Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: Pascale De Caro

23 Effect of Environmental Parameters on the Water Solubility of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Derivatives using Taguchi Experimental Design Methodology

Authors: Pranudda Pimsee, Caroline Sablayrolles, Pascale De Caro, Julien Guyomarch, Nicolas Lesage, Mireille Montréjaud-Vignoles


The MIGR’HYCAR research project was initiated to provide decisional tools for risks connected to oil spill drifts in continental waters. These tools aim to serve in the decision-making process once oil spill pollution occurs and/or as reference tools to study scenarios of potential impacts of pollutions on a given site. This paper focuses on the study of the distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and derivatives from oil spill in water as function of environmental parameters. Eight petroleum oils covering a representative range of commercially available products were tested. 41 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and derivate, among them 16 EPA priority pollutants were studied by dynamic tests at laboratory scale. The chemical profile of the water soluble fraction was different from the parent oil profile due to the various water solubility of oil components. Semi-volatile compounds (naphtalenes) constitute the major part of the water soluble fraction. A large variation in composition of the water soluble fraction was highlighted depending on oil type. Moreover, four environmental parameters (temperature, suspended solid quantity, salinity, and oil: water surface ratio) were investigated with the Taguchi experimental design methodology. The results showed that oils are divided into three groups: the solubility of Domestic fuel and Jet A1 presented a high sensitivity to parameters studied, meaning they must be taken into account. For gasoline (SP95-E10) and diesel fuel, a medium sensitivity to parameters was observed. In fact, the four others oils have shown low sensitivity to parameters studied. Finally, three parameters were found to be significant towards the water soluble fraction.

Keywords: mornitoring, PAHs, water soluble fraction, SBSE, Taguchi experimental design

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22 The Effect of the Spinacia oleracea Extract on the Control of the Green Mold 'Penilillium digitatum' at the Post Harvested Citrus

Authors: Asma Chbani, Douaa Salim, Josephine Al Alam, Pascale De Caro


Penicillium digitatum, the causal agent of citrus green mold, is responsible for 90% of post-harvest losses. Chemical fungicides remain the most used products for protection against this pathogen but are also responsible for damage to human health and the environment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the ability of Spinacia oleracea extract to serve as biological control agents, an alternative to harmful synthetic fungicides, against orange decay for storing fruit caused by P. digitatum. In this study, we studied the implication of a crude extract of a green plant, Spinacia oleracea, in the protection of oranges against P. digitatum. Thus, in vivo antifungal tests as well as adhesion test were done. For in vivo antifungal test, oranges were pulverized with the prepared crude extracts at different concentrations ranged from 25 g L⁻¹ to 200 g L⁻¹, contaminated by the fungus and then observed during 8 weeks for their macroscopic changes at 24°C. For adhesion test, the adhesion index is defined as the number of Penicillium digitatum spores fixed per orange cell. An index greater than 25 is the indicator of a strong adhesion, whereas for an index less than 10, the adhesion is low. Ten orange cells were examined in triplicate for each extract, and the averages of adherent cells were calculated. Obtained results showed an inhibitory activity of the Penicillium development with the aqueous extract of dry Spinacia oleracea with a concentration of 50 g L⁻¹ considered as the minimal protective concentration. The prepared extracts showed a greater inhibition of the development of P. digitatum up to 10 weeks, even greater than the fungicide control Nystatin. Adhesion test’s results showed that the adhesion of P. digitatum spores to the epidermal cells of oranges in the presence of the crude spinach leaves extract is weak; the mean of the obtained adhesion index was estimated to 2.7. However, a high adhesion was observed with water used a negative control. In conclusion, all these results confirm that the use of this green plant highly rich in chlorophyll having several phytotherapeutic activities, could be employed as a great treatment for protection of oranges against mold and also as an alternative for chemical fungicides.

Keywords: Penicillium digitatum, Spinacia oleracea, oranges, biological control, postharvest diseases

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21 CONDUCTHOME: Gesture Interface Control of Home Automation Boxes

Authors: J. Branstett, V. Gagneux, A. Leleu, B. Levadoux, J. Pascale


This paper presents the interface CONDUCTHOME which controls home automation systems with a Leap Motion using ‘invariant gesture protocols’. The function of this interface is to simplify the interaction of the user with its environment. A hardware part allows the Leap Motion to be carried around the house. A software part interacts with the home automation box and displays the useful information for the user. An objective of this work is the development a natural/invariant/simple gesture control interface to help elder people/people with disabilities.

Keywords: automation, ergonomics, gesture recognition, interoperability

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20 Study for a Non-Invasive Method of Respiratory Resistance Measurement among Patients with Airways Obstructions

Authors: Aicha Laouani, Pascale Calabrese, Sonia Rouatbi, Saad Saguem


Distances between signals (S d) and between asters (A d) calculated from respiratory inductive plethysmography signals has been used in order to evaluation airways resistances (Raw) during reversibility test among 28 subject with airways obstructions. Correlations studies between these distances and Raw measured by body plethysmography (BP) showed that these RIP variables could be potentially used in airway resistance assessment in patients with airway obstruction. Significant correlation was found between ΔAd and airway resistance changes (ΔRaw) (r= 0.407, p=0.03) and not between ΔSd and ΔRaw. This assumption was supported by the high correlations found when relating the average of ΔS and of ΔA calculated on successive intervals of ΔRaw, with the ΔRaw averages calculated for each interval (r= 0.892, p= 0.006 and r= 0.857, p=0.006 respectively).

