Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 48

Search results for: Neil Roy B. Rosales

18 Pre-Operative Psychological Factors Significantly Add to the Predictability of Chronic Narcotic Use: A Two Year Prospective Study

Authors: Dana El-Mughayyar, Neil Manson, Erin Bigney, Eden Richardson, Dean Tripp, Edward Abraham

Abstract:

Use of narcotics to treat pain has increased over the past two decades and is a contributing factor to the current public health crisis. Understanding the pre-operative risks of chronic narcotic use may be aided through investigation of psychological measures. The objective of the reported study is to determine predictors of narcotic use two years post-surgery in a thoracolumbar spine surgery population, including an array of psychological factors. A prospective observational study of 191 consecutively enrolled adult patients having undergone thoracolumbar spine surgery is presented. Baseline measures of interest included the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, Multidimensional Scale for Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire (CPAQ-8), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Numeric Rating Scales for back and leg pain (NRS-B/L), SF-12’s Mental Component Summary (MCS), narcotic use and demographic variables. The post-operative measure of interest is narcotic use at 2-year follow-up. Narcotic use is collapsed into binary categories of use and no use. Descriptive statistics are run. Chi Square analysis is used for categorical variables and an ANOVA for continuous variables. Significant variables are built into a hierarchical logistic regression to determine predictors of post-operative narcotic use. Significance is set at α < 0.05. Results: A total of 27.23% of the sample were using narcotics two years after surgery. The regression model included ODI, NRS-Leg, time with condition, chief complaint, pre-operative drug use, gender, MCS, PCS subscale helplessness, and CPAQ subscale pain willingness and was significant χ² (13, N=191)= 54.99; p = .000. The model accounted for 39.6% of the variance in narcotic use and correctly predicted in 79.7% of cases. Psychological variables accounted for 9.6% of the variance over and above the other predictors. Conclusions: Managing chronic narcotic usage is central to the patient’s overall health and quality of life. Psychological factors in the preoperative period are significant predictors of narcotic use 2 years post-operatively. The psychological variables are malleable, potentially allowing surgeons to direct their patients to preventative resources prior to surgery.

Keywords: Quality of Life, Spine Surgery, Narcotics, Psychological Factors

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17 Computational Simulations and Assessment of the Application of Non-Circular TAVI Devices

Authors: Jonathon Bailey, Neil Bressloff, Nick Curzen

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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) devices are stent-like frames with prosthetic leaflets on the inside, which are percutaneously implanted. The device in a crimped state is fed through the arteries to the aortic root, where the device frame is opened through either self-expansion or balloon expansion, which reveals the prosthetic valve within. The frequency at which TAVI is being used to treat aortic stenosis is rapidly increasing. In time, TAVI is likely to become the favoured treatment over Surgical Valve Replacement (SVR). Mortality after TAVI has been associated with severe Paravalvular Aortic Regurgitation (PAR). PAR occurs when the frame of the TAVI device does not make an effective seal against the internal surface of the aortic root, allowing blood to flow backwards about the valve. PAR is common in patients and has been reported to some degree in as much as 76% of cases. Severe PAR (grade 3 or 4) has been reported in approximately 17% of TAVI patients resulting in post-procedural mortality increases from 6.7% to 16.5%. TAVI devices, like SVR devices, are circular in cross-section as the aortic root is often considered to be approximately circular in shape. In reality, however, the aortic root is often non-circular. The ascending aorta, aortic sino tubular junction, aortic annulus and left ventricular outflow tract have an average ellipticity ratio of 1.07, 1.09, 1.29, and 1.49 respectively. An elliptical aortic root does not severely affect SVR, as the leaflets are completely removed during the surgical procedure. However, an elliptical aortic root can inhibit the ability of the circular Balloon-Expandable (BE) TAVI devices to conform to the interior of the aortic root wall, which increases the risk of PAR. Self-Expanding (SE) TAVI devices are considered better at conforming to elliptical aortic roots, however the valve leaflets were not designed for elliptical function, furthermore the incidence of PAR is greater in SE devices than BE devices (19.8% vs. 12.2% respectively). If a patient’s aortic root is too severely elliptical, they will not be suitable for TAVI, narrowing the treatment options to SVR. It therefore follows that in order to increase the population who can undergo TAVI, and reduce the risk associated with TAVI, non-circular devices should be developed. Computational simulations were employed to further advance our understanding of non-circular TAVI devices. Radial stiffness of the TAVI devices in multiple directions, frame bending stiffness and resistance to balloon induced expansion are all computationally simulated. Finally, a simulation has been developed that demonstrates the expansion of TAVI devices into a non-circular patient specific aortic root model in order to assess the alterations in deployment dynamics, PAR and the stresses induced in the aortic root.

Keywords: FEA, FEM, tavi, tavr, par

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16 Increase in the Shelf Life Anchovy (Engraulis ringens) from Flaying then Bleeding in a Sodium Citrate Solution

