Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Halina Kaczmarek

11 Polyacrylates in Poly (Lactic Acid) Matrix, New Biobased Polymer Material

Authors: Irena Vuković-Kwiatkowska, Halina Kaczmarek


Poly (lactic acid) is well known polymer, often called green material because of its origin (renewable resources) and biodegradability. This biopolymer can be used in the packaging industry very often. Poor resistance to permeation of gases is the disadvantage of poly (lactic acid). The permeability of gases and vapor through the films applied for packages and bottles generally should be very low to prolong products shelf-life. We propose innovation method of PLA gas barrier modification using electromagnetic radiation in ultraviolet range. Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and multifunctional acrylate monomers were mixed in different composition. Final films were obtained by photochemical reaction (photocrosslinking). We tested permeability to water vapor and carbon dioxide through these films. Also their resistance to UV radiation was also studied. The samples were conditioned in the activated sludge and in the natural soil to test their biodegradability. An innovative method of PLA modification allows to expand its usage, and can reduce the future costs of waste management what is the result of consuming such materials like PET and HDPE. Implementation of our material for packaging will contribute to the protection of the environment from the harmful effects of extremely difficult to biodegrade materials made from PET or other plastic

Keywords: interpenetrating polymer network, packaging films, photocrosslinking, polyacrylates dipentaerythritol pentaacrylate DPEPA, poly (lactic acid), polymer biodegradation

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10 Reliability of Intra-Logistics Systems – Simulating Performance Availability

Authors: Steffen Schieweck, Johannes Dregger, Sascha Kaczmarek, Michael ten Hompel


Logistics distributors face the issue of having to provide increasing service levels while being forced to reduce costs at the same time. Same-day delivery, quick order processing and rapidly growing ranges of articles are only some of the prevailing challenges. One key aspect of the performance of an intra-logistics system is how often and in which amplitude congestions and dysfunctions affect the processing operations. By gaining knowledge of the so called ‘performance availability’ of such a system during the planning stage, oversizing and wasting can be reduced whereas planning transparency is increased. State of the art for the determination of this KPI are simulation studies. However, their structure and therefore their results may vary unforeseeably. This article proposes a concept for the establishment of ‘certified’ and hence reliable and comparable simulation models.

Keywords: intra-logistics, performance availability, simulation, warehousing

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9 Non-Destructing Testing of Sandstones from Unconventional Reservoir in Poland with Use of Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity Technique and X-Ray Computed Microtomography

Authors: Michał Maksimczuk, Łukasz Kaczmarek, Tomasz Wejrzanowski


This study concerns high-resolution X-ray computed microtomography (µCT) and ultrasonic pulse analysis of Cambrian sandstones from a borehole located in the Baltic Sea Coast of northern Poland. µCT and ultrasonic technique are non-destructive methods commonly used to determine the internal structure of reservoir rock sample. The spatial resolution of the µCT images obtained was 27 µm, which enabled the author to create accurate 3-D visualizations of structure geometry and to calculate the ratio of pores volume to the total sample volume. A copper X-ray source filter was used to reduce image artifacts. Furthermore, samples Young’s modulus and Poisson ratio were obtained with use of ultrasonic pulse technique. µCT and ultrasonic pulse technique provide complex information which can be used for explorations and characterization of reservoir rocks.

Keywords: elastic parameters, linear absorption coefficient, northern Poland, tight gas

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8 Streamlines: Paths of Fluid Flow through Sandstone Samples Based on Computed Microtomography

Authors: Ł. Kaczmarek, T. Wejrzanowski, M. Maksimczuk


The study presents the use of the numerical calculations based on high-resolution computed microtomography in analysis of fluid flow through Miocene sandstones. Therefore, the permeability studies of rocks were performed. Miocene samples were taken from well S-3, located in the eastern part of the Carpathian Foredeep. For aforementioned analysis, two series of X-ray irradiation were performed. The first set of samples was selected to obtain the spatial distribution of grains and pores. At this stage of the study length of voxel side amounted 27 microns. The next set of X-ray irradation enabled recognition of microstructural components as well as petrophysical features. The length of voxel side in this stage was up to 2 µm. Based on this study, the samples were broken down into two distinct groups. The first one represents conventional reservoir deposits, in opposite to second one - unconventional type. Appropriate identification of petrophysical parameters such as porosity and permeability of the formation is a key element for optimization of the reservoir development.

