Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

Search results for: Larissa Statsenko

20 Managerial Advice-Seeking and Supply Chain Resilience: A Social Capital Perspective

Authors: Ethan Nikookar, Yalda Boroushaki, Larissa Statsenko, Jorge Ochoa Paniagua


Given the serious impact that supply chain disruptions can have on a firm's bottom-line performance, both industry and academia are interested in supply chain resilience, a capability of the supply chain that enables it to cope with disruptions. To date, much of the research has focused on the antecedents of supply chain resilience. This line of research has suggested various firm-level capabilities that are associated with greater supply chain resilience. A consensus has emerged among researchers that supply chain flexibility holds the greatest potential to create resilience. Supply chain flexibility achieves resilience by creating readiness to respond to disruptions with little cost and time by means of reconfiguring supply chain resources to mitigate the impacts of the disruption. Decisions related to supply chain disruptions are made by supply chain managers; however, the role played by supply chain managers' reference networks has been overlooked in the supply chain resilience literature. This study aims to understand the impact of supply chain managers on their firms' supply chain resilience. Drawing on social capital theory and social network theory, this paper proposes a conceptual model to explore the role of supply chain managers in developing the resilience of supply chains. Our model posits that higher level of supply chain managers' embeddedness in their reference network is associated with increased resilience of their firms' supply chain. A reference network includes individuals from whom supply chain managers seek advice on supply chain related matters. The relationships between supply chain managers' embeddedness in reference network and supply chain resilience are mediated by supply chain flexibility.

Keywords: supply chain resilience, embeddedness, reference networks, social capitals

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19 The Influence of the Variety and Harvesting Date on Haskap Composition and Anti-Diabetic Properties

Authors: Aruma Baduge Kithma Hansanee De Silva


Haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.), also known as blue honeysuckle, is a recently commercialized berry crop in Canada. Haskap berries are rich in polyphenols, including anthocyanins, which are known for potential health-promoting effects. Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (C3G) is the most prominent anthocyanin of haskap berries. Recent literature reveals the efficacy of C3G in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), which has become an increasingly common health issue around the world. The T2D is characterized as a metabolic disorder of hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. It has been demonstrated that C3G has anti-diabetic effects in various ways, including improvement in insulin sensitivity, and inhibition of activities of carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes, including alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. The goal of this study was to investigate the influence of variety and harvesting date on haskap composition, biological properties, and antidiabetic properties. The polyphenolic compounds present in four commercially grown haskap cultivars, Aurora, Rebecca, Larissa and Evie among five harvesting stages (H1-H5), were extracted separately in 80% ethanol and analyzed to characterize their phenolic profiles. The haskap berries contain different types of polyphenols including flavonoids and phenolic acids. Anthocyanin is the major type of flavonoid. C3G is the most prominent type of anthocyanin, which accounts for 79% of total anthocyanin in all extracts. The variety Larissa at H5 contained the highest average C3G content, and its ethanol extract had the highest (1212.3±63.9 mg/100g FW) while, Evie at H1 contained the lowest C3G content (96.9±40.4 mg/100g FW). The average C3G content of Larissa from H1 – H5 varies from 208 – 1212 mg/100g FW. Quarcetin-3-Rutinoside (Q3Rut) is the major type of flavonol and highest is observed in Rebecca at H4 (47.81 mg/100g FW). The haskap berries also contained phenolic acids, but approximately 95% of the phenolic acids consisted of chlorogenic acid. The cultivar Larissa has a higher level of anthocyanin than the other four cultivars. The highest total phenolic content is observed in Evie at H5 (2.97±1.03 mg/g DW) while the lowest in Rebecca at H1 (1.47±0.96 mg/g DW). The antioxidant capacity of Evie at H5 was higher (14.40±2.21 µmol TE/ g DW) among other cultivars and the lowest observed in Aurora at H3 (5.69±0.34 µmol TE/ g DW). Furthermore, Larissa H5 shows the greatest inhibition of carbohydrate-hydrolyzing enzymes including alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase. In conclusion Larissa, at H5 demonstrated highest polyphenol composition and antidiabetic properties.

Keywords: anthocyanin, cyanidin-3-O-glucoside, haskap, type 2 diabetes

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18 The Effect of the Variety and Harvesting Date on Polyphenol Composition of Haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.) and Anti-diabetic Properties of Haskap Polyphenols

