Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4692

Search results for: activation function

4692 The Impact of Intestinal Ischaemia-Reperfusion Injury upon the Biological Function of Mesenteric Lymph

Authors: Beth Taylor, Kojima Mituaki, Atsushi Senda, Koji Morishita, Yasuhiro Otomo


Intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury drives systemic inflammation and organ failure following trauma/haemorrhagic shock (T/HS), through the release of pro-inflammatory mediators into the mesenteric lymph (ML). However, changes in the biological function of ML are not fully understood, and therefore, a specific model of intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury is required to obtain ML for the study of its biological function upon inflammatory cells. ML obtained from a model of intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury was used to assess biological function upon inflammatory cells and investigate changes in the biological function of individual ML components. An additional model was used to determine the effect of vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) upon biological function. Rat ML was obtained by mesenteric lymphatic duct cannulation before and after occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery (SMAO). ML was incubated with human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs), monocytes and lymphocytes, and the biological function of these cells was assessed. ML was then separated into supernatant, exosome and micro-vesicle components, and biological activity was compared in monocytes. A model with an additional VNS phase was developed, in which the right cervical vagal nerve was exposed and stimulated, and ML collected for comparison of biological function with the conventional model. The biological function of ML was altered by intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury, increasing PMN activation, monocyte activation, and lymphocyte apoptosis. Increased monocyte activation was only induced by the exosome component of ML, with no significant changes induced by the supernatant or micro-vesicle components. VNS partially attenuated monocyte activation, but no attenuation of PMN activation was observed. Intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury induces changes in the biological function of ML upon both innate and adaptive inflammatory cells, supporting the role of intestinal ischaemia-reperfusion injury in driving systemic inflammation following T/HS. The exosome component of ML appears to be critical to the transport of pro-inflammatory mediators in ML. VNS partially attenuates changes in innate inflammatory cell biological activity observed, presenting possibilities for future novel treatment development in multiple organ failure patients.

Keywords: exosomes, inflammation, intestinal ischaemia, mesenteric lymph, vagal stimulation

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4691 The Effect of Deformation Activation Volume, Strain Rate Sensitivity and Processing Temperature of Grain Size Variants

Authors: P. B. Sob, A. A. Alugongo, T. B. Tengen


The activation volume of 6082T6 aluminum is investigated at different temperatures on grain size variants. The deformation activation volume was computed on the basis of the relationship between the Boltzmann’s constant k, the testing temperatures, the material strain rate sensitivity and the material yield stress of grain size variants. The material strain rate sensitivity is computed as a function of yield stress and strain rate of grain size variants. The effect of the material strain rate sensitivity and the deformation activation volume of 6082T6 aluminum at different temperatures of 3-D grain are discussed. It is shown that the strain rate sensitivities and activation volume are negative for the grain size variants during the deformation of nanostructured materials. It is also observed that the activation volume vary in different ways with the equivalent radius, semi minor axis radius, semi major axis radius and major axis radius. From the obtained results it is shown that the variation of activation volume increased and decreased with the testing temperature. It was revealed that, increased in strain rate sensitivity led to decrease in activation volume whereas increased in activation volume led to decrease in strain rate sensitivity.

Keywords: nanostructured materials, grain size variants, temperature, yield stress, strain rate sensitivity, activation volume

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4690 Inhibitory Effects of PPARγ Ligand, KR-62980, on Collagen-Stimulated Platelet Activation

Authors: Su Bin Wang, Jin Hee Ahn, Tong-Shin Chang


The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are member of nuclear receptor superfamily that act as a ligand-activated transcription factors. Although platelets lack a nucleus, previous studies have shown that PPARγ agonists, rosiglitazone, inhibited platelet activation induced by collagen. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effects of KR-62980, a newly synthesized PPARγ agonist, on collagen receptor-stimulated platelet activation. The specific tyrosine phosphorylations of key components (Syk, Vav1, Btk and PLCγ2) for collagen receptor signaling pathways were suppressed by KR-62980. KR-62980 also attenuated downstream responses including cytosolic calcium elevation, P-selectin surface exposure, and integrin αIIbβ3 activation. PPARγ was found to associate with multiple proteins within the LAT signaling complex in collagen-stimulated platelets. This association was prevented by KR-62980, indicating a potential mechanism for PPARγ function in collagen-stimulated platelet activation. Furthermore, KR-62980 inhibited platelet aggregation and adhesion in response to collagen in vitro and prolonged in vivo thrombotic response in carotid arteries of mice. Collectively, these data suggest that KR-62980 inhibits collagen-stimulated platelet activation and thrombus formation through modulating the collagen receptor signaling pathways.

Keywords: KR-62980, PPARγ, antiplatelet, thrombosis

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4689 The Utilization of Tea Residues for Activated Carbon Preparation

Authors: Jiazhen Zhou, Youcai Zhao


Waste tea is commonly generated in certain areas of China and its utilization has drawn a lot of concern nowadays. In this paper, highly microporous and mesoporous activated carbons were produced from waste tea by physical activation in the presence of water vapor in a tubular furnace. The effect of activation temperature on yield and pore properties of produced activated carbon are studied. The yield decreased with the increase of activation temperature. According to the Nitrogen adsorption isotherms, the micropore and mesopore are both developed in the activated carbon. The specific surface area and the mesopore volume fractions of the activated carbon increased with the raise of activation temperature. The maximum specific surface area attained 756 m²/g produced at activation temperature 900°C. The results showed that the activation temperature had a significant effect on the micro and mesopore volumes as well as the specific surface area.

