Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Reginaldo Cardoso

22 Comparison of Two Fuzzy Skyhook Control Strategies Applied to an Active Suspension

Authors: Reginaldo Cardoso, Magno Enrique Mendoza Meza


This work focuses on simulation and comparison of two control skyhook techniques applied to a quarter-car of the active suspension. The objective is to provide comfort to the driver. The main idea of skyhook control is to imagine a damper connected to an imaginary sky; thus, the feedback is performed with the resultant force between the imaginary and the suspension damper. The first control technique is the Mandani fuzzy skyhook and the second control technique is a Takagi-Sugeno fuzzy skyhook controller, in the both controllers the inputs are the relative velocity between the two masses and the vehicle body velocity, the output of the Mandani fuzzy skyhook is the coefficient of imaginary damper viscous-friction and the Takagi-Sugeno fuzzy skyhook is the force. Finally, we compared the techniques. The Mandani fuzzy skyhook showed a more comfortable response to the driver, followed closely by the Takagi- Sugeno fuzzy skyhook.

Keywords: active suspention, Mandani, quarter-car, skyhook, Sugeno

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21 Mathematical Modeling for the Break-Even Point Problem in a Non-homogeneous System

Authors: Filipe Cardoso de Oliveira, Lino Marcos da Silva, Ademar Nogueira do Nascimento, Cristiano Hora de Oliveira Fontes


This article presents a mathematical formulation for the production Break-Even Point problem in a non-homogeneous system. The optimization problem aims to obtain the composition of the best product mix in a non-homogeneous industrial plant, with the lowest cost until the breakeven point is reached. The problem constraints represent real limitations of a generic non-homogeneous industrial plant for n different products. The proposed model is able to solve the equilibrium point problem simultaneously for all products, unlike the existing approaches that propose a resolution in a sequential way, considering each product in isolation and providing a sub-optimal solution to the problem. The results indicate that the product mix found through the proposed model has economical advantages over the traditional approach used.

Keywords: branch and bound, break-even point, non-homogeneous production system, integer linear programming, management accounting

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20 4-Chlorophenol Degradation in Water Using TIO₂-X%ZnS Synthesized by One-Step Sol-Gel Method

Authors: M. E. Velásquez Torres, F. Tzompantzi, J. C. Castillo-Rodríguez, A. G. Romero Villegas, S. Mendéz-Salazar, C. E. Santolalla-Vargas, J. Cardoso-Martínez


Photocatalytic degradation, as an advanced oxidation technology, is a promising method in organic pollutant degradation. In this sense, chlorophenols should be removed from the water because they are highly toxic. The TiO₂ - X% ZnS photocatalysts, where X represents the molar percentage of ZnS (3%, 5%, 10%, and 15%), were synthesized using the one-step sol-gel method to use them as photocatalysts to degrade 4-chlorophenol. The photocatalysts were synthesized by a one-step sol-gel method. They were refluxed for 36 hours, dried at 80°C, and calcined at 400°C. They were labeled TiO₂ - X%ZnS, where X represents the molar percentage of ZnS (3%, 5%, 10%, and 15%). The band gap was calculated using a Cary 100 UV-Visible Spectrometer with an integrating sphere accessory. Ban gap value of each photocatalyst was: 2.7 eV of TiO₂, 2.8 eV of TiO₂ - 3%ZnS and TiO₂ - 5%ZnS, 2.9 eV of TiO₂ - 10%ZnS and 2.6 eV of TiO2 - 15%ZnS. In a batch type reactor, under the irradiation of a mercury lamp (λ = 254 nm, Pen-Ray), degradations of 55 ppm 4-chlorophenol were obtained at 360 minutes with the synthesized photocatalysts: 60% (3% ZnS), 66% (5% ZnS), 74% (10% ZnS) and 58% (15% ZnS). In this sense, the best material as a photocatalyst was TiO₂ -10%ZnS with a degradation percentage of 74%.

Keywords: 4-chlorophenol, photocatalysis, water pollutant, sol-gel

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19 Finite Element Analysis of the Blanking and Stamping Processes of Nuclear Fuel Spacer Grids

Authors: Rafael Oliveira Santos, Luciano Pessanha Moreira, Marcelo Costa Cardoso


Spacer grid assembly supporting the nuclear fuel rods is an important concern in the design of structural components of a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR). The spacer grid is composed by springs and dimples which are formed from a strip sheet by means of blanking and stamping processes. In this paper, the blanking process and tooling parameters are evaluated by means of a 2D plane-strain finite element model in order to evaluate the punch load and quality of the sheared edges of Inconel 718 strips used for nuclear spacer grids. A 3D finite element model is also proposed to predict the tooling loads resulting from the stamping process of a preformed Inconel 718 strip and to analyse the residual stress effects upon the spring and dimple design geometries of a nuclear spacer grid.

