Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Houda Sbayou

21 Mutagenic in vitro Activity and Genotoxic Effect of Zygophyllum Cornutun Methanolic Extract

Authors: Awatif Boumaza, Abderraouf Hilali, Hayat Talbi, Houda Sbayou

Abstract:

The methanolic extract of Zygophyllum cornutun coss, an Algerian medicinal plant, was screened to the presence of mutagenic activity and genotoxic effect using the Ames test (Salmonella/microsome) and the micronucleus assay respectively. Positive results were obtained with both tests. The Ames test showed mutagenic activity in the presence of microsomal activation, while negative result was observed without microsomal activation. In the micronucleus test, two parameters were evaluated: the frequency of the micronucleus that increased in a dose dependent way and the proliferation index that decreased according to the micronucleus frequency. Even that further studies must be carried out, the mutagenic activity and the genotoxic effect of Zygophyllum cornutum should be taken in consideration when used as therapeutic plant.

Keywords: ames test, micronucleus test, mutagenic activity, genotoxicity, Zygophyllum cornutum

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20 Sol-Gel Synthesis and Optical Characterisation of TiO2 Thin Films for Photovoltaic Application

Authors: Arabi Nour El Houda, Iratni Aicha, Talaighil Razika, Bruno Capoen, Mohamed Bouazaoui

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TiO2 thin films have been prepared by the sol-gel dip-coating technique in order to elaborate antireflective thin films for monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si). The titanium isopropoxyde was chosen as a precursor with hydrochloric acid as a catalyser for preparing a stable solution. The optical properties have been tailored with varying the solution concentration, the withdrawn speed, and the heat-treatment. We showed that using a TiO2 single layer with 64.5 nm in thickness, heat-treated at 450°C or 300°C reduces the mono-Si reflection at a level lower than 3% over the broadband spectral do mains [669-834] nm and [786-1006] nm respectively. Those latter performances are similar to the ones obtained with double layers of low and high refractive index glasses respectively.

Keywords: thin film, dip-coating, mono-crystalline silicon, titanium oxide

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19 Stimuli Responsives of Crosslinked Poly on 2-HydroxyEthyl MethAcrylate – Optimization of Parameters by Experimental Design

Authors: Tewfik Bouchaour, Salah Hamri, Yasmina Houda Bendahma, Ulrich Maschke

Abstract:

Stimuli-responsive materials based on UV crosslinked acrylic polymer networks are fabricated. A various kinds of polymeric systems, hydrophilic polymers based on 2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate have been widely studied because of their ability to simulate biological tissues, which leads to many applications. The acrylic polymer network PHEMA developed by UV photopolymerization has been used for dye retention. For these so-called smart materials, the properties change in response to an external stimulus. In this contribution, we report the influence of some parameters (initial composition, temperature, and nature of components) in the properties of final materials. Optimization of different parameters is examined by experimental design.

Keywords: UV photo-polymerization, PHEMA, external stimulus, optimization

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18 An Enhanced Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm for Multiobjective Problems

Authors: Houda Abadlia, Nadia Smairi, Khaled Ghedira

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Multiobjective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) has shown an effective performance for solving test functions and real-world optimization problems. However, this method has a premature convergence problem, which may lead to lack of diversity. In order to improve its performance, this paper presents a hybrid approach which embedded the MOPSO into the island model and integrated a local search technique, Variable Neighborhood Search, to enhance the diversity into the swarm. Experiments on two series of test functions have shown the effectiveness of the proposed approach. A comparison with other evolutionary algorithms shows that the proposed approach presented a good performance in solving multiobjective optimization problems.

