Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Evangelos Kalamaras

22 Evaluation of Electrophoretic and Electrospray Deposition Methods for Preparing Graphene and Activated Carbon Modified Nano-Fibre Electrodes for Hydrogen/Vanadium Flow Batteries and Supercapacitors

Authors: Barun Chakrabarti, Evangelos Kalamaras, Vladimir Yufit, Xinhua Liu, Billy Wu, Nigel Brandon, C. T. John Low

Abstract:

In this work, we perform electrophoretic deposition of activated carbon on a number of substrates to prepare symmetrical coin cells for supercapacitor applications. From several recipes that involve the evaluation of a few solvents such as isopropyl alcohol, N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), or acetone to binders such as polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and charging agents such as magnesium chloride, we display a working means for achieving supercapacitors that can achieve 100 F/g in a consistent manner. We then adapt this EPD method to deposit reduced graphene oxide on SGL 10AA carbon paper to achieve cathodic materials for testing in a hydrogen/vanadium flow battery. In addition, a self-supported hierarchical carbon nano-fibre is prepared by means of electrospray deposition of an iron phthalocyanine solution onto a temporary substrate followed by carbonisation to remove heteroatoms. This process also induces a degree of nitrogen doping on the carbon nano-fibres (CNFs), which allows its catalytic performance to improve significantly as detailed in other publications. The CNFs are then used as catalysts by attaching them to graphite felt electrodes facing the membrane inside an all-vanadium flow battery (Scribner cell using serpentine flow distribution channels) and efficiencies as high as 60% is noted at high current densities of 150 mA/cm². About 20 charge and discharge cycling show that the CNF catalysts consistently perform better than pristine graphite felt electrodes. Following this, we also test the CNF as an electro-catalyst in the hydrogen/vanadium flow battery (cathodic side as mentioned briefly in the first paragraph) facing the membrane, based upon past studies from our group. Once again, we note consistently good efficiencies of 85% and above for CNF modified graphite felt electrodes in comparison to 60% for pristine felts at low current density of 50 mA/cm² (this reports 20 charge and discharge cycles of the battery). From this preliminary investigation, we conclude that the CNFs may be used as catalysts for other systems such as vanadium/manganese, manganese/manganese and manganese/hydrogen flow batteries in the future. We are generating data for such systems at present, and further publications are expected.

Keywords: electrospinning, carbon nano-fibres, all-vanadium redox flow battery, hydrogen-vanadium fuel cell, electrocatalysis

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21 Analysis of the Probable Maximum Flood in Hydrologic Design Using Different Functions of Rainfall-Runoff Transformation

Authors: Evangelos Baltas, Elissavet Feloni, Dimitrios Karpouzos

Abstract:

A crucial issue in hydrologic design is the sizing of structures and flood-control works in areas with limited data. This research work highlights the significant variation in probable maximum flood (PMF) for a design hyetograph, using different theoretical functions of rainfall-runoff transformation. The analysis focuses on seven subbasins with different characteristics in the municipality of Florina, northern Greece. This area is a semi-agricultural one which hosts important activities, such as the operation of one of the greatest fields of lignite for power generation in Greece. Results illustrate the notable variation in estimations among the methodologies used for the examined subbasins.

Keywords: rainfall, runoff, hydrologic design, PMF

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20 Logistics Hub Location and Scheduling Model for Urban Last-Mile Deliveries

Authors: Anastasios Charisis, Evangelos Kaisar, Steven Spana, Lili Du

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Logistics play a vital role in the prosperity of today’s cities, but current urban logistics practices are proving problematic, causing negative effects such as traffic congestion and environmental impacts. This paper proposes an alternative urban logistics system, leasing hubs inside cities for designated time intervals, and using handcarts for last-mile deliveries. A mathematical model for selecting the locations of hubs and allocating customers, while also scheduling the optimal times during the day for leasing hubs is developed. The proposed model is compared to current delivery methods requiring door-to-door truck deliveries. It is shown that truck traveled distances decrease by more than 60%. In addition, analysis shows that in certain conditions the approach can be economically competitive and successfully applied to address real problems.

