Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Kazuhiro Taniguchi

19 An Experimental Study on Intellectual Concentration Influenced by Indoor Airflow

Authors: Kyoko Ito, Shinya Furuta, Daisuke Kamihigashi, Kimi Ueda, Hirotake Ishii, Hiroshi Shimoda, Fumiaki Obayashi, Kazuhiro Taniguchi

Abstract:

In order to improve intellectual concentration, few studies have verified the effect of indoor airflow among the thermal environment conditions, and the differences of the season in effects have not been studied. In this study, in order to investigate the influence of the airflow in winter on the intellectual concentration, an evaluation experiment was conducted. In the previous study, an effective airflow in summer was proposed and the improvement of intellectual concentration by evaluation experiment was confirmed. Therefore, an airflow profile in winter was proposed with reference to the airflow profile in summer. The airflows are a combination of a simulative airflow and mild airflow. An experiment has been conducted to investigate the influence of a room airflow in winter on intellectual concentration. As a result of comparison with no airflow condition, no significant difference was found. Based on the results, it is a future task to ask preliminary preference in advance and to establish a mechanism that can provide controllable airflow for each individual, taking into account the preference for airflow to be different for each individual.

Keywords: concentration time ratio, CTR, indoor airflow, intellectual concentration, workplace environment

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18 Integrated Thermal Control to Improve Workers' Intellectual Concentration in Office Environment

Authors: Kimi Ueda, Kosuke Sugita, Soma Kawamoto, Hiroshi Shimoda, Hirotake Ishii, Fumiaki Obayashi, Kazuhiro Taniguchi, Ayaka Suzuki

Abstract:

The authors have focused on the thermal difference between office rooms and break rooms, and proposed an integrated thermal control method to improve workers’ intellectual concentration. First, a trial experiment was conducted to verify the effect of temperature difference on workers’ intellectual concentration with using two experimental rooms; a thermally neutral break room and a cooler office room. As the result of the experiment, it was found that the thermal difference had a significant effect on improving their intellectual concentration. Workers, however, often take a short break at their desks without moving to a break room, so that the thermal difference cannot be given to them. So utilization of airflow was proposed as an integrated thermal control method instead of the temperature difference to realize the similar effect. Concretely, they are exposed to airflow when working in order to reduce their effective temperature while it is weakened when taking a break. Another experiment was conducted to confirm the effect of the airflow control on their intellectual concentration. As the result of concentration index and questionnaire survey, their intellectual concentration was significantly improved in the integrated thermal controlled environment. It was also found that most of them felt more comfortable and had higher motivation and higher degree of concentration in the environment.

Keywords: airflow, evaluation experiment, intellectual concentration, thermal difference

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17 A Geometrical Perspective on the Insulin Evolution

Authors: Yuhei Kunihiro, Sorin V. Sabau, Kazuhiro Shibuya

Abstract:

We study the molecular evolution of insulin from the metric geometry point of view. In mathematics, and particularly in geometry, distances and metrics between objects are of fundamental importance. Using a weaker notion than the classical distance, namely the weighted quasi-metrics, one can study the geometry of biological sequences (DNA, mRNA, or proteins) space. We analyze from the geometrical point of view a family of 60 insulin homologous sequences ranging on a large variety of living organisms from human to the nematode C. elegans. We show that the distances between sequences provide important information about the evolution and function of insulin.

Keywords: metric geometry, evolution, insulin, C. elegans

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16 Subarray Based Multiuser Massive MIMO Design Adopting Large Transmit and Receive Arrays

Authors: Tetsiki Taniguchi, Yoshio Karasawa

Abstract:

This paper describes a subarray based low computational design method of multiuser massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) system. In our previous works, use of large array is assumed only in transmitter, but this study considers the case both of transmitter and receiver sides are equipped with large array antennas. For this aim, receive arrays are also divided into several subarrays, and the former proposed method is modified for the synthesis of a large array from subarrays in both ends. Through computer simulations, it is verified that the performance of the proposed method is degraded compared with the original approach, but it can achieve the improvement in the aspect of complexity, namely, significant reduction of the computational load to the practical level.

