Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: Koji Okamura

25 Effect of Rice Vinegar Containing Monascus-Fermented Soybean on Cosmeceutical Functionality

Authors: Kyung-Soon Choi, Young-Hee Pyo

Abstract:

A cosmeceutical is a cosmetic product the active ingredient of which is meant to have a beneficial physiological effect resulting from an enhanced pharmacological action when compared to an inert cosmetic. Cosmeceutical potentials of unpolished rice vinegars containing different amount of Monascus-fermented soybean powder (soy-koji) were investigated. Four different vinegar types were prepared using 0, 10, 30, and 50% soy-koji addition. Soy-koji vinegar showed stronger cosmeceutical properties, in terms of tyrosinase and elastase inhibitory activities as well as antioxidant capacities than unpolished rice vinegars (P<0.05). The bioactive effects of soy koji vinegar increased with the increased concentrations of total phenolics and isoflavone aglycones(P<0.05). Results indicate that unpolished rice vinegar supplemented with soy-koji can be an efficient strategy to improve bioactivities in vinegar with associated enhancement of cosmeceutical functionality.

Keywords: cosmeceutical potentials, isoflavone aglycone, soy-koji vinegar, Monascus sp

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24 Study on Energy Performance Comparison of Information Centric Network Based on Difference of Network Architecture

Authors: Koji Okamura, Takumi Shindo

Abstract:

The first generation of the wide area network was circuit centric network. How the optimal circuit can be signed was the most important issue to get the best performance. This architecture had succeeded for line based telephone system. The second generation was host centric network and Internet based on this architecture has very succeeded world widely. And Internet became as new social infrastructure. Currently the architecture of the network is based on the location of the information. This future network is called Information centric network (ICN). The information-centric network (ICN) has being researched by many projects and different architectures for implementation of ICN have been proposed. The goal of this study is to compare performances of those ICN architectures. In this paper, the authors propose general ICN model which can represent two typical ICN architectures and compare communication performances using request routing. Finally, simulation results are shown. Also, we assume that this network architecture should be adapt to energy on-demand routing.

Keywords: Energy, icn, CCN, information centric network

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23 Application of Fatty Acid Salts for Antimicrobial Agents in Koji-Muro

Authors: Mariko Era, Takayoshi Kawahara, Takahide Kanyama, Hiroshi Morita, Aya Tanaka, Shiho Sakai

Abstract:

Objectives: Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae are used as koji fungi in the spot of the brewing. Since koji-muro (room for making koji) was a low level of airtightness, microbial contamination has long been a concern to the alcoholic beverage production. Therefore, we focused on the fatty acid salt which is the main component of soap. Fatty acid salts have been reported to show some antibacterial and antifungal activity. So this study examined antimicrobial activities against Aspergillus and Bacillus spp. This study aimed to find the effectiveness of the fatty acid salt in koji-muro as antimicrobial agents. Materials & Methods: A. niger NBRC 31628, A. oryzae NBRC 5238, A. oryzae (Akita Konno store) and Bacillus subtilis NBRC 3335 were chosen as tested. Nine fatty acid salts including potassium butyrate (C4K), caproate (C6K), caprylate (C8K), caprate (C10K), laurate (C12K), myristate (C14K), oleate (C18:1K), linoleate (C18:2K) and linolenate (C18:3K) at 350 mM and pH 10.5 were used as antimicrobial activity. FASs and spore suspension were prepared in plastic tubes. The spore suspension of each fungus (3.0×104 spores/mL) or the bacterial suspension (3.0×105 CFU/mL) was mixed with each of the fatty acid salts (final concentration of 175 mM). The mixtures were incubated at 25 ℃. Samples were counted at 0, 10, 60, and 180 min by plating (100 µL) on potato dextrose agar. Fungal and bacterial colonies were counted after incubation for 1 or 2 days at 30 ℃. The MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration) is defined as the lowest concentration of drug sufficient for inhibiting visible growth of spore after 10 min of incubation. MICs against fungi and bacteria were determined using the two-fold dilution method. Each fatty acid salt was separately inoculated with 400 µL of Aspergillus spp. or B. subtilis NBRC 3335 at 3.0 × 104 spores/mL or 3.0 × 105 CFU/mL. Results: No obvious change was observed in tested fatty acid salts against A. niger and A. oryzae. However, C12K was the antibacterial effect of 5 log-unit incubated time for 10 min against B. subtilis. Thus, C12K suppressed 99.999 % of bacterial growth. Besides, C10K was the antibacterial effect of 5 log-unit incubated time for 180 min against B. subtilis. C18:1K, C18:2K and C18:3K was the antibacterial effect of 5 log-unit incubated time for 10 min against B. subtilis. However, compared to saturated fatty acid salts to unsaturated fatty acid salts, saturated fatty acid salts are lower cost. These results suggest C12K has potential in the field of koji-muro. It is necessary to evaluate the antimicrobial activity against other fungi and bacteria, in the future.

