Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: FLEX

30 Finite Element Analysis of Rom Silo Subjected to 5000 Tons Monotic Loads at an Anonymous Mine in Zimbabwe

Authors: T. Mushiri, K. Tengende, C. Mbohwa, T. Garikayi


This paper introduces finite element analysis of Run off Mine (ROM) silo subjected to dynamic loading. The proposed procedure is based on the use of theoretical equations to come up with pressure and forces exerted by Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) ore to the silo wall. Finite Element Analysis of the silo involves the use of CAD software (AutoCAD) for3D creation and CAE software (T-FLEX) for the simulation work with an optimization routine to minimize the mass and also ensure structural stiffness and stability. In this research an efficient way to design and analysis of a silo in 3D T-FLEX (CAD) program was created the silo to stay within the constrains and so as to know the points of failure due dynamic loading.

Keywords: reinforced concrete silo, finite element analysis, T-FLEX software, AutoCAD

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29 Milling Process of Rigid Flex Printed Circuit Board to Which Polyimide Covers the Whole Surface

Authors: Daniela Evtimovska, Ivana Srbinovska, Padraig O’Rourke


Kostal Macedonia has the challenge to mill a rigid-flex printed circuit board (PCB). The PCB elaborated in this paper is made of FR4 material covered with polyimide through the whole surface on the one side, including the tabs where PCBs need to be separated. After milling only 1.44 meters, the updraft routing tool isn’t effective and causes polyimide debris on all PCB cuts if it continues to mill with the same tool. Updraft routing tool is used for all another product in Kostal Macedonia, and it is changing after milling 60 meters. Changing the tool adds 80 seconds to the cycle time. One solution is using a laser-cut machine. Buying a laser-cut machine for cutting only one product doesn’t make financial sense. The focus is given to find an internal solution among the options under review to solve the issue with polyimide debris. In the paper, the design of the rigid-flex panel is described deeply. It is evaluated downdraft routing tool as a possible solution which could be used for the flex rigid panel as a specific product. It is done a comparison between updraft and down draft routing tools from a technical and financial aspect of view, taking into consideration the customer requirements for the rigid-flex PCB. The results show that using the downdraft routing tool is the best solution in this case. This tool is more expensive for 0.62 euros per piece than updraft. The downdraft routing tool needs to be changed after milling 43.44 meters in comparison with the updraft tool, which needs to be changed after milling only 1.44 meters. It is done analysis which actions should be taken in order further improvements and the possibility of maximum serving of downdraft routing tool.

Keywords: Kostal Macedonia, rigid flex PCB, polyimide, debris, milling process, up/down draft routing tool

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28 Hand Gestures Based Emotion Identification Using Flex Sensors

Authors: S. Ali, R. Yunus, A. Arif, Y. Ayaz, M. Baber Sial, R. Asif, N. Naseer, M. Jawad Khan


In this study, we have proposed a gesture to emotion recognition method using flex sensors mounted on metacarpophalangeal joints. The flex sensors are fixed in a wearable glove. The data from the glove are sent to PC using Wi-Fi. Four gestures: finger pointing, thumbs up, fist open and fist close are performed by five subjects. Each gesture is categorized into sad, happy, and excited class based on the velocity and acceleration of the hand gesture. Seventeen inspectors observed the emotions and hand gestures of the five subjects. The emotional state based on the investigators assessment and acquired movement speed data is compared. Overall, we achieved 77% accurate results. Therefore, the proposed design can be used for emotional state detection applications.

Keywords: emotion identification, emotion models, gesture recognition, user perception

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27 The Diverse and Flexible Coping Strategies Simulation for Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant

Authors: Chin-Hsien Yeh, Shao-Wen Chen, Wen-Shu Huang, Chun-Fu Huang, Jong-Rong Wang, Jung-Hua Yang, Yuh-Ming Ferng, Chunkuan Shih


In this research, a Fukushima-like conditions is simulated with TRACE and RELAP5. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) occurred the disaster which caused by the earthquake and tsunami. This disaster caused extended loss of all AC power (ELAP). Hence, loss of ultimate heat sink (LUHS) happened finally. In order to handle Fukushima-like conditions, Taiwan Atomic Energy Council (AEC) commanded that Taiwan Power Company should propose strategies to ensure the nuclear power plant safety. One of the diverse and flexible coping strategies (FLEX) is a different water injection strategy. It can execute core injection at 20 Kg/cm2 without depressurization. In this study, TRACE and RELAP5 were used to simulate Maanshan nuclear power plant, which is a three loops PWR in Taiwan, under Fukushima-like conditions and make sure the success criteria of FLEX. Reducing core cooling ability is due to failure of emergency core cooling system (ECCS) in extended loss of all AC power situation. The core water level continues to decline because of the seal leakage, and then FLEX is used to save the core water level and make fuel rods covered by water. The result shows that this mitigation strategy can cool the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) as soon as possible under Fukushima-like conditions, and keep the core water level higher than Top of Active Fuel (TAF). The FLEX can ensure the peak cladding temperature (PCT) below than the criteria 1088.7 K. Finally, the FLEX can provide protection for nuclear power plant and make plant safety.


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26 Designing of a Micromechanical Gyroscope with Enhanced Bandwidth

Authors: Bator Shagdyrov, Elena Zorina, Tamara Nesterenko


The aim of the research was to develop a design of micromechanical gyroscope, which will be used in the automotive industry, safety systems and anti-lock braking system. The research resulted in improvement of one of the technical parameters – bandwidth. In the process of mass production of micromechanical sensors, problems occurred with their use. One of the problems was a narrow bandwidth typical for the gyroscopes with a high-quality factor. A constructive way of increasing bandwidth is to use multimass systems via secondary oscillations axis. When constructing, the main task was to choose the frequency - phases and antiphases as close to each other as possible, and set the frequency of the primary oscillation evenly between them. Investigations are carried out using the T-Flex CAD finite element program and T-Flex ANALYSIS support package. The results obtained are planned to use in the future for the production of an experimental model of development and testing in practice of characteristics derived by theoretical means.

Keywords: bandwidth, inertial mass, mathematical model, micromechanical gyroscope, micromechanics

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25 FlexPoints: Efficient Algorithm for Detection of Electrocardiogram Characteristic Points

Authors: Daniel Bulanda, Janusz A. Starzyk, Adrian Horzyk


The electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the most commonly used medical tests, essential for correct diagnosis and treatment of the patient. While ECG devices generate a huge amount of data, only a small part of them carries valuable medical information. To deal with this problem, many compression algorithms and filters have been developed over the past years. However, the rapid development of new machine learning techniques poses new challenges. To address this class of problems, we created the FlexPoints algorithm that searches for characteristic points on the ECG signal and ignores all other points that do not carry relevant medical information. The conducted experiments proved that the presented algorithm can significantly reduce the number of data points which represents ECG signal without losing valuable medical information. These sparse but essential characteristic points (flex points) can be a perfect input for some modern machine learning models, which works much better using flex points as an input instead of raw data or data compressed by many popular algorithms.