Keywords: large array, massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO), multiuser, singular value decomposition, subarray, zero forcing

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15 Node Pair Selection Scheme in Relay-Aided Communication Based on Stable Marriage Problem

Authors: Tetsuki Taniguchi, Yoshio Karasawa

Abstract:

This paper describes a node pair selection scheme in relay-aided multiple source multiple destination communication system based on stable marriage problem. A general case is assumed in which all of source, relay and destination nodes are equipped with multiantenna and carry out multistream transmission. Based on several metrics introduced from inter-node channel condition, the preference order is determined about all source-relay and relay-destination relations, and then the node pairs are determined using Gale-Shapley algorithm. The computer simulations show that the effectiveness of node pair selection is larger in multihop communication. Some additional aspects which are different from relay-less case are also investigated.

Keywords: relay, multiple input multiple output (MIMO), multiuser, amplify and forward, stable marriage problem, Gale-Shapley algorithm

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14 Rehabilitation Robot in Primary Walking Pattern Training for SCI Patient at Home

Authors: Taisuke Sakaki, Toshihiko Shimokawa, Nobuhiro Ushimi, Koji Murakami, Yong-Kwun Lee, Kazuhiro Tsuruta, Kanta Aoki, Kaoru Fujiie, Ryuji Katamoto, Atsushi Sugyo

Abstract:

Recently attention has been focused on incomplete spinal cord injuries (SCI) to the central spine caused by pressure on parts of the white matter conduction pathway, such as the pyramidal tract. In this paper, we focus on a training robot designed to assist with primary walking-pattern training. The target patient for this training robot is relearning the basic functions of the usual walking pattern; it is meant especially for those with incomplete-type SCI to the central spine, who are capable of standing by themselves but not of performing walking motions. From the perspective of human engineering, we monitored the operator’s actions to the robot and investigated the movement of joints of the lower extremities, the circumference of the lower extremities, and exercise intensity with the machine. The concept of the device was to provide mild training without any sudden changes in heart rate or blood pressure, which will be particularly useful for the elderly and disabled. The mechanism of the robot is modified to be simple and lightweight with the expectation that it will be used at home.

Keywords: training, rehabilitation, SCI patient, welfare, robot

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13 Mimicking of Various ECM Tangible Cues for the Manipulation of Hepatocellular Behaviours

Authors: S. A. Abdellatef, A. Taniguchi, Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki

Abstract:

The alterations in the physicochemical characteristics of bio-materials are renowned for their impact in cellular behaviors. Surface chemistry and substratum topography are separately considered as mutable characteristics with deep impact on the overall cell behaviors. In our recent work, we examined the manipulation of the physical cues on hepatic cellular behaviors. We have proven that the geometrical or dimensional characteristics of nano features are essential for the optimum hepatocellular functions. While here, the collective impact of both physical and chemical cues on hepatocellular behaviors was investigated. On which RGD peptide was immobilized on a TiO2 nano pattern that imitates the hierarchically extend collagen nano fibrillar structures. The hepatocytes morphological and functional changes induced by simultaneously combining the diversified cues were investigated. TiO2 substrates that integrate nano topography with the adhesive peptide motif (RGD) had showed an increase in the hepatocellular functionality to the maximum extent. While a significant enhancement in expression of these liver specific markers on RGD coated surfaces were observed compared to uncoated substrates regardless of topography. Consequently in depth understanding of the relationship between various kind of cues and hepatocytes behaviors would be a paving step in the application of tissue engineering and bio reactor technology.

Keywords: biomaterial, tiO2, hepG2, RGD

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12 Study on Hysteresis in Sustainable Two-Layer Circular Tube under a Lateral Compression Load

Authors: Ami Nomura, Ken Imanishi, Yukinori Taniguchi, Etsuko Ueda, Tadahiro Wada, Shinichi Enoki

Abstract:

Recently, there have been a lot of earthquakes in Japan. It is necessary to promote seismic isolation devices for buildings. The devices have been hardly diffused in attached houses, because the devices are very expensive. We should develop a low-cost seismic isolation device for detached houses. We suggested a new seismic isolation device which uses a two-layer circular tube as a unit. If hysteresis is produced in the two-layer circular tube under lateral compression load, we think that the two-layer circular tube can have energy absorbing capacity. It is necessary to contact the outer layer and the inner layer to produce hysteresis. We have previously reported how the inner layer comes in contact with the outer layer from a perspective of analysis used mechanics of materials. We have clarified that the inner layer comes in contact with the outer layer under a lateral compression load. In this paper, we explored contact area between the outer layer and the inner layer under a lateral compression load by using FEA. We think that changing the inner layer’s thickness is effective in increase the contact area. In order to change the inner layer’s thickness, we changed the shape of the inner layer. As a result, the contact area changes depending on the inner layer’s thickness. Additionally, we experimented to check whether hysteresis occurs in fact. As a consequence, we can reveal hysteresis in the two-layer circular tube under the condition.

Keywords: contact area, energy absorbing capacity, hysteresis, seismic isolation device

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11 Competitive Adsorption of Al, Ga and In by Gamma Irradiation Induced Pectin-Acrylamide-(Vinyl Phosphonic Acid) Hydrogel

Authors: Md Murshed Bhuyan, Hirotaka Okabe, Yoshiki Hidaka, Kazuhiro Hara

Abstract:

Pectin-Acrylamide- (Vinyl Phosphonic Acid) Hydrogels were prepared from their blend by using gamma radiation of various doses. It was found that the gel fraction of hydrogel increases with increasing the radiation dose reaches a maximum and then started decreasing with increasing the dose. The optimum radiation dose and the composition of raw materials were determined on the basis of equilibrium swelling which resulted in 20 kGy absorbed dose and 1:2:4 (Pectin:AAm:VPA) composition. Differential scanning calorimetry reveals the gel strength for using them as the adsorbent. The FTIR-spectrum confirmed the grafting/ crosslinking of the monomer on the backbone of pectin chain. The hydrogels were applied in adsorption of Al, Ga, and In from multielement solution where the adsorption capacity order for those three elements was found as – In>Ga>Al. SEM images of hydrogels and metal adsorbed hydrogels indicate the gel network and adherence of the metal ions in the interpenetrating network of the hydrogel which were supported by EDS spectra. The adsorption isotherm models were studied and found that the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model was well fitted with the data. Adsorption data were also fitted to different adsorption kinetic and diffusion models. Desorption of metal adsorbed hydrogels was performed in 5% nitric acid where desorption efficiency was found around 90%.

Keywords: hydrogel, gamma radiation, vinyl phosphonic acid, metal adsorption

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10 Formal Implementation of Routing Information Protocol Using Event-B

Authors: Jawid Ahmad Baktash, Tadashi Shiroma, Tomokazu Nagata, Yuji Taniguchi, Morikazu Nakamura

Abstract:

The goal of this paper is to explore the use of formal methods for Dynamic Routing, The purpose of network communication with dynamic routing is sending a massage from one node to others by using pacific protocols. In dynamic routing connections are possible based on protocols of Distance vector (Routing Information Protocol, Border Gateway protocol), Link State (Open Shortest Path First, Intermediate system Intermediate System), Hybrid (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol). The responsibility for proper verification becomes crucial with Dynamic Routing. Formal methods can play an essential role in the Routing, development of Networks and testing of distributed systems. Event-B is a formal technique consists of describing rigorously the problem; introduce solutions or details in the refinement steps to obtain more concrete specification, and verifying that proposed solutions are correct. The system is modeled in terms of an abstract state space using variables with set theoretic types and the events that modify state variables. Event-B is a variant of B, was designed for developing distributed systems. In Event-B, the events consist of guarded actions occurring spontaneously rather than being invoked. The invariant state properties must be satisfied by the variables and maintained by the activation of the events.