Keywords: particle swarm optimization, migration, variable neighborhood search, multiobjective optimization

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17 The Effect of the Calcination Temperature and SiO2 Addition on the Physical Properties’ of Sol Gel TiO2 Thin Films

Authors: Nour El Houda Arabi, Aicha Iratni, Talaighil Razika, Bruno Capoen, Mohamed Bouazaoui

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In this paper, we report the effect of the calcination temperature and SiO2 addition on structural, optical and hydrophilicity of TiO2 films deposited by deep-coating sol-gel process. XRD investigation of the structural TiO2 films with increasing the temperature calcination, reveals that rutile phase will appear for the high temperature (>1000°C). However, the addition of SiO2 relate the densification of TiO2 films. Ellipsometric and UV-visible measure show that the refractive index grow with increasing temperature, against the film thickness decreases. On the other hand, the addition of SiO2 decreases the refractive index and increases the TiO2 film thickness. Finally, the hydrophilicity is assisted by contact angle measurement. It is found that addition of 50% of SiO2 to TiO2 is most effective for reducing the contact angle of water.

Keywords: physical properties, sol, gel, TiO2/SiO2 composite films

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16 Time-Dependent Analysis of Composite Steel-Concrete Beams Subjected to Shrinkage

Authors: Rahal Nacer, Beghdad Houda, Tehami Mohamed, Souici Abdelaziz

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Although the shrinkage of the concrete causes undesirable parasitic effects to the structure, it can then harm the resistance and the good appearance of the structure. Long term behaviourmodelling of steel-concrete composite beams requires the use of the time variable and the taking into account of all the sustained stress history of the concrete slab constituting the cross section. The work introduced in this article is a theoretical study of the behaviour of composite beams with respect to the phenomenon of concrete shrinkage. While using the theory of the linear viscoelasticity of the concrete, and on the basis of the rate of creep method, in proposing an analytical model, made up by a system of two linear differential equations, emphasizing the effects caused by shrinkage on the resistance of a steel-concrete composite beams. Results obtained from the application of the suggested model to a steel-concrete composite beam are satisfactory.

Keywords: composite beams, shrinkage, time, rate of creep method, viscoelasticity theory

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15 Rheological Model for Describing Spunlace Nonwoven Behavior

Authors: Sana Ridene, Soumaya Sayeb, Houda Helali, Mohammed Ben Hassen

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Nonwoven structures have a range of applications which include Medical, filtration, geotextile and recently this unconventional fabric is finding a niche in fashion apparel. In this paper, a modified form of Vangheluwe rheological model is used to describe the mechanical behavior of nonwovens fabrics in uniaxial tension. This model is an association in parallel of three Maxwell elements characterized by damping coefficients η1, η2 and η3 and E1, E2, E3 elastic modulus and a nonlinear spring C. The model is verified experimentally with two types of nonwovens (50% viscose /50% Polyester) and (40% viscose/60% Polyester) and a range of three square weights values. Comparative analysis of the theoretical model and the experimental results of tensile test proofs a high correlation between them. The proposed model can fairly well replicate the behavior of nonwoven fabrics during relaxation and sample traction. This allowed us to predict the mechanical behavior in tension and relaxation of fabrics starting only from their technical parameters (composition and weight).

Keywords: mechanical behavior, tensile strength, relaxation, rheological model

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14 Product Features Extraction from Opinions According to Time

Authors: Kamal Amarouche, Houda Benbrahim, Ismail Kassou

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Nowadays, e-commerce shopping websites have experienced noticeable growth. These websites have gained consumers’ trust. After purchasing a product, many consumers share comments where opinions are usually embedded about the given product. Research on the automatic management of opinions that gives suggestions to potential consumers and portrays an image of the product to manufactures has been growing recently. After launching the product in the market, the reviews generated around it do not usually contain helpful information or generic opinions about this product (e.g. telephone: great phone...); in the sense that the product is still in the launching phase in the market. Within time, the product becomes old. Therefore, consumers perceive the advantages/ disadvantages about each specific product feature. Therefore, they will generate comments that contain their sentiments about these features. In this paper, we present an unsupervised method to extract different product features hidden in the opinions which influence its purchase, and that combines Time Weighting (TW) which depends on the time opinions were expressed with Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF). We conduct several experiments using two different datasets about cell phones and hotels. The results show the effectiveness of our automatic feature extraction, as well as its domain independent characteristic.

