Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: Satoshi Ichikawa

24 Cell-Cell Interactions in Diseased Conditions Revealed by Three Dimensional and Intravital Two Photon Microscope: From Visualization to Quantification

Authors: Satoshi Nishimura

Abstract:

Although much information has been garnered from the genomes of humans and mice, it remains difficult to extend that information to explain physiological and pathological phenomena. This is because the processes underlying life are by nature stochastic and fluctuate with time. Thus, we developed novel "in vivo molecular imaging" method based on single and two-photon microscopy. We visualized and analyzed many life phenomena, including common adult diseases. We integrated the knowledge obtained, and established new models that will serve as the basis for new minimally invasive therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: two photon microscope, intravital visualization, thrombus, artery

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23 Recurrence of Papillary Thyroid Cancer with an Interval of 40 Years. Report of an Autopsy Case

Authors: Satoshi Furukawa, Satomu Morita, Katsuji Nishi, Masahito Hitosugi

Abstract:

A 75-year-old woman took thyroidectomy forty years previously. Enlarged masses were seen at autopsy just above and below the left clavicle. We proved the diagnosis of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) and lung metastasis by histological examinations. The prognosis of PTC is excellent; the 10-year survival rate ranges between 85 and 99%. Lung metastases may be found in 10% of the patients with PTC. We report an unusual case of recurrence of PTC with metastasis to the lung.

Keywords: papillary thyroid cancer, lung metastasis, autopsy, histopathological findings

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22 Membrane Permeability of Middle Molecules: A Computational Chemistry Approach

Authors: Sundaram Arulmozhiraja, Kanade Shimizu, Yuta Yamamoto, Satoshi Ichikawa, Maenaka Katsumi, Hiroaki Tokiwa

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Drug discovery is shifting from small molecule based drugs targeting local active site to middle molecules (MM) targeting large, flat, and groove-shaped binding sites, for example, protein-protein interface because at least half of all targets assumed to be involved in human disease have been classified as “difficult to drug” with traditional small molecules. Hence, MMs such as peptides, natural products, glycans, nucleic acids with various high potent bioactivities become important targets for drug discovery programs in the recent years as they could be used for ‘undruggable” intracellular targets. Cell membrane permeability is one of the key properties of pharmacodynamically active MM drug compounds and so evaluating this property for the potential MMs is crucial. Computational prediction for cell membrane permeability of molecules is very challenging; however, recent advancement in the molecular dynamics simulations help to solve this issue partially. It is expected that MMs with high membrane permeability will enable drug discovery research to expand its borders towards intracellular targets. Further to understand the chemistry behind the permeability of MMs, it is necessary to investigate their conformational changes during the permeation through membrane and for that their interactions with the membrane field should be studied reliably because these interactions involve various non-bonding interactions such as hydrogen bonding, -stacking, charge-transfer, polarization dispersion, and non-classical weak hydrogen bonding. Therefore, parameters-based classical mechanics calculations are hardly sufficient to investigate these interactions rather, quantum mechanical (QM) calculations are essential. Fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method could be used for such purpose as it performs ab initio QM calculations by dividing the system into fragments. The present work is aimed to study the cell permeability of middle molecules using molecular dynamics simulations and FMO-QM calculations. For this purpose, a natural compound syringolin and its analogues were considered in this study. Molecular simulations were performed using NAMD and Gromacs programs with CHARMM force field. FMO calculations were performed using the PAICS program at the correlated Resolution-of-Identity second-order Moller Plesset (RI-MP2) level with the cc-pVDZ basis set. The simulations clearly show that while syringolin could not permeate the membrane, its selected analogues go through the medium in nano second scale. These correlates well with the existing experimental evidences that these syringolin analogues are membrane-permeable compounds. Further analyses indicate that intramolecular -stacking interactions in the syringolin analogues influenced their permeability positively. These intramolecular interactions reduce the polarity of these analogues so that they could permeate the lipophilic cell membrane. Conclusively, the cell membrane permeability of various middle molecules with potent bioactivities is efficiently studied using molecular dynamics simulations. Insight of this behavior is thoroughly investigated using FMO-QM calculations. Results obtained in the present study indicate that non-bonding intramolecular interactions such as hydrogen-bonding and -stacking along with the conformational flexibility of MMs are essential for amicable membrane permeation. These results are interesting and are nice example for this theoretical calculation approach that could be used to study the permeability of other middle molecules. This work was supported by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) under Grant Number 18ae0101047.

Keywords: fragment molecular orbital theory, membrane permeability, middle molecules, molecular dynamics simulation

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21 Free to Select vTuber Avatar eLearning Video for University Ray Tracing Course

Authors: Rex Hsieh, Kosei Yamamura, Satoshi Cho, Hisashi Sato

Abstract:

This project took place in the fall semester of 2019 from September 2019 to February 2020. It improves upon the design of a previous vTuber based eLearning video system by correcting criticisms from students and enhancing the positive aspects of the previous system. The transformed audio which has proven to be ineffective in previous experiments was not used in this experiment. The result is videos featuring 3 avatars covering different Ray Tracing subject matters being released weekly. Students are free to pick which videos they want to watch and can also re-watch any videos they want. The students' subjective impressions of each video is recorded and analysed to help further improve the system.