Keywords: airways obstruction, distances, respiratory inductive plethysmography, reversibility test

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19 Airway Resistance Evaluation by Respiratory İnductive Plethysmography in Subjects with Airway Obstructions

Authors: Aicha Laouani, Sonia Rouatbi, Saad Saguem, Gila Benchetrit, Pascale calabrese


A new approach based on respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP) signal analysis has been used for bronchoconstriction changes evaluation in 50 healthy controls and in 44 adults with moderate bronchial obstruction treated with a bronchodilatation protocol. Thoracic and abdominal motions were recorded ( 5 min) by RIP. For each recording the thoracoabdominal signals were analysed and a mean distance (D) was calculated. Airway resistance (Raw) and spirometric data were measured with a body plethysmograph. The results showed that both D and Raw were higher in subjects compared to the healthy group. Significant decreases of D and Raw were also observed after bronchodilatation in the obstructive group. There was also a positive and a significant correlation between D and Raw in subjects before and after bronchodilatation. This D calculated from RIP Signals could be used as a non invasive tool for continuous monitoring of bronchoconstriction changes.

Keywords: airway resistance, bronchoconstriction, thorax, respiratory inductive plethysmography

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18 Drying and Transport Processes in Distributed Hydrological Modelling Based on Finite Volume Schemes (Iber Model)

Authors: Carlos Caro, Ernest Bladé, Pedro Acosta, Camilo Lesmes


The drying-wet process is one of the topics to be more careful in distributed hydrological modeling using finite volume schemes as a means of solving the equations of Saint Venant. In a hydrologic and hydraulic computer model, surface flow phenomena depend mainly on the different flow accumulation and subsequent runoff generation. These accumulations are generated by routing, cell by cell, from the heights of water, which begin to appear due to the rain at each instant of time. Determine when it is considered a dry cell and when considered wet to include in the full calculation is an issue that directly affects the quantification of direct runoff or generation of flow at the end of a zone of contribution by accumulations flow generated from cells or finite volume.

Keywords: hydrology, transport processes, hydrological modelling, finite volume schemes

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17 Regionalization of IDF Curves, by Interpolating Intensity and Adjustment Parameters - Application to Boyacá, Colombia

Authors: Pedro Mauricio Acosta, Carlos Andrés Caro


This research presents the regionalization of IDF curves for the department of Boyacá, Colombia, which comprises 16 towns, including the provincial capital, Tunja. For regionalization adjustment parameters (U and alpha) of the IDF curves stations referred to in the studied area were used. Similar regionalization is used by the interpolation of intensities. In the case of regionalization by parameters found by the construction of the curves intensity, duration and frequency estimation methods using ordinary moments and maximum likelihood. Regionalization and interpolation of data were performed with the assistance of Arcgis software. Within the development of the project the best choice to provide a level of reliability such as to determine which of the options and ways to regionalize is best sought. The resulting isolines maps were made in the case of regionalization intensities, each map is associated with a different return period and duration in order to build IDF curves in the studied area. In the case of the regionalization maps parameters associated with each parameter were performed last.

Keywords: intensity duration, frequency curves, regionalization, hydrology

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16 U11 Functionalised Luminescent Gold Nanoclusters for Pancreatic Tumor Cells Labelling

Authors: Regina M. Chiechio, Rémi Leguevél, Helene Solhi, Marie Madeleine Gueguen, Stephanie Dutertre, Xavier, Jean-Pierre Bazureau, Olivier Mignen, Pascale Even-Hernandez, Paolo Musumeci, Maria Jose Lo Faro, Valerie Marchi


Thanks to their ultra-small size, high electron density, and low toxicity, gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) have unique photoelectrochemical and luminescence properties that make them very interesting for diagnosis bio-imaging and theranostics. These applications require control of their delivery and interaction with cells; for this reason, the surface chemistry of Au NCs is essential to determine their interaction with the targeted biological objects. Here we demonstrate their ability as markers of pancreatic tumor cells. By functionalizing the surface of the NCs with a recognition peptite (U11), the nanostructures are able to preferentially bind to pancreatic cancer cells via a receptor (uPAR) overexpressed by these cells. Furthermore, the NCs can mark even the nucleus without the need of fixing the cells. These nanostructures can therefore be used as a non-toxic, multivalent luminescent platform, capable of selectively recognizing tumor cells for bioimaging, drug delivery, and radiosensitization.