Keywords: Antimicrobial, aspergillus, Fatty acid salts, koji-muro

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22 Fast Switching Mechanism for Multicasting Failure in OpenFlow Networks

Authors: Koji Okamura, Alaa Allakany

Abstract:

Multicast technology is an efficient and scalable technology for data distribution in order to optimize network resources. However, in the IP network, the responsibility for management of multicast groups is distributed among network routers, which causes some limitations such as delays in processing group events, high bandwidth consumption and redundant tree calculation. Software Defined Networking (SDN) represented by OpenFlow presented as a solution for many problems, in SDN the control plane and data plane are separated by shifting the control and management to a remote centralized controller, and the routers are used as a forwarder only. In this paper we will proposed fast switching mechanism for solving the problem of link failure in multicast tree based on Tabu Search heuristic algorithm and modifying the functions of OpenFlow switch to fasts switch to the pack up sub tree rather than sending to the controller. In this work we will implement multicasting OpenFlow controller, this centralized controller is a core part in our multicasting approach, which is responsible for 1- constructing the multicast tree, 2- handling the multicast group events and multicast state maintenance. And finally modifying OpenFlow switch functions for fasts switch to pack up paths. Forwarders, forward the multicast packet based on multicast routing entries which were generated by the centralized controller. Tabu search will be used as heuristic algorithm for construction near optimum multicast tree and maintain multicast tree to still near optimum in case of join or leave any members from multicast group (group events).

Keywords: tabu search, OpenFlow, multicast tree, software define networks

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21 Study on Planning of Smart GRID Using Landscape Ecology

Authors: Koji Okamura, Sunglim Lee, Susumu Fujii

Abstract:

Smart grid is a new approach for electric power grid that uses information and communications technology to control the electric power grid. Smart grid provides real-time control of the electric power grid, controlling the direction of power flow or time of the flow. Control devices are installed on the power lines of the electric power grid to implement smart grid. The number of the control devices should be determined, in relation with the area one control device covers and the cost associated with the control devices. One approach to determine the number of the control devices is to use the data on the surplus power generated by home solar generators. In current implementations, the surplus power is sent all the way to the power plant, which may cause power loss. To reduce the power loss, the surplus power may be sent to a control device and sent to where the power is needed from the control device. Under assumption that the control devices are installed on a lattice of equal size squares, our goal is to figure out the optimal spacing between the control devices, where the power sharing area (the area covered by one control device) is kept small to avoid power loss, and at the same time the power sharing area is big enough to have no surplus power wasted. To achieve this goal, a simulation using landscape ecology method is conducted on a sample area. First an aerial photograph of the land of interest is turned into a mosaic map where each area is colored according to the ratio of the amount of power production to the amount of power consumption in the area. The amount of power consumption is estimated according to the characteristics of the buildings in the area. The power production is calculated by the sum of the area of the roofs shown in the aerial photograph and assuming that solar panels are installed on all the roofs. The mosaic map is colored in three colors, each color representing producer, consumer, and neither. We started with a mosaic map with 100 m grid size, and the grid size is grown until there is no red grid. One control device is installed on each grid, so that the grid is the area which the control device covers. As the result of this simulation we got 350 m as the optimal spacing between the control devices that makes effective use of the surplus power for the sample area.

Keywords: Simulation, Smart Grid, Landscape ecology, aerial photograph

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20 An Analysis of Learners’ Reports for Measuring Co-Creational Education

Authors: Takatoshi Ishii, Koji Kimita, Keiichi Muramatsu, Yoshiki Shimomura

Abstract:

To increase the quality of learning, teacher and learner need mutual effort for realization of educational value. For this purpose, we need to manage the co-creational education among teacher and learners. In this research, we try to find a feature of co-creational education. To be more precise, we analyzed learners’ reports by natural language processing, and extract some features that describe the state of the co-creational education.