Keywords: opinion mining, product feature extraction, sentiment analysis, SentiWordNet

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13 Automatic Thresholding for Data Gap Detection for a Set of Sensors in Instrumented Buildings

Authors: Houda Najeh, Stéphane Ploix, Mahendra Pratap Singh, Karim Chabir, Mohamed Naceur Abdelkrim

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Building systems are highly vulnerable to different kinds of faults and failures. In fact, various faults, failures and human behaviors could affect the building performance. This paper tackles the detection of unreliable sensors in buildings. Different literature surveys on diagnosis techniques for sensor grids in buildings have been published but all of them treat only bias and outliers. Occurences of data gaps have also not been given an adequate span of attention in the academia. The proposed methodology comprises the automatic thresholding for data gap detection for a set of heterogeneous sensors in instrumented buildings. Sensor measurements are considered to be regular time series. However, in reality, sensor values are not uniformly sampled. So, the issue to solve is from which delay each sensor become faulty? The use of time series is required for detection of abnormalities on the delays. The efficiency of the method is evaluated on measurements obtained from a real power plant: an office at Grenoble Institute of technology equipped by 30 sensors.

Keywords: building system, time series, diagnosis, outliers, delay, data gap

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12 Dye Retention by a Photochemicaly Crosslinked Poly(2-Hydroxy-Ethyl-Meth-Acrylic) Network in Water

Authors: Yasmina Houda Bendahma, Tewfik Bouchaour, Meriem Merad, Ulrich Maschke

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The purpose of this work is to study retention of dye dissolved in distilled water, by an hydrophilic acrylic polymer network. The polymer network considered is Poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA): it is prepared by photo-polymerization under UV irradiation in the presence of a monomer (HEMA), initiator and an agent cross-linker. PHEMA polymer network obtained can be used in the retention of dye molecules present in the wastewater. The results obtained are interesting in the study of the kinetics of swelling and de-swelling of cross linked polymer networks PHEMA in colored aqueous solutions. The dyes used for retention by the PHEMA networks are eosin Y and Malachite Green, dissolved in distilled water. Theoretical conformational study by a simplified molecular model of system cross linked PHEMA / dye (eosin Y and Malachite Green), is used to simulate the retention phenomenon (or Docking) dye molecules in cavities in nano-domains included in the PHEMA polymer network.

Keywords: dye retention, molecular modeling, photochemically crosslinked polymer network, swelling deswelling, PHEMA, HEMA

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11 Study of Some Biological Profiles as Limiting Factors of Male Fertility in the Region of Batna, Algeria

Authors: Bousnane Nour El Houda, Chennaf Ali, Yahia Mouloud, Benbia Souhila

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Male infertility or the inability of a man to procreate is a major public health problem, where it is a leading cause of marital discord in several countries such Algeria. The objective of this work is to study some biological profiles of infertile men from the city of Batna/Algeria and to identify the causes of infertility in a population of infertile males to improve its management and to establish a good therapeutic strategy through a study that lasted 10 months in the Department of Urology of the University Hospital of Banta and on a population of 140 infertile subjects. For every man, series of assessments was performed to determine the exact causes of infertility. We found 102 cases of primary infertility against 38 cases of secondary infertility; the average age of men was 39.7 years, with a predominance of the age group (46-50 years). 34.29% of subjects had genital infections against 17.14% with varicocele. 132 men presented spermiologiques abnormalities; a asthénospermie (AS) in 27.27% of the cases, astheno-terato spermiea (OATS) 11.36% while Azoospermes showed 5.07%. Genital infections are the main causes of infertility (34.29%) of the cases. The results of spermocytogramme showed a predominance of head abnormalities (41.70%), while the flagellum abnormalities presented 33.83%. The dosage of the seminal plasma carnitine showed no pathological cases, which makes it difficult to know their association with infertility. By against some disturbances Fructose and Zinc have been reported.