Authors: Santos Maza, Enzo Aldoradin, Carlos Pariona, Eliud Arpi, Maria Rosales

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The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of flaying then bleeding anchovy (Engraulis ringens) immersed within a sodium citrate solution. Anchovy is a pelagic fish that readily deteriorates due to its high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. As such, within the Peruvian food industry, the shelf life of frozen anchovy is explicitly 6 months, this short duration imparts a barrier to use for direct consumption human. Thus, almost all capture of anchovy by the fishing industry is eventually used in the production of fishmeal. We offer this an alternative to its typical production process in order to increase shelf life. In the present study, 100 kg of anchovies were captured and immediately mixed with ice on ship, maintaining a high quality sensory metric (e.g., with color blue in back) while still arriving for processing less than 2 h after capture. Anchovies with fat content of 3% were immediately flayed (i.e., reducing subcutaneous fat), beheaded, gutted and bled (i.e., removing hemoglobin) by immersion in water (Control) or in a solution of 2.5% sodium citrate (treatment), then subsequently frozen at -30 °C for 8 h in 2 kg batches. Subsequent glazing and storage at -25 °C for 14 months completed the experiments parameters. The peroxide value (PV), acidity (A), fatty acid profile (FAP), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), heme iron (HI), pH and sensory attributes of the samples were evaluated monthly. The results of the PV, TBARS, A, pH and sensory analyses displayed significant differences (p<0.05) between treatment and control sample; where the sodium citrate treated samples showed increased preservation features. Specifically, at the beginning of the study, flayed, beheaded, gutted and bled anchovies displayed low content of fat (1.5%) with moderate amount of PV, A and TBARS, and were not rejected by sensory analysis. HI values and FAP displayed varying behavior, however, results of HI did not reveal a decreasing trend. This result is indicative of the fact that levels of iron were maintained as HI and did not convert into no heme iron, which is known to be the primary catalyst of lipid oxidation in fish. According to the FAP results, the major quantity of fatty acid was of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PFA) followed by saturated fatty acid (SFA) and then monounsaturated fatty acid (MFA). According to sensory analysis, the shelf life of flayed, beheaded and gutted anchovy (control and treatment) was 14 months. This shelf life was reached at laboratory level because high quality anchovies were used and immediately flayed, beheaded, gutted, bled and frozen. Therefore, it is possible to maintain the shelf life of anchovies for a long time. Overall, this method displayed a large increase in shelf life relative to that commonly seen for anchovies in this industry. However, these results should be extrapolated at industrial scales to propose better processing conditions and improve the quality of anchovy for direct human consumption.

Keywords: polyunsaturated fatty acids, citrate sodium solution, heme iron, shelf life of frozen anchovy

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15 Stability of Porous SiC Based Materials under Relevant Conditions of Radiation and Temperature

Authors: Marta Malo, Carlota Soto, Carmen García-Rosales, Teresa Hernández

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SiC based composites are candidates for possible use as structural and functional materials in the future fusion reactors, the main role is intended for the blanket modules. In the blanket, the neutrons produced in the fusion reaction slow down and their energy is transformed into heat in order to finally generate electrical power. In the blanket design named Dual Coolant Lead Lithium (DCLL), a PbLi alloy for power conversion and tritium breeding circulates inside hollow channels called Flow Channel Inserts (FCIs). These FCI must protect the steel structures against the highly corrosive PbLi liquid and the high temperatures, but also provide electrical insulation in order to minimize magnetohydrodynamic interactions of the flowing liquid metal with the high magnetic field present in a magnetically confined fusion environment. Due to their nominally high temperature and radiation stability as well as corrosion resistance, SiC is the main choice for the flow channel inserts. The significantly lower manufacturing cost presents porous SiC (dense coating is required in order to assure protection against corrosion and as a tritium barrier) as a firm alternative to SiC/SiC composites for this purpose. This application requires the materials to be exposed to high radiation levels and extreme temperatures, conditions for which previous studies have shown noticeable changes in both the microstructure and the electrical properties of different types of silicon carbide. Both initial properties and radiation/temperature induced damage strongly depend on the crystal structure, polytype, impurities/additives that are determined by the fabrication process, so the development of a suitable material requires full control of these variables. For this work, several SiC samples with different percentage of porosity and sintering additives have been manufactured by the so-called sacrificial template method at the Ceit-IK4 Technology Center (San Sebastián, Spain), and characterized at Ciemat (Madrid, Spain). Electrical conductivity was measured as a function of temperature before and after irradiation with 1.8 MeV electrons in the Ciemat HVEC Van de Graaff accelerator up to 140 MGy (~ 2·10 -5 dpa). Radiation-induced conductivity (RIC) was also examined during irradiation at 550 ºC for different dose rates (from 0.5 to 5 kGy/s). Although no significant RIC was found in general for any of the samples, electrical conductivity increase with irradiation dose was observed to occur for some compositions with a linear tendency. However, first results indicate enhanced radiation resistance for coated samples. Preliminary thermogravimetric tests of selected samples, together with posterior XRD analysis allowed interpret radiation-induced modification of the electrical conductivity in terms of changes in the SiC crystalline structure. Further analysis is needed in order to confirm this.

Keywords: Radiation Damage, Electrical Conductivity, Thermal Stability, flow channel insert, DCLL blanket, porous SiC

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14 Considerations for Effectively Using Probability of Failure as a Means of Slope Design Appraisal for Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Rock Masses

Authors: Neil Bar, Andrew Heweston

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Probability of failure (PF) often appears alongside factor of safety (FS) in design acceptance criteria for rock slope, underground excavation and open pit mine designs. However, the design acceptance criteria generally provide no guidance relating to how PF should be calculated for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses, or what qualifies a ‘reasonable’ PF assessment for a given slope design. Observational and kinematic methods were widely used in the 1990s until advances in computing permitted the routine use of numerical modelling. In the 2000s and early 2010s, PF in numerical models was generally calculated using the point estimate method. More recently, some limit equilibrium analysis software offer statistical parameter inputs along with Monte-Carlo or Latin-Hypercube sampling methods to automatically calculate PF. Factors including rock type and density, weathering and alteration, intact rock strength, rock mass quality and shear strength, the location and orientation of geologic structure, shear strength of geologic structure and groundwater pore pressure influence the stability of rock slopes. Significant engineering and geological judgment, interpretation and data interpolation is usually applied in determining these factors and amalgamating them into a geotechnical model which can then be analysed. Most factors are estimated ‘approximately’ or with allowances for some variability rather than ‘exactly’. When it comes to numerical modelling, some of these factors are then treated deterministically (i.e. as exact values), while others have probabilistic inputs based on the user’s discretion and understanding of the problem being analysed. This paper discusses the importance of understanding the key aspects of slope design for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses and how they can be translated into reasonable PF assessments where the data permits. A case study from a large open pit gold mine in a complex geological setting in Western Australia is presented to illustrate how PF can be calculated using different methods and obtain markedly different results. Ultimately sound engineering judgement and logic is often required to decipher the true meaning and significance (if any) of some PF results.