Authors: Aruma Baduge Kithma De Silva


Haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.), also known as blue honeysuckle, is a newly commercialized berry crop in Canada. Haskap berries are rich in polyphenols, including, anthocyanins, which are known for potential health-promoting properties. Cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (C3G) is the most abundant anthocyanin of haskap berries. The compound C3G has the ability to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), which has become an increasingly common health issue around the world. The T2D is characterized as a metabolic disorder of hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. It has been demonstrated that C3G has anti-diabetic effects through several ways, including inhibition of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4), reduction of gluconeogenesis, improvement in insulin sensitivity, and inhibition of activities of carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes, including α-amylase and α-glucosidase. The goal of this study was to investigate the influence of variety and harvests maturity of haskap on C3G, other fruit quality characteristics and anti-diabetic activities of haskap berries using in vitro studies. The polyphenols present in four commercially grown haskap cultivars, Aurora, Rebecca, Larissa, and Evie harvested at five harvesting dates (H1-H5) apart from 2-3 days, were extracted separately. High-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS) analyzes of polyphenols revealed that haskap berries contain predominantly anthocyanins, flavonols, flavan-3-ols, and phenolic acids. The compound C3G was the most prominent anthocyanin, which is available in approximately 79% of total anthocyanin in four cultivars. The Larissa at H5 contained the highest C3G content. The antioxidant capacity of Evie at H5 was greater than other cultivars. Furthermore, Larissa H5 showed the greatest inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes including alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase. In conclusion, the haskap variety and harvesting date influenced the polyphenol composition and biological properties. The variety Larissa, at H5 harvesting date, contained the highest polyphenol content and the ability of inhibition of the carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzyme as well as DPP4 enzyme in order to reduce type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: anthocyanin, Haskap, type 2 diabetes, polyphenol

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17 Interference of Contaminants in the Characterization of Sugarcane Straw for Energy Purpose

Authors: Gabriela T. Nakashima, Ana Larissa S. Hansted, Gabriela B. Belini, Carlos R. Sette Jr, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Fabio M. Yamaji


The aim of this study was to determine the interference from contaminants in the characterization of sugarcane straw. The sugarcane straw was collected after the harvest and taken to the drying oven, and then it was crushed in the mill type Willey. Analyzes of ash contents and Klason lignin were done in triplicate and high heating value (HHV) in duplicate, according to ASTM standard. The results obtained for the sugarcane straw were 5.29% for ash content, 29.87% for Klason lignin and 17.67 for HHV. Also, the material was analyzed by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The presence of contaminants was observed, such as silica. The high amount of contaminants in the samples may impact the results of analyzes, also raising its values, for example in the Klason lignin content. These contaminants can also adversely affect the quality of the biomass. Even using the standards is important to know what the purpose of the analysis and care mainly of sampling.

Keywords: biomass, bioenergy, residues, solid fuel

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16 Volunteering and Social Integration of Ex-Soviet Immigrants in Israel

Authors: Natalia Khvorostianov, Larissa Remennick


Recent immigrants seldom join the ranks of volunteers for various social causes. This gap reflects both material reasons (immigrants’ lower income and lack of free time) and cultural differences (value systems, religiosity, language barrier, attitudes towards host society, etc.). Immigrants from the former socialist countries are particularly averse to organized forms of volunteering for a host of reasons rooted in their past, including the memories of false or forced forms of collectivism imposed by the state. In this qualitative study, based on 21 semi-structured interviews, we explored the perceptions and practices of volunteer work among FSU immigrants - participants in one volunteering project run by an Israeli NGO for the benefit of elderly ex-Soviet immigrants. Our goal was to understand the motivations of immigrant volunteers and the role of volunteering in the processes of their own social and economic integration in their adopted country – Israel. The results indicate that most volunteers chose causes targeting fellow immigrants, their resettlement and well-being, and were motivated by the wish to build co-ethnic support network and overcome marginalization in the Israeli society. Other volunteers were driven by the need for self-actualization in the context of underemployment and occupational downgrading.

Keywords: FSU immigrants, integration, volunteering, participation, social capital

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15 Elastic and Plastic Collision Comparison Using Finite Element Method

Authors: Gustavo Rodrigues, Hans Weber, Larissa Driemeier


The prevision of post-impact conditions and the behavior of the bodies during the impact have been object of several collision models. The formulation from Hertz’s theory is generally used dated from the 19th century. These models consider the repulsive force as proportional to the deformation of the bodies under contact and may consider it proportional to the rate of deformation. The objective of the present work is to analyze the behavior of the bodies during impact using the Finite Element Method (FEM) with elastic and plastic material models. The main parameters to evaluate are, the contact force, the time of contact and the deformation of the bodies. An advantage of using the FEM approach is the possibility to apply a plastic deformation to the model according to the material definition: there will be used Johnson–Cook plasticity model whose parameters are obtained through empirical tests of real materials. This model allows analyzing the permanent deformation caused by impact, phenomenon observed in real world depending on the forces applied to the body. These results are compared between them and with the model-based Hertz theory.

Keywords: collision, impact models, finite element method, Hertz Theory

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14 Evaluation of Energy Upgrade Measures and Connection of Renewable Energy Sources Using Software Tools: Case Study of an Academic Library Building in Larissa, Greece

Authors: Giwrgos S. Gkarmpounis, Aikaterini G. Rokkou, Marios N. Moschakis


Increased energy consumption in the academic buildings, creates the need to implement energy saving measures and to take advantage of the renewable energy sources to cover the electrical needs of those buildings. An Academic Library will be used as a case study. With the aid of RETScreen software that takes into account the energy consumptions and characteristics of the Library Building, it is proved that measures such as the replacement of fluorescent lights with led lights, the installation of outdoor shading, the replacement of the openings and Building Management System installation, provide a high level of energy savings. Moreover, given the available space of the building and the climatic data, the installation of a photovoltaic system of 100 kW can also cover a serious amount of the building energy consumption, unlike a wind system that seems uncompromising. Lastly, HOMER software is used to compare the use of a photovoltaic system against a wind system in order to verify the results that came up from the RETScreen software concerning the renewable energy sources.