Keywords: characteristic points, electrocardiogram, ECG, machine learning, signal compression

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24 Validation of Contemporary Physical Activity Tracking Technologies through Exercise in a Controlled Environment

Authors: Reem I. Altamimi, Geoff D. Skinner


Extended periods engaged in sedentary behavior increases the risk of becoming overweight and/or obese which is linked to other health problems. Adding technology to the term ‘active living’ permits its inclusion in promoting and facilitating habitual physical activity. Technology can either act as a barrier to, or facilitate this lifestyle, depending on the chosen technology. Physical Activity Monitoring Technologies (PAMTs) are a popular example of such technologies. Different contemporary PAMTs have been evaluated based on customer reviews; however, there is a lack of published experimental research into the efficacy of PAMTs. This research aims to investigate the reliability of four PAMTs: two wristbands (Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP), a waist-clip (Fitbit One), and a mobile application (iPhone Health Application) for recording a specific distance walked on a treadmill (1.5km) at constant speed. Physical activity tracking technologies are varied in their recordings, even while performing the same activity. This research demonstrates that Jawbone UP band recorded the most accurate distance compared to Fitbit One, Fitbit Flex, and iPhone Health Application.

Keywords: Fitbit, jawbone up, mobile tracking applications, physical activity tracking technologies

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23 Building an Interactive Web-Based GIS System for Planning of Geological Survey Works

Authors: Wu Defu, Kiefer Chiam, Yang Kin Seng


The planning of geological survey works is an iterative process which involves planner, geologist, civil engineer and other stakeholders, who perform different roles and have different points of view. Traditionally, the team used paper maps or CAD drawings to present the proposal which is not an efficient way to present and share idea on the site investigation proposal such as sitting of borehole location or seismic survey lines. This paper focuses on how a GIS approach can be utilised to develop a web-based system to support decision making process in the planning of geological survey works and also to plan site activities carried out by Singapore Geological Office (SGO). The authors design a framework of building an interactive web-based GIS system, and develop a prototype, which enables the users to obtain rapidly existing geological information and also to plan interactively borehole locations and seismic survey lines via a web browser. This prototype system is used daily by SGO and has shown to be effective in increasing efficiency and productivity as the time taken in the planning of geological survey works is shortened. The prototype system has been developed using the ESRI ArcGIS API 3.7 for Flex which is based on the ArcGIS 10.2.1 platform.

Keywords: engineering geology, flex, geological survey planning, geoscience, GIS, site investigation, WebGIS

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22 Exploring the Physical Activity Behavior and Needs of Adolescent Girls: A Mixed-Methods Study

Authors: Vicki R. Voskuil, Jorgie M. Watson


Despite the well-established health benefits of physical activity (PA), most adolescents do not meet guidelines recommending 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) each day. Adolescent girls engage in less PA than boys, a difference that increases with age. By the 9th grade, only 20% of girls report meeting recommendations for PA with lower percentages for black and Hispanic girls compared to white girls. The purpose of the study was to explore the physical activity (PA) behavior and needs of adolescent girls. Study aims included assessment of adolescent girls’ PA behavior; facilitators of and barriers to PA, PA needs, and acceptability of the Fitbit-Flex 2 activity tracker. This exploratory study used a qualitative and quantitative approach. The qualitative approach involved a focus group using a semi-structured interview technique. PA was measured using the Fitbit-Flex 2 activity tracker. Steps, distance, and active minutes were recorded for one week. A Fitbit survey was also administered to assess acceptability. SPSS Version 22.0 and ATLAS.ti Version 8 were used to analyze data. Girls in the ninth grade were recruited from a high school in the Midwest (n=11). Girls were excluded if they were involved in sports or other organized PA ≥ 3 days per week, had a health condition that prevented or limited PA, or could not read and write English. Participants received a Fitbit-Flex 2 activity tracker to wear for one week. At the end of the week, girls returned the Fitbit and participated in a focus group. Girls responded to open-ended questions regarding their PA behavior and shared their ideas for future intervention efforts aimed at increasing PA among adolescents. Girls completed a survey assessing their perceptions of the Fitbit. Mean age of the girls was 15.3 years (SD=0.44). On average girls took 6,520 steps and walked 2.73 miles each day. Girls stated their favorite types of PA were walking, riding bike, and running. Most girls stated they did PA for 30 minutes or more at a time once a day or every other day. The top 3 facilitators of PA reported by girls were friends, family, and transportation. The top 3 barriers included health issues, lack of motivation, and weather. Top intervention ideas were community service projects, camps, and using a Fitbit activity tracker. Girls felt the best timing of a PA program would be in the summer. Fitbit survey results showed 100% of girls would use a Fitbit on most days if they had one. Ten (91%) girls wore the Fitbit on all days. Seven (64%) girls used the Fitbit app and all reported they liked it. Findings indicate that PA participation for this sample is consistent with previous studies. Adolescent girls are not meeting recommended daily guidelines for PA. Fitbit activity trackers were positively received by all participants and could be used in future interventions aimed at increasing PA for adolescent girls. PA interventions that take place in the summer with friends and include community service projects may increase PA and be well received by this population.

Keywords: adolescents, girls, interventions, physical activity

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21 Stationary Gas Turbines in Power Generation: Past, Present and Future Challenges

Authors: Michel Moliere


In the next decades, the thermal power generation segment will survive only if it achieves deep mutations, including drastical abatements of CO2 emissions and strong efficiency gains. In this challenging perspective, stationary gas turbines appear as serious candidates to lead the energy transition. Indeed, during the past decades, these turbomachines have made brisk technological advances in terms of efficiency, reliability, fuel flex (including the combustion of hydrogen), and the ability to hybridize with regenrables. It is, therefore, timely to summarize the progresses achieved by gas turbines in the recent past and to examine what are their assets to face the challenges of the energy transition.