Keywords: Slope Stability, Sensitivity Analysis, probability of failure, point estimate method, Monte-Carlo simulations

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13 The Ongoing Impact of Secondary Stressors on Businesses in Northern Ireland Affected by Flood Events

Authors: Jill Stephenson, Marie Vaganay, Robert Cameron, Caoimhe McGurk, Neil Hewitt

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Purpose: The key aim of the research was to identify the secondary stressors experienced by businesses affected by single or repeated flooding and to determine to what extent businesses were affected by these stressors, along with any resulting impact on health. Additionally, the research aimed to establish the likelihood of businesses being re-exposed to the secondary stressors through assessing awareness of flood risk, implementation of property protection measures and level of community resilience. Design/methodology/approach: The chosen research method involved the distribution of a questionnaire survey to businesses affected by either single or repeated flood events. The questionnaire included the Impact of Event Scale (a 15-item self-report measure which assesses subjective distress caused by traumatic events). Findings: 55 completed questionnaires were returned by flood impacted businesses. 89% of the businesses had sustained internal flooding while 11% had experienced external flooding. The results established that the key secondary stressors experienced by businesses, in order of priority, were: flood damage, fear of reoccurring flooding, prevention of access to the premise/closure, loss of income, repair works, length of closure and insurance issues. There was a lack of preparedness for potential future floods and consequent vulnerability to the emergence of secondary stressors among flood affected businesses, as flood resistance or flood resilience measures had only been implemented by 11% and 13% respectively. In relation to the psychological repercussions, the Impact of Event scores suggested that potential prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was noted among 8 out of 55 respondents (l5%). Originality/value: The results improve understanding of the enduring repercussions of flood events on businesses, indicating that not only residents may be susceptible to the detrimental health impacts of flood events and single flood events may be just as likely as reoccurring flooding to contribute to ongoing stress. Lack of financial resources is a possible explanation for the lack of implementation of property protection measures among businesses, despite 49% experiencing flooding on multiple occasions. Therefore it is recommended that policymakers should consider potential sources of financial support or grants towards flood defences for flood impacted businesses. Any form of assistance should be made available to businesses at the earliest opportunity as there was no significant association between the time of the last flood event and the likelihood of experiencing PTSD symptoms.

Keywords: Flood Resilience, Flood event, PTSD, flood resistance, secondary stressors

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12 Investigating the Impacts on Cyclist Casualty Severity at Roundabouts: A UK Case Study

Authors: Nurten Akgun, Dilum Dissanayake, Neil Thorpe, Margaret C. Bell

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Cycling has gained a great attention with comparable speeds, low cost, health benefits and reducing the impact on the environment. The main challenge associated with cycling is the provision of safety for the people choosing to cycle as their main means of transport. From the road safety point of view, cyclists are considered as vulnerable road users because they are at higher risk of serious casualty in the urban network but more specifically at roundabouts. This research addresses the development of an enhanced mathematical model by including a broad spectrum of casualty related variables. These variables were geometric design measures (approach number of lanes and entry path radius), speed limit, meteorological condition variables (light, weather, road surface) and socio-demographic characteristics (age and gender), as well as contributory factors. Contributory factors included driver’s behavior related variables such as failed to look properly, sudden braking, a vehicle passing too close to a cyclist, junction overshot, failed to judge other person’s path, restart moving off at the junction, poor turn or manoeuvre and disobeyed give-way. Tyne and Wear in the UK were selected as a case study area. The cyclist casualty data was obtained from UK STATS19 National dataset. The reference categories for the regression model were set to slight and serious cyclist casualties. Therefore, binary logistic regression was applied. Binary logistic regression analysis showed that approach number of lanes was statistically significant at the 95% level of confidence. A higher number of approach lanes increased the probability of severity of cyclist casualty occurrence. In addition, sudden braking statistically significantly increased the cyclist casualty severity at the 95% level of confidence. The result concluded that cyclist casualty severity was highly related to approach a number of lanes and sudden braking. Further research should be carried out an in-depth analysis to explore connectivity of sudden braking and approach number of lanes in order to investigate the driver’s behavior at approach locations. The output of this research will inform investment in measure to improve the safety of cyclists at roundabouts.

Keywords: roundabout, binary logistic regression, casualty severity, cyclist safety

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11 The Development and Testing of a Small Scale Dry Electrostatic Precipitator for the Removal of Particulate Matter