Keywords: activated carbon, nitrogen adsorption isotherm, physical activation, waste tea

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4688 Research of the Activation Energy of Conductivity in P-I-N SiC Structures Fabricated by Doping with Aluminum Using the Low-Temperature Diffusion Method

Authors: Ilkham Gafurovich Atabaev, Khimmatali Nomozovich Juraev


The activation energy of conductivity in p-i-n SiC structures fabricated by doping with Aluminum using the new low-temperature diffusion method is investigated. In this method, diffusion is stimulated by the flux of carbon and silicon vacancies created by surface oxidation. The activation energy of conductivity in the p - layer is 0.25 eV and it is close to the ionization energy of Aluminum in 4H-SiC from 0.21 to 0.27 eV for the hexagonal and cubic positions of aluminum in the silicon sublattice for weakly doped crystals. The conductivity of the i-layer (measured in the reverse biased diode) shows 2 activation energies: 0.02 eV and 0.62 eV. Apparently, the 0.62 eV level is a deep trap level and it is a complex of Aluminum with a vacancy. According to the published data, an analogous level system (with activation energies of 0.05, 0.07, 0.09 and 0.67 eV) was observed in the ion Aluminum doped 4H-SiC samples.

Keywords: activation energy, aluminum, low temperature diffusion, SiC

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4687 The Role of a Novel DEAD-Box Containing Protein in NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation

Authors: Yi-Hui Lai, Chih-Hsiang Yang, Li-Chung Hsu


The inflammasome is a protein complex that modulates caspase-1 activity, resulting in proteolytic cleavage of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-18, into their bioactive forms. It has been shown that the inflammasomes play a crucial role in the clearance of pathogenic infection and tissue repair. However, dysregulated inflammasome activation contributes to a wide range of human diseases such as cancers and auto-inflammatory diseases. Yet, regulation of NLRP3 inflammasome activation remains largely unknown. We discovered a novel DEAD box protein, whose biological function has not been reported, not only negatively regulates NLRP3 inflammasome activation by interfering NLRP3 inflammasome assembly and cellular localization but also mitigate pyroptosis upon pathogen evasion. The DEAD-box protein is the first DEAD-box protein gets involved in modulation of the inflammasome activation. In our study, we found that caspase-1 activation and mature IL-1β production were largely enhanced upon LPS challenge in the DEAD box-containing protein- deleted THP-1 macrophages and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). In addition, this DEAD box-containing protein migrates from the nucleus to the cytoplasm upon LPS stimulation, which is required for its inhibitory role in NLRP3 inflammasome activation. The DEAD box-containing protein specifically interacted with the LRR motif of NLRP3 via its DEAD domain. Furthermore, due to the crucial role of the NLRP3 LRR domain in the recruitment of NLRP3 to mitochondria and binding to its adaptor ASC, we found that the interaction of NLRP3 and ASC was downregulated in the presence of the DEAD box-containing protein. In addition to the mechanical study, we also found that this DEAD box protein protects host cells from inflammasome-triggered cell death in response to broad-ranging pathogens such as Candida albicans, Streptococcus pneumoniae, etc., involved in nosocomial infections and severe fever shock. Collectively, our results suggest that this novel DEAD box molecule might be a key therapeutic strategy for various infectious diseases.

Keywords: inflammasome, inflammation, innate immunity, pyroptosis

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4686 Plantar Neuro-Receptor Activation in Total Knee Arthroplasty Patients: Impact on Clinical Function, Pain, and Stiffness - A Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors: Woolfrey K, Woolfrey M, Bolton CL, Warchuk D


Objectives: Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease of adults worldwide. Despite total knee arthroplasty (TKA) demonstrating high levels of success, 20% of patients report dissatisfaction with their result. VOXX Wellness Stasis Socks are embedded with a proprietary pattern of neuro-receptor activation points that have been proven to activate a precise neuro-response, according to the pattern theory of haptic perception, which stimulates improvements in pain and function. The use of this technology in TKA patients may prove beneficial as an adjunct to recovery as many patients suffer from deficits to their proprioceptive system caused by ligamentous damage and alterations to mechanoreceptors during the procedure. We hypothesized that VOXX Wellness Stasis Socks are a safe, cost-effective, and easily scalable strategy to support TKA patients through their recovery. Design: Double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized trial. Participants: Patients scheduled to receive TKA were considered eligible for inclusion in the trial. Interventions: Intervention group (I): VOXX Wellness Stasis socks containing receptor point-activation technology. Control group (C): VOXX Wellness Stasis socks without receptor point-activation technology. Sock use during the waking hours x 6 weeks. Main Outcome Measures: Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) questionnaire completed at baseline, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks to assess pain, stiffness, and physical function. Results: Data analysis using SPSS software. P-values, effect sizes, and confidence intervals are reported to assess clinical relevance of the finding. Physical status classifications were compared using t-test. Within-subject and between-subject differences in the mean WOMAC were analyzed by ANOVA. Effect size was analyzed using Cramer’s V. Consistent improvement in WOMAC scores for pain and stiffness at 2 weeks post op in the I over the C group. The womac scores assessing physical function showed a consistent improvement at both 2 and 6 weeks post op in the I group compared to C group. Conclusions: VOXX proved to be a low cost, safe intervention in TKA to help patients improve with regard to pain, stiffness, and physical function. Disclosures: None

Keywords: osteoarthritis, RCT, pain management, total knee arthroplasty

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4685 Improving Cyclability and Capacity of Lithium Oxygen Batteries via Low Rate Pre-Activation

Authors: Zhihong Luo, Guangbin Zhu, Lulu Guo, Zhujun Lyu, Kun Luo


Cycling life has become the threshold for the prospective application of Li-O₂ batteries, and the protection of Li anode has recently regarded as the key factor to the performance. Herein, a simple low rate pre-activation (20 cycles at 0.5 Ag⁻¹ and a capacity of 200 mAh g⁻¹) was employed to effectively improve the performance and cyclability of Li-O₂ batteries. The charge/discharge cycles at 1 A g⁻¹ with a capacity of 1000 mAh g⁻¹ were maintained for up to 290 times versus 55 times for the cell without pre-activation. The ultimate battery capacity and high rate discharge property were also largely enhanced. Morphology, XRD and XPS analyses reveal that the performance improvement is in close association with the formation of the smooth and compact surface layer formed on the Li anode after low rate pre-activation, which apparently alleviated the corrosion of Li anode and the passivation of cathode during battery cycling, and the corresponding mechanism was also discussed.