Keywords: gold nanoclusters, luminescence, biomarkers, pancreatic cancer, biomedical applications, bioimaging, fluorescent probes, drug delivery

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15 Effects of Medium Composition on the Production of Biomass and a Carbohydrate Isomerase by a Novel Strain of Lactobacillus

Authors: M. Miriam Hernández-Arroyo, Ivonne Caro-Gonzales, Miguel Ángel Plascencia-Espinosa, Sergio R. Trejo-Estrada


A large biodiversity of Lactobacillus strains has been detected in traditional foods and beverages from Mexico. A selected strain of Lactobacillus sp - PODI-20, used for the obtained from an artisanal fermented beverage was cultivated in different carbon sources in a complex medium, in order to define which carbon sourced induced more effectively the isomerization of arabinose by cell fractions obtained by fermentation. Four different carbon sources were tested in a medium containing peptone and yeast extract and mineral salts. Glucose, galactose, arabinose, and lactose were tested individually at three different concentrations: 3.5, 6, and 10% w/v. The biomass yield ranged from 1.72 to 17.6 g/L. The cell pellet was processed by mechanical homogenization. Both fractions, the cellular debris, and the lysis supernatant were tested for their ability to isomerize arabinose into ribulose. The highest yield of isomer was 12 % of isomerization in the supernatant fractions; whereas up to 9.3% was obtained by the use of cell debris. The isomerization of arabinose has great significance in the production of lactic acid by fermentation of complex carbohydrate hydrolysates.

Keywords: isomerase, tagatose, aguamiel, isomerization

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14 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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13 Estimating PM2.5 Concentrations Based on Landsat 8 Imagery and Historical Field Data over the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City

Authors: Rodrigo T. Sepulveda-Hirose, Ana B. Carrera-Aguilar, Francisco Andree Ramirez-Casas, Alondra Orozco-Gomez, Miguel Angel Sanchez-Caro, Carlos Herrera-Ventosa


High concentrations of particulate matter in the atmosphere pose a threat to human health, especially over areas with high concentrations of population; however, field air pollution monitoring is expensive and time-consuming. In order to achieve reduced costs and global coverage of the whole urban area, remote sensing can be used. This study evaluates PM2.5 concentrations, over the Mexico City´s metropolitan area, are estimated using atmospheric reflectance from LANDSAT 8, satellite imagery and historical PM2.5 measurements of the Automatic Environmental Monitoring Network of Mexico City (RAMA). Through the processing of the available satellite images, a preliminary model was generated to evaluate the optimal bands for the generation of the final model for Mexico City. Work on the final model continues with the results of the preliminary model. It was found that infrared bands have helped to model in other cities, but the effectiveness that these bands could provide for the geographic and climatic conditions of Mexico City is still being evaluated.

Keywords: air pollution modeling, Landsat 8, PM2.5, remote sensing

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12 Physical Characterization of a Watershed for Correlation with Parameters of Thomas Hydrological Model and Its Application in Iber Hidrodinamic Model

Authors: Carlos Caro, Ernest Blade, Nestor Rojas


This study determined the relationship between basic geo-technical parameters and parameters of the hydro logical model Thomas for water balance of rural watersheds, as a methodological calibration application, applicable in distributed models as IBER model, which represents a distributed system simulation models for unsteady flow numerical free surface. There was an exploration in 25 points (on 15 sub) basin of Rio Piedras (Boy.) obtaining soil samples, to which geo-technical characterization was performed by laboratory tests. Thomas model has a physical characterization of the input area by only four parameters (a, b, c, d). Achieve measurable relationship between geo technical parameters and 4 values of hydro logical parameters helps to determine subsurface, underground and surface flow more agile manner. It is intended in this way to reach some solutions regarding limits initial model parameters on the basis of Thomas geo-technical characterization. In hydro geological models of rural watersheds, calibration is an important process in the characterization of the study area. This step can require a significant computational cost and time, especially if the initial values or parameters before calibration are outside of the geo-technical reality. A better approach in these initial values means optimization of these process through a geo-technical materials area, where is obtained an important approach to the study as in the starting range of variation for the calibration parameters.

Keywords: distributed hydrology, hydrological and geotechnical characterization, Iber model

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11 Availability of Safety Measures and Knowledge Towards Hazardous Waste Management among Workers in Scientific Laboratories of Two Universities in Lebanon

Authors: Inaam Nasrallah, Pascale Salameh, Abbas El-Outa, Assem Alkak, Rihab Nasr, Wafa Toufic Bawab


Background: Hazardous Waste Management(HWM). is critical to human health outcomes and environmental protection. This study evaluated the knowledge regarding safety measures to be applied when collecting and storing waste in scientific laboratories of two universities in Lebanon.Method: A survey-based observational study was conducted in scientific laboratories of the public university and that of a private university, where a total of 309 participants were recruited.Result: The mean total knowledge score on safety measures of HWM was 9.02±4.34 (maximum attainable score, 13). Significant association (p<0.05) was found between knowledge score and job function, years of experience, educational level, professional status, work schedule, and training on proper HWM. Participants had adequate perceptions regarding the impact of HWM on health and the environment. Linear regression modeling revealed that knowledge score was significantly higher among bachelor level lab workers compared to those with doctoral degrees (p=0.043), full-time schedule workers versus part-timers (p=0.03), and among public university participants as compared to those of the private university (p<0.001).Conclusion: This study showed good knowledge concerning HWM in the scientific laboratoriesof the studied universities in Lebanon and a good awareness of the HWM on health and the environment. It highlights the importance of culture, attitude, and practice on proper HWM in the academic scientific laboratory.