Keywords: vTuber, eLearning, Ray Tracing, Avatar

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20 Utility Analysis of API Economy Based on Multi-Sided Platform Markets Model

Authors: Mami Sugiura, Shinichi Arakawa, Masayuki Murata, Satoshi Imai, Toru Katagiri, Motoyoshi Sekiya

Abstract:

API (Application Programming Interface) economy, where many participants join/interact and form the economy, is expected to increase collaboration between information services through API, and thereby, it is expected to increase market value from the service collaborations. In this paper, we introduce API evaluators, which are the activator of API economy by reviewing and/or evaluating APIs, and develop a multi-sided API economy model that formulates interactions among platform provider, API developers, consumers, and API evaluators. By obtaining the equilibrium that maximizes utility of all participants, the impact of API evaluators on the utility of participants in the API economy is revealed. Numerical results show that, with the existence of API evaluators, the number of developers and consumers increase by 1.5% and the utility of platformer increases by 2.3%. We also discuss the strategies of platform provider to maximize its utility under the existence of API evaluators.

Keywords: API economy, multi-sided markets, API evaluator, platform, platform provider

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19 Difference in the Expression of CIRBP, RBM3 and HSP70 in the Myocardium and Cerebellum after Death by Hypothermi a and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Authors: Satoshi Furukawa, Satomu Morita, Lisa Wingenfeld, Katsuji Nishi, Masahito Hitosugi

Abstract:

We studied the expression of hypoxia-related antigens (e.g., cold-inducible antigens and apoptotic antigens) in the myocardium and the cerebellumthat were obtained from individuals after death by carbon monoxide or hypothermia. The immunohistochemistry results revealed that expression of cold-inducible RNA binding protein (CIRBP) and RNA-binding protein 3 (RBM3) may be associated with hpyothermic and the hypoxic conditions. The expression of CIRBP and RBM3 in the myocardium was different from their expression in the cerebellum, especially in the Purkinje cells. The results indicate that agonal duration influences antigen expression. In the hypothermic condition, the myocardium uses more ATP since the force of the excitation-contraction coupling of the myocardium increases by more than 400% when the experimental temperature is reduced from 35°C to 25°C. The results obtained in this study indicate that physicians should pay attention to the myocardium when cooling the patient’s body to protect the brain.

Keywords: carbon monoxide death, cerebellum, CIRBP, hypothermic death, myocardium, RBM3

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18 An Autopsy Case of Blunt Chest Trauma from a Traffic Accident Complicated by Chest Compression Due to Resuscitation Attempts

Authors: Satoshi Furukawa, Satomu Morita, Katsuji Nishi, Masahito Hitosugi

Abstract:

Coronary artery dissection leading to acute myocardial infarction after blunt chest trauma is extremely rare. A 67-year-old woman suffered blunt chest trauma following a traffic accident. The electrocardiogram revealed acute posterior ST-segment elevation and myocardial infarction and coronary angiography demonstrated acute right coronary artery dissection. Following the death of the victim an autopsy was performed after cardiopulmonary support had been carried out. In this case report, we describe the case of a woman with blunt chest trauma, who developed an acute myocardial infarction secondary to right coronary artery dissection. Although there was additional the blunt chest trauma due to chest compression, we confirmed the injury at autopsy and by histological findings.

Keywords: blunt chest trauma, right coronary artery dissection, coronary angiography, autopsy, histological examination

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17 Evaluation and Analysis of the Regulations of Health and Safety in the Construction Industry: A Case of Study in Skikda, Algeria

Authors: Khorief Ouissem, Sassi Boudmagh Souad, Mahimoud Aissa

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The health and safety problem in the construction companies has been a major subject of research in Algeria for many years. The latest statistics of the Algerian National Social Security Fund (CNAS) shows that a third of accidents recorded at the national level are originated from construction activities. It is becoming increasingly essential and urgent to investigate and address its causes in order to find measures to overcome the deficiencies in this area. Thus, this paper takes in investigating this problem through a study conducted in the city of Skikda, Algeria. The study was carried out through questionnaire where twenty construction companies were taking into consideration. First, the study identifies the regulations and the laws related to the health and safety in the construction sector in Algeria. Then it goes on to assess and evaluate the implementation of the identified regulations in the companies selected. The result of the assessment indicates that the majority of the construction companies considered do not meet the health and safety standards and regulations. To extract the main causes of the failure of the system to control this industry, the observations and the evaluation were analyzed using the 5M or Ichikawa diagram method. This method is based on identifying the causes of the problem in terms of purpose, the list of potential causes for families. These families often correspond to 5M (Labor, Material, Methods, Middle, and Management). Finally, having identified the primary motives, the present authors propose a list of actions to move towards a more controlled and effective health and safety system for the construction industry.