Keywords: energy transition, gas turbines, decarbonization, power generation

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20 Identification of ω-3 Fatty Acids Using GC-MS Analysis in Extruded Spelt Product

Authors: Jelena Filipovic, Marija Bodroza-Solarov, Milenko Kosutic, Nebojsa Novkovic, Vladimir Filipovic, Vesna Vucurovic


Spelt wheat is suitable raw material for extruded products such as pasta, special types of bread and other products of altered nutritional characteristics compared to conventional wheat products. During the process of extrusion, spelt is exposed to high temperature and high pressure, during which raw material is also mechanically treated by shear forces. Spelt wheat is growing without the use of pesticides in harsh ecological conditions and in marginal areas of cultivation. So it can be used for organic and health safe food. Pasta is the most popular foodstuff; its consumption has been observed to rise. Pasta quality depends mainly on the properties of flour raw materials, especially protein content and its quality but starch properties are of a lesser importance. Pasta is characterized by significant amounts of complex carbohydrates, low sodium, total fat fiber, minerals, and essential fatty acids and its nutritional value can be improved with additional functional component. Over the past few decades, wheat pasta has been successfully formulated using different ingredients in pasta to cater health-conscious consumers who prefer having a product rich in protein, healthy lipids and other health benefits. Flaxseed flour is used in the production of bakery and pasta products that have properties of functional foods. However, it should be taken into account that food products retain the technological and sensory quality despite the added flax seed. Flaxseed contains important substances in its composition such as vitamins and minerals elements, and it is also an excellent source of fiber and one of the best sources of ω-3 fatty acids and lignin. In this paper, the quality and identification of spelt extruded product with the addition of flax seed, which is positively contributing to the nutritive and technology changes of the product, is investigated. ω-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, and they must be taken with food to satisfy the recommended daily intake. Flaxseed flour is added in the quantity of 10/100 g of sample and 20/100 g of sample on farina. It is shown that the presence of ω-3 fatty acids in pasta can be clearly distinguished from other fatty acids by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. Addition of flax seed flour influence chemical content of pasta. The addition of flax seed flour in spelt pasta in the quantities of 20g/100 g significantly increases the share of ω-3 fatty acids, which results in improved ratio of ω-6/ω-3 1:2.4 and completely satisfies minimum daily needs of ω-3 essential fatty acids (3.8 g/100 g) recommended by FDA. Flex flour influenced the pasta quality by increasing of hardness (2377.8 ± 13.3; 2874.5 ± 7.4; 3076.3 ± 5.9) and work of shear (102.6 ± 11.4; 150.8 ± 11.3; 165.0 ± 18.9) and increasing of adhesiveness (11.8 ± 20.6; 9.,98 ± 0.12; 7.1 ± 12.5) of the final product. Presented data point at good indicators of technological quality of spelt pasta with flax seed and that GC-MS analysis can be used in the quality control for flax seed identification. Acknowledgment: The research was financed by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia (Project No. III 46005).

Keywords: GC-MS analysis, ω-3 fatty acids, flex seed, spelt wheat, daily needs

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19 Spectrum Assignment Algorithms in Optical Networks with Protection

Authors: Qusay Alghazali, Tibor Cinkler, Abdulhalim Fayad


In modern optical networks, the flex grid spectrum usage is most widespread, where higher bit rate streams get larger spectrum slices while lower bit rate traffic streams get smaller spectrum slices. To our practice, under the ITU-T recommendation, G.694.1, spectrum slices of 50, 75, and 100 GHz are being used with central frequency at 193.1 THz. However, when these spectrum slices are not sufficient, multiple spectrum slices can use either one next to another or anywhere in the optical wavelength. In this paper, we propose the analysis of the wavelength assignment problem. We compare different algorithms for this spectrum assignment with and without protection. As a reference for comparisons, we concluded that the Integer Linear Programming (ILP) provides the global optimum for all cases. The most scalable algorithm is the greedy one, which yields results in subsequent ranges even for more significant network instances. The algorithms’ benchmark implemented using the LEMON C++ optimization library and simulation runs based on a minimum number of spectrum slices assigned to lightpaths and their execution time.

Keywords: spectrum assignment, integer linear programming, greedy algorithm, international telecommunication union, library for efficient modeling and optimization in networks

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18 Electronic Stability Control for a 7 DOF Vehicle Model Using Flex Ray and Neuro Fuzzy Techniques

Authors: Praveen Battula


Any high performance car has the tendency to over steer and Understeer under slippery conditions, An Electronic Stability Control System is needed under these conditions to regulate the steering of the car. It uses Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Traction Control and Wheel Speed Sensor, Steering Angle Sensor, Rotational Speed Sensors to correct the problems. The focus of this paper is to improve the driving dynamics and safety by controlling the forces applied on each wheel. ESC Control the Yaw Stability, traction controls the Roll Stability, where actually the vehicle slip rate and lateral acceleration is controlled. ESC uses differential braking on all four brakes independently to control the vehicle’s motion. A mathematical model is developed in Simulink for the FlexRay based Electronic Stability Control. Vehicle steering is developed using Neuro Fuzzy Logic Controller. 7 Degrees of Freedom Vehicle Model is used as a Plant Model using dSpace autobox. The Performance of the system is assessed using two different road Scenarios, Vehicle Control under standard maneuvering conditions. The entire system is set using Dspace Control Desk. Results are provided by comparison of how a Vehicle with and without Electronic Stability Control which shows an improved performance in control.

Keywords: ESC, flexray, chassis control, steering, neuro fuzzy, vehicle dynamics

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17 Affective (And Effective) Teaching and Learning: Higher Education Gets Social Again

Authors: Laura Zizka, Gaby Probst


The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the way Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have given their courses. From emergency remote where all students and faculty were immediately confined to home teaching and learning, the continuing evolving sanitary situation obliged HEIs to adopt other methods of teaching and learning from blended courses that included both synchronous and asynchronous courses and activities to hy-flex models where some students were on campus while others followed the course simultaneously online. Each semester brought new challenges for HEIs and, subsequently, additional emotional reactions. This paper investigates the affective side of teaching and learning in various online modalities and its toll on students and faculty members over the past three semesters. The findings confirm that students and faculty who have more self-efficacy, flexibility, and resilience reported positive emotions and embraced the opportunities that these past semesters have offered. While HEIs have begun a new semester in an attempt to return to ‘normal’ face-to-face courses, this paper posits that there are lessons to be learned from these past three semesters. The opportunities that arose from the challenge of the pandemic should be considered when moving forward by focusing on a greater emphasis on the affective aspect of teaching and learning in HEIs worldwide.

Keywords: effective teaching and learning, higher education, engagement, interaction, motivation

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16 Contact-Impact Analysis of Continuum Compliant Athletic Systems

Authors: Theddeus Tochukwu Akano, Omotayo Abayomi Fakinlede


Proper understanding of the behavior of compliant mechanisms use by athletes is important in order to avoid catastrophic failure. Such compliant mechanisms like the flex-run require the knowledge of their dynamic response and deformation behavior under quickly varying loads. The modeling of finite deformations of the compliant athletic system is described by Neo-Hookean model under contact-impact conditions. The dynamic impact-contact governing equations for both the target and impactor are derived based on the updated Lagrangian approach. A method where contactor and target are considered as a united body is applied in the formulation of the principle of virtual work for the bodies. In this paper, methods of continuum mechanics and nonlinear finite element method were deployed to develop a model that could capture the behavior of the compliant athletic system under quickly varying loads. A hybrid system of symbolic algebra (AceGEN) and a compiled back end (AceFEM) were employed, leveraging both ease of use and computational efficiency. The simulated results reveal the effect of the various contact-impact conditions on the deformation behavior of the impacting compliant mechanism.