Keywords: hub location, last-mile, logistics, optimization

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19 An Examination of Low Engagement in a Group-Based ACT Intervention for Chronic Pain Management: Highlighting the Need for User-Attainment Focused Digitalised Interventions

Authors: Orestis Kasinopoulos, Maria Karekla, Vasilis Vasiliou, Evangelos Karademas

Abstract:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically supported intervention for treating Chronic Pain Patients, yet its effectiveness for some chronic conditions or when adapted to other languages, has not been explored. An ACT group intervention was designed to explore the effectiveness of treating a Greek speaking heterogeneous sample of Chronic Pain patients with the aim of increasing quality of life, acceptance of pain and functionality. Sixty-nine patients were assessed and randomly assigned to an ACT or control group (relaxation techniques) for eight, 90-minute, sessions. Results are currently being analysed and follow-ups (6 and 12 month) are being completed. Low adherence rates and high attrition rates observed in the study, however point to the direction of future modified interventions. Such modifications may include web-based and smartphone interventions and their benefits in being implemented in chronic pain patients.

Keywords: chronic pain, ACT, internet-delivered, digitalised intervention, adherence, attrition

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18 Study of the Anaerobic Degradation Potential of High Strength Molasses Wastewater

Authors: M. Mischopoulou, P. Naidis, S. Kalamaras, T. Kotsopoulos, P. Samaras

Abstract:

The treatment of high strength wastewater by an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor has several benefits, such as high organic removal efficiency, short hydraulic retention time along with low operating costs. In addition, high volumes of biogas are released in these reactors, which can be utilized in several industrial facilities for energy production. This study aims at the examination of the application potential of anaerobic treatment of wastewater, with high molasses content derived from yeast manufacturing, by a lab-scale UASB reactor. The molasses wastewater and the sludge used in the experiments were collected from the wastewater treatment plant of a baker’s yeast manufacturing company. The experimental set-up consisted of a 15 L thermostated UASB reactor at 37 ◦C. Before the reactor start-up, the reactor was filled with sludge and molasses wastewater at a ratio 1:1 v/v. Influent was fed to the reactor at a flowrate of 12 L/d, corresponding to a hydraulic residence time of about 30 h. Effluents were collected from the system outlet and were analyzed for the determination of the following parameters: COD, pH, total solids, volatile solids, ammonium, phosphates and total nitrogen according to the standard methods of analysis. In addition, volatile fatty acid (VFA) composition of the effluent was determined by a gas chromatograph equipped with a flame ionization detector (FID), as an indicator to evaluate the process efficiency. The volume of biogas generated in the reactor was daily measured by the water displacement method, while gas composition was analyzed by a gas chromatograph equipped with a thermal conductivity detector (TCD). The effluent quality was greatly enhanced due to the use of the UASB reactor and high rate of biogas production was observed. The anaerobic treatment of the molasses wastewater by the UASB reactor improved the biodegradation potential of the influent, resulting at high methane yields and an effluent with better quality than the raw wastewater.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, biogas production, molasses wastewater, UASB reactor

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17 Comparison of Transparent Nickel Doped Cobalt Sulfide and Platinum Counter Electrodes Used in Quasi-Solid State Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Authors: Dimitra Sygkridou, Dimitrios Karageorgopoulos, Elias Stathatos, Evangelos Vitoratos

Abstract:

Transparent nickel doped cobalt sulfide was fabricated on a SnO2:F electrode and tested as an efficient electrocatalyst and as an alternative to the expensive platinum counter electrode. In order to investigate how this electrode could affect the electrical characteristics of a dye-sensitized solar cell, we manufactured cells with the same TiO2 photoanode sensitized with dye (N719) and employing the same quasi-solid electrolyte, altering only the counter electrode used. The cells were electrically and electrochemically characterized and it was observed that the ones with the Ni doped CoS2 outperformed the efficiency of the cells with the Pt counter electrode (3.76% and 3.44% respectively). Particularly, the higher efficiency of the cells with the Ni doped CoS2 counter electrode (CE) is mainly because of the enhanced photocurrent density which is attributed to the enhanced electrocatalytic ability of the CE and the low charge transfer resistance at the CE/electrolyte interface.

