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

Search results for: Jamel Kharrat

21 Detection of JC Virus DNA and T-Ag Expression in a Subpopulation of Tunisian Colorectal Carcinomas

Authors: Wafa Toumi, Alessandro Ripalti, Luigi Ricciardiello, Dalila Gargouri, Jamel Kharrat, Abderraouf Cherif, Ahmed Bouhafa, Slim Jarboui, Mohamed Zili, Ridha Khelifa


Background & aims: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies throughout the world. Several risk factors, both genetic and environmental, including viral infections, have been linked to colorectal carcinogenesis. A few studies report the detection of human polyomavirus JC (JCV) DNA and transformation antigen (T-Ag) in a fraction of the colorectal tumors studied and suggest an association of this virus with CRC. In order to investigate whether such an association of JCV with CRC will hold in a different epidemiological setting, we looked for the presence of JCV DNA and T-Ag expression in a group of Tunisian CRC patients. Methods: Fresh colorectal mucosa biopsies were obtained from 17 healthy volunteers and from both colorectal tumors and adjacent normal tissues of 47 CRC patients. DNA was extracted from fresh biopsies or from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections using the Invitrogen Purelink Genomic DNA mini Kit. A simple PCR and a nested PCR were used to amplify a region of the T-Ag gene. The obtained PCR products revealed a 154 bp and a 98 bp bands, respectively. Specificity was confirmed by sequencing of the PCR products. T-Ag expression was determined by immunohistochemical staining using a mouse monoclonal antibody (clone PAb416) directed against SV40 T-Ag that cross reacts with JCV T-Ag. Results: JCV DNA was found in 12 (25%) and 22 (46%) of the CRC tumors by simple PCR and by nested PCR, respectively. All paired adjacent normal mucosa biopsies were negative for viral DNA. Sequencing of the DNA amplicons obtained confirmed the authenticity of T-Ag sequences. Immunohistochemical staining showed nuclear T-Ag expression in all 22 JCV DNA- positive samples and in 3 additional tumor samples which appeared DNA-negative by PCR. Conclusions: These results suggest an association of JCV with a subpopulation of Tunisian colorectal tumors.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, immunohistochemistry, Polyomavirus JC, PCR

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20 Short-Term Physiological Evaluation of Augmented Reality System for Thanatophobia Psychotherapy

Authors: Kais Siala, Mohamed Kharrat, Mohamed Abid


Exposure therapies encourage patients to gradually begin facing their painful memories of the trauma in order to reduce fear and anxiety. In this context, virtual reality techniques are widely used for treatment of different kinds of phobia. The particular case of fear of death phobia (thanataphobia) is addressed in this paper. For this purpose, we propose to make a simulation of Near Death Experience (NDE) using augmented reality techniques. We propose in particular to simulate the Out-of-Body experience (OBE) which is the first step of a Near-Death-Experience (NDE). In this paper, we present technical aspects of this simulation as well as short-term impact in terms of physiological measures. The non-linear Poincéré plot is used to describe the difference in Heart Rate Variability between In-Body and Out-Of-Body conditions.

Keywords: Out-of-Body simulation, physiological measure, augmented reality, phobia psychotherapy, HRV, Poincaré plot

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19 Electric Models for Crosstalk Predection: Analysis and Performance Evaluation

Authors: Kachout Mnaouer, Bel Hadj Tahar Jamel, Choubani Fethi


In this paper, three electric equivalent models to evaluate crosstalk between three-conductor transmission lines are proposed. First, electric equivalent models for three-conductor transmission lines are presented. Secondly, rigorous equations to calculate the per-unit length inductive and capacitive parameters are developed. These models allow us to calculate crosstalk between conductors. Finally, to validate the presented models, we compare the theoretical results with simulation data. Obtained results show that proposed models can be used to predict crosstalk performance.

Keywords: near-end crosstalk, inductive parameter, L, Π, T models

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18 Influence of Error Correction Codes on the Quality of Optical Broadband Connections

Authors: Mouna Hemdi, Jamel bel Hadj Tahar


The increasing development of multimedia applications requiring the simultaneous transport of several different services contributes to the evolution of the need for very high-speed network. In this paper, we propose an effective solution to achieve the very high speed while retaining elements of the optical transmission channel. So our study focuses on error correcting codes that aim for quality improvement on duty. We present a comparison of the quality of service for single channels and integrating the code BCH, RS and LDPC in order to find the best code in the different conditions of the transmission.