Keywords: blanking process, damage model, finite element modelling, inconel 718, spacer grids, stamping process

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18 Fail Analysis of the Filter in a Land Dam

Authors: Guillermo Cardoso-Landa, Ana Julita Cuenca-Castro


The present paper focuses to research the possible causes of curtain failure of dam "El Batan" in Querétaro, Mexico, including the design of the fineness of the employee filter during the construction of the curtain was verified since this depends greatly on the proper functioning of this filter. To carry out the required analysis, it was necessary to document elements provided understanding about the composition and behavior of the land curtain, and the main types of failure in these curtains. The general characteristics of the curtain dam "El Batan", the composition of the filter, as well as possible causes resulted in the failure were also analyzed. Once obtained data starting, the actual analysis was carried out by reviewing the following possible causes of failure: fails due to a poor constructive process of the curtain, failure due to hydraulic suppression, fails due to a structural design wrong, fails due to a geotechnical design wrong, fails due to a hydraulic design wrong, fails due to an inadequate design of the curtain filter. It is concluded that the type of the filter employed in the land dam curtain of "El Batan", located in the municipality of Querétaro, México, do not have adequate characteristics, outside of the ranges of design, using the curves: Terzaghi criteria, Sherard and Dunnigan criteria, UCSCS criteria, and Foster and Fell criteria.

Keywords: failure, dam, filter, curtain

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17 Comparison of Techniques for Detection and Diagnosis of Eccentricity in the Air-Gap Fault in Induction Motors

Authors: Abrahão S. Fontes, Carlos A. V. Cardoso, Levi P. B. Oliveira


The induction motors are used worldwide in various industries. Several maintenance techniques are applied to increase the operating time and the lifespan of these motors. Among these, the predictive maintenance techniques such as Motor Current Signature Analysis (MCSA), Motor Square Current Signature Analysis (MSCSA), Park's Vector Approach (PVA) and Park's Vector Square Modulus (PVSM) are used to detect and diagnose faults in electric motors, characterized by patterns in the stator current frequency spectrum. In this article, these techniques are applied and compared on a real motor, which has the fault of eccentricity in the air-gap. It was used as a theoretical model of an electric induction motor without fault in order to assist comparison between the stator current frequency spectrum patterns with and without faults. Metrics were purposed and applied to evaluate the sensitivity of each technique fault detection. The results presented here show that the above techniques are suitable for the fault of eccentricity in the air gap, whose comparison between these showed the suitability of each one.

Keywords: eccentricity in the air-gap, fault diagnosis, induction motors, predictive maintenance

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16 COVID-19 Pandemic Influence on Toddlers and Preschoolers’ Screen Time

Authors: Juliana da Silva Cardoso, Cláudia Correia, Rita Gomes, Carolina Fraga, Inês Cascais, Sara Monteiro, Beatriz Teixeira, Sandra Ribeiro, Carolina Andrade, Cláudia Oliveira, Diana Gonzaga, Catarina Prior, Inês Vaz Matos


The average daily screen time (ST) has been increasing in children, even at young ages. This seems to be associated with a higher incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders, and as the time of exposure increases, the greater is the functional impact. This study aims to compare the daily ST of toddlers and preschoolers previously and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was applied by telephone to parents/caregivers of children between 1 and 5 years old, followed up at 4 primary care units belonging to the Group of Primary Health Care Centers of Western Porto, Portugal. 520 children were included: 52.9% male, mean age 39.4 ± 13.9 months. The mean age of first exposure to screens was 13.9 ± 8.0 months, and most of the children were exposed to more than one screen daily. Considering the WHO recommendations, before the COVID-19 pandemic, 385 (74.0%) and 408 (78.5%) children had excessive ST during the week and the weekend, respectively; during the lockdown, these values increased to 495 (95.2%) and 482 (92.7%). Maternal education and both the child's median age and the median age of first exposure to screens had a statistically significant association with excessive ST, with OR 0.2 (p = 0.03, CI 95% 0.07-0.86), OR 1.1 (p = 0.01, 95% CI 1.05-1.14) and OR 0.9 (p = 0.05, 95% CI 0. 87-0.98), respectively. Most children in this sample had a higher than recommended ST, which increased with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. These results are worrisome and point to the need for urgent intervention.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, preschoolers, screen time, toddlers

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15 Collective Intelligence-Based Early Warning Management for Agriculture

Authors: Jarbas Lopes Cardoso Jr., Frederic Andres, Alexandre Guitton, Asanee Kawtrakul, Silvio E. Barbin


The important objective of the CyberBrain Mass Agriculture Alarm Acquisition and Analysis (CBMa4) project is to minimize the impacts of diseases and disasters on rice cultivation. For example, early detection of insects will reduce the volume of insecticides that is applied to the rice fields through the use of CBMa4 platform. In order to reach this goal, two major factors need to be considered: (1) the social network of smart farmers; and (2) the warning data alarm acquisition and analysis component. This paper outlines the process for collecting the warning and improving the decision-making result to the warning. It involves two sub-processes: the warning collection and the understanding enrichment. Human sensors combine basic suitable data processing techniques in order to extract warning related semantic according to collective intelligence. We identify each warning by a semantic content called 'warncons' with multimedia metaphors and metadata related to these metaphors. It is important to describe the metric to measuring the relation among warncons. With this knowledge, a collective intelligence-based decision-making approach determines the action(s) to be launched regarding one or a set of warncons.

