Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: P. Kumaran

12 Preservation of Historical Zelkova carpinifolia Wooden Structure in Humid Weather

Authors: A. Mahshid Kakouei, B. Kumaran Suberamanin, C. Sabzali Musa Kahn, D. Mina Kakouei


This study aims to identify suitable conservative product for the conservation and restoration of historical Zelkova Carpinifolia wood located in humid weather. The superficial properties and hardness of 14 compounds treated with several consolidants were compared. The consolidants have been applied alone, with synthetic resin or with protein glues and natural resins by the brushing method. Colorimetric measurements, observation methods and hardness tests were conducted before and after aging to verify the possible changes of the treated wood and the consolidating resistance. The compound 1:2 of Butvar B98 and sandarac in 5% ethanol was found to be more effective, providing a suitable compound compared to the other consolidants tested.

Keywords: Zelkova carpinifolia, consolidation, synthetic resin, penetration depth, hardness

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11 Optimization of NaOH Thermo-Chemical Pretreatment to Enhance Solubilisation of Organic Food Waste by Response Surface Methodology

Authors: Hafizan Junoh, Kumaran Palanisamy, Yip Chan Heng, Pua Fei Ling


This study investigates the influence of low temperature thermo-chemical pretreatment of organic food waste on the performance of COD solubilisation. Both temperature and alkaline agent were reported to have an effect on solubilizing any possible biomass including organic food waste. The three independent variables considered in this pretreatment were temperature (50-90oC), pretreatment time (30-120 minutes) and alkaline concentration, sodium hydroxide, NaOH (0.7-15 g/L). The optimal condition obtained were 90oC, 15 g/L NaOH for 2 hours. Solubilisation has potential in enhancing methane production by providing a high amount of soluble components at an early stage during anaerobic digestion.

Keywords: food waste, pretreatments, respond surface methodology, ANOVA, anaerobic digestion

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10 A Study on Adult Attachment Styles and Romantic Relationship Quality among Young Adults

Authors: Kaliammah Kumaran, Thilaagheswary Thangadurai


This study examined the relationship between anxious attachment and avoidant attachment among young adult romantic relationship quality. Our survey was administered to 300 young adult participants (126 males and 174 females) aged 18-24 years old (M= 20.85, SD=1.89), accomplished the English version of the Revised Adult Attachment Scale (RAAS) used to measure adult attachment and Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (RDAS). All the participants were tertiary level students. Findings of our study indicated that young adults experienced anxious attachment style is negatively correlated with romantic relationship quality as well as young adult from avoidant attachment also negatively correlated with romantic relationship quality among young adults. The results showed that insecure adult attachment styles which are anxious and avoidance adult attachment styles links with reduced quality of romantic relationship.

Keywords: adult attachment style, anxious attachment style, avoidant attachment style, romantic relationship quality

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9 Intracellular Strategies for Gene Delivery into Mammalian Cells Using Bacteria as a Vector

Authors: Kumaran Narayanan, Andrew N. Osahor


E. coli has been engineered by our group and by others as a vector to deliver DNA into cultured human and animal cells. However, so far conditions to improve gene delivery using this vector have not been investigated, resulting in a major gap in our understanding of the requirements for this vector to function optimally. Our group recently published novel data showing that simple addition of the DNA transfection reagent Lipofectamine increased the efficiency of the E. coli vector by almost 3-fold, providing the first strong evidence that further optimization of bactofection is possible. This presentation will discuss advances that demonstrate the effects of several intracellular strategies that improve the efficiency of this vector. Conditions that promote endosomal escape of internalized bacteria to evade lysosomal destruction after entry in the cell, a known obstacle limiting this vector, are elucidated. Further, treatments that increase bacterial lysis so that the vector can release its transgene into the mammalian environment for expression will be discussed. These experiments will provide valuable new insight to advance this E. coli system as an important class of vector technology for genetic correction of human disease models in cells and whole animals.