Keywords: male infertility, spermogramme, spermocytogramme, biological profils

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10 Aptian Ramp Sedimentation of the Jebel Serdj Massif, North-Central Tunisia, and Sea Level Variations Recorded in Magnetic Susceptibility

Authors: Houda Khaled, Fredj Chaabani, Frederic Boulvain

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The Aptian series in north-central Tunisia was studied in detail regarding to lithology, microfacies, and magnetic susceptibility to provide new insights into the paleoenvironmental evolution and sea level changes in the carbonate platform. The study series is about 350 meters thick, and it consists of fives sequences of limestones, separated by four levels of marlstones and marly limestones. Petrographic study leads to the definition of 11 microfacies which are successively recorded along the Serdj section into the outer ramp, mid-ramp, inner ramp and coastal facies associations. The magnetic susceptibility of all samples was measured and compared with the facies and microfacies. There is a clear link between facies and magnetic susceptibility; the distal facies show high values while the proximal areas show lower values. The magnetic susceptibility profile reflects stratigraphic variations in response to relative changes in sea level and input of detrital materials. During the Aptian, kaolinite/illite intensity ratios show high values possibly indicating a warming trend followed then by decreasing values that may indicate a cooling trend. During the Albian, this cooling trend is reverted into humid/warming.

Keywords: Aptian, mineralogy, petrology, Serdj massif

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9 Performing Diagnosis in Building with Partially Valid Heterogeneous Tests

Authors: Houda Najeh, Mahendra Pratap Singh, Stéphane Ploix, Antoine Caucheteux, Karim Chabir, Mohamed Naceur Abdelkrim

Abstract:

Building system is highly vulnerable to different kinds of faults and human misbehaviors. Energy efficiency and user comfort are directly targeted due to abnormalities in building operation. The available fault diagnosis tools and methodologies particularly rely on rules or pure model-based approaches. It is assumed that model or rule-based test could be applied to any situation without taking into account actual testing contexts. Contextual tests with validity domain could reduce a lot of the design of detection tests. The main objective of this paper is to consider fault validity when validate the test model considering the non-modeled events such as occupancy, weather conditions, door and window openings and the integration of the knowledge of the expert on the state of the system. The concept of heterogeneous tests is combined with test validity to generate fault diagnoses. A combination of rules, range and model-based tests known as heterogeneous tests are proposed to reduce the modeling complexity. Calculation of logical diagnoses coming from artificial intelligence provides a global explanation consistent with the test result. An application example shows the efficiency of the proposed technique: an office setting at Grenoble Institute of Technology.

Keywords: heterogeneous tests, validity, building system, sensor grids, sensor fault, diagnosis, fault detection and isolation

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8 Evaluation of Heat Transfer and Entropy Generation by Al2O3-Water Nanofluid

Authors: Houda Jalali, Hassan Abbassi

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In this numerical work, natural convection and entropy generation of Al2O3–water nanofluid in square cavity have been studied. A two-dimensional steady laminar natural convection in a differentially heated square cavity of length L, filled with a nanofluid is investigated numerically. The horizontal walls are considered adiabatic. Vertical walls corresponding to x=0 and x=L are respectively maintained at hot temperature, Th and cold temperature, Tc. The resolution is performed by the CFD code "FLUENT" in combination with GAMBIT as mesh generator. These simulations are performed by maintaining the Rayleigh numbers varied as 103 ≤ Ra ≤ 106, while the solid volume fraction varied from 1% to 5%, the particle size is fixed at dp=33 nm and a range of the temperature from 20 to 70 °C. We used models of thermophysical nanofluids properties based on experimental measurements for studying the effect of adding solid particle into water in natural convection heat transfer and entropy generation of nanofluid. Such as models of thermal conductivity and dynamic viscosity which are dependent on solid volume fraction, particle size and temperature. The average Nusselt number is calculated at the hot wall of the cavity in a different solid volume fraction. The most important results is that at low temperatures (less than 40 °C), the addition of nanosolids Al2O3 into water leads to a decrease in heat transfer and entropy generation instead of the expected increase, whereas at high temperature, heat transfer and entropy generation increase with the addition of nanosolids. This behavior is due to the contradictory effects of viscosity and thermal conductivity of the nanofluid. These effects are discussed in this work.