Keywords: grains, permeability, pores, pressure distribution

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7 The Use of X-Ray Computed Microtomography in Petroleum Geology: A Case Study of Unconventional Reservoir Rocks in Poland

Authors: Tomasz Wejrzanowski, Łukasz Kaczmarek, Michał Maksimczuk


High-resolution X-ray computed microtomography (µCT) is a non-destructive technique commonly used to determine the internal structure of reservoir rock sample. This study concerns µCT analysis of Silurian and Ordovician shales and mudstones from a borehole in the Baltic Basin, north of Poland. The spatial resolution of the µCT images obtained was 27 µm, which enabled the authors to create accurate 3-D visualizations and to calculate the ratio of pores and fractures volume to the total sample volume. A total of 1024 µCT slices were used to create a 3-D volume of sample structure geometry. These µCT slices were processed to obtain a clearly visible image and the volume ratio. A copper X-ray source filter was used to reduce image artifacts. Due to accurate technical settings of µCT it was possible to obtain high-resolution 3-D µCT images of low X-ray transparency samples. The presented results confirm the utility of µCT implementations in geoscience and show that µCT has still promising applications for reservoir exploration and characterization.

Keywords: fractures, material density, pores, structure

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6 The Combined Effect of Different Levels of Fe(III) in Diet and Cr(III) Supplementation on the Ca Status in Wistar

Authors: Staniek Halina


The inappropriate trace elements supply such as iron(III) and chromium(III) may be risk factors of many metabolic disorders (e.g., anemia, diabetes, as well cause toxic effect). However, little is known about their mutual interactions and their impact on these disturbances. The effects of Cr(III) supplementation with a deficit or excess supply of Fe(III) in vivo conditions are not known yet. The objective of the study was to investigate the combined effect of different Fe(III) levels in the diet and simultaneous Cr(III) supplementation on the Ca distribution in organs in healthy rats. The assessment was based on a two-factor (2x3) experiment carried out on 54 female Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus). The animals were randomly divided into 9 groups and for 6 weeks, they were fed semi-purified diets AIN-93 with three different Fe(III) levels in the diet as a factor A [control (C) 45 mg/kg (100% Recommended Daily Allowance for rodents), deficient (D) 5 mg/kg (10% RDA), and oversupply (H) 180 mg/kg (400% RDA)]. The second factor (B) was the simultaneous dietary supplementation with Cr(III) at doses of 1, 50 and 500 mg/kg of the diet. Iron(III) citrate was the source of Fe(III). The complex of Cr(III) with propionic acid, also called Cr₃ or chromium(III) propionate (CrProp), was used as a source of Cr(III) in the diet. The Ca content of analysed samples (liver, kidneys, spleen, heart, and femur) was determined with the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) method. It was found that different dietary Fe(III) supply as well as Cr(III) supplementation independently and in combination influenced Ca metabolism in healthy rats. Regardless of the supplementation of Cr(III), the oversupply of Fe(III) (180 mg/kg) decreased the Ca content in the liver and kidneys, while it increased the Ca saturation of bone tissue. High Cr(III) doses lowered the hepatic Ca content. Moreover, it tended to decrease the Ca content in the kidneys and heart, but this effect was not statistically significant. The combined effect of the experimental factors on the Ca content in the liver and the femur was observed. With the increase in the Fe(III) content in the diet, there was a decrease in the Ca level in the liver and an increase in bone saturation, and the additional Cr(III) supplementation intensified those effects. The study proved that the different Fe(III) content in the diet, independently and in combination with Cr(III) supplementation, affected the Ca distribution in organisms of healthy rats.

