Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 243

Search results for: responsive

243 Comparative Analysis between Different Proposed Responsive Facade Designs for Reducing the Solar Radiation on the West Facade in the Hot Arid Region

Authors: Merna Ibrahim

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Designing buildings which are sustainable and can control and reduce the solar radiation penetrated from the building facades is such an architectural turn. One of the most important methods of saving energy in a building is carefully designing its facade. Building’s facade is one of the most significant contributors to the energy budget as well as the comfort parameters of a building. Responsive architecture adapts to the surrounding environment causing alteration in the envelope configuration to perform in a more effective way. One of the objectives of the responsive facades is to protect the building’s users from the external environment and to achieve a comfortable indoor environment. Solar radiation is one of the aspects that affects the comfortable indoor environment, as well as affects the energy consumption consumed by the HVAC systems for maintaining the indoor comfortable conditions. The aim of the paper is introducing and comparing between four different proposed responsive facade designs in terms of solar radiation reduction on the west facade of a building located in the hot arid region. In addition, the paper highlights the reducing amount of solar radiation for each proposed responsive facade on the west facade. At the end of the paper, a proposal is introduced which combines the four different axis of movements which reduces the solar radiation the most. Moreover, the paper highlights the definition and aim of the responsive architecture, as well as the focusing on the solar radiation aspect in the hot arid zones. Besides, the paper analyzes an international responsive façade building in Essen, Germany, focusing on the type of responsive facades, angle of rotation, mechanism of movement and the effect of the responsive facades on the building’s performance.

Keywords: kinetic facades, mechanism of movement, responsive architecture, solar radiation

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242 Polymer Nanocarrier for Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy

Authors: Vijayakameswara Rao Neralla, Jueun Jeon, Jae Hyung Park

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To develop a potential nanocarrier for diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we prepared a hyaluronic acid (HA)-5β-cholanic acid (CA) conjugate with an acid-labile ketal linker. This conjugate could self-assemble in aqueous conditions to produce pH-responsive HA-CA nanoparticles as potential carriers of the anti-inflammatory drug methotrexate (MTX). MTX was rapidly released from nanoparticles under inflamed synovial tissue in RA. In vitro cytotoxicity data showed that pH-responsive HA-CA nanoparticles were non-toxic to RAW 264.7 cells. In vivo biodistribution results confirmed that, after their systemic administration, pH-responsive HA-CA nanoparticles selectively accumulated in the inflamed joints of collagen-induced arthritis mice. These results indicate that pH-responsive HA-CA nanoparticles represent a promising candidate as a drug carrier for RA therapy.

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, hyaluronic acid, nanocarrier, self-assembly, MTX

Procedia PDF Downloads 211
241 Preparation of Magnetothermally Responsive Polymer Multilayer Films for Controlled Release Applications from Surfaces

Authors: Eda Cagli, Irem Erel Goktepe

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Externally triggered and effective release of therapeutics from polymer nanoplatforms is one of the key issues in cancer treatment. In this study, we aim to prepare polymer multilayer films which are stable at physiological conditions (little or no drug release) but release drug molecules at acidic pH and via application of AC magnetic field. First, novel stimuli responsive diblock copolymers composed of pH- and temperature-responsive blocks were synthesized. Then, block copolymer micelles with pH-responsive core and temperature responsive coronae will be obtained via pH-induced self-assembly of these block copolymers in aqueous environment. A model anticancer drug, e.g. Doxorubicin will be loaded in the micellar cores. Second, superparamagnetic nanoparticles will be synthesized. Magnetic nanoparticles and drug loaded block copolymer micelles will be used as building blocks to construct the multilayers. To mimic the acidic nature of the tumor tissues, Doxorubicin release from the micellar cores will be induced at acidic conditions. Moreover, Doxorubicin release from the multilayers will be facilitated via magnetothermal trigger. Application of AC magnetic field will induce the heating of magnetic nanoparticles resulting in an increase in the temperature of the polymer platform. This increase in temperature is expected to trigger conformational changes on the temperature-responsive micelle coronae and facilitate the release of Doxorubicin from the surface. Such polymer platform may find use in biomedical applications.