Keywords: entropy generation, heat transfer, nanofluid, natural convection

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7 The Paleoenvironment and Paleoclimatological Variations during Aptian in North Central Tunisia

Authors: Houda Khaled, Frederic Boulvain, Fredj Chaabani

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This paper focuses on the sedimentological and mineralogical studies of Aptian series outcrops in the Serdj and Bellouta Mountain situated in north-central Tunisia. In the Serdj Mountain, the Aptian series is about 590 meters thick and it is defined by tow formations corresponding respectively to the Sidi Hamada formation (Barremian-Gragasian) and the Serdj formation (Middle Gragasian-Late Clansaysian). This later is consisting of five limestones sequences separated by marly levels limestones associated to some siltstones bed. The Bellouta section is especially composed of carbonate rocks and it is attributed to the Middle Gragasian - Late Clansaysian. These sections are studied in detail regarding lithology, micropaleontology, microfacies, magnetic susceptibility and mineralogical composition in order to provide new insights into the paleoenvironmental evolution and paleoclimatological implications during Aptian. The following facies associations representing different ramp palaeoenvironments have been identified: mudstone-wackestone outer ramp facies; skeletal grainstone-packstone mid-ramp facies, packstone-grainstone inner-ramp facies which include a variety of organisms such as ooliths, rudists ostracods associated to athor bioclats. The coastal facies is especially defined by a mudstone -wackestone texture coastal rich with miliolidea and orbitolines. The magnetic susceptibility (Xin) of all samples was compared with the lithological and microfacies variation. The MS curves show that the high values are correlated with the distal facies and the low values are registred in the coastal environment. The X-ray diffractometer analysis show the presence of kaolinite and illite.

Keywords: Aptian, Serdj formation, mineralogy, petrography

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6 Investigating the Role of Algerian Middle School Teachers in Enhancing Academic Self-Regulation: A Key towards Teaching How to Learn

Authors: Houda Zouar, Hanane Sarnou

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In the 21st, century the concept of learners' autonomy is crucial. The concept of self-regulated learning has come forward as a result of enabling learners to direct their learning with autonomy towards academic goals achievement. Academic self-regulation is defined as the process by which learners systematically plan, monitor and asses their learning to achieve their academic established goals. In the field of English as a foreign language, teachers emphasise the role of learners’ autonomy to foster the process of English language learning. Consequently, academic self-regulation is considered as a vehicle to enhance autonomy among English language learners. However, not all learners can be equally self-regulators if not well assisted, mainly those novice pupils of basic education. For this matter, understanding the role of teachers in fostering academic self- regulation must be among the preliminary objectives in searching and developing this area. The present research work targets the role of the Algerian middle school teachers in enhancing academic self-regulation and teaching pupils how to learn, besides their role as models in the trajectory of teaching their pupils to become self-regulators. Despite the considerable endeavours in the field of educational setting on Self-Regulated Learning, the literature of the Algerian context indicates confined endeavours to undertake and divulge this notion. To go deeper into this study, a mixed method approach was employed to confirm our hypothesis. For data collection, teachers were observed and addressed by a questionnaire on their role in enhancing academic self- regulation among their pupils. The result of the research indicates that the attempts of middle school Algerian teachers are implicit and limited. This study emphasises the need to prepare English language teachers with the necessary skills to promote autonomous and self-regulator English learners.