Keywords: hasardous waste, safety measures, waste management, knwoledge score, scientific laboratory workers

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10 Optimizing the Location of Parking Areas Adapted for Dangerous Goods in the European Road Transport Network

Authors: María Dolores Caro, Eugenio M. Fedriani, Ángel F. Tenorio


The transportation of dangerous goods by lorries throughout Europe must be done by using the roads conforming the European Road Transport Network. In this network, there are several parking areas where lorry drivers can park to rest according to the regulations. According to the "European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road", parking areas where lorries transporting dangerous goods can park to rest, must follow several security stipulations to keep safe the rest of road users. At this respect, these lorries must be parked in adapted areas with strict and permanent surveillance measures. Moreover, drivers must satisfy several restrictions about resting and driving time. Under these facts, one may expect that there exist enough parking areas for the transport of this type of goods in order to obey the regulations prescribed by the European Union and its member countries. However, the already-existing parking areas are not sufficient to cover all the stops required by drivers transporting dangerous goods. Our main goal is, starting from the already-existing parking areas and the loading-and-unloading location, to provide an optimal answer to the following question: how many additional parking areas must be built and where must they be located to assure that lorry drivers can transport dangerous goods following all the stipulations about security and safety for their stops? The sense of the word “optimal” is due to the fact that we give a global solution for the location of parking areas throughout the whole European Road Transport Network, adjusting the number of additional areas to be as lower as possible. To do so, we have modeled the problem using graph theory since we are working with a road network. As nodes, we have considered the locations of each already-existing parking area, each loading-and-unloading area each road bifurcation. Each road connecting two nodes is considered as an edge in the graph whose weight corresponds to the distance between both nodes in the edge. By applying a new efficient algorithm, we have found the additional nodes for the network representing the new parking areas adapted for dangerous goods, under the fact that the distance between two parking areas must be less than or equal to 400 km.

Keywords: trans-european transport network, dangerous goods, parking areas, graph-based modeling

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9 An Iberian Study about Location of Parking Areas for Dangerous Goods

Authors: María Dolores Caro, Eugenio M. Fedriani, Ángel F. Tenorio


When lorries transport dangerous goods, there exist some legal stipulations in the European Union for assuring the security of the rest of road users as well as of those goods being transported. At this respect, lorry drivers cannot park in usual parking areas, because they must use parking areas with special conditions, including permanent supervision of security personnel. Moreover, drivers are compelled to satisfy additional regulations about resting and driving times, which involve in the practical possibility of reaching the suitable parking areas under these time parameters. The “European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road” (ADR) is the basic regulation on transportation of dangerous goods imposed under the recommendations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Indeed, nowadays there are no enough parking areas adapted for dangerous goods and no complete study have suggested the best locations to build new areas or to adapt others already existing to provide the areas being necessary so that lorry drivers can follow all the regulations. The goal of this paper is to show how many additional parking areas should be built in the Iberian Peninsula to allow that lorry drivers may park in such areas under their restrictions in resting and driving time. To do so, we have modeled the problem via graph theory and we have applied a new efficient algorithm which determines an optimal solution for the problem of locating new parking areas to complement those already existing in the ADR for the Iberian Peninsula. The solution can be considered minimal since the number of additional parking areas returned by the algorithm is minimal in quantity. Obviously, graph theory is a natural way to model and solve the problem here proposed because we have considered as nodes: the already-existing parking areas, the loading-and-unloading locations and the bifurcations of roads; while each edge between two nodes represents the existence of a road between both nodes (the distance between nodes is the edge's weight). Except for bifurcations, all the nodes correspond to parking areas already existing and, hence, the problem corresponds to determining the additional nodes in the graph such that there are less up to 100 km between two nodes representing parking areas. (maximal distance allowed by the European regulations).

Keywords: dangerous goods, parking areas, Iberian peninsula, graph-based modeling

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8 Functionalized Spherical Aluminosilicates in Biomedically Grade Composites

Authors: Damian Stanislaw Nakonieczny, Grazyna Simha Martynkova, Marianna Hundakova, G. Kratosová, Karla Cech Barabaszova