Keywords: health and safety, construction industry, performance measurement, Algeria

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16 The Role of Initiator in the Synthesis of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate)-Layered Silicate Nanocomposites through Bulk Polymerization

Authors: Tsung-Yen Tsai, Naveen Bunekar, Ming Hsuan Chang, Wen-Kuang Wang, Satoshi Onda

Abstract:

The structure-property relationship and initiator effect on bulk polymerized poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)–oragnomodified layered silicate nanocomposites was investigated. In this study, we used 2, 2'-azobis (4-methoxy-2,4-dimethyl valeronitrile and benzoyl peroxide initiators for bulk polymerization. The bulk polymerized nanocomposites’ morphology was investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The type of initiator strongly influences the physiochemical properties of the polymer nanocomposite. The thermal degradation of PMMA in the presence of nanofiller was studied. 5 wt% weight loss temperature (T5d) increased as compared to pure PMMA. The peak degradation temperature increased for the nanocomposites. Differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis were performed to investigate the glass transition temperature and the nature of the constrained region as the reinforcement mechanism respectively. Furthermore, the optical properties such as UV-Vis and Total Luminous Transmission of nanocomposites are examined.

Keywords: initiator, bulk polymerization, layered silicates, methyl methacrylate

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15 Instability of H2-O2-CO2 Premixed Flames on Flat Burner

Authors: Kaewpradap Amornrat, Endo Takahiro, Kadowaki Satoshi

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The combustion of hydrogen-oxygen (H2-O2) mixtures was investigated to consider the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) as the greenhouse emission. Normally, the flame speed of combustion H2-O2 mixtures are very fast thus it is necessary to control the limit of mixtures with CO2 addition as H2-O2-CO2 combustion. The limit of hydrogen was set and replaced by CO2 with O2:CO2 ratio as 1:3.76, 1:4 and 1:5 for this study. In this study, the combustion of H2-O2 -CO2 on flat burner at equivalence ratio =0.5 was investigated for 10, 15 and 20 L/min of flow rate mixtures. When the ratio of CO2 increases, the power spectral density is lower, the size of attractor and cellular flame become larger because the decrease of hydrogen replaced by CO2 affects the diffusive-thermal instability. Moreover, the flow rate mixtures increases, the power spectral density increases, the size of reconstructed attractor and cell size become smaller due to decreasing of instability. The results show that the variation of CO2 and mixture flow rate affects the instability of cellular premixed flames on flat burner.

Keywords: instability, H2-O2-CO2 combustion, flat burner, diffusive-thermal instability

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14 A Method for Consensus Building between Teachers and Learners in a Value Co-Creative Learning Service

Authors: Ryota Sugino, Satoshi Mizoguchi, Koji Kimita, Keiichi Muramatsu, Tatsunori Matsui, Yoshiki Shimomura

Abstract:

Improving added value and productivity of services entails improving both value-in-exchange and value-in-use. Value-in-use is realized by value co-creation, where providers and receivers create value together. In higher education services, value-in-use comes from learners achieving learning outcomes (e.g., knowledge and skills) that are consistent with their learning goals. To enhance the learning outcomes of a learner, it is necessary to enhance and utilize the abilities of the teacher along with the abilities of the learner. To do this, however, the learner and the teacher need to build a consensus about their respective roles. Teachers need to provide effective learning content; learners need to choose the appropriate learning strategies by using the learning content through consensus building. This makes consensus building an important factor in value co-creation. However, methods to build a consensus about their respective roles may not be clearly established, making such consensus difficult. In this paper, we propose some strategies for consensus building between a teacher and a learner in value co-creation. We focus on a teacher and learner co-design and propose an analysis method to clarify a collaborative design process to realize value co-creation. We then analyze some counseling data obtained from a university class. This counseling aimed to build a consensus for value-in-use, learning outcomes, and learning strategies between the teacher and the learner.

Keywords: consensus building, value co-creation, higher education, learning service

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13 Autopsy-Based Study of Abdominal Traffic Trauma Death after Emergency Room Arrival

Authors: Satoshi Furukawa, Satomu Morita, Katsuji Nishi, Masahito Hitosugi

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We experience the autopsy cases that the deceased was alive in emergency room on arrival. Bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death after injury. This retrospective study aimed to characterize opportunities for performance improvement identified in patients who died from traffic trauma and were considered by the quality improvement of education system. The Japan Advanced Trauma Evaluation and Care (JATEC) education program was introduced in 2002. We focused the abdominal traffic trauma injury. An autopsy-based cross-sectional study conducted. A purposive sampling technique was applied to select the study sample of 41 post-mortems of road traffic accident between April 1999 and March 2014 subjected to medico-legal autopsy at the department of Forensic Medicine, Shiga University of Medical Science. 16 patients (39.0%) were abdominal trauma injury. The mean period of survival after meet with accident was 13.5 hours, compared abdominal trauma death was 27.4 hours longer. In road traffic accidents, the most injured abdominal organs were liver followed by mesentery. We thought delayed treatment was associated with immediate diagnostic imaging, and so expected to expand trauma management examination.