Keywords: nickel doped cobalt sulfide, counter electrodes, dye-sensitized solar cells, quasi-solid state electrolyte, hybrid organic-inorganic materials

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16 Urban Transport System Resilience Guidelines

Authors: Evangelia Gaitanidou, Evangelos Bekiaris

Abstract:

Considering that resilience implies the ability of a system to adapt continuously in order to respond to its operational goals, a system is considered as more or less resilient depending on the level and time of recovering from disruptive events and/or shocks to its initial state. Regarding transport systems, enhancing resilience is considered imperative for two main reasons: Such systems provide critical support to every socio-economic activity, while being one of the most important economic sectors and, secondly, the paths that convey people, goods and information, are the same through which risks are propagated. RESOLUTE (RESilience management guidelines and Operationalization appLied to Urban Transport Environment) Horizon 2020 research project is answering those needs, by proposing and testing a set of guidelines for resilience management of the urban transport system. The methods and steps towards this goal, through a step-wise methodology, taking into account established models like FRAM (Functional Resonance Analysis Model), and upon gathering existing practices are described in this paper, together with an overview of the produced guidelines. The overall aim is to create a framework which public transport authorities could consult and apply, for rendering their infrastructure resilient against natural disaster and other threats.

Keywords: guidelines, infrastructure, resilience, transport

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

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

Abstract:

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

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

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14 Day of the Week Patterns and the Financial Trends' Role: Evidence from the Greek Stock Market during the Euro Era

Authors: Nikolaos Konstantopoulos, Aristeidis Samitas, Vasileiou Evangelos

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The purpose of this study is to examine if the financial trends influence not only the stock markets’ returns, but also their anomalies. We choose to study the day of the week effect (DOW) for the Greek stock market during the Euro period (2002-12), because during the specific period there are not significant structural changes and there are long term financial trends. Moreover, in order to avoid possible methodological counterarguments that usually arise in the literature, we apply several linear (OLS) and nonlinear (GARCH family) models to our sample until we reach to the conclusion that the TGARCH model fits better to our sample than any other. Our results suggest that in the Greek stock market there is a long term predisposition for positive/negative returns depending on the weekday. However, the statistical significance is influenced from the financial trend. This influence may be the reason why there are conflict findings in the literature through the time. Finally, we combine the DOW’s empirical findings from 1985-2012 and we may assume that in the Greek case there is a tendency for long lived turn of the week effect.

Keywords: day of the week effect, GARCH family models, Athens stock exchange, economic growth, crisis

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13 Influence of the Financial Crisis on the Month and the Trading Month Effects: Evidence from the Athens Stock Exchange

Authors: Aristeidis Samitas, Evangelos Vasileiou

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The aim of this study is to examine the month and the trading month effect under changing financial trends. We choose the Greek stock market to implement our assumption because there are clear and long term periods of financial growth and recession. Daily financial data from Athens Exchange General Index for the period 2002-2012 are considered. The paper employs several linear and non-linear models, although the TGARCH asymmetry model best fits in this sample and for this reason we mainly present the TGARCH results. Empirical results show that changing economic and financial conditions influences the calendar effects. Especially, the trading month effect totally changes in each fortnight according to the financial trend. On the other hand, in Greece the January effect exists during the growth periods, although it does not exist when the financial trend changes. The findings are helpful to anybody who invest and deals with the Greek stock market. Moreover, they may pave the way for an alternative calendar anomalies research approach, so it may be useful to investors who take into account these anomalies when they draw their investment strategy.

Keywords: month effect, trading month effect, economic cycles, crisis

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12 Up-Scaling of Highly Transparent Quasi-Solid State Dye-Sensitized Solar Devices Composed of Nanocomposite Materials

Authors: Dimitra Sygkridou, Andreas Rapsomanikis, Elias Stathatos, Polycarpos Falaras, Evangelos Vitoratos

Abstract:

At the present work highly transparent strip type quasi-solid state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) were fabricated through inkjet printing using nanocomposite TiO2 inks as raw materials and tested under outdoor illumination conditions. The cells, which can be considered as the structural units of large area modules, were fully characterized electrically and electrochemically and after the evaluation of the received results a large area DSSC module was manufactured. The module design was a sandwich Z-interconnection where the working electrode is deposited on one conductive glass and the counter electrode on a second glass. Silver current collective fingers were printed on the conductive glasses to make the internal electrical connections and the adjacent cells were connected in series and finally insulated using a UV curing resin to protect them from the corrosive (I-/I3-) redox couple of the electrolyte. Finally, outdoor tests were carried out to the fabricated dye-sensitized solar module and its performance data were collected and assessed.