Keywords: ICT integration, co-creational education, e-portfolios, latent dirichlet allocation

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19 Post Earthquake Volunteer Learning That Build up Caring Learning Communities

Authors: Naoki Okamura

Abstract:

From a perspective of moral education, this study has examined the experiences of a group of college students who volunteered in disaster areas after the magnitude 9.0 Earthquake, which struck the Northeastern region of Japan in March, 2011. The research, utilizing the method of grounded theory, has uncovered that most of the students have gone through positive changes in their development of moral and social characters, such as attaining deeper sense of empathy and caring personalities. The study expresses, in identifying the nature of those transformations, that the importance of volunteer work should strongly be recognized by the colleges and universities in Japan, in fulfilling their public responsibility of creating and building learning communities that are responsible and caring.

Keywords: Service Learning, moral development, Moral Education, volunteer learning

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18 An Approach to Make Low-Cost Self-Compacting Geo-Polymer Concrete

Authors: Ankit Chakraborty, Raj Shah, Prayas Variya

Abstract:

Self-compacting geo-polymer concrete is a blended version of self-compacting concrete developed in Japan by Okamura. H. in 1986 and geo-polymer concrete proposed by Davidovits in 1999. This method is eco-friendly as there is low CO₂ emission and reduces labor cost due to its self-compacting property and zero percent cement content. We are making an approach to reduce concreting cost and make concreting eco-friendly by replacing cement fully and sand by a certain amount of industrial waste. It will reduce overall concreting cost due to its self-compatibility and replacement of materials, forms eco-friendly concreting technique and gives better fresh property and hardened property results compared to self-compacting concrete and geo-polymer concrete.

Keywords: Geopolymer Concrete, low carbon emission, low cost concreting, self compactability

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17 Defuzzification of Periodic Membership Function on Circular Coordinates

Authors: Takashi Mitsuishi, Koji Saigusa

Abstract:

This paper presents circular polar coordinates transformation of periodic fuzzy membership function. The purpose is identification of domain of periodic membership functions in consequent part of IF-THEN rules. The proposed methods are applied to the simple color construct system.

Keywords: periodic membership function, polar coordinates transformation, defuzzification, circular coordinates

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16 Robustified Asymmetric Logistic Regression Model for Global Fish Stock Assessment

Authors: Osamu Komori, Shinto Eguchi, Hiroshi Okamura, Momoko Ichinokawa

Abstract:

The long time-series data on population assessments are essential for global ecosystem assessment because the temporal change of biomass in such a database reflects the status of global ecosystem properly. However, the available assessment data usually have limited sample sizes and the ratio of populations with low abundance of biomass (collapsed) to those with high abundance (non-collapsed) is highly imbalanced. To allow for the imbalance and uncertainty involved in the ecological data, we propose a binary regression model with mixed effects for inferring ecosystem status through an asymmetric logistic model. In the estimation equation, we observe that the weights for the non-collapsed populations are relatively reduced, which in turn puts more importance on the small number of observations of collapsed populations. Moreover, we extend the asymmetric logistic regression model using propensity score to allow for the sample biases observed in the labeled and unlabeled datasets. It robustified the estimation procedure and improved the model fitting.

Keywords: double robust estimation, ecological binary data, mixed effect logistic regression model, propensity score

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15 An Improved Face Recognition Algorithm Using Histogram-Based Features in Spatial and Frequency Domains

Authors: Qiu Chen, Feifei Lee, Koji Kotani, Tadahiro Ohmi

Abstract:

In this paper, we propose an improved face recognition algorithm using histogram-based features in spatial and frequency domains. For adding spatial information of the face to improve recognition performance, a region-division (RD) method is utilized. The facial area is firstly divided into several regions, then feature vectors of each facial part are generated by Binary Vector Quantization (BVQ) histogram using DCT coefficients in low frequency domains, as well as Local Binary Pattern (LBP) histogram in spatial domain. Recognition results with different regions are first obtained separately and then fused by weighted averaging. Publicly available ORL database is used for the evaluation of our proposed algorithm, which is consisted of 40 subjects with 10 images per subject containing variations in lighting, posing, and expressions. It is demonstrated that face recognition using RD method can achieve much higher recognition rate.