Keywords: eigenvalue problems, finite element method, robin boundary condition, sturm-liouville problem

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15 A Non-Linear Eddy Viscosity Model for Turbulent Natural Convection in Geophysical Flows

Authors: J. P. Panda, K. Sasmal, H. V. Warrior


Eddy viscosity models in turbulence modeling can be mainly classified as linear and nonlinear models. Linear formulations are simple and require less computational resources but have the disadvantage that they cannot predict actual flow pattern in complex geophysical flows where streamline curvature and swirling motion are predominant. A constitutive equation of Reynolds stress anisotropy is adopted for the formulation of eddy viscosity including all the possible higher order terms quadratic in the mean velocity gradients, and a simplified model is developed for actual oceanic flows where only the vertical velocity gradients are important. The new model is incorporated into the one dimensional General Ocean Turbulence Model (GOTM). Two realistic oceanic test cases (OWS Papa and FLEX' 76) have been investigated. The new model predictions match well with the observational data and are better in comparison to the predictions of the two equation k-epsilon model. The proposed model can be easily incorporated in the three dimensional Princeton Ocean Model (POM) to simulate a wide range of oceanic processes. Practically, this model can be implemented in the coastal regions where trasverse shear induces higher vorticity, and for prediction of flow in estuaries and lakes, where depth is comparatively less. The model predictions of marine turbulence and other related data (e.g. Sea surface temperature, Surface heat flux and vertical temperature profile) can be utilized in short term ocean and climate forecasting and warning systems.

Keywords: Eddy viscosity, turbulence modeling, GOTM, CFD

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14 Applying Concurrent Development Process for the Web Using Aspect-Oriented Approach

Authors: Hiroaki Fukuda


This paper shows a concurrent development process for modern web application, called Rich Internet Application (RIA), and describes its effect using a non-trivial application development. In the last years, RIAs such as Ajax and Flex have become popular based mainly on high-speed network. RIA provides sophisticated interfaces and user experiences, therefore, the development of RIA requires two kinds of engineer: a developer who implements business logic, and a designer who designs interface and experiences. Although collaborative works are becoming important for the development of RIAs, shared resources such as source code make it difficult. For example, if a design of interface is modified after developers have finished business logic implementations, they need to repeat the same implementations, and also tests to verify application’s behavior. MVC architecture and Object-oriented programming (OOP) enables to dividing an application into modules such as interfaces and logic, however, developers and/or designers have to write pieces of code (e.g., event handlers) that make these modules work as an application. On the other hand, Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) is ex- pected to solve complexity of application software development nowadays. AOP provides methods to separate crosscutting concerns that are scattered pieces of code from primary concerns. In this paper, we provide a concurrent development process for RIAs by introducing AOP concept. This process makes it possible to reduce shared resources between developers and designers, therefore they can perform their tasks concurrently. In addition, we describe experiences of development for a practical application using our proposed development process to show its availability.

Keywords: aspect-oriented programming, concurrent, development process, rich internet application

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13 Body-Worn Camera Use in the Emergency Department: Patient and Provider Satisfaction

Authors: Jeffrey Ho, Scott Joing, Paul Nystrom, William Heegaard, Danielle Hart, David Plummer, James Miner


Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) are used in public safety to record encounters. They are shown to enhance the accuracy of documentation in virtually every situation. They are not widely used in medical encounters in part because of concern for patient acceptance. The goal of this pilot study was to determine if BWC use is acceptable to the patient. This was a prospective, observational study of the AXON Flex BWC (TASER International, Scottsdale, AZ) conducted at an urban, Level 1 Trauma Center Emergency Department (ED). The BWC was worn by Emergency Physicians (EPs) on their shifts during a 30-day period. The BWC was worn at eye-level mounted on a pair of clear safety glasses. Patients seen by the EP were enrolled in the study by a trained research associate. Patients who were <18 years old, who were with other people in the exam room, did not speak English, were critically ill, had chief complaints involving genitalia or sexual assault, were considered to be vulnerable adults, or with an altered mental status were excluded. Consented patients were given a survey after the encounter to determine their perception of the BWC. The questions asked involved the patients’ perceptions of a BWC being present during their interaction with their EP. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics. There were 417 patients enrolled in the study. 3/417 (0.7%) patients were intimidated by the BWC, 1/417 (0.2%) was nervous because of the BWC, 0/417 (0%) were inhibited from telling the EP certain things because of the BWC, 57/417 (13.7%) patients did not notice the device, and 305/417 (73.1%) patients were had a favorable perception about the BWC being used during their encounter. The use of BWCs appears feasible in the ED, with largely favorable perceptions and acceptance of the device by the patients. Further study is needed to determine the best use and practices of BWCs during ED patient encounters.

Keywords: body-worn camera, documentation, patient satisfaction, video

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12 Establishment of Reference Interval for Serum Protein Electrophoresis of Apparently Healthy Adults in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Authors: Demiraw Bikila, Tadesse Lejisa, Yosef Tolcha, Chala Bashea, Mehari Meles Tigist Getahun Genet Ashebir, Wossene Habtu, Feyissa Challa, Ousman Mohammed, Melkitu Kassaw, Adisu Kebede, Letebrhan G. Egzeabher, Endalkachew Befekadu, Mistire Wolde, Aster Tsegaye


Background: Even though several factors affect reference intervals (RIs), the company-derived values are currently in use in many laboratories worldwide. However, little or no data is available regarding serum protein RIs, mainly in resource-limited setting countries like Ethiopia. Objective: To establish a reference interval for serum protein electrophoresis of apparently healthy adults in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a total of 297 apparently healthy adults from April-October 2019 in four selected sub-cities (Akaki, Kirkos, Arada, Yeka) of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Laboratory analysis of collected samples was performed using Capillarys 2 Flex Piercing analyzer, while statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 23 and med-cal software. Mann-Whitney test was used to check Partitions. Non-parametric method of reference range establishment was performed as per CLSI guideline EP28A3C. Result: The established RIs were: Albumin 53.83-64.59%, 52.24-63.55%; Alpha-1 globulin 3.04-5.40%, 3.44-5.60%; Alpha-2 globulin 8.0-12.67%, 8.44-12.87%; and Beta-1 globulin 5.01-7.38%, 5.14-7.86%. Moreover, Albumin to globulin ratio was 1.16-1.8, 1.09-1.74 for males and females, respectively. The combined RIs for Beta-2 globulin and Gamma globulin were 2.54-4.90% and 12.40-21.66%, respectively. Conclusion: The established reference interval for serum protein fractions revealed gender-specific differences except for Beta-2 globulin and Gamma globulin.

