Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: Shunsuke Saito

25 A Propose of Personnel Assessment Method Including a Two-Way Assessment for Evaluating Evaluators and Employees

Authors: Shunsuke Saito, Kazuho Yoshimoto, Shunichi Ohmori, Sirawadee Arunyanart


In this paper, we suggest a mechanism of assessment that rater and Ratee (or employees) to convince. There are many problems exist in the personnel assessment. In particular, we were focusing on the three. (1) Raters are not sufficiently recognized assessment point. (2) Ratee are not convinced by the mechanism of assessment. (3) Raters (or Evaluators) and ratees have empathy. We suggest 1: Setting of "understanding of the assessment points." 2: Setting of "relative assessment ability." 3: Proposal of two-way assessment mechanism to solve these problems. As a prerequisite, it is assumed that there are multiple raters. This is because has been a growing importance of multi-faceted assessment. In this model, it determines the weight of each assessment point evaluators by the degree of understanding and assessment ability of raters and ratee. We used the ANP (Analytic Network Process) is a theory that an extension of the decision-making technique AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process). ANP can be to address the problem of forming a network and assessment of Two-Way is possible. We apply this technique personnel assessment, the weights of rater of each point can be reasonably determined. We suggest absolute assessment for Two-Way assessment by ANP. We have verified that the consent of the two approaches is higher than conventional mechanism. Also, human resources consultant we got a comment about the application of the practice.

Keywords: personnel evaluation, pairwise comparison, analytic network process (ANP), two-ways

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24 Solving 94-Bit ECDLP with 70 Computers in Parallel

Authors: Shunsuke Miyoshi, Yasuyuki Nogami, Takuya Kusaka, Nariyoshi Yamai


Elliptic curve discrete logarithm problem (ECDLP) is one of problems on which the security of pairing-based cryptography is based. This paper considers Pollard's rho method to evaluate the security of ECDLP on Barreto-Naehrig (BN) curve that is an efficient pairing-friendly curve. Some techniques are proposed to make the rho method efficient. Especially, the group structure on BN curve, distinguished point method, and Montgomery trick are well-known techniques. This paper applies these techniques and shows its optimization. According to the experimental results for which a large-scale parallel system with MySQL is applied, 94-bit ECDLP was solved about 28 hours by parallelizing 71 computers.

Keywords: Pollard's rho method, BN curve, Montgomery multiplication

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23 Evaluation Using a Bidirectional Microphone as a Pressure Pulse Wave Meter

Authors: Shunsuke Fujiwara, Takashi Kaburagi, Kazuyuki Kobayashi, Kajiro Watanabe, Yosuke Kurihara


This paper describes a novel sensor device, a pressure pulse wave meter, which uses a bidirectional condenser microphone. The microphone work as a microphone as well as a sensor with high gain over a wide frequency range; they are also highly reliable and economical. Currently aging is becoming a serious social issue in Japan causing increased medical expenses in the country. Hence, it is important for elderly citizens to check health condition at home, and to care the health conditions through daily monitoring. Given this circumstances, we developed a novel pressure pulse wave meter based on a bidirectional condenser microphone. This novel pressure pulse wave meter device is used as a measuring instrument of health conditions.

Keywords: bidirectional microphone, pressure pulse wave meter, health condition, novel sensor device

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22 Disturbance Observer-Based Predictive Functional Critical Control of a Table Drive System

Authors: Toshiyuki Satoh, Hiroki Hara, Naoki Saito, Jun-ya Nagase, Norihiko Saga


This paper addresses a control system design for a table drive system based on the disturbance observer (DOB)-based predictive functional critical control (PFCC). To empower the previously developed DOB-based PFC to handle constraints on controlled outputs, we propose to take a critical control approach. To this end, we derive the transfer function representation of the PFC controller, and yield a detailed design procedure. The effectiveness of the proposed method is confirmed through an experimental evaluation.

Keywords: critical control, disturbance observer, mechatronics, motion control, predictive functional control, table drive systems

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21 Approach Based on Fuzzy C-Means for Band Selection in Hyperspectral Images

Authors: Diego Saqui, José H. Saito, José R. Campos, Lúcio A. de C. Jorge


Hyperspectral images and remote sensing are important for many applications. A problem in the use of these images is the high volume of data to be processed, stored and transferred. Dimensionality reduction techniques can be used to reduce the volume of data. In this paper, an approach to band selection based on clustering algorithms is presented. This approach allows to reduce the volume of data. The proposed structure is based on Fuzzy C-Means (or K-Means) and NWHFC algorithms. New attributes in relation to other studies in the literature, such as kurtosis and low correlation, are also considered. A comparison of the results of the approach using the Fuzzy C-Means and K-Means with different attributes is performed. The use of both algorithms show similar good results but, particularly when used attributes variance and kurtosis in the clustering process, however applicable in hyperspectral images.