Keywords: Face Recognition, binary vector quantization (BVQ), DCT coefficients, local binary patterns (LBP)

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14 Impact of Hard Limited Clipping Crest Factor Reduction Technique on Bit Error Rate in OFDM Based Systems

Authors: Theodore Grosch, Felipe Koji Godinho Hoshino

Abstract:

In wireless communications, 3GPP LTE is one of the solutions to meet the greater transmission data rate demand. One issue inherent to this technology is the PAPR (Peak-to-Average Power Ratio) of OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) modulation. This high PAPR affects the efficiency of power amplifiers. One approach to mitigate this effect is the Crest Factor Reduction (CFR) technique. In this work, we simulate the impact of Hard Limited Clipping Crest Factor Reduction technique on BER (Bit Error Rate) in OFDM based Systems. In general, the results showed that CFR has more effects on higher digital modulation schemes, as expected. More importantly, we show the worst-case degradation due to CFR on QPSK, 16QAM, and 64QAM signals in a linear system. For example, hard clipping of 9 dB results in a 2 dB increase in signal to noise energy at a 1% BER for 64-QAM modulation.

Keywords: OFDM, bit error rate, crest factor reduction, physical layer simulation

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13 Co-Liquefaction of Cellulosic Biomass and Waste Plastics

Authors: Katsumi Hirano, Yusuke Kakuta, Koji Yoshida, Shozo Itagaki, Masahiko Kajioka and Toshihiko Okada

Abstract:

A conversion technology of cellulosic biomass and waste plastics to liquid fuel at low pressure and low temperature has been investigated. This study aims at the production of the liquefied fuel (CPLF) of substituting diesel oil by mixing cellulosic biomass and waste plastics in the presence of solvent. Co-liquefaction of cellulosic biomass (Japan cedar) and polypropylene (PP) using wood tar or mineral oil as solvent at 673K with an autoclave was carried out. It was confirmed that the co-liquefaction gave CPLF in a high yield among the cases of wood or of polypropylene Which was ascribed the acceleration of decomposition of plastics by radicals derived from the decomposition of wood. The co-liquefaction was also conducted by a small twin screw extruder. It was found that CPLF was obtained in the co-liquefaction, And the acceleration of decomposition of plastics in the presence of cellulosic biomass. The engine test of CPLF showed that the engine performances, Compression ignition and combustion characteristics were almost similar to those of diesel fuel at any mixing ratio of CPLF and any load, Therefore, CPLF could be practically used as alternative fuel for diesel engines.

Keywords: Solvent, Cellulosic Biomass, Co-liquefaction, Waste Plastics

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12 Sniff-Camera for Imaging of Ethanol Vapor in Human Body Gases after Drinking

Authors: Toshiyuki Sato, Takahiro Arakawa, Kohji Mitsubayashi, Kenta Iitani, Koji Toma

Abstract:

A 2-dimensional imaging system (Sniff-camera) for gaseous ethanol emissions from a human palm skin was constructed and demonstrated. This imaging system measures gaseous ethanol concentrations as intensities of chemiluminescence (CL) by luminol reaction induced by alcohol oxidase and luminol-hydrogen peroxide system. A conversion of ethanol distributions and concentrations to 2-dimensional CL was conducted on an enzyme-immobilized mesh substrate in a dark box, which contained a luminol solution. In order to visualize ethanol emissions from human palm skin, we developed highly sensitive and selective imaging system for transpired gaseous ethanol at sub ppm-levels. High sensitivity imaging allows us to successfully visualize the emissions dynamics of transdermal gaseous ethanol. The intensity of each pixel on the palm shows the reflection of ethanol concentrations distributions based on the metabolism of oral alcohol administration. This imaging system is significant and useful for the assessment of ethanol measurement of the palmar skin.