Keywords: abdominal traffic trauma, preventable death, autopsy, emergency medicine

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12 Cognitivism in Classical Japanese Art and Literature: The Cognitive Value of Haiku and Zen Painting

Authors: Benito Garcia-Valero

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This paper analyses the cognitivist value of traditional Japanese theories about aesthetics, art, and literature. These reflections were developed several centuries before actual Cognitive Studies, which started in the seventies of the last century. A comparative methodology is employed to shed light on the similarities between traditional Japanese conceptions about art and current cognitivist principles. The Japanese texts to be compared are Zeami’s treatise on noh art, Okura Toraaki’s Waranbe-gusa on kabuki theatre, and several Buddhist canonical texts about wisdom and knowledge, like the Prajnaparamitahrdaya or Heart Sutra. Japanese contemporary critical sources on these works are also referred, like Nishida Kitaro’s reflections on Zen painting or Ichikawa Hiroshi’s analysis of body/mind dualism in Japanese physical practices. Their ideas are compared with cognitivist authors like George Lakoff, Mark Johnson, Mark Turner and Margaret Freeman. This comparative review reveals the anticipatory ideas of Japanese thinking on body/mind interrelationship, which agrees with cognitivist criticism against dualism, since both elucidate the physical grounds acting upon the formation of concepts and schemes during the production of knowledge. It also highlights the necessity of recovering ancient Japanese treatises on cognition to continue enlightening current research on art and literature. The artistic examples used to illustrate the theory are Sesshu’s Zen paintings and Basho’s classical haiku poetry. Zen painting is an excellent field to demonstrate how monk artists conceived human perception and guessed the active role of beholders during the contemplation of art. On the other hand, some haikus by Matsuo Basho aim at factoring subjectivity out from artistic praxis, which constitutes an ideal of illumination that cannot be achieved using art, due to the embodied nature of perception; a constraint consciously explored by the poet himself. These ideas consolidate the conclusions drawn today by cognitivism about the interrelation between subject and object and the concept of intersubjectivity.

Keywords: cognitivism, dualism, haiku, Zen painting

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11 Developing Value Chain of Synthetic Methane for Net-zero Carbon City Gas Supply in Japan

Authors: Ryota Kuzuki, Mitsuhiro Kohara, Noboru Kizuki, Satoshi Yoshida, Hidetaka Hirai, Yuta Nezasa

Abstract:

About fifty years have passed since Japan's gas supply industry became the first in the world to switch from coal and oil to LNG as a city gas feedstock. Since the Japanese government target of net-zero carbon emission in 2050 was announced in October 2020, it has now entered a new era of challenges to commit to the requirement for decarbonization. This paper describes the situation that synthetic methane, produced from renewable energy-derived hydrogen and recycled carbon, is a promising national policy of transition toward net-zero society. In November 2020, the Japan Gas Association announced the 'Carbon Neutral Challenge 2050' as a vision to contribute to the decarbonization of society by converting the city gas supply to carbon neutral. The key technologies is methanation. This paper shows that methanation is a realistic solution to contribute to the decarbonization of the whole country at a lower social cost, utilizing the supply chain that already exists, from LNG plants to burner chips. The challenges during the transition period (2030-2050), as CO2 captured from exhaust of thermal power plants and industrial factories are expected to be used, it is proposed that a system of guarantee of origin (GO) for H2 and CO2 should be established and harmonize international rules for calculating and allocating greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain, a platform is also needed to manage tracking information on certified environmental values.

Keywords: synthetic methane, recycled carbon fuels, methanation, transition period, environmental value transfer platform

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10 The Importance of the Fluctuation in Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure of Insulin-Dependent Diabetic Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

Authors: Hitoshi Minakuchi, Izumi Takei, Shu Wakino, Koichi Hayashi, Hiroshi Itoh

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Objectives: Among type 2 diabetics, patients with CKD(chronic kidney disease), insulin resistance, impaired glyconeogenesis in kidney and reduced degradation of insulin are recognized, and we observed different fluctuational patterns of blood sugar between CKD patients and non-CKD patients. On the other hand, non-dipper type blood pressure change is the risk of organ damage and mortality. We performed cross-sectional study to elucidate the characteristic of the fluctuation of blood glucose and blood pressure at insulin-treated diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease. Methods: From March 2011 to April 2013, at the Ichikawa General Hospital of Tokyo Dental College, we recruited 20 outpatients. All participants are insulin-treated type 2 diabetes with CKD. We collected serum samples, urine samples for several hormone measurements, and performed CGMS(Continuous glucose measurement system), ABPM (ambulatory blood pressure monitoring), brain computed tomography, carotid artery thickness, ankle brachial index, PWV, CVR-R, and analyzed these data statistically. Results: Among all 20 participants, hypoglycemia was decided blood glucose 70mg/dl by CGMS of 9 participants (45.0%). The event of hypoglycemia was recognized lower eGFR (29.8±6.2ml/min:41.3±8.5ml/min, P<0.05), lower HbA1c (6.44±0.57%:7.53±0.49%), higher PWV (1858±97.3cm/s:1665±109.2cm/s), higher serum glucagon (194.2±34.8pg/ml:117.0±37.1pg/ml), higher free cortisol of urine (53.8±12.8μg/day:34.8±7.1μg/day), and higher metanephrin of urine (0.162±0.031mg/day:0.076±0.029mg/day). Non-dipper type blood pressure change in ABPM was detected 8 among 9 participants with hypoglycemia (88.9%), 4 among 11 participants (36.4%) without hypoglycemia. Multiplex logistic-regression analysis revealed that the event of hypoglycemia is the independent factor of non-dipper type blood pressure change. Conclusions: Among insulin-treated type 2 diabetic patients with CKD, the events of hypoglycemia were frequently detected, and can associate with the organ derangements through the medium of non-dipper type blood pressure change.