Keywords: band selection, fuzzy c-means, k-means, hyperspectral image

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20 Forecasting the Influences of Information and Communication Technology on the Structural Changes of Japanese Industrial Sectors: A Study Using Statistical Analysis

Authors: Ubaidillah Zuhdi, Shunsuke Mori, Kazuhisa Kamegai


The purpose of this study is to forecast the influences of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on the structural changes of Japanese economies based on Leontief Input-Output (IO) coefficients. This study establishes a statistical analysis to predict the future interrelationships among industries. We employ the Constrained Multivariate Regression (CMR) model to analyze the historical changes of input-output coefficients. Statistical significance of the model is then tested by Likelihood Ratio Test (LRT). In our model, ICT is represented by two explanatory variables, i.e. computers (including main parts and accessories) and telecommunications equipment. A previous study, which analyzed the influences of these variables on the structural changes of Japanese industrial sectors from 1985-2005, concluded that these variables had significant influences on the changes in the business circumstances of Japanese commerce, business services and office supplies, and personal services sectors. The projected future Japanese economic structure based on the above forecast generates the differentiated direct and indirect outcomes of ICT penetration.

Keywords: forecast, ICT, industrial structural changes, statistical analysis

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19 Development of Underactuated Robot Hand Using Cross Section Deformation Spring

Authors: Naoki Saito, Daisuke Kon, Toshiyuki Sato


This paper describes an underactuated robot hand operated by low-power actuators. It can grasp objects of various shapes using easy operations. This hand is suitable for use as a lightweight prosthetic hand that can grasp various objects using few input channels. To realize operations using a low-power actuator, a cross section deformation spring is proposed. The design procedure of the underactuated robot finger is proposed to realize an adaptive grasping movement. The validity of this mechanism and design procedure are confirmed through an object grasping experiment. Results demonstrate the effectiveness of a cross section deformation spring in reducing the actuator power. Moreover, adaptive grasping movement is realized by an easy operation.

Keywords: robot hand, underactuated mechanism, cross-section deformation spring, prosthetic hand

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18 Reproducibility of Dopamine Transporter Density Measured with I-123-N-ω-Fluoropropyl-2β-Carbomethoxy-3β-(4-Iodophenyl)Nortropane SPECT in Phantom Studies and Parkinson’s Disease Patients

Authors: Yasuyuki Takahashi, Genta Hoshi, Kyoko Saito


Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the reproducibility of I-123-N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4- iodophenyl) nortropane (I-123 FP-CIT) SPECT by using specific binding ratio (SBR) in phantom studies and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients. Methods: We made striatum phantom originally and confirmed reproducibility. The phantom studies changed head position and accumulation of FP-CIT, each. And image processing confirms influence on SBR by 30 cases. 30 PD received a SPECT for 3 hours post injection of I-123 FP-CIT 167MBq. Results: SBR decreased in rotatory direction by the patient position by the phantom studies. And, SBR improved the influence after the attenuation and the scatter correction in the cases (y=0.99x+0.57 r2=0.83). However, Stage II recognized dispersion in SBR by low accumulation. Conclusion: Than the phantom studies that assumed the normal cases, the SPECT image after the attenuation and scatter correction had better reproducibility.

Keywords: 123I-FP-CIT, specific binding ratio, Parkinson’s disease

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17 Increasing the Apparent Time Resolution of Tc-99m Diethylenetriamine Pentaacetic Acid Galactosyl Human Serum Albumin Dynamic SPECT by Use of an 180-Degree Interpolation Method

Authors: Yasuyuki Takahashi, Maya Yamashita, Kyoko Saito


In general, dynamic SPECT data acquisition needs a few minutes for one rotation. Thus, the time-activity curve (TAC) derived from the dynamic SPECT is relatively coarse. In order to effectively shorten the interval, between data points, we adopted a 180-degree interpolation method. This method is already used for reconstruction of the X-ray CT data. In this study, we applied this 180-degree interpolation method to SPECT and investigated its effectiveness.To briefly describe the 180-degree interpolation method: the 180-degree data in the second half of one rotation are combined with the 180-degree data in the first half of the next rotation to generate a 360-degree data set appropriate for the time halfway between the first and second rotations. In both a phantom and a patient study, the data points from the interpolated images fell in good agreement with the data points tracking the accumulation of 99mTc activity over time for appropriate region of interest. We conclude that data derived from interpolated images improves the apparent time resolution of dynamic SPECT.

Keywords: dynamic SPECT, time resolution, 180-degree interpolation method, 99mTc-GSA.