Authors: Derek Wardle, Tarik Al-Shemmeri, Neil Packer

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This paper presents a small tube/wire type electrostatic precipitator (ESP). In the ESPs present form, particle charging and collecting voltages and airflow rates were individually varied throughout 200 ambient temperature test runs ranging from 10 to 30 kV in increments on 5 kV and 0.5 m/s to 1.5 m/s, respectively. It was repeatedly observed that, at input air velocities of between 0.5 and 0.9 m/s and voltage settings of 20 kV to 30 kV, the collection efficiency remained above 95%. The outcomes of preliminary tests at combustion flue temperatures are, at present, inconclusive although indications are that there is little or no drop in comparable performance during ideal test conditions. A limited set of similar tests was carried out during which the collecting electrode was grounded, having been disconnected from the static generator. The collecting efficiency fell significantly, and for that reason, this approach was not pursued further. The collecting efficiencies during ambient temperature tests were determined by mass balance between incoming and outgoing dry PM. The efficiencies of combustion temperature runs are determined by analysing the difference in opacity of the flue gas at inlet and outlet compared to a reference light source. In addition, an array of Leit tabs (carbon coated, electrically conductive adhesive discs) was placed at inlet and outlet for a number of four-day continuous ambient temperature runs. Analysis of the discs’ contamination was carried out using scanning electron microscopy and ImageJ computer software that confirmed collection efficiencies of over 99% which gave unequivocal support to all the previous tests. The average efficiency for these runs was 99.409%. Emissions collected from a woody biomass combustion unit, classified to a diameter of 100 µm, were used in all ambient temperature trials test runs apart from two which collected airborne dust from within the laboratory. Sawdust and wood pellets were chosen for laboratory and field combustion trials. Video recordings were made of three ambient temperature test runs in which the smoke from a wood smoke generator was drawn through the precipitator. Although these runs were visual indicators only, with no objective other than to display, they provided a strong argument for the device’s claimed efficiency, as no emissions were visible at exit when energised.  The theoretical performance of ESPs, when applied to the geometry and configuration of the tested model, was compared to the actual performance and was shown to be in good agreement with it.

Keywords: Air quality, Electron Microscopy, electrostatic precipitators, particulates emissions, image j

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10 Towards Automatic Calibration of In-Line Machine Processes

Authors: David F. Nettleton, Elodie Bugnicourt, Christian Wasiak, Alejandro Rosales

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In this presentation, preliminary results are given for the modeling and calibration of two different industrial winding MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) processes using machine learning techniques. In contrast to previous approaches which have typically used ‘black-box’ linear statistical methods together with a definition of the mechanical behavior of the process, we use non-linear machine learning algorithms together with a ‘white-box’ rule induction technique to create a supervised model of the fitting error between the expected and real force measures. The final objective is to build a precise model of the winding process in order to control de-tension of the material being wound in the first case, and the friction of the material passing through the die, in the second case. Case 1, Tension Control of a Winding Process. A plastic web is unwound from a first reel, goes over a traction reel and is rewound on a third reel. The objectives are: (i) to train a model to predict the web tension and (ii) calibration to find the input values which result in a given tension. Case 2, Friction Force Control of a Micro-Pullwinding Process. A core+resin passes through a first die, then two winding units wind an outer layer around the core, and a final pass through a second die. The objectives are: (i) to train a model to predict the friction on die2; (ii) calibration to find the input values which result in a given friction on die2. Different machine learning approaches are tested to build models, Kernel Ridge Regression, Support Vector Regression (with a Radial Basis Function Kernel) and MPART (Rule Induction with continuous value as output). As a previous step, the MPART rule induction algorithm was used to build an explicative model of the error (the difference between expected and real friction on die2). The modeling of the error behavior using explicative rules is used to help improve the overall process model. Once the models are built, the inputs are calibrated by generating Gaussian random numbers for each input (taking into account its mean and standard deviation) and comparing the output to a target (desired) output until a closest fit is found. The results of empirical testing show that a high precision is obtained for the trained models and for the calibration process. The learning step is the slowest part of the process (max. 5 minutes for this data), but this can be done offline just once. The calibration step is much faster and in under one minute obtained a precision error of less than 1x10-3 for both outputs. To summarize, in the present work two processes have been modeled and calibrated. A fast processing time and high precision has been achieved, which can be further improved by using heuristics to guide the Gaussian calibration. Error behavior has been modeled to help improve the overall process understanding. This has relevance for the quick optimal set up of many different industrial processes which use a pull-winding type process to manufacture fibre reinforced plastic parts. Acknowledgements to the Openmind project which is funded by Horizon 2020 European Union funding for Research & Innovation, Grant Agreement number 680820

Keywords: Machine Learning, data model, Calibration, industrial winding

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9 Reflections of Narrative Architecture in Transformational Representations on the Architectural Design Studio

Authors: M. Mortas, H. Asar, P. Dursun Cebi

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The visionary works of architectural representation in the 21st century's present situation, are practiced through the methodologies which try to expose the intellectual and theoretical essences of futurologist positions that are revealed with this era's interactions. Expansions of conceptual and contextual inputs related to one architectural design representation, depend on its deepness of critical attitudes, its interactions with the concepts such as experience, meaning, affection, psychology, perception and aura, as well as its communication with spatial, cultural and environmental factors. The purpose of this research study is to be able to offer methodological application areas for the design dimensions of experiential practices into architectural design studios, by focusing on the architectural representative narrations of 'transformation,' 'metamorphosis,' 'morphogenesis,' 'in-betweenness', 'superposition' and 'intertwine’ in which they affect and are affected by the today’s spatiotemporal hybridizations of architecture. The narrative representations and the visual theory paradigms of the designers are chosen under the main title of 'transformation' for the investigation of these visionary and critical representations' dismantlings and decodings. Case studies of this research area are chosen from Neil Spiller, Bryan Cantley, Perry Kulper and Dan Slavinsky’s transformative, morphogenetic representations. The theoretical dismantlings and decodings which are obtained from these artists’ contemporary architectural representations are tried to utilize and practice in the structural design studios as alternative methodologies when to approach architectural design processes, for enriching, differentiating, diversifying and 'transforming' the applications of so far used design process precedents. The research aims to indicate architectural students about how they can reproduce, rethink and reimagine their own representative lexicons and so languages of their architectural imaginations, regarding the newly perceived tectonics of prosthetic, biotechnology, synchronicity, nanotechnology or machinery into various experiential design workshops. The methodology of this work can be thought as revealing the technical and theoretical tools, lexicons and meanings of contemporary-visionary architectural representations of our decade, with the essential contents and components of hermeneutics, etymology, existentialism, post-humanism, phenomenology and avant-gardism disciplines to re-give meanings the architectural visual theorists’ transformative representations of our decade. The value of this study may be to emerge the superposed and overlapped atmospheres of futurologist architectural representations for the students who need to rethink on the transcultural, deterritorialized and post-humanist critical theories to create and use the representative visual lexicons of themselves for their architectural soft machines and beings by criticizing the now, to be imaginative for the future of architecture.

