Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31

Search results for: Nathalie Jourdan

31 Therapeutic Application of Light and Electromagnetic Fields to Reduce Hyper-Inflammation Triggered by COVID-19

Authors: Blanche Aguida, Marootpong Pooam, Nathalie Jourdan, Margaret Ahmad


COVID-19-related morbidity is associated with exaggerated inflammation and cytokine production in the lungs, leading to acute respiratory failure. The cellular mechanisms underlying these so-called ‘cytokine storms’ are regulated through the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling pathway and by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Both light (photobiomodulation) and magnetic fields (e.g., pulsed electromagnetic field) stimulation are non-invasive therapies known to confer anti-inflammatory effects and regulate ROS signaling pathways. Here we show that daily exposure to two 10-minute intervals of moderate-intensity infra-red light significantly lowered the inflammatory response induced via the TLR4 receptor signaling pathway in human cell cultures. Anti-inflammatory effects were likewise achieved by electromagnetic field exposure of cells to daily 10-minute intervals of either pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) or to low-level static magnetic fields. Because current illumination and electromagnetic field therapies have no known side effects and are already approved for some medical uses, we have here developed protocols for verification in clinical trials of COVID 19 infection. These treatments are affordable, simple to implement, and may help to resolve the acute respiratory distress of COVID 19 patients both in the home and in the hospital.

Keywords: COVID 19, electromagnetic fields therapy, inflammation, photobiomodulation therapy

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30 Community, Identity, and Resistance in Minority Literature: Arab American Poets - Samuel Hazo, Nathalie Handal, and Naomi Shihab Nye

Authors: Reem Saad Alqahtani


Drawing on minority literature, this research highlights the role of three contemporary Arab American writers, considering the significance of the historical and cultural contexts of the brutal attacks of 9/11. The focus of the research is to draw attention to the poetry of Samuel Hazo, Nathalie Handal, and Naomi Shihab Nye as representatives of the identity crisis, whose experiences left them feeling marginalized and alienated in both societies, and reflected as one of the ethnic American minority groups, as demonstrated in their poetry, with a special focus on hybridity, resistance, identity, and empowerment. The study explores the writers’ post-9/11 experience, affected by the United States’ long history of marginalization and discrimination against people of colour, placing Arab American literature with that of other ethnic American groups who share the same experience and contribute to composing literature characterized by the aesthetics of cultural hybridity, cultural complexity, and the politics of minorities to promote solidarity and coalition building. Indeed, the three selected Arab American writers have found a link between their narration and the identity of the exiled by establishing an identity that is a kind of synthesis of diverse identities of Western reality and Eastern nostalgia. The approaches applied in this study will include historical/biographical, postcolonial, and discourse analysis. The first will be used to emphasize the influence of the biographical aspects related to the community, identity, and resistance of the three poets on their poetry. The second is used to investigate the effects of postcolonialism on the poets and their responses to it, while the third understand the sociocultural, political, and historical dimensions of the texts, establishing these poets as representative of the Arab American experience. This study is significant because it will help shed light on the importance of the Arabic hybrid identity in creating resistance to minority communities within American society.

Keywords: Arab American, identity, hybridity, post-9/11

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29 The Culture of Extrajudicial Executions: An Investigative Study of the Philippines’ Fifth Republic

Authors: Nathalie Quinto, Danielle Solancho


In 1986, after Marcos’ Martial Law of 1972, the Philippines revised its constitution for the fifth time, under the Aquino Administration. Extrajudicial violence was expected to be lessened, if not completely eradicated after this was passed. However, state-sponsored executions continued to persist even in the present time. There are currently identified policy gaps when it comes to extrajudicial cases, as there is no generally accepted definition of the term in the Philippines. In this paper, a triangulation method of historically published papers, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions of academics, scholars, and people who are involved in various cases found, was utilized for the methodology. This paper explores the establishment of a normalized system of state-sponsored executions in the country and why the state resorts to this kind of action. It found that due to a weak political, and social institution, a culture of extrajudicial executions was established.

Keywords: extrajudicial execution, human rights, justice, security

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28 Mercury and Selenium Levels in Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) Fished in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Seychelles

Authors: Stephanie Hollanda, Nathalie Bodin, Carine Churlaud, Paco Bustamante


Total mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) and Hg-Se ratios were analyzed in the white muscle, liver and gonads of swordfish, in order to compare concentration between the different tissues and sex, and also the effect of size (fork length). The results show significant difference between tissue types, with the liver having the highest concentration of both Hg and Se. Positive significant correlations between moles of Hg and Se were obtained in the liver and white muscle, but no relationship was obtained in the gonads. No difference in the concentration of Hg and Se was obtained between the sexes in the tissue types, except for Hg in the gonads, which were found to be higher in males. Significant negative relationships were obtained when the Hg-Se ratio was plotted against fork length in all three tissue types.

Keywords: bioaccumulation, large pelagic fish, mercury, selenium, western Indian Ocean

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27 From Modern to Contemporary Art: Transformations of Art Market in Istanbul

Authors: Cem Ozatalay, Senem Ornek


The Artprice Contemporary Art Market Annual Report 2014 notices that Istanbul, with its art market volume of $3.6 million has become the first city of the Middle East and North Africa region and the 14th city of the World. Indeed, the period 2004–2014 has been significant in terms of the growth of the art market, during which the majority of contemporary art galleries and museums in Istanbul was inaugurated. This boom means that with the joining of new agents, the structure of the art market has dramatically changed. To use Nathalie Heinich’s terminology, in the current art field, three art genres – namely classical art, modern art and contemporary art – coexist, but in the case of Istanbul, such as many art cities in the world, the latter genre has become increasingly dominant. This presentation aims to show how the power shifts away from the classical art agents to contemporary art agents, and the effects produced by the conflicts between the old and new agents of current art field. Based on the data obtained from an ongoing field research in Istanbul among the art market agents such as art dealers, curators, art critics and artists, it will be shown that even if the agents of different art genres are in conflict with each other, there is, at the same time, a continuum between the three art worlds.

Keywords: contemporary art market, economic sociology of art, Istanbul art market, structure of the art field in Istanbul

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26 Effects of Voltage Pulse Characteristics on Some Performance Parameters of LiₓCoO₂-based Resistive Switching Memory Devices

Authors: Van Son Nguyen, Van Huy Mai, Alec Moradpour, Pascale Auban Senzier, Claude Pasquier, Kang Wang, Pierre-Antoine Albouy, Marcelo J. Rozenberg, John Giapintzakis, Christian N. Mihailescu, Charis M. Orfanidou, Thomas Maroutian, Philippe Lecoeur, Guillaume Agnus, Pascal Aubert, Sylvain Franger, Raphaël Salot, Nathalie Brun, Katia March, David Alamarguy, Pascal ChréTien, Olivier Schneegans


In the field of Nanoelectronics, a major research activity is being developed towards non-volatile memories. To face the limitations of existing Flash memory cells (endurance, downscaling, rapidity…), new approaches are emerging, among them resistive switching memories (Re-RAM). In this work, we analysed the behaviour of LixCoO2 oxide thin films in electrode/film/electrode devices. Preliminary results have been obtained concerning the influence of bias pulses characteristics (duration, value) on some performance parameters, such as endurance and resistance ratio (ROFF/RON). Besides, Conducting Probe Atomic Force Microscopy (CP-AFM) characterizations of the devices have been carried out to better understand some causes of performance failure, and thus help optimizing the switching performance of such devices.