Keywords: layer-by-layer films, magnetothermal trigger, smart polymers, stimuli responsive

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240 Fabrication of Nanostructured Arrays Using Si-Containing Block Copolymer and Dually Responsive Photoresist

Authors: Kyoungok Jung, Chang Hong Bak, Gyeong Cheon Jo, Jin-Baek Kim

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Nanostructured arrays have drawn extensive attention because of their unique properties resulting from nanoscale features. However, it is difficult to achieve uniform and freestanding 1D nanostrcutures over a large area. Here, a simple and novel method was developed for fabrication of universal nanoporous templates for high-density nanostructure arrays, by combining self-assembly of a Si-containing block copolymer with a bilayer lithography system. We introduced a dually responsive photoresist bottom layer into which the nanopatterns of block copolymer are transferred by oxygen reactive ion etching. Because the dually responsive layer becomes cross-linked by heating, it can be used as a hard template during the etching process. It becomes soluble again by chain scission upon exposure to light. Therefore, it can be easily removed by the lift-off process. The template was applicable to the various conducting substrates due to the compatibility of the photoresist with a wide range of substrates and was used in electrodeposition for well-aligned and high-density inorganic and organic nanoarrays. We successfully obtained vertically aligned and highly ordered gold nanorods and polypyrrole dots on the substrate without aggregation, and these arrays did not collapse after removing the dually responsive templates by the simple lift-off process.

Keywords: block copolymer, dually responsive, nanostructure, photoresist

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239 Interactive Effects of Organizational Learning and Market Orientation on New Product Performance

Authors: Qura-tul-aain Khair

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Purpose- The purpose of this paper is to empirically examining the strength of association of responsive market orientation and proactive market orientation with new product performance and exploring the possible moderating role of organizational learning based on contingency theory. Design/methodology/approach- Data for this study was collected from FMCG manufacturing industry and services industry, where customers are in contact frequently and responses are recorded on continuous basis. Sample was collected through convenience sampling. The data collected from different marketing department and sales personnel were analysed using SPSS 16 version. Findings- The paper finds that responsive market orientation is more strongly associated with new product performance. The moderator, organizational learning, plays it significant role on the relationship between responsive market orientation and new product performance. Research limitations/implications- this paper has taken sample from just FMCG industry and service industry, more work can be done regarding how different-markets require different market orientation behaviours. Originality/value- This paper will be useful for foreign business looking for investing and expanding in Pakistan, they can find opportunity to get sustained competitive advantage through exploring the proactive side of market orientation and importance of organizational learning.

Keywords: organizational learning, proactive market orientation, responsive market orientation, new product performance

Procedia PDF Downloads 280
238 A Case Study of Mobile Game Based Learning Design for Gender Responsive STEM Education

Authors: Raluca Ionela Maxim

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Designing a gender responsive Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) mobile game based learning solution (mGBL) is a challenge in terms of content, gamification level and equal engagement of girls and boys. The goal of this case study was to research and create a high-fidelity prototype design of a mobile game that contains role-models as avatars that guide and expose girls and boys to STEM learning content. For this research purpose it was applied the methodology of design sprint with five-phase process that combines design thinking principles. The technique of this methodology comprises smart interviews with STEM experts, mind-map creation, sketching, prototyping and usability testing of the interactive prototype of the gender responsive STEM mGBL. The results have shown that the effect of the avatar/role model had a positive impact. Therefore, by exposing students (boys and girls) to STEM role models in an mGBL tool is helpful for the decreasing of the gender inequalities in STEM fields.

Keywords: design thinking, design sprint, gender-responsive STEM education, mobile game based learning, role-models

Procedia PDF Downloads 55
237 Culturally Responsive Teaching for Learner Diversity in Czech Schools: A Literature Review

Authors: Ntite Orji Kalu, Martina Kurowski

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Until recently, the Czech Republic had an educational system dominated by indigenous people, who accounted for 95% of the school population. With the increasing influx of migrants and foreign students, especially from outside European Union, came a great disparity among the quality of learners and their learning needs and consideration for the challenges associated with being a minority and living within a foreign culture. This has prompted the research into ways of tailoring the educational system to meet the rising demand of learning styles and needs for the diverse learners in the Czech classrooms. Literature is reviewed regarding the various ways to accommodate the international students considering racial differences, focusing on theoretical approach and pedagogical principles. This study examines the compulsory educational system of the Czech Republic and the position and responsibility of the teacher in fostering a culturally sensitive and inclusive learning environment. Descriptive and content analysis is relied upon for this study. Recommendations are made for stakeholders to imbibe a more responsive environment that enhances the cultural and social integration of all learners.