The main aim of the research was to functionalize the surface of spherical aluminum silicates in the form of so-called cenospheres. Cenospheres are light ceramic particles with a density between 0.45 and 0.85 kgm-3 hat can be obtained as a result of separation from fly ash from coal combustion. However, their occurrence is limited to about 1% by weight of dry ash mainly derived from anthracite. Hence they are very rare and desirable material. Cenospheres are characterized by complete chemical inertness. Mohs hardness in range of 6 and completely smooth surface. Main idea was to prepare the surface by chemical etching, among others hydrofluoric acid (HF) and hydrogen peroxide, caro acid, silanization using (3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTES) and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) to obtain the maximum development and functionalization of the surface to improve chemical and mechanical connection with biomedically used polymers, i.e., polyacrylic methacrylate (PMMA) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK). These polymers are used medically mainly as a material for fixed and removable dental prostheses and PEEK spinal implants. The problem with their use is the decrease in mechanical properties over time and bacterial infections fungal during implantation and use of dentures. Hence, the use of a ceramic filler that will significantly improve the mechanical properties, improve the fluidity of the polymer during shape formation, and in the future, will be able to support bacteriostatic substances such as silver and zinc ions seem promising. In order to evaluate our laboratory work, several instrumental studies were performed: chemical composition and morphology with scanning electron microscopy with Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Probe (SEM/EDX), determination of characteristic functional groups of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), phase composition of X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and thermal analysis of Thermo Gravimetric Analysis/differentia thermal analysis (TGA/DTA), as well as assessment of isotherm of adsorption with Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface development. The surface was evaluated for the future application of additional bacteria and static fungus layers. Based on the experimental work, it was found that orated methods can be suitable for the functionalization of the surface of cenosphere ceramics, and in the future it can be suitable as a bacteriostatic filler for biomedical polymers, i.e., PEEK or PMMA.

Keywords: bioceramics, composites, functionalization, surface development

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7 Journal Bearing with Controllable Radial Clearance, Design and Analysis

Authors: Majid Rashidi, Shahrbanoo Farkhondeh Biabnavi


The hydrodynamic instability phenomenon in a journal bearing may occur by either a reduction in the load carried by journal bearing, by an increase in the journal speed, by change in the lubricant viscosity, or a combination of these factors. The previous research and development work done to overcome the instability issue of journal bearings, operating in hydrodynamic lubricate regime, can be categorized as follows: A) Actively controlling the bearing sleeve by using piezo actuator, b) Inclusion of strategically located and shaped internal grooves within inner surface of the bearing sleeve, c) Actively controlling the bearing sleeve using an electromagnetic actuator, d)Actively and externally pressurizing the lubricant within a journal bearing set, and e)Incorporating tilting pads within the inner surface of the bearing sleeve that assume different equilibrium angular position in response to changes in the bearing design parameter such as speed and load. This work presents an innovative design concept for a 'smart journal bearing' set to operate in a stable hydrodynamic lubrication regime, despite variations in bearing speed, load, and its lubricant viscosity. The proposed bearing design allows adjusting its radial clearance for an attempt to maintain a stable bearing operation under those conditions that may cause instability for a bearing with a fixed radial clearance. The design concept allows adjusting the radial clearance at small increments in the order of 0.00254 mm. This is achieved by axially moving two symmetric conical rigid cavities that are in close contact with the conically shaped outer shell of a sleeve bearing. The proposed work includes a 3D model of the bearing that depicts the structural interactions of the bearing components. The 3D model is employed to conduct finite element Analyses to simulate the mechanical behavior of the bearing from a structural point of view. The concept of controlling of the radial clearance, as presented in this work, is original and has not been proposed and discuss in previous research. A typical journal bearing was analyzed under a set of design parameters, namely r =1.27 cm (journal radius), c = 0.0254 mm (radial clearance), L=1.27 cm (bearing length), w = 445N (bearing load), μ = 0.028 Pascale (lubricant viscosity). A shaft speed as 3600 r.p.m was considered, and the mass supported by the bearing, m, is set to be 4.38kg. The Summerfield Number associated with the above bearing design parameters turn to be, S=0.3. These combinations resulted in stable bearing operation. Subsequently, the speed was postulated to increase from 3600 r.p.mto 7200 r.p.m; the bearing was found to be unstable under the new increased speed. In order to regain stability, the radial clearance was increased from c = 0.0254 mm to0.0358mm. The change in the radial clearance was shown to bring the bearing back to stable an operating condition.

Keywords: adjustable clearance, bearing, hydrodynamic, instability, journal

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6 A Systematic Review of Efficacy and Safety of Radiofrequency Ablation in Patients with Spinal Metastases