Keywords: lithium oxygen battery, pre-activation, cyclability, capacity

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4684 A Study on the Strategy for Domestic Space Industry Activation

Authors: Hangil Park, Hwayeon Song, Jingyung Sim


In this study, a business ecosystem of a domestic space industry is comprehensively analyzed to derive the influence factors. The priority level of each element as well as the disparity between the ideal and reality are investigated through a literature review and an expert survey. The three major influence factors determined are: (a) investment scale and approach, (b) propulsion system, and (c) industrialization with overseas expansion. Related issues based on the current status are evaluated, followed by a proposed activation strategy. This research's findings offer a direction for R&D budget allocation and law system maintenance for the activation of the domestic space industry.

Keywords: space industry, activation, strategy, business ecosystem

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4683 Significance of Bike-Frame Geometric Factors for Cycling Efficiency and Muscle Activation

Authors: Luen Chow Chan


With the advocacy of green transportation and green traveling, cycling has become increasingly popular nowadays. Physiology and bike design are key factors for the influence of cycling efficiency. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the significance of bike-frame geometric factors on cycling efficiency and muscle activation for different body sizes of non-professional Asian male cyclists. Participants who represented various body sizes, as measured by leg and back lengths, carried out cycling tests using a tailor-assembled road bike with different ergonomic design configurations including seat-height adjustments (i.e., 96%, 100%, and 104% of trochanteric height) and bike frame sizes (i.e., small and medium frames) for an assessable distance of 1 km. A specific power meter and self-developed adaptable surface electromyography (sEMG) were used to measure average pedaling power and cadence generated and muscle activation, respectively. The results showed that changing the seat height was far more significant than the body and bike frame sizes. The sEMG data evidently provided a better understanding of muscle activation as a function of different seat heights. Therefore, the interpretation of this study is that the major bike ergonomic design factor dominating the cycling efficiency of Asian participants with different body sizes was the seat height.

Keywords: bike frame sizes, cadence rate, pedaling power, seat height

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4682 Interrelationship between Quadriceps' Activation and Inhibition as a Function of Knee-Joint Angle and Muscle Length: A Torque and Electro and Mechanomyographic Investigation

Authors: Ronald Croce, Timothy Quinn, John Miller


Incomplete activation, or activation failure, of motor units during maximal voluntary contractions is often referred to as muscle inhibition (MI), and is defined as the inability of the central nervous system to maximally drive a muscle during a voluntary contraction. The purpose of the present study was to assess the interrelationship amongst peak torque (PT), muscle inhibition (MI; incomplete activation of motor units), and voluntary muscle activation (VMA) of the quadriceps’ muscle group as a function of knee angle and muscle length during maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs). Nine young adult males (mean + standard deviation: age: 21.58 + 1.30 years; height: 180.07 + 4.99 cm; weight: 89.07 + 7.55 kg) performed MVICs in random order with the knee at 15, 55, and 95° flexion. MI was assessed using the interpolated twitch technique and was estimated by the amount of additional knee extensor PT evoked by the superimposed twitch during MVICs. Voluntary muscle activation was estimated by root mean square amplitude electromyography (EMGrms) and mechanomyography (MMGrms) of agonist (vastus medialis [VM], vastus lateralis [VL], and rectus femoris [RF]) and antagonist (biceps femoris ([BF]) muscles during MVICs. Data were analyzed using separate repeated measures analysis of variance. Results revealed a strong dependency of quadriceps’ PT (p < 0.001), MI (p < 0.001) and MA (p < 0.01) on knee joint position: PT was smallest at the most shortened muscle position (15°) and greatest at mid-position (55°); MI and MA were smallest at the most shortened muscle position (15°) and greatest at the most lengthened position (95°), with the RF showing the greatest change in MA. It is hypothesized that the ability to more fully activate the quadriceps at short compared to longer muscle lengths (96% contracted at 15°; 91% at 55°; 90% at 95°) might partly compensate for the unfavorable force-length mechanics at the more extended position and consequent declines in VMA (decreases in EMGrms and MMGrms muscle amplitude during MVICs) and force production (PT = 111-Nm at 15°, 217-NM at 55°, 199-Nm at 95°). Biceps femoris EMG and MMG data showed no statistical differences (p = 0.11 and 0.12, respectively) at joint angles tested, although there were greater values at the extended position. Increased BF muscle amplitude at this position could be a mechanism by which anterior shear and tibial rotation induced by high quadriceps’ activity are countered. Measuring and understanding the degree to which one sees MI and VMA in the QF muscle has particular clinical relevance because different knee-joint disorders, such ligament injuries or osteoarthritis, increase levels of MI observed and markedly reduced the capability of full VMA.