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16 Development and Evaluation of Virtual Basketball Game Using Motion Capture Technology

Authors: Shunsuke Aoki, Taku Ri, Tatsuya Yamazaki


These days, along with the development of e-sports, video games as a competitive sport is attracting attention. But, in many cases, action in the screen does not match the real motion of operation. Inclusiveness of player motion is needed to increase reality and excitement for sports games. Therefore, in this study, the authors propose a method to recognize player motion by using the motion capture technology and develop a virtual basketball game. The virtual basketball game consists of a screen with nine targets, players, depth sensors, and no ball. The players pretend a two-handed basketball shot without a ball aiming at one of the nine targets on the screen. Time-series data of three-dimensional coordinates of player joints are captured by the depth sensor. 20 joints data are measured for each player to estimate the shooting motion in real-time. The trajectory of the thrown virtual ball is calculated based on the time-series data and hitting on the target is judged as success or failure. The virtual basketball game can be played by 2 to 4 players as a competitive game among the players. The developed game was exhibited to the public for evaluation on the authors' university open campus days. 339 visitors participated in the exhibition and enjoyed the virtual basketball game over the two days. A questionnaire survey on the developed game was conducted for the visitors who experienced the game. As a result of the survey, about 97.3% of the players found the game interesting regardless of whether they had experienced actual basketball before or not. In addition, it is found that women are easy to comfort for shooting motion. The virtual game with motion capture technology has the potential to become a universal entertainment between e-sports and actual sports.

Keywords: basketball, motion capture, questionnaire survey, video ga

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15 First-Principles Calculations of Hydrogen Adsorbed in Multi-Layer Graphene

Authors: Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Mineo Saito


Graphene-based materials have attracted much attention because they are candidates for post silicon materials. Since controlling of impurities is necessary to achieve nano device, we study hydrogen impurity in multi-layer graphene. We perform local spin Density approximation (LSDA) in which the plane wave basis set and pseudopotential are used. Previously hydrogen monomer and dimer in graphene is well theoretically studied. However, hydrogen on multilayer graphene is still not clear. By using first-principles electronic structure calculations based on the LSDA within the density functional theory method, we studied hydrogen monomers and dimers in two-layer graphene. We found that the monomers are spin-polarized and have magnetic moment 1 µB. We also found that most stable dimer is much more stable than monomer. In the most stable structures of the dimers in two-layer graphene, the two hydrogen atoms are bonded to the host carbon atoms which are nearest-neighbors. In this case two hydrogen atoms are located on the opposite sides. Whereas, when the two hydrogen atoms are bonded to the same sublattice of the host materials, magnetic moments of 2 µB appear in two-layer graphene. We found that when the two hydrogen atoms are bonded to third-nearest-neighbor carbon atoms, the electronic structure is nonmagnetic. We also studied hydrogen monomers and dimers in three-layer graphene. The result is same as that of two-layer graphene. These results are very important in the field of carbon nanomaterials as it is experimentally difficult to show the magnetic state of those materials.

Keywords: first-principles calculations, LSDA, multi-layer gra-phene, nanomaterials

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14 Bereavement Risk Assessment of Family Caregivers of Patients with Cancer: Relationship between Bereavement Risk and Post-Loss Psychological Distress

Authors: Tomohiro Uchida, Noriaki Satake, Toshimichi Nakaho, Akira Inoue, Hidemitsu Saito


In this study, we assessed the bereavement risk of family caregivers of patients with cancer. In the palliative care unit of Tohoku University Hospital, we conducted a family psychoeducation session to support the family caregivers of patients with cancer. A total of 50 participants (8 males and 42 females; mean age = 62.98 years, SD = 11.10) were assessed after the session for bereavement risk using the Japanese version of the Bereavement Risk Assessment Tool (BRAT-J). According to the BRAT-J scores, eight participants were considered to be having no known risk (Level 1), seventeen had minimal risk (Level 2), twenty had a low risk (Level 3), four had a moderate risk (Level 4), and one had a high risk (Level 5). Of these participants, seven participants had completed the follow-up postal survey that assessed their psychological distress (the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale: K6) to compare the bereavement risk. According to the K6 scores, three-fourth of the individuals, who were considered to be at Level 3 on the BRAT-J, scored higher than the cutoff point (>10) for the detection of depressive disorder. On the other hand, one-third of the individuals, who were considered to be at Level 2 on the BRAT-J, scored higher than the cutoff point. Therefore, it appears that the BRAT-J can predict the likelihood of difficulties or complications in bereaved family caregivers. This research was approved by the Ethics Committee of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and Tohoku University Hospital.

Keywords: palliative care, family caregivers, bereavement risk, BRAT, post-loss psychological distress

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13 High Aspect Ratio Sio2 Capillary Based On Silicon Etching and Thermal Oxidation Process for Optical Modulator

Authors: Nguyen Van Toan, Suguru Sangu, Tetsuro Saito, Naoki Inomata, Takahito Ono


This paper presents the design and fabrication of an optical window for an optical modulator toward image sensing applications. An optical window consists of micrometer-order SiO2 capillaries (porous solid) that can modulate transmission light intensity by moving the liquid in and out of porous solid. A high optical transmittance of the optical window can be achieved due to refractive index matching when the liquid is penetrated into the porous solid. Otherwise, its light transmittance is lower because of light reflection and scattering by air holes and capillary walls. Silicon capillaries fabricated by deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) process are completely oxidized to form the SiO2 capillaries. Therefore, high aspect ratio SiO2 capillaries can be achieved based on silicon capillaries formed by DRIE technique. Large compressive stress of the oxide causes bending of the capillary structure, which is reduced by optimizing the design of device structure. The large stress of the optical window can be released via thin supporting beams. A 7.2 mm x 9.6 mm optical window area toward a fully integrated with the image sensor format is successfully fabricated and its optical transmittance is evaluated with and without inserting liquids (ethanol and matching oil). The achieved modulation range is approximately 20% to 35% with and without liquid penetration in visible region (wavelength range from 450 nm to 650 nm).