Keywords: chronic kidney disease, hypoglycemia, non-dipper type blood pressure change, diabetic patients

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9 Path-Tracking Controller for Tracked Mobile Robot on Rough Terrain

Authors: Toshifumi Hiramatsu, Satoshi Morita, Manuel Pencelli, Marta Niccolini, Matteo Ragaglia, Alfredo Argiolas

Abstract:

Automation technologies for agriculture field are needed to promote labor-saving. One of the most relevant problems in automated agriculture is represented by controlling the robot along a predetermined path in presence of rough terrain or incline ground. Unfortunately, disturbances originating from interaction with the ground, such as slipping, make it quite difficult to achieve the required accuracy. In general, it is required to move within 5-10 cm accuracy with respect to the predetermined path. Moreover, lateral velocity caused by gravity on the incline field also affects slipping. In this paper, a path-tracking controller for tracked mobile robots moving on rough terrains of incline field such as vineyard is presented. The controller is composed of a disturbance observer and an adaptive controller based on the kinematic model of the robot. The disturbance observer measures the difference between the measured and the reference yaw rate and linear velocity in order to estimate slip. Then, the adaptive controller adapts “virtual” parameter of the kinematics model: Instantaneous Centers of Rotation (ICRs). Finally, target angular velocity reference is computed according to the adapted parameter. This solution allows estimating the effects of slip without making the model too complex. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed solution is tested in a simulation environment.

Keywords: the agricultural robot, autonomous control, path-tracking control, tracked mobile robot

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8 Compensation of Bulk Charge Carriers in Bismuth Based Topological Insulators via Swift Heavy Ion Irradiation

Authors: Jyoti Yadav, Rini Singh, Anoop M.D, Nisha Yadav, N. Srinivasa Rao, Fouran Singh, Takayuki Ichikawa, Ankur Jain, Kamlendra Awasthi, Manoj Kumar

Abstract:

Nanocrystalline films exhibit defects and strain induced by its grain boundaries. Defects and strain affect the physical as well as topological insulating properties of the Bi2Te3 thin films by changing their electronic structure. In the present studies, the effect of Ni7+ ion irradiation on the physical and electrical properties of Bi2Te3 thin films was studied. The films were irradiated at five different fluences (5x1011, 1x1012, 3x1012, 5x1012, 1x1013 ions/cm2). Thin films synthesized using the e-beam technique possess a rhombohedral crystal structure with the R-3m space group. The average crystallite size, as determined by x-ray diffraction (XRD) peak broadening, was found to be 18.5 ± 5 (nm). It was also observed that irradiation increases the induced strain. Raman Spectra of the films demonstrate the splitting of A_1u^1 modes originating from the vibrations along the c-axis. This is by the variation in the lattice parameter ‘c,’ as observed through XRD. The atomic force microscopy study indicates the decrease in surface roughness up to the fluence of 3x1012 ions/cm2 and further increasing the fluence increases the roughness. The decrease in roughness may be due to the growth of smaller nano-crystallites on the surface of thin films due to irradiation-induced annealing. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies reveal the composition to be in close agreement to the nominal values i.e. Bi2Te3. The resistivity v/s temperature measurements revealed an increase in resistivity up to the fluence 3x1012 ions/cm2 and a decrease on further increasing the fluence. The variation in electrical resistivity is corroborated with the change in the carrier concentration as studied through low-temperature Hall measurements. A crossover from the n-type to p-type carriers was achieved in the irradiated films. Interestingly, tuning of the Fermi level by compensating the bulk carriers using ion-irradiation could be achieved.

Keywords: Annealing, Irradiation, Fermi level, Tuning

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7 Effects of a Head Mounted Display Adaptation on Reaching Behaviour: Implications for a Therapeutic Approach in Unilateral Neglect

Authors: Taku Numao, Kazu Amimoto, Tomoko Shimada, Kyohei Ichikawa

Abstract:

Background: Unilateral spatial neglect (USN) is a common syndrome following damage to one hemisphere of the brain (usually the right side), in which a patient fails to report or respond to stimulation from the contralesional side. These symptoms are not due to primary sensory or motor deficits, but instead, reflect an inability to process input from that side of their environment. Prism adaptation (PA) is a therapeutic treatment for USN, wherein a patient’s visual field is artificially shifted laterally, resulting in a sensory-motor adaptation. However, patients with USN also tend to perceive a left-leaning subjective vertical in the frontal plane. The traditional PA cannot be used to correct a tilt in the subjective vertical, because a prism can only polarize, not twist, the surroundings. However, this can be accomplished using a head mounted display (HMD) and a web-camera. Therefore, this study investigated whether an HMD system could be used to correct the spatial perception of USN patients in the frontal as well as the horizontal plane. We recruited healthy subjects in order to collect data for the refinement of USN patient therapy. Methods: Eight healthy subjects sat on a chair wearing a HMD (Oculus rift DK2), with a web-camera (Ovrvision) displaying a 10 degree leftward rotation and a 10 degree counter-clockwise rotation along the frontal plane. Subjects attempted to point a finger at one of four targets, assigned randomly, a total of 48 times. Before and after the intervention, each subject’s body-centre judgment (BCJ) was tested by asking them to point a finger at a touch panel straight in front of their xiphisternum, 10 times sight unseen. Results: Intervention caused the location pointed to during the BCJ to shift 35 ± 17 mm (Ave ± SD) leftward in the horizontal plane, and 46 ± 29 mm downward in the frontal plane. The results in both planes were significant by paired-t-test (p<.01). Conclusions: The results in the horizontal plane are consistent with those observed following PA. Furthermore, the HMD and web-camera were able to elicit 3D effects, including in both the horizontal and frontal planes. Future work will focus on applying this method to patients with and without USN, and investigating whether subject posture is also affected by the HMD system.