Keywords: Algeria, English as a foreign language, middle school, self-regulation, Teachers' role

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5 Emotional Intelligence Training: Helping Non-Native Pre-Service EFL Teachers to Overcome Speaking Anxiety: The Case of Pre-Service Teachers of English, Algeria

Authors: Khiari Nor El Houda, Hiouani Amira Sarra

Abstract:

Many EFL students with high capacities are hidden because they suffer from speaking anxiety (SA). Most of them find public speaking much demanding. They feel unable to communicate, they fear to make mistakes and they fear negative evaluation or being called on. With the growing number of the learners who suffer from foreign language speaking anxiety (FLSA), it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore its harmful outcomes on their performance and success, especially during their first contact with the pupils, as they will be teaching in the near future. Different researchers suggested different ways to minimize the negative effects of FLSA. The present study sheds light on emotional intelligence skills training as an effective strategy not only to influence public speaking success but also to help pre-service EFL teachers lessen their speaking anxiety and eventually to prepare them for their professional career. A quasi-experiment was used in order to examine the research hypothesis. We worked with two groups of third-year EFL students at Oum El Bouaghi University. The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) and the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) were used to collect data about the participants’ FLSA and EI levels. The analysis of the data has yielded that the assumption that there is a negative correlation between EI and FLSA was statistically validated by the Pearson Correlation Test, concluding that, the more emotionally intelligent the individual is the less anxious s/he will be. In addition, the lack of amelioration in the results of the control group and the noteworthy improvement in the experimental group results led us to conclude that EI skills training was an effective strategy in minimizing the FLSA level and therefore, we confirmed our research hypothesis.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence skills training, EQ-I, FLCAS, foreign language speaking anxiety, pre-service EFL teachers

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4 Evaluation of Adequacy of Caspofungin Prescription in a Tunisian Hospital Cohort

Authors: Mariem Meddeb Sidhom, Souhayel Hedfi, Rjaibia Houda, Mehdi Dridi, Mohamed Ali Yousfi, Sâadia Gargouri

Abstract:

Considering the important increase in costs of caspofungin treatments and ahead the evolution of its indication, pharmacy department was prompted to realize a review of the adequacy of prescriptions in the medical intensive care units (ICU). A retrospective observational study was conducted in Tunis military hospital concerning ICU prescriptions of caspofungin from 2008 until 2013. A pharmacist had returned to the patient’s medical records to collect data and to the microbiology department for parasitological results. The adequacy of prescriptions was evaluated by a pharmacist and an infectiologist parasitologist, referring to predefined scale of criteria resuming the indications of the marketing authorization (MA) and grade AI-AII of the guidelines of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). Sixty two ICU patients have been treated with caspofungin during the period of study; however, 8 files were lost. Thus, 54 patients were included in the study having received 55 prescriptions of caspofungin. Males were a majority with 64.8% of the population. Mean age was 51 years. Caspofungin was indicated in accordance with the IDSA recommendations in 43.6% of the cases. The most case of non respect to the guidelines was the indication of caspofungin as empirical treatment in non neutropenic patients. Caspofungin was utilized as a first line treatment in 9 cases where it was possible to give fluconazole first, as germs were fluconazole- sensitive. Caspofungin was indicated in 2 patients with good renal function and in which nor amphotericin B, liposomal ampho B neither itraconazole had been previously used, as indicates the MA. The posology of caspofungin was respected in all prescriptions with a loading dose of 70 mg in the first day and a maintenance dose of 50 mg daily. Seven patients had received a daily dose of 70 mg, the recommended dose for people weighing more than 80 Kg. Caspofungin prescriptions are far to be adequately done. There is a clear need of optimization in indicating this molecule and that must be done in collaboration between the pharmacy department, the ICUs and parasitology department.