Keywords: culturally responsive teaching, cultural competence, diversity, learners, inclusive education, Czech schools

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236 Remote Controlled of In-Situ Forming Thermo-sensitive Hydrogel Nanocomposite for Hyperthermia Therapy Application: Synthesis and Characterizations

Authors: Elbadawy A. Kamoun

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Magnetically responsive hydrogel nanocomposite (NCH) based on composites of superparamagnetic of Fe3O4 nano-particles and temperature responsive hydrogel matrices were developed. The nanocomposite hydrogel system based on the temperature sensitive N-isopropylacrylamide hydrogels crosslinked by poly(ethylene glycol)-400 dimethacrylate (PEG400DMA) incorporating with chitosan derivative, was synthesized and characterized. Likewise, the NCH system was synthesized by visible-light free radical photopolymerization, using carboxylated camphorquinone-amine system to avoid the common risks of the use of UV-light especially in hyperthermia treatment. Superparamagnetic of iron oxide nanoparticles were introduced into the hydrogel system by polymerizing mixture technique and monomer solution. FT-IR with Raman spectroscopy and Wide angle-XRD analysis were utilized to verify the chemical structure of NCH and exfoliation reaction for nanoparticles, respectively. Additionally, morphological structure of NCH was investigated using SEM and TEM photographs. The swelling responsive of the current nanocomposite hydrogel system with different crosslinking conditions, temperature, magnetic field efficiency, and the presence effect of magnetic nanoparticles were evaluated. Notably, hydrolytic degradation of this system was proved in vitro application. While, in-vivo release profile behavior is under investigation nowadays. Moreover, the compatibility and cytotoxicity tests were previously investigated in our studies for photoinitiating system. These systems show promised polymeric material candidate devices and are expected to have a wide applicability in various biomedical applications as mildly.

Keywords: hydrogel nanocomposites, tempretaure-responsive hydrogel, superparamagnetic nanoparticles, hyperthermia therapy

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235 Couple Relationship Satisfaction: The Role of Recollection of Parental Acceptance, Self-Differentiation and Spousal Caregiving

Authors: Ricky Finzi-Dottan

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The actor–partner interdependence model (APIM) was employed in this study to investigate the mediating effect self-differentiation and spousal caregiving have on the relationship between recollection of parental care and acceptance and couple satisfaction. One hundred and forty-four non-clinical couples (N=288) in enduring relationships were recruited. Results for actor effects revealed two mediating paths whereby, among both partners, recollection of maternal (but not paternal) acceptance was associated with their self-differentiation and responsive spousal caregiving, which, in turn, were linked to their spousal relationship satisfaction. Partner effects revealed three mediating paths: for both partners, recollection of childhood maternal acceptance was associated with responsive caregiving, which, in turn, was linked with their partner’s relationship satisfaction. Interestingly, the husbands’ recollection of maternal acceptance was associated with their partners' responsive spousal caregiving, which was linked to both spouses’ relationship satisfaction. Our results may support the theoretical assumptions regarding intergenerational continuity from perceptions of childhood via self-differentiation effecting couple caregiving to couple relationship, but only on the mother's part.

Keywords: couple relationship satisfaction, childhood parental acceptance, self-differentiation, couple caregiving, dyadic perspective

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234 Development of pH Responsive Nanoparticles for Colon Targeted Drug Delivery System

Authors: V. Balamuralidhara

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The aim of the present work was to develop Paclitaxel loaded polyacrylamide grafted guar gum nanoparticles as pH responsive nanoparticle systems for targeting colon. The pH sensitive nanoparticles were prepared by modified ionotropic gelation technique. The prepared nanoparticles showed mean diameters in the range of 264±0.676 nm to 726±0.671nm, and a negative net charge 10.8 mV to 35.4mV. Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) studies suggested that there was no chemical interaction between drug and polymers. The encapsulation efficiency of the drug was found to be 40.92% to 48.14%. The suitability of the polyacrylamide grafted guar gum ERN’s for the release of Paclitaxel was studied by in vitro release at pH 1.2 and 7.4. It was observed that, there was no significant amount of drug release at gastric pH and 97.63% of drug release at pH 7.4 was obtained for optimized formulation F3 at the end of 12 hrs. In vivo drug targeting performance for the prepared optimized formulation (F3) and pure drug Paclitaxel was evaluated by HPLC. It was observed that the polyacrylamide grafted guar gum can be used to prepare nanoparticles for targeting the drug to the colon. The release performance was greatly affected by the materials used in ERN’s preparation, which allows maximum release at colon’s pH. It may be concluded that polyacrylamide grafted guar gum nanoparticles loaded with paclitaxel have desirable release responsive to specific pH. Hence it is a unique approach for colonic delivery of drug having appropriate site specificity and feasibility and controlled release of drug.