Keywords: dye-sensitized solar devices, inkjet printing, quasi-solid state electrolyte, transparency, up-scaling

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11 Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-lying areas: Coastal Evolution and Impact of Future Sea Level Rise Scenarios in Mirabello Gulf - NE Crete

Authors: Maria Kazantzaki, Evangelos Tsakalos, Eleni Filippaki, Yannis Bassiakos

Abstract:

Mediterranean areas are characterized by intense seismic and volcanic activity as well as eustatic changes, the result of which is the creation of particularly vulnerable coastal zones. The most vulnerable are low-lying coastal areas, the geomorphological evolution of which are highly affected by natural processes and anthropogenic interventions. Therefore, assessing changes that take place along coastal zones is of great importance in order to enable the development of integrated coastal management plans. A characteristic case is the gulf of Mirabello in N.E Crete, where intense coastal erosion, in combination with the tectonic subsidence of the area, threatens a large part of the coastal zone, resulting in direct socio-economic impacts. The present study assesses the temporal geomorphological changes that have taken place in the coastal zone of Mirabello gulf to provide a clear frame of the coastal zone evolution over time and performs a vulnerability assessment based on the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) methodology by Thieler and Hammar-Klose, considering geological features, coastal slope, relative sea-level change, shoreline erosion/accretion rates and mean significant wave height as well as mean tide range in the area. In light of this, an impact assessment, based on three different sea level rise scenarios, is also performed and presented.

Keywords: coastal vulnerability index, coastal erosion, GIS, sea level rise

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10 Forecasting Impacts on Vulnerable Shorelines: Vulnerability Assessment Along the Coastal Zone of Messologi Area - Western Greece

Authors: Evangelos Tsakalos, Maria Kazantzaki, Eleni Filippaki, Yannis Bassiakos

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The coastal areas of the Mediterranean have been extensively affected by the transgressive event that followed the Last Glacial Maximum, with many studies conducted regarding the stratigraphic configuration of coastal sediments around the Mediterranean. The coastal zone of the Messologi area, western Greece, consists of low relief beaches containing low cliffs and eroded dunes, a fact which, in combination with the rising sea level and tectonic subsidence of the area, has led to substantial coastal. Coastal vulnerability assessment is a useful means of identifying areas of coastline that are vulnerable to impacts of climate change and coastal processes, highlighting potential problem areas. Commonly, coastal vulnerability assessment takes the form of an ‘index’ that quantifies the relative vulnerability along a coastline. Here we make use of the coastal vulnerability index (CVI) methodology by Thieler and Hammar-Klose, by considering geological features, coastal slope, relative sea-level change, shoreline erosion/accretion rates, and mean significant wave height as well as mean tide range to assess the present-day vulnerability of the coastal zone of Messologi area. In light of this, an impact assessment is performed under three different sea level rise scenarios, and adaptation measures to control climate change events are proposed. This study contributes toward coastal zone management practices in low-lying areas that have little data information, assisting decision-makers in adopting best adaptations options to overcome sea level rise impact on vulnerable areas similar to the coastal zone of Messologi.

Keywords: coastal vulnerability index, coastal erosion, sea level rise, GIS

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

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

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

Keywords: neuroanatomy, premotor, motor, connectivity

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8 Efficacy of Crystalline Admixtures in Self-Healing Capacity of Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Authors: Evangelia Tsampali, Evangelos Yfantidis, Andreas Ioakim, Maria Stefanidou

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The purpose of this paper is the characterization of the effects of crystalline admixtures on concrete. Crystallites, aided by the presence of humidity, form idiomorphic crystals that block cracks and pores resulting in reduced porosity. In this project, two types of crystallines have been employed. The hydrophilic nature of crystalline admixtures helps the components to react with water and cement particles in the concrete to form calcium silicate hydrates and pore-blocking precipitates in the existing micro-cracks and capillaries. The underlying mechanism relies on the formation of calcium silicate hydrates and the resulting deposits of these crystals become integrally bound with the hydrated cement paste. The crystalline admixtures continue to activate throughout the life of the composite material when in the presence of moisture entering the concrete through hairline cracks, sealing additional gaps. The resulting concrete exhibits significantly increased resistance to water penetration under stress. Admixtures of calcium aluminates can also contribute to this healing mechanism in the same manner. However, this contribution is negligible compared to the calcium silicate hydrates due to the abundance of the latter. These crystalline deposits occur throughout the concrete volume and are a permanent part of the concrete mass. High-performance fibre reinforced cementitious composite (HPFRCC) were produced in the laboratory. The specimens were exposed in three healing conditions: water immersion until testing at 15 °C, sea water immersion until testing at 15 °C, and wet/dry cycles (immersion in tap water for 3 days and drying for 4 days). Specimens were pre-cracked at 28 days, and the achieved cracks width were in the range of 0.10–0.50 mm. Furthermore, microstructure observations and Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity tests have been conducted. Based on the outcomes, self-healing related indicators have also been defined. The results show almost perfect healing capability for specimens healed under seawater, better than for specimens healed in water while inadequate for the wet/dry exposure in both of the crystalline types.