Authors: Pascale Brasseur, Binu Gurung, Nicholas Halfpenny, James Eaton


Development of minimally invasive treatments in recent years provides a potential alternative to invasive surgical interventions which are of limited value to patients with spinal metastases due to short life expectancy. A systematic review was conducted to explore the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally invasive treatment in patients with spinal metastases. EMBASE, Medline and CENTRAL were searched from database inception to March 2017 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised studies. Conference proceedings for ASCO and ESMO published in 2015 and 2016 were also searched. Fourteen studies were included: three prospective interventional studies, four prospective case series and seven retrospective case series. No RCTs or studies comparing RFA with another treatment were identified. RFA was followed by cement augmentation in all patients in seven studies and some patients (40-96%) in the remaining seven studies. Efficacy was assessed as pain relief in 13/14 studies with the use of a numerical rating scale (NRS) or a visual analogue scale (VAS) at various time points. Ten of the 13 studies reported a significant decrease in pain outcome, post-RFA compared to baseline. NRS scores improved significantly at 1 week (5.9 to 3.5, p < 0.0001; 8 to 4.3, p < 0.02 and 8 to 3.9, p < 0.0001) and this improvement was maintained at 1 month post-RFA compared to baseline (5.9 to 2.6, p < 0.0001; 8 to 2.9, p < 0.0003; 8 to 2.9, p < 0.0001). Similarly, VAS scores decreased significantly at 1 week (7.5 to 2.7, p=0.00005; 7.51 to 1.73, p < 0.0001; 7.82 to 2.82, p < 0.001) and this pattern was maintained at 1 month post-RFA compared to baseline (7.51 to 2.25, p < 0.0001; 7.82 to 3.3; p < 0.001). A significant pain relief was achieved regardless of whether patients had cement augmentation in two studies assessing the impact of RFA with or without cement augmentation on VAS pain scores. In these two studies, a significant decrease in pain scores was reported for patients receiving RFA alone and RFA+cement at 1 week (4.3 to 1.7. p=0.0004 and 6.6 to 1.7, p=0.003 respectively) and 15-36 months (7.9 to 4, p=0.008 and 7.6 to 3.5, p=0.005 respectively) after therapy. Few minor complications were reported and these included neural damage, radicular pain, vertebroplasty leakage and lower limb pain/numbness. In conclusion, the efficacy and safety of RFA were consistently positive between prospective and retrospective studies with reductions in pain and few procedural complications. However, the lack of control groups in the identified studies indicates the possibility of selection bias inherent in single arm studies. Controlled trials exploring efficacy and safety of RFA in patients with spinal metastases are warranted to provide robust evidence. The identified studies provide an initial foundation for such future trials.

Keywords: pain relief, radiofrequency ablation, spinal metastases, systematic review

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5 Human 3D Metastatic Melanoma Models for in vitro Evaluation of Targeted Therapy Efficiency

Authors: Delphine Morales, Florian Lombart, Agathe Truchot, Pauline Maire, Pascale Vigneron, Antoine Galmiche, Catherine Lok, Muriel Vayssade


Targeted therapy molecules are used as a first-line treatment for metastatic melanoma with B-Raf mutation. Nevertheless, these molecules can cause side effects to patients and are efficient on 50 to 60 % of them. Indeed, melanoma cell sensitivity to targeted therapy molecules is dependent on tumor microenvironment (cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions). To better unravel factors modulating cell sensitivity to B-Raf inhibitor, we have developed and compared several melanoma models: from metastatic melanoma cells cultured as monolayer (2D) to a co-culture in a 3D dermal equivalent. Cell response was studied in different melanoma cell lines such as SK-MEL-28 (mutant B-Raf (V600E), sensitive to Vemurafenib), SK-MEL-3 (mutant B-Raf (V600E), resistant to Vemurafenib) and a primary culture of dermal human fibroblasts (HDFn). Assays have initially been performed in a monolayer cell culture (2D), then a second time on a 3D dermal equivalent (dermal human fibroblasts embedded in a collagen gel). All cell lines were treated with Vemurafenib (a B-Raf inhibitor) for 48 hours at various concentrations. Cell sensitivity to treatment was assessed under various aspects: Cell proliferation (cell counting, EdU incorporation, MTS assay), MAPK signaling pathway analysis (Western-Blotting), Apoptosis (TUNEL), Cytokine release (IL-6, IL-1α, HGF, TGF-β, TNF-α) upon Vemurafenib treatment (ELISA) and histology for 3D models. In 2D configuration, the inhibitory effect of Vemurafenib on cell proliferation was confirmed on SK-MEL-28 cells (IC50=0.5 µM), and not on the SK-MEL-3 cell line. No apoptotic signal was detected in SK-MEL-28-treated cells, suggesting a cytostatic effect of the Vemurafenib rather than a cytotoxic one. The inhibition of SK-MEL-28 cell proliferation upon treatment was correlated with a strong expression decrease of phosphorylated proteins involved in the MAPK pathway (ERK, MEK, and AKT/PKB). Vemurafenib (from 5 µM to 10 µM) also slowed down HDFn proliferation, whatever cell culture configuration (monolayer or 3D dermal equivalent). SK-MEL-28 cells cultured in the dermal equivalent were still sensitive to high Vemurafenib concentrations. To better characterize all cell population impacts (melanoma cells, dermal fibroblasts) on Vemurafenib efficacy, cytokine release is being studied in 2D and 3D models. We have successfully developed and validated a relevant 3D model, mimicking cutaneous metastatic melanoma and tumor microenvironment. This 3D melanoma model will become more complex by adding a third cell population, keratinocytes, allowing us to characterize the epidermis influence on the melanoma cell sensitivity to Vemurafenib. In the long run, the establishment of more relevant 3D melanoma models with patients’ cells might be useful for personalized therapy development. The authors would like to thank the Picardie region and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014/2020 for the funding of this work and Oise committee of "La ligue contre le cancer".