Keywords: dynamic rout RIP, formal method, event-B, pro-B

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9 Survey of Epidemiology and Mechanisms of Badminton Injury Using Medical Check-Up and Questionnaire of School Age Badminton Players

Authors: Xiao Zhou, Kazuhiro Imai, Xiaoxuan Liu

Abstract:

Badminton is one type of racket sports that requires repetitive overhead motion, with the shoulder in abduction/external rotation and requires players to perform jumps, lunges, and quick directional changes. These characteristics could be stressful for body regions that may cause badminton injuries. Regarding racket players including badminton players, there have not been any studies that have utilized medical check-up to evaluate epidemiology and mechanism of injuries. In addition, epidemiology of badminton injury in school age badminton players is unknown. The first purpose of this study was to investigate the badminton injuries, physical fitness parameters, and intensity of shoulder pain using medical check-up so that the mechanisms of shoulder injuries might be revealed. The second purpose of this study was to survey the distribution of badminton injuries in elementary school age players so that injury prevention can be implemented as early as possible. The results of this study revealed that shoulder pain occurred in all players, and present shoulder pain players had smaller weight, greater shoulder external rotation (ER) gain, significantly thinner circumference of upper limbs and greater trunk extension. Identifying players with specific of these factors may enhance the prevention of badminton injury. This study also shows that there are high incidences of knee, ankle, plantar, and shoulder injury or pain in elementary school age badminton players. Injury prevention program might be implemented for elementary school age players.

Keywords: badminton injury, epidemiology, medical check-up, school age players

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8 Application of Recycled Tungsten Carbide Powder for Fabrication of Iron Based Powder Metallurgy Alloy

Authors: Yukinori Taniguchi, Kazuyoshi Kurita, Kohei Mizuta, Keigo Nishitani, Ryuichi Fukuda

Abstract:

Tungsten carbide is widely used as a tool material in metal manufacturing process. Since tungsten is typical rare metal, establishment of recycle process of tungsten carbide tools and restore into cemented carbide material bring great impact to metal manufacturing industry. Recently, recycle process of tungsten carbide has been developed and established gradually. However, the demands for quality of cemented carbide tool are quite severe because hardness, toughness, anti-wear ability, heat resistance, fatigue strength and so on should be guaranteed for precision machining and tool life. Currently, it is hard to restore the recycled tungsten carbide powder entirely as raw material for new processed cemented carbide tool. In this study, to suggest positive use of recycled tungsten carbide powder, we have tried to fabricate a carbon based sintered steel which shows reinforced mechanical properties with recycled tungsten carbide powder. We have made set of newly designed sintered steels. Compression test of sintered specimen in density ratio of 0.85 (which means 15% porosity inside) has been conducted. As results, at least 1.7 times higher in nominal strength in the amount of 7.0 wt.% was shown in recycled WC powder. The strength reached to over 600 MPa for the Fe-WC-Co-Cu sintered alloy. Wear test has been conducted by using ball-on-disk type friction tester using 5 mm diameter ball with normal force of 2 N in the dry conditions. Wear amount after 1,000 m running distance shows that about 1.5 times longer life was shown in designed sintered alloy. Since results of tensile test showed that same tendency in previous testing, it is concluded that designed sintered alloy can be used for several mechanical parts with special strength and anti-wear ability in relatively low cost due to recycled tungsten carbide powder.

Keywords: tungsten carbide, recycle process, compression test, powder metallurgy, anti-wear ability

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7 Evaluation of Low Temperature as Treatment Tool for Eradication of Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) in Artificial Diet

Authors: Farhan J. M. Al-Behadili, Vineeta Bilgi, Miyuki Taniguchi, Junxi Li, Wei Xu

Abstract:

Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) is one of the most destructive pests of fruits and vegetables. Medfly originated from Africa and spread in many countries, and is currently an endemic pest in Western Australia. Medfly has been recorded from over 300 plant species including fruits, vegetables, nuts and its main hosts include blueberries, citrus, stone fruit, pome fruits, peppers, tomatoes, and figs. Global trade of fruits and other farm fresh products are suffering from the damages of this pest, which prompted towards the need to develop more effective ways to control these pests. The available quarantine treatment technologies mainly include chemical treatment (e.g., fumigation) and non-chemical treatments (e.g., cold, heat and irradiation). In recent years, with the loss of several chemicals, it has become even more important to rely on non-chemical postharvest control technologies (i.e., heat, cold and irradiation) to control fruit flies. Cold treatment is one of the most potential trends of focus in postharvest treatment because it is free of chemical residues, mitigates or kills the pest population, increases the strength of the fruits, and prolongs storage time. It can also be applied to fruits after packing and ‘in transit’ during lengthy transport by sea during their exports. However, limited systematic study on cold treatment of Medfly stages in artificial diets was reported, which is critical to provide a scientific basis to compare with previous research in plant products and design an effective cold treatment suitable for exported plant products. The overall purpose of this study was to evaluate and understand Medfly responses to cold treatments. Medfly stages were tested. The long-term goal was to optimize current postharvest treatments and develop more environmentally-friendly, cost-effective, and efficient treatments for controlling Medfly. Cold treatment with different exposure times is studied to evaluate cold eradication treatment of Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), that reared on carrot diet. Mortality is important aspect was studied in this study. On the other hand, study effects of exposure time on mortality means of medfly stages.