Keywords: autogenous self-healing, concrete, crystalline admixtures, ultrasonic pulse velocity test

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7 Climate Change Impact on Water Resources Management in Remote Islands Using Hybrid Renewable Energy Systems

Authors: Elissavet Feloni, Ioannis Kourtis, Konstantinos Kotsifakis, Evangelos Baltas

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Water inadequacy in small dry islands scattered in the Aegean Sea (Greece) is a major problem regarding Water Resources Management (WRM), especially during the summer period due to tourism. In the present work, various WRM schemes are designed and presented. The WRM schemes take into account current infrastructure and include Rainwater Harvesting tanks and Reverse Osmosis Desalination Units. The energy requirements are covered mainly by wind turbines and/or a seawater pumped storage system. Sizing is based on the available data for population and tourism per island, after taking into account a slight increase in the population (up to 1.5% per year), and it guarantees at least 80% reliability for the energy supply and 99.9% for potable water. Evaluation of scenarios is carried out from a financial perspective, after calculating the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) of each investment for a lifespan of 30 years. The wind-powered desalination plant was found to be the most cost-effective practice, from an economic point of view. Finally, in order to estimate the Climate Change (CC) impact, six different CC scenarios were investigated. The corresponding rate of on-grid versus off-grid energy required for ensuring the targeted reliability for the zero and each climatic scenario was investigated per island. The results revealed that under CC the grid-on energy required would increase and as a result, the reduction in wind turbines and seawater pumped storage systems’ reliability will be in the range of 4 to 44%. However, the range of this percentage change does not exceed 22% per island for all examined CC scenarios. Overall, CC is proposed to be incorporated into the design process for WRM-related projects. Acknowledgements: This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund - ESF) through the Operational Program «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020» in the context of the project “Development of a combined rain harvesting and renewable energy-based system for covering domestic and agricultural water requirements in small dry Greek Islands” (MIS 5004775).

Keywords: small dry islands, water resources management, climate change, desalination, RES, seawater pumped storage system, rainwater harvesting

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6 Evaluating Multiple Diagnostic Tests: An Application to Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia

Authors: Areti Angeliki Veroniki, Sofia Tsokani, Evangelos Paraskevaidis, Dimitris Mavridis

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The plethora of diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) studies has led to the increased use of systematic reviews and meta-analysis of DTA studies. Clinicians and healthcare professionals often consult DTA meta-analyses to make informed decisions regarding the optimum test to choose and use for a given setting. For example, the human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA, mRNA, and cytology can be used for the cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2+ (CIN2+) diagnosis. But which test is the most accurate? Studies directly comparing test accuracy are not always available, and comparisons between multiple tests create a network of DTA studies that can be synthesized through a network meta-analysis of diagnostic tests (DTA-NMA). The aim is to summarize the DTA-NMA methods for at least three index tests presented in the methodological literature. We illustrate the application of the methods using a real data set for the comparative accuracy of HPV DNA, HPV mRNA, and cytology tests for cervical cancer. A search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus from inception until the end of July 2019 to identify full-text research articles that describe a DTA-NMA method for three or more index tests. Since the joint classification of the results from one index against the results of another index test amongst those with the target condition and amongst those without the target condition are rarely reported in DTA studies, only methods requiring the 2x2 tables of the results of each index test against the reference standard were included. Studies of any design published in English were eligible for inclusion. Relevant unpublished material was also included. Ten relevant studies were finally included to evaluate their methodology. DTA-NMA methods that have been presented in the literature together with their advantages and disadvantages are described. In addition, using 37 studies for cervical cancer obtained from a published Cochrane review as a case study, an application of the identified DTA-NMA methods to determine the most promising test (in terms of sensitivity and specificity) for use as the best screening test to detect CIN2+ is presented. As a conclusion, different approaches for the comparative DTA meta-analysis of multiple tests may conclude to different results and hence may influence decision-making. Acknowledgment: This research is co-financed by Greece and the European Union (European Social Fund- ESF) through the Operational Programme «Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020» in the context of the project “Extension of Network Meta-Analysis for the Comparison of Diagnostic Tests ” (MIS 5047640).