Keywords: architectural design studio, visionary lexicon, narrative architecture, transformative representation

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8 Exploring Neural Responses to Urban Spaces in Older People Using Mobile EEG

Authors: Chris Neale, Jenny Roe, Peter Aspinall, Sara Tilley, Steve Cinderby, Panos Mavros, Richard Coyne, Neil Thin, Catharine Ward Thompson

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This research directly assesses older people’s neural activation in response to walking through a changing urban environment, as measured by electroencephalography (EEG). As the global urban population is predicted to grow, there is a need to understand the role that the urban environment may play on the health of its older inhabitants. There is a large body of evidence suggesting green space has a beneficial restorative effect, but this effect remains largely understudied in both older people and by using a neuroimaging assessment. For this study, participants aged 65 years and over were required to walk between a busy urban built environment and a green urban environment, in a counterbalanced design, wearing an Emotiv EEG headset to record real-time neural responses to place. Here we report on the outputs for these responses derived from both the proprietary Affectiv Suite software, which creates emotional parameters with a real time value assigned to them, as well as the raw EEG output focusing on alpha and beta changes, associated with changes in relaxation and attention respectively. Each walk lasted around fifteen minutes and was undertaken at the natural walking pace of the participant. The two walking environments were compared using a form of high dimensional correlated component regression (CCR) on difference data between the urban busy and urban green spaces. For the Emotiv parameters, results showed that levels of ‘engagement’ increased in the urban green space (with a subsequent decrease in the urban busy built space) whereas levels of ‘excitement’ increased in the urban busy environment (with a subsequent decrease in the urban green space). In the raw data, low beta (13 – 19 Hz) increased in the urban busy space with a subsequent decrease shown in the green space, similar to the pattern shown with the ‘excitement’ result. Alpha activity (9 – 13 Hz) shows a correlation with low beta, but not with dependent change in the regression model. This suggests that alpha is acting as a suppressor variable. These results suggest that there are neural signatures associated with the experience of urban spaces which may reflect the age of the cohort or the spatiality of the settings themselves. These are shown both in the outputs of the proprietary software as well as the raw EEG output. Built busy urban spaces appear to induce neural activity associated with vigilance and low level stress, while this effect is ameliorated in the urban green space, potentially suggesting a beneficial effect on attentional capacity in urban green space in this participant group. The interaction between low beta and alpha requires further investigation, in particular the role of alpha in this relationship.

Keywords: Ageing, Urban Space, eeg, Green Space

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7 Effects of Delphinidin on Lipid Metabolism in HepG2 Cells and Diet-Induced Obese Mice

Authors: Marcela Parra-Vargas, Ana Sandoval-Rodriguez, Roberto Rodriguez-Echevarria, Jose Dominguez-Rosales, Juan Armendariz-Borunda

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by an excess of hepatic lipids, and it is to author’s best knowledge, the most prevalent chronic liver disorder. Anthocyanin-rich food consumption is linked to health benefits in metabolic disorders associated with obesity and NAFLD, although the precise functional role of anthocyanidin delphinidin (Dp) has yet to be established. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the Dp in NAFLD metabolic alterations by evaluating prevention or amelioration of hepatic lipid accumulation, as well as molecular mechanisms in two experimental obesity-related models of NALFD. In vitro: HepG2 cells were incubated with sodium palmitate (PA, 1 mM) to induce lipotoxic damage, and concomitantly treated with Dp (180 uM) for 24 h. Subsequently, total lipid accumulation was measured by colorimetric staining with Oil Red O, and total intrahepatic triglycerides were determined by an enzymatic assay. To assess molecular mechanisms, cells were pre-treated with PA for 24 h and then exposed to Dp for 1 h. In vivo: four-week-old male C57BL/6Nhsd mice were allocated in two main groups. Mice were fed with standard diet (control) or high-fat and high-carbohydrate diet (45% fat, HFD) for 16 wk to induce NAFLD. Then HFD was divided into subgroups: one treated orally with Dp (15 mg/kg bw, HFD-Dp) every day for 4 wk, while HFD group treated with vehicle (DMSO). Weight and fasting glucose were recorded weekly, while dietary ingestion was measured daily. Insulin tolerance test was performed at the end of treatment. Liver histology was evaluated with H&E and Masson’s trichrome stain. RT-PCR was used to evaluate gene expression and Western Blot to determine levels of protein in both experimental models. Parametric data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc test. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U test for non-parametric data, and P < 0.5 were considered significant. Dp prevented hepatic lipid accumulation by PA in HepG2 hepatocytes. Furthermore, Dp down-regulated gene expression of SREBP1c, FAS, and CPT1a without modifying AMPK phosphorylation levels. In vivo, Dp oral administration did not ameliorate lipid metabolic alterations raised by HFD. Adiposity, dietary ingestion, fasting glucose, and insulin sensitivity after Dp treatment remained similar to HFD group. Histological analysis showed hepatic damage in HFD groups and no differences between HFD and HFD-Dp groups were found. Hepatic gene expression of ACC and FAS were not altered by HFD. SREBP1c was similar in both HFD and HFD-Dp groups. No significant changes were observed in SREBP1c, ACC, and FAS adipose tissue gene expression by HFD or Dp treatment. Additionally, immunoblotting analysis revealed no changes in pathway SIRT1-LKB-AMPK and PPAR alpha by both HFD groups compared to control. In conclusion, the antioxidant Dp may provoke beneficial effects in the prevention of hepatic lipid accumulation. Nevertheless, the oral dose administrated in mice that simulated the total intake of anthocyanins consumed daily by humans has no effect as a treatment on hepatic lipid metabolic alterations and histological abnormalities associated with exposure to chronic HFD. A healthy lifestyle with regular intake of antioxidants such as anthocyanins may prevent metabolic alterations in NAFLD.