Keywords: electromyography, interpolated twitch technique, mechanomyography, muscle activation, muscle inhibition

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4681 The Implementation of Secton Method for Finding the Root of Interpolation Function

Authors: Nur Rokhman


A mathematical function gives relationship between the variables composing the function. Interpolation can be viewed as a process of finding mathematical function which goes through some specified points. There are many interpolation methods, namely: Lagrange method, Newton method, Spline method etc. For some specific condition, such as, big amount of interpolation points, the interpolation function can not be written explicitly. This such function consist of computational steps. The solution of equations involving the interpolation function is a problem of solution of non linear equation. Newton method will not work on the interpolation function, for the derivative of the interpolation function cannot be written explicitly. This paper shows the use of Secton method to determine the numerical solution of the function involving the interpolation function. The experiment shows the fact that Secton method works better than Newton method in finding the root of Lagrange interpolation function.

Keywords: Secton method, interpolation, non linear function, numerical solution

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4680 Rejuvenation of Premature Ovarian Failure with Stem Cells/IVA Technique

Authors: Elham Vojoudi, Marzieh Mehrafza, Ahmad Hosseini, Azadeh Raofi, Maryam Najafi


Premature ovarian failure (POF) has become one of the main causes of infertility in women of childbearing age and the incidence of this disorder is increasing year by year. In these patients, poor ovarian response (POR) to gonadotropins reflects a diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) that gives place to few follicles despite aggressive stimulation. Up to now, egg donation is the only way to resolve infertility problems in POF patients. Therefore, some novel aspects such as activating (Akt signaling pathway) and inhibiting (Hippo-signaling) elements have been identified as IVA procedure that promotes primordial follicle activation. In this study, we used the newly developed technique (combination of in vitro activation of dormant follicles (IVA) and stem cell therapy) to promote ovarian follicle growth much more efficiently than the natural, in vivo process for women with POF. Transplantation of Warton Jelly-MSCs to the ovaries of POF patients rescued overall ovarian function. Participants (10 patients) were followed up monthly for a period of six months by hormonal (AMH, FSH, LH and E2), clinical (resuming menstruation), and US (folliculometry) outcomes after a laparoscopic operation. In summary, IVA/WJ-MSC transplantation may provide an effective treatment for POF.

Keywords: POF, in vitro activation, stem cell therapy, infertility

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4679 Saturation Misbehavior and Field Activation of the Mobility in Polymer-Based OTFTs

Authors: L. Giraudet, O. Simonetti, G. de Tournadre, N. Dumelié, B. Clarenc, F. Reisdorffer


In this paper we intend to give a comprehensive view of the saturation misbehavior of thin film transistors (TFTs) based on disordered semiconductors, such as most organic TFTs, and its link to the field activation of the mobility. Experimental evidence of the field activation of the mobility is given for disordered semiconductor based TFTs, when reducing the gate length. Saturation misbehavior is observed simultaneously. Advanced transport models have been implemented in a quasi-2D numerical TFT simulation software. From the numerical simulations it is clearly established that field activation of the mobility alone cannot explain the saturation misbehavior. Evidence is given that high longitudinal field gradient at the drain end of the channel is responsible for an excess charge accumulation, preventing saturation. The two combined effects allow reproducing the experimental output characteristics of short channel TFTs, with S-shaped characteristics and saturation failure.

Keywords: mobility field activation, numerical simulation, OTFT, saturation failure

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4678 Study of the Microstructural Evolution and Precipitation Kinetic in AZ91 Alloys

Authors: A. Azizi, M. Toubane, L. Chetibi


Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is a widely used technique for the study of phase transformations, particularly in the study of precipitation. The kinetic of the precipitation and dissolution is always related to the concept of activation energy Ea. The determination of the activation energy gives important information about the kinetic of the precipitation reaction. In this work, we were interested in the study of the isothermal and non-isothermal treatments on the decomposition of the supersaturated solid solution in the alloy AZ91 (Mg-9 Al-Zn 1-0.2 Mn. mass fraction %), using Differential Calorimetric method. Through this method, the samples were heat treated up to 425° C, using different rates. To calculate the apparent activation energies associated with the formation of precipitated phases, we used different isoconversional methods. This study was supported by other analysis: X-ray diffraction and microhardness measurements.

Keywords: calorimetric, activation energy, AZ91 alloys, microstructural evolution

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4677 Increased Cytolytic Activity of Effector T-Cells against Cholangiocarcinoma Cells by Self-Differentiated Dendritic Cells with Down-Regulation of Interleukin-10 and Transforming Growth Factor-β Receptors

Authors: Chutamas Thepmalee, Aussara Panya, Mutita Junking, Jatuporn Sujjitjoon, Nunghathai Sawasdee, Pa-Thai Yenchitsomanus


Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is an aggressive malignancy of bile duct epithelial cells in which the standard treatments, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy are partially effective. Many solid tumors including CCA escape host immune responses by creating tumor microenvironment and generating immunosuppressive cytokines such as interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). These cytokines can inhibit dendritic cell (DC) differentiation and function, leading to decreased activation and response of effector CD4+ and CD8+ T cells for cancer cell elimination. To overcome the effects of these immunosuppressive cytokines and to increase ability of DC to activate effector CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, we generated self-differentiated DCs (SD-DCs) with down-regulation of IL-10 and TGF-β receptors for activation of effector CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Human peripheral blood monocytes were initially transduced with lentiviral particles containing the genes encoding GM-CSF and IL-4 and then secondly transduced with lentiviral particles containing short-hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) to knock-down mRNAs of IL-10 and TGF-β receptors. The generated SD-DCs showed up-regulation of MHC class II (HLA-DR) and co-stimulatory molecules (CD40 and CD86), comparable to those of DCs generated by convention method. Suppression of IL-10 and TGF-β receptors on SD-DCs by specific shRNAs significantly increased levels of IFN-γ and also increased cytolytic activity of DC-activated effector T cells against CCA cell lines (KKU-213 and KKU-100), but it had little effect to immortalized cholangiocytes (MMNK-1). Thus, SD-DCs with down-regulation of IL-10 and TGF-β receptors increased activation of effector T cells, which is a recommended method to improve DC function for the preparation of DC-activated effector T cells for adoptive T-cell therapy.