Keywords: calcium, chromium(III), iron(III), rats, supplementation

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5 Development of the Squamate Egg Tooth on the Basis of Grass Snake Natrix natrix Studies

Authors: Mateusz Hermyt, Pawel Kaczmarek, Weronika Rupik


The egg tooth is a crucial structure during hatching of lizards and snakes. In contrast to birds, turtles, crocodiles, and monotremes, egg tooth of squamate reptiles is a true tooth sharing common features of structure and development with all the other teeth of vertebrates. The egg tooth; however, due to its function, exhibits structural differences in relation to regular teeth. External morphology seems to be important in the context of phylogenetic relationships within Squamata but up to date, there is scarce information concerning structure and development of the egg tooth at the submicroscopical level. In presented studies detailed analysis of the egg tooth development in grass snake has been performed with the usage of light (including fluorescent), transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Grass snake embryo’s heads have been used in our studies. Grass snake is common snake species occurring in most of Europe including Poland. The grass snake is characterized by the presence of single unpaired egg tooth (as in most squamates) in contrast to geckos and dibamids possessing paired egg teeth. Studies show changes occurring on the external morphology, tissue and cellular levels of differentiating egg tooth. The egg tooth during its development changes its curvature. Initially, faces directly downward and in the course of its differentiation, it gradually changes to rostro-ventral orientation. Additionally, it forms conical dentinal protrusions on the sides. Histological analysis showed that egg tooth development occurs in similar steps in relation to regular teeth. It undergoes initiation, bud, cap and bell morphological stages. Analyses focused on describing morphological changes in hard tissues (mainly dentin and predentin) of egg tooth and in cells which enamel organ consists of. It included: outer enamel epithelium, stratum intermedium, inner enamel epithelium, odontoblasts, and cells of dental pulp. All specimens used in the study were captured according to the Polish regulations concerning the protection of wild species. Permission was granted by the Local Ethics Commission in Katowice (41/2010; 87/2015) and the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Katowice (WPN.6401.257.2015.DC).

Keywords: hatching, organogenesis, reptile, Squamata

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4 Beneficial Effects of Whey Protein Concentrate in Venous Thrombosis

Authors: Anna Tokajuk, Agnieszka Zakrzeska, Ewa Chabielska, Halina Car


Whey is a by-product generated mainly in the production of cheese and casein. Powder forms of whey are used widely in the food industry as well as a high-protein food for infants, for convalescents, by athletes and especially by bodybuilders to increase muscle mass during exercise. Whey protein concentrate-80 (WPC-80) is a source of bioactive peptides with beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. It is known that whey proteins health beneficial properties include antidiabetic, blood pressure lowering, improving cardiovascular system function, antibacterial, antiviral and other effects. To study its influence on the development of thrombosis, venous thrombosis model was performed according to the protocol featured by Reyers with modification by Chabielska and Gromotowicz. Male Wistar-Crl: WI (Han) rats from researched groups were supplemented with two doses of WPC-80 (0.3 or 0.5 g/kg) for 7, 14 or 21 days and after these periods, one-hour venous thrombosis model was performed. Control group received 0.9 % NaCl solution and was sham operated. The statistical significance of results was computed by Mann – Whitney’s test. We observed that thrombus weight was decreased in animals obtaining WPC-8080 and that was statistically significant in 14 and 21-day supplemented groups. Blood count parameters did not differ significantly in rats with and without thrombosis induction whether they were fed with WPC-80 or not. Moreover, the number of platelets (PLT) was within the normal range in each group. The examined coagulation parameters in rats of the control groups were within normal limits. After WPC-80 supplementation there was the tendency to prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), but in comparison, the results did not turn out significant. In animals that received WPC-80 0.3 g·kg-1 for 21 days with and without induced thrombosis, prothrombin time (PT) and an international normalized ratio (INR) was somewhat decreased, remaining within the normal range, but the nature and significance of this observation are beyond the framework of the current study. Additionally, fibrinogen and thrombin time (TT) did not differ significantly between groups. Therefore the exact effect of WPC-80 on coagulation system is still elusive and requires further thorough research including mechanisms of action. Determining the potential clinical application of WPC-80 requires the selection of the optimal dose and duration of supplementation.