Keywords: non volatile resistive memories, resistive switching, thin films, endurance

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25 Agent-Based Spatial Model Coupling Using a Coordination Unit

Authors: Jean Bienvenue Dinaharison, Nicolas Marilleau, Hasina Rakotonirainy, Nathalie Corson, Laetitia Bernard, Jean-Pierre Müller


Modeling complex systems like soil functioning turns out to be a challenge due to its heterogeneous structure, the number of interactions and processes entangled with each other at various levels and scales. Its heterogeneous structure requires a spatially explicit account as proposed by the spatial model coupling approaches. However, these approaches raise the problem of simultaneous use of resources when they are insufficient to support the demands in its entirety. Aforesaid scenario might create resource conflicts that can cause inconsistencies if they are poorly managed. In order to solve this problem, we propose to use the agent paradigm to encapsulate different interacting models and a coordination unit to define how each resource is managed in the event of a conflict. This architecture is illustrated by an UML Class Diagram that we implemented onto the GAMA platform. To prove its effectiveness, we test the approach on a simple soil model in which numerous models compete for resources scattered in the space. Comparative results suggest that handling conflicts using the coordination unit shows more precise indications of resource use, compared to the model in which conflicts are mismanaged.

Keywords: agent based, resource conflicts, GAMA, coordination, spatial model coupling

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24 Seismotectonics of Southern Haiti: A Faulting Model for the 12 January 2010 M7 Earthquake

Authors: Newdeskarl Saint Fleur, Nathalie Feuillet, Raphaël Grandin, Éric Jacques, Jennifer Weil-Accardo, Yann Klinger


The prevailing consensus is that the 2010 Mw7.0 Haiti earthquake left the Enriquillo–Plantain Garden strike-slip Fault (EPGF) unruptured but broke unmapped blind north-dipping thrusts. Using high-resolution topography, aerial images, bathymetry and geology we identified previously unrecognized south-dipping NW-SE-striking active thrusts in southern Haiti. One of them, Lamentin thrust (LT), cuts across the crowded city of Carrefour, extends offshore into Port-au-Prince Bay and connects at depth with the EPGF. We propose that both faults broke in 2010. The rupture likely initiated on the thrust and propagated further along the EPGF due to unclamping. This scenario is consistent with geodetic, seismological and field data. The 2010 earthquake increased the stress toward failure on the unruptured segments of the EPGF and on neighboring thrusts, significantly increasing the seismic hazard in the Port-au-Prince urban area. The numerous active thrusts recognized in that area must be considered for future evaluation of the seismic hazard.

Keywords: active faulting, enriquillo-plantain garden fault, Haiti earthquake, seismic hazard

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23 Analytical-Behavioral Intervention for Women with Fibromyalgia: Evaluation of Effectiveness Clinical Significance and Reliable Change

Authors: Luziane De Fatima Kirchner, Maria De Jesus Dutra Dos Reis, Francine Nathalie Ferraresi Rodrigues Queluz


This study evaluated the effect of two components of analytic-behavioral intervention (1-management of conditions of the physical environment, 2-management of the interpersonal relationship) of women with fibromyalgia (FM), besides Clinical Significance and Reliable Change at the end of the intervention. Self-report instruments were used to evaluate stress, anxiety, depression, social skills and disability due to pain and Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). Four women with a medical diagnosis of FM (mean age 52.7; sd = 6.65), participated of the following procedures: initial evaluation, 10 sessions of component 1, intermediate evaluation, 10 sessions of component 2, and final evaluation. The 20 sessions were effective, with positive changes in the scores of all the self-report instruments, highlighting the results of the stress symptoms that had improvement in the intermediate evaluation. There was, however, no change in the cortisol response on awakening. The Clinical Significance or Reliable Change observed, according to the scores of the stress, anxiety, depression and social skills instruments, corroborated the reports of the participants in the session and the objectives of the treatment. Implications for future studies are discussed, above all, the importance in conducting evaluations with the use of direct measures together with self-report measures.

Keywords: behavioral intervention, clinical significance, fibromyalgia, reliable change

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22 A Machine Learning Approach for Anomaly Detection in Environmental IoT-Driven Wastewater Purification Systems

Authors: Giovanni Cicceri, Roberta Maisano, Nathalie Morey, Salvatore Distefano


The main goal of this paper is to present a solution for a water purification system based on an Environmental Internet of Things (EIoT) platform to monitor and control water quality and machine learning (ML) models to support decision making and speed up the processes of purification of water. A real case study has been implemented by deploying an EIoT platform and a network of devices, called Gramb meters and belonging to the Gramb project, on wastewater purification systems located in Calabria, south of Italy. The data thus collected are used to control the wastewater quality, detect anomalies and predict the behaviour of the purification system. To this extent, three different statistical and machine learning models have been adopted and thus compared: Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA), Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) autoencoder, and Facebook Prophet (FP). The results demonstrated that the ML solution (LSTM) out-perform classical statistical approaches (ARIMA, FP), in terms of both accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness in monitoring and controlling the wastewater purification processes.

Keywords: environmental internet of things, EIoT, machine learning, anomaly detection, environment monitoring

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21 Use of Front-Face Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Multiway Analysis for the Prediction of Olive Oil Quality Features

Authors: Omar Dib, Rita Yaacoub, Luc Eveleigh, Nathalie Locquet, Hussein Dib, Ali Bassal, Christophe B. Y. Cordella


The potential of front-face fluorescence coupled with chemometric techniques, namely parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) and multiple linear regression (MLR) as a rapid analysis tool to characterize Lebanese virgin olive oils was investigated. Fluorescence fingerprints were acquired directly on 102 Lebanese virgin olive oil samples in the range of 280-540 nm in excitation and 280-700 nm in emission. A PARAFAC model with seven components was considered optimal with a residual of 99.64% and core consistency value of 78.65. The model revealed seven main fluorescence profiles in olive oil and was mainly associated with tocopherols, polyphenols, chlorophyllic compounds and oxidation/hydrolysis products. 23 MLR regression models based on PARAFAC scores were generated, the majority of which showed a good correlation coefficient (R > 0.7 for 12 predicted variables), thus satisfactory prediction performances. Acid values, peroxide values, and Delta K had the models with the highest predictions, with R values of 0.89, 0.84 and 0.81 respectively. Among fatty acids, linoleic and oleic acids were also highly predicted with R values of 0.8 and 0.76, respectively. Factors contributing to the model's construction were related to common fluorophores found in olive oil, mainly chlorophyll, polyphenols, and oxidation products. This study demonstrates the interest of front-face fluorescence as a promising tool for quality control of Lebanese virgin olive oils.

Keywords: front-face fluorescence, Lebanese virgin olive oils, multiple Linear regressions, PARAFAC analysis

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20 Linking Supervisor’s Goal Orientation to Post-Training Supportive Behaviors: The Mediating Role of Interest in the Development of Subordinates Skills

Authors: Martin Lauzier, Benjamin Lafreniere-Carrier, Nathalie Delobbe


Supervisor support is one of the main levers to foster transfer of training. Although past and current studies voice its effects, few have sought to identify the factors that may explain why supervisors offer support to their subordinates when they return from training. Based on Goal Orientation Theory and following the principles of supportive supervision, this study aims to improve our understanding of the factors that influence supervisors’ involvement in the transfer process. More specifically, this research seeks to verify the influence of supervisors’ goal orientation on the adoption of post-training support behaviors. This study also assesses the mediating role of the supervisors’ interest in subordinates’ development on this first relationship. Conducted in two organizations (Canadian: N₁ = 292; Belgian: N₂ = 80), the results of this study revealed three main findings. First, supervisors’ who adopt learning mastery goal orientation also tend to adopt more post-training supportive behaviors. Secondly, regression analyses (using the bootstrap method) show that supervisors' interest in developing their subordinates’ skills mediate the relationship between supervisors’ goal orientation and post-training supportive behaviors. Thirdly, the observed mediation effects are consistent in both samples, regardless of supervisors’ gender or age. Overall, this research is part of the limited number of studies that have focused on the determining factors supervisors’ involvement in the learning transfer process.