Keywords: cholangiocarcinoma, IL-10 receptor, self-differentiated dendritic cells, TGF-β receptor

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4676 Epistemological Functions of Emotions and Their Relevance to the Formation of Citizens and Scientists

Authors: Dení Stincer Gómez, Zuraya Monroy Nasr


Pedagogy of science historically has given priority to teaching strategies that mobilize the cognitive mechanisms leaving out emotional. Modern epistemology, cognitive psychology and psychoanalysis begin to argue and prove that emotions are relevant epistemological functions. They are 1) the selection function: that allows the perception and reason choose, to multiple alternative explanation of a particular fact, those are relevant and discard those that are not, 2) heuristic function: that is related to the activation cognitive processes that are effective in the process of knowing; and 3) the function that called carrier content: on the latter it arises that emotions give the material reasoning that later transformed into linguistic propositions. According to these hypotheses, scientific knowledge seems to come from emotions that meet these functions. In this paper I argue that science education should start from the presence of certain emotions in the learner if it is to form citizens with scientific or cultural future scientists.

Keywords: epistemic emotions, science education, formation of citizens and scientists., philosophy of emotions

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4675 Cobb Angle Measurement from Coronal X-Rays Using Artificial Neural Networks

Authors: Andrew N. Saylor, James R. Peters


Scoliosis is a complex 3D deformity of the thoracic and lumbar spines, clinically diagnosed by measurement of a Cobb angle of 10 degrees or more on a coronal X-ray. The Cobb angle is the angle made by the lines drawn along the proximal and distal endplates of the respective proximal and distal vertebrae comprising the curve. Traditionally, Cobb angles are measured manually using either a marker, straight edge, and protractor or image measurement software. The task of measuring the Cobb angle can also be represented by a function taking the spine geometry rendered using X-ray imaging as input and returning the approximate angle. Although the form of such a function may be unknown, it can be approximated using artificial neural networks (ANNs). The performance of ANNs is affected by many factors, including the choice of activation function and network architecture; however, the effects of these parameters on the accuracy of scoliotic deformity measurements are poorly understood. Therefore, the objective of this study was to systematically investigate the effect of ANN architecture and activation function on Cobb angle measurement from the coronal X-rays of scoliotic subjects. The data set for this study consisted of 609 coronal chest X-rays of scoliotic subjects divided into 481 training images and 128 test images. These data, which included labeled Cobb angle measurements, were obtained from the SpineWeb online database. In order to normalize the input data, each image was resized using bi-linear interpolation to a size of 500 × 187 pixels, and the pixel intensities were scaled to be between 0 and 1. A fully connected (dense) ANN with a fixed cost function (mean squared error), batch size (10), and learning rate (0.01) was developed using Python Version 3.7.3 and TensorFlow 1.13.1. The activation functions (sigmoid, hyperbolic tangent [tanh], or rectified linear units [ReLU]), number of hidden layers (1, 3, 5, or 10), and number of neurons per layer (10, 100, or 1000) were varied systematically to generate a total of 36 network conditions. Stochastic gradient descent with early stopping was used to train each network. Three trials were run per condition, and the final mean squared errors and mean absolute errors were averaged to quantify the network response for each condition. The network that performed the best used ReLU neurons had three hidden layers, and 100 neurons per layer. The average mean squared error of this network was 222.28 ± 30 degrees2, and the average mean absolute error was 11.96 ± 0.64 degrees. It is also notable that while most of the networks performed similarly, the networks using ReLU neurons, 10 hidden layers, and 1000 neurons per layer, and those using Tanh neurons, one hidden layer, and 10 neurons per layer performed markedly worse with average mean squared errors greater than 400 degrees2 and average mean absolute errors greater than 16 degrees. From the results of this study, it can be seen that the choice of ANN architecture and activation function has a clear impact on Cobb angle inference from coronal X-rays of scoliotic subjects.

Keywords: scoliosis, artificial neural networks, cobb angle, medical imaging

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4674 Throughput of Point Coordination Function (PCF)

Authors: Faisel Eltuhami Alzaalik, Omar Imhemed Alramli, Ahmed Mohamed Elaieb


The IEEE 802.11 defines two modes of MAC, distributed coordination function (DCF) and point coordination function (PCF) mode. The first sub-layer of the MAC is the distributed coordination function (DCF). A contention algorithm is used via DCF to provide access to all traffic. The point coordination function (PCF) is the second sub-layer used to provide contention-free service. PCF is upper DCF and it uses features of DCF to establish guarantee access of its users. Some papers and researches that have been published in this technology were reviewed in this paper, as well as talking briefly about the distributed coordination function (DCF) technology. The simulation of the PCF function have been applied by using a simulation program called network simulator (NS2) and have been found out the throughput of a transmitter system by using this function.

