Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 234

Search results for: Sin Ming Goh

24 Investigation of Elastic Properties of 3D Full Five Directional (f5d) Braided Composite Materials

Authors: Apeng Dong, Shu Li, Wenguo Zhu, Ming Qi, Qiuyi Xu


The primary objective of this paper is to focus on the elasticity properties of three-dimensional full five directional (3Df5d) braided composite. A large body of research has been focused on the 3D four directional (4d) and 3D five directional (5d) structure but not much research on the 3Df5d material. Generally, the influence of the yarn shape on mechanical properties of braided materials tends to be ignored, which makes results too ideal. Besides, with the improvement of the computational ability, people are accustomed to using computers to predict the material parameters, which fails to give an explicit and concise result facilitating production and application. Based on the traditional mechanics, this paper firstly deduced the functional relation between elasticity properties and braiding parameters. In addition, considering the actual shape of yarns after consolidation, the longitudinal modulus is modified and defined practically. Firstly, the analytic model is established based on the certain assumptions for the sake of clarity, this paper assumes that: A: the cross section of axial yarns is square; B: The cross section of braiding yarns is hexagonal; C: the characters of braiding yarns and axial yarns are the same; D: The angle between the structure boundary and the projection of braiding yarns in transverse plane is 45°; E: The filling factor ε of composite yarns is π/4; F: The deformation of unit cell is under constant strain condition. Then, the functional relation between material constants and braiding parameters is systematically deduced aimed at the yarn deformation mode. Finally, considering the actual shape of axial yarns after consolidation, the concept of technology factor is proposed and the longitudinal modulus of the material is modified based on the energy theory. In this paper, the analytic solution of material parameters is given for the first time, which provides a good reference for further research and application for 3Df5d materials. Although the analysis model is established based on certain assumptions, the analysis method is also applicable for other braided structures. Meanwhile, it is crucial that the cross section shape and straightness of axial yarns play dominant roles in the longitudinal elastic property. So in the braiding and solidifying process, the stability of the axial yarns should be guaranteed to increase the technology factor to reduce the dispersion of material parameters. Overall, the elastic properties of this materials are closely related to the braiding parameters and can be strongly designable, and although the longitudinal modulus of the material is greatly influenced by the technology factors, it can be defined to certain extent.

Keywords: analytic solution, braided composites, elasticity properties, technology factor

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23 Transgenerational Impact of Intrauterine Hyperglycaemia to F2 Offspring without Pre-Diabetic Exposure on F1 Male Offspring

Authors: Jun Ren, Zhen-Hua Ming, He-Feng Huang, Jian-Zhong Sheng


Adverse intrauterine stimulus during critical or sensitive periods in early life, may lead to health risk not only in later life span, but also further generations. Intrauterine hyperglycaemia, as a major feature of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), is a typical adverse environment for both F1 fetus and F1 gamete cells development. However, there is scare information of phenotypic difference of metabolic memory between somatic cells and germ cells exposed by intrauterine hyperglycaemia. The direct transmission effect of intrauterine hyperglycaemia per se has not been assessed either. In this study, we built a GDM mice model and selected male GDM offspring without pre-diabetic phenotype as our founders, to exclude postnatal diabetic influence on gametes, thereby investigate the direct transmission effect of intrauterine hyperglycaemia exposure on F2 offspring, and we further compared the metabolic difference of affected F1-GDM male offspring and F2 offspring. A GDM mouse model of intrauterine hyperglycemia was established by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin after pregnancy. Pups of GDM mother were fostered by normal control mothers. All the mice were fed with standard food. Male GDM offspring without metabolic dysfunction phenotype were crossed with normal female mice to obtain F2 offspring. Body weight, glucose tolerance test, insulin tolerance test and homeostasis model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index were measured in both generations at 8 week of age. Some of F1-GDM male mice showed impaired glucose tolerance (p < 0.001), none of F1-GDM male mice showed impaired insulin sensitivity. Body weight of F1-GDM mice showed no significance with control mice. Some of F2-GDM offspring exhibited impaired glucose tolerance (p < 0.001), all the F2-GDM offspring exhibited higher HOMA-IR index (p < 0.01 of normal glucose tolerance individuals vs. control, p < 0.05 of glucose intolerance individuals vs. control). All the F2-GDM offspring exhibited higher ITT curve than control (p < 0.001 of normal glucose tolerance individuals, p < 0.05 of glucose intolerance individuals, vs. control). F2-GDM offspring had higher body weight than control mice (p < 0.001 of normal glucose tolerance individuals, p < 0.001 of glucose intolerance individuals, vs. control). While glucose intolerance is the only phenotype that F1-GDM male mice may exhibit, F2 male generation of healthy F1-GDM father showed insulin resistance, increased body weight and/or impaired glucose tolerance. These findings imply that intrauterine hyperglycaemia exposure affects germ cells and somatic cells differently, thus F1 and F2 offspring demonstrated distinct metabolic dysfunction phenotypes. And intrauterine hyperglycaemia exposure per se has a strong influence on F2 generation, independent of postnatal metabolic dysfunction exposure.

Keywords: insulin resistance, inheritance, intrauterine hyperglycaemia, offspring

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22 Using the Micro Computed Tomography to Study the Corrosion Behavior of Magnesium Alloy at Different pH Values

Authors: Chia-Jung Chang, Chih-Han Chang, Sheng-Che Chen, Ming-Long Yeh, Chih-Wei Wang


Introduction and Motivation: In recent years, magnesium alloy is used to be a kind of medical biodegradable materials. Magnesium is an essential element in the body and is efficiently excreted by the kidneys. Furthermore, the mechanical properties of magnesium alloy is closest to human bone. However, in some cases magnesium alloy corrodes so quickly that it would release hydrogen on surface of implant. The other product is hydroxide ion, it can significantly increase the local pH value. The above situations may have adverse effects on local cell functions. On the other hand, nowadays magnesium alloy corrode too fast to maintain the function of implant until the healing of tissue. Therefore, much recent research about magnesium alloy has focused on controlling the corrosion rate. The in vitro corrosion behavior of magnesium alloys is affected by many factors, and pH value is one of factors. In this study, we will study on the influence of pH value on the corrosion behavior of magnesium alloy by the Micro-CT (micro computed tomography) and other instruments.Material and methods: In the first step, we make some guiding plates for specimens of magnesium alloy AZ91 by Rapid Prototyping. The guiding plates are able to be a standard for the degradation of specimen, so that we can use it to make sure the position of specimens in the CT image. We can also simplify the conditions of degradation by the guiding plates.In the next step, we prepare the solution with different pH value. And then we put the specimens into the solution to start the corrosion test. The CT image, surface photographs and weigh are measured on every twelve hours. Results: In the primary results of the test, we make sure that CT image can be a way to quantify the corrosion behavior of magnesium alloy. Moreover we can observe the phenomenon that corrosion always start from some erosion point. It’s possibly based on some defect like dislocations and the voids with high strain energy in the materials. We will deal with the raw data into Mass Loss (ML) and corrosion rate by CT image, surface photographs and weigh in the near future. Having a simple prediction, the pH value and degradation rate will be negatively correlated. And we want to find out the equation of the pH value and corrosion rate. We also have a simple test to simulate the change of the pH value in the local region. In this test the pH value will rise to 10 in a short time. Conclusion: As a biodegradable implant for the area with stagnating body fluid flow in the human body, magnesium alloy can cause the increase of local pH values and release the hydrogen. Those may damage the human cell. The purpose of this study is finding out the equation of the pH value and corrosion rate. After that we will try to find the ways to overcome the limitations of medical magnesium alloy.