Keywords: supervisor support, transfer of training, goal orientation, interest in the development of subordinates’ skills

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19 Long Wavelength Coherent Pulse of Sound Propagating in Granular Media

Authors: Rohit Kumar Shrivastava, Amalia Thomas, Nathalie Vriend, Stefan Luding


A mechanical wave or vibration propagating through granular media exhibits a specific signature in time. A coherent pulse or wavefront arrives first with multiply scattered waves (coda) arriving later. The coherent pulse is micro-structure independent i.e. it depends only on the bulk properties of the disordered granular sample, the sound wave velocity of the granular sample and hence bulk and shear moduli. The coherent wavefront attenuates (decreases in amplitude) and broadens with distance from its source. The pulse attenuation and broadening effects are affected by disorder (polydispersity; contrast in size of the granules) and have often been attributed to dispersion and scattering. To study the effect of disorder and initial amplitude (non-linearity) of the pulse imparted to the system on the coherent wavefront, numerical simulations have been carried out on one-dimensional sets of particles (granular chains). The interaction force between the particles is given by a Hertzian contact model. The sizes of particles have been selected randomly from a Gaussian distribution, where the standard deviation of this distribution is the relevant parameter that quantifies the effect of disorder on the coherent wavefront. Since, the coherent wavefront is system configuration independent, ensemble averaging has been used for improving the signal quality of the coherent pulse and removing the multiply scattered waves. The results concerning the width of the coherent wavefront have been formulated in terms of scaling laws. An experimental set-up of photoelastic particles constituting a granular chain is proposed to validate the numerical results.

Keywords: discrete elements, Hertzian contact, polydispersity, weakly nonlinear, wave propagation

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18 Examination of the Occupational Health and Safety Training for New Immigrant Workers in Alberta, Canada

Authors: Shu-Ping Chen, Janki Shankar, Alexa Adams, Claire Joe, Nathalie Klinger, Erika Laforest


Background: New immigrants are over-represented in workplaces that are hazardous to their safety and well-being. Workplace injury and/or illness can be minimized if sufficient Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) training is provided prior to entering the workforce. This study aims to understand the current status of OH&S training for new immigrant workers in Alberta, Canada. Methods: A Qualitative Description approach was implemented with inductive data analysis methods. Sixteen participants were recruited – seven new immigrant workers (NIWs), and nine providers from agencies that provide settlement and employment services for immigrants. All participants took part in a semi-structured interview with a set of predetermined questions regarding their understanding of (1) OH&S issues specific to new immigrant workers, (2) current Alberta OH&S rules and regulations, and (3) current and ideal OH&S training for NIWs. Thematic content analysis guided the data analysis. Results: Four main themes emerged from the data which impact the current status of OH&S for NIWs: (1) attitudes towards OH&S and the logistics of training, (2) personal barriers, (3) Canadian workplace culture, and (4) macro-level interconnected systems. Three main themes emerged from the data that described what is needed for OH&S training to help NIWs: (1) increasing accessibility, (2) ensuring understanding of content and application, and (3) building confidence. Conclusions: OH&S training practices do not currently mitigate safety risks in places of work for NIWs, and NIWs do not feel empowered to exercise their worker’s rights. New OH&S training protocols and practices would be beneficial to equip this population to enter the Alberta workforce.

Keywords: employment services, occupational health and safety, empowerment, Canadian workforce, new immigrant workers

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17 Improvement of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Gem-Hydro Streamflow Forecasting System

Authors: Etienne Gaborit, Dorothy Durnford, Daniel Deacu, Marco Carrera, Nathalie Gauthier, Camille Garnaud, Vincent Fortin


A new experimental streamflow forecasting system was recently implemented at the Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Canadian Centre for Meteorological and Environmental Prediction (CCMEP). It relies on CaLDAS (Canadian Land Data Assimilation System) for the assimilation of surface variables, and on a surface prediction system that feeds a routing component. The surface energy and water budgets are simulated with the SVS (Soil, Vegetation, and Snow) Land-Surface Scheme (LSS) at 2.5-km grid spacing over Canada. The routing component is based on the Watroute routing scheme at 1-km grid spacing for the Great Lakes and Nelson River watersheds. The system is run in two distinct phases: an analysis part and a forecast part. During the analysis part, CaLDAS outputs are used to force the routing system, which performs streamflow assimilation. In forecast mode, the surface component is forced with the Canadian GEM atmospheric forecasts and is initialized with a CaLDAS analysis. Streamflow performances of this new system are presented over 2019. Performances are compared to the current ECCC’s operational streamflow forecasting system, which is different from the new experimental system in many aspects. These new streamflow forecasts are also compared to persistence. Overall, the new streamflow forecasting system presents promising results, highlighting the need for an elaborated assimilation phase before performing the forecasts. However, the system is still experimental and is continuously being improved. Some major recent improvements are presented here and include, for example, the assimilation of snow cover data from remote sensing, a backward propagation of assimilated flow observations, a new numerical scheme for the routing component, and a new reservoir model.

Keywords: assimilation system, distributed physical model, offline hydro-meteorological chain, short-term streamflow forecasts

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16 Exploring the Facets of Sexuality among Older Adults

Authors: Vivienne Cloude C. Bersabe, Nuelle Anne Castro, Christy P. Gonzales, Nathalie Ann D. Ocbo, Araceli Chuwaley C. Padcayan, Michelle Gaile Lianne S. Peralta, Cecile A. Perez, Eiden Mae A. Roque, Frances Bea S. Sabaten, Korina Louise A. Saculles, Jada Kristen O. Taska, Jose Reinhard C. Laoingco, Don Leonardo N. Dacumos


The rationale of the study: Since discussion about sexuality is considered taboo in the Filipino culture, provision of quality holistic care often lacks sexuality aspect. This research was conducted to highlight the need for nurses to incorporate sexuality in their care of older adults. Research Objectives: To measure the levels of older adults’ sexual desire, sexual behavior, and sexual intimacy and relate them to sex, living arrangement, educational level, and presence of chronic illness, whether with or without treatment. Methods: This study is of quantitative descriptive design that utilized purposive sampling. 400 older adults of Baguio City participated. The study used a 30 point researcher-made questionnaire, one-on-one interview and focused group discussion to gather data. Data were treated using weighted mean, t-test, F-test, and Scheffe's test. Results and Conclusions: The overall findings revealed that Filipino older adults have a low level of sexuality expressed by the participants’ sexual desire, behavior, and intimacy. Males have significantly higher level of sexual desire, behavior, and intimacy. Living arrangement does not seem to influence the level of sexuality in all its 3 facets. Sexual desire was significantly higher among those with tertiary education and without chronic illness. Recommendation: It is recommended that nurses carry out their assessment of clients to include the exploration of their sexuality especially the older adults. A similar study may be done to explore other variables like demographic location, i.e., rural or urban setting; socio-cultural factors; and functional performance status. It is also recommended that a similar study may be done exploring the different facets of sexuality among homosexual older persons.