Keywords: antithrombotic, rats, venous thrombosis, WPC-80

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3 Accelerating Malaysian Technology Startups: Case Study of Malaysian Technology Development Corporation as the Innovator

Authors: Norhalim Yunus, Mohamad Husaini Dahalan, Nor Halina Ghazali


Building technology start-ups from ground zero into world-class companies in form and substance present a rare opportunity for government-affiliated institutions in Malaysia. The challenge of building such start-ups becomes tougher when their core businesses involve commercialization of unproven technologies for the mass market. These simple truths, while difficult to execute, will go a long way in getting a business off the ground and flying high. Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC), a company founded to facilitate the commercial exploitation of R&D findings from research institutions and universities, and eventually help translate these findings of applications in the marketplace, is an excellent case in point. The purpose of this paper is to examine MTDC as an institution as it explores the concept of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ in an effort to create and nurture start-ups into established world class Malaysian technology companies. With MTDC at the centre of Malaysia's innovative start-ups, the analysis seeks to specifically answer two questions: How has the concept been applied in MTDC? and what can we learn from this successful case? A key aim is to elucidate how MTDC's journey as a private limited company can help leverage reforms and achieve transformation, a process that might be suitable for other small, open, third world and developing countries. This paper employs a single case study, designed to acquire an in-depth understanding of how MTDC has developed and grown technology start-ups to world-class technology companies. The case study methodology is employed as the focus is on a contemporary phenomenon within a real business context. It also explains the causal links in real-life situations where a single survey or experiment is unable to unearth. The findings show that MTDC maximises the concept of it needs a village to raise a child in totality, as MTDC itself assumes the role of the innovator to 'raise' start-up companies into world-class stature. As the innovator, MTDC creates shared value and leadership, introduces innovative programmes ahead of the curve, mobilises talents for optimum results and aggregates knowledge for personnel advancement. The success of the company's effort is attributed largely to leadership, visionary, adaptability, commitment to innovate, partnership and networking, and entrepreneurial drive. The findings of this paper are however limited by the single case study of MTDC. Future research is required to study more cases of success or/and failure where the concept of it takes a village to raise a child have been explored and applied.

Keywords: start-ups, technology transfer, commercialization, technology incubator

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2 Health Reforms in Central and Eastern European Countries: Results, Dynamics, and Outcomes Measure

Authors: Piotr Romaniuk, Krzysztof Kaczmarek, Adam Szromek


Background: A number of approaches to assess the performance of health system have been proposed so far. Nonetheless, they lack a consensus regarding the key components of assessment procedure and criteria of evaluation. The WHO and OECD have developed methods of assessing health system to counteract the underlying issues, but they are not free of controversies and did not manage to produce a commonly accepted consensus. The aim of the study: On the basis of WHO and OECD approaches we decided to develop own methodology to assess the performance of health systems in Central and Eastern European countries. We have applied the method to compare the effects of health systems reforms in 20 countries of the region, in order to evaluate the dynamic of changes in terms of health system outcomes.Methods: Data was collected from a 25-year time period after the fall of communism, subsetted into different post-reform stages. Datasets collected from individual countries underwent one-, two- or multi-dimensional statistical analyses, and the Synthetic Measure of health system Outcomes (SMO) was calculated, on the basis of the method of zeroed unitarization. A map of dynamics of changes over time across the region was constructed. Results: When making a comparative analysis of the tested group in terms of the average SMO value throughout the analyzed period, we noticed some differences, although the gaps between individual countries were small. The countries with the highest SMO were the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia, while the lowest was in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Georgia, Albania, and Armenia. Countries differ in terms of the range of SMO value changes throughout the analyzed period. The dynamics of change is high in the case of Estonia and Latvia, moderate in the case of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Russia and Moldova, and small when it comes to Belarus, Ukraine, Macedonia, Lithuania, and Georgia. This information reveals fluctuation dynamics of the measured value in time, yet it does not necessarily mean that in such a dynamic range an improvement appears in a given country. In reality, some of the countries moved from on the scale with different effects. Albania decreased the level of health system outcomes while Armenia and Georgia made progress, but lost distance to leaders in the region. On the other hand, Latvia and Estonia showed the most dynamic progress in improving the outcomes. Conclusions: Countries that have decided to implement comprehensive health reform have achieved a positive result in terms of further improvements in health system efficiency levels. Besides, a higher level of efficiency during the initial transition period generally positively determined the subsequent value of the efficiency index value, but not the dynamics of change. The paths of health system outcomes improvement are highly diverse between different countries. The instrument we propose constitutes a useful tool to evaluate the effectiveness of reform processes in post-communist countries, but more studies are needed to identify factors that may determine results obtained by individual countries, as well as to eliminate the limitations of methodology we applied.