Keywords: Corrosion, Biodegradable Materials, Magnesium Alloy, micro-CT

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21 Developing and Shake Table Testing of Semi-Active Hydraulic Damper as Active Interaction Control Device

Authors: Wen-Pei Sung, Ming-Hsiang Shih, Shih-Heng Tung


Semi-active control system for structure under excitation of earthquake provides with the characteristics of being adaptable and requiring low energy. DSHD (Displacement Semi-Active Hydraulic Damper) was developed by our research team. Shake table test results of this DSHD installed in full scale test structure demonstrated that this device brought its energy-dissipating performance into full play for test structure under excitation of earthquake. The objective of this research is to develop a new AIC (Active Interaction Control Device) and apply shake table test to perform its dissipation of energy capability. This new proposed AIC is converting an improved DSHD (Displacement Semi-Active Hydraulic Damper) to AIC with the addition of an accumulator. The main concept of this energy-dissipating AIC is to apply the interaction function of affiliated structure (sub-structure) and protected structure (main structure) to transfer the input seismic force into sub-structure to reduce the structural deformation of main structure. This concept is tested using full-scale multi-degree of freedoms test structure, installed with this proposed AIC subjected to external forces of various magnitudes, for examining the shock absorption influence of predictive control, stiffness of sub-structure, synchronous control, non-synchronous control and insufficient control position. The test results confirm: (1) this developed device is capable of diminishing the structural displacement and acceleration response effectively; (2) the shock absorption of low precision of semi-active control method did twice as much seismic proof efficacy as that of passive control method; (3) active control method may not exert a negative influence of amplifying acceleration response of structure; (4) this AIC comes into being time-delay problem. It is the same problem of ordinary active control method. The proposed predictive control method can overcome this defect; (5) condition switch is an important characteristics of control type. The test results show that synchronism control is very easy to control and avoid stirring high frequency response. This laboratory results confirm that the device developed in this research is capable of applying the mutual interaction between the subordinate structure and the main structure to be protected is capable of transforming the quake energy applied to the main structure to the subordinate structure so that the objective of minimizing the deformation of main structural can be achieved.

Keywords: sub-structure, DSHD (Displacement Semi-Active Hydraulic Damper), AIC (Active Interaction Control Device), shake table test, full scale structure test, main-structure

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20 A Vaccination Program to Control an Outbreak of Acute Hepatitis A among MSM in Taiwan, 2016

Authors: Yu-Min Chou, Chin-Hui Yang, Ying-Jung Hsieh, Angela S. Huang, Chu-Ming Chiu


Background and Objectives: Hepatitis A is primarily acquired by the fecal-oral route through person-to-person contact or ingestion of contaminated food or water. During 2010 to 2014, an average of 83 cases of locally-acquired disease was reported to Taiwan’s notifiable disease system. Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (TCDC) identified an outbreak of acute hepatitis A which began in June 2015. Of the 126 cases reported in 2015, 103 (82%) cases were reported during June–December and 95 cases (92%) of them were male. The average age of all male cases was 31 years (median, 29 years; range, 15–76 years). Among the 95 male cases, 49 (52%) were also infected with HIV, and all reported to have had sex with other men. To control this outbreak, TCDC launched a free hepatitis A vaccination program in January 2016 for close contacts of confirmed hepatitis A cases, including family members, sexual partners, and household contacts. Effect of the vaccination program was evaluated. Methods: All cases of hepatitis A reported to the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System were included. A case of hepatitis A was defined as a locally-acquired disease in a person who had acute clinical symptoms include fever, malaise, loss of appetite, nausea or abdominal discomfort compatible with hepatitis, and tested positive for anti-HAV IgM during June 2015 to June 2016 in Taiwan. The rate of case accumulation was calculated using a simple regression model. Results: During January–June 2016, there were 466 cases of hepatitis A reported; of the 243 (52%) who were also infected with HIV, 232 (95%) had a history of having sex with men. Of the 346 cases that were followed up, 259 (75%) provided information on contacts but only 14 (5%) of them provided the name of their sexual partners. Among the 602 contacts reported, 349 (58%) were family members, 14 (2%) were sexual partners, and 239 (40%) were other household contacts. Among the 602 contacts eligible for free hepatitis A vaccination, 440 (73%) received the vaccine. There were 87 (25%) cases that refused to disclose their close contacts. The average case accumulation rate during January–June 2016 was 21.7 cases per month, which was 6.8 times compared to the average case accumulation rate during June–December 2015 of 3.2 cases per month. Conclusions: Despite vaccination program aimed to provide free hepatitis A vaccine to close contacts of hepatitis A patients, the outbreak continued and even gained momentum in transmission. Refusal by hepatitis A patients to provide names of their close contacts and rejection of contacts to take the hepatitis A vaccine may have contributed to the poor effect of the program. Targeted vaccination efforts of all MSM may be needed to control the outbreak among this population in the short term. In the long term, universal vaccination program is needed to prevent the infection of hepatitis A.

Keywords: HIV, Vaccination, men who have sex with men, hepatitis A

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19 The Taiwan Environmental Impact Assessment Act Contributes to the Water Resources Saving

Authors: Feng-Ming Fan, Xiu-Hui Wen


Shortage of water resources is a crucial problem to be solved in Taiwan. However, lack of effective and mandatory regulation on water recovery and recycling leads to no effective water resource controls currently. Although existing legislation sets standards regarding water recovery, implementation and enforcement of legislation are facing challenges. In order to break through the dilemma, this study aims to find enforcement tools, improve inspection skills, develop an inspection system, to achieve sustainable development of precious water resources. The Taiwan Environmental Impact Assessment Act (EIA Act) was announced on 1994. The aim of EIA Act is to protect the environment by preventing and mitigating the adverse impact of development activity on the environment. During the EIA process, we can set standards that require enterprises to reach a certain percentage of water recycling based on different case characteristics, to promote sewage source reduction and water saving benefits. Next, we have to inspect how the enterprises handle their waste water and perform water recovery based on environmental assessment commitments, for the purpose of reviewing and measuring the implementation efficiency of water recycling and reuse, an eco-friendly measure. We invited leading experts in related fields to provide lecture on water recycling, strengthen law enforcement officials’ inspection knowledge, and write inspection reference manual to be used as basis of enforcement. Then we finalized the manual by reaching mutual agreement between the experts and relevant agencies. We then inspected 65 high-tech companies whose daily water consumption is over 1,000 tons individually, located at 3 science parks, set up by Ministry of Science and Technology. Great achievement on water recycling was achieved at an amount of 400 million tons per year, equivalent to 2.5 months water usage for general public in Taiwan. The amount is equal to 710 billion bottles of 600 ml cola, 170 thousand international standard swimming pools of 2,500 tons, irrigation water applied to 40 thousand hectares of rice fields, or 1.7 Taipei Feitsui Reservoir of reservoir storage. This study demonstrated promoting effects of environmental impact assessment commitments on water recycling, and therefore water resource sustainable development. It also confirms the value of EIA Act for environmental protection. Economic development should go hand in hand with environmental protection, and it’s a mainstream. It clearly shows the EIA regulation can minimize harmful effects caused by development activity to the environment, as well as pursuit water resources sustainable development.

