Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Purnima Pandit

18 Fuzzy Inference System for Diagnosis of Malaria

Authors: Purnima Pandit

Abstract:

Malaria remains one of the world’s most deadly infectious disease and arguably, the greatest menace to modern society in terms of morbidity and mortality. To choose the right treatment and to ensure a quality of life suitable for a specific patient condition, early and accurate diagnosis of malaria is essential. It reduces transmission of disease and prevents deaths. Our work focuses on designing an efficient, accurate fuzzy inference system for malaria diagnosis.

Keywords: fuzzy inference system, fuzzy logic, malaria disease, triangular fuzzy number

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17 Target Drug Delivery of Pamidronate Nanoparticles for Enhancing Osteoblastic Activity in Osteoporosis

Authors: Purnima Rawat, Divya Vohora, Sarika Gupta, Farhan J. Ahmad, Sushama Talegaonkar

Abstract:

Nanoparticles (NPs) that target bone tissue were developed using PLGA–mPEG (poly(lactic-co-glycolic-acid)–polyethylene glycol) diblock copolymers by using pamidronate as a bone-targeting moieties. These NPs are expected to enable the transport of hydrophilic drugs. The NP was prepared by in situ polymerization method, and their in- vitro characteristics were evaluated using dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and in phosphate-buffered solution. The bone targeting potential of the NP was also evaluated on in-vitro pre-osteoblast MCT3E1 cell line using ALP activity, degree of mineralization and RT-PCR assay. The average particle size of the NP was 101.6 ± 3.7nm, zeta potential values were negative (-25±0.34mV) of the formulations and the entrapment efficiency was 93± 3.1 % obtained. The moiety of the PLGA–mPEG–pamidronate NPs exhibited the best apatite mineral binding ability in-vitro MCT3E1 pre-osteoblast cell line. Our results suggested that the developed nanoparticles may use as a delivery system for Pamidronate in bone repair and regeneration, warranting further evaluation of the treatment of bone disease.

Keywords: nanoparticle, pamidronate, in-situ polymerization, osteoblast

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16 Design and Characterization of Aromatase Inhibitor Loaded Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Breast Cancer

Authors: Harish K. Chandrawanshi, Mithun S. Rajput, Neelima Choure, Purnima Dey Sarkar, Shailesh Jain

Abstract:

The present research study aimed to fabricate and evaluate biodegradable nanoparticles of aromatase inhibitor letrozole, intended for breast cancer therapy. Letrozole loaded poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide acid) nanoparticles were prepared by solvent evaporation method using dichlorometane as solvent (oil phase) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as aqueous phase. Prepared nanoparticles were characterized by particle size, infrared spectra, drug loading efficiency, drug entrapment efficiency and in vitro release and also evaluated for in vivo anticancer activity. The high speed homogenizer was used to produce stable nanoparticles of mean size range 198.35 ± 0.04 nm with high entrapment efficiency (69.86 ± 2.78%). Percentage of drug and homogenization speed significantly influenced the particle size, entrapment efficiency and release (p<0.05). The nanoparticles show significant in vivo anticancer activity against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in mice. The significant system sustained the release of letrozole drug effectively and further investigation could exhibit its potential usefulness in breast cancer therapy.

Keywords: breast cancer/therapy, letrozole, nanoparticles, PLGA

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15 Preoperative Weight Management Education and Its Influence on Bariatric Surgery Patient Weights

Authors: Meghana Pandit, Abhishek Chakraborty

Abstract:

There are a multitude of factors that influence the clinical success of bariatric surgery. This study seeks to determine the efficacy of preoperative weight management education. The Food and Fitness Program at Mount Sinai serves to educate patients on topics such as stress management, sleep habits, body image, nutrition, and exercise 5-6 months before their surgeries to slowly decrease their weight. Each month, patients are weighed, and a different topic is presented. To evaluate the longitudinal effects of these lectures, patient’s weights are evaluated at the first appointment, before an informative lecture is presented. Weights are then reevaluated at the last appointment before the surgery. The weights were statistically analyzed using a paired t-test and the results demonstrated a statistically significant difference (p < .0001, n=55). Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the education paradigm employed successfully empowered patients to maintain and reduce their gross BMI before clinical intervention.