Keywords: thermal oxidation process, SiO2 capillaries, optical window, light transmittance, image sensor, liquid penetration

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12 Angiogenic, Cytoprotective, and Immunosuppressive Properties of Human Amnion and Chorion-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Authors: Kenichi Yamahara, Makiko Ohshima, Shunsuke Ohnishi, Hidetoshi Tsuda, Akihiko Taguchi, Toshihiro Soma, Hiroyasu Ogawa, Jun Yoshimatsu, Tomoaki Ikeda


We have previously reported the therapeutic potential of rat fetal membrane(FM)-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) using various rat models including hindlimb ischemia, autoimmune myocarditis, glomerulonephritis, renal ischemia-reperfusion injury, and myocardial infarction. In this study, 1) we isolated and characterized MSCs from human amnion and chorion; 2) we examined their differences in the expression profile of growth factors and cytokines; and 3) we investigated the therapeutic potential and difference of these MSCs using murine hindlimb ischemia and acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) models. Isolated MSCs from both amnion and chorion layers of FM showed similar morphological appearance, multipotency, and cell-surface antigen expression. Conditioned media obtained from amnion- and chorion-derived MSCs inhibited cell death caused by serum starvation or hypoxia in endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. Amnion and chorion MSCs secreted significant amounts of angiogenic factors including HGF, IGF-1, VEGF, and bFGF, although differences in the cellular expression profile of these soluble factors were observed. Transplantation of human amnion or chorion MSCs significantly increased blood flow and capillary density in a murine hindlimb ischemia model. In addition, compared to human chorion MSCs, human amnion MSCs markedly reduced T-lymphocyte proliferation with the enhanced secretion of PGE2, and improved the pathological situation of a mouse model of GVHD disease. Our results highlight that human amnionand chorion-derived MSCs, which showed differences in their soluble factor secretion and angiogenic/immuno-suppressive function, could be ideal cell sources for regenerative medicine.

Keywords: amnion, chorion, fetal membrane, mesenchymal stem cells

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11 High Temperature Tolerance of Chironomus Sulfurosus and Its Molecular Mechanisms

Authors: Tettey Afi Pamela, Sotaro Fujii, Hidetoshi Saito, Kawaii Koichiro


Introduction: Organisms employ adaptive mechanisms when faced with any stressor or risk of being wiped out. This has made it possible for them to survive in harsh environmental conditions such as increasing temperature, low pH, and anoxia. Some of the mechanisms they utilize include the expression of heat shock proteins, synthesis of cryoprotectants, and anhydrobiosis. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) have been widely studied to determine their involvement in stress tolerance among various organism, of which chironomid species have been no exception. We examined the survival and expression of genes encoding five (5) heat shock proteins (HSP70, HSP67, HSP60, HSP27, and HSP23) from Chironomus sulfurosus larvae reared from 1st instar at 25°C, 30°C, 35°C, and 40°C. Results: The highest survival rate was recorded at 30°C, followed by 25°C, then 35°C. Only a small percentage of C. sulfurosus survived at 40°C (14.5%). With regards to HSPs expression, some HSPs responded to an increase in high temperature. The relative expression levels were lowest at 30°C for HSP70, HSP60, HSP27, and HSP23. At 25°C and 40°C, HSP70, HSP67, HSP60, HSP27, and HSP23 had the highest expression. At 35°C, all had the lowest expression. Discussion: The expression of heat shock proteins varies from one species to another. We designated the genes HSP 70, HSP 67, HSP 60, HSP 27, and HSP 23 genes based on transcriptome analysis of C. sulfurosus. Our study can be termed as a long-heat shock study as C. sulfurosus was reared from the first instar to the fourth instar, and this might have led to a continuous induction of HSPs at 25°C. 40°C had the lowest survival but highest HSPs expression as C. sulfurosus larvae had to utilize HSPs for sustenance. These results and future high-throughput studies at both the transcriptome and proteome level will improve the information needed to predict the future geographic distribution of these species within the context of global warming.