Keywords: Water recycling, Water reuse, the environmental impact assessment act, water recycling environmental assessment commitment, water resource sustainable development

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18 The Scenario Analysis of Shale Gas Development in China by Applying Natural Gas Pipeline Optimization Model

Authors: Meng Xu, Alexis K. H. Lau, Ming Xu, Bill Barron, Narges Shahraki


As an emerging unconventional energy, shale gas has been an economically viable step towards a cleaner energy future in U.S. China also has shale resources that are estimated to be potentially the largest in the world. In addition, China has enormous unmet for a clean alternative to substitute coal. Nonetheless, the geological complexity of China’s shale basins and issues of water scarcity potentially impose serious constraints on shale gas development in China. Further, even if China could replicate to a significant degree the U.S. shale gas boom, China faces the problem of transporting the gas efficiently overland with its limited pipeline network throughput capacity and coverage. The aim of this study is to identify the potential bottlenecks in China’s gas transmission network, as well as to examine the shale gas development affecting particular supply locations and demand centers. We examine this through application of three scenarios with projecting domestic shale gas supply by 2020: optimistic, medium and conservative shale gas supply, taking references from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) projections and China’s shale gas development plans. Separately we project the gas demand at provincial level, since shale gas will have more significant impact regionally than nationally. To quantitatively assess each shale gas development scenario, we formulated a gas pipeline optimization model. We used ArcGIS to generate the connectivity parameters and pipeline segment length. Other parameters are collected from provincial “twelfth-five year” plans and “China Oil and Gas Pipeline Atlas”. The multi-objective optimization model uses GAMs and Matlab. It aims to minimize the demands that are unable to be met, while simultaneously seeking to minimize total gas supply and transmission costs. The results indicate that, even if the primary objective is to meet the projected gas demand rather than cost minimization, there’s a shortfall of 9% in meeting total demand under the medium scenario. Comparing the results between the optimistic and medium supply of shale gas scenarios, almost half of the shale gas produced in Sichuan province and Chongqing won’t be able to be transmitted out by pipeline. On the demand side, the Henan province and Shanghai gas demand gap could be filled as much as 82% and 39% respectively, with increased shale gas supply. To conclude, the pipeline network in China is currently not sufficient in meeting the projected natural gas demand in 2020 under medium and optimistic scenarios, indicating the need for substantial pipeline capacity expansion for some of the existing network, and the importance of constructing new pipelines from particular supply to demand sites. If the pipeline constraint is overcame, Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Henan’s gas demand gap could potentially be filled, and China could thereby reduce almost 25% its dependency on LNG imports under the optimistic scenario.

Keywords: Energy policy, energy systematic analysis, scenario analysis, shale gas in China

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17 Finding the Association Rule between Nursing Interventions and Early Evaluation Results of In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest to Improve Patient Safety

Authors: Hsuan-Chia Yang, Der-Ming Liou, Wei-Chih Huang, Pei-Lung Chung, Ching-Heng Lin


Background: In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (IHCA) threaten life of the inpatients, cause serious effect to patient safety, quality of inpatients care and hospital service. Health providers must identify the signs of IHCA early to avoid the occurrence of IHCA. This study will consider the potential association between early signs of IHCA and the essence of patient care provided by nurses and other professionals before an IHCA occurs. The aim of this study is to identify significant associations between nursing interventions and abnormal early evaluation results of IHCA that can assist health care providers in monitoring inpatients at risk of IHCA to increase opportunities of IHCA early detection and prevention. Materials and Methods: This study used one of the data mining techniques called association rules mining to compute associations between nursing interventions and abnormal early evaluation results of IHCA. The nursing interventions and abnormal early evaluation results of IHCA were considered to be co-occurring if nursing interventions were provided within 24 hours of last being observed in abnormal early evaluation results of IHCA. The rule based methods were utilized 23.6 million electronic medical records (EMR) from a medical center in Taipei, Taiwan. This dataset includes 733 concepts of nursing interventions that coded by clinical care classification (CCC) codes and 13 early evaluation results of IHCA with binary codes. The values of interestingness and lift were computed as Q values to measure the co-occurrence and associations’ strength between all in-hospital patient care measures and abnormal early evaluation results of IHCA. The associations were evaluated by comparing the results of Q values and verified by medical experts. Results and Conclusions: The results show that there are 4195 pairs of associations between nursing interventions and abnormal early evaluation results of IHCA with their Q values. The indication of positive association is 203 pairs with Q values greater than 5. Inpatients with high blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) have positive association with having heart rate lower than 50 beats per minute or higher than 120 beats per minute, Q value is 6.636. Inpatients with temporary pacemaker (TPM) have significant association with high risk of IHCA, Q value is 47.403. There is significant positive correlation between inpatients with hypovolemia and happened abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), Q value is 127.49. The results of this study can help to prevent IHCA from occurring by making health care providers early recognition of inpatients at risk of IHCA, assist with monitoring patients for providing quality of care to patients, improve IHCA surveillance and quality of in-hospital care.

Keywords: Patient Safety, association rule mining, in-hospital cardiac arrest, nursing intervention

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16 Application of a Submerged Anaerobic Osmotic Membrane Bioreactor Hybrid System for High-Strength Wastewater Treatment and Phosphorus Recovery

Authors: Shiao-Shing Chen, Hung-Te Hsu, Saikat Sinha Ray, Ming-Yeh Lu


Recently, anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) has been widely utilized, which combines anaerobic biological treatment process and membrane filtration, that can be present an attractive option for wastewater treatment and water reuse. Conventional AnMBR is having several advantages, such as improving effluent quality, compact space usage, lower sludge yield, without aeration and production of energy. However, the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus in the AnMBR permeate was negligible which become the biggest disadvantage. In recent years, forward osmosis (FO) is an emerging technology that utilizes osmotic pressure as driving force to extract clean water without additional external pressure. The pore size of FO membrane is kindly mentioned the pore size, so nitrogen or phosphorus could effectively improve removal of nitrogen or phosphorus. Anaerobic bioreactor with FO membrane (AnOMBR) can retain the concentrate organic matters and nutrients. However, phosphorus is a non-renewable resource. Due to the high rejection property of FO membrane, the high amount of phosphorus could be recovered from the combination of AnMBR and FO. In this study, development of novel submerged anaerobic osmotic membrane bioreactor integrated with periodic microfiltration (MF) extraction for simultaneous phosphorus and clean water recovery from wastewater was evaluated. A laboratory-scale AnOMBR utilizes cellulose triacetate (CTA) membranes with effective membrane area of 130 cm² was fully submerged into a 5.5 L bioreactor at 30-35℃. Active layer-facing feed stream orientation was utilized, for minimizing fouling and scaling. Additionally, a peristaltic pump was used to circulate draw solution (DS) at a cross flow velocity of 0.7 cm/s. Magnesium sulphate (MgSO₄) solution was used as DS. Microfiltration membrane periodically extracted about 1 L solution when the TDS reaches to 5 g/L to recover phosphorus and simultaneous control the salt accumulation in the bioreactor. During experiment progressed, the average water flux was achieved around 1.6 LMH. The AnOMBR process show greater than 95% removal of soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD), nearly 100% of total phosphorous whereas only partial removal of ammonia, and finally average methane production of 0.22 L/g sCOD was obtained. Therefore, AnOMBR system periodically utilizes MF membrane extracted for phosphorus recovery with simultaneous pH adjustment. The overall performance demonstrates that a novel submerged AnOMBR system is having potential for simultaneous wastewater treatment and resource recovery from wastewater, and hence, the new concept of this system can be used to replace for conventional AnMBR in the future.