Keywords: caspofungin, prescription, intensive care units, marketing authorization, Tunisian hospital cohort

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3 Childhood Obesity in Japan: Trends in Obesity Prevalence among Japanese Kids under 17 Years Old from 2007 to 2016

Authors: Houda Mnif Sellami, Toshi Umehara, Yuriko Yamazaki, Reie Matoba, Anna Sakashita, Yoshimi Abe, Hiroyuki Otake, Satoko Morita, Yoshitaka Akiyama, Chieko Morisawa, Eiji Omura, Masako Yazawa, Yoshie Koike, Mitsugu Tokunaga, Seiki Wada, Shinya Minagawa, Masafumi Matsuda

Abstract:

Childhood obesity has been, for decades, a very serious public health problem worldwide. Some Asian countries have already reached alarming rates, as lifestyle changed dramatically in this part of the world. In many concerned countries, strategies including educational, promotional and awareness-raising activities have been established to combat obesity within kids. Objective: To estimate the obesity and also the underweight trends of Japanese kids from 5 to 17 years, by single year of age and by gender, over the last decade. Methods We used the data from the cross-sectional annual Nationwide surveys (National Nutrition Survey, Japan, Ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology) conducted from 2007 to 2016. We compared trajectories of obesity prevalence, with the data on sex and age groups. We also analyzed energy and macronutrients intakes of Japanese kids using Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare-Japan annual data, from 2007 to 2014. Results: From 2007 to 2016, Boys obesity was higher than Girls obesity for the over 6 YO participants. Both Boys and Girls obesity trends had 2 peaks of prevalence at (11-13 YO) and then at (15-16 YO). From 2007 to 2012, Kids obesity decreased considerably in both sex and all year of age; then obesity decline was more modest till 2016.On the other side, Kids underweight prevalence increased in both sexes. The macronutrients analyze couldn’t show an evident association between obesity trends and foods intake. Conclusion: Japanese kids’ obesity has been decreased since 2007, in opposition to some other countries reports. We didn’t find an observed association with food intake using Health Ministry data; we need further investigation to estimate energy intake, lifestyle and physical activity by year of age to know whether there is any possible relation.

Keywords: childhood, Japan, obesity, underweight

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2 Isolation and Transplantation of Hepatocytes in an Experimental Model

Authors: Inas Raafat, Azza El Bassiouny, Waldemar L. Olszewsky, Nagui E. Mikhail, Mona Nossier, Nora E. I. El-Bassiouni, Mona Zoheiry, Houda Abou Taleb, Noha Abd El-Aal, Ali Baioumy, Shimaa Attia

Abstract:

Background: Orthotopic liver transplantation is an established treatment for patients with severe acute and end-stage chronic liver disease. The shortage of donor organs continues to be the rate-limiting factor for liver transplantation throughout the world. Hepatocyte transplantation is a promising treatment for several liver diseases and can, also, be used as a "bridge" to liver transplantation in cases of liver failure. Aim of the work: This study was designed to develop a highly efficient protocol for isolation and transplantation of hepatocytes in experimental Lewis rat model to provide satisfactory guidelines for future application on humans.Materials and Methods: Hepatocytes were isolated from the liver by double perfusion technique and bone marrow cells were isolated by centrifugation of shafts of tibia and femur of donor Lewis rats. Recipient rats were subjected to sub-lethal dose of irradiation 2 days before transplantation. In a laparotomy operation the spleen was injected by freshly isolated hepatocytes and bone marrow cells were injected intravenously. The animals were sacrificed 45 day latter and splenic sections were prepared and stained with H & E, PAS AFP and Prox1. Results: The data obtained from this study showed that the double perfusion technique is successful in separation of hepatocytes regarding cell number and viability. Also the method used for bone marrow cells separation gave excellent results regarding cell number and viability. Intrasplenic engraftment of hepatocytes and live tissue formation within the splenic tissue were found in 70% of cases. Hematoxylin and eosin stained splenic sections from 7 rats showed sheets and clusters of cells among the splenic tissues. Periodic Acid Schiff stained splenic sections from 7 rats showed clusters of hepatocytes with intensely stained pink cytoplasmic granules denoting the presence of glycogen. Splenic sections from 7 rats stained with anti-α-fetoprotein antibody showed brownish cytoplasmic staining of the hepatocytes denoting positive expression of AFP. Splenic sections from 7 rats stained with anti-Prox1 showed brownish nuclear staining of the hepatocytes denoting positive expression of Prox1 gene on these cells. Also, positive expression of Prox1 gene was detected on lymphocytes aggregations in the spleens. Conclusions: Isolation of liver cells by double perfusion technique using collagenase buffer is a reliable method that has a very satisfactory yield regarding cell number and viability. The intrasplenic route of transplantation of the freshly isolated liver cells in an immunocompromised model was found to give good results regarding cell engraftment and tissue formation. Further studies are needed to assess function of engrafted hepatocytes by measuring prothrombin time, serum albumin and bilirubin levels.