Keywords: bariatric, surgery, weight, education

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14 Mathematical Modeling of Activated Sludge Process: Identification and Optimization of Key Design Parameters

Authors: Ujwal Kishor Zore, Shankar Balajirao Kausley, Aniruddha Bhalchandra Pandit

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There are some important design parameters of activated sludge process (ASP) for wastewater treatment and they must be optimally defined to have the optimized plant working. To know them, developing a mathematical model is a way out as it is nearly commensurate the real world works. In this study, a mathematical model was developed for ASP, solved under activated sludge model no 1 (ASM 1) conditions and MATLAB tool was used to solve the mathematical equations. For its real-life validation, the developed model was tested for the inputs from the municipal wastewater treatment plant and the results were quite promising. Additionally, the most cardinal assumptions required to design the treatment plant are discussed in this paper. With the need for computerization and digitalization surging in every aspect of engineering, this mathematical model developed might prove to be a boon to many biological wastewater treatment plants as now they can in no time know the design parameters which are required for a particular type of wastewater treatment.

Keywords: waste water treatment, activated sludge process, mathematical modeling, optimization

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13 Changing Trends of Population in Nashik District, Maharashtra, India

Authors: Pager Mansaram Pandit

Abstract:

The present paper aims to changing trends of population in Nashik district. The spatial variation of changing trends of population from 1901 to 2011. Nasik, lying between 19° 33’ and 20° 53’ north latitude and 73° 16’ and 75° 16’, with an area of 15530 Sq. K.M.North South length is 120 km. East West length is 200 km. Nashik has a population of 6,109,052 of which 3,164,261 are males and 2,944,791 and females. Average literacy rate of Nashik district in 2011 was 82.91 compared to 80.96 in 2001. In 1901 the density was 52 and in 2011 the density was 393 per sq. km. The progressive growth rate from 1901 to 2012 was 11.25 to 642.22 percent, respectively. The population trend is calculated with the help of time series. In 1901 population was 45.44% more and less in 1941 i.e. -13.86. From 1921 to 1981 the population was below the population trend but after 1991 population it gradually increased. The average rainfall it receives is 1034 mm. In the present times, because of advances in good climate, industrialization, development of road, University level educational facilities, religious importance, cargo services, good quality of grapes, pomegranates and onions, more and more people are being attracted towards Nashik districts. Another cause for the increase in the population is the main attraction of Ramkund, Muktidham Temple, Kalaram Temple, Coin Museum, and Trimbakeshwar.

Keywords: density, growth, population, population trend

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12 The Role of Community Forestry to Combat Climate Change Impacts in Nepal

Authors: Ravi Kumar Pandit

Abstract:

Climate change is regarded as one of the most fundamental threats to sustainable livelihood and global development. There is growing a global concern in linking community-managed forests as potential climate change mitigation projects. This study was conducted to explore the local people’s perception on climate change and the role of community forestry (CF) to combat climate change impacts. Two active community forest user groups (CFUGs) from Kaski and Syangja Districts in Nepal were selected as study sites, and various participatory tools were applied to collect primary data. Although most of the respondents were unaware about the words “Climate Change” in study sites, they were quite familiar with the irregularities in rainfall season and other weather extremities. 60% of the respondents had the idea that, due to increase in precipitation, there is a frequent occurrence of erosion, floods and landslide. Around 85% of the people agreed that community forests help in stabilizing soil, reducing the natural hazards like erosion, landslide. Biogas as an alternative source of cooking energy, and changes in crops and their varieties are the common adaptation measures that local people start practicing in both CFUGs in Nepal.

Keywords: climate change, community forestry, global warming, adaptation in Nepal

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11 Hybrid Advanced Oxidative Pretreatment of Complex Industrial Effluent for Biodegradability Enhancement

Authors: K. Paradkar, S. N. Mudliar, A. Sharma, A. B. Pandit, R. A. Pandey

Abstract:

The study explores the hybrid combination of Hydrodynamic Cavitation (HC) and Subcritical Wet Air Oxidation-based pretreatment of complex industrial effluent to enhance the biodegradability selectively (without major COD destruction) to facilitate subsequent enhanced downstream processing via anaerobic or aerobic biological treatment. Advanced oxidation based techniques can be less efficient as standalone options and a hybrid approach by combining Hydrodynamic Cavitation (HC), and Wet Air Oxidation (WAO) can lead to a synergistic effect since both the options are based on common free radical mechanism. The HC can be used for initial turbulence and generation of hotspots which can begin the free radical attack and this agitating mixture then can be subjected to less intense WAO since initial heat (to raise the activation energy) can be taken care by HC alone. Lab-scale venturi-based hydrodynamic cavitation and wet air oxidation reactor with biomethanated distillery wastewater (BMDWW) as a model effluent was examined for establishing the proof-of-concept. The results indicated that for a desirable biodegradability index (BOD: COD - BI) enhancement (up to 0.4), the Cavitation (standalone) pretreatment condition was: 5 bar and 88 min reaction time with a COD reduction of 36 % and BI enhancement of up to 0.27 (initial BI - 0.17). The optimum WAO condition (standalone) was: 150oC, 6 bar and 30 minutes with 31% COD reduction and 0.33 BI. The hybrid pretreatment (combined Cavitation + WAO) worked out to be 23.18 min HC (at 5 bar) followed by 30 min WAO at 150oC, 6 bar, at which around 50% COD was retained yielding a BI of 0.55. FTIR & NMR analysis of pretreated effluent indicated dissociation and/or reorientation of complex organic compounds in untreated effluent to simpler organic compounds post-pretreatment.

Keywords: hybrid, hydrodynamic cavitation, wet air oxidation, biodegradability index

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10 Effect of Forging Pressure on Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Similar and Dissimilar Friction Welded Joints (Aluminium, Copper, Steel)

Authors: Sagar Pandit

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The present work focuses on the effect of various process parameters on the mechanical properties and microstructure of joints produced by continuous drive friction welding and linear friction welding. An attempt is made to investigate the feasibility of obtaining an acceptable weld joint between similar as well as dissimilar components and the microstructural changes have also been assessed once the good weld joints were considered (using Optical Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy techniques). The impact of forging pressure in the microstructure of the weld joint has been studied and the variation in joint strength with varying forge pressure is analyzed. The weld joints were obtained two pair of dissimilar materials and one pair of similar materials, which are listed respectively as: Al-AA5083 & Cu-C101 (dissimilar), Aluminium alloy-3000 series & Mild Steel (dissimilar) and High Nitrogen Austenitic Stainless Steel pair (similar). Intermetallic phase formation was observed at the weld joints in the Al-Cu joint, which consequently harmed the properties of the joint (less tensile strength). It was also concluded that the increase in forging pressure led to both increment and decrement in the tensile strength of the joint depending on the similarity or dissimilarity of the components. The hardness was also observed to possess maximum as well as minimum values at the weld joint depending on the similarity or dissimilarity of workpieces. It was also suggested that a higher forging pressure is needed to obtain complete joining for the formation of the weld joint.

Keywords: forging pressure, friction welding, mechanical properties, microstructure

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9 Noise Mitigation Techniques to Minimize Electromagnetic Interference/Electrostatic Discharge Effects for the Lunar Mission Spacecraft

Authors: Vabya Kumar Pandit, Mudit Mittal, N. Prahlad Rao, Ramnath Babu

Abstract:

TeamIndus is the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE(GLXP). The GLXP is a global competition to challenge the private entities to soft land a rover on the moon, travel minimum 500 meters and transmit high definition images and videos to Earth. Towards this goal, the TeamIndus strategy is to design and developed lunar lander that will deliver a rover onto the surface of the moon which will accomplish GLXP mission objectives. This paper showcases the various system level noise control techniques adopted by Electrical Distribution System (EDS), to achieve the required Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) of the spacecraft. The design guidelines followed to control Electromagnetic Interference by proper electronic package design, grounding, shielding, filtering, and cable routing within the stipulated mass budget, are explained. The paper also deals with the challenges of achieving Electromagnetic Cleanliness in presence of various Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) and In-House developed components. The methods of minimizing Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) by identifying the potential noise sources, susceptible areas for charge accumulation and the methodology to prevent arcing inside spacecraft are explained. The paper then provides the EMC requirements matrix derived from the mission requirements to meet the overall Electromagnetic compatibility of the Spacecraft.