Keywords: DCF, PCF, throughput, NS2

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4673 Microstructural Evidences for Exhaustion Theory of Low Temperature Creep in Martensitic Steels

Authors: Nagarjuna Remalli, Robert Brandt


Down-sizing of combustion engines in automobiles are prevailed owing to required increase in efficiency. This leads to a stress increment on valve springs, which affects their intended function due to an increase in relaxation. High strength martensitic steels are used for valve spring applications. Recent investigations unveiled that low temperature creep (LTC) in martensitic steels obey a logarithmic creep law. The exhaustion theory links the logarithmic creep behavior to an activation energy which is characteristic for any given time during creep. This activation energy increases with creep strain due to barriers of low activation energies exhausted during creep. The assumption of the exhaustion theory is that the material is inhomogeneous in microscopic scale. According to these assumptions it is anticipated that small obstacles (e. g. ε–carbides) having a wide range of size distribution are non-uniformly distributed in the materials. X-ray diffraction studies revealed the presence of ε–carbides in high strength martensitic steels. In this study, high strength martensitic steels that are crept in the temperature range of 75 – 150 °C were investigated with the aid of a transmission electron microscope for the evidence of an inhomogeneous distribution of obstacles having different size to examine the validation of exhaustion theory.

Keywords: creep mechanisms, exhaustion theory, low temperature creep, martensitic steels

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4672 Activation Parameters of the Low Temperature Creep Controlling Mechanism in Martensitic Steels

Authors: M. Münch, R. Brandt


Martensitic steels with an ultimate tensile strength beyond 2000 MPa are applied in the powertrain of vehicles due to their excellent fatigue strength and high creep resistance. However, the creep controlling mechanism in martensitic steels at ambient temperatures up to 423 K is not evident. The purpose of this study is to review the low temperature creep (LTC) behavior of martensitic steels at temperatures from 363 K to 523 K. Thus, the validity of a logarithmic creep law is reviewed and the stress and temperature dependence of the creep parameters α and β are revealed. Furthermore, creep tests are carried out, which include stepped changes in temperature or stress, respectively. On one hand, the change of the creep rate due to a temperature step provides information on the magnitude of the activation energy of the LTC controlling mechanism and on the other hand, the stress step approach provides information on the magnitude of the activation volume. The magnitude, the temperature dependency, and the stress dependency of both material specific activation parameters may deliver a significant contribution to the disclosure of the nature of the LTC rate controlling mechanism.

Keywords: activation parameters, creep mechanisms, high strength steels, low temperature creep

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4671 Suppression of Immunostimulatory Function of Dendritic Cells and Prolongation of Skin Allograft Survival by Dryocrassin

Authors: Hsin-Lien Lin, Ju-Hui Fu


Dendritic cells (DCs) are the major professional antigen-presenting cells for the development of optimal T-cell immunity. DCs can be used as pharmacological targets to screen novel biological modifiers for the treatment of harmful immune responses, such as transplantation rejection. Dryopteris crassirhizoma Nakai (Aspiadaceae) is used for traditional herbal medicine in the region of East Asia. The root of this fern plant has been listed for treating inflammatory diseases. Dryocrassin is the tetrameric phlorophenone component derived from Dryopteris. Here, we tested the immunomodulatory potential of dryocrassin on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated activation of mouse bone marrow-derived DCs in vitro and in skin allograft transplantation in vivo. Results demonstrated that dryocrassin reduced the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-12p70 by LPS-stimulated DCs. The expression of LPS-induced major histocompatibility complex class II, CD40, and CD86 on DCs was also blocked by dryocrassin. Moreover, LPS-stimulated DC-elicited allogeneic T-cell proliferation was lessened by dryocrassin. In addition, dryocrassin inhibited LPS-induced activation of IϰB kinase, JNK/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, as well as the translocation of NF-ϰB. Treatment with dryocrassin obviously diminished 2,4-dinitro-1-fluorobenzene- induced delayed-type hypersensitivity and prolonged skin allograft survival. Dryocrassin may be one of the potent immunosuppressive agents for transplant rejection through the destruction of DC maturation and function.

Keywords: dryocrassin, dendritic cells, immunosuppression, skin allograft

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4670 Research on the Path of Renewal and Activation of Public Space in Guangzhou Historical City under the Guidance of Public Art

Authors: Jingjing Li, Shifu Wang


After the irreversible consequences of the traditional renewal mode of ‘function first and then beautification’, such as the constructive destruction, social differentiation, and cultural, ecological imbalance, the renewal of the historical urban area began to pay attention to the excavation of cultural connotation, and entered a new stage from the pursuit of ‘quantity’ growth to the promotion of ‘quality’, expecting to rejuvenate the old city through the intervention of public art. This paper interprets the cases at home and abroad, summarizes the different forms of expression and application strategies of public art in the renewal of historical urban areas, and combs the limitations of the existing practice in Guangzhou through observation. Finally, it puts forward suggestions from three aspects of the system, implementation strategy, and implementation path, respectively, and explores the path of simultaneous rejuvenation of material space and cultural space in historical urban areas under the intervention of public art.

Keywords: public art, historic city, public space, renewal activation

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4669 On a Univalent Function and the Integral Means of Its Derivative

Authors: Shatha S. Alhily


The purpose of this research paper is to show all the possible values of the pth power of the integrable function which make the integral means of the derivative of univalent function existing and finite.