Keywords: code error correction, high speed broadband, optical transmission, information systems security

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17 An Investigation of E-Government by Using GIS and Establishing E-Government in Developing Countries Case Study: Iraq

Authors: Ahmed M. Jamel


Electronic government initiatives and public participation to them are among the indicators of today's development criteria of the countries. After consequent two wars, Iraq's current position in, for example, UN's e-government ranking is quite concerning and did not improve in recent years, either. In the preparation of this work, we are motivated with the fact that handling geographic data of the public facilities and resources are needed in most of the e-government projects. Geographical information systems (GIS) provide most common tools not only to manage spatial data but also to integrate such type of data with nonspatial attributes of the features. With this background, this paper proposes that establishing a working GIS in the health sector of Iraq would improve e-government applications. As the case study, investigating hospital locations in Erbil is chosen.

Keywords: e-government, GIS, Iraq, Erbil

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16 Optimization of Dual Band Antenna on Silicon Substrate

Authors: Syrine lahmadi, Jamel Bel Hadj Tahar


In this paper, a rectangular antenna with slots integrated on silicon substrate operating in 60GHz, is studied and optimized. The effect of different parameter of the antenna (width, length, the position of the microstrip-feed line...) and the parameter of the substrate (the thickness, the dielectric constant) on gain, frequency is presented. Also, the paper presents a solution to ameliorate the bandwidth. The maximum simulated radiation gain of this rectangular dual band antenna is 5, 38 dB around 60GHz. The simulation studied id developed based on advanced design system tools. It is found that the designed antenna is 19 % smaller than a rectangular antenna with the same dimensions. This antenna with dual band can function for many communication systems as automobile or radar.

Keywords: dual band, enlargement of bandwidth, miniaturized antennas, printed antenna

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15 Enhanced Thermal Properties of Rigid PVC Foams Using Fly Ash

Authors: Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Parisa Khoshnoud, Murtatha Jamel, Subhashini Gunashekar


PVC foam-fly ash composites (PVC-FA) are characterized for their structural, morphological, mechanical and thermal properties. The tensile strength of the composites increased modestly with higher fly ash loading, while there was a significant increase in the elastic modulus for the same composites. On the other hand, a decrease in elongation at UTS was observed upon increasing fly ash content due to increased rigidity of the composites. Similarly, the flexural modulus increased as the fly ash loading increased, where the composites containing 25 phr fly ash showed the highest flexural strength. Thermal properties of PVC-fly ash composites were determined by Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA). The micro structural properties were studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). SEM results confirm that fly ash particles were mechanically interlocked in PVC matrix with good inter facial interaction with the matrix. Particle agglomeration and debonding was observed in samples containing higher amounts of fly ash.

Keywords: PVC foam, polyvinyl chloride, rigid PVC, fly ash composites, polymer composites

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14 Enhanced Dimensional Stability of Rigid PVC Foams Using Glass Fibers

Authors: Nidal H. Abu-Zahra, Murtatha M. Jamel, Parisa Khoshnoud, Subhashini Gunashekar


Two types of glass fibers having different lengths (1/16" and 1/32") were added into rigid PVC foams to enhance the dimensional stability of extruded rigid Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) foam at different concentrations (0-20 phr) using a single screw profile extruder. PVC foam-glass fiber composites (PVC-GF) were characterized for their dimensional stability, structural, thermal, and mechanical properties. Experimental results show that the dimensional stability, heat resistance, and storage modulus were enhanced without compromising the tensile and flexural strengths of the composites. Overall, foam composites which were prepared with longer glass fibers exhibit better mechanical and thermal properties than those prepared with shorter glass fibers due to higher interlocking between the fibers and the foam cells, which result in better load distribution in the matrix.