Keywords: Forward osmosis, Anaerobic Treatment, membrane bioreactor, phosphorus recovery

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15 Developing a Roadmap by Integrating of Environmental Indicators with the Nitrogen Footprint in an Agriculture Region, Hualien, Taiwan

Authors: Ming-Chien Su, Yi-Zih Chen, Nien-Hsin Kao, Hideaki Shibata


The major component of the atmosphere is nitrogen, yet atmospheric nitrogen has limited availability for biological use. Human activities have produced different types of nitrogen related compounds such as nitrogen oxides from combustion, nitrogen fertilizers from farming, and the nitrogen compounds from waste and wastewater, all of which have impacted the environment. Many studies have indicated the N-footprint is dominated by food, followed by housing, transportation, and goods and services sectors. To solve the impact issues from agricultural land, nitrogen cycle research is one of the key solutions. The study site is located in Hualien County, Taiwan, a major rice and food production area of Taiwan. Importantly, environmentally friendly farming has been promoted for years, and an environmental indicator system has been established by previous authors based on the concept of resilience capacity index (RCI) and environmental performance index (EPI). Nitrogen management is required for food production, as excess N causes environmental pollution. Therefore it is very important to develop a roadmap of the nitrogen footprint, and to integrate it with environmental indicators. The key focus of the study thus addresses (1) understanding the environmental impact caused by the nitrogen cycle of food products and (2) uncovering the trend of the N-footprint of agricultural products in Hualien, Taiwan. The N-footprint model was applied, which included both crops and energy consumption in the area. All data were adapted from government statistics databases and crosschecked for consistency before modeling. The actions involved with agricultural production were evaluated and analyzed for nitrogen loss to the environment, as well as measuring the impacts to humans and the environment. The results showed that rice makes up the largest share of agricultural production by weight, at 80%. The dominant meat production is pork (52%) and poultry (40%); fish and seafood were at similar levels to pork production. The average per capita food consumption in Taiwan is 2643.38 kcal capita−1 d−1, primarily from rice (430.58 kcal), meats (184.93 kcal) and wheat (ca. 356.44 kcal). The average protein uptake is 87.34 g capita−1 d−1, and 51% is mainly from meat, milk, and eggs. The preliminary results showed that the nitrogen footprint of food production is 34 kg N per capita per year, congruent with the results of Shibata et al. (2014) for Japan. These results provide a better understanding of the nitrogen demand and loss in the environment, and the roadmap can furthermore support the establishment of nitrogen policy and strategy. Additionally, the results serve to develop a roadmap of the nitrogen cycle of an environmentally friendly farming area, thus illuminating the nitrogen demand and loss of such areas.

Keywords: Energy Consumption, agriculture productions, environmental indicator, nitrogen footprint

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14 2017 Survey on Correlation between Connection and Emotions for Children and Adolescents

Authors: Ya-Hsing Yeh, I-Chun Tai, Ming-Chieh Lin, Li-Ting Lee, Ping-Ting Hsieh, Yi-Chen Ling, Jhia-Ying Du, Li-Ping Chang, Guan-Long Yu


Objective: To understand the connection between children/adolescents and those who they miss, as well as the correlation between connection and their emotions. Method: Based on the objective, a close-ended questionnaire was made into a formal questionnaire after experts evaluated its validity. In February 2017, the paper-based questionnaire was adopted. Twenty-one elementary schools and junior high schools in Taiwan were sampled by purposive sampling approach and the fifth to ninth graders were our participants. A total of 2,502 valid questionnaires were retrieved. Results: Forty-four-point three percent of children/adolescents missed a person in mind, or they thought a person as a significant other in mind, but they had no connection with them. The highest proportion of those they wanted to contact with was ‘Friends and classmates’, and the others were ‘immediate family’, such as parents and grandparents, and ‘academic or vocational instructors, such as home-room teachers, coaches, cram school teachers and so on, respectively. Only 14% of children/adolescents would actively contact those they missed. The proportion of what children/adolescents ‘often’ actively keeping in touch with those they missed felt happy or cheerful was higher compared with those who ‘seldom’ actively keeping in touch with people they missed whenever they recalled who they missed, or the person actively contacted with them. Sixty-one-point seven percent of participants haven’t connected with those they missed for more than one year. The main reason was ‘environmental factors’, such as school/class transfer or moving, and then ‘academic or personal factors’, ‘communication tools’, and ‘personalities’, respectively. In addition to ‘greetings during festivals and holidays’, ‘hearing from those they missed’, and ‘knowing the latest information about those they missed on their Internet communities’, children/adolescents would like to actively contact with them when they felt ‘happy’ and ‘depressed or frustrated. The first three opinions of what children/adolescents regarded truly connection were ‘listening to people they missed attentively’, ‘sharing their secrets’, and ‘contacting with people they regularly missed with real actions’. In terms of gender, girls’ proportion on ‘showing with actions, including contacting with people they missed regularly or expressing their feelings openly’, and ‘sharing secrets’ was higher than boys’, while boy’s proportion on ‘the attitudes when contacting people they missed, including listening attentively or without being distracted’ was higher than girls’. Conclusions: I. The more ‘active’ connection they have, the more happiness they feel. II. Teachers can teach children how to manage their emotions and express their feelings appropriately. III. It is very important to turn connection into ‘action.’ Teachers can set a good example and share their moods with others whatever they are in the mood. This is a kind of connection.

Keywords: Children, Mental Health, emotion, connection

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13 Audit of Intraoperative Ventilation Strategy in Prolonged Abdominal Surgery

Authors: Prabir Patel, Eugene Ming Han Lim


Introduction: Current literature shows that postoperative pulmonary complications following abdominal surgery may be reduced by using lower than conventional tidal volumes intraoperatively together with moderate levels of positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP). The recent studies demonstrated significant reduction demonstrated significant reduction in major complications in elective abdominal surgery through the use of lower tidal volumes (6-8 ml/kg predicted body weight), PEEP of 5 cmH20 and recruitment manoeuvres compared to higher ‘conventional’ volumes (10-12 mls/kg PBW) without lung recruitment. Our objective was to retrospectively audit current practice for patients undergoing major abdominal surgery in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Methods: Patients over 18 undergoing elective general surgery lasting more than 3 hours and intubated during the duration of procedure were included in this audit. Data was collected over a 6 month period. Patients who had hepatic surgery, procedures necessitating one-lung ventilation, transplant surgery, documented history of pulmonary or intracranial hypertension were excluded. Results: 58 suitable patients were identified and notes were available for 54 patients. Key findings: Average peak airway pressure was 21cmH20 (+4), average peak airway pressure was less than 30 cmH20 in all patients, and less than 25 cmH20 in 80% of the cases. PEEP was used in 81% of the cases. Where PEEP was used, 75% used PEEP more than or equal to 5 cmH20. Average tidal volume per actual body weight was 7.1 ml/kg (+1.6). Average tidal volume per predicted body weight (PBW) was 8.8 ml/kg (+1.5). Average tidal volume was less than 10 ml/kg PBW in 90% of cases; 6-8 ml/kg PBW in 40% of the cases. There was no recorded use of recruitment manoeuvres in any cases. Conclusions: In the vast majority of patients undergoing prolonged abdominal surgery, a lung protective strategy using moderate levels of PEEP, peak airway pressures of less than 30 cmH20 and tidal volumes of less than 10 cmH20/kg PBW was utilised. A recent randomised control trial demonstrated benefit from utilising even lower volumes (6-8 mls/kg) based on findings in critical care patients, but this was compared to volumes of 10-12 ml/kg. Volumes of 6-8 ml/kg PBW were utilised in 40% of cases in this audit. Although theoretically beneficial, clinical benefit of lower volumes than what is currently practiced in this institution remains to be seen. The incidence of pulmonary complications was much lower than in the other cited studies and a larger data set would be required to investigate any benefit from lower tidal volume ventilation. The volumes used are comparable to results from published local and international data but PEEP utilisation was higher in this audit. Strategies that may potentially be implemented to ensure and maintain best practice include pre-operative recording of predicted body weight, adjustment of default ventilator settings and education/updates of current evidence.