Keywords: geriatrics, older adults, Philippines, sexuality

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15 An Original and Suitable Induction Method of Repeated Hypoxic Stress by Hydralazine to Investigate the Integrity of an in Vitro Contact Co-Culture Blood Brain Barrier Model

Authors: Morgane Chatard, Clémentine Puech, Nathalie Perek, Frédéric Roche


Several neurological disorders are linked to repeated hypoxia. The impact of such repeated hypoxic stress, on endothelial cells function of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is little studied in the literature. Indeed, the study of hypoxic stress in cellular pathways is complex using hypoxia exposure because HIF 1α (factor induced by hypoxia) has a short half life. Our study presents an innovative induction method of repeated hypoxic stress, more reproducible, which allows us to study its impacts on an in vitro contact co-culture BBB model. Repeated hypoxic stress was induced by hydralazine (a mimetic agent of hypoxia pathway) during two hours and repeated during 24 hours. Then, BBB integrity was assessed by permeability measurements (transendothelial electrical resistance and membrane permeability), tight junction protein expressions (cell-ELISA and confocal microscopy) and by studying expression and activity of efflux transporters. First, this study showed that repeated hypoxic stress leads to a BBB’s dysfunction illustrated by a significant increase in permeability. This loss of membrane integrity was linked to a significant decrease of tight junctions’ protein expressions, facilitating a possible transfer of potential cytotoxic compounds in the brain. Secondly, we demonstrated that brain microvascular endothelial cells had set-up defence mechanism. These endothelial cells significantly increased the activity of their efflux transporters which was associated with a significant increase in their expression. In conclusion, repeated hypoxic stress lead to a loss of BBB integrity with a decrease of tight junction proteins. In contrast, endothelial cells increased the expression of their efflux transporters to fight against cytotoxic compounds brain crossing. Unfortunately, enhanced efflux activity could also lead to reducing pharmacological drugs delivering to the brain in such hypoxic conditions.

Keywords: BBB model, efflux transporters, repeated hypoxic stress, tigh junction proteins

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14 Soil with Carbonate Accumulation in Tensift Al Haouz Lowland (Morocco): Characterization, Genesis and the Environmental Significance

Authors: Lahcen Daoudi, Soukaina Elidrissi, Nathalie Fagel


The calcareous accumulations in the surface formations of the soil, are a very widespread phenomenon in the arid and semi-arid regions. Many aspects of physical and chemical evolution of these soils were debated for more than one century. The last two decades have witnessed a remarkable interest in the study of the calcrete. In Morocco, as in most Mediterranean countries, soils with carbonate accumulation cover large areas of the territory. The isohumic subtropical soils and red Mediterranean soils include always a horizon of calcrete accumulation. In the lowland of Tensift Al Haouz located in the central part of Morocco, the arable lands are underlain by indurate pedogenic calcrete of various thicknesses; this constitutes a serious handicap for agricultural development in the region. Our aims in this study is to analyze the characteristics of the crusts developed in this area in order to identify the various facies, their geographic distribution and the factors that played a significant role in the differentiation of these calcareous accumulations. The characterizations were based on various techniques including field observations, X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) for both raw materials and clay fractions, SEM analysis, Calcimetry and Loss On Ignition (LOI). The analysis of encrusting calcrete in a rich and varied observation field as the region of Tensift Al Haouz enabled us to specify the important types of accumulations: diffuse, nodular and massive encrusting. The shape of encrusting as well as their consistency and hardness is clearly related to the contents of CaCO3 of the profiles. Among these facies, the hardpan which results from a complex succession of processes is certainly the most morphologically advanced form of encrusting. The vertical and lateral distribution of these forms in the Tensift Al Haouz area indicates that they do not appear randomly but seem related to well defined environmental conditions. The differentiation and evolution of encrusting is under the influence of two major factors: 1) the availability of carbonate rich solution which is controlled by the topography, the nature and texture of underlying host rock and the detrital processes; 2) the climate which is responsible for the evaporation and crystallization of carbonate.

Keywords: soil calcrete, characterization, morphology, Tensift Al Haouz, Morocco

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13 1D/3D Modeling of a Liquid-Liquid Two-Phase Flow in a Milli-Structured Heat Exchanger/Reactor

Authors: Antoinette Maarawi, Zoe Anxionnaz-Minvielle, Pierre Coste, Nathalie Di Miceli Raimondi, Michel Cabassud


Milli-structured heat exchanger/reactors have been recently widely used, especially in the chemical industry, due to their enhanced performances in heat and mass transfer compared to conventional apparatuses. In our work, the ‘DeanHex’ heat exchanger/reactor with a 2D-meandering channel is investigated both experimentally and numerically. The square cross-sectioned channel has a hydraulic diameter of 2mm. The aim of our study is to model local physico-chemical phenomena (heat and mass transfer, axial dispersion, etc.) for a liquid-liquid two-phase flow in our lab-scale meandering channel, which represents the central part of the heat exchanger/reactor design. The numerical approach of the reactor is based on a 1D model for the flow channel encapsulated in a 3D model for the surrounding solid, using COMSOL Multiphysics V5.5. The use of the 1D approach to model the milli-channel reduces significantly the calculation time compared to 3D approaches, which are generally focused on local effects. Our 1D/3D approach intends to bridge the gap between the simulation at a small scale and the simulation at the reactor scale at a reasonable CPU cost. The heat transfer process between the 1D milli-channel and its 3D surrounding is modeled. The feasibility of this 1D/3D coupling was verified by comparing simulation results to experimental ones originated from two previous works. Temperature profiles along the channel axis obtained by simulation fit the experimental profiles for both cases. The next step is to integrate the liquid-liquid mass transfer model and to validate it with our experimental results. The hydrodynamics of the liquid-liquid two-phase system is modeled using the ‘mixture model approach’. The mass transfer behavior is represented by an overall volumetric mass transfer coefficient ‘kLa’ correlation obtained from our experimental results in the millimetric size meandering channel. The present work is a first step towards the scale-up of our ‘DeanHex’ expecting future industrialization of such equipment. Therefore, a generalized scaled-up model of the reactor comprising all the transfer processes will be built in order to predict the performance of the reactor in terms of conversion rate and energy efficiency at an industrial scale.