Keywords: building sector, energy saving measures, energy upgrading, homer software, renewable energy sources, RETScreen software

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13 Augmented Reality Using Cuboid Tracking as a Support for Early Stages of Architectural Design

Authors: Larissa Negris de Souza, Ana Regina Mizrahy Cuperschmid, Daniel de Carvalho Moreira


Augmented Reality (AR) alters the elaboration of the architectural project, which relates to project cognition: representation, visualization, and perception of information. Understanding these features from the earliest stages of the design can facilitate the study of relationships, zoning, and overall dimensions of the forms. This paper’s goal was to explore a new approach for information visualization during the early stages of architectural design using Augmented Reality (AR). A three-dimensional marker inspired by the Rubik’s Cube was developed, and its performance, evaluated. This investigation interwovens the acquired knowledge of traditional briefing methods and contemporary technology. We considered the concept of patterns (Alexander et al. 1977) to outline geometric forms and associations using visual programming. The Design Science Research was applied to develop the study. An SDK was used in a game engine to generate the AR app. The tool's functionality was assessed by verifying the readability and precision of the reconfigurable 3D marker. The results indicated an inconsistent response. To use AR in the early stages of architectural design the system must provide consistent information and appropriate feedback. Nevertheless, we conclude that our framework sets the ground for looking deep into AR tools for briefing design.

Keywords: augmented reality, cuboid marker, early design stages, graphic representation, patterns

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12 Electrochemical Behavior of Cocaine on Carbon Paste Electrode Chemically Modified with Cu(II) Trans 3-MeO Salcn Complex

Authors: Alex Soares Castro, Matheus Manoel Teles de Menezes, Larissa Silva de Azevedo, Ana Carolina Caleffi Patelli, Osmair Vital de Oliveira, Aline Thais Bruni, Marcelo Firmino de Oliveira


Considering the problem of the seizure of illicit drugs, as well as the development of electrochemical sensors using chemically modified electrodes, this work shows the study of the electrochemical activity of cocaine in carbon paste electrode chemically modified with Cu (II) trans 3-MeO salcn complex. In this context, cyclic voltammetry was performed on 0.1 mol.L⁻¹ KCl supporting electrolyte at a scan speed of 100 mV s⁻¹, using an electrochemical cell composed of three electrodes: Ag /AgCl electrode (filled KCl 3 mol.L⁻¹) from Metrohm® (reference electrode); a platinum spiral electrode, as an auxiliary electrode, and a carbon paste electrode chemically modified with Cu (II) trans 3-MeO complex (as working electrode). Two forms of cocaine were analyzed: cocaine hydrochloride (pH 3) and cocaine free base form (pH 8). The PM7 computational method predicted that the hydrochloride form is more stable than the free base form of cocaine, so with cyclic voltammetry, we found electrochemical signal only for cocaine in the form of hydrochloride, with an anodic peak at 1.10 V, with a linearity range between 2 and 20 μmol L⁻¹ had LD and LQ of 2.39 and 7.26x10-5 mol L⁻¹, respectively. The study also proved that cocaine is adsorbed on the surface of the working electrode, where through an irreversible process, where only anode peaks are observed, we have the oxidation of cocaine, which occurs in the hydrophilic region due to the loss of two electrons. The mechanism of this reaction was confirmed by the ab-inito quantum method.

Keywords: ab-initio computational method, analytical method, cocaine, Schiff base complex, voltammetry

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11 Subclinical Renal Damage Induced by High-Fat Diet in Young Rats

Authors: Larissa M. Vargas, Julia M. Sacchi, Renata O. Pereira, Lucas S. Asano, Iara C. Araújo, Patricia Fiorino, Vera Farah


The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of subclinical organ injuries induced by high-fat diet. Male wistar rats (n=5/group) were divided in control diet group (CD), commercial rat chow, and hyperlipidic diet (30% lipids) group (HD) administrated during 8 weeks, starting after weaning. All the procedures followed the rules of the Committee of Research and Ethics of the Mackenzie University (CEUA Nº 077/03/2011). At the end of protocol the animals were euthanized by anesthesia overload and the left kidney was removed. Intrarenal lipid deposition was evaluated by histological analyses with oilred. Kidney slices were stained with picrosirius red to evaluate the area of the Bowman's capsule (AB) and space (SB), and glomerular tuft area (GT). The renal expression of sterol regulatory element–binding protein (SREBP-2) was performed by Western Blotting. Creatinine concentration (serum and urine) and lipid profile were determined by colorimetric kit (Labtest). At the end of the protocol there was no differences in body weight between the groups, however the HD showed a marked increase in lipid deposits, glomeruli and tubules, and biochemical analysis for cholesterol and triglycerides. Moreover, in the kidney, the high-fat diet induced a reduction in the AB (13%), GT (18%) and SB (17%) associated with a reduction in glomerular filtration rate (creatinine clearance). The renal SRBP2 expression was increased in HD group. These data suggests that consumption of high-fat diet starting in childhood is associated with subclinical renal damage and function.