Keywords: polyvinyl chloride, PVC foam, PVC composites, polymer composites, glass fiber composites, reinforced polymers

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13 Tribological Behavior of PTFE Composites Used for Guide Rings of Hydraulic Actuating Cylinders under Oil-Lubricated Condition

Authors: Trabelsi Mohamed, Kharrat Mohamed, Dammak Maher


Guide rings play an important role in the performance and durability of hydraulic actuating cylinders. In service, guide rings surfaces are subjected to friction and wear against steel counterface. A good mastery of these phenomena is required for the improvement of the energy safeguard and the durability of the actuating cylinder. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) polymer is extensively used in guide rings thanks to its low coefficient of friction, its good resistance to solvents as well as its high temperature stability. In this study, friction and wear behavior of two PTFE composites filled with bronze and bronze plus MoS2 were evaluated under oil-lubricated condition, aiming as guide rings for hydraulic actuating cylinder. Wear tests of the PTFE composite specimen sliding against steel ball were conducted using reciprocating linear tribometer. The wear mechanisms of the composites under the same sliding condition were discussed, based on Scanning Electron Microscopy examination of the worn composite surface and the optical micrographs of the steel counter surface. As for the results, comparative friction behaviors of the PTFE composites and lower friction coefficients were recorded under oil lubricated condition. The wear behavior was considerably improved to compare with this in dry sliding, while the oil adsorbed layer limited the transfer of the PTFE to the steel counter face during the sliding test.

Keywords: PTFE, composite, bronze, MoS2, friction, wear, oil-lubrication

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12 Association between Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Breast Sarcoma: A Case Report

Authors: Ines Zemni, Maher Slimane, Jamel Ben Hassouna, Khaled Rahal


Background: Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a genetic disease, which is associated with an increased risk of developing different malignancies including breast cancer. The association between NF1 band breast sarcoma is a rare entity. Herein we present a 25-year-old woman with NF1 who had fibrosarcoma of the left breast. Case presentation: The patient has multiple thoraco-abdominal 'café au lait' spots. Clinical examination showed a lump of the left breast measuring 9 cm of diameter, which was noticed for 6 months. There was a left inguinal mass of 6 cm of diameter. The patient underwent first a left lumpectomy. Histopathological exam revealed a high-grade fibrosarcoma of the left breast measuring 7.5 cm. Three months later, the patient underwent a left mastectomy and excision of the inguinal mass, which was a neurofibroma. An adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy were indicated, but not applied because of the timeout. The patient is now alive after a follow up of 6 years, with no loco-regional recurrence or metastasis. Conclusion: The relationship between NF1 and breast cancer need to be more clarified by further studies. Establishing a specific screening program of these patients may help to make an earlier diagnosis of breast cancer.

Keywords: neurofibromatosis, breast, sarcoma, cancer

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11 Secure Distance Bounding Protocol on Ultra-WideBand Based Mapping Code

Authors: Jamel Miri, Bechir Nsiri, Ridha Bouallegue


Ultra WidBand-IR physical layer technology has seen a great development during the last decade which makes it a promising candidate for short range wireless communications, as they bring considerable benefits in terms of connectivity and mobility. However, like all wireless communication they suffer from vulnerabilities in terms of security because of the open nature of the radio channel. To face these attacks, distance bounding protocols are the most popular counter measures. In this paper, we presented a protocol based on distance bounding to thread the most popular attacks: Distance Fraud, Mafia Fraud and Terrorist fraud. In our work, we study the way to adapt the best secure distance bounding protocols to mapping code of ultra-wideband (TH-UWB) radios. Indeed, to ameliorate the performances of the protocol in terms of security communication in TH-UWB, we combine the modified protocol to ultra-wideband impulse radio technology (IR-UWB). The security and the different merits of the protocols are analyzed.