Keywords: colposcopy, diagnostic test, HPV, network meta-analysis

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5 Strengthening by Assessment: A Case Study of Rail Bridges

Authors: Evangelos G. Ilias, Panagiotis G. Ilias, Vasileios T. Popotas

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The United Kingdom has one of the oldest railway networks in the world dating back to 1825 when the world’s first passenger railway was opened. The network has some 40,000 bridges of various construction types using a wide range of materials including masonry, steel, cast iron, wrought iron, concrete and timber. It is commonly accepted that the successful operation of the network is vital for the economy of the United Kingdom, consequently the cost effective maintenance of the existing infrastructure is a high priority to maintain the operability of the network, prevent deterioration and to extend the life of the assets. Every bridge on the railway network is required to be assessed every eighteen years and a structured approach to assessments is adopted with three main types of progressively more detailed assessments used. These assessment types include Level 0 (standardized spreadsheet assessment tools), Level 1 (analytical hand calculations) and Level 2 (generally finite element analyses). There is a degree of conservatism in the first two types of assessment dictated to some extent by the relevant standards which can lead to some structures not achieving the required load rating. In these situations, a Level 2 Assessment is often carried out using finite element analysis to uncover ‘latent strength’ and improve the load rating. If successful, the more sophisticated analysis can save on costly strengthening or replacement works and avoid disruption to the operational railway. This paper presents the ‘strengthening by assessment’ achieved by Level 2 analyses. The use of more accurate analysis assumptions and the implementation of non-linear modelling and functions (material, geometric and support) to better understand buckling modes and the structural behaviour of historic construction details that are not specifically covered by assessment codes are outlined. Metallic bridges which are susceptible to loss of section size through corrosion have largest scope for improvement by the Level 2 Assessment methodology. Three case studies are presented, demonstrating the effectiveness of the sophisticated Level 2 Assessment methodology using finite element analysis against the conservative approaches employed for Level 0 and Level 1 Assessments. One rail overbridge and two rail underbridges that did not achieve the required load rating by means of a Level 1 Assessment due to the inadequate restraint provided by U-Frame action are examined and the increase in assessed capacity given by the Level 2 Assessment is outlined.

Keywords: assessment, bridges, buckling, finite element analysis, non-linear modelling, strengthening

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4 Impact of Helicobacter pylori Infection on Colorectal Adenoma-Colorectal Carcinoma Sequence

Authors: Jannis Kountouras, Nikolaos Kapetanakis, Stergios A. Polyzos, Apostolis Papaeftymiou, Panagiotis Katsinelos, Ioannis Venizelos, Christina Nikolaidou, Christos Zavos, Iordanis Romiopoulos, Elena Tsiaousi, Evangelos Kazakos, Michael Doulberis

Abstract:

Background & Aims: Helicobacter pylori infection (Hp-I) has been recognized as a substantial risk agent involved in gastrointestinal (GI) tract oncogenesis by stimulating cancer stem cells (CSCs), oncogenes, immune surveillance processes, and triggering GI microbiota dysbiosis. We aimed to investigate the possible involvement of active Hp-I in the sequence: chronic inflammation–adenoma–colorectal cancer (CRC) development. Methods: Four pillars were investigated: (i) endoscopic and conventional histological examinations of patients with CRC, colorectal adenomas (CRA) versus controls to detect the presence of active Hp-I; (ii) immunohistochemical determination of the presence of Hp; expression of CD44, an indicator of CSCs and/or bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMDSCs); expressions of oncogene Ki67 and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein; (iii) expression of CD45, indicator of immune surveillance locally (assessing mainly T and B lymphocytes locally); and (iv) correlation of the studied parameters with the presence or absence of Hp-I. Results: Among 50 patients with CRC, 25 with CRA, and 10 controls, a significantly higher presence of Hp-I in the CRA (68%) and CRC group (84%) were found compared with controls (30%). The presence of Hp-I with accompanying immunohistochemical expression of CD44 in biopsy specimens was revealed in a high proportion of patients with CRA associated with moderate/severe dysplasia (88%) and CRC patients with moderate/severe degree of malignancy (91%). Comparable results were also obtained for Ki67, Bcl-2, and CD45 immunohistochemical expressions. Concluding Remarks: Hp-I seems to be involved in the sequence: CRA – dysplasia – CRC, similarly to the upper GI tract oncogenesis, by several pathways such as the following: Beyond Hp-I associated insulin resistance, the major underlying mechanism responsible for the metabolic syndrome (MetS) that increase the risk of colorectal neoplasms, as implied by other Hp-I related MetS pathologies, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and upper GI cancer, the disturbance of the normal GI microbiota (i.e., dysbiosis) and the formation of an irritative biofilm could contribute to a perpetual inflammatory upper GIT and colon mucosal damage, stimulating CSCs or recruiting BMDSCs and affecting oncogenes and immune surveillance processes. Further large-scale relative studies with a pathophysiological perspective are necessary to demonstrate in-depth this relationship.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, colorectal cancer, colorectal adenomas, gastrointestinal oncogenesis