Keywords: serum protein electrophoresis, reference interval, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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11 Wearable Jacket for Game-Based Post-Stroke Arm Rehabilitation

Authors: A. Raj Kumar, A. Okunseinde, P. Raghavan, V. Kapila


Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability worldwide. With recent advances in immediate post-stroke care, there is an increasing number of young stroke survivors, under the age of 65 years. While most stroke survivors will regain the ability to walk, they often experience long-term arm and hand motor impairments. Long term upper limb rehabilitation is needed to restore movement and function, and prevent deterioration from complications such as learned non-use and learned bad-use. We have developed a novel virtual coach, a wearable instrumented rehabilitation jacket, to motivate individuals to participate in long-term skill re-learning, that can be personalized to their impairment profile. The jacket can estimate the movements of an individual’s arms using embedded off-the-shelf sensors (e.g., 9-DOF IMU for inertial measurements, flex-sensors for measuring angular orientation of fingers) and a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) powered microcontroller (e.g., RFduino) to non-intrusively extract data. The 9-DOF IMU sensors contain 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and 3-axis magnetometer to compute the quaternions, which are transmitted to a computer to compute the Euler angles and estimate the angular orientation of the arms. The data are used in a gaming environment to provide visual, and/or haptic feedback for goal-based, augmented-reality training to facilitate re-learning in a cost-effective, evidence-based manner. The full paper will elaborate the technical aspects of communication, interactive gaming environment, and physical aspects of electronics necessary to achieve our stated goal. Moreover, the paper will suggest methods to utilize the proposed system as a cheaper, portable, and versatile system vis-à-vis existing instrumentation to facilitate post-stroke personalized arm rehabilitation.

Keywords: feedback, gaming, Euler angles, rehabilitation, augmented reality

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10 Evaluation of Golden Beam Data for the Commissioning of 6 and 18 MV Photons Beams in Varian Linear Accelerator

Authors: Shoukat Ali, Abdul Qadir Jandga, Amjad Hussain


Objective: The main purpose of this study is to compare the Percent Depth dose (PDD) and In-plane and cross-plane profiles of Varian Golden beam data to the measured data of 6 and 18 MV photons for the commissioning of Eclipse treatment planning system. Introduction: Commissioning of treatment planning system requires an extensive acquisition of beam data for the clinical use of linear accelerators. Accurate dose delivery require to enter the PDDs, Profiles and dose rate tables for open and wedges fields into treatment planning system, enabling to calculate the MUs and dose distribution. Varian offers a generic set of beam data as a reference data, however not recommend for clinical use. In this study, we compared the generic beam data with the measured beam data to evaluate the reliability of generic beam data to be used for the clinical purpose. Methods and Material: PDDs and Profiles of Open and Wedge fields for different field sizes and at different depths measured as per Varian’s algorithm commissioning guideline. The measurement performed with PTW 3D-scanning water phantom with semi-flex ion chamber and MEPHYSTO software. The online available Varian Golden Beam Data compared with the measured data to evaluate the accuracy of the golden beam data to be used for the commissioning of Eclipse treatment planning system. Results: The deviation between measured vs. golden beam data was in the range of 2% max. In PDDs, the deviation increases more in the deeper depths than the shallower depths. Similarly, profiles have the same trend of increasing deviation at large field sizes and increasing depths. Conclusion: Study shows that the percentage deviation between measured and golden beam data is within the acceptable tolerance and therefore can be used for the commissioning process; however, verification of small subset of acquired data with the golden beam data should be mandatory before clinical use.

Keywords: percent depth dose, flatness, symmetry, golden beam data

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9 Teaching English in Low Resource-Environments: Problems and Prospects

Authors: Gift Chidi-Onwuta, Iwe Nkem Nkechinyere, Chikamadu Christabelle Chinyere


The teaching of English is a resource-driven activity that requires rich resource-classroom settings for the delivery of effective lessons and the acquisition of interpersonal skills for integration in a target-language environment. However, throughout the world, English is often taught in low-resource classrooms. This paper is aimed to reveal the common problems associated with teaching English in low-resource environments and the prospects for teachers who found themselves in such undefined teaching settings. Self-structured and validated questionnaire in a closed-ended format, open question format and scaling format was administered to teachers across five countries: Nigeria, Cameroun, Iraq, Turkey, and Sudan. The study adopts situational language teaching theory (SLTT), which emphasizes a performance improvement imperative. This study inclines to this model because it maintains that learning must be fun and enjoyable like playing a favorite sport, just as in real life. Since teaching resources make learning engaging, we found this model apt for the current study. The perceptions of teachers about accessibility and functionality of teaching material resources, the nature of teaching outcomes in resource-less environments, their levels of involvement in improvisation and the prospects associated with resource limitations were sourced. Data were analysed using percentages and presented in frequency tables. Results: showed that a greater number of teachers across these nations do not have access to sufficient productive resource materials that can aid effective English language teaching. Teaching outcomes, from the findings, are affected by low material resources; however, results show certain advantages to teaching English with limited resources: flexibility and autonomy with students and creativity and innovation amongst teachers. Results further revealed group work, story, critical thinking strategy, flex, cardboards and flashcards, dictation and dramatization as common teaching strategies, as well as materials adopted by teachers to overcome low resource-related challenges in classrooms.

Keywords: teaching materials, low-resource environments, English language teaching, situational language theory

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8 Derivation of Fragility Functions of Marine Drilling Risers Under Ocean Environment

Authors: Pranjal Srivastava, Piyali Sengupta


The performance of marine drilling risers is crucial in the offshore oil and gas industry to ensure safe drilling operation with minimum downtime. Experimental investigations on marine drilling risers are limited in the literature owing to the expensive and exhaustive test setup required to replicate the realistic riser model and ocean environment in the laboratory. Therefore, this study presents an analytical model of marine drilling riser for determining its fragility under ocean environmental loading. In this study, the marine drilling riser is idealized as a continuous beam having a concentric circular cross-section. Hydrodynamic loading acting on the marine drilling riser is determined by Morison’s equations. By considering the equilibrium of forces on the marine drilling riser for the connected and normal drilling conditions, the governing partial differential equations in terms of independent variables z (depth) and t (time) are derived. Subsequently, the Runge Kutta method and Finite Difference Method are employed for solving the partial differential equations arising from the analytical model. The proposed analytical approach is successfully validated with respect to the experimental results from the literature. From the dynamic analysis results of the proposed analytical approach, the critical design parameters peak displacements, upper and lower flex joint rotations and von Mises stresses of marine drilling risers are determined. An extensive parametric study is conducted to explore the effects of top tension, drilling depth, ocean current speed and platform drift on the critical design parameters of the marine drilling riser. Thereafter, incremental dynamic analysis is performed to derive the fragility functions of shallow water and deep-water marine drilling risers under ocean environmental loading. The proposed methodology can also be adopted for downtime estimation of marine drilling risers incorporating the ranges of uncertainties associated with the ocean environment, especially at deep and ultra-deepwater.