Keywords: high-fat diet, kidney, intrarenal lipid deposition, SRBP2

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10 Factors Associated with Non-Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment among HIV Infected Patients in Ukraine

Authors: Larissa Burruano, Sergey Grabovyj, Irina Nguen


The study aimed to assess the level of adherence to anti retroviral therapy (ART) and to examine the relationship between adherence and risk behavior factor (drug use) among patients infected with HIV. The patients with newly diagnosed or established HIV infection under follow-up at the Sumskij Regional Centre for AIDS Prevention in Ukraine were eligible for this study. Medical records were used to measure the patient’s adherence to medication. Measurements were obtained at month 6 and at month 12 to calculate the number of medication omission during the past 30 days: (on a 2-point scale – once until three in a month – were considered adherent, three and more in a month – were considered non-adherent). Of the 50 study participants, 27 (54.0%) were men and 23 (46.0%) women. The mean age is 35.2 years (SD= 5.1). A majority of the patients (82.0%) is in the age group of 25-30 years. The main level of adherence was 74.0% and 66.0% at 6 and 12 months, respectively. The main routes of HIV transmission were drug injection among men 12 (44.4%) and sexual contact among women 11 (47.8%). Univariate analyses indicated that patients who had lower level of education were more likely to have been non-adherent at month 6- (X2 =5.1, n=50, p < .05) and at month 12 (X2 = 4.34, n=50, p < .05). Multivariate tests showed that only age (OR= 1.163 [95% CI 0.98–1.370]) was significant independent predictor of treatment adherence, while gender, education, employment status were not predictive for the risk of developing non-compliance. There was not a significant interaction between non-adherence and intravenous drug use. Consistent with these findings, younger people were more likely to have missed a dose of their medication because they had a greater sense of invulnerability than older patients. The study indicates that the socio demographic characteristic should be taken into an account in the future research regarding adherence in the case of HIV infection. If the patient anti retroviral adherence can be improved by qualitatively better medical care in all regions of the Ukraine, behavioral changes in the population can to be expected in the long term.

Keywords: HIV, antiretroviral therapy, adherence, Ukraine, Eastern Europe

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9 Health Literacy and Knowledge Related to Tuberculosis among Outpatients at a Referral Hospital in Lima, Peru

Authors: Rosalina Penaloza, Joanna Navarro, Pauline Jolly, Anna Junkins, Carlos Seas, Larissa Otero


Background: Tuberculosis (TB) case detection in Peru relies on passive case finding. This strategy relies on the assumption that the community is aware that a persistent cough is a possible symptom of TB and that formal health care needs to be sought. Despite its importance, health knowledge specific to TB is underexplored in Peru. This study aimed to assess health literacy and level of TB knowledge among outpatients attending a referral hospital in Lima, Peru. The goal was to ascertain knowledge gaps in key areas relating to TB, to identify and prioritize subgroups for intervention, and to provide insight for policy and community interventions considering health literacy. Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted using a survey to measure sociodemographic factors, tuberculosis knowledge, and health literacy. Bivariate and Multivariate logistic regression was performed to study the associations between variables and to account for potential confounders. The study was conducted at Hospital Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru from June – August 2017. Results: 272 participants were included in the analysis. 57.7% knew someone who had had TB before, 9% had had TB in the past. Two weeks a cough was correctly identified as a symptom that could be TB by 69.1%. High TB knowledge was found among 149 (54.8%) participants. High health literacy was found among 193 (71.0%) participants. Health literacy and TB knowledge were not significantly associated (OR 0.9 (95%CI 0.5-1.5)). After controlling for sex, age, district, education, health insurance, frequency of hospital visits and previous TB diagnosis: High TB knowledge was associated with knowing someone with TB (aOR 2.7 (95%CI 1.6-4.7)) and being a public transport driver, (aOR 0.2 (95%CI 0.05-0.9)). Not being poor was the single factor associated with high health literacy (aOR 3.8 (95%CI 1.6-8.9)). Conclusions: TB knowledge was fair, though 30% did not know the most important symptom of TB. Tailoring educational strategies to risk groups may enhance passive case detection especially amongst transport workers in Lima, Peru.

Keywords: health literacy, Peru, tuberculosis, tuberculosis knowledge

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8 Disentangling the Sources and Context of Daily Work Stress: Study Protocol of a Comprehensive Real-Time Modelling Study Using Portable Devices

Authors: Larissa Bolliger, Junoš Lukan, Mitja Lustrek, Dirk De Bacquer, Els Clays