Keywords: agricultural engineering, warning systems, social network services, context awareness

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14 Drying Kinects of Soybean Seeds

Authors: Amanda Rithieli Pereira Dos Santos, Rute Quelvia De Faria, Álvaro De Oliveira Cardoso, Anderson Rodrigo Da Silva, Érica Leão Fernandes Araújo


The study of the kinetics of drying has great importance for the mathematical modeling, allowing to know about the processes of transference of heat and mass between the products and to adjust dryers managing new technologies for these processes. The present work had the objective of studying the kinetics of drying of soybean seeds and adjusting different statistical models to the experimental data varying cultivar and temperature. Soybean seeds were pre-dried in a natural environment in order to reduce and homogenize the water content to the level of 14% (b.s.). Then, drying was carried out in a forced air circulation oven at controlled temperatures of 38, 43, 48, 53 and 58 ± 1 ° C, using two soybean cultivars, BRS 8780 and Sambaíba, until reaching a hygroscopic equilibrium. The experimental design was completely randomized in factorial 5 x 2 (temperature x cultivar) with 3 replicates. To the experimental data were adjusted eleven statistical models used to explain the drying process of agricultural products. Regression analysis was performed using the least squares Gauss-Newton algorithm to estimate the parameters. The degree of adjustment was evaluated from the analysis of the coefficient of determination (R²), the adjusted coefficient of determination (R² Aj.) And the standard error (S.E). The models that best represent the drying kinetics of soybean seeds are those of Midilli and Logarítmico.

Keywords: curve of drying seeds, Glycine max L., moisture ratio, statistical models

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13 Preliminary Design of an Aerodynamic Protection for the Scramjet Engine Inlet of the Brazilian Technological Demonstrator Scramjet 14-X S

Authors: Gustavo J. Costa, Felipe J. Costa, Bruno L. Coelho, Ronaldo L. Cardoso, Rafael O. Santos, Israel S. Rêgo, Marco A. S. Minucci, Antonio C. Oliveira, Paulo G. P. Toro


The Prof. Henry T. Nagamatsu Aerothermodynamics and Hipersonics Laboratory, of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEAv) conducts research and development (R&D) of the Technological Demonstrator scramjet 14-X S, aiming atmospheric flight at 30 km altitude with the speed correspondent to Mach number 7, using scramjet technology providing hypersonic propulsion system based on supersonic combustion. Hypersonic aerospace vehicles with air-breathing supersonic propulsion system face extremal environments for super/hypersonic flights in terms of thermal and aerodynamic loads. Thus, it is necessary to use aerodynamic protection at the scramjet engine inlet to face the thermal and aerodynamic loads without compromising the efficiency of scramjet engine, taking into account: i) inlet design (boundary layer, oblique shockwave and reflected oblique shockwave); ii) wall temperature of the cowl and of the compression ramp; iii) supersonic flow into the combustion chamber. The aerodynamic protection of the scramjet engine inlet will act to prevent the engine unstart and match the predictions made by theoretical-analytical, numerical analysis and experimental research, during the atmospheric flight of the Technological Demonstrator scramjet 14-X S.

Keywords: 14-X, hypersonic, scramjet, supersonic combustion

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12 Preliminary Conceptions of 3D Prototyping Model to Experimental Investigation in Hypersonic Shock Tunnels

Authors: Thiago Victor Cordeiro Marcos, Joao Felipe de Araujo Martos, Ronaldo de Lima Cardoso, David Romanelli Pinto, Paulo Gilberto de Paula Toro, Israel da Silveira Rego, Antonio Carlos de Oliveira


Currently, the use of 3D rapid prototyping, also known as 3D printing, has been investigated by some universities around the world as an innovative technique, fast, flexible and cheap for a direct plastic models manufacturing that are lighter and with complex geometries to be tested for hypersonic shock tunnel. Initially, the purpose is integrated prototyped parts with metal models that actually are manufactured through of the conventional machining and hereafter replace them with completely prototyped models. The mechanical design models to be tested in hypersonic shock tunnel are based on conventional manufacturing processes, therefore are limited forms and standard geometries. The use of 3D rapid prototyping offers a range of options that enables geometries innovation and ways to be used for the design new models. The conception and project of a prototyped model for hypersonic shock tunnel should be rethought and adapted when comparing the conventional manufacturing processes, in order to fully exploit the creativity and flexibility that are allowed by the 3D prototyping process. The objective of this paper is to compare the conception and project of a 3D rapid prototyping model and a conventional machining model, while showing the advantages and disadvantages of each process and the benefits that 3D prototyping can bring to the manufacture of models to be tested in hypersonic shock tunnel.