Keywords: distance bounding, mapping code ultrawideband, terrorist fraud, physical layer technology

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10 Household Knowledge, Attitude, and Determinants in Solid Waste Segregation: The Case of Sfax City

Authors: Leila Kharrat, Younes Boujelbene


In recent decades, solid waste management (SWM) has become a global concern because rapid population growth and overexploitation of non-renewable resources have generated enormous amounts of waste far exceeding carrying capacity; too, it poses serious threats to the environment and health. However, it is still difficult to combat the growing amount of solid waste before assessing the condition of people. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitudes, perception, and practices on the separation of solid waste in Sfax City. Nowadays, GDS is essential for sustainable development, hence the need for intensive research. Respondents from seven different districts in the city of Sfax were analyzed through a questionnaire survey with 342 households. This paper presents a qualitative exploratory study on the behavior of the citizens in the field of waste separation. The objective knows the antecedents of waste separation and the representation that individuals have about sorting waste on a specific territory which presents some characteristics regarding waste management in Sfax city. Source separation is not widely practiced and people usually sweep their places throwing waste components into the streets or neighboring plots. The results also indicate that participation in solid waste separation activities depends on the level of awareness of separating activities in the area, household income and educational level. It is, therefore, argued that increasing quality of municipal service is the best means of promoting positive attitudes to solid waste separation activities. One of the effective strategies identified by households that can be initiated by policymakers to increase the rate of participation in separation activities and eventually encourage them to participate in recycling activities is to provide a financial incentive in all residential areas in Sfax city.

Keywords: solid waste management, waste separation, public policy, econometric modelling

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9 Comparative Study of Wear and Friction Behavior of Tricalcium Phosphate-Fluorapatite Bioceramic

Authors: Rym Taktak, Achwek Elghazel, Jamel Bouaziz


In the present work, we explored the potential of tribological behavior of tricalcium phosphate-Fluorapatite (β Tcp-Fap) bioceramic which has attracted considerable attention for orthopedics and dental applications. The approximate representatives Fap-βTcp were respectively [{13.26 wt%, 86.74 wt%} {19.9 wt%, 80.1 wt%},{ 26.52 wt%, 73.48 wt%}, {33.16 wt%, 66.84 wt%} and {40 wt%, 60 wt%}. The effects of Fluorapatite additives on friction and wear behavior were studied and discussed. The wear test was conducted using pion-disk tribometer at room temperature under dry condition using a constant sliding speed of 0,063 m/s, and three loads 3, 5 and 8 N. The wear rate and friction coefficient of β Tcp with different additive amounts were compared. An Alumina ball specimens were used as the pin and flat surface β Tcp-Fap specimens as the antagonist counterface. The results show a huge difference between the wear rate of β TCP samples and the other β TCP-Fap composites for all normal forces applied. This result shows the beneficial effect of fluorapatite on the tribological behavior of the β TCP. Moreover, we note that β Tcp-26% Fap specimens exhibit, under dry condition, the lower friction coefficient and the smaller wear rate than other biocomposites. Thereby, the friction and wear behavior is influenced by the addition of fluorapatite, the applied normal force, and the sliding velocity. To extend the understanding of the wear process, the surface topography of β Tcp-26% Fap specimens and the wear track obtained during the wear tests were studied using a surface profilometer, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy.

Keywords: alumina, bioceramic, friction and wear test, tricalcium phosphate

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8 In vitro Inhibitory Action of an Aqueous Extract of Carob on the Release of Myeloperoxidase by Human Neutrophils

Authors: Kais Rtibi, Slimen Selmi, Jamel El-Benna, Lamjed Marzouki, Hichem Sebai


Background: Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a hemic enzyme found in high concentrations in the primary neutrophils granules. In addition to its peroxidase activity, it has a chlorination activity, using hydrogen peroxide and chloride ions to form hypochlorous acid, a strong oxidant, capable of chlorinating molecules. Bioactive compounds contained in medicinal plants could limit the action of this enzyme to reduce the reactive oxygen species production and its chlorination activity. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of the carob aqueous extract (CAE) on the release of MPO by human neutrophils in vitro and its activity following stimulation of these cells by PMA. Methods: Neutrophils were isolated by simple sedimentation using the Dextran/Ficoll method. After stimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), neutrophils release the MPO by degranulation. The effect of CAE on the release of MPO was analyzed by the Western blot technique, while, its activity was determined by biochemical method using the method of 3,3', 5,5'- Tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) and hydrogen peroxide. The data were expressed as mean ± SEM. Results: The carob aqueous extract causes a decrease in MPO quantity and activity in a concentration-dependent manner which leads to a reduction of the production of the ROS (reactive oxygen species) and the protection of the molecules against oxidation and chlorination mechanisms. Conclusion: Thanks to its richness in bioactive compounds, the aqueous extract of carob could limit the development of damages related to the uncontrolled activity of MPO.