Keywords: Anaesthesia, intraoperative ventilation, PEEP, tidal volume

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12 Interfacial Instability and Mixing Behavior between Two Liquid Layers Bounded in Finite Volumes

Authors: Lei Li, Ming M. Chai, Xiao X. Lu, Jia W. Wang


The mixing process of two liquid layers in a cylindrical container includes the upper liquid with higher density rushing into the lower liquid with lighter density, the lower liquid rising into the upper liquid, meanwhile the two liquid layers having interactions with each other, forming vortices, spreading or dispersing in others, entraining or mixing with others. It is a complex process constituted of flow instability, turbulent mixing and other multiscale physical phenomena and having a fast evolution velocity. In order to explore the mechanism of the process and make further investigations, some experiments about the interfacial instability and mixing behavior between two liquid layers bounded in different volumes are carried out, applying the planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF) and the high speed camera (HSC) techniques. According to the results, the evolution of interfacial instability between immiscible liquid develops faster than theoretical rate given by the Rayleigh-Taylor Instability (RTI) theory. It is reasonable to conjecture that some mechanisms except the RTI play key roles in the mixture process of two liquid layers. From the results, it is shown that the invading velocity of the upper liquid into the lower liquid does not depend on the upper liquid's volume (height). Comparing to the cases that the upper and lower containers are of identical diameter, in the case that the lower liquid volume increases to larger geometric space, the upper liquid spreads and expands into the lower liquid more quickly during the evolution of interfacial instability, indicating that the container wall has important influence on the mixing process. In the experiments of miscible liquid layers’ mixing, the diffusion time and pattern of the liquid interfacial mixing also does not depend on the upper liquid's volumes, and when the lower liquid volume increases to larger geometric space, the action of the bounded wall on the liquid falling and rising flow will decrease, and the liquid interfacial mixing effects will also attenuate. Therefore, it is also concluded that the volume weight of upper heavier liquid is not the reason of the fast interfacial instability evolution between the two liquid layers and the bounded wall action is limited to the unstable and mixing flow. The numerical simulations of the immiscible liquid layers’ interfacial instability flow using the VOF method show the typical flow pattern agree with the experiments. However the calculated instability development is much slower than the experimental measurement. The numerical simulation of the miscible liquids’ mixing, which applying Fick’s diffusion law to the components’ transport equation, shows a much faster mixing rate than the experiments on the liquids’ interface at the initial stage. It can be presumed that the interfacial tension plays an important role in the interfacial instability between the two liquid layers bounded in finite volume.

Keywords: interfacial instability and mixing, two liquid layers, Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF), High Speed Camera (HSC), interfacial energy and tension, Cahn-Hilliard Navier-Stokes (CHNS) equations

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11 p-Type Multilayer MoS₂ Enabled by Plasma Doping for Ultraviolet Photodetectors Application

Authors: Xiao-Mei Zhang, Sian-Hong Tseng, Ming-Yen Lu


Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), such as MoS₂, have attracted considerable attention owing to the unique optical and electronic properties related to its 2D ultrathin atomic layer structure. MoS₂ is becoming prevalent in post-silicon digital electronics and in highly efficient optoelectronics due to its extremely low thickness and its tunable band gap (Eg = 1-2 eV). For low-power, high-performance complementary logic applications, both p- and n-type MoS₂ FETs (NFETs and PFETs) must be developed. NFETs with an electron accumulation channel can be obtained using unintentionally doped n-type MoS₂. However, the fabrication of MoS₂ FETs with complementary p-type characteristics is challenging due to the significant difficulty of injecting holes into its inversion channel. Plasma treatments with different species (including CF₄, SF₆, O₂, and CHF₃) have also been found to achieve the desired property modifications of MoS₂. In this work, we demonstrated a p-type multilayer MoS₂ enabled by selective-area doping using CHF₃ plasma treatment. Compared with single layer MoS₂, multilayer MoS₂ can carry a higher drive current due to its lower bandgap and multiple conduction channels. Moreover, it has three times the density of states at its minimum conduction band. Large-area growth of MoS₂ films on 300 nm thick SiO₂/Si substrate is carried out by thermal decomposition of ammonium tetrathiomolybdate, (NH₄)₂MoS₄, in a tube furnace. A two-step annealing process is conducted to synthesize MoS₂ films. For the first step, the temperature is set to 280 °C for 30 min in an N₂ rich environment at 1.8 Torr. This is done to transform (NH₄)₂MoS₄ into MoS₃. To further reduce MoS₃ into MoS₂, the second step of annealing is performed. For the second step, the temperature is set to 750 °C for 30 min in a reducing atmosphere consisting of 90% Ar and 10% H₂ at 1.8 Torr. The grown MoS₂ films are subjected to out-of-plane doping by CHF₃ plasma treatment using a Dry-etching system (ULVAC original NLD-570). The radiofrequency power of this dry-etching system is set to 100 W and the pressure is set to 7.5 mTorr. The final thickness of the treated samples is obtained by etching for 30 s. Back-gated MoS₂ PFETs were presented with an on/off current ratio in the order of 10³ and a field-effect mobility of 65.2 cm²V⁻¹s⁻¹. The MoS₂ PFETs photodetector exhibited ultraviolet (UV) photodetection capability with a rapid response time of 37 ms and exhibited modulation of the generated photocurrent by back-gate voltage. This work suggests the potential application of the mild plasma-doped p-type multilayer MoS₂ in UV photodetectors for environmental monitoring, human health monitoring, and biological analysis.

Keywords: Photodetection, MoS2, multilayers, p-type doping

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10 Technology Management for Early Stage Technologies

Authors: Taeho Park, Ming Zhou


Early stage technologies have been particularly challenging to manage due to high degrees of their numerous uncertainties. Most research results directly out of a research lab tend to be at their early, if not the infant stage. A long while uncertain commercialization process awaits these lab results. The majority of such lab technologies go nowhere and never get commercialized due to various reasons. Any efforts or financial resources put into managing these technologies turn fruitless. High stake naturally calls for better results, which make a patenting decision harder to make. A good and well protected patent goes a long way for commercialization of the technology. Our preliminary research showed that there was not a simple yet productive procedure for such valuation. Most of the studies now have been theoretical and overly comprehensive where practical suggestions were non-existent. Hence, we attempted to develop a simple and highly implementable procedure for efficient and scalable valuation. We thoroughly reviewed existing research, interviewed practitioners in the Silicon Valley area, and surveyed university technology offices. Instead of presenting another theoretical and exhaustive research, we aimed at developing a practical guidance that a government agency and/or university office could easily deploy and get things moving to later steps of managing early stage technologies. We provided a procedure to thriftily value and make the patenting decision. A patenting index was developed using survey data and expert opinions. We identified the most important factors to be used in the patenting decision using survey ratings. The rating then assisted us in generating good relative weights for the later scoring and weighted averaging step. More importantly, we validated our procedure by testing it with our practitioner contacts. Their inputs produced a general yet highly practical cut schedule. Such schedule of realistic practices has yet to be witnessed our current research. Although a technology office may choose to deviate from our cuts, what we offered here at least provided a simple and meaningful starting point. This procedure was welcomed by practitioners in our expert panel and university officers in our interview group. This research contributed to our current understanding and practices of managing early stage technologies by instating a heuristically simple yet theoretical solid method for the patenting decision. Our findings generated top decision factors, decision processes and decision thresholds of key parameters. This research offered a more practical perspective which further completed our extant knowledge. Our results could be impacted by our sample size and even biased a bit by our focus on the Silicon Valley area. Future research, blessed with bigger data size and more insights, may want to further train and validate our parameter values in order to obtain more consistent results and analyze our decision factors for different industries.