Keywords: liquid-liquid mass transfer, milli-structured reactor, 1D/3D model, process intensification

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12 CO2 Methanation over Ru-Ni/CeO2 Catalysts

Authors: Nathalie Elia, Samer Aouad, Jane Estephane, Christophe Poupin, Bilal Nsouli, Edmond Abi Aad


Carbon dioxide is one of the main contributors to greenhouse effect and hence to climate change. As a result, the methanation reaction CO2(g) + 4H2(g) →CH4(g) + 2H2O (ΔH°298 = -165 kJ/mol), also known as Sabatier reaction, has received great interest as a process for the valorization of the greenhouse gas CO2 into methane which is a hydrogen-carrier gas. The methanation of CO2 is an exothermic reaction favored at low temperature and high pressure. However, this reaction requires a high energy input to activate the very stable CO2 molecule, and exhibits serious kinetic limitations. Consequently, the development of active and stable catalysts is essential to overcome these difficulties. Catalytic methanation of CO2 has been studied using catalysts containing Rh, Pd, Ru, Co and Ni on various supports. Among them, the Ni-based catalysts have been extensively investigated under various conditions for their comparable methanation activity with highly improved cost-efficiency. The addition of promoters are common strategies to increase the performance and stability of Ni catalysts. In this work, a small amount of Ru was used as a promoter for Ni catalysts supported on ceria and tested in the CO2 methanation reaction. The nickel loading was 5 wt. % and ruthenium loading is 0.5wt. %. The catalysts were prepared by successive impregnation method using Ni(NO3)2.6H2O and Ru(NO)(NO3)3 as precursors. The calcined support was impregnated with Ni(NO3)2.6H2O, dried, calcined at 600°C for 4h, and afterward, was impregnated with Ru(NO)(NO3)3. The resulting solid was dried and calcined at 600°C for 4 h. Supported monometallic catalysts were prepared likewise. The prepared solids Ru(0.5%)/CeO2, Ni(5%)/CeO2 and Ru(0.5%)-Ni(5%)/CeO2 were then reduced prior to the catalytic test under a flow of 50% H2/Ar (50 ml/min) for 4h at 500°C. Finally, their catalytic performances were evaluated in the CO2 methanation reaction, in the temperature range of 100–350°C by using a gaseous mixture of CO2 (10%) and H2 (40%) in Ar balanced at a total flow rate of 100 mL/min. The effect of pressure on the CO2 methanation was studied by varying the pressure between 1 and 10 bar. The various catalysts showed negligible CO2 conversion at temperatures lower than 250°C. The conversion of CO2 increases with increasing reaction temperature. The addition of Ru as promoter to Ni/CeO2 improved the CO2 methanation. It was shown that the CO2 conversion increases from 15 to 70% at 350°C and 1 bar. The effect of pressure on CO2 conversion was also studied. Increasing the pressure from 1 to 5 bar increases the CO2 conversion from 70% to 87%, while increasing the pressure from 5 to 10 bar increases the CO2 conversion from 87% to 91%. Ru–Ni catalysts showed excellent catalytic performance in the methanation of carbon dioxide with respect to Ni catalysts. Therefore the addition of Ru onto Ni catalysts improved remarkably the catalytic activity of Ni catalysts. It was also found that the pressure plays an important role in improving the CO2 methanation.

Keywords: CO2, methanation, nickel, ruthenium

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11 A webGIS Methodology to Support Sediments Management in Wallonia

Authors: Nathalie Stephenne, Mathieu Veschkens, Stéphane Palm, Christophe Charlemagne, Jacques Defoux


According to Europe’s first River basin Management Plans (RBMPs), 56% of European rivers failed to achieve the good status targets of the Water Framework Directive WFD. In Central European countries such as Belgium, even more than 80% of rivers failed to achieve the WFD quality targets. Although the RBMP’s should reduce the stressors and improve water body status, their potential to address multiple stress situations is limited due to insufficient knowledge on combined effects, multi-stress, prioritization of measures, impact on ecology and implementation effects. This paper describes a webGis prototype developed for the Walloon administration to improve the communication and the management of sediment dredging actions carried out in rivers and lakes in the frame of RBMPs. A large number of stakeholders are involved in the management of rivers and lakes in Wallonia. They are in charge of technical aspects (client and dredging operators, organizations involved in the treatment of waste…), management (managers involved in WFD implementation at communal, provincial or regional level) or policy making (people responsible for policy compliance or legislation revision). These different kinds of stakeholders need different information and data to cover their duties but have to interact closely at different levels. Moreover, information has to be shared between them to improve the management quality of dredging operations within the ecological system. In the Walloon legislation, leveling dredged sediments on banks requires an official authorization from the administration. This request refers to spatial information such as the official land use map, the cadastral map, the distance to potential pollution sources. The production of a collective geodatabase can facilitate the management of these authorizations from both sides. The proposed internet system integrates documents, data input, integration of data from disparate sources, map representation, database queries, analysis of monitoring data, presentation of results and cartographic visualization. A prototype of web application using the API geoviewer chosen by the Geomatic department of the SPW has been developed and discussed with some potential users to facilitate the communication, the management and the quality of the data. The structure of the paper states the why, what, who and how of this communication tool.

Keywords: sediments, web application, GIS, rivers management

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10 Dynamic Characterization of Shallow Aquifer Groundwater: A Lab-Scale Approach

Authors: Anthony Credoz, Nathalie Nief, Remy Hedacq, Salvador Jordana, Laurent Cazes


Groundwater monitoring is classically performed in a network of piezometers in industrial sites. Groundwater flow parameters, such as direction, sense and velocity, are deduced from indirect measurements between two or more piezometers. Groundwater sampling is generally done on the whole column of water inside each borehole to provide concentration values for each piezometer location. These flow and concentration values give a global ‘static’ image of potential plume of contaminants evolution in the shallow aquifer with huge uncertainties in time and space scales and mass discharge dynamic. TOTAL R&D Subsurface Environmental team is challenging this classical approach with an innovative dynamic way of characterization of shallow aquifer groundwater. The current study aims at optimizing the tools and methodologies for (i) a direct and multilevel measurement of groundwater velocities in each piezometer and, (ii) a calculation of potential flux of dissolved contaminant in the shallow aquifer. Lab-scale experiments have been designed to test commercial and R&D tools in a controlled sandbox. Multiphysics modeling were performed and took into account Darcy equation in porous media and Navier-Stockes equation in the borehole. The first step of the current study focused on groundwater flow at porous media/piezometer interface. Huge uncertainties from direct flow rate measurements in the borehole versus Darcy flow rate in the porous media were characterized during experiments and modeling. The structure and location of the tools in the borehole also impacted the results and uncertainties of velocity measurement. In parallel, direct-push tool was tested and presented more accurate results. The second step of the study focused on mass flux of dissolved contaminant in groundwater. Several active and passive commercial and R&D tools have been tested in sandbox and reactive transport modeling has been performed to validate the experiments at the lab-scale. Some tools will be selected and deployed in field assays to better assess the mass discharge of dissolved contaminants in an industrial site. The long-term subsurface environmental strategy is targeting an in-situ, real-time, remote and cost-effective monitoring of groundwater.

Keywords: dynamic characterization, groundwater flow, lab-scale, mass flux

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9 MANIFEST-2, a Global, Phase 3, Randomized, Double-Blind, Active-Control Study of Pelabresib (CPI-0610) and Ruxolitinib vs. Placebo and Ruxolitinib in JAK Inhibitor-Naïve Myelofibrosis Patients

Authors: Claire Harrison, Raajit K. Rampal, Vikas Gupta, Srdan Verstovsek, Moshe Talpaz, Jean-Jacques Kiladjian, Ruben Mesa, Andrew Kuykendall, Alessandro Vannucchi, Francesca Palandri, Sebastian Grosicki, Timothy Devos, Eric Jourdan, Marielle J. Wondergem, Haifa Kathrin Al-Ali, Veronika Buxhofer-Ausch, Alberto Alvarez-Larrán, Sanjay Akhani, Rafael Muñoz-Carerras, Yury Sheykin, Gozde Colak, Morgan Harris, John Mascarenhas