Keywords: DNA, E. coli, gene expression, vector

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8 Adsorption of Peppermint Essential Oil by Polypropylene Nanofiber

Authors: Duduku Krishnaiah, S. M. Anisuzzaman, Kumaran Govindaraj, Chiam Chel Ken, Zykamilia Kamin


Pure essential oil is highly demanded in the market since most of the so-called pure essential oils in the market contains alcohol. This is because of the usage of alcohol in separating oil and water mixture. Removal of pure essential oil from water without using any chemical solvent has become a challenging issue. Adsorbents generally have the properties of separating hydrophobic oil from hydrophilic mixture. Polypropylen nanofiber is a thermoplastic polymer which is produced from propylene. It was used as an adsorbent in this study. Based on the research, it was found that the polypropylene nanofiber was able to adsorb peppermint oil from the aqueous solution over a wide range of concentration. Based on scanning electron microscope (SEM), nanofiber has very small nano diameter fiber size in average before the adsorption and larger scaled average diameter of fibers after adsorption which indicates that smaller diameter of nanofiber enhances the adsorption process. The adsorption capacity of peppermint oil increases as the initial concentration of peppermint oil and amount of polypropylene nanofiber used increases. The maximum adsorption capacity of polypropylene nanofiber was found to be 689.5 mg/g at (T= 30°C). Moreover, the adsorption capacity of peppermint oil decreases as the temperature of solution increases. The equilibrium data of polypropylene nanofiber is best represented by Freundlich isotherm with the maximum adsorption capacity of 689.5 mg/g. The adsorption kinetics of polypropylene nanofiber was best represented by pseudo-second order model.

Keywords: nanofiber, adsorption, peppermint essential oil, isotherms, adsorption kinetics

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7 Functional Gene Expression in Human Cells Using Linear Vectors Derived from Bacteriophage N15 Processing

Authors: Kumaran Narayanan, Pei-Sheng Liew


This paper adapts the bacteriophage N15 protelomerase enzyme to assemble linear chromosomes as vectors for gene expression in human cells. Phage N15 has the unique ability to replicate as a linear plasmid with telomeres in E. coli during its prophage stage of life-cycle. The virus-encoded protelomerase enzyme cuts its circular genome and caps its ends to form hairpin telomeres, resulting in a linear human-chromosome-like structure in E. coli. In mammalian cells, however, no enzyme with TelN-like activities has been found. In this work, we show for the first-time transfer of the protelomerase from phage into human and mouse cells and demonstrate recapitulation of its activity in these hosts. The function of this enzyme is assayed by demonstrating cleavage of its target DNA, followed by detecting telomere formation based on its resistance to recBCD enzyme digestion. We show protelomerase expression persists for at least 60 days, which indicates limited silencing of its expression. Next, we show that an intact human β-globin gene delivered on this linear chromosome accurately retains its expression in the human cellular environment for at least 60 hours, demonstrating its stability and potential as a vector. These results demonstrate that the N15 protelomerse is able to function in mammalian cells to cut and heal DNA to create telomeres, which provides a new tool for creating novel structures by DNA resolution in these hosts.

Keywords: chromosome, beta-globin, DNA, gene expression, linear vector

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6 Studies on Lucrative Design of a Waste Heat Recovery System for Air Conditioners

Authors: Ashwin Bala, K. Panthalaraja Kumaran, S. Prithviraj, R. Pradeep, J. Udhayakumar, S. Ajith


In this paper, studies have been carried out for an in-house design of a waste heat recovery system for effectively utilizing the domestic air conditioner heat energy for producing hot water. Theoretical studies have been carried to optimizing the flow rate for getting maximum output with a minimum size of the heater. Critical diameter, wall thickness, and total length of the water pipeline have been estimated from the conventional heat transfer model. Several combinations of pipeline shapes viz., spiral, coil, zigzag wound through the radiator has been attempted and accordingly shape has been optimized using heat transfer analyses. The initial condition is declared based on the water flow rate and temperature. Through the parametric analytical studies we have conjectured that water flow rate, temperature difference between incoming water and radiator skin temperature, pipe material, radiator material, geometry of the water pipe viz., length, diameter, and wall thickness are having bearing on the lucrative design of a waste heat recovery system for air conditioners. Results generated through the numerical studies have been validated using an in-house waste heat recovery system for air conditioners.

Keywords: air conditioner design, energy conversion system, radiator design for energy recovery systems, waste heat recovery system

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5 Spatial-Temporal Clustering Characteristics of Dengue in the Northern Region of Sri Lanka, 2010-2013

Authors: Sumiko Anno, Keiji Imaoka, Takeo Tadono, Tamotsu Igarashi, Subramaniam Sivaganesh, Selvam Kannathasan, Vaithehi Kumaran, Sinnathamby Noble Surendran


Dengue outbreaks are affected by biological, ecological, socio-economic and demographic factors that vary over time and space. These factors have been examined separately and still require systematic clarification. The present study aimed to investigate the spatial-temporal clustering relationships between these factors and dengue outbreaks in the northern region of Sri Lanka. Remote sensing (RS) data gathered from a plurality of satellites were used to develop an index comprising rainfall, humidity and temperature data. RS data gathered by ALOS/AVNIR-2 were used to detect urbanization, and a digital land cover map was used to extract land cover information. Other data on relevant factors and dengue outbreaks were collected through institutions and extant databases. The analyzed RS data and databases were integrated into geographic information systems, enabling temporal analysis, spatial statistical analysis and space-time clustering analysis. Our present results showed that increases in the number of the combination of ecological factor and socio-economic and demographic factors with above the average or the presence contribute to significantly high rates of space-time dengue clusters.