Introduction and Aim: Chronic workplace stress and its health-related consequences like mental and cardiovascular diseases have been widely investigated. This project focuses on the sources and context of psychosocial daily workplace stress in a real-world setting. The main objective is to analyze and model real-time relationships between (1) psychosocial stress experiences within the natural work environment, (2) micro-level work activities and events, and (3) physiological signals and behaviors in office workers. Methods: An Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) protocol has been developed, partly building on machine learning techniques. Empatica® wristbands will be used for real-life detection of stress from physiological signals; micro-level activities and events at work will be based on smartphone registrations, further processed according to an automated computer algorithm. A field study including 100 office-based workers with high-level problem-solving tasks like managers and researchers will be implemented in Slovenia and Belgium (50 in each country). Data mining and state-of-the-art statistical methods – mainly multilevel statistical modelling for repeated data – will be used. Expected Results and Impact: The project findings will provide novel contributions to the field of occupational health research. While traditional assessments provide information about global perceived state of chronic stress exposure, the EMA approach is expected to bring new insights about daily fluctuating work stress experiences, especially micro-level events and activities at work that induce acute physiological stress responses. The project is therefore likely to generate further evidence on relevant stressors in a real-time working environment and hence make it possible to advise on workplace procedures and policies for reducing stress.

Keywords: ecological momentary assessment, real-time, stress, work

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7 Assessing Local Authorities’ Interest in Addressing Urban Challenges through Nature Based Solutions in Romania

Authors: Athanasios A. Gavrilidis, Mihai R. Nita, Larissa N. Stoia, Diana A. Onose


Contemporary global environmental challenges must be primarily addressed at local levels. Cities are under continuous pressure as they must ensure high quality of life levels for their citizens and at the same time to adapt and address specific environmental issues. Innovative solutions using natural features or mimicking natural systems are endorsed by the scientific community as efficient approaches for both mitigating climate change effects and the decrease of environmental quality and for maintaining high standards of living for urban dwellers. The aim of this study was to assess whether Romanian cities’ authorities are considering nature-based innovation as solutions for their planning, management, and environmental issues. Data were gathered by applying 140 questionnaires to urban authorities throughout the country. The questionnaire was designed for assessinglocal policy makers’ perspective over the efficiency of nature-based innovations as a tool to address specific challenges. It also focused on extracting data about financing sources and challenges they must overcome for adopting nature-based approaches. The gather results from the municipalities participating in our study were statistically processed, and they revealed that Romanian city managers acknowledge the benefits of nature-based innovations, but investments in this sector are not on top of their priorities. More than 90% of the selected cities have agreed that in the last 10 years, their major concern was to expand the grey infrastructure (roads and public amenities) using traditional approaches. When asked how they would react if faced with different socio-economic and environmental challenges, local urban managers indicated investments nature-based solutions as a priority only in case of biodiversity loss and extreme weather, while for other 14 proposed scenarios, they would embrace the business-as-usual approach. Our study indicates that while new concepts of sustainable urban planning emerge within the scientific community, local authorities need more time to understand and implement them. Without the proper knowledge, personnel, policies, or dedicated budgets, local administrators will not embrace nature-based innovations as solutions for their challenges.

Keywords: nature based innovations, perception analysis, policy making, urban planning

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6 Obtainment of Systems with Efavirenz and Lamellar Double Hydroxide as an Alternative for Solubility Improvement of the Drug

Authors: Danilo A. F. Fontes, Magaly A. M.Lyra, Maria L. C. Moura, Leslie R. M. Ferraz, Salvana P. M. Costa, Amanda C. Q. M. Vieira, Larissa A. Rolim, Giovanna C. R. M. Schver, Ping I. Lee, Severino Alves-Júnior, José L. Soares-Sobrinho, Pedro J. Rolim-Neto


Efavirenz (EFV) is a first-choice drug in antiretroviral therapy with high efficacy in the treatment of infection by Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). EFV has low solubility in water resulting in a decrease in the dissolution rate and, consequently, in its bioavailability. Among the technological alternatives to increase solubility, the Lamellar Double Hydroxides (LDH) have been applied in the development of systems with poorly water-soluble drugs. The use of analytical techniques such as X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Infrared Spectroscopy (IR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) allowed the elucidation of drug interaction with the lamellar compounds. The objective of this work was to characterize and develop the binary systems with EFV and LDH in order to increase the solubility of the drug. The LDH-CaAl was synthesized by the method of co-precipitation from salt solutions of calcium nitrate and aluminum nitrate in basic medium. The systems EFV-LDH and their physical mixtures (PM) were obtained at different concentrations (5-60% of EFV) using the solvent technique described by Takahashi & Yamaguchi (1991). The characterization of the systems and the PM’s was performed by XRD techniques, IR, DSC and dissolution test under non-sink conditions. The results showed improvements in the solubility of EFV when associated with LDH, due to a possible change in its crystal structure and formation of an amorphous material. From the DSC results, one could see that the endothermic peak at 173°C, temperature that correspond to the melting process of EFZ in the crystal form, was present in the PM results. For the EFZ-LDH systems (with 5, 10 and 30% of drug loading), this peak was not observed. XRD profiles of the PM showed well-defined peaks for EFV. Analyzing the XRD patterns of the systems, it was found that the XRD profiles of all the systems showed complete attenuation of the characteristic peaks of the crystalline form of EFZ. The IR technique showed that, in the results of the PM, there was the appearance of one band and overlap of other bands, while the IR results of the systems with 5, 10 and 30% drug loading showed the disappearance of bands and a few others with reduced intensity. The dissolution test under non-sink conditions showed that systems with 5, 10 and 30% drug loading promoted a great increase in the solubility of EFV, but the system with 10% of drug loading was the only one that could keep substantial amount of drug in solution at different pHs.