Keywords: Obesity, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Antioxidants, anthocyanins, delphinidin

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6 Integrated Manufacture of Polymer and Conductive Tracks for Functional Objects Fabrication

Authors: Barbara Urasinska-Wojcik, Neil Chilton, Peter Todd, Christopher Elsworthy, Gregory J. Gibbons

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The recent increase in the application of Additive Manufacturing (AM) of products has resulted in new demands on capability. The ability to integrate both form and function within printed objects is the next frontier in the 3D printing area. To move beyond prototyping into low volume production, we demonstrate a UK-designed and built AM hybrid system that combines polymer based structural deposition with digital deposition of electrically conductive elements. This hybrid manufacturing system is based on a multi-planar build approach to improve on many of the limitations associated with AM, such as poor surface finish, low geometric tolerance, and poor robustness. Specifically, the approach involves a multi-planar Material Extrusion (ME) process in which separated build stations with up to 5 axes of motion replace traditional horizontally-sliced layer modeling. The construction of multi-material architectures also involved using multiple print systems in order to combine both ME and digital deposition of conductive material. To demonstrate multi-material 3D printing, three thermoplastics, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyamide 6,6/6 copolymers (CoPA) and polyamide 12 (PA) were used to print specimens, on top of which our high viscosity Ag-particulate ink was printed in a non-contact process, during which drop characteristics such as shape, velocity, and volume were assessed using a drop watching system. Spectroscopic analysis of these 3D printed materials in the IR region helped to determine the optimum in-situ curing system for implementation into the AM system to achieve improved adhesion and surface refinement. Thermal Analyses were performed to determine the printed materials glass transition temperature (Tg), stability and degradation behavior to find the optimum annealing conditions post printing. Electrical analysis of printed conductive tracks on polymer surfaces during mechanical testing (static tensile and 3-point bending and dynamic fatigue) was performed to assess the robustness of the electrical circuits. The tracks on CoPA, ABS, and PA exhibited low electrical resistance, and in case of PA resistance values of tracks remained unchanged across hundreds of repeated tensile cycles up to 0.5% strain amplitude. Our developed AM printer has the ability to fabricate fully functional objects in one build, including complex electronics. It enables product designers and manufacturers to produce functional saleable electronic products from a small format modular platform. It will make 3D printing better, faster and stronger.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing, conductive tracks, hybrid 3D printer, integrated manufacture

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5 Local Governance Systems for Value Chains' Promotion: A Chance for Rural Development in Tunisia

Authors: Neil Fourati

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Collaboration between public and private stakeholders for agricultural development are today lacking in Tunisia. The last dictatorship witnessed by the country has deteriorated the necessary trust between the state and small farmers for the realization of development projects, in particular in the interior, disadvantaged regions of the country. These regions, where the youth unemployment rate is above 30%, have been the heart of the uprising that preceded the revolution. The transitional period that the country is going through since 2011 is an opportunity for the emergence of new governance systems in the context of the decentralization. The latter is recognized in the 2nd Tunisian Republic constitution as the basis of regional management. Civil society participation to the decision-making process is considered as a mean to identify measures that are more coherent with local populations’ needs. The development of agriculture and food value chains in rural areas is relevant within the framework of the implementation of new decisions systems that require public-private collaborations. These new systems can lead to actions in favor of improving living conditions of rural populations. The diverisification of activities around agriculture can be a solution for job creation and local value creation. The project for the promotion of sustainable agriculture and rural development in Tunisia has designed and implemented a multi-stakeholder dialogue process for the development of local value chains platforms in disadvantaged areas of the country. The platforms gather public and private organizations ; as well civil society organizations ; that intervene in a locality in relation to the production transformation or product’s commercialization. The role of these platforms is to formulate realize and evaluate collaborative actions or projects for the promotion of the concerned product and territory. The dialogue process steps allow to create the necessary collaboration conditions in order to promote viable collectivities, dynamic economies and healthy environments. Effectively, the dialogue process steps allow to identify the local leaders. These leaders recognize the development constraints and opportunities. They deal with key and gathering subjects around the collaborative projects or actions. They take common decisions in order to create effective coalitions for the implementation of common actions. The plateforms realize quick success so as to build trust. The project has supported the formulation of 22 collaborative projects. Seven priority collaborative projects have been realized. Each collaborative project includes 3 parts : the signature of the collaboration conventions between public and private organizations, investment in the relevant material in order to increase productivity and the quality of local and products and finally management and technical training in favour of producers’ organizations for the promotion of local products. The implementation of this process has enabled to enhance the capacities of collaboration between local actors : producers, traders, processors and support structures from public sector and civil society. It also allowed to improve the efficiency and relevance of actions and measures for agriculture and rural development programs. Thus, the process for the development of local value chain platform is a basis for sustainable development of agriculture.