Keywords: cold treatment, fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, carrot diet, temperature effects

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6 Effects of Low Subscription Fares and Mobility Management to Promote Public Transport Use: A Case Study of Oyama City, Japan

Authors: Tomohide Azami, Ayako Taniguchi

Abstract:

Breaking away from the dependence on cars, increasing the number of public transport users, and securing operational revenues have been posing a problem for many cities worldwide. In Oyama City, Japan (population approximately 167,000), the transport share of automobiles is approximately 70% and the transport share of buses is 0.3%. Buses operated by private companies running in the city were withdrawn in 2008. To solve this problem of automobile dependence among citizens, Oyama city introduced low subscription fares (Max 70% discount on all city pass) and used branding to promote public relations (mobility management). In this study, we clarified the characteristics of the implementation process and public relations tools, and analyzed the effects of the policy from two perspectives: changing citizens' awareness and behavior, and maintaining the financial stability of the bus management. As an implementation process, the city decided to introduce low-cost citywide passes and implement mobility management for all citizens in order to break the dependence of citizens on automobiles and promote bus usage. The pass sales period was tentatively set at one year, and the service was extended and continued for two years, and converted to a permanent service due to no revenue loss. As a feature of the mobility management tool, a lifestyle information tabloid was adopted so that all citizens could read it with familiarity, and with the participation of creative directors and designers, three types of tabloids were created and distributed to all 53,000 households in the city three times. As a result of the effectiveness analysis, it was confirmed that the number of pass holders increased 4 times from 118 to 463 (as of March 2022), the number of times pass holders use the bus has increased by 11.5%, and car use has decreased by 27.5%. Those who were not in the habit of using buses are purchasing passes and developing the habit of using buses. With regard to bus management, it was observed that the total annual number of bus passengers increased by 1.1 times and the income from bus service was maintained. In addition, public relations activities have increased awareness of the pass and increased the number of citizens who have become attached to the bus and the city. These results suggest that the combination of introducing a low-cost citywide pass and public relations activities using branding can increase the number of bus users without reducing operating revenues.

Keywords: public transport, subscription fares, bus, mobility management, communication campaign

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5 Relationship between Pushing Behavior and Subcortical White Matter Lesion in the Acute Phase after Stroke

Authors: Yuji Fujino, Kazu Amimoto, Kazuhiro Fukata, Masahide Inoue, Hidetoshi Takahashi, Shigeru Makita

Abstract:

Aim: Pusher behavior (PB) is a disorder in which stroke patients shift their body weight toward the affected side of the body (the hemiparetic side) and push away from the non-hemiparetic side. These patients often use further pushing to resist any attempts to correct their position to upright. It is known that the subcortical white matter lesion (SWML) usually correlates of gait or balance function in stroke patients. However, it is unclear whether the SWML influences PB. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the damage of SWML affects the severity of PB on acute stroke patients. Methods: Fourteen PB patients without thalamic or cortical lesions (mean age 73.4 years, 17.5 days from onset) participated in this study. Evaluation of PB was performed according to the Scale for Contraversive Pushing (SCP) for sitting and/or standing. We used modified criteria wherein the SCP subscale scores in each section of the scale were >0. As a clinical measurement, patients were evaluated by the Stroke Impairment Assessment Set (SIAS). For the depiction of SWML, we used T2-weighted fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery imaging. The degree of damage on SWML was assessed using the Fazekas scale. Patients were divided into two groups in the presence of SWML (SWML+ group; Fazekas scale grade 1-3, SWML- group; Fazekas scale grade 0). The independent t-test was used to compare the SCP and SIAS. This retrospective study was approved by the Ethics Committee. Results: In SWML+ group, the SCP was 3.7±1.0 points (mean±SD), the SIAS was 28.0 points (median). In SWML- group, the SCP was 2.0±0.2 points, and the SIAS was 31.5 points. The SCP was significantly higher in SWML+ group than in SWML- group (p<0.05). The SIAS was not significant in both groups (p>0.05). Discussion: It has been considered that the posterior thalamus is the neural structures that process the afferent sensory signals mediating graviceptive information about upright body orientation in humans. Therefore, many studies reported that PB was typically associated with unilateral lesions of the posterior thalamus. However, the result indicates that these extra-thalamic brain areas also contribute to the network controlling upright body posture. Therefore, SMWL might induce dysfunction through malperfusion in distant thalamic or other structurally intact neural structures. This study had a small sample size. Therefore, future studies should be performed with a large number of PB patients. Conclusion: The present study suggests that SWML can be definitely associated with PB. The patients with SWML may be severely incapacitating.