Keywords: Efavirenz, Lamellar Double Hydroxides, Pharmaceutical Techonology, Solubility

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5 Development and Obtaining of Solid Dispersions to Increase the Solubility of Efavirenz in Anti-HIV Therapy

Authors: Salvana P. M. Costa, Tarcyla A. Gomes, Giovanna C. R. M. Schver, Leslie R. M. Ferraz, Cristovão R. Silva, Magaly A. M. Lyra, Danilo A. F. Fonte, Larissa A. Rolim, Amanda C. Q. M. Vieira, Miracy M. Albuquerque, Pedro J. Rolim-neto


Efavirenz (EFV) is considered one of the most widely used anti-HIV drugs. However, it is classified as a drug class II (poorly soluble, highly permeable) according to the biopharmaceutical classification system, presenting problems of absorption in the gastrointestinal tract and thereby inadequate bioavailability for its therapeutic action. This study aimed to overcome these barriers by developing and obtaining solid dispersions (SD) in order to increase the EFZ bioavailability. For the development of SD with EFV, theoretical and practical studies were initially performed. Thus, there was a choice of a carrier to be used. For this, it was analyzed the various criteria such as glass transition temperature of the polymer, intra- and intermolecular interactions of hydrogen bonds between drug and polymer, the miscibility between the polymer and EFV. The choice of the obtainment method of the SD came from the analysis of which method is the most consolidated in both industry and literature. Subsequently, the choice of drug and carrier concentrations in the dispersions was carried out. In order to obtain DS to present the drug in its amorphous form, as the DS were obtained, they were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD). SD are more stable the higher the amount of polymer present in the formulation. With this assumption, a SD containing 10% of drug was initially prepared and then this proportion was increased until the XRD showed the presence of EFV in its crystalline form. From this point, it was not produced SD with a higher concentration of drug. Thus, it was allowed to select PVP-K30, PVPVA 64 and the SOLUPLUS formulation as carriers, once it was possible the formation of hydrogen bond between EFV and polymers since these have hydrogen acceptor groups capable of interacting with the donor group of the drug hydrogen. It is worth mentioning also that the films obtained, independent of concentration used, were presented homogeneous and transparent. Thus, it can be said that the EFV is miscible in the three polymers used in the study. The SD and Physical Mixtures (PM) with these polymers were prepared by the solvent method. The EFV diffraction profile showed main peaks at around 2θ of 6,24°, in addition to other minor peaks at 14,34°, 17,08°, 20,3°, 21,36° and 25,06°, evidencing its crystalline character. Furthermore, the polymers showed amorphous nature, as evidenced by the absence of peaks in their XRD patterns. The XRD patterns showed the PM overlapping profile of the drug with the polymer, indicating the presence of EFV in its crystalline form. Regardless the proportion of drug used in SD, all the samples showed the same characteristics with no diffraction peaks EFV, demonstrating the behavior amorphous products. Thus, the polymers enabled, effectively, the formation of amorphous SD, probably due to the potential hydrogen bonds between them and the drug. Moreover, the XRD analysis showed that the polymers were able to maintain its amorphous form in a concentration of up to 80% drug.

Keywords: amorphous form, Efavirenz, solid dispersions, solubility

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4 Quality by Design in the Optimization of a Fast HPLC Method for Quantification of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate

Authors: Pedro J. Rolim-Neto, Leslie R. M. Ferraz, Fabiana L. A. Santos, Pablo A. Ferreira, Ricardo T. L. Maia-Jr., Magaly A. M. Lyra, Danilo A F. Fonte, Salvana P. M. Costa, Amanda C. Q. M. Vieira, Larissa A. Rolim