Myelofibrosis (MF) is characterized by bone marrow fibrosis, anemia, splenomegaly and constitutional symptoms. Progressive bone marrow fibrosis results from aberrant megakaryopoeisis and expression of proinflammatory cytokines, both of which are heavily influenced by bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET)-mediated gene regulation and lead to myeloproliferation and cytopenias. Pelabresib (CPI-0610) is an oral small-molecule investigational inhibitor of BET protein bromodomains currently being developed for the treatment of patients with MF. It is designed to downregulate BET target genes and modify nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. MANIFEST-2 was initiated based on data from Arm 3 of the ongoing Phase 2 MANIFEST study (NCT02158858), which is evaluating the combination of pelabresib and ruxolitinib in Janus kinase inhibitor (JAKi) treatment-naïve patients with MF. Primary endpoint analyses showed splenic and symptom responses in 68% and 56% of 84 enrolled patients, respectively. MANIFEST-2 (NCT04603495) is a global, Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, active-control study of pelabresib and ruxolitinib versus placebo and ruxolitinib in JAKi treatment-naïve patients with primary MF, post-polycythemia vera MF or post-essential thrombocythemia MF. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pelabresib in combination with ruxolitinib. Here we report updates from a recent protocol amendment. The MANIFEST-2 study schema is shown in Figure 1. Key eligibility criteria include a Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System (DIPSS) score of Intermediate-1 or higher, platelet count ≥100 × 10^9/L, spleen volume ≥450 cc by computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, ≥2 symptoms with an average score ≥3 or a Total Symptom Score (TSS) of ≥10 using the Myelofibrosis Symptom Assessment Form v4.0, peripheral blast count <5% and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≤2. Patient randomization will be stratified by DIPSS risk category (Intermediate-1 vs Intermediate-2 vs High), platelet count (>200 × 10^9/L vs 100–200 × 10^9/L) and spleen volume (≥1800 cm^3 vs <1800 cm^3). Double-blind treatment (pelabresib or matching placebo) will be administered once daily for 14 consecutive days, followed by a 7 day break, which is considered one cycle of treatment. Ruxolitinib will be administered twice daily for all 21 days of the cycle. The primary endpoint is SVR35 response (≥35% reduction in spleen volume from baseline) at Week 24, and the key secondary endpoint is TSS50 response (≥50% reduction in TSS from baseline) at Week 24. Other secondary endpoints include safety, pharmacokinetics, changes in bone marrow fibrosis, duration of SVR35 response, duration of TSS50 response, progression-free survival, overall survival, conversion from transfusion dependence to independence and rate of red blood cell transfusion for the first 24 weeks. Study recruitment is ongoing; 400 patients (200 per arm) from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia will be enrolled. The study opened for enrollment in November 2020. MANIFEST-2 was initiated based on data from the ongoing Phase 2 MANIFEST study with the aim of assessing the efficacy and safety of pelabresib and ruxolitinib in JAKi treatment-naïve patients with MF. MANIFEST-2 is currently open for enrollment.

Keywords: CPI-0610, JAKi treatment-naïve, MANIFEST-2, myelofibrosis, pelabresib

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8 Modeling and Simulating Productivity Loss Due to Project Changes

Authors: Robert Pellerin, Michel Gamache, Remi Trudeau, Nathalie Perrier


The context of large engineering projects is particularly favorable to the appearance of engineering changes and contractual modifications. These elements are potential causes for claims. In this paper, we investigate one of the critical components of the claim management process: the calculation of the impacts of changes in terms of losses of productivity due to the need to accelerate some project activities. When project changes are initiated, delays can arise. Indeed, project activities are often executed in fast-tracking in an attempt to respect the completion date. But the acceleration of project execution and the resulting rework can entail important costs as well as induce productivity losses. In the past, numerous methods have been proposed to quantify the duration of delays, the gains achieved by project acceleration, and the loss of productivity. The calculation related to those changes can be divided into two categories: direct cost and indirect cost. The direct cost is easily quantifiable as opposed to indirect costs which are rarely taken into account during the calculation of the cost of an engineering change or contract modification despite several research projects have been made on this subject. However, proposed models have not been accepted by companies yet, nor they have been accepted in court. Those models require extensive data and are often seen as too specific to be used for all projects. These techniques are also ignoring the resource constraints and the interdependencies between the causes of delays and the delays themselves. To resolve this issue, this research proposes a simulation model that mimics how major engineering changes or contract modifications are handled in large construction projects. The model replicates the use of overtime in a reactive scheduling mode in order to simulate the loss of productivity present when a project change occurs. Multiple tests were conducted to compare the results of the proposed simulation model with statistical analysis conducted by other researchers. Different scenarios were also conducted in order to determine the impact the number of activities, the time of occurrence of the change, the availability of resources, and the type of project changes on productivity loss. Our results demonstrate that the number of activities in the project is a critical variable influencing the productivity of a project. When changes occur, the presence of a large number of activities leads to a much lower productivity loss than a small number of activities. The speed of reducing productivity for 30-job projects is about 25 percent faster than the reduction speed for 120-job projects. The moment of occurrence of a change also shows a significant impact on productivity. Indeed, the sooner the change occurs, the lower the productivity of the labor force. The availability of resources also impacts the productivity of a project when a change is implemented. There is a higher loss of productivity when the amount of resources is restricted.

Keywords: engineering changes, indirect costs overtime, productivity, scheduling, simulation

Procedia PDF Downloads 175
7 Density Functional Theory Study of the Surface Interactions between Sodium Carbonate Aerosols and Fission Products

Authors: Ankita Jadon, Sidi Souvi, Nathalie Girault, Denis Petitprez


The interaction of fission products (FP) with sodium carbonate (Na₂CO₃) aerosols is of a high safety concern because of their potential role in the radiological source term mitigation by FP trapping. In a sodium-cooled fast nuclear reactor (SFR) experiencing a severe accident, sodium (Na) aerosols can be formed after the ejection of the liquid Na coolant inside the containment. The surface interactions between these aerosols and different FP species have been investigated using ab-initio, density functional theory (DFT) calculations using Vienna ab-initio simulation package (VASP). In addition, an improved thermodynamic model has been proposed to treat DFT-VASP calculated energies to extrapolate them to temperatures and pressures of interest in our study. A combined experimental and theoretical chemistry study has been carried out to have both atomistic and macroscopic understanding of the chemical processes; the theoretical chemistry part of this approach is presented in this paper. The Perdew, Burke, and Ernzerhof functional were applied in combination with Grimme’s van der Waals correction to compute exchange-correlational energy at 0 K. Seven different surface cleavages were studied of Ƴ-Na₂CO₃ phase (stable at 603.15 K), it was found that for defect-free surfaces, the (001) facet is the most stable. Furthermore, calculations were performed to study surface defects and reconstructions on the ideal surface. All the studied surface defects were found to be less stable than the ideal surface. More than one adsorbate-ligand configurations were found to be stable confirming that FP vapors could be trapped on various adsorption sites. The calculated adsorption energies (Eads, eV) for the three most stable adsorption sites for I₂ are -1.33, -1.088, and -1.085. Moreover, the adsorption of the first molecule of I₂ changes the surface in a way which would favor stronger adsorption of a second molecule of I2 (Eads, eV = -1.261). For HI adsorption, the most favored reactions have the following Eads (eV) -1.982, -1.790, -1.683 implying that HI would be more reactive than I₂. In addition to FP species, adsorption of H₂O was also studied as the hydrated surface can have different reactivity than the bare surface. One thermodynamically favored site for H₂O adsorption was found with an Eads, eV of -0.754. Finally, the calculations of hydrated surfaces of Na₂CO₃ show that a layer of water adsorbed on the surface significantly reduces its affinity for iodine (Eads, eV = -1.066). According to the thermodynamic model built, the required partial pressure at 373 K to have adsorption of the first layer of iodine is 4.57×10⁻⁴ bar. The second layer will be adsorbed at partial pressures higher than 8.56×10⁻⁶ bar; a layer of water on the surface will increase these pressure almost ten folds to 3.71×10⁻³ bar. The surface interacts with elemental Cs with an Eads (eV) of -1.60, while interacts even strongly with CsI with an Eads (eV) of -2.39. More results on the interactions between Na₂CO₃ (001) and cesium-based FP will also be presented in this paper.