Keywords: sniff-camera, gas-imaging, ethanol vapor, human body gas

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11 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: Rehabilitation, training, Robot, welfare, SCI patient

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10 Rice Bran Material Enrichment of Granulated Cane Brown Sugar to Increase Policosanol Contents

Authors: Makoto Takahashi, Monthana Weerawatanakorn, Hajime Tamaki, Yonathan Asikin, Koji Wada, Chi-Tang Ho, Min-Hsiung Pan

Abstract:

Rice bran and sugarcane are significant sources of wax containing policosanol (PC), the cholesterol-lowering nutraceutical available in the market. The processing of rice bran oil causes the loss of PC content into various waste products. Therefore, we hypothesise that defatted rice bran (DRB) as agricultural waste product and rice bran oil (RBO) retain a varying but significant amount of PC wax. Non-centrifugal cane sugar (NCS) or cane brown sugar has been consumed worldwide and possesses various health benefits. Since PC wax is mainly in the outer layer rinds of cane, PC contents of the granulated sugar are reduced due to the peeling step. The study aimed to increase PC contents of the granular brown sugar by adding wax extracted from DRB and RBO and to investigate the toxicity of the developed products. The results showed that the total PC contents including long chain aldehyde of products were increased to the maximum level of 147.97 mg/100 g and 40.14 mg/100 g for extracted wax and rice bran oil addition, respectively. PC content of RBO was found to be 96.93 mg/100 g. DRB is promising source of policosanol (6,044.7 mg/100 g). The 28-day toxicity evaluations of the developed sugar revealed no adverse effects on the liver, spleen or kidney.

Keywords: Enrichment, sugarcane, wax, policosanol, defatted rice bran

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9 Converting Scheduling Time into Calendar Date Considering Non-Interruptible Construction Tasks

Authors: Salman Ali Nisar, Suzuki Koji

Abstract:

In this paper we developed a new algorithm to convert the project scheduling time into calendar date in order to handle non-interruptible activities not to be split by non-working days (such as weekend and holidays). In a construction project some activities might require not to be interrupted even on non-working days, or to be finished on the end day of business days. For example, concrete placing work might be required to be completed by the end day of weekdays i.e. Friday, and curing in the weekend. This research provides an algorithm that imposes time constraint for start and finish times of non-interruptible activities. The algorithm converts working days, which is obtained by Critical Path Method (CPM), to calendar date with consideration of the start date of a project. After determining the interruption by non-working days, the start time of a certain activity should be postponed, if there is enough total float value. Otherwise, the duration is shortened by hiring additional resources capacity or/and using overtime work execution. Then, time constraints are imposed to start time and finish time of the activity. The algorithm is developed in Excel Spreadsheet for microcomputer and therefore we can easily get a feasible, calendared construction schedule for such a construction project with some non-interruptible activities.

Keywords: Scheduling, Project Management, critical path method, time constraint, non-interruptible tasks

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8 Hydrogen Embrittlement Properties of the Hot Stamped Carbon Steels

Authors: Mitsuhiro Okayasu, Lele Yang, Koji Shimotsu

Abstract:

The effects of microstructural characteristics on the mechanical and hydrogen embrittlement properties of 1,800MPa grade hot stamping carbon steel were investigated experimentally. The tensile strength increased with increasing the hot stamping temperature until around 921°C, but that decreased with increasing the temperature in more than 921°C due to the increment of the size of lath martensite and prior austenite. With the hot stamping process, internal strain was slightly created in the sample, which led to the slight increment of the hardness value although no clear change of the microstructural formation was detected. Severity of hydrogen embrittlement was investigated using the hot stamped carbon steels after the immersion in a hydrogen gas, and that was directly attributed to the infiltration of the hydrogen into their grain boundaries. The high strength carbon steel with tiny lath martensite microstructure could make severe hydrogen brittleness as the hydrogen was strongly penetrated in the grain boundaries in the hydrogen gas for a month. Because of weak embrittlement for the as-received carbon (ferrite and pearlite), hydrogen embrittlement is caused by the high internal strain and high dislocation density. The hydrogen embrittlement for carbon steel is attributed to amount of the hydrogen immersed in-between grain boundaries, which is caused by the dislocation density and internal strain.

