ issues is an important priority for multinational biotechnology firms with a patent portfolio in the Greater China region. Generally speaking, both the EU and the PRC exclude ‘animal and plant varieties’ from the scope of patentable subject matter. However, in the EU, Article 4(2) of the Biotechnology Directive allows a genetically modified plant or animal to be patented if its ‘technical feasibility is not limited to a specific variety’. This principle has allowed for certain ‘transgenic’ mammals, such as the ‘Harvard Oncomouse’, to be the subject of a successful patent grant in the EU. There is no corresponding provision on ‘technical feasibility’ in the patent legislation of the PRC. Although the PRC has a sui generis system for protecting plant varieties, its patent legislation allows the patenting of non-biological methods for producing transgenic organisms, not the ‘organisms’ themselves. This might lead to a situation where an inventor can obtain patent protection in Hong Kong over transgenic life forms through the re-registration of a patent from a more ‘biotech-friendly’ DPO, even though the subject matter in question might not be patentable per se in the PRC. Through a comparative doctrinal analysis of legislative provisions, cases and court interpretations, this paper argues that differences in the protection afforded to GMOs do not generally prejudice the ability of global MNCs to obtain patent protection in Hong Kong. Corporations which are able to first obtain patents for GMO-based inventions in Europe can generally use their European patent as the basis for re-registration in Hong Kong, even if such protection might not be available in the PRC itself. However, the more restrictive approach to GMO-based patents adopted in the PRC would be more acutely felt by enterprises and inventors based in mainland China. The broader scope of protection offered to GMO-based patents in Europe might not be available in Hong Kong to mainland Chinese patentees under the current re-registration model for standard patents, unless they have the resources to apply for patent protection as well from another (European) DPO as the basis for re-registration.

Keywords: Biotechnology, patent portfolio, forum shopping, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), greater China region

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5 The Solid-Phase Sensor Systems for Fluorescent and SERS-Recognition of Neurotransmitters for Their Visualization and Determination in Biomaterials

Authors: Irina Veselova, Maria Makedonskaya, Olga Eremina, Alexandr Sidorov, Eugene Goodilin, Tatyana Shekhovtsova

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Such catecholamines as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine are the principal neurotransmitters in the sympathetic nervous system. Catecholamines and their metabolites are considered to be important markers of socially significant diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, coronary heart disease, carcinogenesis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Currently, neurotransmitters can be studied via electrochemical and chromatographic techniques that allow their characterizing and quantification, although these techniques can only provide crude spatial information. Besides, the difficulty of catecholamine determination in biological materials is associated with their low normal concentrations (~ 1 nM) in biomaterials, which may become even one more order lower because of some disorders. In addition, in blood they are rapidly oxidized by monoaminooxidases from thrombocytes and, for this reason, the determination of neurotransmitter metabolism indicators in an organism should be very rapid (15—30 min), especially in critical states. Unfortunately, modern instrumental analysis does not offer a complex solution of this problem: despite its high sensitivity and selectivity, HPLC-MS cannot provide sufficiently rapid analysis, while enzymatic biosensors and immunoassays for the determination of the considered analytes lack sufficient sensitivity and reproducibility. Fluorescent and SERS-sensors remain a compelling technology for approaching the general problem of selective neurotransmitter detection. In recent years, a number of catecholamine sensors have been reported including RNA aptamers, fluorescent ribonucleopeptide (RNP) complexes, and boronic acid based synthetic receptors and the sensor operated in a turn-off mode. In this work we present the fluorescent and SERS turn-on sensor systems based on the bio- or chemorecognizing nanostructured films {chitosan/collagen-Tb/Eu/Cu-nanoparticles-indicator reagents} that provide the selective recognition, visualization, and sensing of the above mentioned catecholamines on the level of nanomolar concentrations in biomaterials (cell cultures, tissue etc.). We have (1) developed optically transparent porous films and gels of chitosan/collagen; (2) ensured functionalization of the surface by molecules-'recognizers' (by impregnation and immobilization of components of the indicator systems: biorecognizing and auxiliary reagents); (3) performed computer simulation for theoretical prediction and interpretation of some properties of the developed materials and obtained analytical signals in biomaterials. We are grateful for the financial support of this research from Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grants no. 15-03-05064 a, and 15-29-01330 ofi_m).

Keywords: Biomaterials, Neurotransmitters, fluorescent and SERS-recognition, solid-phase turn-on sensor system

Procedia PDF Downloads 261