Keywords: iodine uptake, sodium carbonate surface, sodium-cooled fast nuclear reactor, DFT calculations, fission products

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6 Requirements for the Development of Competencies to Mentor Trainee Teachers: A Case Study of Vocational Education Cooperating Teachers in Quebec

Authors: Nathalie Gagnon, Andréanne Gagné, Julie Courcy


Quebec's vocational education teachers experience an atypical induction process into the workplace and thus face unique challenges. In contrast to elementary and high school teachers, who must undergo initial teacher training in order to access the profession, vocational education teachers, in most cases, are hired based on their professional expertise in the trade they are teaching, without prior pedagogical training. In addition to creating significant stress, which does not foster the acquisition of teaching roles and skills, this approach also forces recruits into a particular posture during their practical training: that of juggling their dual identities as teacher and trainee simultaneously. Recruits are supported by Cooperating Teachers (CPs) who, as experienced educators, take a critical and constructive look at their practices, observe them in the classroom, give them constructive feedback, and encourage them in their reflective practice. Thus, the vocational setting CP also assumes a distinctive posture and role due to the characteristics of the trainees they support. Although it is recognized that preparation, training, and supervision of CPs are essential factors in improving the support provided to trainees, there is little research about how CPs develop their support skills, and very little research focuses on the distinct posture they occupy. However, in order for them to be properly equipped for the important role they play in recruits’ practical training, it is vital to know more about their experience. An individual’s competencies cannot be studied without first examining what characterizes their experience, how they experience any given situation on cognitive, emotional, and motivational levels, in addition to how they act and react in situ. Depending on its nature, the experience will or will not promote the development of a specific competency. The research from which this communication originates focuses on describing the overall experience of vocational education CP in an effort to better understand the mechanisms linked to the development of their mentoring competencies. Experience and competence were, therefore, the two main theoretical concepts leading the research. As per methodology choices, case study methods were used since it proves to be adequate to describe in a rich and detailed way contemporary phenomena within contexts of life. The set of data used was collected from semi-structured interviews conducted with 15 vocational education CP in Quebec (Canada), followed by the use of a data-driven semi-inductive analysis approach to let the categories emerge organically. Focusing on the development needs of vocational education CP to improve their mentoring skills, this paper presents the results of our research, namely the importance of adequate training, better support offered by university supervisors, greater recognition of their role, and specific time slots dedicated to trainee support. The knowledge resulting from this research could improve the quality of support for trainee teachers in vocational education settings and to a more successful induction into the workplace. This communication also presents recommendations regarding the development of training systems that meet the specific needs of vocational education CP.

Keywords: development of competencies, cooperating teacher, mentoring trainee teacher, practical training, vocational education

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5 Effect of Time on Stream on the Performances of Plasma Assisted Fe-Doped Cryptomelanes in Trichloroethylene (TCE) Oxidation

Authors: Sharmin Sultana, Nicolas Nuns, Pardis Simon, Jean-Marc Giraudon, Jean-Francois Lamonior, Nathalie D. Geyter, Rino Morent


Environmental issues, especially air pollution, have become a huge concern of environmental legislation as a consequence of growing awareness in our global world. In this regard, control of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emission has become an important issue due to their potential toxicity, carcinogenicity, and mutagenicity. The research of innovative technologies for VOC abatement is stimulated to accommodate the new stringent standards in terms of VOC emission. One emerging strategy is the coupling of 2 existing complementary technologies, namely here non-thermal plasma (NTP) and heterogeneous catalysis, to get a more efficient process for VOC removal in air. The objective of this current work is to investigate the abatement of trichloroethylene (TCE-highly toxic chlorinated VOC) from moist air (RH=15%) as a function of time by combined use of multi-pin-to-plate negative DC corona/glow discharge with Fe-doped cryptomelanes catalyst downstream i.e. post plasma-catalysis (PPC) process. For catalyst alone case, experiments reveal that, initially, Fe doped cryptomelane (regardless the mode of Fe incorporation by co-precipitation (Fe-K-OMS-2)/ impregnation (Fe/K-OMS-2)) exhibits excellent activity to decompose TCE compared to cryptomelane (K-OMS-2) itself. A maximum obtained value of TCE abatement after 6 min is as follows: Fe-KOMS-2 (73.3%) > Fe/KOMS-2 (48.5) > KOMS-2 (22.6%). However, with prolonged operation time, whatever the catalyst under concern, the abatement of TCE decreases. After 111 min time of exposure, the catalysts can be ranked as follows: Fe/KOMS-2 (11%) < K-OMS-2 (12.3%) < Fe-KOMS-2 (14.5%). Clearly, this phenomenon indicates catalyst deactivation either by chlorination or by blocking the active sites. Remarkably, in PPC configuration (energy density = 60 J/L, catalyst temperature = 150°C), experiments reveal an enhanced performance towards TCE removal regardless the type of catalyst. After 6 min time on stream, the TCE removal efficiency amount as follows: K-OMS-2 (60%) < Fe/K-OMS-2 (79%) < Fe-K-OMS-2 (99.3%). The enhanced performances over Fe-K-OMS-2 catalyst are attributed to its high surface oxygen mobility and structural defects leading to high O₃ decomposition efficiency to give active species able to oxidize the plasma processed hazardous\by-products and the possibly remaining VOC into CO₂. Moreover, both undoped and doped catalysts remain strongly capable to abate TCE with time on stream. The TCE removal efficiencies of the PPC processes with Fe/KOMS-2 and KOMS-2 catalysts are not affected by time on stream indicating an excellent catalyst stability. When using the Fe-K-OMS-2 as catalyst, TCE abatement slightly reduces with time on stream. However, it is noteworthy to stress that still a constant abatement of 83% is observed during at least 30 minutes. These results prove that the combination of NTP with catalysts not only increases the catalytic activity but also allows to avoid, to some extent, the poisoning of catalytic sites resulting in an enhanced catalyst stability. In order to better understand the different surface processes occurring in the course of the total TCE oxidation in PPC experiments, a detailed X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Time of Flight-Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) study on the fresh and used catalysts is in progress.