Keywords: 3D human skin model, melanoma, tissue engineering, vemurafenib efficiency

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4 Bio-Functionalized Silk Nanofibers for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

Authors: Kayla Belanger, Pascale Vigneron, Guy Schlatter, Bernard Devauchelle, Christophe Egles


A severe injury to a peripheral nerve leads to its degeneration and the loss of sensory and motor function. To this day, there still lacks a more effective alternative to the autograft which has long been considered the gold standard for nerve repair. In order to overcome the numerous drawbacks of the autograft, tissue engineered biomaterials may be effective alternatives. Silk fibroin is a favorable biomaterial due to its many advantageous properties such as its biocompatibility, its biodegradability, and its robust mechanical properties. In this study, bio-mimicking multi-channeled nerve guidance conduits made of aligned nanofibers achieved by electrospinning were functionalized with signaling biomolecules and were tested in vitro and in vivo for nerve regeneration support. Silk fibroin (SF) extracted directly from silkworm cocoons was put in solution at a concentration of 10wt%. Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) was added to the resulting SF solution to increase solution viscosity and the following three electrospinning solutions were made: (1) SF/PEO solution, (2) SF/PEO solution with nerve growth factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor, and (3) SF/PEO solution with nerve growth factor and neurotrophin-3. Each of these solutions was electrospun into a multi-layer architecture to obtain mechanically optimized aligned nanofibrous mats. For in vitro studies, aligned fibers were treated to induce β-sheet formation and thoroughly rinsed to eliminate presence of PEO. Each material was tested using rat embryo neuron cultures to evaluate neurite extension and the interaction with bio-functionalized or non-functionalized aligned fibers. For in vivo studies, the mats were rolled into 5mm long multi-, micro-channeled conduits then treated and thoroughly rinsed. The conduits were each subsequently implanted between a severed rat sciatic nerve. The effectiveness of nerve repair over a period of 8 months was extensively evaluated by cross-referencing electrophysiological, histological, and movement analysis results to comprehensively evaluate the progression of nerve repair. In vitro results show a more favorable interaction between growing neurons and bio-functionalized silk fibers compared to pure silk fibers. Neurites can also be seen having extended unidirectionally along the alignment of the nanofibers which confirms a guidance factor for the electrospun material. The in vivo study has produced positive results for the regeneration of the sciatic nerve over the length of the study, showing contrasts between the bio-functionalized material and the non-functionalized material along with comparisons to the experimental control. Nerve regeneration has been evaluated not only by histological analysis, but also by electrophysiological assessment and motion analysis of two separate natural movements. By studying these three components in parallel, the most comprehensive evaluation of nerve repair for the conduit designs can be made which can, therefore, more accurately depict their overall effectiveness. This work was supported by La Région Picardie and FEDER.

Keywords: electrospinning, nerve guidance conduit, peripheral nerve regeneration, silk fibroin

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3 Augmented and Virtual Reality Experiences in Plant and Agriculture Science Education

Authors: Sandra Arango-Caro, Kristine Callis-Duehl


The Education Research and Outreach Lab, at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, established the Plant and Agriculture Augmented and Virtual Reality Learning Laboratory (PAVRLL) to promote science education through professional development, school programs, internships, and outreach events. Professional development is offered to high school and college science and agriculture educators on the use and applications of zSpace and Oculus platforms. Educators learn to use, edit, or create lesson plans in the zSpace platform that are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. They also learn to use virtual reality experiences created by the PAVRLL available in Oculus (e.g. The Soybean Saga). Using a cost-free loan rotation system, educators can bring the AVR units to the classroom and offer the AVR activities to their students. Each activity has user guides and activity protocols for both teachers and students. The PAVRLL also offers activities for 3D plant modeling. High school students work in teams of art-, science-, and technology-oriented students to design and create 3D models of plant species that are under research at the Danforth Center and present their projects at scientific events. Those 3D models are of open access through the zSpace platform and are used by PAVRLL for professional development and creation of VR activities. Both teachers and students acquire knowledge on plant and agriculture content and real-world problems, gain skills in AVR technology, 3D modeling, and science communication, and become more aware and interested in plant science. Students that participate in the PAVRLL activities complete pre- and post-surveys and reflection questions that evaluate interests in STEM and STEM careers, students’ perceptions of three design features of biology lab courses (collaboration, discovery/relevance, and iteration/productive failure), plant awareness, and engagement and learning in AVR environments. The PAVRLL was established in the fall of 2019, and since then, it has trained 15 educators, three of which will implement the AVR programs in the fall of 2021. Seven students have worked in the 3D plant modeling activity through a virtual internship. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of teachers trained, and classroom implementations have been very limited. It is expected that in the fall of 2021, students will come back to the schools in person, and by the spring of 2022, the PAVRLL activities will be fully implemented. This will allow to collect of enough data on student assessments that will provide insights on benefits and best practices on the use of AVR technologies in the classrooms. The PAVRLL uses cutting-edge educational technologies to promote science education and assess their benefits and will continue its expansion. Currently, the PAVRLL is applying for grants to create its own virtual labs where students can experience authentic research experiences using real Danforth research data based on programs the Education Lab already used in classrooms.