Keywords: pushing behavior, subcortical white matter lesion, acute phase, stroke

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4 Powder Assisted Sheet Forming to Fabricate Ti Capsule Magnetic Hyperthermia Implant

Authors: Keigo Nishitani, Kohei Mizuta Mizuta, Kazuyoshi Kurita, Yukinori Taniguchi

Abstract:

To establish mass production process of Ti capsule which has Fe powder inside as magnetic hyperthermia implant, we assumed that Ti thin sheet can be drawn into a φ1.0 mm die hole through the medium of Fe Powder and becomes outer shell of capsule. This study discusses mechanism of powder assisted deep drawing process by both of numerical simulation and experiment. Ti thin sheet blank was placed on die, and was covered by Fe powder layer without pressurizing. Then upper punch was indented on the Fe powder layer, and the blank can be drawn into die cavity as pressurized powder particles were extruded into die cavity from behind of the drawn blank. Distinct Element Method (DEM) has been used to demonstrate the process. To identify bonding parameters on Fe particles which are cohesion, tensile bond stress and inter particle friction angle, axial and diametrical compression failure test of Fe powder compact was conducted. Several density ratios of powder compacts in range of 0.70 - 0.85 were investigated and relationship between mean stress and equivalent stress was calculated with consideration of critical state line which rules failure criterion in consolidation of Fe powder. Since variation of bonding parameters with density ratio has been experimentally identified, and good agreement has been recognized between several failure tests and its simulation, demonstration of powder assisted sheet forming by using DEM becomes applicable. Results of simulation indicated that indent/drawing length of Ti thin sheet is promoted by smaller Fe particle size, larger indent punch diameter, lower friction coefficient between die surface and Ti sheet and certain degrees of die inlet taper angle. In the deep drawing test, we have made die-set with φ2.4 mm punch and φ1.0 mm die bore diameter. Pure Ti sheet with 100 μm thickness, annealed at 650 deg. C has been tested. After indentation, indented/drawn capsule has been observed by microscope, and its length was measured to discuss the feasibility of this capsulation process. Longer drawing length exists on progressive loading pass comparing with the case of single stroke loading. It is expected that progressive loading has an advantage of which extrusion of powder particle into die cavity with Ti sheet is promoted since powder particle layer can be rebuilt while the punch is withdrawn from the layer in each loading steps. This capsulation phenomenon is qualitatively demonstrated by DEM simulation. Finally, we have fabricated Ti capsule which has Fe powder inside for magnetic hyperthermia cancer care treatment. It is concluded that suggested method is possible to use the manufacturing of Ti capsule implant for magnetic hyperthermia cancer care.