Keywords: electromagnetic compatibility, electrostatic discharge, electrical distribution systems, grounding schemes, light weight harnessing

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8 Participatory Testing of Precision Fertilizer Management Technologies in Mid-Hills of Nepal

Authors: Kedar Nath Nepal, Dyutiman Choudhary, Naba Raj Pandit, Yam Gahire

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Crop fertilizer recommendations are outdated as these are based on the response trails conducted over half a century ago. Further, these recommendations were based on the response trials conducted over large geographical area ignoring the large spatial variability in indigenous nutrient supplying capacity of soils typical of most smallholder systems. Application of fertilizer following such blanket recommendation in fields with varying native nutrient supply capacity leads to under application in some places and over application in others leading to reduced nutrient-use-efficiency (NUE), loss of profitability, and increased environmental risks associated with loss of unutilized nutrient through emissions or leaching. Opportunities exist to further increase yield and profitability through a significant gain in fertilizer use efficiency with commercialization of affordable and precise application technologies. We conducted participatory trails in Maize (Zea Mays), Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) and Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) in Mid Hills of Nepal to evaluate the efficacy of Urea Deep Placement (UDP and Polymer Coated Urea (PCU);. UDP contains 46% of N having individual briquette size 2.7 gm each and PCU contains 44% of N . Both PCU and urea briquette applied at reduced amount (100 kg N/ha) during planting produced similar yields (p>0.05) compared with regular urea (200 Kg N/ha). . These fertilizers also reduced N fertilizer by 35 - 50% over government blanket recommendations. Further, PCU and urea briquette increased farmer’s net income by USD 60 to 80.

Keywords: high efficiency fertilizers, urea deep placement, briquette polymer coated urea, zea mays, brassica, lycopersicum, Nepal

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7 Evaluation of Antagonistic and Aggregation Property of Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Bovine Milk

Authors: Alazar Nebyou, Sujata Pandit

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Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are essential ingredients in probiotic foods, intestinal microflora, and dairy products that are capable of coping up with harsh gastrointestinal tract conditions and are available in a variety of environments. The objective of this study is to evaluate the probiotic property of LAB isolated from bovine milk. Milk samples were collected from local dairy farms. Samples were obtained using sterile test tubes and transported to a laboratory in the icebox for further biochemical characterization. Preliminary physiological and biochemical identification of LAB isolates was conducted by growing on MRS agar after ten-fold serial dilution. Seven of the best isolates were selected for the evaluation of the probiotic property. The LAB isolates were checked for resistance to antibiotics and their antimicrobial activity by disc diffusion assay and agar well diffusion assay respectively. Bile salt hydrolase activity of isolates was studied by growing isolates in a BSH medium with bile salt. Cell surface property of isolates was assayed by studying their autoaggregation and coaggregation percentage with S. aerues. All isolates were found BSH positive. In addition, BCM2 and BGM1 were susceptible to all antibiotic disks except BBM1 which was resistant to all antibiotic disks. BCM1 and BGM1 had the highest autoaggregation and coaggregation potential respectively. Since all LAB isolates showed gastrointestinal tolerance and good cell surface property they could be considered as good potential probiotic candidates for treatment and probiotic starter culture preparation.

Keywords: probiotic, aggregation, lactic acid bacteria, antimicrobial activity

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6 Modelling and Simulation of Aero-Elastic Vibrations Using System Dynamic Approach

Authors: Cosmas Pandit Pagwiwoko, Ammar Khaled Abdelaziz Abdelsamia

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Flutter as a phenomenon of flow-induced and self-excited vibration has to be recognized considering its harmful effect on the structure especially in a stage of aircraft design. This phenomenon is also important for a wind energy harvester based on the fluttering surface due to its effective operational velocity range. This multi-physics occurrence can be presented by two governing equations in both fluid and structure simultaneously in respecting certain boundary conditions on the surface of the body. In this work, the equations are resolved separately by two distinct solvers, one-time step of each domain. The modelling and simulation of this flow-structure interaction in ANSYS show the effectiveness of this loosely coupled method in representing flutter phenomenon however the process is time-consuming for design purposes. Therefore, another technique using the same weak coupled aero-structure is proposed by using system dynamics approach. In this technique, the aerodynamic forces were calculated using singularity function for a range of frequencies and certain natural mode shapes are transformed into time domain by employing an approximation model of fraction rational function in Laplace variable. The representation of structure in a multi-degree-of-freedom coupled with a transfer function of aerodynamic forces can then be simulated in time domain on a block-diagram platform such as Simulink MATLAB. The dynamic response of flutter at certain velocity can be evaluated with another established flutter calculation in frequency domain k-method. In this method, a parameter of artificial structural damping is inserted in the equation of motion to assure the energy balance of flow and vibrating structure. The simulation in time domain is particularly interested as it enables to apply the structural non-linear factors accurately. Experimental tests on a fluttering airfoil in the wind tunnel are also conducted to validate the method.