Keywords: colon targeting, polyacrylamide grafted guar gum nanoparticles, paclitaxel, nanoparticles

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233 Preparation and Evaluation of Poly(Ethylene Glycol)-B-Poly(Caprolactone) Diblock Copolymers with Zwitterionic End Group for Thermo-Responsive Properties

Authors: Bo Keun Lee, Doo Yeon Kwon, Ji Hoon Park, Gun Hee Lee, Ji Hye Baek, Heung Jae Chun, Young Joo Koh, Moon Suk Kim

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Thermo-responsive materials are viscoelastic materials that undergo a sol-to-gel phase transition at a specific temperature and many materials have been developed. MPEG-b-PCL (MPC) as a thermo-responsive material contained hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments and it formed an ordered crystalline structure of hydrophobic PCL segments in aqueous solutions. The ordered crystalline structure packed tightly or aggregated and finally induced an aggregated gel through intra- and inter-molecular interactions as a function of temperature. Thus, we introduced anionic and cationic groups into the end positions of the PCL chain to alter the hydrophobicity of the PCL segment. Introducing anionic and cationic groups into the PCL end position altered their solubility by changing the crystallinity and hydrophobicity of the PCL block domains. These results indicated that the properties of the end group in the hydrophobic PCL blockand the balance between hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity affect thermo-responsivebehavior of the copolymers in aqueous solutions. Thus, we concluded that determinant of the temperature-dependent thermo-responsive behavior of MPC depend on the ionic end group in the PCL block. So, we introduced zwitterionic end groups to investigate the thermo-responsive behavior of MPC. Methoxypoly(ethylene oxide) and ε-caprolactone (CL) were randomly copolymerized that introduced varying hydrophobic PCL lengths and an MPC featuring a zwitterionic sulfobetaine (MPC-ZW) at the chain end of the PCL segment. The MPC and MPC-ZW copolymers were obtained formed sol-state at room temperature when prepared as 20-wt% aqueous solutions. The solubility of MPC decreased when the PCL block was increased from molecular weight. The solubilization time of MPC-2.4k was around 20 min and MPC-2.8k, MPC-3.0k increased to 30 min and 1 h, respectively. MPC-3.6k was not solubilized. In case of MPC-ZW 3.6k, However, the zwitterion-modified MPC copolymers were solubilized in 3–5 min. This result indicates that the zwitterionic end group of the MPC-ZW diblock copolymer increased the aqueous solubility of the diblock copolymer even when the length of the hydrophobic PCL segment was increased. MPC and MPC-ZW diblock copolymers that featuring zwitterionic end groups were synthesized successfully. The sol-to-gel phase-transition was formed that specific temperature depend on the length of the PCL hydrophobic segments introduced and on the zwitterion groups attached to the MPC chain end. This result indicated that the zwitterionic end groups reduced the hydrophobicity in the PCL block and changed the solubilization. The MPC-ZW diblock copolymer can be utilized as a potential injectable drug and cell carrier.