Keywords: metal powder compaction, metal forming, distinct element method, cancer care, magnetic hyperthermia

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3 The Effectiveness of Insider Mediation for Sustainable Peace: A Case Study in Mindanao, the Philippines

Authors: Miyoko Taniguchi

Abstract:

Conflict and violence have prevailed over the last four decades in conflict-affected areas in Muslim Mindanao, despite the signing of several peace agreements between the Philippine government and Islamic separatist insurgents (the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)), and peacebuilding activities on the ground. In the meantime, the peace talks had been facilitated and mediated by international actors such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its member countries such as Indonesia, and Malaysia, and Japan. In 2014, both the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF finally reached a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CAB) in 2014 under the Aquino III administration, though a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) based on the CAB was not enacted at the Catholic-majority of the Philippine Congress. After a long process of deliberations at the Congress, Republic Act 11054, known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), was enacted in 2018 under the Duterate administration. In the beginning, President Duterte adopted an 'inclusive approach' that involves the MILF, all factions of the MNLF, non-Islamized indigenous peoples, and other influential clan leaders to align all peace processes under a single Bangsamoro peace process. A notable difference from past administrations, there is an explicit recognition of all agreements and legislations based on the rights of each stakeholder. This created a new identity as 'Bangsamoro', the residents of Muslim Mindanao, enhancing political legitimacy. Besides, it should be noted an important role of 'insider mediators' -a platform for the Bangsamoro from diverse sectors attempting to work within their respective organizations in Moro society. Give the above background, this paper aims at probing the effectiveness of insider mediation as one of the alternative approaches for mediation in the peace process. For the objectives, this research uses qualitative methods such as process-tracing and semi-structured interviews from diverse groups of stakeholders at from the state to the regional level, including the government officials involved in peace process under the Presidential Office, rebels (MILF and MNLF), civil society organizations involved in lobbying and facilitating peace process, especially in the legislative process. The key outcomes and findings are that the Insider Mediators Group, formed in 2016, had taken on a significant role in facilitating the achievement of a wider consensus among stakeholders on major Moro issues such as BBL’s passing during the last administration to call for unity among the Bangsamoro. Most of its members are well-educated professionals affiliated with the MILF, the MNLF, and influential clans. One of the group’s biggest achievements has been the lobbying and provision of legal advice to legislators who were not necessarily knowledgeable about the peace process during the deliberation of the bicameral conference of the BBL, which eventually led to its passage. It can be concluded that in the long run, strengthening vertical and horizontal relations between the Moro society and the State and among the Moro peoples that can be viewed as a means to sustainable peace.

Keywords: insider mediation, Mindanao, peace process, Moro Islamic liberation front

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2 Potential of Polyphenols from Tamarix Gallica towards Common Pathological Features of Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Diseases

Authors: Asma Ben Hmidene, Mizuho Hanaki, Kazuma Murakami, Kazuhiro Irie, Hiroko Isoda, Hideyuki Shigemori

Abstract:

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are characterized as a peripheral metabolic disorder and a degenerative disease of the central nervous system, respectively. It is now widely recognized that T2DM and AD share many pathophysiological features including glucose metabolism, increased oxidative stress and amyloid aggregation. Amyloid beta (Aβ) is the components of the amyloid deposits in the AD brain and while the component of the amyloidogenic peptide deposit in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans is identified as human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP). These two proteins are originated from the amyloid precursor protein and have a high sequence similarity. Although the amino acid sequences of amyloidogenic proteins are diverse, they all adopt a similar structure in aggregates called cross-beta-spine. Add at that, extensive studies in the past years have found that like Aβ1-42, IAPP forms early intermediate assemblies as spherical oligomers, implicating that these oligomers possess a common folding pattern or conformation. These similarities can be used in the search for effective pharmacotherapy for DM, since potent therapeutic agents such as antioxidants with a catechol moiety, proved to inhibit Aβ aggregation, may play a key role in the inhibit the aggregation of hIAPP treatment of patients with DM. Tamarix gallica is one of the halophyte species having a powerful antioxidant system. Although it was traditionally used for the treatment of various liver metabolic disorders, there is no report about the use of this plant for the treatment or prevention of T2DM and AD. Therefore, the aim of this work is to investigate their protective effect towards T2DM and AD by isolation and identification of α-glucosidase inhibitors, with antioxidant potential, that play an important role in the glucose metabolism in diabetic patient, as well as, the polymerization of hIAPP and Aβ aggregation inhibitors. Structure-activity relationship study was conducted for both assays. And as for α-glucosidase inhibitors, their mechanism of action and their synergistic potential when applied with a very low concentration of acarbose were also suggesting that they can be used not only as α-glucosidase inhibitors but also be combined with established α-glucosidase inhibitors to reduce their adverse effect. The antioxidant potential of the purified substances was evaluated by DPPH and SOD assays. Th-T assay using 42-mer amyloid β-protein (Aβ42) for AD and hIAPP which is a 37-residue peptide secreted by the pancreatic β –cells for T2DM and Transmission electronic microscopy (TEM) were conducted to evaluate the amyloid aggragation of the actives substances. For α-glucosidase, p-NPG and glucose oxidase assays were performed for determining the inhibition potential and structure-activity relationship study. The Enzyme kinetic protocol was used to study the mechanism of action. From this research, it was concluded that polyphenols playing a role in the glucose metabolism and oxidative stress can also inhibit the amyloid aggregation, and that substances with a catechol and glucuronide moieties inhibiting amyloid-β aggregation, might be used to inhibit the aggregation of hIAPP.