Keywords: carob, MPO, myeloperoxidase, neutrophils, PMA, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate

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7 The Conservation of the Roman Mosaics in the Museum of Sousse, Tunisia: Between Doctrines and Practices

Authors: Zeineb Yousse, Fakher Kharrat


Mosaic is a part of a broad universal cultural heritage; sometimes it represents a rather essential source for the researches on the everyday life of some of the previous civilizations. Tunisia has one of the finest and largest collections of mosaics in the world, which is essentially exhibited in the Museums of Bardo and Sousse. Restored and reconstituted, they bear witnesses to hard work. Our paper deals with the discipline of conservation of Roman mosaics based on the proceedings of the workshop of the Museum of Sousse. Thus, we highlight two main objectives. In the first place, it is a question of revealing the techniques adopted by professionals to handle mosaics and to which school of conservation these techniques belong. In the second place, we are going to interpret the works initiated to preserve the archaeological heritage in order to protect it in present time and transmit it to future generations. To this end, we paid attention to four Roman mosaics currently exhibited in the Museum of Sousse. These Mosaics show different voids or gaps at the level of their surfaces and the method used to fill these gaps seems to be interesting to analyze. These mosaics are known under the names of: Orpheus Charming the Animals, Gladiator and Bears, Stud farm of Sorothus and finally Head of Medusa. The study on the conservation passes through two chained phases. We start with a small historical overview in order to gather information related to the original location, the date of its composition as well as the description of its image. Afterward, the intervention process is analyzed by handling three complementary elements which are: diagnosis of the existing state, the study of the medium processing and the study of the processing of the tesselatum surface which includes the pictorial composition of the mosaic. Furthermore, we have implemented an evaluation matrix with six operating principles allowing the assessment of the appropriateness of the intervention. These principles are the following: minimal intervention, reversibility, compatibility, visibility, durability, authenticity and enhancement. Various accumulated outcomes are pointing out the techniques used to fill the gaps as well as the level of compliance with the principles of conservation. Accordingly, the conservation of mosaics in Tunisia is a practice that combines various techniques without really arguing about the choice of a particular theory.

Keywords: conservation, matrix, museum of Sousse, operating particular theory, principles, Roman mosaics

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6 Identification of Damage Mechanisms in Interlock Reinforced Composites Using a Pattern Recognition Approach of Acoustic Emission Data

Authors: M. Kharrat, G. Moreau, Z. Aboura


The latest advances in the weaving industry, combined with increasingly sophisticated means of materials processing, have made it possible to produce complex 3D composite structures. Mainly used in aeronautics, composite materials with 3D architecture offer better mechanical properties than 2D reinforced composites. Nevertheless, these materials require a good understanding of their behavior. Because of the complexity of such materials, the damage mechanisms are multiple, and the scenario of their appearance and evolution depends on the nature of the exerted solicitations. The AE technique is a well-established tool for discriminating between the damage mechanisms. Suitable sensors are used during the mechanical test to monitor the structural health of the material. Relevant AE-features are then extracted from the recorded signals, followed by a data analysis using pattern recognition techniques. In order to better understand the damage scenarios of interlock composite materials, a multi-instrumentation was set-up in this work for tracking damage initiation and development, especially in the vicinity of the first significant damage, called macro-damage. The deployed instrumentation includes video-microscopy, Digital Image Correlation, Acoustic Emission (AE) and micro-tomography. In this study, a multi-variable AE data analysis approach was developed for the discrimination between the different signal classes representing the different emission sources during testing. An unsupervised classification technique was adopted to perform AE data clustering without a priori knowledge. The multi-instrumentation and the clustered data served to label the different signal families and to build a learning database. This latter is useful to construct a supervised classifier that can be used for automatic recognition of the AE signals. Several materials with different ingredients were tested under various solicitations in order to feed and enrich the learning database. The methodology presented in this work was useful to refine the damage threshold for the new generation materials. The damage mechanisms around this threshold were highlighted. The obtained signal classes were assigned to the different mechanisms. The isolation of a 'noise' class makes it possible to discriminate between the signals emitted by damages without resorting to spatial filtering or increasing the AE detection threshold. The approach was validated on different material configurations. For the same material and the same type of solicitation, the identified classes are reproducible and little disturbed. The supervised classifier constructed based on the learning database was able to predict the labels of the classified signals.