Keywords: drilling riser, marine, analytical model, fragility

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7 Coating of Cotton with Blend of Natural Rubber and Chloroprene Containing Ammonium Acetate for Producing Moisture Vapour Permeable Waterproof Fabric

Authors: Debasish Das, Mainak Mitra, A.Chaudhuri


For the purpose of producing moisture vapor permeable waterproof cotton fabric to be used for protective apparel against rain, cotton fabric was coated with the blend of natural rubber and chloroprene rubber containing ammonium acetate as the water-soluble salt, employing a calendar coating technique. Rubber formulations also contained filler, homogenizer, and a typical sulphur curing system. Natural rubber and chloroprene blend in the blend ratio of 30: 70, containing 25 parts of sodium acetate per hundred parts of rubber was coated on the fabric. The coated fabric was vulcanized thereafter at 140oC for 3 h. Coated and vulcanized fabric was subsequently dipped in water for 45 min, followed by drying in air. Such set of treatments produced optimum results. Coated, vulcanized, washed and dried cotton fabric showed optimum developments in the property profiles in respect of waterproofness, breathability as revealed by moisture vapor transmission rate, coating adhesion, tensile properties, abrasion resistance, flex endurance and fire retardancy. Incorporation of highly water-soluble ammonium acetate salt in the coating formulation and their subsequent removal from vulcanized coated layer affected by post washing in consequent to dipping in the water-bath produced holes of only a few microns in the coating matrix of the fabric. Such microporous membrane formed on the cotton fabric allowed only transportation of moisture vapor through them, giving a moisture vapor transmission rate of 3734 g/m2/24h, while acting as a barrier for large liquid water droplet resisting 120cm of the water column in the hydrostatic water-head tester, rendering the coated cotton fabric waterproof. Examination of surface morphology of vulcanized coating by scanning electron microscopy supported the mechanism proposed for development of breathable waterproof layer on cotton fabric by the process employed above. Such process provides an easy and cost-effective route for achieving moisture vapor permeable waterproof cotton.

Keywords: moisture vapour permeability, waterproofness, chloroprene, calendar coating, coating adhesion, fire retardancy

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6 Development of a Finite Element Model of the Upper Cervical Spine to Evaluate the Atlantoaxial Fixation Techniques

Authors: Iman Zafarparandeh, Muzammil Mumtaz, Paniz Taherzadeh, Deniz Erbulut


The instability in the atlantoaxial joint may occur due to cervical surgery, congenital anomalies, and trauma. There are different types of fixation techniques proposed for restoring the stability and preventing harmful neurological deterioration. Application of the screw constructs has become a popular alternative to the older techniques for stabilizing the joint. The main difference between the various screw constructs is the type of the screw which can be lateral mass screw, pedicle screw, transarticular screw, and translaminar screw. The aim of this paper is to study the effect of three popular screw constructs fixation techniques on the biomechanics of the atlantoaxial joint using the finite element (FE) method. A three-dimensional FE model of the upper cervical spine including the skull, C1 and C2 vertebrae, and groups of the existing ligaments were developed. The accurate geometry of the model was obtained from the CT data of a 35-year old male. Three screw constructs were designed to compare; Magerl transarticular screw (TA-Screw), Goel-Harms lateral mass screw and pedicle screw (LM-Screw and Pedicle-Screw), and Wright lateral mass screw and translaminar screw (LM-Screw and TL-Screw). Pure moments were applied to the model in the three main planes; flexion (Flex), extension (Ext), axial rotation (AR) and lateral bending (LB). The range of motion (ROM) of C0-C1 and C1-C2 segments for the implanted FE models are compared to the intact FE model and the in vitro study of Panjabi (1988). The Magerl technique showed less effect on the ROM of C0-C1 than the other two techniques in sagittal plane. In lateral bending and axial rotation, the Goel-Harms and Wright techniques showed less effect on the ROM of C0-C1 than the Magerl technique. The Magerl technique has the highest fusion rate as 99% in all loading directions for the C1-C2 segment. The Wright technique has the lowest fusion rate in LB as 79%. The three techniques resulted in the same fusion rate in extension loading as 99%. The maximum stress for the Magerl technique is the lowest in all load direction compared to other two techniques. The maximum stress in all direction was 234 Mpa and occurred in flexion with the Wright technique. The maximum stress for the Goel-Harms and Wright techniques occurred in lateral mass screw. The ROM obtained from the FE results support this idea that the fusion rate of the Magerl is more than 99%. Moreover, the maximum stress occurred in each screw constructs proves the less failure possibility for the Magerl technique. Another advantage of the Magerl technique is the less number of components compared to other techniques using screw constructs. Despite the benefits of the Magerl technique, there are drawbacks to using this method such as reduction of the C1 and C2 before screw placement. Therefore, other fixation methods such as Goel-Harms and Wright techniques find the solution for the drawbacks of the Magerl technique by adding screws separately to C1 and C2. The FE model implanted with the Wright technique showed the highest maximum stress almost in all load direction.

Keywords: cervical spine, finite element model, atlantoaxial, fixation technique

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5 A Web-Based Real Property Updating System for Efficient and Sustainable Urban Development: A Case Study in Ethiopia

Authors: Eyosiyas Aga


The development of information communication technology has transformed the paper-based mapping and land registration processes to a computerized and networked system. The computerization and networking of real property information system play a vital role in good governance and sustainable development of emerging countries through cost effective, easy and accessible service delivery for the customer. The efficient, transparent and sustainable real property system is becoming the basic infrastructure for the urban development thus improve the data management system and service delivery in the organizations. In Ethiopia, the real property administration is paper based as a result, it confronted problems of data management, illegal transactions, corruptions, and poor service delivery. In order to solve this problem and to facilitate real property market, the implementation of web-based real property updating system is crucial. A web-based real property updating is one of the automation (computerizations) methods to facilitate data sharing, reduce time and cost of the service delivery in real property administration system. In additions, it is useful for the integration of data onto different information systems and organizations. This system is designed by combining open source software which supported by open Geo-spatial consortium. The web-based system is mainly designed by using open source software with the help of open Geo-spatial Consortium. The Open Geo-spatial Consortium standards such as the Web Feature Service and Web Map Services are the most widely used standards to support and improves web-based real property updating. These features allow the integration of data from different sources, and it can be used to maintain consistency of data throughout transactions. The PostgreSQL and Geoserver are used to manage and connect a real property data to the flex viewer and user interface. The system is designed for both internal updating system (municipality); which is mainly updating of spatial and textual information, and the external system (customer) which focus on providing and interacting with the customer. This research assessed the potential of open source web applications and adopted this technology for real property updating system in Ethiopia through simple, cost effective and secured way. The system is designed by combining and customizing open source software to enhance the efficiency of the system in cost effective way. The existing workflow for real property updating is analyzed to identify the bottlenecks, and the new workflow is designed for the system. The requirement is identified through questionnaire and literature review, and the system is prototype for the study area. The research mainly aimed to integrate human resource with technology in designing of the system to reduce data inconsistency and security problems. In additions, the research reflects on the current situation of real property administration and contributions of effective data management system for efficient, transparent and sustainable urban development in Ethiopia.