Keywords: Fe doped cryptomelane, non-thermal plasma, plasma-catalysis, stability, trichloroethylene

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4 Predicting Food Waste and Losses Reduction for Fresh Products in Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Authors: Matar Celine, Gaucel Sebastien, Gontard Nathalie, Guilbert Stephane, Guillard Valerie


To increase the very short shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetable, Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) allows an optimal atmosphere composition to be maintained around the product and thus prevent its decay. This technology relies on the modification of internal packaging atmosphere due to equilibrium between production/consumption of gases by the respiring product and gas permeation through the packaging material. While, to the best of our knowledge, benefit of MAP for fresh fruits and vegetable has been widely demonstrated in the literature, its effect on shelf life increase has never been quantified and formalized in a clear and simple manner leading difficult to anticipate its economic and environmental benefit, notably through the decrease of food losses. Mathematical modelling of mass transfers in the food/packaging system is the basis for a better design and dimensioning of the food packaging system. But up to now, existing models did not permit to estimate food quality nor shelf life gain reached by using MAP. However, shelf life prediction is an indispensable prerequisite for quantifying the effect of MAP on food losses reduction. The objective of this work is to propose an innovative approach to predict shelf life of MAP food product and then to link it to a reduction of food losses and wastes. In this purpose, a ‘Virtual MAP modeling tool’ was developed by coupling a new predictive deterioration model (based on visual surface prediction of deterioration encompassing colour, texture and spoilage development) with models of the literature for respiration and permeation. A major input of this modelling tool is the maximal percentage of deterioration (MAD) which was assessed from dedicated consumers’ studies. Strawberries of the variety Charlotte were selected as the model food for its high perishability, high respiration rate; 50-100 ml CO₂/h/kg produced at 20°C, allowing it to be a good representative of challenging post-harvest storage. A value of 13% was determined as a limit of acceptability for the consumers, permitting to define products’ shelf life. The ‘Virtual MAP modeling tool’ was validated in isothermal conditions (5, 10 and 20°C) and in dynamic temperature conditions mimicking commercial post-harvest storage of strawberries. RMSE values were systematically lower than 3% for respectively, O₂, CO₂ and deterioration profiles as a function of time confirming the goodness of model fitting. For the investigated temperature profile, a shelf life gain of 0.33 days was obtained in MAP compared to the conventional storage situation (no MAP condition). Shelf life gain of more than 1 day could be obtained for optimized post-harvest conditions as numerically investigated. Such shelf life gain permitted to anticipate a significant reduction of food losses at the distribution and consumer steps. This food losses' reduction as a function of shelf life gain has been quantified using a dedicated mathematical equation that has been developed for this purpose.

Keywords: food losses and wastes, modified atmosphere packaging, mathematical modeling, shelf life prediction

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3 Interactions between Sodium Aerosols and Fission Products: A Theoretical Chemistry and Experimental Approach

Authors: Ankita Jadon, Sidi Souvi, Nathalie Girault, Denis Petitprez


Safety requirements for Generation IV nuclear reactor designs, especially the new generation sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFR) require a risk-informed approach to model severe accidents (SA) and their consequences in case of outside release. In SFRs, aerosols are produced during a core disruptive accident when primary system sodium is ejected into the containment and burn in contact with the air; producing sodium aerosols. One of the key aspects of safety evaluation is the in-containment sodium aerosol behavior and their interaction with fission products. The study of the effects of sodium fires is essential for safety evaluation as the fire can both thermally damage the containment vessel and cause an overpressurization risk. Besides, during the fire, airborne fission product first dissolved in the primary sodium can be aerosolized or, as it can be the case for fission products, released under the gaseous form. The objective of this work is to study the interactions between sodium aerosols and fission products (Iodine, toxic and volatile, being the primary concern). Sodium fires resulting from an SA would produce aerosols consisting of sodium peroxides, hydroxides, carbonates, and bicarbonates. In addition to being toxic (in oxide form), this aerosol will then become radioactive. If such aerosols are leaked into the environment, they can pose a danger to the ecosystem. Depending on the chemical affinity of these chemical forms with fission products, the radiological consequences of an SA leading to containment leak tightness loss will also be affected. This work is split into two phases. Firstly, a method to theoretically understand the kinetics and thermodynamics of the heterogeneous reaction between sodium aerosols and fission products: I2 and HI are proposed. Ab-initio, density functional theory (DFT) calculations using Vienna ab-initio simulation package are carried out to develop an understanding of the surfaces of sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) aerosols and hence provide insight on its affinity towards iodine species. A comprehensive study of I2 and HI adsorption, as well as bicarbonate formation on the calculated lowest energy surface of Na2CO3, was performed which provided adsorption energies and description of the optimized configuration of adsorbate on the stable surface. Secondly, the heterogeneous reaction between (I2)g and Na2CO3 aerosols were investigated experimentally. To study this, (I2)g was generated by heating a permeation tube containing solid I2, and, passing it through a reaction chamber containing Na2CO3 aerosol deposit. The concentration of iodine was then measured at the exit of the reaction chamber. Preliminary observations indicate that there is an effective uptake of (I2)g on Na2CO3 surface, as suggested by our theoretical chemistry calculations. This work is the first step in addressing the gaps in knowledge of in-containment and atmospheric source term which are essential aspects of safety evaluation of SFR SA. In particular, this study is aimed to determine and characterize the radiological and chemical source term. These results will then provide useful insights for the developments of new models to be implemented in integrated computer simulation tool to analyze and evaluate SFR safety designs.

Keywords: iodine adsorption, sodium aerosols, sodium cooled reactor, DFT calculations, sodium carbonate

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2 Absolute Quantification of the Bexsero Vaccine Component Factor H Binding Protein (fHbp) by Selected Reaction Monitoring: The Contribution of Mass Spectrometry in Vaccinology

Authors: Massimiliano Biagini, Marco Spinsanti, Gabriella De Angelis, Sara Tomei, Ilaria Ferlenghi, Maria Scarselli, Alessia Biolchi, Alessandro Muzzi, Brunella Brunelli, Silvana Savino, Marzia M. Giuliani, Isabel Delany, Paolo Costantino, Rino Rappuoli, Vega Masignani, Nathalie Norais


The gram-negative bacterium Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B (MenB) is an exclusively human pathogen representing the major cause of meningitides and severe sepsis in infants and children but also in young adults. This pathogen is usually present in the 30% of healthy population that act as a reservoir, spreading it through saliva and respiratory fluids during coughing, sneezing, kissing. Among surface-exposed protein components of this diplococcus, factor H binding protein is a lipoprotein proved to be a protective antigen used as a component of the recently licensed Bexsero vaccine. fHbp is a highly variable meningococcal protein: to reflect its remarkable sequence variability, it has been classified in three variants (or two subfamilies), and with poor cross-protection among the different variants. Furthermore, the level of fHbp expression varies significantly among strains, and this has also been considered an important factor for predicting MenB strain susceptibility to anti-fHbp antisera. Different methods have been used to assess fHbp expression on meningococcal strains, however, all these methods use anti-fHbp antibodies, and for this reason, the results are affected by the different affinity that antibodies can have to different antigenic variants. To overcome the limitations of an antibody-based quantification, we developed a quantitative Mass Spectrometry (MS) approach. Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM) recently emerged as a powerful MS tool for detecting and quantifying proteins in complex mixtures. SRM is based on the targeted detection of ProteoTypicPeptides (PTPs), which are unique signatures of a protein that can be easily detected and quantified by MS. This approach, proven to be highly sensitive, quantitatively accurate and highly reproducible, was used to quantify the absolute amount of fHbp antigen in total extracts derived from 105 clinical isolates, evenly distributed among the three main variant groups and selected to be representative of the fHbp circulating subvariants around the world. We extended the study at the genetic level investigating the correlation between the differential level of expression and polymorphisms present within the genes and their promoter sequences. The implications of fHbp expression on the susceptibility of the strain to killing by anti-fHbp antisera are also presented. To date this is the first comprehensive fHbp expression profiling in a large panel of Neisseria meningitidis clinical isolates driven by an antibody-independent MS-based methodology, opening the door to new applications in vaccine coverage prediction and reinforcing the molecular understanding of released vaccines.

Keywords: quantitative mass spectrometry, Neisseria meningitidis, vaccines, bexsero, molecular epidemiology

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