Initially developed as an antimalarial agent, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) sulfate is often used as a slow-acting antirheumatic drug in the treatment of disorders of connective tissue. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 37 provides a reversed-phase HPLC method for quantification of HCQ. However, this method was not reproducible, producing asymmetric peaks in a long analysis time. The asymmetry of the peak may cause an incorrect calculation of the concentration of the sample. Furthermore, the analysis time is unacceptable, especially regarding the routine of a pharmaceutical industry. The aiming of this study was to develop a fast, easy and efficient method for quantification of HCQ sulfate by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) based on the Quality by Design (QbD) methodology. This method was optimized in terms of peak symmetry using the surface area graphic as the Design of Experiments (DoE) and the tailing factor (TF) as an indicator to the Design Space (DS). The reference method used was that described at USP 37 to the quantification of the drug. For the optimized method, was proposed a 33 factorial design, based on the QbD concepts. The DS was created with the TF (in a range between 0.98 and 1.2) in order to demonstrate the ideal analytical conditions. Changes were made in the composition of the USP mobile-phase (USP-MP): USP-MP: Methanol (90:10 v/v, 80:20 v/v and 70:30 v/v), in the flow (0.8, 1.0 and 1.2 mL) and in the oven temperature (30, 35, and 40ºC). The USP method allowed the quantification of drug in a long time (40-50 minutes). In addition, the method uses a high flow rate (1,5 mL.min-1) which increases the consumption of expensive solvents HPLC grade. The main problem observed was the TF value (1,8) that would be accepted if the drug was not a racemic mixture, since the co-elution of the isomers can become an unreliable peak integration. Therefore, the optimization was suggested in order to reduce the analysis time, aiming a better peak resolution and TF. For the optimization method, by the analysis of the surface-response plot it was possible to confirm the ideal setting analytical condition: 45 °C, 0,8 mL.min-1 and 80:20 USP-MP: Methanol. The optimized HPLC method enabled the quantification of HCQ sulfate, with a peak of high resolution, showing a TF value of 1,17. This promotes good co-elution of isomers of the HCQ, ensuring an accurate quantification of the raw material as racemic mixture. This method also proved to be 18 times faster, approximately, compared to the reference method, using a lower flow rate, reducing even more the consumption of the solvents and, consequently, the analysis cost. Thus, an analytical method for the quantification of HCQ sulfate was optimized using QbD methodology. This method proved to be faster and more efficient than the USP method, regarding the retention time and, especially, the peak resolution. The higher resolution in the chromatogram peaks supports the implementation of the method for quantification of the drug as racemic mixture, not requiring the separation of isomers.

Keywords: analytical method, hydroxychloroquine sulfate, quality by design, surface area graphic

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3 Characterization and Evaluation of the Dissolution Increase of Molecular Solid Dispersions of Efavirenz

Authors: Leslie Raphael de M. Ferraz, Salvana Priscylla M. Costa, Tarcyla de A. Gomes, Giovanna Christinne R. M. Schver, Cristóvão R. da Silva, Magaly Andreza M. de Lyra, Danilo Augusto F. Fontes, Larissa A. Rolim, Amanda Carla Q. M. Vieira, Miracy M. de Albuquerque, Pedro J. Rolim-Neto


Efavirenz (EFV) is a drug used as first-line treatment of AIDS. However, it has poor aqueous solubility and wettability, presenting problems in the gastrointestinal tract absorption and bioavailability. One of the most promising strategies to improve the solubility is the use of solid dispersions (SD). Therefore, this study aimed to characterize SD EFZ with the polymers: PVP-K30, PVPVA 64 and SOLUPLUS in order to find an optimal formulation to compose a future pharmaceutical product for AIDS therapy. Initially, Physical Mixtures (PM) and SD with the polymers were obtained containing 10, 20, 50 and 80% of drug (w/w) by the solvent method. The best formulation obtained between the SD was selected by in vitro dissolution test. Finally, the drug-carrier system chosen, in all ratios obtained, were analyzed by the following techniques: Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), polarization microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and spectrophotometry of absorption in the region of infrared (IR). From the dissolution profiles of EFV, PM and SD, the values of area Under The Curve (AUC) were calculated. The data showed that the AUC of all PM is greater than the isolated EFV, this result is derived from the hydrophilic properties of the polymers thus favoring a decrease in surface tension between the drug and the dissolution medium. In adittion, this ensures an increasing of wettability of the drug. In parallel, it was found that SD whom had higher AUC values, were those who have the greatest amount of polymer (with only 10% drug). As the amount of drug increases, it was noticed that these results either decrease or are statistically similar. The AUC values of the SD using the three different polymers, followed this decreasing order: SD PVPVA 64-EFV 10% > SD PVP-K30-EFV 10% > SD Soluplus®-EFV 10%. The DSC curves of SD’s did not show the characteristic endothermic event of drug melt process, suggesting that the EFV was converted to its amorphous state. The analysis of polarized light microscopy showed significant birefringence of the PM’s, but this was not observed in films of SD’s, thus suggesting the conversion of the drug from the crystalline to the amorphous state. In electron micrographs of all PM, independently of the percentage of the drug, the crystal structure of EFV was clearly detectable. Moreover, electron micrographs of the SD with the two polymers in different ratios investigated, we observed the presence of particles with irregular size and morphology, also occurring an extensive change in the appearance of the polymer, not being possible to differentiate the two components. IR spectra of PM corresponds to the overlapping of polymer and EFV bands indicating thereby that there is no interaction between them, unlike the spectra of all SD that showed complete disappearance of the band related to the axial deformation of the NH group of EFV. Therefore, this study was able to obtain a suitable formulation to overcome the solubility limitations of the EFV, since SD PVPVA 64-EFZ 10% was chosen as the best system in delay crystallization of the prototype, reaching higher levels of super saturation.