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3 Flux-Gate vs. Anisotropic Magneto Resistance Magnetic Sensors Characteristics in Closed-Loop Operation

Authors: Neoclis Hadjigeorgiou, Spyridon Angelopoulos, Evangelos V. Hristoforou, Paul P. Sotiriadis

Abstract:

The increasing demand for accurate and reliable magnetic measurements over the past decades has paved the way for the development of different types of magnetic sensing systems as well as of more advanced measurement techniques. Anisotropic Magneto Resistance (AMR) sensors have emerged as a promising solution for applications requiring high resolution, providing an ideal balance between performance and cost. However, certain issues of AMR sensors such as non-linear response and measurement noise are rarely discussed in the relevant literature. In this work, an analog closed loop compensation system is proposed, developed and tested as a means to eliminate the non-linearity of AMR response, reduce the 1/f noise and enhance the sensitivity of magnetic sensor. Additional performance aspects, such as cross-axis and hysteresis effects are also examined. This system was analyzed using an analytical model and a P-Spice model, considering both the sensor itself as well as the accompanying electronic circuitry. In addition, a commercial closed loop architecture Flux-Gate sensor (calibrated and certified), has been used for comparison purposes. Three different experimental setups have been constructed for the purposes of this work, each one utilized for DC magnetic field measurements, AC magnetic field measurements and Noise density measurements respectively. The DC magnetic field measurements have been conducted in laboratory environment employing a cubic Helmholtz coil setup in order to calibrate and characterize the system under consideration. A high-accuracy DC power supply has been used for providing the operating current to the Helmholtz coils. The results were recorded by a multichannel voltmeter The AC magnetic field measurements have been conducted in laboratory environment employing a cubic Helmholtz coil setup in order to examine the effective bandwidth not only of the proposed system but also for the Flux-Gate sensor. A voltage controlled current source driven by a function generator has been utilized for the Helmholtz coil excitation. The result was observed by the oscilloscope. The third experimental apparatus incorporated an AC magnetic shielding construction composed of several layers of electric steel that had been demagnetized prior to the experimental process. Each sensor was placed alone and the response was captured by the oscilloscope. The preliminary experimental results indicate that closed loop AMR response presented a maximum deviation of 0.36% with respect to the ideal linear response, while the corresponding values for the open loop AMR system and the Fluxgate sensor reached 2% and 0.01% respectively. Moreover, the noise density of the proposed close loop AMR sensor system remained almost as low as the noise density of the AMR sensor itself, yet considerably higher than that of the Flux-Gate sensor. All relevant numerical data are presented in the paper.

Keywords: AMR sensor, chopper, closed loop, electronic noise, magnetic noise, memory effects, flux-gate sensor, linearity improvement, sensitivity improvement

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2 Analyzing the Effect of Socio-Political Context on Tourism: Perceptions of Young Tourists in Greece, Portugal and Israel

Authors: Shosh Shahrabani, Sharon Teitler-Regev, Helena Desivilya Syna, Fotini Voulgaris, Evangelos Tsoukatos, Vitor Ambrosio, Sandra M. Correia Loureiro

Abstract:

International crises that affect tourism, such as terror attacks, political unrest, and economic crises have become more frequent, and their influence has become broader. The influence of such extreme events depends on their salience in the tourists' awareness. Hence, it is important to understand the mechanisms underlying tourists' selection of travel destinations, especially their perceptions of crisis-related events and the impact of the sociopolitical and economic context in their countries of origin. The current study examined how the socio-political and economic context in the home countries of potential young tourists affected their selection of travel destinations. The objective was to elucidate how the salience of various crises (economic and political) in the tourists' perceptions, due to their experiences at home, color their construal of destinations affected by similar hazards and influence their travel intentions. The study focused on student tourists from Israel, Greece, and Portugal. Today about a fifth of international tourism is based on young people, especially students. These countries were chosen since Greece and Portugal are in the midst of economic crises. In addition, Greece and Portugal have experienced political instability, while Israel has security-related problems (including terrorist incidents). In 2013, a total of 648 students, responded to a questionnaire that included questions concerning attitudes and risk perceptions regarding travel to destinations with various risk hazards as well as socio-demographic details. The results indicate that over half of the Israelis intend to visit Greece or Portugal. The majority of the Portuguese intend to visit Greece, while less than a third of them intend to visit Israel. About half of the Greeks intend to visit Portugal, and most of them do not intend to visit Israel. The results indicate that greater perceived importance of economic crises mitigates the intention to travel to destinations with economic crises for tourists from origin countries that are also marked by economic crises, such as Greece and Portugal. However, for tourists from Israel, a country with a relatively stable economy, issues related to the economy barely affect their intention to travel to the other two countries. The findings also suggest that Greeks and Portuguese who are highly concerned about political unrest are unlikely to select Israel as a tourist destination. In addition, strong apprehension regarding terrorism impedes the intention to travel to destinations marked by terrorist incidents, such as Israel. The current research contributes to the existing literature by highlighting the impact of travelers' personal previous experience with crisis on their risk perceptions and in turn on their intentions to travel to countries with similar risks. Therefore, in a world where such incidents are on the rise, understanding tourists' risk perceptions and behavior and the factors influencing their destination-related decisions are crucial for countries that wish to increase the numbers of incoming tourists.

Keywords: economic crises, political instability, risk perception, young tourists

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1 Structural Monitoring of Externally Confined RC Columns with Inadequate Lap-Splices, Using Fibre-Bragg-Grating Sensors

Authors: Petros M. Chronopoulos, Evangelos Z. Astreinidis

Abstract:

A major issue of the structural assessment and rehabilitation of existing RC structures is the inadequate lap-splicing of the longitudinal reinforcement. Although prohibited by modern Design Codes, the practice of arranging lap-splices inside the critical regions of RC elements was commonly applied in the past. Today this practice is still the rule, at least for conventional new buildings. Therefore, a lot of relevant research is ongoing in many earthquake prone countries. The rehabilitation of deficient lap-splices of RC elements by means of external confinement is widely accepted as the most efficient technique. If correctly applied, this versatile technique offers a limited increase of flexural capacity and a considerable increase of local ductility and of axial and shear capacities. Moreover, this intervention does not affect the stiffness of the elements and does not affect the dynamic characteristics of the structure. This technique has been extensively discussed and researched contributing to vast accumulation of technical and scientific knowledge that has been reported in relevant books, reports and papers, and included in recent Design Codes and Guides. These references are mostly dealing with modeling and redesign, covering both the enhanced (axial and) shear capacity (due to the additional external closed hoops or jackets) and the increased ductility (due to the confining action, preventing the unzipping of lap-splices and the buckling of continuous reinforcement). An analytical and experimental program devoted to RC members with lap-splices is completed in the Lab. of RC/NTU of Athens/GR. This program aims at the proposal of a rational and safe theoretical model and the calibration of the relevant Design Codes’ provisions. Tests, on forty two (42) full scale specimens, covering mostly beams and columns (not walls), strengthened or not, with adequate or inadequate lap-splices, have been already performed and evaluated. In this paper, the results of twelve (12) specimens under fully reversed cyclic actions are presented and discussed. In eight (8) specimens the lap-splices were inadequate (splicing length of 20 or 30 bar diameters) and they were retrofitted before testing by means of additional external confinement. The two (2) most commonly applied confining materials were used in this study, namely steel and FRPs. More specifically, jackets made of CFRP wraps or light cages made of mild steel were applied. The main parameters of these tests were (i) the degree of confinement (internal and external), and (ii) the length of lap-splices, equal to 20, 30 or 45 bar diameters. These tests were thoroughly instrumented and monitored, by means of conventional (LVDTs, strain gages, etc.) and innovative (optic fibre-Bragg-grating) sensors. This allowed for a thorough investigation of the most influencing design parameter, namely the hoop-stress developed in the confining material. Based on these test results and on comparisons with the provisions of modern Design Codes, it could be argued that shorter (than the normative) lap-splices, commonly found in old structures, could still be effective and safe (at least for lengths more than an absolute minimum), depending on the required ductility, if a properly arranged and adequately detailed external confinement is applied.

Keywords: concrete, fibre-Bragg-grating sensors, lap-splices, retrofitting / rehabilitation

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