Keywords: chironomid, heat shock proteins, high temperature, heat shock protein expression

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10 Regenerative Therapeutic Effect of Statin Nanoparticle-Loaded Adipose-Derived Stem Cells on Myocardial Infarction

Authors: Masaaki Ii, Takashi Saito, Yasuhiko Tabata, Shintaro Nemoto


Background: Clinical trials of autologous adipose-derived stem cell (AdSC) therapy for ischemic heart diseases (IHD) are now on-going. We have investigated the hypothesis that combination of AdSCs and statin, an agent with pleiotropic effects, could augment the therapeutic effect on myocardial infarction (MI). Methods and Results: Human AdSC functions with different doses of simvastatin-conjugated nanoparticle (STNP) uptake were evaluated by in vitro assays. STNP promoted the migration activity without changing the proliferation activity, and also up-regulated growth factors. Next, MI was induced by LAD ligation in nude mice, and the mice were assigned in the following groups 3 days after MI: 1) PBS (control), 2) NP-AdSCs (50000 cells), 3) STNP, and 4) STNP-AdSCs (50000 cells). Cardiac functional recovery assessed by echocardiography was improved at 4 weeks after surgery in STNP-AdSC group. Masson’s trichrome-stained sections revealed that LV fibrosis length was reduced, and the number of TUNEL-positive cardiomyocytes was less in STNP-AdSC group. Surprisingly, a number of de novo endogenous Nkx-2.5/GATA4 positive immature cardiomyocytes as well as massive vascular formation were observed in outer layer of infarcted myocardium despite of a few recruited/retained transfused STNP-AdSCs 4 weeks after MI in STNP-AdSC group. Finally, massive myocardial regeneration was observed 8 weeks after MI. Conclusions: Intravenously injected small number of statin nanoparticle-loaded hAdSCs exhibited a potent therapeutic effect inducing endogenous cardiac tissue regeneration.

Keywords: statin, drug delivery system, stem cells, cardiac regeneration

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9 Flood Prevention Strategy for Reserving Quality Ground Water Considering Future Population Growth in Kabul

Authors: Said Moqeem Sadat, Saito Takahiro, Inuzuka Norikazu, Sugiyama Ikuo


Kabul city is the capital of Afghanistan with a population of about 4.0 million in 2009 and 6.5 million in 2025. It is geographically located in a narrow plain valley along the Kabul River and is surrounded by high mountains. Due to its sharp geological condition, the city has been suffering from floods caused by storm water and snow melting water in the rainy season. Meanwhile, potable water resources are becoming a critical issue as the underground water table is decreasing falling rapidly due to domestic usage, industrial and agricultural activities usage especially in the dry season. This paper focuses on flood water management in Kabul including suburban agricultural area considering not only for flood protection but also: 1. To reserve the quality underground water for the future population growth. 2. To irrigate farming area in dry season using storm water ponds in rainy season. 3. To discharge city contaminated flood water to the downstream safely using existing channels/new pipes. Cost and benefit is considered in this study to find out a suitable flood protection method both in rural area and city center from a view point of 1 to 3 mentioned above. In this analysis, cost mainly consists of lost opportunity to develop lands due to flood ponds in addition to construction and maintenance one including connecting channels for water collecting/discharging. Benefit mainly consists of damage reduction of flood loss due to counter measures (this is corresponding cost) in addition to the contribution to agricultural crops. As far as reservation of the ground water for the future city growth is concerned, future demand and supply are compared in case that the pumping amount is limited by this irrigation system.

Keywords: cost-benefit, hydrological modeling, water management, water quality

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8 Shaped Crystal Growth of Fe-Ga and Fe-Al Alloy Plates by the Micro Pulling down Method

Authors: Kei Kamada, Rikito Murakami, Masahiko Ito, Mototaka Arakawa, Yasuhiro Shoji, Toshiyuki Ueno, Masao Yoshino, Akihiro Yamaji, Shunsuke Kurosawa, Yuui Yokota, Yuji Ohashi, Akira Yoshikawa


Techniques of energy harvesting y have been widely developed in recent years, due to high demand on the power supply for ‘Internet of things’ devices such as wireless sensor nodes. In these applications, conversion technique of mechanical vibration energy into electrical energy using magnetostrictive materials n have been brought to attention. Among the magnetostrictive materials, Fe-Ga and Fe-Al alloys are attractive materials due to the figure of merits such price, mechanical strength, high magnetostrictive constant. Up to now, bulk crystals of these alloys are produced by the Bridgman–Stockbarger method or the Czochralski method. Using these method big bulk crystal up to 2~3 inch diameter can be grown. However, non-uniformity of chemical composition along to the crystal growth direction cannot be avoid, which results in non-uniformity of magnetostriction constant and reduction of the production yield. The micro-pulling down (μ-PD) method has been developed as a shaped crystal growth technique. Our group have reported shaped crystal growth of oxide, fluoride single crystals with different shape such rod, plate tube, thin fiber, etc. Advantages of this method is low segregation due to high growth rate and small diffusion of melt at the solid-liquid interface, and small kerf loss due to near net shape crystal. In this presentation, we report the shaped long plate crystal growth of Fe-Ga and Fe-Al alloys using the μ-PD method. Alloy crystals were grown by the μ-PD method using calcium oxide crucible and induction heating system under the nitrogen atmosphere. The bottom hole of crucibles was 5 x 1mm² size. A <100> oriented iron-based alloy was used as a seed crystal. 5 x 1 x 320 mm³ alloy crystal plates were successfully grown. The results of crystal growth, chemical composition analysis, magnetostrictive properties and a prototype vibration energy harvester are reported. Furthermore, continuous crystal growth using powder supply system will be reported to minimize the chemical composition non-uniformity along the growth direction.