Keywords: head mounted display, posture, prism adaptation, unilateral spatial neglect

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6 Effect of Retention Time on Kitchen Wastewater Treatment Using Mixed Algal-Bacterial Consortia

Authors: Keerthi Katam, Abhinav B. Tirunaghari, Vinod Vadithya, Toshiyuki Shimizu, Satoshi Soda, Debraj Bhattacharyya

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Researchers worldwide are increasingly focusing on the removal of carbon and nutrient from wastewater using algal-bacterial hybrid systems. Algae produce oxygen during photosynthesis, which is taken up by heterotrophic bacteria for mineralizing organic carbon to carbon dioxide. This phenomenon reduces the net mechanical aeration requirement of aerobic biological wastewater treatment processes. Consequently, the treatment cost is also reduced. Microalgae also participate in the treatment process by taking up nutrient (N, P) from wastewater. Algal biomass, if harvested, can generate value-added by-products. The aim of the present study was to compare the performance of two systems - System A (mixed microalgae and bacteria) and System B (diatoms and bacteria) in treating kitchen wastewater (KWW). The test reactors were operated at five different solid retention times (SRTs) -2, 4, 6, 8, and 10-days in draw-and-fill mode. The KWW was collected daily from the dining hall-kitchen area of the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. The influent and effluent samples were analyzed for total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN) using TOC-L analyzer. A colorimetric method was used to analyze anionic surfactant. Phosphorus (P) and chlorophyll were measured by following standard methods. The TOC, TN, and P of KWW were in the range of 113.5 to 740 mg/L, 2 to 22.8 mg/L, and 1 to 4.5 mg/L, respectively. Both the systems gave similar results with 85% of TOC removal and 60% of TN removal at 10-d SRT. However, the anionic surfactant removal in System A was 99% and 60% in System B. The chlorophyll concentration increased with an increase in SRT in both the systems. At 2-d SRT, no chlorophyll was observed in System B, whereas 0.5 mg/L was observed in System A. At 10-d SRT, the chlorophyll concentration in System A was 7.5 mg/L, whereas it was 4.5 mg/L in System B. Although both the systems showed similar performance in treatment, the increase in chlorophyll concentration suggests that System A demonstrated a better algal-bacterial symbiotic relationship in treating KWW than System B.

Keywords: diatoms, microalgae, retention time, wastewater treatment

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5 Control of Biofilm Formation and Inorganic Particle Accumulation on Reverse Osmosis Membrane by Hypochlorite Washing

Authors: Masaki Ohno, Cervinia Manalo, Tetsuji Okuda, Satoshi Nakai, Wataru Nishijima

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Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have been widely used for desalination to purify water for drinking and other purposes. Although at present most RO membranes have no resistance to chlorine, chlorine-resistant membranes are being developed. Therefore, direct chlorine treatment or chlorine washing will be an option in preventing biofouling on chlorine-resistant membranes. Furthermore, if particle accumulation control is possible by using chlorine washing, expensive pretreatment for particle removal can be removed or simplified. The objective of this study was to determine the effective hypochlorite washing condition required for controlling biofilm formation and inorganic particle accumulation on RO membrane in a continuous flow channel with RO membrane and spacer. In this study, direct chlorine washing was done by soaking fouled RO membranes in hypochlorite solution and fluorescence intensity was used to quantify biofilm on the membrane surface. After 48 h of soaking the membranes in high fouling potential waters, the fluorescence intensity decreased to 0 from 470 using the following washing conditions: 10 mg/L chlorine concentration, 2 times/d washing interval, and 30 min washing time. The chlorine concentration required to control biofilm formation decreased as the chlorine concentration (0.5–10 mg/L), the washing interval (1–4 times/d), or the washing time (1–30 min) increased. For the sample solutions used in the study, 10 mg/L chlorine concentration with 2 times/d interval, and 5 min washing time was required for biofilm control. The optimum chlorine washing conditions obtained from soaking experiments proved to be applicable also in controlling biofilm formation in continuous flow experiments. Moreover, chlorine washing employed in controlling biofilm with suspended particles resulted in lower amounts of organic (0.03 mg/cm2) and inorganic (0.14 mg/cm2) deposits on the membrane than that for sample water without chlorine washing (0.14 mg/cm2 and 0.33 mg/cm2, respectively). The amount of biofilm formed was 79% controlled by continuous washing with 10 mg/L of free chlorine concentration, and the inorganic accumulation amount decreased by 58% to levels similar to that of pure water with kaolin (0.17 mg/cm2) as feed water. These results confirmed the acceleration of particle accumulation due to biofilm formation, and that the inhibition of biofilm growth can almost completely reduce further particle accumulation. In addition, effective hypochlorite washing condition which can control both biofilm formation and particle accumulation could be achieved.