Keywords: characterization, dissolution, Efavirenz, solid dispersions

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2 Exploring the Neural Mechanisms of Communication and Cooperation in Children and Adults

Authors: Sara Mosteller, Larissa K. Samuelson, Sobanawartiny Wijeakumar, John P. Spencer


This study was designed to examine how humans are able to teach and learn semantic information as well as cooperate in order to jointly achieve sophisticated goals. Specifically, we are measuring individual differences in how these abilities develop from foundational building blocks in early childhood. The current study adopts a paradigm for novel noun learning developed by Samuelson, Smith, Perry, and Spencer (2011) to a hyperscanning paradigm [Cui, Bryant and Reiss, 2012]. This project measures coordinated brain activity between a parent and child using simultaneous functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in pairs of 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5-year-old children and their parents. We are also separately testing pairs of adult friends. Children and parents, or adult friends, are seated across from one another at a table. The parent (in the developmental study) then teaches their child the names of novel toys. An experimenter then tests the child by presenting the objects in pairs and asking the child to retrieve one object by name. Children are asked to choose from both pairs of familiar objects and pairs of novel objects. In order to explore individual differences in cooperation with the same participants, each dyad plays a cooperative game of Jenga, in which their joint score is based on how many blocks they can remove from the tower as a team. A preliminary analysis of the noun-learning task showed that, when presented with 6 word-object mappings, children learned an average of 3 new words (50%) and that the number of objects learned by each child ranged from 2-4. Adults initially learned all of the new words but were variable in their later retention of the mappings, which ranged from 50-100%. We are currently examining differences in cooperative behavior during the Jenga playing game, including time spent discussing each move before it is made. Ongoing analyses are examining the social dynamics that might underlie the differences between words that were successfully learned and unlearned words for each dyad, as well as the developmental differences observed in the study. Additionally, the Jenga game is being used to better understand individual and developmental differences in social coordination during a cooperative task. At a behavioral level, the analysis maps periods of joint visual attention between participants during the word learning and the Jenga game, using head-mounted eye trackers to assess each participant’s first-person viewpoint during the session. We are also analyzing the coherence in brain activity between participants during novel word-learning and Jenga playing. The first hypothesis is that visual joint attention during the session will be positively correlated with both the number of words learned and with the number of blocks moved during Jenga before the tower falls. The next hypothesis is that successful communication of new words and success in the game will each be positively correlated with synchronized brain activity between the parent and child/the adult friends in cortical regions underlying social cognition, semantic processing, and visual processing. This study probes both the neural and behavioral mechanisms of learning and cooperation in a naturalistic, interactive and developmental context.

Keywords: communication, cooperation, development, interaction, neuroscience

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1 Microbes at Work: An Assessment on the Use of Microbial Inoculants in Reforestation and Rehabilitation of the Forest Ancestral Land of Magbukun Aytas of Morong, Bataan, Philippines

Authors: Harold M. Carag, April Charmaine D. Camacho, Girlie Nora A. Abrigo, Florencia G. Palis, Ma. Larissa Lelu P. Gata


A technology impact assessment on the use of microbial inoculants in the reforestation and rehabilitation of forest ancestral lands of the Magbukün Aytas in Morong, Bataan was conducted. This two-year rainforestation technology aimed to determine the optimum condition for the improvement of seedling survival rate in the nursery and in the field to hasten the process of forest regeneration of Magbukün Ayta’s ancestral land. A combination of qualitative methods (key informant interviews, focus groups and participant observation), participated by the farmers who were directly involved in the project, community men and women, the council of elders and the project staff, was employed to complete this impact assessment. The recorded data were transcribed, and the accounts were broadly categorized on the following aspects: social (gender, institutional, anthropological), economic and environmental. The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) framework was primarily used for the impact analysis while the Harvard Analytical Framework was specifically used for the gender impact analysis. Through this technology, a wildling nursery with more than one thousand seedlings was successfully established and served as a good area for the healthy growth of seedlings that would be planted in the forest. Results showed that this technology affected positively and negatively the various gender roles present in the community although household work remained to be the women’s responsibility. The technology introduced directly added up to the workload done by the men and women (preparing and applying fertilizer, making pots etc.) but this, in turn, provided ways to increase their sources of livelihood. The gender roles that were already present were further strengthened after the project and men remained to be in control. The technology or project in turn also benefited from the already present roles since they no longer have to assign things to them, the execution of the various roles was smoothly executed. In the anthropological aspect, their assigned task to manage the nursery was an easy responsibility because of their deep connection to the environment and their fear and beliefs on ‘engkato’ and ‘anito’ was helpful in guarding the forest. As the cultural value of these trees increases, their mindset of safeguarding the forest also heightens. Meanwhile, the welfare of the whole tribe is the ultimate determinant of the swift entry of projects. The past institutions brought ephemeral reliefs on the subsistence of the Magbukün Aytas. These were good ‘conditioning’ factors for the adoption of the technology of the project. As an attempt to turn away from the dependent of harmful chemical, the project’s way of introducing organic inputs was slowly gaining popularity in the community. Economically, the project was able to provide additional income to the farmers. However, the slow mode of payment dismayed other farmers and abandoned their roles. Lastly, major environmental effects weren’t that much observed after the application of the technology. The minor effects concentrated more on the improved conditions of the soil and water in the community. Because of the introduced technology, soil conditions became more favorable specifically for the species that were planted. The organic fertilizers used were in turn not harmful for the residents living in Sitio Kanawan. There were no human diseases caused by the technology. The conservation of the biodiversity of the forest is clearly the most evident long-term result of the project.

Keywords: ancestral lands, impact assessment, microbial inculants, reforestation

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