Keywords: Governance, Value chains, Rural development, public private collaboration

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4 Targeting Violent Extremist Narratives: Applying Network Targeting Techniques to the Communication Functions of Terrorist Groups

Authors: John Hardy

Abstract:

Over the last decade, the increasing utility of extremist narratives to the operational effectiveness of terrorist organizations has been evidenced by the proliferation of inspired or affiliated attacks across the world. Famous examples such as regional al-Qaeda affiliates and the self-styled “Islamic State” demonstrate the effectiveness of leveraging communication technologies to disseminate propaganda, recruit members, and orchestrate attacks. Terrorist organizations with the capacity to harness the communicative power offered by digital communication technologies and effective political narratives have held an advantage over their targets in recent years. Terrorists have leveraged the perceived legitimacy of grass-roots actors to appeal to a global audience of potential supporters and enemies alike, and have wielded a proficiency in profile-raising which remains unmatched by counter terrorism narratives around the world. In contrast, many attempts at propagating official counter-narratives have been received by target audiences as illegitimate, top-down and impersonally bureaucratic. However, the benefits provided by widespread communication and extremist narratives have come at an operational cost. Terrorist organizations now face a significant challenge in protecting their access to communications technologies and authority over the content they create and endorse. The dissemination of effective narratives has emerged as a core function of terrorist organizations with international reach via inspired or affiliated attacks. As such, it has become a critical function which can be targeted by intelligence and security forces. This study applies network targeting principles which have been used by coalition forces against a range of non-state actors in the Middle East and South Asia to the communicative function of terrorist organizations. This illustrates both a conceptual link between functional targeting and operational disruption in the abstract and a tangible impact on the operational effectiveness of terrorists by degrading communicative ability and legitimacy. Two case studies highlight the utility of applying functional targeting against terrorist organizations. The first case is the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda propagandist who crafted a permissive narrative and effective propaganda videos to attract recruits who committed inspired terrorist attacks in the US and overseas. The second is a series of operations against Islamic State propagandists in Syria, including the capture or deaths of a cadre of high profile Islamic State members, including Junaid Hussain, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, Neil Prakash, and Rachid Kassim. The group of Islamic State propagandists were linked to a significant rise in affiliated and enabled terrorist attacks and were subsequently targeted by law enforcement and military agencies. In both cases, the disruption of communication between the terrorist organization and recruits degraded both communicative and operational functions. Effective functional targeting on member recruitment and operational tempo suggests that narratives are a critical function which can be leveraged against terrorist organizations. Further application of network targeting methods to terrorist narratives may enhance the efficacy of a range of counter terrorism techniques employed by security and intelligence agencies.

Keywords: Terrorism, Intelligence, Counter terrorism, Violent Extremism, Countering Violent Extremism

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3 Efficacy and Safety of Sublingual Sufentanil for the Management of Acute Pain

Authors: Neil Singla, Derek Muse, Karen DiDonato, Pamela Palmer

Abstract:

Introduction: Pain is the most common reason people visit emergency rooms. Studies indicate however, that Emergency Department (ED) physicians often do not provide adequate analgesia to their patients as a result of gender and age bias, opiophobia and insufficient knowledge of and formal training in acute pain management. Novel classes of analgesics have recently been introduced, but many patients suffer from acute pain in settings where the availability of intravenous (IV) access may be limited, so there remains a clinical need for rapid-acting, potent analgesics that do not require an invasive route of delivery. A sublingual sufentanil tablet (SST), dispensed using a single-dose applicator, is in development for treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain in a medically-supervised setting. Objective: The primary objective of this study was to demonstrate the repeat-dose efficacy, safety and tolerability of sufentanil 20 mcg and 30 mcg sublingual tablets compared to placebo for the management of acute pain as determined by the time-weighted sum of pain intensity differences (SPID) to baseline over the 12-hour study period (SPID12). Key secondary efficacy variables included SPID over the first hour (SPID1), Total pain relief over the 12-hour study period (TOTPAR12), time to perceived pain relief (PR) and time to meaningful PR. Safety variables consisted of adverse events (AE), vital signs, oxygen saturation and early termination. Methods: In this Phase 2, double-blind, dose-finding study, an equal number of male and female patients were randomly assigned in a 2:2:1 ratio to SST 20 mcg, SS 30 mcg or placebo, respectively, following bunionectomy. Study drug was dosed as needed, but not more frequently than hourly. Rescue medication was available as needed. The primary endpoint was the Summed Pain Intensity Difference to baseline over 12h (SPIDI2). Safety was assessed by continuous oxygen saturation monitoring and adverse event reporting. Results: 101 patients (51 Male/50 Female) were randomized, 100 received study treatment (intent-to-treat [ITT] population), and 91 completed the study. Reasons for early discontinuation were lack of efficacy (6), adverse events (2) and drug-dosing error (1). Mean age was 42.5 years. For the ITT population, SST 30 mcg was superior to placebo (p=0.003) for the SPID12. SPID12 scores in the active groups were superior for both male (ANOVA overall p-value =0.038) and female (ANOVA overall p-value=0.005) patients. Statistically significant differences in favour of sublingual sufentanil were also observed between the SST 30mcg and placebo group for SPID1(p<0.001), TOTPAR12(p=0.002), time to perceived PR (p=0.023) and time to meaningful PR (p=0.010). Nausea, vomiting and somnolence were more frequent in the sufentanil groups but there were no significant differences between treatment arms for the proportion of patients who prematurely terminated due to AE or inadequate analgesia. Conclusions: Sufentanil tablets dispensed sublingually using a single-dose applicator is in development for treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe acute pain in a medically-supervised setting where immediate IV access is limited. When administered sublingually, sufentanil’s pharmacokinetic profile and non-invasive delivery makes it a useful alternative to IM or IV dosing.