Keywords: assessment, augmented reality, education, plant science, virtual reality

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2 Biological Monitoring: Vegetation Cover, Bird Assemblages, Rodents, Terrestrial and Aquatic Invertebrates from a Closed Landfill

Authors: A. Cittadino, P. Gantes, C. Coviella, M. Casset, A. Sanchez Caro


Three currently active landfills receive the waste from Buenos Aires city and the Great Buenos Aires suburbs. One of the first landfills to receive solid waste from this area was located in Villa Dominico, some 7 km south from Buenos Aires City. With an area of some 750 ha, including riparian habitats, divided into 14 cells, it received solid wastes from June 1979 through February 2004. In December 2010, a biological monitoring program was set up by CEAMSE and Universidad Nacional de Lujan, still operational to date. The aim of the monitoring program is to assess the state of several biological groups within the landfill and to follow their dynamics overtime in order to identify if any, early signs of damage the landfill activities might have over the biota present. Bird and rodent populations, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates’ populations, cells vegetation coverage, and surrounding areas vegetation coverage and main composition are followed by quarterly samplings. Bird species richness and abundance were estimated by observation over walk transects on each environment. A total of 74 different species of birds were identified. Species richness and diversity were high for both riparian surrounding areas and within the landfill. Several grassland -typical of the 'Pampa'- bird species were found within the landfill, as well as some migratory and endangered bird species. Sherman and Tomahawk traps are set overnight for small mammal sampling. Rodent populations are just above detection limits, and the few specimens captured belong mainly to species common to rural areas, instead of city-dwelling species. The two marsupial species present in the region were captured on occasions. Aquatic macroinvertebrates were sampled on a watercourse upstream and downstream the outlet of the landfill’s wastewater treatment plant and are used to follow water quality using biological indices. Water quality ranged between weak and severe pollution; benthic invertebrates sampled before and after the landfill, show no significant differences in water quality using the IBMWP index. Insect biota from yellow sticky cards and pitfall traps showed over 90 different morphospecies, with Shannon diversity index running from 1.9 to 3.9, strongly affected by the season. An easy-to-perform non-expert demandant method was used to assess vegetation coverage. Two scales of determination are utilized: field observation (1 m resolution), and Google Earth images (that allow for a better than 5 m resolution). Over the eight year period of the study, vegetation coverage over the landfill cells run from a low 83% to 100% on different cells, with an average between 95 to 99% for the entire landfill depending on seasonality. Surrounding area vegetation showed almost 100% coverage during the entire period, with an average density from 2 to 6 species per sq meter and no signs of leachate damaged vegetation.

Keywords: biological indicators, biota monitoring, landfill species diversity, waste management

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1 Understanding Stock-Out of Pharmaceuticals in Timor-Leste: A Case Study in Identifying Factors Impacting on Pharmaceutical Quantification in Timor-Leste

Authors: Lourenco Camnahas, Eileen Willis, Greg Fisher, Jessie Gunson, Pascale Dettwiller, Charlene Thornton


Stock-out of pharmaceuticals is a common issue at all level of health services in Timor-Leste, a small post-conflict country. This lead to the research questions: what are the current methods used to quantify pharmaceutical supplies; what factors contribute to the on-going pharmaceutical stock-out? The study examined factors that influence the pharmaceutical supply chain system. Methodology: Privett and Goncalvez dependency model has been adopted for the design of the qualitative interviews. The model examines pharmaceutical supply chain management at three management levels: management of individual pharmaceutical items, health facilities, and health systems. The interviews were conducted in order to collect information on inventory management, logistics management information system (LMIS) and the provision of pharmaceuticals. Andersen' behavioural model for healthcare utilization also informed the interview schedule, specifically factors linked to environment (healthcare system and external environment) and the population (enabling factors). Forty health professionals (bureaucrats, clinicians) and six senior officers from a United Nations Agency, a global multilateral agency and a local non-governmental organization were interviewed on their perceptions of factors (healthcare system/supply chain and wider environment) impacting on stock out. Additionally, policy documents for the entire healthcare system, along with population data were collected. Findings: An analysis using Pozzebon’s critical interpretation identified a range of difficulties within the system from poor coordination to failure to adhere to policy guidelines along with major difficulties with inventory management, quantification, forecasting, and budgetary constraints. Weak logistics management information system, lack of capacity in inventory management, monitoring and supervision are additional organizational factors that also contributed to the issue. There were various methods of quantification of pharmaceuticals applied in the government sector, and non-governmental organizations. Lack of reliable data is one of the major problems in the pharmaceutical provision. Global Fund has the best quantification methods fed by consumption data and malaria cases. There are other issues that worsen stock-out: political intervention, work ethic and basic infrastructure such as unreliable internet connectivity. Major issues impacting on pharmaceutical quantification have been identified. However, current data collection identified limitations within the Andersen model; specifically, a failure to take account of predictors in the healthcare system and the environment (culture/politics/social. The next step is to (a) compare models used by three non-governmental agencies with the government model; (b) to run the Andersen explanatory model for pharmaceutical expenditure for 2 to 5 drug items used by these three development partners in order to see how it correlates with the present model in terms of quantification and forecasting the needs; (c) to repeat objectives (a) and (b) using the government model; (d) to draw a conclusion about the strength.

Keywords: inventory management, pharmaceutical forecasting and quantification, pharmaceutical stock-out, pharmaceutical supply chain management

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