Keywords: cadaster, real property, sustainable, transparency, web feature service, web map service

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4 Assessment of Sleeping Patterns of Saudis with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Ramadan and Non-Ramadan Periods Using a Wearable Device and a Questionnaire

Authors: Abdullah S. Alghamdi, Khaled Alghamdi, Richard O. Jenkins, Parvez I. Haris


Background: Quantity and quality of sleep have been reported to be significant risk factors for obesity and development of metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The relationship between diabetes and sleep quantity was reported to be U-shaped, which means increased or decreased sleeping hours can increase the risk of diabetes. The plasma glucagon levels were found to continuously decrease during night-time sleep in healthy individuals, independently of blood glucose and insulin levels. The disturbance of the circadian rhythm is also important and has been linked with an increased the chance of diabetes incidence. There is a lack of research on sleep patterns on Saudis with T2DM and how this is affected by Ramadan fasting. Aim: To assess the sleeping patterns of Saudis with T2DM (before, during, and after Ramadan), using two different techniques and relate this to their HbA1c levels. Method: This study recruited 82 Saudi with T2DM, who chose to fast during Ramadan, from the Endocrine and Diabetic Centre of Al Iman General Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Ethical approvals for the study were obtained from De Montfort University and Saudi Ministry of Health. Their sleeping patterns were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire (before, during, and after Ramadan). The assessment included the daily total sleeping hours (DTSH), and total night-time sleeping hours (TNTSH) of the participants. In addition, sleeping patterns of 36 patients, randomly selected from the 82 participants, were further tracked during and after Ramadan by using Fitbit Flex 2™ accelerometer. Blood samples were collected in each period for measuring HbA1c. Results: Questionnaire analysis revealed that the sleeping patterns significantly changed between the periods, with shorter hours during Ramadan (P < 0.001 for DTSH, and P < 0.001 for TNTSH). These findings were confirmed by the Fitbit data, which also indicated significant shorter sleeping hours for the DTSH, and the TNTSH during Ramadan (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively). Although there were no significant correlations between the questionnaire and Fitbit data, the TNTSH were shorter among the participants in all periods by both techniques. The mean HbA1c significantly varied between periods, with lowest level during Ramadan. Although the statistical tests did not show significant variances in the mean HbA1c between the groups of participants regarding their hours of sleeping, the lowest mean HbA1c was observed in the group of participants who slept for 6-8 hours and had longer night-time sleeping hours. Conclusion: A short sleep duration, and absence of night-time sleep were significantly observed among the majority of the study population during Ramadan, which could suppress the full benefits of Ramadan fasting for diabetic patients. This study showed that there is a good agreement between the findings of the questionnaire and the Fitbit device for evaluating sleeping patterns in a Saudi population. A larger study is needed in the future to investigate the impact of Ramadan fasting on sleep quality and quantity and its relationship with health and disease.

Keywords: Diabetes, Fasting, Fitbit, HbA1c, IPAQ, Ramadan, Sleep

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3 Immersive and Non-Immersive Virtual Reality Applied to the Cervical Spine Assessment

Authors: Pawel Kiper, Alfonc Baba, Mahmoud Alhelou, Giorgia Pregnolato, Michela Agostini, Andrea Turolla


Impairment of cervical spine mobility is often related to pain triggered by musculoskeletal disorders or direct traumatic injuries of the spine. To date, these disorders are assessed with goniometers and inclinometers, which are the most popular devices used in clinical settings. Nevertheless, these technologies usually allow measurement of no more than two-dimensional range of motion (ROM) quotes in static conditions. Conversely, the wide use of motion tracking systems able to measure 3 to 6 degrees of freedom dynamically, while performing standard ROM assessment, are limited due to technical complexities in preparing the setup and high costs. Thus, motion tracking systems are primarily used in research. These systems are an integral part of virtual reality (VR) technologies, which can be used for measuring spine mobility. To our knowledge, the accuracy of VR measure has not yet been studied within virtual environments. Thus, the aim of this study was to test the reliability of a protocol for the assessment of sensorimotor function of the cervical spine in a population of healthy subjects and to compare whether using immersive or non-immersive VR for visualization affects the performance. Both VR assessments consisted of the same five exercises and random sequence determined which of the environments (i.e. immersive or non-immersive) was used as first assessment. Subjects were asked to perform head rotation (right and left), flexion, extension and lateral flexion (right and left side bending). Each movement was executed five times. Moreover, the participants were invited to perform head reaching movements i.e. head movements toward 8 targets placed along a circular perimeter each 45°, visualized one-by-one in random order. Finally, head repositioning movement was obtained by head movement toward the same 8 targets as for reaching and following reposition to the start point. Thus, each participant performed 46 tasks during assessment. Main measures were: ROM of rotation, flexion, extension, lateral flexion and complete kinematics of the cervical spine (i.e. number of completed targets, time of execution (seconds), spatial length (cm), angle distance (°), jerk). Thirty-five healthy participants (i.e. 14 males and 21 females, mean age 28.4±6.47) were recruited for the cervical spine assessment with immersive and non-immersive VR environments. Comparison analysis demonstrated that: head right rotation (p=0.027), extension (p=0.047), flexion (p=0.000), time (p=0.001), spatial length (p=0.004), jerk target (p=0.032), trajectory repositioning (p=0.003), and jerk target repositioning (p=0.007) were significantly better in immersive than non-immersive VR. A regression model showed that assessment in immersive VR was influenced by height, trajectory repositioning (p<0.05), and handedness (p<0.05), whereas in non-immersive VR performance was influenced by height, jerk target (p=0.002), head extension, jerk target repositioning (p=0.002), and by age, head flex/ext, trajectory repositioning, and weight (p=0.040). The results of this study showed higher accuracy of cervical spine assessment when executed in immersive VR. The assessment of ROM and kinematics of the cervical spine can be affected by independent and dependent variables in both immersive and non-immersive VR settings.