Keywords: reverse osmosis, washing condition optimization, hypochlorous acid, biofouling control

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4 Challenges for Competency-Based Learning Design in Primary School Mathematics in Mozambique

Authors: Satoshi Kusaka

Abstract:

The term ‘competency’ is attracting considerable scholarly attention worldwide with the advance of globalization in the 21st century and with the arrival of a knowledge-based society. In the current world environment, familiarity with varied disciplines is regarded to be vital for personal success. The idea of a competency-based educational system was mooted by the ‘Definition and Selection of Competencies (DeSeCo)’ project that was conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Further, attention to this topic is not limited to developed countries; it can also be observed in developing countries. For instance, the importance of a competency-based curriculum was mentioned in the ‘2013 Harmonized Curriculum Framework for the East African Community’, which recommends key competencies that should be developed in primary schools. The introduction of such curricula and the reviews of programs are actively being executed, primarily in the East African Community but also in neighboring nations. Taking Mozambique as a case in point, the present paper examines the conception of ‘competency’ as a target of frontline education in developing countries. It also aims to discover the manner in which the syllabus, textbooks and lessons, among other things, in primary-level math education are developed and to determine the challenges faced in the process. This study employs the perspective of competency-based education design to analyze how the term ‘competency’ is defined in the primary-level math syllabus, how it is reflected in the textbooks, and how the lessons are actually developed. ‘Practical competency’ is mentioned in the syllabus, and the description of the term lays emphasis on learners' ability to interactively apply socio-cultural and technical tools, which is one of the key competencies that are advocated in OECD's ‘Definition and Selection of Competencies’ project. However, most of the content of the textbooks pertains to ‘basic academic ability’, and in actual classroom practice, teachers often impart lessons straight from the textbooks. It is clear that the aptitude of teachers and their classroom routines are greatly dependent on the cultivation of their own ‘practical competency’ as it is defined in the syllabus. In other words, there is great divergence between the ‘syllabus’, which is the intended curriculum, and the content of the ‘textbooks’. In fact, the material in the textbooks should serve as the bridge between the syllabus, which forms the guideline, and the lessons, which represent the ‘implemented curriculum’. Moreover, the results obtained from this investigation reveal that the problem can only be resolved through the cultivation of ‘practical competency’ in teachers, which is currently not sufficient.

Keywords: competency, curriculum, mathematics education, Mozambique

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3 Organic Permeation Properties of Hydrophobic Silica Membranes with Different Functional Groups

Authors: Sadao Araki, Daisuke Gondo, Satoshi Imasaka, Hideki Yamamoto

Abstract:

The separation of organic compounds from aqueous solutions is a key technology for recycling valuable organic compounds and for the treatment of wastewater. The wastewater from chemical plants often contains organic compounds such as ethyl acetate (EA), methylethyl ketone (MEK) and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). In this study, we prepared hydrophobic silica membranes by a sol-gel method. We used phenyltrimethoxysilane (PhTMS), ethyltrimethoxysilan (ETMS), Propyltrimethoxysilane (PrTMS), N-butyltrimethoxysilane (BTMS), N-Hexyltrimethoxysilane (HTMS) as silica sources to introduce each functional groups on the membrane surface. Cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) was used as a molecular template to create suitable pore that enable the permeation of organic compounds. These membranes with five different functional groups were characterized by SEM, FT-IR, and permporometry. Thicknesses and pore diameters of silica layer for all membrane were about 1.0 μm and about 1 nm, respectively. In other words, functional groups had an insignificant effect on the membrane thicknesses and the formation of the pore by CTAB. We confirmed the effect of functional groups on the flux and separation factor for ethyl acetate (EA), methyl ethyl ketone, acetone and 1-butanol (1-BtOH) /water mixtures. All membranes showed a high flux for ethyl acetate compared with other compounds. In particular, the hydrophobic silica membrane prepared by using BTMS showed 0.75 kg m-2 h-1 of flux for EA. For all membranes, the fluxes of organic compounds showed the large values in the order corresponding to EA > MEK > acetone > 1-BtOH. On the other hand, carbon chain length of functional groups among ETMS, PrTMS, BTMS, PrTMS and HTMS did not have a major effect on the organic flux. Although we confirmed the relationship between organic fluxes and organic molecular diameters or fugacity of organic compounds, these factors had a low correlation with organic fluxes. It is considered that these factors affect the diffusivity. Generally, permeation through membranes is based on the diffusivity and solubility. Therefore, it is deemed that organic fluxes through these hydrophobic membranes are strongly influenced by solubility. We tried to estimate the organic fluxes by Hansen solubility parameter (HSP). HSP, which is based on the cohesion energy per molar volume and is composed of dispersion forces (δd), intermolecular dipole interactions (δp), and hydrogen-bonding interactions (δh), has recently attracted attention as a means for evaluating the resolution and aggregation behavior. Evaluation of solubility for two substances can be represented by using the Ra [(MPa)1/2] value, meaning the distance of HSPs for both of substances. A smaller Ra value means a higher solubility for each substance. On the other hand, it can be estimated that the substances with large Ra value show low solubility. We established the correlation equation, which was based on Ra, of organic flux at low concentrations of organic compounds and at 295-325 K.