Keywords: 3D printing, 3D prototyping, experimental research, hypersonic shock tunnel

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11 Forming Limit Analysis of DP600-800 Steels

Authors: Marcelo Costa Cardoso, Luciano Pessanha Moreira


In this work, the plastic behaviour of cold-rolled zinc coated dual-phase steel sheets DP600 and DP800 grades is firstly investigated with the help of uniaxial, hydraulic bulge and Forming Limit Curve (FLC) tests. The uniaxial tensile tests were performed in three angular orientations with respect to the rolling direction to evaluate the strain-hardening and plastic anisotropy. True stress-strain curves at large strains were determined from hydraulic bulge testing and fitted to a work-hardening equation. The limit strains are defined at both localized necking and fracture conditions according to Nakajima’s hemispherical punch procedure. Also, an elasto-plastic localization model is proposed in order to predict strain and stress based forming limit curves. The investigated dual-phase sheets showed a good formability in the biaxial stretching and drawing FLC regions. For both DP600 and DP800 sheets, the corresponding numerical predictions overestimated and underestimated the experimental limit strains in the biaxial stretching and drawing FLC regions, respectively. This can be attributed to the restricted failure necking condition adopted in the numerical model, which is not suitable to describe the tensile and shear fracture mechanisms in advanced high strength steels under equibiaxial and biaxial stretching conditions.

Keywords: advanced high strength steels, forming limit curve, numerical modelling, sheet metal forming

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10 3D Dentofacial Surgery Full Planning Procedures

Authors: Oliveira M., Gonçalves L., Vale F., Caramelo F., Francisco I., Vale, F., Sanz D., Domingues M., Lopes M., Moreia D., Lopes T., Santos T., Cardoso H.


The ARTHUR project consists of a platform that allows the virtual performance of maxillofacial surgeries, offering, in a photorealistic concept, the possibility for the patient to have an idea of the surgical changes before they are performed on their face. For this, the system brings together several image formats, dicoms and objs that, after loading, will generate the bone volume, soft tissues and hard tissues. The system also incorporates the patient's stereophotogrammetry, in addition to their data and clinical history. After loading and inserting data, the clinician can virtually perform the surgical operation and present the final result to the patient, generating a new facial surface that contemplates the changes made in the bone and tissues of the maxillary area. This tool acts in different situations that require facial reconstruction, however this project focuses specifically on two types of use cases: bone congenital disfigurement and acquired disfiguration such as oral cancer with bone attainment. Being developed a cloud based solution, with mobile support, the tool aims to reduce the decision time window of patient. Because the current simulations are not realistic or, if realistic, need time due to the need of building plaster models, patient rates on decision, rely on a long time window (1,2 months), because they don’t identify themselves with the presented surgical outcome. On the other hand, this planning was performed time based on average estimated values of the position of the maxilla and mandible. The team was based on averages of the facial measurements of the population, without specifying racial variability, so the proposed solution was not adjusted to the real individual physiognomic needs.

Keywords: 3D computing, image processing, image registry, image reconstruction

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9 Climate Change Effects in a Mediterranean Island and Streamflow Changes for a Small Basin Using Euro-Cordex Regional Climate Simulations Combined with the SWAT Model

Authors: Pier Andrea Marras, Daniela Lima, Pedro Matos Soares, Rita Maria Cardoso, Daniela Medas, Elisabetta Dore, Giovanni De Giudici


Climate change effects on the hydrologic cycle are the main concern for the evaluation of water management strategies. Climate models project scenarios of precipitation changes in the future, considering greenhouse emissions. In this study, the EURO-CORDEX (European Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment) climate models were first evaluated in a Mediterranean island (Sardinia) against observed precipitation for a historical reference period (1976-2005). A weighted multi-model ensemble (ENS) was built, weighting the single models based on their ability to reproduce observed rainfall. Future projections (2071-2100) were carried out using the 8.5 RCP emissions scenario to evaluate changes in precipitations. ENS was then used as climate forcing for the SWAT model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool), with the aim to assess the consequences of such projected changes on streamflow and runoff of two small catchments located in the South-West Sardinia. Results showed that a decrease of mean rainfall values, up to -25 % at yearly scale, is expected for the future, along with an increase of extreme precipitation events. Particularly in the eastern and southern areas, extreme events are projected to increase by 30%. Such changes reflect on the hydrologic cycle with a decrease of mean streamflow and runoff, except in spring, when runoff is projected to increase by 20-30%. These results stress that the Mediterranean is a hotspot for climate change, and the use of model tools can provide very useful information to adopt water and land management strategies to deal with such changes.