Keywords: α-glucosidase inhibitors, amyloid aggregation inhibition, mechanism of action, polyphenols, structure activity relationship, synergistic potential, tamarix gallica

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1 CLOUD Japan: Prospective Multi-Hospital Study to Determine the Population-Based Incidence of Hospitalized Clostridium difficile Infections

Authors: Kazuhiro Tateda, Elisa Gonzalez, Shuhei Ito, Kirstin Heinrich, Kevin Sweetland, Pingping Zhang, Catia Ferreira, Michael Pride, Jennifer Moisi, Sharon Gray, Bennett Lee, Fred Angulo

Abstract:

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is the most common cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea in healthcare settings. Japan has an aging population; the elderly are at increased risk of hospitalization, antibiotic use, and C. difficile infection (CDI). Little is known about the population-based incidence and disease burden of CDI in Japan although limited hospital-based studies have reported a lower incidence than the United States. To understand CDI disease burden in Japan, CLOUD (Clostridium difficile Infection Burden of Disease in Adults in Japan) was developed. CLOUD will derive population-based incidence estimates of the number of CDI cases per 100,000 population per year in Ota-ku (population 723,341), one of the districts in Tokyo, Japan. CLOUD will include approximately 14 of the 28 Ota-ku hospitals including Toho University Hospital, which is a 1,000 bed tertiary care teaching hospital. During the 12-month patient enrollment period, which is scheduled to begin in November 2018, Ota-ku residents > 50 years of age who are hospitalized at a participating hospital with diarrhea ( > 3 unformed stools (Bristol Stool Chart 5-7) in 24 hours) will be actively ascertained, consented, and enrolled by study surveillance staff. A stool specimen will be collected from enrolled patients and tested at a local reference laboratory (LSI Medience, Tokyo) using QUIK CHEK COMPLETE® (Abbott Laboratories). which simultaneously tests specimens for the presence of glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and C. difficile toxins A and B. A frozen stool specimen will also be sent to the Pfizer Laboratory (Pearl River, United States) for analysis using a two-step diagnostic testing algorithm that is based on detection of C. difficile strains/spores harboring toxin B gene by PCR followed by detection of free toxins (A and B) using a proprietary cell cytotoxicity neutralization assay (CCNA) developed by Pfizer. Positive specimens will be anaerobically cultured, and C. difficile isolates will be characterized by ribotyping and whole genomic sequencing. CDI patients enrolled in CLOUD will be contacted weekly for 90 days following diarrhea onset to describe clinical outcomes including recurrence, reinfection, and mortality, and patient reported economic, clinical and humanistic outcomes (e.g., health-related quality of life, worsening of comorbidities, and patient and caregiver work absenteeism). Studies will also be undertaken to fully characterize the catchment area to enable population-based estimates. The 12-month active ascertainment of CDI cases among hospitalized Ota-ku residents with diarrhea in CLOUD, and the characterization of the Ota-ku catchment area, including estimation of the proportion of all hospitalizations of Ota-ku residents that occur in the CLOUD-participating hospitals, will yield CDI population-based incidence estimates, which can be stratified by age groups, risk groups, and source (hospital-acquired or community-acquired). These incidence estimates will be extrapolated, following age standardization using national census data, to yield CDI disease burden estimates for Japan. CLOUD also serves as a model for studies in other countries that can use the CLOUD protocol to estimate CDI disease burden.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile, disease burden, epidemiology, study protocol

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