Keywords: hydrophobic, membrane, Hansen solubility parameter, functional group

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2 An Empirical Analysis of Farmers Field Schools and Effect on Tomato Productivity in District Malakand Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan

Authors: Mahmood Iqbal, Khalid Nawab, Tachibana Satoshi

Abstract:

Farmer Field School (FFS) is constantly aims to assist farmers to determine and learn about field ecology and integrated crop management. The study was conducted to examine the change in productivity of tomato crop in the study area; to determine increase in per acre yield of the crop, and find out reduction in per acre input cost. A study of tomato crop was conducted in ten villages namely Jabban, Bijligar Colony, Palonow, Heroshah, Zara Maira, Deghar Ghar, Sidra Jour, Anar Thangi, Miangano Korona and Wartair of district Malakand. From each village 15 respondents were selected randomly on the basis of identical allocation making sample size of 150 respondents. The research was based on primary as well as secondary data. Primary data was collected from farmers while secondary data were taken from Agriculture Extension Department Dargai, District Malakand. Interview schedule was planned and each farmer was interviewed personally. The study was based on comparison of cost, yield and income of tomato before and after FFS. Paired t-test and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analysis; outcome of the study show that integrated pest management project has brought a positive change in the attitude of farmers of the project area through FFS approach. In district Malakand 66.0% of the respondents were between the age group of 31-50 years, 11.3% of respondents had primary level of education, 12.7% of middle level, 28.7% metric level, 3.3% of intermediate level and 2.0% of graduate level of education while 42.0% of respondents were illiterate and have no education. Average land holding size of farmers was 6.47 acres, cost of seed, crop protection from insect pest and crop protection from diseases was reduced by Rs. 210.67, Rs. 2584.43 and Rs. 3044.16 respectively, the cost of fertilizers and cost of farm yard manure was increased by Rs.1548.87 and Rs. 1151.40 respectively while tomato yield was increased by 1585.03 kg/acre from 7663.87 to 9248.90 kg/acre. The role of FFS initiate by integrated pest management project through department of agriculture extension for the development of agriculture was worth mentioning. It has brought enhancement in crop yield of tomato and their income through FFS approach. On the basis of results of the research studies, integrated pest management project should spread their developmental activities for maximum participation of the complete rural masses through participatory FFS approach.

Keywords: agriculture, Farmers field schools, extension education, tomato

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1 Sugar-Induced Stabilization Effect of Protein Structure

Authors: Mitsuhiro Hirai, Satoshi Ajito, Nobutaka Shimizu, Noriyuki Igarashi, Hiroki Iwase, Shinichi Takata

Abstract:

Sugars and polyols are known to be bioprotectants preventing such as protein denaturation and enzyme deactivation and widely used as a nontoxic additive in various industrial and medical products. The mechanism of their protective actions has been explained by specific bindings between biological components and additives, changes in solvent viscosities, and surface tension and free energy changes upon transfer of those components into additive solutions. On the other hand, some organisms having tolerances against extreme environment produce stress proteins and/or accumulate sugars in cells, which is called cryptobiosis. In particular, trehalose has been drawing attention relevant to cryptobiosis under external stress such as high or low temperature, drying, osmotic pressure, and so on. The function of cryptobiosis by trehalose has been explained relevant to the restriction of the intra-and/or-inter-molecular movement by vitrification or from the replacement of water molecule by trehalose. Previous results suggest that the structure and interaction between sugar and water are a key determinant for understanding cryptobiosis. Recently, we have shown direct evidence that the protein hydration (solvation) and structural stability against chemical and thermal denaturation significantly depend on sugar species and glycerol. Sugar and glycerol molecules tend to be preferentially or weakly excluded from the protein surface and preserved the native protein hydration shell. Due to the protective action of the protein hydration shell by those molecules, the protein structure is stabilized against chemical (guanidinium chloride) and thermal denaturation. The protective action depends on sugar species. To understand the above trend and difference in detail, it is essentially important to clarify the characteristics of solutions containing those additives. In this study, by using wide-angle X-ray scattering technique covering a wide spatial region (~3-120 Å), we have clarified structures of sugar solutions with the concentration from 5% w/w to 65% w/w. The sugars measured in the present study were monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, mannose) and disaccharides (sucrose, trehalose, maltose). Due to observed scattering data with a wide spatial resolution, we have succeeded in obtaining information on the internal structure of individual sugar molecules and on the correlation between them. Every sugar gradually shortened the average inter-molecular distance as the concentration increased. The inter-molecular interaction between sugar molecules was essentially showed an exclusive tendency for every sugar, which appeared as the presence of a repulsive correlation hole. This trend was more weakly seen for trehalose compared to other sugars. The intermolecular distance and spread of individual molecule clearly showed the dependence of sugar species. We will discuss the relation between the characteristic of sugar solution and its protective action of biological materials.

Keywords: hydration, protein, sugar, X-ray scattering

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