Keywords: Hydrogen embrittlement, carbon steel, mechanical property, hot stamping process

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7 A Method for Consensus Building between Teachers and Learners in a Value Co-Creative Learning Service

Authors: Koji Kimita, Keiichi Muramatsu, Yoshiki Shimomura, Ryota Sugino, Satoshi Mizoguchi, Tatsunori Matsui

Abstract:

Improving added value and productivity of services entails improving both value-in-exchange and value-in-use. Value-in-use is realized by value co-creation, where providers and receivers create value together. In higher education services, value-in-use comes from learners achieving learning outcomes (e.g., knowledge and skills) that are consistent with their learning goals. To enhance the learning outcomes of a learner, it is necessary to enhance and utilize the abilities of the teacher along with the abilities of the learner. To do this, however, the learner and the teacher need to build a consensus about their respective roles. Teachers need to provide effective learning content; learners need to choose the appropriate learning strategies by using the learning content through consensus building. This makes consensus building an important factor in value co-creation. However, methods to build a consensus about their respective roles may not be clearly established, making such consensus difficult. In this paper, we propose some strategies for consensus building between a teacher and a learner in value co-creation. We focus on a teacher and learner co-design and propose an analysis method to clarify a collaborative design process to realize value co-creation. We then analyze some counseling data obtained from a university class. This counseling aimed to build a consensus for value-in-use, learning outcomes, and learning strategies between the teacher and the learner.

Keywords: Higher Education, value co-creation, consensus building, learning service

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6 Hydrodynamics and Heat Transfer Characteristics of a Solar Thermochemical Fluidized Bed Reactor

Authors: Selvan Bellan, Koji Matsubara, Nobuyuki Gokon, Tatsuya Kodama, Hyun Seok-Cho

Abstract:

In concentrated solar thermal industry, fluidized-bed technology has been used to produce hydrogen by thermochemical two step water splitting cycles, and synthetic gas by gasification of coal coke. Recently, couple of fluidized bed reactors have been developed and tested at Niigata University, Japan, for two-step thermochemical water splitting cycles and coal coke gasification using Xe light, solar simulator. The hydrodynamic behavior of the gas-solid flow plays a vital role in the aforementioned fluidized bed reactors. Thus, in order to study the dynamics of dense gas-solid flow, a CFD-DEM model has been developed; in which the contact forces between the particles have been calculated by the spring-dashpot model, based on the soft-sphere method. Heat transfer and hydrodynamics of a solar thermochemical fluidized bed reactor filled with ceria particles have been studied numerically and experimentally for beam-down solar concentrating system. An experimental visualization of particles circulation pattern and mixing of two-tower fluidized bed system has been presented. Simulation results have been compared with experimental data to validate the CFD-DEM model. Results indicate that the model can predict the particle-fluid flow of the two-tower fluidized bed reactor. Using this model, the key operating parameters can be optimized.

Keywords: fluidized bed, solar reactor, CFD-DEM modeling, beam-down solar concentrating system

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5 Screening of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Using Paper-Based Lateral Flow Device

Authors: Pattarachaya Preechakasedkit, Kota Osada, Koji Suzuki, Daniel Citterio, Orawon Chailapakul

Abstract:

A paper-based lateral flow device for screening thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is reported. A sandwich immunoassay was performed using two mouse monoclonal TSH antibodies (anti-hTSH 5403 and 5404) as immobilized and labeled antibodies for capturing TSH samples. Test (anti-hTSH 5403) and control (goat anti-Mouse IgG) lines were fabricated on nitrocellulose membrane (NCM) using ballpoint pen printed with a speed of 3 cm/s and thickness setting of 1. The novel gold nanoparticles europium complex ([email protected]) was used as fluorescence label compared to conventional AuNPs label. The results obtained with this device can be visually assessed by the naked eyes and under UV hand lamps, and quantitative analysis can be performed using the ImageJ program. The limit of detection (LOD) under UV hand lamps (0.1 µIU/mL) provided 50-fold greater sensitivity than AuNPs (5 µIU/mL), which is suitable for both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism screening within 30 min. A linear relationship between the red intensity and the logarithmic concentrations of TSH was observed with a good correlation (R²=0.992). Furthermore, the device can be effectively applied for screening TSH in the spiked human serum with recovery range of 96.80-104.45% and RSD of 2.18-3.63%. Therefore, the developed device is an alternative method for TSH screening which provides a lot of advantages including low cost, short time analysis, ease of use, disposability, portability, and on-site measurement.