Keywords: crystal growth, micro-pulling-down method, Fe-Ga, Fe-Al

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7 Preliminary Evaluation of Maximum Intensity Projection SPECT Imaging for Whole Body Tc-99m Hydroxymethylene Diphosphonate Bone Scanning

Authors: Yasuyuki Takahashi, Hirotaka Shimada, Kyoko Saito


Bone scintigraphy is widely used as a screening tool for bone metastases. However, the 180 to 240 minutes (min) waiting time after the intravenous (i.v.) injection of the tracer is both long and tiresome. To solve this shortcoming, a bone scan with a shorter waiting time is needed. In this study, we applied the Maximum Intensity Projection (MIP) and triple energy window (TEW) scatter correction to a whole body bone SPECT (Merged SPECT) and investigated shortening the waiting time. Methods: In a preliminary phantom study, hot gels of 99mTc-HMDP were inserted into sets of rods with diameters ranging from 4 to 19 mm. Each rod set covered a sector of a cylindrical phantom. The activity concentration of all rods was 2.5 times that of the background in the cylindrical body of the phantom. In the human study, SPECT images were obtained from chest to abdomen at 30 to 180 min after 99mTc- hydroxymethylene diphosphonate (HMDP) injection of healthy volunteers. For both studies, MIP images were reconstructed. Planar whole body images of the patients were also obtained. These were acquired at 200 min. The image quality of the SPECT and the planar images was compared. Additionally, 36 patients with breast cancer were scanned in the same way. The delectability of uptake regions (metastases) was compared visually. Results: In the phantom study, a 4 mm size hot gel was difficult to depict on the conventional SPECT, but MIP images could recognize it clearly. For both the healthy volunteers and the clinical patients, the accumulation of 99mTc-HMDP in the SPECT was good as early as 90 min. All findings of both image sets were in agreement. Conclusion: In phantoms, images from MIP with TEW scatter correction could detect all rods down to those with a diameter of 4 mm. In patients, MIP reconstruction with TEW scatter correction could improve the detectability of hot lesions. In addition, the time between injection and imaging could be shortened from that conventionally used for whole body scans.

Keywords: merged SPECT, MIP, TEW scatter correction, 99mTc-HMDP

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6 Integrated Approach to Reduce Intimate Partner Violence and Improve Mental Health among Pregnant Women: Mixed-Method Study from Nepal

Authors: Diksha Sapkota, Kathleen Baird, Amornrat Saito, Debra Anderson


Background: Violence during pregnancy is global public health problem incurring huge amount of social, economic and human costs. It is of particular concern as it affects health of mother, neonates and also disrupt family functioning. Mental illness is one of its commonest consequences affecting both mother and baby and likely to be chronic if left unattended. Past decade has seen advances in knowledge about different forms of violence, its health impacts and intervention/s helping to confront the violence. However, limited range and lack of consistency in measurable outcomes undermine overall effect of interventions, and available evidence are largely slanted towards high-income countries. Despite recognition of integrating screening and counselling for abused pregnant women in health settings, there is a dearth of evidence on its effectiveness from developing countries limiting its applicability and feasibility. This study intends to summarise the high-quality evidence on intimate partner violence interventions in reducing violence and improving mental health and implement the promising intervention in our context. Methods: Quantitative systematic review will be done using PRISMA statement and based on its finding; randomised controlled intervention will be carried out. The study will be conducted among women attending ANC clinic of Dhulikhel Hospital, Nepal. Being the pilot study, samples just adequate to draw the inferences i.e. not less than 30 in each arm will be taken. Phenomological approach will be used to explore the strengths and weaknesses of tested intervention and recommendations for better planning in future. Conclusion: This study intends to provide concrete evidence on what works best in our context and will assist policymakers, programme planners, donors in informed decision making.