Keywords: ALOS/AVNIR-2, dengue, space-time clustering analysis, Sri Lanka

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4 Development of Multilayer Capillary Copper Wick Structure using Microsecond CO₂ Pulsed Laser

Authors: Talha Khan, Surendhar Kumaran, Rajeev Nair


The development of economical, efficient, and reliable next-generation thermal and water management systems to provide efficient cooling and water management technologies is being pursued application in compact and lightweight spacecraft. The elimination of liquid-vapor phase change-based thermal and water management systems is being done due to issues with the reliability and robustness of this technology. To achieve the motive of implementing the principle of using an innovative evaporator and condenser design utilizing bimodal wicks manufactured using a microsecond pulsed CO₂ laser has been proposed in this study. Cylin drical, multilayered capillary copper wicks with a substrate diameter of 39 mm are additively manufactured using a pulsed laser. The copper particles used for layer-by-layer addition on the substrate measure in a diameter range of 225 to 450 micrometers. The primary objective is to develop a novel, high-quality, fast turnaround, laser-based additive manufacturing process that will eliminate the current technical challenges involved with the traditional manufacturing processes for nano/micro-sized powders, like particle agglomeration. Raster-scanned, pulsed-laser sintering process has been developed to manufacture 3D wicks with controlled porosity and permeability.

Keywords: liquid-vapor phase change, bimodal wicks, multilayered, capillary, raster-scanned, porosity, permeability

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3 Comparison of the Effects of Continuous Flow Microwave Pre-Treatment with Different Intensities on the Anaerobic Digestion of Sewage Sludge for Sustainable Energy Recovery from Sewage Treatment Plant

Authors: D. Hephzibah, P. Kumaran, N. M. Saifuddin


Anaerobic digestion is a well-known technique for sustainable energy recovery from sewage sludge. However, sewage sludge digestion is restricted due to certain factors. Pre-treatment methods have been established in various publications as a promising technique to improve the digestibility of the sewage sludge and to enhance the biogas generated which can be used for energy recovery. In this study, continuous flow microwave (MW) pre-treatment with different intensities were compared by using 5 L semi-continuous digesters at a hydraulic retention time of 27 days. We focused on the effects of MW at different intensities on the sludge solubilization, sludge digestibility, and biogas production of the untreated and MW pre-treated sludge. The MW pre-treatment demonstrated an increase in the ratio of soluble chemical oxygen demand to total chemical oxygen demand (sCOD/tCOD) and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration. Besides that, the total volatile solid (TVS) removal efficiency and tCOD removal efficiency also increased during the digestion of the MW pre-treated sewage sludge compared to the untreated sewage sludge. Furthermore, the biogas yield also subsequently increases due to the pre-treatment effect. A higher MW power level and irradiation time generally enhanced the biogas generation which has potential for sustainable energy recovery from sewage treatment plant. However, the net energy balance tabulation shows that the MW pre-treatment leads to negative net energy production.

Keywords: anaerobic digestion, biogas, microwave pre-treatment, sewage sludge

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2 Mechanical Properties and Antibiotic Release Characteristics of Poly(methyl methacrylate)-based Bone Cement Formulated with Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles

Authors: Kumaran Letchmanan, Shou-Cang Shen, Wai Kiong Ng


Postoperative implant-associated infections in soft tissues and bones remain a serious complication in orthopaedic surgery, which leads to impaired healing, re-implantation, prolong hospital stay and increase cost. Drug-loaded implants with sustained release of antibiotics at the local site are current research interest to reduce the risk of post-operative infections and osteomyelitis, thus, minimize the need for follow-up care and increase patient comfort. However, the improved drug release of the drug-loaded bone cements is usually accompanied by a loss in mechanical strength, which is critical for weight-bearing bone cement. Recently, more attempts have been undertaken to develop techniques to enhance the antibiotic elution as well as preserve the mechanical properties of the bone cements. The present study investigates the potential influence of addition of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) on the in vitro drug release kinetics of gentamicin (GTMC), along with the mechanical properties of bone cements. Simplex P was formulated with MSN and loaded with GTMC by direct impregnation. Meanwhile, Simplex P with water soluble poragen (xylitol) and high loading of GTMC as well as commercial bone cement CMW Smartset GHV were used as controls. MSN-formulated bone cements are able to increase the drug release of GTMC by 3-fold with a cumulative release of more than 46% as compared with other control groups. Furthermore, a sustained release could be achieved for two months. The loaded nano-sized MSN with uniform pore channels significantly build up an effective nano-network path in the bone cement facilitates the diffusion and extended release of GTMC. Compared with formulations using xylitol and high GTMC loading, incorporation of MSN shows no detrimental effect on biomechanical properties of the bone cements as no significant changes in the mechanical properties as compared with original bone cement. After drug release for two months, the bending modulus of MSN-formulated bone cements is 4.49 ± 0.75 GPa and the compression strength is 92.7 ± 2.1 MPa (similar to the compression strength of Simplex-P: 93.0 ± 1.2 MPa). The unaffected mechanical properties of MSN-formulated bone cements was due to the unchanged microstructures of bone cement, whereby more than 98% of MSN remains in the matrix and supports the bone cement structures. In contrast, the large portions of extra voids can be observed for the formulations using xylitol and high drug loading after the drug release study, thus caused compressive strength below the ASTM F541 and ISO 5833 minimum of 70 MPa. These results demonstrate the potential applicability of MSN-functionalized poly(methyl methacrylate)-based bone cement as a highly efficient, sustained and local drug delivery system with good mechanical properties.

Keywords: antibiotics, biomechanical properties, bone cement, sustained release

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1 Analytical and Numerical Modeling of Strongly Rotating Rarefied Gas Flows

Authors: S. Pradhan, V. Kumaran


Centrifugal gas separation processes effect separation by utilizing the difference in the mole fraction in a high speed rotating cylinder caused by the difference in molecular mass, and consequently the centrifugal force density. These have been widely used in isotope separation because chemical separation methods cannot be used to separate isotopes of the same chemical species. More recently, centrifugal separation has also been explored for the separation of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. The efficiency of separation is critically dependent on the secondary flow generated due to temperature gradients at the cylinder wall or due to inserts, and it is important to formulate accurate models for this secondary flow. The widely used Onsager model for secondary flow is restricted to very long cylinders where the length is large compared to the diameter, the limit of high stratification parameter, where the gas is restricted to a thin layer near the wall of the cylinder, and it assumes that there is no mass difference in the two species while calculating the secondary flow. There are two objectives of the present analysis of the rarefied gas flow in a rotating cylinder. The first is to remove the restriction of high stratification parameter, and to generalize the solutions to low rotation speeds where the stratification parameter may be O (1), and to apply for dissimilar gases considering the difference in molecular mass of the two species. Secondly, we would like to compare the predictions with molecular simulations based on the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method for rarefied gas flows, in order to quantify the errors resulting from the approximations at different aspect ratios, Reynolds number and stratification parameter. In this study, we have obtained analytical and numerical solutions for the secondary flows generated at the cylinder curved surface and at the end-caps due to linear wall temperature gradient and external gas inflow/outflow at the axis of the cylinder. The effect of sources of mass, momentum and energy within the flow domain are also analyzed. The results of the analytical solutions are compared with the results of DSMC simulations for three types of forcing, a wall temperature gradient, inflow/outflow of gas along the axis, and mass/momentum input due to inserts within the flow. The comparison reveals that the boundary conditions in the simulations and analysis have to be matched with care. The commonly used diffuse reflection boundary conditions at solid walls in DSMC simulations result in a non-zero slip velocity as well as a temperature slip (gas temperature at the wall is different from wall temperature). These have to be incorporated in the analysis in order to make quantitative predictions. In the case of mass/momentum/energy sources within the flow, it is necessary to ensure that the homogeneous boundary conditions are accurately satisfied in the simulations. When these precautions are taken, there is excellent agreement between analysis and simulations, to within 10 %, even when the stratification parameter is as low as 0.707, the Reynolds number is as low as 100 and the aspect ratio (length/diameter) of the cylinder is as low as 2, and the secondary flow velocity is as high as 0.2 times the maximum base flow velocity.

Keywords: rotating flows, generalized onsager and carrier-Maslen model, DSMC simulations, rarefied gas flow

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