Keywords: Technology Management, Decision, patent, early stage technology

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9 A Correlations Study on Nursing Staff's Shifts Systems, Workplace Fatigue, and Quality of Working Life

Authors: Ming Yi Hsu, Jui Chen Wu


Background and Purpose: Shift work of nursing staff is inevitable in hospital to provide continuing medical care. However, shift work is considered as a health hazard that may cause physical and psychological problems. Serious workplace fatigue of nursing shift work might impact on family, social and work life, moreover, causes serious reduction of quality of medical care, or even malpractice. This study aims to explore relationships among nursing staff’s shift, workplace fatigue and quality of working life. Method: Structured questionnaires were used in this study to explore relationships among shift work, workplace fatigue and quality of working life in nursing staffs. We recruited 590 nursing staffs in different Community Teaching hospitals in Taiwan. Data analysed by descriptive statistics, single sample t-test, single factor analysis, Pearson correlation coefficient and hierarchical regression, etc. Results: The overall workplace fatigue score is 50.59 points. In further analysis, the score of personal burnout, work-related burnout, over-commitment and client-related burnout are 57.86, 53.83, 45.95 and 44.71. The basic attributes of nursing staff are significantly different from those of workplace fatigue with different ages, licenses, sleeping quality, self-conscious health status, number of care patients of chronic diseases and number of care people in the obstetric ward. The shift variables revealed no significant influence on workplace fatigue during the hierarchical regression analysis. About the analysis on nursing staff’s basic attributes and shift on the quality of working life, descriptive results show that the overall quality of working life of nursing staff is 3.23 points. Comparing the average score of the six aspects, the ranked average score are 3.47 (SD= .43) in interrelationship, 3.40 (SD= .46) in self-actualisation, 3.30 (SD= .40) in self-efficacy, 3.15 (SD= .38) in vocational concept, 3.07 (SD= .37) in work aspects, and 3.02 (SD= .56) in organization aspects. The basic attributes of nursing staff are significantly different from quality of working life in different marriage situations, education level, years of nursing work, occupation area, sleep quality, self-conscious health status and number of care in medical ward. There are significant differences between shift mode and shift rate with the quality of working life. The results of the hierarchical regression analysis reveal that one of the shifts variables 'shift mode' which does affect staff’s quality of working life. The workplace fatigue is negatively correlated with the quality of working life, and the over-commitment in the workplace fatigue is positively related to the vocational concept of the quality of working life. According to the regression analysis of nursing staff’s basic attributes, shift mode, workplace fatigue and quality of working life related shift, the results show that the workplace fatigue has a significant impact on nursing staff’s quality of working life. Conclusion: According to our study, shift work is correlated with workplace fatigue in nursing staffs. This results work as important reference for human resources management in hospitals to establishing a more positive and healthy work arrangement policy.

Keywords: quality of working life, nursing staff, shift, workplace fatigue

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8 The Development of Modernist Chinese Architecture from the Perspective of Cultural Regionalism in Taiwan: Spatial Practice by the Fieldoffice Architects

Authors: Yilei Yu


Modernism, emerging in the Western world of the 20th century, attempted to create a universal international style, which pulled the architectural and social systems created by classicism back to an initial pure state. However, out of the introspection of the Modernism, Regionalism attempted to restore a humanistic environment and create flexible buildings during the 1950s. Meanwhile, as the first generation of architects came back, the wind of the Regionalism blew to Taiwan. However, with the increasing of political influence and the tightening of free creative space, from the second half of the 1950s to the 1980s, the "real" Regional Architecture, which should have taken roots in Taiwan, becomes the "fake" Regional Architecture filled with the oriental charm. Through the Comparative Method, which includes description, interpretation, juxtaposition, and comparison, this study analyses the difference of the style of the Modernist Chinese Architecture between the period before the 1980s and the after. The paper aims at exploring the development of Regionalism Architecture in Taiwan, which includes three parts. First, the burgeoning period of the "modernist Chinese architecture" in Taiwan was the beginning of the Chinese Nationalist Party's coming to Taiwan to consolidate political power. The architecture of the "Ming and Qing Dynasty Palace Revival Style" dominated the architectural circles in Taiwan. These superficial "regional buildings" have nearly no combination with the local customs of Taiwan, which is difficult to evoke the social identity. Second, in the late 1970s, the second generation of architects headed by Baode Han began focusing on the research and preservation of traditional Taiwanese architecture, and creating buildings combined the terroirs of Taiwan through the imitation of styles. However, some scholars have expressed regret that very few regionalist architectural works that appeared in the 1980s can respond specifically to regional conditions and forms of construction. Instead, most of them are vocabulary-led representations. Third, during the 1990s, by the end of the period of martial law, community building gradually emerged, which made the object of Taiwan's architectural concern gradually extended to the folk and ethnic groups. In the Yilan area, there are many architects who care about the local environment, such as the Field office Architects. Compared with the hollow regionality of the passionate national spirits that emerged during the martial law period, the local practice of the architect team in Yilan can better link the real local environmental life and reflect the true regionality. In conclusion, with the local practice case of the huge construction team in Yilan area, this paper focuses on the Spatial Practice by the Field office Architects to explore the spatial representation of the space and the practical enlightenment in the process of modernist Chinese architecture development in Taiwan.

Keywords: Modernism, Chinese Architecture, Spatial Representation, regionalism, political landscape

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7 The Implication of Small Group Therapy on Sexuality in Breast Cancer Survivors

Authors: Ming-Feng Hou, Cherng-Jye Jeng, Hsing-Yuan Liu, Chuan-Feng Chang, Lih-Rong Wang, Yen-Chin Lin


Introduction: The incidence of breast cancer has gradually increased in Taiwan, and the characteristic of younger ages impact these women in their middle age, and may also cause challenges in terms of family, work, and illness. Breasts are symbols of femininity, as well as of sex. For women, breasts are important organs for the female identity and sexual expression. Losing breasts not only affects the female role, but would also affect sexual attraction and sexual desire. Thus, women with breast cancer who have need for mastectomies experience physical incompletion, which affects women’s self-confidence, physical image, and self-orientation. Purposes: 1. To understand the physical experience of women with breast cancer. 2. To explore the issue of sexual issues on the health effects of women with breast cancer. 3. To construct a domestic sex life issue group model for domestic women with breast cancer. 4. To explore the accompaniment experiences and sexual relationship adjustments of spouses when women have breast cancer. Method: After the research plan passes IRB review, participants will be recruited at breast surgery clinic in the affiliated hospital, to screen suitable subjects for entry into the group. Between March and May 2015, two sexual health and sex life consultation groups were conducted, which were (1) 10 in postoperative groups for women with cancer; (2) 4 married couples group for postoperative women with cancer. After sharing experiences and dialogue, women can achieve mutual support and growth. Data organization and analysis underwent descriptive analysis in qualitative research, and the group process was transcribed into transcripts for overall-content and category-content analysis. Results: Ten women with breast cancer believed that participating in group can help them exchange experiences, and elevate sexual health. The main issues include: (1) after breast cancer surgery, patients generally received chemotherapy or estrogen suppressants, causing early menopause; in particular, vaginal dryness can cause pain or bleeding in intercourse, reducing their desire for sexual activity; (2) breast cancer accentuates original spousal or family and friend relationships; some people have support and care from their family, and spouses emphasize health over the appearance of breasts; however, some people do not have acceptance and support from their family, and some even hear spousal sarcasm about loss of breasts; (3) women with breast cancer have polarized expressions of optimism and pessimism in regards to their emotions, beliefs, and body image regarding cancer; this is related to the women’s original personalities, attribution of causes of cancer, and extent of worry about relapse. Conclusion: The research results can be provided as a reference to medical institutions or breast cancer volunteer teams, to pay attention to maintaining the health of women with breast cancer.