Keywords: EURO-CORDEX, climate change, hydrology, SWAT model, Sardinia, multi-model ensemble

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8 Aerothermal Analysis of the Brazilian 14-X Hypersonic Aerospace Vehicle at Mach Number 7

Authors: Felipe J. Costa, João F. A. Martos, Ronaldo L. Cardoso, Israel S. Rêgo, Marco A. S. Minucci, Antonio C. Oliveira, Paulo G. P. Toro


The Prof. Henry T. Nagamatsu Laboratory of Aerothermodynamics and Hypersonics, at the Institute for Advanced Studies designed the Brazilian 14-X Hypersonic Aerospace Vehicle, which is a technological demonstrator endowed with two innovative technologies: waverider technology, to obtain lift from conical shockwave during the hypersonic flight; and uses hypersonic airbreathing propulsion system called scramjet that is based on supersonic combustion, to perform flights on Earth's atmosphere at 30 km altitude at Mach numbers 7 and 10. The scramjet is an aeronautical engine without moving parts that promote compression and deceleration of freestream atmospheric air at the inlet through the conical/oblique shockwaves generated during the hypersonic flight. During high speed flight, the shock waves and the viscous forces yield the phenomenon called aerodynamic heating, where this physical meaning is the friction between the fluid filaments and the body or compression at the stagnation regions of the leading edge that converts the kinetic energy into heat within a thin layer of air which blankets the body. The temperature of this layer increases with the square of the speed. This high temperature is concentrated in the boundary-layer, where heat will flow readily from the boundary-layer to the hypersonic aerospace vehicle structure. Fay and Riddell and Eckert methods are applied to the stagnation point and to the flat plate segments in order to calculate the aerodynamic heating. On the understanding of the aerodynamic heating it is important to analyze the heat conduction transfer to the 14-X waverider internal structure. ANSYS Workbench software provides the Thermal Numerical Analysis, using Finite Element Method of the 14-X waverider unpowered scramjet at 30 km altitude at Mach number 7 and 10 in terms of temperature and heat flux. Finally, it is possible to verify if the internal temperature complies with the requirements for embedded systems, and, if is necessary to do modifications on the structure in terms of wall thickness and materials.

Keywords: aerodynamic heating, hypersonic, scramjet, thermal analysis

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7 Experimental Analysis of Supersonic Combustion Induced by Shock Wave at the Combustion Chamber of the 14-X Scramjet Model

Authors: Ronaldo de Lima Cardoso, Thiago V. C. Marcos, Felipe J. da Costa, Antonio C. da Oliveira, Paulo G. P. Toro


The 14-X is a strategic project of the Brazil Air Force Command to develop a technological demonstrator of a hypersonic air-breathing propulsion system based on supersonic combustion programmed to flight in the Earth's atmosphere at 30 km of altitude and Mach number 10. The 14-X is under development at the Laboratory of Aerothermodynamics and Hypersonic Prof. Henry T. Nagamatsu of the Institute of Advanced Studies. The program began in 2007 and was planned to have three stages: development of the wave rider configuration, development of the scramjet configuration and finally the ground tests in the hypersonic shock tunnel T3. The install configuration of the model based in the scramjet of the 14-X in the test section of the hypersonic shock tunnel was made to proportionate and test the flight conditions in the inlet of the combustion chamber. Experimental studies with hypersonic shock tunnel require special techniques to data acquisition. To measure the pressure along the experimental model geometry tested we used 30 pressure transducers model 122A22 of PCB®. The piezoeletronic crystals of a piezoelectric transducer pressure when to suffer pressure variation produces electric current (PCB® PIEZOTRONIC, 2016). The reading of the signal of the pressure transducers was made by oscilloscope. After the studies had begun we observed that the pressure inside in the combustion chamber was lower than expected. One solution to improve the pressure inside the combustion chamber was install an obstacle to providing high temperature and pressure. To confirm if the combustion occurs was selected the spectroscopy emission technique. The region analyzed for the spectroscopy emission system is the edge of the obstacle installed inside the combustion chamber. The emission spectroscopy technique was used to observe the emission of the OH*, confirming or not the combustion of the mixture between atmospheric air in supersonic speed and the hydrogen fuel inside of the combustion chamber of the model. This paper shows the results of experimental studies of the supersonic combustion induced by shock wave performed at the Hypersonic Shock Tunnel T3 using the scramjet 14-X model. Also, this paper provides important data about the combustion studies using the model based on the engine of 14-X (second stage of the 14-X Program). Informing the possibility of necessaries corrections to be made in the next stages of the program or in other models to experimental study.