Keywords: Pain Management, acute pain, sublingual, sufentanil

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2 Geographic Information System Based Multi-Criteria Subsea Pipeline Route Optimisation

Authors: James Brown, Stella Kortekaas, Ian Finnie, George Zhang, Christine Devine, Neil Healy

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The use of GIS as an analysis tool for engineering decision making is now best practice in the offshore industry. GIS enables multidisciplinary data integration, analysis and visualisation which allows the presentation of large and intricate datasets in a simple map-interface accessible to all project stakeholders. Presenting integrated geoscience and geotechnical data in GIS enables decision makers to be well-informed. This paper is a successful case study of how GIS spatial analysis techniques were applied to help select the most favourable pipeline route. Routing a pipeline through any natural environment has numerous obstacles, whether they be topographical, geological, engineering or financial. Where the pipeline is subjected to external hydrostatic water pressure and is carrying pressurised hydrocarbons, the requirement to safely route the pipeline through hazardous terrain becomes absolutely paramount. This study illustrates how the application of modern, GIS-based pipeline routing techniques enabled the identification of a single most-favourable pipeline route crossing of a challenging seabed terrain. Conventional approaches to pipeline route determination focus on manual avoidance of primary constraints whilst endeavouring to minimise route length. Such an approach is qualitative, subjective and is liable to bias towards the discipline and expertise that is involved in the routing process. For very short routes traversing benign seabed topography in shallow water this approach may be sufficient, but for deepwater geohazardous sites, the need for an automated, multi-criteria, and quantitative approach is essential. This study combined multiple routing constraints using modern least-cost-routing algorithms deployed in GIS, hitherto unachievable with conventional approaches. The least-cost-routing procedure begins with the assignment of geocost across the study area. Geocost is defined as a numerical penalty score representing hazard posed by each routing constraint (e.g. slope angle, rugosity, vulnerability to debris flows) to the pipeline. All geocosted routing constraints are combined to generate a composite geocost map that is used to compute the least geocost route between two defined terminals. The analyses were applied to select the most favourable pipeline route for a potential gas development in deep water. The study area is geologically complex with a series of incised, potentially active, canyons carved into a steep escarpment, with evidence of extensive debris flows. A similar debris flow in the future could cause significant damage to a poorly-placed pipeline. Protruding inter-canyon spurs offer lower-gradient options for ascending an escarpment but the vulnerability of periodic failure of these spurs is not well understood. Close collaboration between geoscientists, pipeline engineers, geotechnical engineers and of course the gas export pipeline operator guided the analyses and assignment of geocosts. Shorter route length, less severe slope angles, and geohazard avoidance were the primary drivers in identifying the most favourable route.

Keywords: Spatial analysis, Geohazard, geocost, pipeline route determination, pipeline route optimisation

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1 Identifying the Conservation Gaps in Poorly Studied Protected Area in the Philippines: A Study Case of Sibuyan Island

Authors: Roven Tumaneng, Angelica Kristina Monzon, Ralph Sedricke Lapuz, Jose Don De Alban, Jennica Paula Masigan, Joanne Rae Pales, Laila Monera Pornel, Dennis Tablazon, Rizza Karen Veridiano, Jackie Lou Wenceslao, Edmund Leo Rico, Neil Aldrin Mallari

Abstract:

Most protected area management plans in the Philippines, particularly the smaller and more remote islands suffer from insufficient baseline data, which should provide the bases for formulating measureable conservation targets and appropriate management interventions for these protected areas. Attempts to synthesize available data particularly on cultural and socio-economic characteristic of local peoples within and outside protected areas also suffer from the lack of comprehensive and detailed inventories, which should be considered in designing adaptive management interventions to be used for those protected areas. Mt Guiting-guiting Natural Park (MGGNP) located in Sibuyan Island is one of the poorly studied protected areas in the Philippines. In this study, we determined the highly biologically important areas of the protected area using Maximum Entropy approach (MaxEnt) from environmental predictors (i.e., topographic, bioclimatic,land cover, and soil image layers) derived from global remotely sensed data and point occurrence data of species of birds and trees recorded during field surveys on the island. A total of 23 trigger species of birds and trees was modeled and stacked to generate species richness maps for biological high conservation value areas (HCVAs). Forest habitat change was delineated using dual-polarised L-band ALOS-PALSAR mosaic data at 25 meter spatial resolution, taken at two acquisition years 2007 and 2009 to provide information on forest cover ad habitat change in the island between year 2007 and 2009. Determining the livelihood guilds were also conducted using the data gathered from171 household interviews, from which demographic and livelihood variables were extracted (i.e., age, gender, number of household members, educational attainment, years of residency, distance from forest edge, main occupation, alternative sources of food and resources during scarcity months, and sources of these alternative resources).Using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Kruskal-Wallis test, the diversity and patterns of forest resource use by people in the island were determined with particular focus on the economic activities that directly and indirectly affect the population of key species as well as to identify levels of forest resource use by people in different areas of the park.Results showed that there are gaps in the area occupied by the natural park, as evidenced by the mismatch of the proposed HCVAs and the existing perimeters of the park. We found out that subsistence forest gathering was the possible main driver for forest degradation out of the eight livelihood guilds that were identified in the park. Determining the high conservation areas and identifyingthe anthropogenic factors that influence the species richness and abundance of key species in the different management zone of MGGNP would provide guidance for the design of a protected area management plan and future monitoring programs. However, through intensive communication and consultation with government stakeholders and local communities our results led to setting conservation targets in local development plans and serve as a basis for the reposition of the boundaries and reconfiguration of the management zones of MGGNP.

Keywords: protected area, MaxEnt, conservation gaps, livelihood guilds

Procedia PDF Downloads 254