Keywords: health system outcomes, health reforms, health system assessment, health system evaluation

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1 Diamond-Like Carbon-Based Structures as Functional Layers on Shape-Memory Alloy for Orthopedic Applications

Authors: Piotr Jablonski, Krzysztof Mars, Wiktor Niemiec, Agnieszka Kyziol, Marek Hebda, Halina Krawiec, Karol Kyziol


NiTi alloys, possessing unique mechanical properties such as pseudoelasticity and shape memory effect (SME), are suitable for many applications, including implanthology and biomedical devices. Additionally, these alloys have similar values of elastic modulus to those of human bones, what is very important in orthopedics. Unfortunately, the environment of physiological fluids in vivo causes unfavorable release of Ni ions, which in turn may lead to metalosis as well as allergic reactions and toxic effects in the body. For these reasons, the surface properties of NiTi alloys should be improved to increase corrosion resistance, taking into account biological properties, i.e. excellent biocompatibility. The prospective in this respect are layers based on DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) structures, which are an attractive solution for many applications in implanthology. These coatings (DLC), usually obtained by PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) and PA CVD (Plasma Activated Chemical Vapour Deposition) methods, can be also modified by doping with other elements like silicon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, titanium and silver. These methods, in combination with a suitably designed structure of the layers, allow the possibility co-decide about physicochemical and biological properties of modified surfaces. Mentioned techniques provide specific physicochemical properties of substrates surface in a single technological process. In this work, the following types of layers based on DLC structures (incl. Si-DLC or Si/N-DLC) were proposed as prospective and attractive approach in surface functionalization of shape memory alloy. Nitinol substrates were modified in plasma conditions, using RF CVD (Radio Frequency Chemical Vapour Deposition). The influence of plasma treatment on the useful properties of modified substrates after deposition DLC layers doped with silica and/or nitrogen atoms, as well as only pre-treated in O2 NH3 plasma atmosphere in a RF reactor was determined. The microstructure and topography of the modified surfaces were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Furthermore, the atomic structure of coatings was characterized by IR and Raman spectroscopy. The research also included the evaluation of surface wettability, surface energy as well as the characteristics of selected mechanical and biological properties of the layers. In addition, the corrosion properties of alloys after and before modification in the physiological saline were also investigated. In order to determine the corrosion resistance of NiTi in the Ringer solution, the potentiodynamic polarization curves (LSV – Linear Sweep Voltamperometry) were plotted. Furthermore, the evolution of corrosion potential versus immersion time of TiNi alloy in Ringer solution was performed. Based on all carried out research, the usefullness of proposed modifications of nitinol for medical applications was assessed. It was shown, inter alia, that the obtained Si-DLC layers on the surface of NiTi alloy exhibit a characteristic complex microstructure, increased surface development, which is an important aspect in improving the osteointegration of an implant. Furthermore, the modified alloy exhibits biocompatibility, the transfer of the metal (Ni, Ti) to Ringer’s solution is clearly limited.

Keywords: bioactive coatings, corrosion resistance, doped DLC structure, NiTi alloy, RF CVD

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