Keywords: 14-X, experimental study, ground tests, scramjet, supersonic combustion

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6 Informational Habits and Ideology as Predictors for Political Efficacy: A Survey Study of the Brazilian Political Context

Authors: Pedro Cardoso Alves, Ana Lucia Galinkin, José Carlos Ribeiro


Political participation, can be a somewhat tricky subject to define, not in small part due to the constant changes in the concept fruit of the effort to include new forms of participatory behavior that go beyond traditional institutional channels. With the advent of the internet and mobile technologies, defining political participation has become an even more complicated endeavor, given de amplitude of politicized behaviors that are expressed throughout these mediums, be it in the very organization of social movements, in the propagation of politicized texts, videos and images, or in the micropolitical behaviors that are expressed in daily interaction. In fact, the very frontiers that delimit physical and digital spaces have become ever more diluted due to technological advancements, leading to a hybrid existence that is simultaneously physical and digital, not limited, as it once was, to the temporal limitations of classic communications. Moving away from those institutionalized actions of traditional political behavior, an idea of constant and fluid participation, which occurs in our daily lives through conversations, posts, tweets and other digital forms of expression, is discussed. This discussion focuses on the factors that precede more direct forms of political participation, interpreting the relation between informational habits, ideology, and political efficacy. Though some of the informational habits can be considered political participation, by some authors, a distinction is made to establish a logical flow of behaviors leading to participation, that is, one must gather and process information before acting on it. To reach this objective, a quantitative survey is currently being applied in Brazilian social media, evaluating feelings of political efficacy, social and economic issue-based ideological stances and informational habits pertaining to collection, fact-checking, and diversity of sources and ideological positions present in the participant’s political information network. The measure being used for informational habits relies strongly on a mix of information literacy and political sophistication concepts, bringing a more up-to-date understanding of information and knowledge production and processing in contemporary hybrid (physical-digital) environments. Though data is still being collected, preliminary analysis point towards a strong correlation between information habits and political efficacy, while ideology shows a weaker influence over efficacy. Moreover, social ideology and economic ideology seem to have a strong correlation in the sample, such intermingling between social and economic ideals is generally considered a red flag for political polarization.

Keywords: political efficacy, ideology, information literacy, cyberpolitics

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5 Control of Doxorubicin Release Rate from Magnetic PLGA Nanoparticles Using a Non-Permanent Magnetic Field

Authors: Inês N. Peça , A. Bicho, Rui Gardner, M. Margarida Cardoso


Inorganic/organic nanocomplexes offer tremendous scope for future biomedical applications, including imaging, disease diagnosis and drug delivery. The combination of Fe3O4 with biocompatible polymers to produce smart drug delivery systems for use in pharmaceutical formulation present a powerful tool to target anti-cancer drugs to specific tumor sites through the application of an external magnetic field. In the present study, we focused on the evaluation of the effect of the magnetic field application time on the rate of drug release from iron oxide polymeric nanoparticles. Doxorubicin, an anticancer drug, was selected as the model drug loaded into the nanoparticles. Nanoparticles composed of poly(d-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA), a biocompatible polymer already approved by FDA, containing iron oxide nanoparticles (MNP) for magnetic targeting and doxorubicin (DOX) were synthesized by the o/w solvent extraction/evaporation method and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), by dynamic light scattering (DLS), by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry and by Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy. The produced particles yielded smooth surfaces and spherical shapes exhibiting a size between 400 and 600 nm. The effect of the magnetic doxorubicin loaded PLGA nanoparticles produced on cell viability was investigated in mammalian CHO cell cultures. The results showed that unloaded magnetic PLGA nanoparticles were nontoxic while the magnetic particles without polymeric coating show a high level of toxicity. Concerning the therapeutic activity doxorubicin loaded magnetic particles cause a remarkable enhancement of the cell inhibition rates compared to their non-magnetic counterpart. In vitro drug release studies performed under a non-permanent magnetic field show that the application time and the on/off cycle duration have a great influence with respect to the final amount and to the rate of drug release. In order to determine the mechanism of drug release, the data obtained from the release curves were fitted to the semi-empirical equation of the the Korsmeyer-Peppas model that may be used to describe the Fickian and non-Fickian release behaviour. Doxorubicin release mechanism has shown to be governed mainly by Fickian diffusion. The results obtained show that the rate of drug release from the produced magnetic nanoparticles can be modulated through the magnetic field time application.

Keywords: drug delivery, magnetic nanoparticles, PLGA nanoparticles, controlled release rate

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4 Skull Extraction for Quantification of Brain Volume in Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Authors: Marcela De Oliveira, Marina P. Da Silva, Fernando C. G. Da Rocha, Jorge M. Santos, Jaime S. Cardoso, Paulo N. Lisboa-Filho