Keywords: acoustic emission, classifier, damage mechanisms, first damage threshold, interlock composite materials, pattern recognition

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5 Early Hypothyroidism after Radiotherapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Authors: Nejla Fourati, Zied Fessi, Fatma Dhouib, Wicem Siala, Leila Farhat, Afef Khanfir, Wafa Mnejja, Jamel Daoud


Purpose: Radiation induced hypothyroidism in nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) ranged from 15% to 55%. In reported data, it is considered as a common late complication of definitive radiation and is mainly observed 2 years after the end of treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of early hypothyroidism within 6 months after radiotherapy. Patients and methods: From June 2017 to February 2020, 35 patients treated with concurrent chemo-radiotherapy (CCR) for NPC were included in this prospective study. Median age was 49 years [23-68] with a sex ratio of 2.88. All patients received intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) at a dose of 69.96 Gy in 33 daily fractions with weekly cisplatin (40mg/m²) chemotherapy. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and Free Thyroxine 4 (FT4) dosage was performed before the start of radiotherapy and 6 months after. Different dosimetric parameters for the thyroid gland were reported: the volume (cc); the mean dose (Dmean) and the %age of volume receiving more than 45 Gy (V45Gy). Wilcoxon Test was used to compare these different parameters between patients with or without hypothyroidism. Results: At baseline, 5 patients (14.3%) had hypothyroidism and were excluded from the analysis. For the remaining 30 patients, 9 patients (30%) developed a hypothyroidism 6 months after the end of radiotherapy. The median thyroid volume was 10.3 cc [4.6-23]. The median Dmean and V45Gy were 48.3 Gy [43.15-55.4] and 74.8 [38.2-97.9] respectively. No significant difference was noted for all studied parameters. Conclusion: Early hypothyroidism occurring within 6 months after CCR for NPC seems to be a common complication (30%) that should be screened. Good patient monitoring with regular dosage of TSH and FT4 makes it possible to treat hypothyroidism in asymptomatic phase. This would be correlated with an improvement in the quality of life of these patients. The results of our study do not show a correlation between the thyroid doses and the occurrence of hypothyroidism. This is probably related to the high doses received by the thyroid in our series. These findings encourage more optimization to limit thyroid doses and then the risk of radiation-induced hypothyroidism

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, hypothyroidism, early complication, thyroid dose

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4 Impact of Early Father Involvement on Middle Childhood Cognitive and Behavioral Outcomes

Authors: Jamel Slaughter


Father involvement across the development of a child has been linked to children’s psychological adjustment, fewer behavioral problems, and higher educational attainment. Conversely, there is much less research that highlights father involvement in relation to childhood development during early childhood period prior to preschool age (ages 1-3 years). Most research on fathers and child outcomes have been limited by its focus on the stages of adolescence, middle childhood, and infancy. This study examined the influence of father involvement, during the toddler stage, on 5th grade cognitive development, rule-breaking, and behavior outcomes measured by Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) scores. Using data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation (EHSRE) Study, 1996-2010: United States, a total of 3,001 children and families were identified in 17 sites (cities), representing a diverse demographic sample. An independent samples t-test was run to compare cognitive development, aggressive, and rule-breaking behavior mean scores among children who had early continuous father involvement for the first 14 – 36 months to children who did not have early continuous father involvement for the first 14 – 36 months. Multiple linear regression was conducted to determine if continuous, or non-continuous father involvement (14 month-36 months), can be used to predict outcome scores on the Child Behavior Checklist in aggressive behavior, rule-breaking behavior, and cognitive development, at 5th grade. A statistically significant mean difference in cognitive development scores were found for children who had continuous father involvement (M=1.92, SD=2.41, t (1009) =2.81, p =.005, 95% CI=.146 to .828) compared to those who did not (M=2.60, SD=3.06, t (1009) =-2.38, p=.017, 95% CI= -1.08 to -.105). There was also a statistically significant mean difference in rule-breaking behavior scores between children who had early continuous father involvement (M=1.95, SD=2.33, t (1009) = 3.69, p <.001, 95% CI= .287 to .940), compared to those that did not (M=2.87, SD=2.93, t (1009) = -3.49, p =.001, 95% CI= -1.30 to -.364). No statistically significant difference was found in aggressive behavior scores. Multiple linear regression was performed using continuous father involvement to determine which has the largest relationship to rule-breaking behavior and cognitive development based on CBCL scores. Rule-breaking behavior was found to be significant (F (2, 1008) = 8.353, p<.001), with an R2 of .016. Cognitive development was also significant (F (2, 1008) = 4.44, p=.012), with an R2 of .009. Early continuous father involvement was a significant predictor of rule-breaking behavior and cognitive development at middle childhood. Findings suggest early continuous father involvement during the first 14 – 36 months of their children’s life, may lead to lower levels of rule-breaking behaviors and thought problems at 5th grade.