Keywords: Sexual Health, women with breast cancer, experiences of objectifying the body, quality of sex life

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6 Developing Three-Dimensional Digital Image Correlation Method to Detect the Crack Variation at the Joint of Weld Steel Plate

Authors: Wen-Pei Sung, Ming-Hsiang Shih, Shih-Heng Tung


The purposes of hydraulic gate are to maintain the functions of storing and draining water. It bears long-term hydraulic pressure and earthquake force and is very important for reservoir and waterpower plant. The high tensile strength of steel plate is used as constructional material of hydraulic gate. The cracks and rusts, induced by the defects of material, bad construction and seismic excitation and under water respectively, thus, the mechanics phenomena of gate with crack are probing into the cause of stress concentration, induced high crack increase rate, affect the safety and usage of hydroelectric power plant. Stress distribution analysis is a very important and essential surveying technique to analyze bi-material and singular point problems. The finite difference infinitely small element method has been demonstrated, suitable for analyzing the buckling phenomena of welding seam and steel plate with crack. Especially, this method can easily analyze the singularity of kink crack. Nevertheless, the construction form and deformation shape of some gates are three-dimensional system. Therefore, the three-dimensional Digital Image Correlation (DIC) has been developed and applied to analyze the strain variation of steel plate with crack at weld joint. The proposed Digital image correlation (DIC) technique is an only non-contact method for measuring the variation of test object. According to rapid development of digital camera, the cost of this digital image correlation technique has been reduced. Otherwise, this DIC method provides with the advantages of widely practical application of indoor test and field test without the restriction on the size of test object. Thus, the research purpose of this research is to develop and apply this technique to monitor mechanics crack variations of weld steel hydraulic gate and its conformation under action of loading. The imagines can be picked from real time monitoring process to analyze the strain change of each loading stage. The proposed 3-Dimensional digital image correlation method, developed in the study, is applied to analyze the post-buckling phenomenon and buckling tendency of welded steel plate with crack. Then, the stress intensity of 3-dimensional analysis of different materials and enhanced materials in steel plate has been analyzed in this paper. The test results show that this proposed three-dimensional DIC method can precisely detect the crack variation of welded steel plate under different loading stages. Especially, this proposed DIC method can detect and identify the crack position and the other flaws of the welded steel plate that the traditional test methods hardly detect these kind phenomena. Therefore, this proposed three-dimensional DIC method can apply to observe the mechanics phenomena of composite materials subjected to loading and operating.

Keywords: welded steel plate, crack variation, three-dimensional digital image correlation (DIC), crack stel plate

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5 Linking Enhanced Resting-State Brain Connectivity with the Benefit of Desirable Difficulty to Motor Learning: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Authors: Chien-Ho Lin, Ho-Ching Yang, Barbara Knowlton, Shin-Leh Huang, Ming-Chang Chiang


Practicing motor tasks arranged in an interleaved order (interleaved practice, or IP) generally leads to better learning than practicing tasks in a repetitive order (repetitive practice, or RP), an example of how desirable difficulty during practice benefits learning. Greater difficulty during practice, e.g. IP, is associated with greater brain activity measured by higher blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in the sensorimotor areas of the brain. In this study resting-state fMRI was applied to investigate whether increase in resting-state brain connectivity immediately after practice predicts the benefit of desirable difficulty to motor learning. 26 healthy adults (11M/15F, age = 23.3±1.3 years) practiced two sets of three sequences arranged in a repetitive or an interleaved order over 2 days, followed by a retention test on Day 5 to evaluate learning. On each practice day, fMRI data were acquired in a resting state after practice. The resting-state fMRI data was decomposed using a group-level spatial independent component analysis (ICA), yielding 9 independent components (IC) matched to the precuneus network, primary visual networks (two ICs, denoted by I and II respectively), sensorimotor networks (two ICs, denoted by I and II respectively), the right and the left frontoparietal networks, occipito-temporal network, and the frontal network. A weighted resting-state functional connectivity (wRSFC) was then defined to incorporate information from within- and between-network brain connectivity. The within-network functional connectivity between a voxel and an IC was gauged by a z-score derived from the Fisher transformation of the IC map. The between-network connectivity was derived from the cross-correlation of time courses across all possible pairs of ICs, leading to a symmetric nc x nc matrix of cross-correlation coefficients, denoted by C = (pᵢⱼ). Here pᵢⱼ is the extremum of cross-correlation between ICs i and j; nc = 9 is the number of ICs. This component-wise cross-correlation matrix C was then projected to the voxel space, with the weights for each voxel set to the z-score that represents the above within-network functional connectivity. The wRSFC map incorporates the global characteristics of brain networks measured by the between-network connectivity, and the spatial information contained in the IC maps measured by the within-network connectivity. Pearson correlation analysis revealed that greater IP-minus-RP difference in wRSFC was positively correlated with the RP-minus-IP difference in the response time on Day 5, particularly in brain regions crucial for motor learning, such as the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and the right premotor and supplementary motor cortices. This indicates that enhanced resting brain connectivity during the early phase of memory consolidation is associated with enhanced learning following interleaved practice, and as such wRSFC could be applied as a biomarker that measures the beneficial effects of desirable difficulty on motor sequence learning.

Keywords: independent component analysis, functional magnetic resonance imaging, desirable difficulty, resting-state networks

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4 The Development of the Psychosomatic Nursing Model from an Evidence-Based Action Research on Proactive Mental Health Care for Medical Inpatients

Authors: Chia-Yi Wu, Jung-Chen Chang, Wen-Yu Hu, Ming-Been Lee


In nearly all physical health conditions, suicide risk is increased compared to healthy people even after adjustment for age, gender, mental health, and substance use diagnoses. In order to highlight the importance of suicide risk assessment for the inpatients and early identification and engagement for inpatients’ mental health problems, a study was designed aiming at developing a comprehensive psychosomatic nursing engagement (PSNE) model with standardized operation procedures informing how nurses communicate, assess, and engage with the inpatients with emotional distress. The purpose of the study was to promote the gatekeeping role of clinical nurses in performing brief assessment and interventions to detect depression and anxiety symptoms among the inpatients, particularly in non-psychiatric wards. The study will be carried out in a 2000-bed university hospital in Northern Taiwan in 2019. We will select a ward for trial and develop feasible procedures and in-job training course for the nurses to offer mental health care, which will also be validated through professional consensus meeting. The significance of the study includes the following three points: (1) The study targets at an important but less-researched area of PSNE model in the cultural background of Taiwan, where hospital service is highly accessible, but mental health and suicide risk assessment are hardly provided by non-psychiatric healthcare personnel. (2) The issue of PSNE could be efficient and cost-effective in the identification of suicide risks at an early stage to prevent inpatient suicide or to reduce future suicide risk by early treatment of mental illnesses among the high-risk group of hospitalized patients who are more than three-times lethal to suicide. (3) Utilizing a brief tool with its established APP ('The Five-item Brief Symptom Rating Scale, BSRS-5'), we will invent the standardized procedure of PSNE and referral steps in collaboration with the medical teams across the study hospital. New technological tools nested within nursing assessment/intervention will concurrently be invented to facilitate better care quality. The major outcome measurements will include tools for early identification of common mental distress and suicide risks, i.e., the BSRS-5, revised BSRS-5, and the 9-item Concise Mental Health Checklist (CMHC-9). The main purpose of using the CMHC-9 in clinical suicide risk assessment is mainly to provide care and build-up therapeutic relationship with the client, so it will also be used to nursing training highlighting the skills of supportive care. Through early identification of the inpatients’ depressive symptoms or other mental health care needs such as insomnia, anxiety, or suicide risk, the majority of the nursing clinicians would be able to engage in critical interventions that alleviate the inpatients’ suffering from mental health problems, given a feasible nursing input.