Keywords: Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, thyroid stimulating hormone, paper-based lateral flow

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4 Purification of Zr from Zr-Hf Resources Using Crystallization in HF-HCl Solvent Mixture

Authors: Sadao Araki, Hideki Yamamoto, Kenichi Hirota, Jifeng Wang, Koji Endo

Abstract:

Zirconium (Zr) has been used as a fuel cladding tube for nuclear reactors, because of the excellent corrosion resistance and the low adsorptive material for neutron. Generally speaking, the natural resource of Zr is often containing Hf that has similar properties. The content of Hf in the Zr resources is about 2~4 wt%. In the industrial use, the content of Hf in Zr resources should be lower than the 100 ppm. However, the separation of Zr and Hf is not so easy, because of similar chemical and physical properties such as melting point, boiling point and things. Solvent extraction method has been applied for the separation of Zr and Hf from Zr natural resources. This method can separate Hf with high efficiency (Hf < 100ppm), however, it needs much amount of organic solvents for solvent extraction and the cost of its disposal treatment is high. Therefore, we attached attention for the fractional crystallization. This separation method depends on the solubility difference of Zr and Hf in the solvent. In this work, hexafluorozirconate (hafnate) (K2Zr(Hf)F6) was used as model compound. Solubility of K2ZrF6 in water showed lower than that of K2HfF6. By repeating of this treatment, it is possible to purify Zr, practically. In this case, 16-18 times of recrystallization stages were needed for its high purification. The improvement of the crystallization process was carried out in this work. Water, hydrofluoric acid (HF) and hydrofluoric acid (HF) +hydrochloric acid (HCl) mixture were chosen as solvent for dissolution of Zr and Hf. In the experiment, 10g of K2ZrF6 was added to each solvent of 100mL. Each solution was heated for 1 hour at 353K. After 1h of this operation, they were cooled down till 293K, and were held for 5 hours at 273K. Concentration of Zr or Hf was measured using ICP analysis. It was found that Hf was separated from Zr-Hf mixed compound with high efficiency, when HF-HCl solution was used for solvent of crystallization. From the comparison of the particle size of each crystal by SEM, it was confirmed that the particle diameter of the crystal showed smaller size with decreasing of Hf content. This paper concerned with purification of Zr from Zr-Hf mixture using crystallization method.

Keywords: separation, Crystallization, zirconium, hafnium

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3 Payment Subsidies for Environmentally-Friendly Agriculture on Rice Production in Japan

Authors: Danielle Katrina Santos, Koji Shimada

Abstract:

Environmentally-friendly agriculture has been promoted for over two decades as a response to the environmental challenges brought by climate change and biological loss. Located above the equator, it is possible that Japan may benefit from future climate change, yet Japan is also a rarely developed country located in the Asian Monsoon climate region, making it vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In this regard, the Japanese government has initiated policies to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change through the promotion and popularization of environmentally-friendly farming practices. This study aims to determine profit efficiency among environmentally-friendly rice farmers in Shiga Prefecture using the Stochastic Frontier Approach. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 66 farmers from top rice-producing cities through a structured questionnaire. Results showed that the gross farm income of environmentally-friendly rice farmers was higher by JPY 316,223.00/ha. Production costs were also found to be higher among environmentally-friendly rice farmers, especially on labor costs, which accounted for 32% of the total rice production cost. The resulting net farm income of environmentally-friendly rice farmers was only higher by JPY 18,044/ha. Results from the stochastic frontier analysis further showed that the profit efficiency of conventional farmers was only 69% as compared to environmentally-friendly rice farmers who had a profit efficiency of 76%. Furthermore, environmentally-friendly agriculture participation, other types of subsidy, educational level, and farm size were significant factors positively influencing profit efficiency. The study concluded that substitution of environmentally-friendly agriculture for conventional rice farming would result in an increased profit efficiency due to the direct payment subsidy and price premium received. The direct government policies that would strengthen the popularization of environmentally-friendly agriculture to increase the production of environmentally-friendly products and reduce pollution load to the Lake Biwa ecosystem.

Keywords: rice farmers, Profit efficiency, environmentally-friendly agriculture, direct payment subsidies

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2 The Impact of Intestinal Ischaemia-Reperfusion Injury upon the Biological Function of Mesenteric Lymph

Authors: Beth Taylor, Kojima Mituaki, Atsushi Senda, Koji Morishita, Yasuhiro Otomo

Abstract:

Intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury drives systemic inflammation and organ failure following trauma/haemorrhagic shock (T/HS), through the release of pro-inflammatory mediators into the mesenteric lymph (ML). However, changes in the biological function of ML are not fully understood, and therefore, a specific model of intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury is required to obtain ML for the study of its biological function upon inflammatory cells. ML obtained from a model of intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury was used to assess biological function upon inflammatory cells and investigate changes in the biological function of individual ML components. An additional model was used to determine the effect of vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) upon biological function. Rat ML was obtained by mesenteric lymphatic duct cannulation before and after occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery (SMAO). ML was incubated with human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs), monocytes and lymphocytes, and the biological function of these cells was assessed. ML was then separated into supernatant, exosome and micro-vesicle components, and biological activity was compared in monocytes. A model with an additional VNS phase was developed, in which the right cervical vagal nerve was exposed and stimulated, and ML collected for comparison of biological function with the conventional model. The biological function of ML was altered by intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury, increasing PMN activation, monocyte activation, and lymphocyte apoptosis. Increased monocyte activation was only induced by the exosome component of ML, with no significant changes induced by the supernatant or micro-vesicle components. VNS partially attenuated monocyte activation, but no attenuation of PMN activation was observed. Intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury induces changes in the biological function of ML upon both innate and adaptive inflammatory cells, supporting the role of intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury in driving systemic inflammation following T/HS. The exosome component of ML appears to be critical to the transport of pro-inflammatory mediators in ML. VNS partially attenuates changes in innate inflammatory cell biological activity observed, presenting possibilities for future novel treatment development in multiple organ failure patients.

Keywords: exosomes, Inflammation, intestinal ischaemia, mesenteric lymph, vagal stimulation

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1 Development of Three-Dimensional Bio-Reactor Using Magnetic Field Stimulation to Enhance PC12 Cell Axonal Extension

Authors: Eiji Nakamachi, Yusuke Morita, Ryota Sakiyama, Koji Yamamoto, Hidetoshi Sakamoto

Abstract:

The regeneration of injured central nerve network caused by the cerebrovascular accidents is difficult, because of poor regeneration capability of central nerve system composed of the brain and the spinal cord. Recently, new regeneration methods such as transplant of nerve cells and supply of nerve nutritional factor were proposed and examined. However, there still remain many problems with the canceration of engrafted cells and so on and it is strongly required to establish an efficacious treating method of a central nerve system. Blackman proposed the electromagnetic stimulation method to enhance the axonal nerve extension. In this study, we try to design and fabricate a new three-dimensional (3D) bio-reactor, which can load a uniform AC magnetic field stimulation on PC12 cells in the extracellular environment for enhancement of an axonal nerve extension and 3D nerve network generation. Simultaneously, we measure the morphology of PC12 cell bodies, axons, and dendrites by the multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscope (MPM) and evaluate the effectiveness of the uniform AC magnetic stimulation to enhance the axonal nerve extension. Firstly, we designed and fabricated the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation bio-reactor. For the AC magnetic stimulation system, we used the laminated silicon steel sheets for a yoke structure of 3D chamber, which had a high magnetic permeability. Next, we adopted the pole piece structure and installed similar specification coils on both sides of the yoke. We searched an optimum pole piece structure using the magnetic field finite element (FE) analyses and the response surface methodology. We confirmed that the optimum 3D chamber structure showed a uniform magnetic flux density in the PC12 cell culture area by using FE analysis. Then, we fabricated the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation bio-reactor by adopting analytically determined specifications, such as the size of chamber and electromagnetic conditions. We confirmed that measurement results of magnetic field in the chamber showed a good agreement with FE results. Secondly, we fabricated a dish, which set inside the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation of bio-reactor. PC12 cells were disseminated with collagen gel and could be 3D cultured in the dish. The collagen gel were poured in the dish. The collagen gel, which had a disk shape of 6 mm diameter and 3mm height, was set on the membrane filter, which was located at 4 mm height from the bottom of dish. The disk was full filled with the culture medium inside the dish. Finally, we evaluated the effectiveness of the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation to enhance the nurve axonal extension. We confirmed that a 6.8 increase in the average axonal extension length of PC12 under the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation at 7 days culture in our bio-reactor, and a 24.7 increase in the maximum axonal extension length. Further, we confirmed that a 60 increase in the number of dendrites of PC12 under the uniform AC magnetic field stimulation. Finally, we confirm the availability of our uniform AC magnetic stimulation bio-reactor for the nerve axonal extension and the nerve network generation.

Keywords: Magnetic Field, axonal extension, nerve regeneration, PC12 cell, three-dimensional bio-reactor

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