Keywords: cognitive development, early continuous father involvement, middle childhood, rule-breaking behavior

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3 Experimental Study of Moisture Effect on the Mechanical Behavior of Flax Fiber Reinforcement

Authors: Marwa Abida, Florian Gehring, Jamel Mars, Alexandre Vivet, Fakhreddine Dammak, Mohamed Haddar


The demand for bio-based materials in semi-structural and structural applications is constantly growing to conform to new environmental policies. Among them, Plant Fiber Reinforced Composites (PFRC) are attractive for the scientific community as well as the industrial world. Due to their relatively low densities and low environmental impact, vegetal fibers appear to be suitable as reinforcing materials for polymers. However, the major issue of plant fibers and PFRC in general is their hydrophilic behavior (high affinity to water molecules). Indeed, when absorbed, water causes fiber swelling and a loss of mechanical properties. Thus, the environmental loadings (moisture, temperature, UV) can strongly affect their mechanical properties and therefore play a critical role in the service life of PFRC. In order to analyze the influence of conditioning at relative humidity on the behavior of flax fiber reinforced composites, a preliminary study on flax fabrics has been conducted. The conditioning of the fabrics in different humid atmospheres made it possible to study the influence of the water content on the hygro-mechanical behavior of flax reinforcement through mechanical tensile tests. This work shows that increasing the relative humidity of the atmosphere induces an increase of the water content in the samples. It also brings up the significant influence of water content on the stiffness and elongation at break of the fabric, while no significant change of the breaking load is detected. Non-linear decrease of flax fabric rigidity and increase of its elongation at maximal force with the increase of water content are observed. It is concluded that water molecules act as a softening agent on flax fabrics. Two kinds of typical tensile curves are identified. Most of the tensile curves of samples show one unique linear region where the behavior appears to be linear prior to the first yarn failure. For some samples in which water content is between 2.7 % and 3.7 % (regardless the conditioning atmosphere), the emergence of a two-linear region behavior is pointed out. This phenomenon could be explained by local heterogeneities of water content which could induce premature local plasticity in some regions of the flax fabric sample behavior.

Keywords: hygro-mechanical behavior, hygroscopy, flax fabric, relative humidity, mechanical properties

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2 Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy of Nasopharyngeal Carcinomas: Patterns of Loco Regional Relapse

Authors: Omar Nouri, Wafa Mnejja, Nejla Fourati, Fatma Dhouib, Wicem Siala, Ilhem Charfeddine, Afef Khanfir, Jamel Daoud