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system characterized by neurodegeneration, inflammation, demyelination, and axonal loss. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), due to the richness in the information details provided, is the gold standard exam for diagnosis and follow-up of neurodegenerative diseases, such as MS. Brain atrophy, the gradual loss of brain volume, is quite extensive in multiple sclerosis, nearly 0.5-1.35% per year, far off the limits of normal aging. Thus, the brain volume quantification becomes an essential task for future analysis of the occurrence atrophy. The analysis of MRI has become a tedious and complex task for clinicians, who have to manually extract important information. This manual analysis is prone to errors and is time consuming due to various intra- and inter-operator variability. Nowadays, computerized methods for MRI segmentation have been extensively used to assist doctors in quantitative analyzes for disease diagnosis and monitoring. Thus, the purpose of this work was to evaluate the brain volume in MRI of MS patients. We used MRI scans with 30 slices of the five patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis according to the McDonald criteria. The computational methods for the analysis of images were carried out in two steps: segmentation of the brain and brain volume quantification. The first image processing step was to perform brain extraction by skull stripping from the original image. In the skull stripper for MRI images of the brain, the algorithm registers a grayscale atlas image to the grayscale patient image. The associated brain mask is propagated using the registration transformation. Then this mask is eroded and used for a refined brain extraction based on level-sets (edge of the brain-skull border with dedicated expansion, curvature, and advection terms). In the second step, the brain volume quantification was performed by counting the voxels belonging to the segmentation mask and converted in cc. We observed an average brain volume of 1469.5 cc. We concluded that the automatic method applied in this work can be used for the brain extraction process and brain volume quantification in MRI. The development and use of computer programs can contribute to assist health professionals in the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with neurodegenerative diseases. In future works, we expect to implement more automated methods for the assessment of cerebral atrophy and brain lesions quantification, including machine-learning approaches. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by a grant from Brazilian agency Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (number 2019/16362-5).

Keywords: brain volume, magnetic resonance imaging, multiple sclerosis, skull stripper

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3 Production, Characterization and In vitro Evaluation of [223Ra]RaCl2 Nanomicelles for Targeted Alpha Therapy of Osteosarcoma

Authors: Yang Yang, Luciana Magalhães Rebelo Alencar, Martha Sahylí Ortega Pijeira, Beatriz da Silva Batista, Alefe Roger Silva França, Erick Rafael Dias Rates, Ruana Cardoso Lima, Sara Gemini-Piperni, Ralph Santos-Oliveira


Radium-²²³ dichloride ([²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂) is an alpha particle-emitting radiopharmaceutical currently approved for the treatment of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, symptomatic bone metastases, and no known visceral metastatic disease. [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ is bone-seeking calcium mimetic that bonds into the newly formed bone stroma, especially osteoblastic or sclerotic metastases, killing the tumor cells by inducing DNA breaks in a potent and localized manner. Nonetheless, the successful therapy of osteosarcoma as primary bone tumors is still a challenge. Nanomicelles are colloidal nanosystems widely used in drug development to improve blood circulation time, bioavailability, and specificity of therapeutic agents, among other applications. In addition, the enhanced permeability and retention effect of the nanosystems, and the renal excretion of the nanomicelles reported in most cases so far, are very attractive to achieve selective and increased accumulation in tumor site as well as to increase the safety of [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ in the clinical routine. In the present work, [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles were produced, characterized, in vitro evaluated, and compared with pure [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl2 solution using SAOS2 osteosarcoma cells. The [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles were prepared using the amphiphilic copolymer Pluronic F127. The dynamic light scattering analysis of freshly produced [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles demonstrated a mean size of 129.4 nm with a polydispersity index (PDI) of 0.303. After one week stored in the refrigerator, the mean size of the [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles increased to 169.4 with a PDI of 0.381. Atomic force microscopy analysis of [223Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles exhibited spherical structures whose heights reach 1 µm, suggesting the filling of 127-Pluronic nanomicelles with [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂. The viability assay with [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles displayed a dose-dependent response as it was observed using pure [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl2. However, at the same dose, [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂ nanomicelles were 20% higher efficient in killing SAOS2 cells when compared with pure [²²³Rₐ]RₐCl₂. These findings demonstrated the effectiveness of the nanosystem validating the application of nanotechnology in targeted alpha therapy with [²²³Ra]RₐCl₂. In addition, the [²²³Rₐ]RaCl₂nanomicelles may be decorated and incorporated with a great variety of agents and compounds (e.g., monoclonal antibodies, aptamers, peptides) to overcome the limited use of [²²³Ra]RₐCl₂.