Keywords: intimate partner violence/prevention and control, mental health, Nepal, pregnant

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5 Mapping and Characterizing the Jefoure Cultural Landscape Which Provides Multiple Ecosystem Services to the Gurage People in Ethiopia

Authors: M. Achemo, O. Saito


Jefoure land use system is one of the traditional landscape human settlement patterns, and it is a cultural design and peculiar art of the people of Gurage in Ethiopia via which houses and trees flank roads left and right. Assessment of the multiple benefits of the traditional road that benefit society and development could enhance the understanding of the land use planners and decision makers to pay attention while planning and managing the land use system. Recent trend shows that the Jefoure land use is on the threshold of change as a result of flourishing road networks, overgrazing, and agricultural expansion. This study aimed to evaluate the multiple ecosystem services provided by the Jefoure land use system after characterization of the socio-ecological landscape. Information was compiled from existing data sources such as ordnance survey maps, aerial photographs, recent high resolution satellite imageries, designated questionnaires and interviews, and local authority contacts. The result generated scientific data on the characteristics, ecosystem services provision, and drivers of changes. The cultural landscape has novel characteristics and providing multiple ecosystem services to the community for long period of time. It is serving as road for humans, livestock and vehicles, habitat for plant species, regulating local temperature, climate, runoff and infiltration, and place for meeting, conducting religious and spiritual activities, holding social events such as marriage and mourning, playing station for children and court for football and other traditional games. As a result of its aesthetic quality and scenic beauty, it is considered as recreational place for improving mental and physical health. The study draws relevant land use planning and management solution in the improvement of socio-ecological resilience in the Jefoure land use system. The study suggests the landscape needs to be registrar as heritage site for recognizing the wisdom of the community and enhancing the conservation mechanisms.

Keywords: cultural landscape, ecosystem services, Gurage, Jefoure

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4 Maresin Like 1 Treatment: Curbing the Pathogenesis of Behavioral Dysfunction and Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model

Authors: Yan Lu, Song Hong, Janakiraman Udaiyappan, Aarti Nagayach, Quoc-Viet A. Duong, Masao Morita, Shun Saito, Yuichi Kobayashi, Yuhai, Zhao, Hongying Peng, Nicholas B. Pham, Walter J Lukiw, Christopher A. Vuong, Nicolas G. Bazan


Aims: Neurodegeneration and behavior dysfunction occurs in patients with Alzheimer's Disease (AD), and as the disease progresses many patients develop cognitive impairment. 5XFAD mouse model of AD is widely used to study AD pathogenesis and treatment. This study aimed to investigate the effect of maresin like 1 (MaR-L1) treatment in AD pathology using 5XFAD mice. Methods: We tested 12-month-old male 5XFAD mice and wild type control mice treated with MaR-L1 in a battery of behavioral tasks. We performed open field test, beam walking test, clasping test, inverted grid test, acetone test, marble burring test, elevated plus maze test, cross maze test and novel object recognition test. We also studied neuronal loss, amyloid β burden, and inflammation in the brains of 5XFAD mice using immunohistology and Western blotting. Results: MaR-L1 treatment to the 5XFAD mice showed improved cognitive function of 5XFAD mice. MaR-L1 showed decreased anxiety behavior in open field test and marble burring test, increased muscular strength in the beam walking test, clasping test and inverted grid test. Cognitive function was improved in MaR-L1 treated 5XFAD mice in the novel object recognition test. MaR-L1 prevented neuronal loss and aberrant inflammation. Conclusion: Our finding suggests that behavioral abnormalities were normalized by the administration of MaR-L1 and the neuroprotective role of MaR-L1 in the AD. It also indicates that MaR-L1 treatment is able to prevent and or ameliorate neuronal loss and aberrant inflammation. Further experiments to validate the results are warranted using other AD models in the future.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, motor and cognitive behavior, 5XFAD mice, Maresin Like 1, microglial cell, astrocyte, neurodegeneration, inflammation, resolution of inflammation

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3 Spectrophotometric Detection of Histidine Using Enzyme Reaction and Examination of Reaction Conditions

Authors: Akimitsu Kugimiya, Kouhei Iwato, Toru Saito, Jiro Kohda, Yasuhisa Nakano, Yu Takano


The measurement of amino acid content is reported to be useful for the diagnosis of several types of diseases, including lung cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes. The conventional detection methods for amino acid are high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), but they have several drawbacks as the equipment is cumbersome and the techniques are costly in terms of time and costs. In contrast, biosensors and biosensing methods provide more rapid and facile detection strategies that use simple equipment. The authors have reported a novel approach for the detection of each amino acid that involved the use of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aaRS) as a molecular recognition element because aaRS is expected to a selective binding ability for corresponding amino acid. The consecutive enzymatic reactions used in this study are as follows: aaRS binds to its cognate amino acid and releases inorganic pyrophosphate. Hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) was produced by the enzyme reactions of inorganic pyrophosphatase and pyruvate oxidase. The Trinder’s reagent was added into the reaction mixture, and the absorbance change at 556 nm was measured using a microplate reader. In this study, an amino acid-sensing method using histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS; histidine-specific aaRS) as molecular recognition element in combination with the Trinder’s reagent spectrophotometric method was developed. The quantitative performance and selectivity of the method were evaluated, and the optimal enzyme reaction and detection conditions were determined. The authors developed a simple and rapid method for detecting histidine with a combination of enzymatic reaction and spectrophotometric detection. In this study, HisRS was used to detect histidine, and the reaction and detection conditions were optimized for quantitation of these amino acids in the ranges of 1–100 µM histidine. The detection limits are sufficient to analyze these amino acids in biological fluids. This work was partly supported by Hiroshima City University Grant for Special Academic Research (General Studies).