Keywords: derivative, integral means, self conformal maps, univalent function

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4668 Children Asthma; The Role of Molecular Pathways and Novel Saliva Biomarkers Assay

Authors: Seyedahmad Hosseini, Mohammadjavad Sotoudeheian


Introduction: Allergic asthma is a heterogeneous immuno-inflammatory disease based on Th-2-mediated inflammation. Histopathologic abnormalities of the airways characteristic of asthma include epithelial damage and subepithelial collagen deposition. Objectives: Human bronchial epithelial cell genome expression of TNF‑α, IL‑6, ICAM‑1, VCAM‑1, nuclear factor (NF)‑κB signaling pathways up-regulate during inflammatory cascades. Moreover, immunofluorescence assays confirmed the nuclear translocation of NF‑κB p65 during inflammatory responses. An absolute LDH leakage assays suggestedLPS-inducedcells injury, and the associated mechanisms are co-incident events. LPS-induced phosphorylation of ERKand JNK causes inflammation in epithelial cells through inhibition of ERK and JNK activation and NF-κB signaling pathway. Furthermore, the inhibition of NF-κB mRNA expression and the nuclear translocation of NF-κB lead to anti-inflammatory events. Likewise, activation of SUMF2 which inhibits IL-13 and reduces Th2-cytokines, NF-κB, and IgE levels to ameliorate asthma. On the other hand, TNFα-induced mucus production reduced NF-κB activation through inhibition of the activation status of Rac1 and IκBα phosphorylation. In addition, bradykinin B2 receptor (B2R), which mediates airway remodeling, regulates through NF-κB. Bronchial B2R expression is constitutively elevated in allergic asthma. In addition, certain NF-κB -dependent chemokines function to recruit eosinophils in the airway. Besides, bromodomain containing 4 (BRD4) plays a significant role in mediating innate immune response in human small airway epithelial cells as well as transglutaminase 2 (TG2), which is detectable in saliva. So, the guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory protein α-subunit, Gα16, expresses a κB-driven luciferase reporter. This response was accompanied by phosphorylation of IκBα. Furthermore, expression of Gα16 in saliva markedly enhanced TNF-α-induced κB reporter activity. Methods: The applied method to form NF-κB activation is the electromobility shift assay (EMSA). Also, B2R-BRD4-TG2 complex detection by immunoassay method within saliva with EMSA of NF-κB activation may be a novel biomarker for asthma diagnosis and follow up. Conclusion: This concept introduces NF-κB signaling pathway as potential asthma biomarkers and promising targets for the development of new therapeutic strategies against asthma.

Keywords: NF-κB, asthma, saliva, T-helper

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4667 Kinetic Parameter Estimation from Thermogravimetry and Microscale Combustion Calorimetry

Authors: Rhoda Afriyie Mensah, Lin Jiang, Solomon Asante-Okyere, Xu Qiang, Cong Jin


Flammability analysis of extruded polystyrene (XPS) has become crucial due to its utilization as insulation material for energy efficient buildings. Using the Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose and Flynn-Wall-Ozawa methods, the degradation kinetics of two pure XPS from the local market, red and grey ones, were obtained from the results of thermogravity analysis (TG) and microscale combustion calorimetry (MCC) experiments performed under the same heating rates. From the experiments, it was discovered that red XPS released more heat than grey XPS and both materials showed two mass loss stages. Consequently, the kinetic parameters for red XPS were higher than grey XPS. A comparative evaluation of activation energies from MCC and TG showed an insignificant degree of deviation signifying an equivalent apparent activation energy from both methods. However, different activation energy profiles as a result of the different chemical pathways were presented when the dependencies of the activation energies on extent of conversion for TG and MCC were compared.

Keywords: flammability, microscale combustion calorimetry, thermogravity analysis, thermal degradation, kinetic analysis

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4666 Activation-TV® to Reduce Elderly Loneliness and Insecurity

Authors: Hannele Laaksonen, Seija Nyqvist, Kari Nurmes


Objectives: In the year 2011 the City of Vaasa started to develop know-how in the technology and the introduction of services for aging people in cooperation with the Polytechnic Novia University of Applied Sciences and VAMK, University of Applied Sciences. The project´s targets included: to help elderly people to maintain their ability to function, to provide them social and physical activities, to prevent their social exclusion, to decrease their feelings of loneliness and insecurity and to develop their technical know-how. Methods: The project was built based on open source code, tailor-made service system and user interface for the elderly living at home and their families, based on the users´ expectations and experiences of services. Activation-TV®-project vas carried out 1.4.2011-31.3.2014. A pilot group of eight elderly persons, who were living at home, were selected to the project. All necessary technical means as well as guidance and teaching equipment were provided to the pilot group. The students of University of Applied Sciences (VAMK, Novia) and employees of Center of Ageing were made all programs to the Activation-TV®. The project group were interviewed after and before intervention. The data were evaluated both qualitatively and quantitatively. Results: The built service includes a video library, a group room for interactive programs and a personal room for bilateral meetings and direct shipment. The program is bilingual and produced in both national languages. The Activation TV® reduced elderly peoples´ (n=8) feelings of emptiness, added mental well-being and quality of life with social contacts. Relatives felt, that they were able to get in to older peoples´ everyday life with Activation TV®. Discussion: The built application was tailored to the model that has not been developed elsewhere in Finland. This model can be copied from one server to another and thus transferred to other municipalities but the program requires its own personnel system management and maintenance as well as program production cooperation between the different actors. This service can be used for the elderly who are living at home without dementia.

Keywords: mental well-being, quality of life, elderly people, Finland

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4665 Kinetic Studies on CO₂ Gasification of Low and High Ash Indian Coals in Context of Underground Coal Gasification