Keywords: virtual reality, cervical spine, motion analysis, range of motion, measurement validity

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2 Formulation of Lipid-Based Tableted Spray-Congealed Microparticles for Zero Order Release of Vildagliptin

Authors: Hend Ben Tkhayat , Khaled Al Zahabi, Husam Younes


Introduction: Vildagliptin (VG), a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (DPP-4), was proven to be an active agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. VG works by enhancing and prolonging the activity of incretins which improves insulin secretion and decreases glucagon release, therefore lowering blood glucose level. It is usually used with various classes, such as insulin sensitizers or metformin. VG is currently only marketed as an immediate-release tablet that is administered twice daily. In this project, we aim to formulate an extended-release with a zero-order profile tableted lipid microparticles of VG that could be administered once daily ensuring the patient’s convenience. Method: The spray-congealing technique was used to prepare VG microparticles. Compritol® was heated at 10 oC above its melting point and VG was dispersed in the molten carrier using a homogenizer (IKA T25- USA) set at 13000 rpm. VG dispersed in the molten Compritol® was added dropwise to the molten Gelucire® 50/13 and PEG® (400, 6000, and 35000) in different ratios under manual stirring. The molten mixture was homogenized and Carbomer® amount was added. The melt was pumped through the two-fluid nozzle of the Buchi® Spray-Congealer (Buchi B-290, Switzerland) using a Pump drive (Master flex, USA) connected to a silicone tubing wrapped with silicone heating tape heated at the same temperature of the pumped mix. The physicochemical properties of the produced VG-loaded microparticles were characterized using Mastersizer, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) and X‐Ray Diffractometer (XRD). VG microparticles were then pressed into tablets using a single punch tablet machine (YDP-12, Minhua pharmaceutical Co. China) and in vitro dissolution study was investigated using Agilent Dissolution Tester (Agilent, USA). The dissolution test was carried out at 37±0.5 °C for 24 hours in three different dissolution media and time phases. The quantitative analysis of VG in samples was realized using a validated High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC-UV) method. Results: The microparticles were spherical in shape with narrow distribution and smooth surface. DSC and XRD analyses confirmed the crystallinity of VG that was lost after being incorporated into the amorphous polymers. The total yields of the different formulas were between 70% and 80%. The VG content in the microparticles was found to be between 99% and 106%. The in vitro dissolution study showed that VG was released from the tableted particles in a controlled fashion. The adjustment of the hydrophilic/hydrophobic ratio of excipients, their concentration and the molecular weight of the used carriers resulted in tablets with zero-order kinetics. The Gelucire 50/13®, a hydrophilic polymer was characterized by a time-dependent profile with an important burst effect that was decreased by adding Compritol® as a lipophilic carrier to retard the release of VG which is highly soluble in water. PEG® (400,6000 and 35 000) were used for their gelling effect that led to a constant rate delivery and achieving a zero-order profile. Conclusion: Tableted spray-congealed lipid microparticles for extended-release of VG were successfully prepared and a zero-order profile was achieved.

Keywords: vildagliptin, spray congealing, microparticles, controlled release

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1 Comparison of Titanium and Aluminum Functions as Spoilers for Dose Uniformity Achievement in Abutting Oblique Electron Fields: A Monte Carlo Simulation Study

Authors: Faranak Felfeliyan, Parvaneh Shokrani, Maryam Atarod


Introduction Using electron beam is widespread in radiotherapy. The main criteria in radiation therapy is to irradiate the tumor volume with maximum prescribed dose and minimum dose to vital organs around it. Using abutting fields is common in radiotherapy. The main problem in using abutting fields is dose inhomogeneity in the junction region. Electron beam divergence and lateral scattering may lead to hot and cold spots in the junction region. One solution for this problem is using of a spoiler to broaden the penumbra and uniform dose in the junction region. The goal of this research was to compare titanium and aluminum effects as a spoiler for dose uniformity achievement in the junction region of oblique electron fields with Monte Carlo simulation. Dose uniformity in the junction region depends on density, scattering power, thickness of the spoiler and the angle between two fields. Materials and Methods In this study, Monte Carlo model of Siemens Primus linear accelerator was simulated for a 5 MeV nominal energy electron beam using manufacture provided specifications. BEAMnrc and EGSnrc user code were used to simulate the treatment head in electron mode (simulation of beam model). The resulting phase space file was used as a source for dose calculations for 10×10 cm2 field size at SSD=100 cm in a 30×30×45 cm3 water phantom using DOSXYZnrc user code (dose calculations). An automatic MP3-M water phantom tank, MEPHYSTO mc2 software platform and a Semi-Flex Chamber-31010 with sensitive vol­ume of 0.125 cm3 (PTW, Freiburg, Germany) were used for dose distribution measurements. Moreover, the electron field size was 10×10 cm2 and SSD=100 cm. Validation of devel­oped beam model was done by comparing the measured and calculated depth and lateral dose distributions (verification of electron beam model). Simulation of spoilers (using SLAB compo­nent module) placed at the end of the electron applicator, was done using previously vali­dated phase space file for a 5 MeV nominal energy and 10×10 cm2 field size (simulation of spoiler). An in-house routine was developed in order to calculate the combined isodose curves re­sulting from the two simulated abutting fields (calculation of dose distribution in abutting electron fields). Results Verification of the developed 5.9 MeV elec­tron beam model was done by comparing the calculated and measured dose distributions. The maximum percentage difference between calculated and measured PDD was 1%, except for the build-up region in which the difference was 2%. The difference between calculated and measured profile was 2% at the edges of the field and less than 1% in other regions. The effect of PMMA, aluminum, titanium and chromium in dose uniformity achievement in abutting normal electron fields with equivalent thicknesses to 5mm PMMA was evaluated. Comparing R90 and uniformity index of different materials, aluminum was chosen as the optimum spoiler. Titanium has the maximum surface dose. Thus, aluminum and titanium had been chosen to use for dose uniformity achievement in oblique electron fields. Using the optimum beam spoiler, junction dose decreased from 160% to 110% for 15 degrees, from 180% to 120% for 30 degrees, from 160% to 120% for 45 degrees and from 180% to 100% for 60 degrees oblique abutting fields. Using Titanium spoiler, junction dose decreased from 160% to 120% for 15 degrees, 180% to 120% for 30 degrees, 160% to 120% for 45 degrees and 180% to 110% for 60 degrees. In addition, penumbra width for 15 degrees, without spoiler in the surface was 10 mm and was increased to 15.5 mm with titanium spoiler. For 30 degrees, from 9 mm to 15 mm, for 45 degrees from 4 mm to 6 mm and for 60 degrees, from 5 mm to 8 mm. Conclusion Using spoilers, penumbra width at the surface increased, size and depth of hot spots was decreased and dose homogeneity improved at the junc­tion of abutting electron fields. Dose at the junction region of abutting oblique fields was improved significantly by using spoiler. Maximum dose at the junction region for 15⁰, 30⁰, 45⁰ and 60⁰ was decreased about 40%, 60%, 40% and 70% respectively for Titanium and about 50%, 60%, 40% and 80% for Aluminum. Considering significantly decrease in maximum dose using titanium spoiler, unfortunately, dose distribution in the junction region was not decreased less than 110%.

Keywords: abutting fields, electron beam, radiation therapy, spoilers

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