Keywords: nanomicelles, osteosarcoma, radium dichloride, targeted alpha therapy

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2 Cloning and Expression a Gene of β-Glucosidase from Penicillium echinulatum in Pichia pastoris

Authors: Amanda Gregorim Fernandes, Lorena Cardoso Cintra, Rosalia Santos Amorim Jesuino, Fabricia Paula De Faria, Marcio José Poças Fonseca


Bioethanol is one of the most promising biofuels and able to replace fossil fuels and reduce its different environmental impacts and can be generated from various agroindustrial waste. The Brazil is in first place in bioethanol production to be the largest producer of sugarcane. The bagasse sugarcane (SCB) has lignocellulose which is composed of three major components: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Cellulose is a homopolymer of glucose units connected by glycosidic linkages. Among all species of Penicillium, Penicillium echinulatum has been the focus of attention because they produce high quantities of cellulase and the mutant strain 9A02S1 produces higher enzyme levels compared to the wild. Among the cellulases, the cellobiohydrolases enzymes are the main components of the cellulolytic system of fungi, and are also responsible for most of the potential hydrolytic in enzyme cocktails for the industrial processing of plant biomass and several cellobiohydrolases Penicillium had higher specific activity against cellulose compared to CBH I from Trichoderma reesei. This fact makes it an interesting pattern for higher yields in the enzymatic hydrolysis, and also they are important enzymes in the hydrolysis of crystalline regions of cellulose. Therefore, finding new and more active enzymes become necessary. Meanwhile, β-glycosidases act on soluble substrates and are highly dependent on cellobiohydrolases and endoglucanases action to provide the substrate in the hydrolysis of the biomass, but the cellobiohydrolases and endoglucanases are highly dependent β-glucosidases to maintain efficient hydrolysis. Thus, there is a need to understand the structure-function relationships that govern the catalytic activity of cellulolytic enzymes to elucidate its mechanism of action and optimize its potential as industrial biocatalysts. To evaluate the enzyme β-glucosidase of Penicillium echinulatum (PeBGL1) the gene was synthesized from the assembly sequence from a library in induction conditions and then the PeBGL1 gene was cloned in the vector pPICZαA and transformed into P. pastoris GS115. After processing, the producers of PeBGL1 were analyzed for enzyme activity and protein profile where a band of approximately 100 kDa was viewed. It was also carried out the zymogram. In partial characterization it was determined optimum temperature of 50°C and optimum pH of 6,5. In addition, to increase the secreted recombinant PeBGL1 production by Pichia pastoris, three parameters of P. pastoris culture medium were analysed: methanol, nitrogen source concentrations and the inoculum size. A 23 factorial design was effective in achieving the optimum condition. Altogether, these results point to the potential application of this P. echinulatum β-glucosidase in hydrolysis of cellulose for the production of bioethanol.

Keywords: bioethanol, biotechnology, beta-glucosidase, penicillium echinulatum

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1 Distributed Energy Resources in Low-Income Communities: a Public Policy Proposal

Authors: Rodrigo Calili, Anna Carolina Sermarini, João Henrique Azevedo, Vanessa Cardoso de Albuquerque, Felipe Gonçalves, Gilberto Jannuzzi


The diffusion of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) has caused structural changes in the relationship between consumers and electrical systems. The Photovoltaic Distributed Generation (PVDG), in particular, is an essential strategy for achieving the 2030 Agenda goals, especially SDG 7 and SDG 13. However, it is observed that most projects involving this technology in Brazil are restricted to the wealthiest classes of society, not yet reaching the low-income population, aligned with theories of energy justice. Considering the research for energy equality, one of the policies adopted by governments is the social electricity tariff (SET), which provides discounts on energy tariffs/bills. However, just granting this benefit may not be effective, and it is possible to merge it with DER technologies, such as the PVDG. Thus, this work aims to evaluate the economic viability of the policy to replace the social electricity tariff (the current policy aimed at the low-income population in Brazil) by PVDG projects. To this end, a proprietary methodology was developed that included: mapping the stakeholders, identifying critical variables, simulating policy options, and carrying out an analysis in the Brazilian context. The simulation answered two key questions: in which municipalities low-income consumers would have lower bills with PVDG compared to SET; which consumers in a given city would have increased subsidies, which are now provided for solar energy in Brazil and for the social tariff. An economic model was created for verifying the feasibility of the proposed policy in each municipality in the country, considering geographic issues (tariff of a particular distribution utility, radiation from a specific location, etc.). To validate these results, four sensitivity analyzes were performed: variation of the simultaneity factor between generation and consumption, variation of the tariff readjustment rate, zeroing CAPEX, and exemption from state tax. The behind-the-meter modality of generation proved to be more promising than the construction of a shared plant. However, although the behind-the-meter modality presents better results than the shared plant, there is a greater complexity in adopting this modality due to issues related to the infrastructure of the most vulnerable communities (e.g., precarious electrical networks, need to reinforce roofs). Considering the shared power plant modality, many opportunities are still envisaged since the risk of investing in such a policy can be mitigated. Furthermore, this modality can be an alternative due to the mitigation of the risk of default, as it allows greater control of users and facilitates the process of operation and maintenance. Finally, it was also found, that in some regions of Brazil, the continuity of the SET presents more economic benefits than its replacement by PVDG. However, the proposed policy offers many opportunities. For future works, the model may include other parameters, such as cost with low-income populations’ engagement, and business risk. In addition, other renewable sources of distributed generation can be studied for this purpose.

Keywords: low income, subsidy policy, distributed energy resources, energy justice

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