Authors: Geeta Kumari, Prabu Vairakannu


Underground coal gasification (UCG) technology is an efficient and an economic in-situ clean coal technology, which converts unmineable coals into calorific valuable gases. This technology avoids ash disposal, coal mining, and storage problems. CO₂ gas can be a potential gasifying medium for UCG. CO₂ is a greenhouse gas and, the liberation of this gas to the atmosphere from thermal power plant industries leads to global warming. Hence, the capture and reutilization of CO₂ gas are crucial for clean energy production. However, the reactivity of high ash Indian coals with CO₂ needs to be assessed. In the present study, two varieties of Indian coals (low ash and high ash) are used for thermogravimetric analyses (TGA). Two low ash north east Indian coals (LAC) and a typical high ash Indian coal (HAC) are procured from the coal mines of India. Low ash coal with 9% ash (LAC-1) and 4% ash (LAC-2) and high ash coal (HAC) with 42% ash are used for the study. TGA studies are carried out to evaluate the activation energy for pyrolysis and gasification of coal under N₂ and CO₂ atmosphere. Coats and Redfern method is used to estimate the activation energy of coal under different temperature regimes. Volumetric model is assumed for the estimation of the activation energy. The activation energy estimated under different temperature range. The inherent properties of coals play a major role in their reactivity. The results show that the activation energy decreases with the decrease in the inherent percentage of coal ash due to the ash layer hindrance. A reverse trend was observed with volatile matter. High volatile matter of coal leads to the estimation of low activation energy. It was observed that the activation energy under CO₂ atmosphere at 400-600°C is less as compared to N₂ inert atmosphere. At this temperature range, it is estimated that 15-23% reduction in the activation energy under CO₂ atmosphere. This shows the reactivity of CO₂ gas with higher hydrocarbons of the coal volatile matters. The reactivity of CO₂ with the volatile matter of coal might occur through dry reforming reaction in which CO₂ reacts with higher hydrocarbon, aromatics of the tar content. The observed trend of Ea in the temperature range of 150-200˚C and 400-600˚C is HAC > LAC-1 >LAC-2 in both N₂ and CO₂ atmosphere. At the temperature range of 850-1000˚C, higher activation energy is estimated when compared to those values in the temperature range of 400-600°C. Above 800°C, char gasification through Boudouard reaction progressed under CO₂ atmosphere. It was observed that 8-20 kJ/mol of activation energy is increased during char gasification above 800°C compared to volatile matter pyrolysis between the temperature ranges of 400-600°C. The overall activation energy of the coals in the temperature range of 30-1000˚C is higher in N₂ atmosphere than CO₂ atmosphere. It can be concluded that higher hydrocarbons such as tar effectively undergoes cracking and reforming reactions in presence of CO₂. Thus, CO₂ gas is beneficial for the production of high calorific value syngas using high ash Indian coals.

Keywords: clean coal technology, CO₂ gasification, activation energy, underground coal gasification

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4664 The Retinoprotective Effects and Mechanisms of Fungal Ingredient 3,4-Dihydroxybenzalacetone through Inhibition of Retinal Müller and Microglial Activation

Authors: Yu-Wen Cheng, Jau-Der Ho, Liang-Huan Wu, Fan-Li Lin, Li-Huei Chen, Hung-Ming Chang, Yueh-Hsiung Kuo, George Hsiao


Retina glial activation and neuroinflammation have been confirmed to cause devastating responses in retinodegenerative diseases. The expression and activation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) could be exerted as the crucial pathological factors in glaucoma- and blue light-induced retinal injuries. The present study aimed to investigate the retinoprotective effects and mechanisms of fungal ingredient 3,4-dihydroxybenzalacetone (DBL) isolated from Phellinus linteus in the retinal glial activation and retinodegenerative animal models. According to the cellular studies, DBL significantly and concentration-dependently abrogated MMP-9 activation and expression in TNFα-stimulated retinal Müller (rMC-1) cells. We found the inhibitory activities of DBL were strongly through the STAT- and ERK-dependent pathways. Furthermore, DBL dramatically attenuated MMP-9 activation in the stimulated Müller cells exposed to conditioned media from LPS-stimulated microglia BV-2 cells. On the other hand, DBL strongly suppressed LPS-induced production of NO and ROS and expression of iNOS in microglia BV-2 cells. Consistently, the phosphorylation of STAT was substantially blocked by DBL in LPS-stimulated microglia BV-2 cells. In the evaluation of retinoprotective functions, the high IOP-induced scotopic electroretinographic (ERG) deficit and blue light-induced abnormal pupillary light response (PLR) were assessed. The deficit scotopic ERG responses markedly recovered by DBL in a rat model of glaucoma-like ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-injury. DBL also reduced the aqueous gelatinolytic activity and retinal MMP-9 expression in high IOP-injured conditions. Additionally, DBL could restore the abnormal PLR and reduce retinal MMP-9 activation. In summary, DBL could ameliorate retinal neuroinflammation and MMP-9 activation by predominantly inhibiting STAT3 activation in the retinal Müller cells and microglia, which exhibits therapeutic potential for glaucoma and other retinal degenerative diseases.

Keywords: glaucoma, blue light, DBL, retinal Müller cell, MMP-9, STAT, Microglia, iNOS, ERG, PLR

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4663 Solution of the Nonrelativistic Radial Wave Equation of Hydrogen Atom Using the Green's Function Approach

Authors: F. U. Rahman, R. Q. Zhang


This work aims to develop a systematic numerical technique which can be easily extended to many-body problem. The Lippmann Schwinger equation (integral form of the Schrodinger wave equation) is solved for the nonrelativistic radial wave of hydrogen atom using iterative integration scheme. As the unknown wave function appears on both sides of the Lippmann Schwinger equation, therefore an approximate wave function is used in order to solve the equation. The Green’s function is obtained by the method of Laplace transform for the radial wave equation with excluded potential term. Using the Lippmann Schwinger equation, the product of approximate wave function, the Green’s function and the potential term is integrated iteratively. Finally, the wave function is normalized and plotted against the standard radial wave for comparison. The outcome wave function converges to the standard wave function with the increasing number of iteration. Results are verified for the first fifteen states of hydrogen atom. The method is efficient and consistent and can be applied to complex systems in future.

Keywords: Green’s function, hydrogen atom, Lippmann Schwinger equation, radial wave

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