Keywords: Lewis rats, hepatocytes, BMCs, transplantation, AFP, Prox1

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1 Familial Exome Sequencing to Decipher the Complex Genetic Basis of Holoprosencephaly

Authors: Artem Kim, Clara Savary, Christele Dubourg, Wilfrid Carre, Houda Hamdi-Roze, Valerie Dupé, Sylvie Odent, Marie De Tayrac, Veronique David

Abstract:

Holoprosencephaly (HPE) is a rare congenital brain malformation resulting from the incomplete separation of the two cerebral hemispheres. It is characterized by a wide phenotypic spectrum and a high degree of locus heterogeneity. Genetic defects in 16 genes have already been implicated in HPE, but account for only 30% of cases, suggesting that a large part of genetic factors remains to be discovered. HPE has been recently redefined as a complex multigenic disorder, requiring the joint effect of multiple mutational events in genes belonging to one or several developmental pathways. The onset of HPE may result from accumulation of the effects of multiple rare variants in functionally-related genes, each conferring a moderate increase in the risk of HPE onset. In order to decipher the genetic basis of HPE, unconventional patterns of inheritance involving multiple genetic factors need to be considered. The primary objective of this study was to uncover possible disease causing combinations of multiple rare variants underlying HPE by performing trio-based Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) of familial cases where no molecular diagnosis could be established. 39 families were selected with no fully-penetrant causal mutation in known HPE gene, no chromosomic aberrations/copy number variants and without any implication of environmental factors. As the main challenge was to identify disease-related variants among a large number of nonpathogenic polymorphisms detected by WES classical scheme, a novel variant prioritization approach was established. It combined WES filtering with complementary gene-level approaches: transcriptome-driven (RNA-Seq data) and clinically-driven (public clinical data) strategies. Briefly, a filtering approach was performed to select variants compatible with disease segregation, population frequency and pathogenicity prediction to identify an exhaustive list of rare deleterious variants. The exome search space was then reduced by restricting the analysis to candidate genes identified by either transcriptome-driven strategy (genes sharing highly similar expression patterns with known HPE genes during cerebral development) or clinically-driven strategy (genes associated to phenotypes of interest overlapping with HPE). Deeper analyses of candidate variants were then performed on a family-by-family basis. These included the exploration of clinical information, expression studies, variant characteristics, recurrence of mutated genes and available biological knowledge. A novel bioinformatics pipeline was designed. Applied to the 39 families, this final integrated workflow identified an average of 11 candidate variants per family. Most of candidate variants were inherited from asymptomatic parents suggesting a multigenic inheritance pattern requiring the association of multiple mutational events. The manual analysis highlighted 5 new strong HPE candidate genes showing recurrences in distinct families. Functional validations of these genes are foreseen.

Keywords: complex genetic disorder, holoprosencephaly, multiple rare variants, whole exome sequencing

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