Keywords: flutter, flow-induced vibration, flow-structure interaction, non-linear structure

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5 Biosensor: An Approach towards Sustainable Environment

Authors: Purnima Dhall, Rita Kumar

Abstract:

Introduction: River Yamuna, in the national capital territory (NCT), and also the primary source of drinking water for the city. Delhi discharges about 3,684 MLD of sewage through its 18 drains in to the Yamuna. Water quality monitoring is an important aspect of water management concerning to the pollution control. Public concern and legislation are now a day’s demanding better environmental control. Conventional method for estimating BOD5 has various drawbacks as they are expensive, time-consuming, and require the use of highly trained personnel. Stringent forthcoming regulations on the wastewater have necessitated the urge to develop analytical system, which contribute to greater process efficiency. Biosensors offer the possibility of real time analysis. Methodology: In the present study, a novel rapid method for the determination of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) has been developed. Using the developed method, the BOD of a sample can be determined within 2 hours as compared to 3-5 days with the standard BOD3-5day assay. Moreover, the test is based on specified consortia instead of undefined seeding material therefore it minimizes the variability among the results. The device is coupled to software which automatically calculates the dilution required, so, the prior dilution of the sample is not required before BOD estimation. The developed BOD-Biosensor makes use of immobilized microorganisms to sense the biochemical oxygen demand of industrial wastewaters having low–moderate–high biodegradability. The method is quick, robust, online and less time consuming. Findings: The results of extensive testing of the developed biosensor on drains demonstrate that the BOD values obtained by the device correlated with conventional BOD values the observed R2 value was 0.995. The reproducibility of the measurements with the BOD biosensor was within a percentage deviation of ±10%. Advantages of developed BOD biosensor • Determines the water pollution quickly in 2 hours of time; • Determines the water pollution of all types of waste water; • Has prolonged shelf life of more than 400 days; • Enhanced repeatability and reproducibility values; • Elimination of COD estimation. Distinctiveness of Technology: • Bio-component: can determine BOD load of all types of waste water; • Immobilization: increased shelf life > 400 days, extended stability and viability; • Software: Reduces manual errors, reduction in estimation time. Conclusion: BiosensorBOD can be used to measure the BOD value of the real wastewater samples. The BOD biosensor showed good reproducibility in the results. This technology is useful in deciding treatment strategies well ahead and so facilitating discharge of properly treated water to common water bodies. The developed technology has been transferred to M/s Forbes Marshall Pvt Ltd, Pune.

Keywords: biosensor, biochemical oxygen demand, immobilized, monitoring, Yamuna

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4 The Hijras of Odisha: A Study of the Self-Identity of the Eunuchs and Their Identification with Stereotypical Feminine Roles

Authors: Purnima Anjali Mohanty, Mousumi Padhi

Abstract:

Background of the study: In the background of the passage of the Transgender Bill 2016, which is the first such step of formal recognition of the rights of transgender, the Hijras have been recognized under the wider definition of Transgender. Fascinatingly, in the Hindu social context, Hijras have a long social standing during marriages and childbirths. Other than this ironically, they live an ostracized life. The Bill rather than recognizing their unique characteristics and needs, reinforces the societal dualism through a parallelism of their legal rights with rights available to women. Purpose of the paper: The research objective was to probe why and to what extent did they identify themselves with the feminine gender roles. Originality of the paper: In the Indian context, the subject of eunuch has received relatively little attention. Among the studies that exist, there has been a preponderance of studies from the perspective of social exclusion, rights, and physical health. There has been an absence of research studying the self-identity of Hijras from the gender perspective. Methodology: The paper adopts the grounded theory method to investigate and discuss the underlying gender identity of transgenders. Participants in the study were 30 hijras from various parts of Odisha. 4 Focus group discussions were held for collecting data. The participants were approached in their natural habitat. Following the methodological recommendations of the grounded theory, care was taken to select respondents with varying experiences. The recorded discourses were transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were analysed sentence by sentence, and coded. Common themes were identified, and responses were categorized under the themes. Data collected in the latter group discussions were added till saturation of themes. Finally, the themes were put together to prove that despite the demand for recognition as third gender, the eunuchs of Odisha identify themselves with the feminine roles. Findings: The Hijra have their own social structure and norms which are unique and are in contrast with the mainstream culture. These eunuchs live and reside in KOTHIS (house), where the family is led by a matriarch addressed as Maa (mother) with her daughters (the daughters are eunuchs/effeminate men castrated and not castrated). They all dress up as woman, do womanly duties, expect to be considered and recognized as woman and wife and have the behavioral traits of a woman. Looking from the stance of Feminism one argues that when the Hijras identify themselves with the gender woman then on what grounds they are given the recognition as third gender. As self-identified woman; their claim for recognition as third gender falls flat. Significance of the study: Academically it extends the study of understanding of gender identity and psychology of the Hijras in the Indian context. Practically its significance is far reaching. The findings can be used to address legal and social issues with regards to the rights available to the Hijras.