Keywords: Clinical Nurses, Mental health care, Suicide Prevention, clinical outcome improvement, psychosomatic nursing

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3 Chronic Hypertension, Aquaporin and Hydraulic Conductivity: A Perspective on Pathological Connections

Authors: Chirag Raval, Jimmy Toussaint, Tieuvi Nguyen, Hadi Fadaifard, George Wolberg, Steven Quarfordt, Kung-ming Jan, David S. Rumschitzki


Numerous studies examine aquaporins’ role in osmotic water transport in various systems but virtually none focus on aquaporins’ role in hydrostatically-driven water transport involving mammalian cells save for our laboratory’s recent study of aortic endothelial cells. Here we investigate aquaporin-1 expression and function in the aortic endothelium in two high-renin rat models of hypertension, the spontaneously hypertensive genomically altered Wystar-Kyoto rat variant and Sprague-Dawley rats made hypertensive by two kidney, one clip Goldblatt surgery. We measured aquaporin-1 expression in aortic endothelial cells from whole rat aortas by quantitative immunohistochemistry, and function by measuring the pressure driven hydraulic conductivities of excised rat aortas with both intact and denuded endothelia on the same vessel. We use them to calculate the effective intimal hydraulic conductivity, which is a combination of endothelial and subendothelial components. We observed well-correlated enhancements in aquaporin-1 expression and function in both hypertensive rat models as well as in aortas from normotensive rats whose expression was upregulated by 2h forskolin treatment. Upregulated aquaporin-1 expression and function may be a response to hypertension that critically determines conduit artery vessel wall viability and long-term susceptibility to atherosclerosis. Numerous studies examine aquaporins’ role in osmotic water transport in various systems but virtually none focus on aquaporins’ role in hydrostatically-driven water transport involving mammalian cells save for our laboratory’s recent study of aortic endothelial cells. Here we investigate aquaporin-1 expression and function in the aortic endothelium in two high-renin rat models of hypertension, the spontaneously hypertensive genomically altered Wystar-Kyoto rat variant and Sprague-Dawley rats made hypertensive by two kidney, one clip Goldblatt surgery. We measured aquaporin-1 expression in aortic endothelial cells from whole rat aortas by quantitative immunohistochemistry, and function by measuring the pressure driven hydraulic conductivities of excised rat aortas with both intact and denuded endothelia on the same vessel. We use them to calculate the effective intimal hydraulic conductivity, which is a combination of endothelial and subendothelial components. We observed well-correlated enhancements in aquaporin-1 expression and function in both hypertensive rat models as well as in aortas from normotensive rats whose expression was upregulated by 2h forskolin treatment. Upregulated aquaporin-1 expression and function may be a response to hypertension that critically determines conduit artery vessel wall viability and long-term susceptibility to atherosclerosis.

Keywords: Hydraulic Conductivity, acute hypertension, aquaporin-1, hydrostatic pressure, aortic endothelial cells, transcellular flow

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2 Expression Profiling of Chlorophyll Biosynthesis Pathways in Chlorophyll B-Lacking Mutants of Rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Authors: Khiem M. Nguyen, Ming C. Yang


Chloroplast pigments are extremely important during photosynthesis since they play essential roles in light absorption and energy transfer. Therefore, understanding the efficiency of chlorophyll (Chl) biosynthesis could facilitate enhancement in photo-assimilates accumulation, and ultimately, in crop yield. The Chl-deficient mutants have been used extensively to study the Chl biosynthetic pathways and the biogenesis of the photosynthetic apparatus. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most leading food crops, serving as staple food for many parts of the world. To author’s best knowledge, Chl b–lacking rice has been found; however the molecular mechanism of Chl biosynthesis still remains unclear compared to wild-type rice. In this study, the ultrastructure analysis, photosynthetic properties, and transcriptome profile of wild-type rice (Norin No.8, N8) and its Chl b-lacking mutant (Chlorina 1, C1) were examined. The finding concluded that total Chl content and Chl b content in the C1 leaves were strongly reduced compared to N8 leaves, suggesting that reduction in the total Chl content contributes to leaf color variation at the physiological level. Plastid ultrastructure of C1 possessed abnormal thylakoid membranes with loss of starch granule, large number of vesicles, and numerous plastoglobuli. The C1 rice also exhibited thinner stacked grana, which was caused by a reduction in the number of thylakoid membranes per granum. Thus, the different Chl a/b ratio of C1 may reflect the abnormal plastid development and function. Transcriptional analysis identified 23 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and 671 transcription factors (TFs) that were involved in Chl metabolism, chloroplast development, cell division, and photosynthesis. The transcriptome profile and DEGs revealed that the gene encoding PsbR (PSII core protein) was down-regulated, therefore suggesting that the lower in light-harvesting complex proteins are responsible for the lower photosynthetic capacity in C1. In addition, expression level of cell division protein (FtsZ) genes were significantly reduced in C1, causing chloroplast division defect. A total of 19 DEGs were identified based on KEGG pathway assignment involving Chl biosynthesis pathway. Among these DEGs, the GluTR gene was down-regulated, whereas the UROD, CPOX, and MgCH genes were up-regulated. Observation through qPCR suggested that later stages of Chl biosynthesis were enhanced in C1, whereas the early stages were inhibited. Plastid structure analysis together with transcriptomic analysis suggested that the Chl a/b ratio was amplified both by the reduction in Chl contents accumulation, owning to abnormal chloroplast development, and by the enhanced conversion of Chl b to Chl a. Moreover, the results indicated the same Chl-cycle pattern in the wild-type and C1 rice, indicating another Chl b degradation pathway. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that normal grana stacking, along with the absence of Chl b and greatly reduced levels of Chl a in C1, provide evidence to support the conclusion that other factors along with LHCII proteins are involved in grana stacking. The findings of this study provide insight into the molecular mechanisms that underlie different Chl a/b ratios in rice.

Keywords: Photosynthesis, RNA-Seq, Chl-deficient mutant, grana stacked, transcriptomic analysis

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1 Quantitative Texture Analysis of Shoulder Sonography for Rotator Cuff Lesion Classification

Authors: Chung-Ming Lo, Chung-Chien Lee


In many countries, the lifetime prevalence of shoulder pain is up to 70%. In America, the health care system spends 7 billion per year about the healthy issues of shoulder pain. With respect to the origin, up to 70% of shoulder pain is attributed to rotator cuff lesions This study proposed a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system to assist radiologists classifying rotator cuff lesions with less operator dependence. Quantitative features were extracted from the shoulder ultrasound images acquired using an ALOKA alpha-6 US scanner (Hitachi-Aloka Medical, Tokyo, Japan) with linear array probe (scan width: 36mm) ranging from 5 to 13 MHz. During examination, the postures of the examined patients are standard sitting position and are followed by the regular routine. After acquisition, the shoulder US images were drawn out from the scanner and stored as 8-bit images with pixel value ranging from 0 to 255. Upon the sonographic appearance, the boundary of each lesion was delineated by a physician to indicate the specific pattern for analysis. The three lesion categories for classification were composed of 20 cases of tendon inflammation, 18 cases of calcific tendonitis, and 18 cases of supraspinatus tear. For each lesion, second-order statistics were quantified in the feature extraction. The second-order statistics were the texture features describing the correlations between adjacent pixels in a lesion. Because echogenicity patterns were expressed via grey-scale. The grey-scale co-occurrence matrixes with four angles of adjacent pixels were used. The texture metrics included the mean and standard deviation of energy, entropy, correlation, inverse different moment, inertia, cluster shade, cluster prominence, and Haralick correlation. Then, the quantitative features were combined in a multinomial logistic regression classifier to generate a prediction model of rotator cuff lesions. Multinomial logistic regression classifier is widely used in the classification of more than two categories such as the three lesion types used in this study. In the classifier, backward elimination was used to select a feature subset which is the most relevant. They were selected from the trained classifier with the lowest error rate. Leave-one-out cross-validation was used to evaluate the performance of the classifier. Each case was left out of the total cases and used to test the trained result by the remaining cases. According to the physician’s assessment, the performance of the proposed CAD system was shown by the accuracy. As a result, the proposed system achieved an accuracy of 86%. A CAD system based on the statistical texture features to interpret echogenicity values in shoulder musculoskeletal ultrasound was established to generate a prediction model for rotator cuff lesions. Clinically, it is difficult to distinguish some kinds of rotator cuff lesions, especially partial-thickness tear of rotator cuff. The shoulder orthopaedic surgeon and musculoskeletal radiologist reported greater diagnostic test accuracy than general radiologist or ultrasonographers based on the available literature. Consequently, the proposed CAD system which was developed according to the experiment of the shoulder orthopaedic surgeon can provide reliable suggestions to general radiologists or ultrasonographers. More quantitative features related to the specific patterns of different lesion types would be investigated in the further study to improve the prediction.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, Texture, shoulder ultrasound, rotator cuff lesions

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