Background and objective: Induction chemotherapy (IC) followed by concomitant chemo radiotherapy with intensity modulated radiation (IMRT) technique is actually the recommended treatment modality for locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPC). The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic factors predicting loco regional relapse with this new treatment protocol. Patients and methods: A retrospective study of 52 patients with NPC treated between June 2016 and July 2019. All patients received IC according to the protocol of the Head and Neck Radiotherapy Oncology Group (Gortec) NPC 2006 (3 TPF courses) followed by concomitant chemo radiotherapy with weekly cisplatin (40 mg / m2). Patients received IMRT with integrated simultaneous boost (SIB) of 33 daily fractions at a dose of 69.96 Gy for high-risk volume, 60 Gy for intermediate risk volume and 54 Gy for low-risk volume. Median age was 49 years (19-69) with a sex ratio of 3.3. Forty five tumors (86.5%) were classified as stages III - IV according to the 2017 UICC TNM classification. Loco regional relapse (LRR) was defined as a local and/or regional progression that occurs at least 6 months after the end of treatment. Survival analysis was performed according to Kaplan-Meier method and Log-rank test was used to compare anatomy clinical and therapeutic factors that may influence loco regional free survival (LRFS). Results: After a median follow up of 42 months, 6 patients (11.5%) experienced LRR. A metastatic relapse was also noted for 3 of these patients (50%). Target volumes coverage was optimal for all patient with LRR. Four relapses (66.6%) were in high-risk target volume and two (33.3%) were borderline. Three years LRFS was 85,9%. Four factors predicted loco regional relapses: histologic type other than undifferentiated (UCNT) (p=0.027), a macroscopic pre chemotherapy tumor volume exceeding 100 cm³ (p=0.005), a reduction in IC doses exceeding 20% (p=0.016) and a total cumulative cisplatin dose less than 380 mg/m² (p=0.0.34). TNM classification and response to IC did not impact loco regional relapses. Conclusion: For nasopharyngeal carcinoma, tumors with initial high volume and/or histologic type other than UCNT, have a higher risk of loco regional relapse. Therefore, they require a more aggressive therapeutic approaches and a suitable monitoring protocol.

Keywords: loco regional relapse, modulation intensity radiotherapy, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, prognostic factors

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1 Analysis of the Homogeneous Turbulence Structure in Uniformly Sheared Bubbly Flow Using First and Second Order Turbulence Closures

Authors: Hela Ayeb Mrabtini, Ghazi Bellakhal, Jamel Chahed


The presence of the dispersed phase in gas-liquid bubbly flow considerably alters the liquid turbulence. The bubbles induce turbulent fluctuations that enhance the global liquid turbulence level and alter the mechanisms of turbulence. RANS modeling of uniformly sheared flows on an isolated sphere centered in a control volume is performed using first and second order turbulence closures. The sphere is placed in the production-dissipation equilibrium zone where the liquid velocity is set equal to the relative velocity of the bubbles. The void fraction is determined by the ratio between the sphere volume and the control volume. The analysis of the turbulence statistics on the control volume provides numerical results that are interpreted with regard to the effect of the bubbles wakes on the turbulence structure in uniformly sheared bubbly flow. We assumed for this purpose that at low void fraction where there is no hydrodynamic interaction between the bubbles, the single-phase flow simulation on an isolated sphere is representative on statistical average of a sphere network. The numerical simulations were firstly validated against the experimental data of bubbly homogeneous turbulence with constant shear and then extended to produce numerical results for a wide range of shear rates from 0 to 10 s^-1. These results are compared with our turbulence closure proposed for gas-liquid bubbly flows. In this closure, the turbulent stress tensor in the liquid is split into a turbulent dissipative part produced by the gradient of the mean velocity which also contains the turbulence generated in the bubble wakes and a pseudo-turbulent non-dissipative part induced by the bubbles displacements. Each part is determined by a specific transport equation. The simulations of uniformly sheared flows on an isolated sphere reproduce the mechanisms related to the turbulent part, and the numerical results are in perfect accordance with the modeling of the transport equation of the turbulent part. The reduction of second order turbulence closure provides a description of the modification of turbulence structure by the bubbles presence using a dimensionless number expressed in terms of two-time scales characterizing the turbulence induced by the shear and that induced by bubbles displacements. The numerical simulations carried out in the framework of a comprehensive analysis reproduce particularly the attenuation of the turbulent friction showed in the experimental results of bubbly homogeneous turbulence subjected to a constant shear.

Keywords: gas-liquid bubbly flows, homogeneous turbulence, turbulence closure, uniform shear

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