Keywords: feminism, gender perspective, Hijras, rights, self-identity

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3 Synthesis and Two-Photon Polymerization of a Cytocompatibility Tyramine Functionalized Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel That Mimics the Chemical, Mechanical, and Structural Characteristics of Spinal Cord Tissue

Authors: James Britton, Vijaya Krishna, Manus Biggs, Abhay Pandit

Abstract:

Regeneration of the spinal cord after injury remains a great challenge due to the complexity of this organ. Inflammation and gliosis at the injury site hinder the outgrowth of axons and hence prevent synaptic reconnection and reinnervation. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the main component of the spinal cord extracellular matrix and plays a vital role in cell proliferation and axonal guidance. In this study, we have synthesized and characterized a photo-cross-linkable HA-tyramine (tyr) hydrogel from a chemical, mechanical, electrical, biological and structural perspective. From our experimentation, we have found that HA-tyr can be synthesized with controllable degrees of tyramine substitution using click chemistry. The complex modulus (G*) of HA-tyr can be tuned to mimic the mechanical properties of the native spinal cord via optimization of the photo-initiator concentration and UV exposure. We have examined the degree of tyramine-tyramine covalent bonding (polymerization) as a function of UV exposure and photo-initiator use via Photo and Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Both swelling and enzymatic degradation assays were conducted to examine the resilience of our 3D printed hydrogel constructs in-vitro. Using a femtosecond 780nm laser, the two-photon polymerization of HA-tyr hydrogel in the presence of riboflavin photoinitiator was optimized. A laser power of 50mW and scan speed of 30,000 μm/s produced high-resolution spatial patterning within the hydrogel with sustained mechanical integrity. Using dorsal root ganglion explants, the cytocompatibility of photo-crosslinked HA-tyr was assessed. Using potentiometry, the electrical conductivity of photo-crosslinked HA-tyr was assessed and compared to that of native spinal cord tissue as a function of frequency. In conclusion, we have developed a biocompatible hydrogel that can be used for photolithographic 3D printing to fabricate tissue engineered constructs for neural tissue regeneration applications.

Keywords: 3D printing, hyaluronic acid, photolithography, spinal cord injury

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2 Need and Willingness to Use ‘Meditation on Twin Hearts’ for Management of Anxiety and Depression for the Transgender Community: A Pilot Study

Authors: Neha Joshi, Srikanth Jois, Hector J. Peughero, Poornima Jayakrishna, Moulya R., Purnima Madivanan, Kiran Kumar K. Salagame

Abstract:

Transgenders are a marginalized section of the community, who are at high risk of mental health problems due to their stigmatization, abandonment by family, prejudice, discrimination by society at large, and the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse from both within and outside their community. Their mental healthcare needs remain largely unaddressed due to lack of access, discrimination by healthcare professions, and lack of resources, including time and money, to seek conventional medical and psychotherapeutic treatments. Meditation is increasingly receiving acceptance as a tool for managing stress and anxiety by the patients as well as mental healthcare professionals. “Meditation on Twin Hearts” is a no cost, self-administered intervention that a person can practice anywhere and at any time of the day. This pilot study evaluates the need for alternate traditional and ingenious interventions like “Meditation of Twin Hearts” to address the mental healthcare needs of the transgender community and acceptance of such an intervention by the community. Thirteen individuals identifying themselves as transgender were invited to participate in one (Hunsur Taluk) of the five scheduled free meditation camps in Mysore. After obtaining informed consent for participation in the study, their mental health status is captured using an anonymous survey using standard, validated, self-reported questionnaires Generalised Anxiety Disorders (GAD)-7 for anxiety, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression, and Suicidal Behavior Questionnaire-Revised for suicidality. Then, they were requested to attend a session on “Meditation on Twin Hearts.” After the session, their feedback on willingness to further explore the meditation technique for managing their mental healthcare need was assessed through another survey form. Out of the 13 participants, 92% scored for anxiety (4 mild, and 8 moderate anxiety). In the depression scale, 5 scored for mild and 5 for moderate depression, with a total of 77% (10/13) scoring positively on depression scale. Nearly 70% of participants (9/13), scored greater than the clinical cutoff for the need for clinical intervention. The proportion of individuals at risk for suicide was particularly high in this group, with 8/ 13 (61.5%) participants scoring the clinical cutoff score of ≥ 7. Surprisingly, none of the participants had ever consulted a mental healthcare professional. All the participants (13/13; 100%) responded in affirmative to the question, “Will you be willing to continue meditation for management of your anxiety?” Six out of 13 participants described their experience of meditation as “happy” and 3 described it as “peaceful”. None of the participants reported any negative beliefs or experience regarding the meditation. The study provides evidence for the urgent yet unmet mental healthcare need of the transgender community. The findings of the study also supports the rationale of conducting future systematic research to evaluate and explore ingenious and traditional practices, such as meditation, to meet the healthcare needs, especially in marginalized populations in a low income setting such as Lower and Middle Income countries. Based on these preliminary findings, the Principal Investigator (PI) is planning to cover 4 more areas of Mysore district.

Keywords: anxiety, depression, meditation on twin heart, suicidality, transgender

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1 Exploring the Correlation between Body Constitution of an Individual as Per Ayurveda and Gut Microbiome in Healthy, Multi Ethnic Urban Population in Bangalore, India

Authors: Shalini TV, Gangadharan GG, Sriranjini S Jaideep, ASN Seshasayee, Awadhesh Pandit

Abstract:

Introduction: Prakriti (body-mind constitution of an individual) is a conventional, customized and unique understanding of which is essential for the personalized medicine described in Ayurveda, Indian System of Medicine. Based on the Doshas( functional, bio humoral unit in the body), individuals are categorized into three major Prakriti- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The human gut microbiome hosts plenty of highly diverse and metabolically active microorganisms, mainly dominated by the bacteria, which are known to influence the physiology of an individual. Few researches have shown the correlation between the Prakriti and the biochemical parameters. In this study, an attempt was made to explore any correlation between the Prakriti (phenotype of an individual) with the Genetic makeup of the gut microbiome in healthy individuals. Materials and methods: 270 multi-ethnic, healthy volunteers of both sex with the age group between 18 to 40 years, with no history of antibiotics in the last 6 months were recruited into three groups of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The Prakriti of the individual was determined using Ayusoft, a software designed by CDAC, Pune, India. The volunteers were subjected to initial screening for the assessment of their height, weight, Body Mass Index, Vital signs and Blood investigations to ensure they are healthy. The stool and saliva samples of the recruited volunteers were collected as per the standard operating procedure developed, and the bacterial DNA was isolated using Qiagen kits. The extracted DNA was subjected to 16s rRNA sequencing using the Illumina kits. The sequencing libraries are targeting the variable V3 and V4 regions of the 16s rRNA gene. Paired sequencing was done on the MiSeq system and data were analyzed using the CLC Genomics workbench 11. Results: The 16s rRNA sequencing of the V3 and V4 regions showed a diverse pattern in both the oral and stool microbial DNA. The study did not reveal any specific pattern of bacterial flora amongst the Prakriti. All the p-values were more than the effective alpha values for all OTUs in both the buccal cavity and stool samples. Therefore, there was no observed significant enrichment of an OTU in the patient samples from either the buccal cavity or stool samples. Conclusion: In healthy volunteers of multi-ethnicity, due to the influence of the various factors, the correlation between the Prakriti and the gut microbiome was not seen.

Keywords: gut microbiome, ayurveda Prakriti, sequencing, multi-ethnic urban population

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