Keywords: amino acid, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, biosensing, enzyme reaction

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2 Reducing Flood Risk through Value Capture and Risk Communication: A Case Study in Cocody-Abidjan

Authors: Dedjo Yao Simon, Takahiro Saito, Norikazu Inuzuka, Ikuo Sugiyama


Abidjan city (Republic of Ivory Coast) is an emerging megacity and an urban coastal area where the number of floods reported is on a rapid increase due to climate change and unplanned urbanization. However, comprehensive disaster mitigation plans, policies, and financial resources are still lacking as the population ignores the extent and location of the flood zones; making them unprepared to mitigate the damages. Considering the existing condition, this paper aims to discuss an approach for flood risk reduction in Cocody Commune through value capture strategy and flood risk communication. Using geospatial techniques and hydrological simulation, we start our study by delineating flood zones and depths under several return periods in the study area. Then, through a questionnaire a field survey is conducted in order to validate the flood maps, to estimate the flood risk and to collect some sample of the opinion of residents on how the flood risk information disclosure could affect the values of property located inside and outside the flood zones. The results indicate that the study area is highly vulnerable to 5-year floods and more, which can cause serious harm to human lives and to properties as demonstrated by the extent of the 5-year flood of 2014. Also, it is revealed there is a high probability that the values of property located within flood zones could decline, and the values of surrounding property in the safe area could increase when risk information disclosure commences. However in order to raise public awareness of flood disaster and to prevent future housing promotion in high-risk prospective areas, flood risk information should be disseminated through the establishment of an early warning system. In order to reduce the effect of risk information disclosure and to protect the values of property within the high-risk zone, we propose that property tax increments in flood free zones should be captured and be utilized for infrastructure development and to maintain the early warning system that will benefit people living in flood prone areas. Through this case study, it is shown that combination of value capture strategy and risk communication could be an effective tool to educate citizen and to invest in flood risk reduction in emerging countries.

Keywords: Cocody-Abidjan, flood, geospatial techniques, risk communication, value capture

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1 Reducing Flood Risk in a Megacity: Using Mobile Application and Value Capture for Flood Risk Prevention and Risk Reduction Financing

Authors: Dedjo Yao Simon, Takahiro Saito, Norikazu Inuzuka, Ikuo Sugiyama


The megacity of Abidjan is a coastal urban area where the number of floods reported and the associated impacts are on a rapid increase due to climate change, an uncontrolled urbanization, a rapid population increase, a lack of flood disaster mitigation and citizens’ awareness. The objective of this research is to reduce in the short and long term period, the human and socio-economic impact of the flood. Hydrological simulation is applied on free of charge global spatial data (digital elevation model, satellite-based rainfall estimate, landuse) to identify the flood-prone area and to map the risk of flood. A direct interview to a sample residents is used to validate the simulation results. Then a mobile application (Flood Locator) is prototyped to disseminate the risk information to the citizen. In addition, a value capture strategy is proposed to mobilize financial resource for disaster risk reduction (DRRf) to reduce the impact of the flood. The town of Cocody in Abidjan is selected as a case study area to implement this research. The mapping of the flood risk reveals that population living in the study area is highly vulnerable. For a 5-year flood, more than 60% of the floodplain is affected by a water depth of at least 0.5 meters; and more than 1000 ha with at least 5000 buildings are directly exposed. The risk becomes higher for a 50 and 100-year floods. Also, the interview reveals that the majority of the citizen are not aware of the risk and severity of flooding in their community. This shortage of information is overcome by the Flood Locator and by an urban flood database we prototype for accumulate flood data. Flood Locator App allows the users to view floodplain and depth on a digital map; the user can activate the GPS sensor of the mobile to visualize his location on the map. Some more important additional features allow the citizen user to capture flood events and damage information that they can send remotely to the database. Also, the disclosure of the risk information could result to a decrement (-14%) of the value of properties locate inside floodplain and an increment (+19%) of the value of property in the suburb area. The tax increment due to the higher tax increment in the safer area should be captured to constitute the DRRf. The fund should be allocated to the reduction of flood risk for the benefit of people living in flood-prone areas. The flood prevention system discusses in this research will minimize in the short and long term the direct damages in the risky area due to effective awareness of citizen and the availability of DRRf. It will also contribute to the growth of the urban area in the safer zone and reduce human settlement in the risky area in the long term. Data accumulated in the urban flood database through the warning app will contribute to regenerate Abidjan towards the more resilient city by means of risk avoidable landuse in the master plan.

Keywords: abidjan, database, flood, geospatial techniques, risk communication, smartphone, value capture

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