Keywords: thermo-responsive material, zwitterionic, hydrophobic, crystallization, phase transition

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232 pH and Temperature Triggered Release of Doxorubicin from Hydogen Bonded Multilayer Films of Polyoxazolines

Authors: Meltem Haktaniyan, Eda Cagli, Irem Erel Goktepe

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Polymers that change their properties in response to different stimuli (e.g. light, temperature, pH, ionic strength or magnetic field) are called ‘smart’ or ‘stimuli-responsive polymers’. These polymers have been widely used in biomedical applications such as sensors, gene delivery, drug delivery or tissue engineering. Temperature-responsive polymers have been studied extensively for controlled drug delivery applications. As regard of pseudo-peptides, poly (2-alky-2-oxazoline)s are considered as good candidates for delivery systems due to their stealth behavior and nontoxicity. In order to build responsive multilayer films for controlled drug release applications from surface, Layer by layer technique (LBL) is a powerful technique with an advantage of nanometer scale control over spatial architecture and morphology. Multilayers can be constructed on surface where non-covalent interactions including electrostatic interactions, hydrogen bonding, and charge-transfer or hydrophobic-hydrophobic interactions. In the present study, hydrogen bounded multilayer films of poly (2-alky-2-oxazoline) s with tannic acid were prepared in order to use as a platform to release Doxorubicin (DOX) from surface with pH and thermal triggers. For this purpose, poly (2-isopropyl-2-oxazoline) (PIPOX) and poly (2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) (PETOX) were synthesized via cationic ring opening polymerization (CROP) with hydroxyl end groups. Two polymeric multilayer systems ((PETOX)/(DOX)-(TA) complexes and (PIPOX)/(DOX)-(TA) complexes) were designed to investigate of controlled release of Doxorubicin (DOX) from surface with pH and thermal triggers. The drug release profiles from the multilayer thin films with alterations of pH and temperature will been examined with UV-Vis Spectroscopy and Fluorescence Spectroscopy.

Keywords: temperature responsive polymers, h-bonded multilayer films, drug release, polyoxazoline

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231 Behavioral Effects of Oxidant and Reduced Chemorepellent on Mutant and Wild-Type Tetrahymena thermophila

Authors: Ananya Govindarajan

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Tetrahymena thermophila is a single-cell, eukaryotic organism that belongs to the Protozoa Kingdom. Tetrahymena thermophila is often used in signal transduction pathway studies because of its ability to model sensory input and the effects of environmental conditions such as chemicals and temperature. The recently discovered G37 chemorepellent receptor showed increased responsiveness to all chemorepellents. Investigating the mutant G37 Tetrahymena gene in various test solutions, including ferric chloride, ferrous sulfate, hydrogen peroxide, tetrazolium blue, potassium chloride, and dithiothreitol were performed to determine the role of oxidants and reducing agents with the mutant and wild-type cells (CU427) to assess the role of the receptor. Behavioral assays and recordings processed by ImageJ indicated that ferric chloride, hydrogen peroxide, and tetrazolium blue yielded little to no chemorepellent responses from G37 cells (<20% ARs). CU427 cells were over-responsive based on the mean percent of cells (>50% ARs). Reducing agents elicited chemorepellent responses from both G37 and CU427, in addition to potassium chloride. Cell responses were classified as over-responsive (>50% ARs). Dithiothreitol yielded unexpected results as G37 (37.0% ARs) and CU427 (38.1% ARs) had relatively similar responses and were only responsive and not over-responsive to the reducing agent test chemical solution. Ultimately, this indicates that the G37 receptor is more interactive with molecules that are reducing agents or non-oxidant compounds; G37 may be unable to sense and respond to oxidants effectively, further elucidating the pathways of the G37 strain and nature of this receptor. Results also indicate that the CSF most likely contained an oxidant, like ferric chloride. This research can be further applied to neuronal influences and how specific compounds may affect human neurons individually and their excitability as the responses model action potentials and membrane potential.

Keywords: tetrahymena thermophila, signal transduction, chemosensory, oxidant, reducing agent

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230 Parametric Urbanism: A Climate Responsive Urban Form for the MENA Region

Authors: Norhan El Dallal

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The MENA region is a challenging, rapid urbanizing region, with a special profile; culturally, socially, economically and environmentally. Despite the diversity between different countries of the MENA region they all share similar urban challenges where extensive interventions are crucial. A climate sensitive region as the MENA region requires special attention for development, adaptation and mitigation. Integrating climatic and environmental parameters into the planning process to create a responsive urban form is the aim of this research in which “Parametric Urbanism” as a trend serves as a tool to reach a more sustainable urban morphology. An attempt to parameterize the relation between the climate and the urban form in a detailed manner is the main objective of the thesis. The aim is relating the different passive approaches suitable for the MENA region with the design guidelines of each and every part of the planning phase. Various conceptual scenarios for the network pattern and block subdivision generation based on computational models are the next steps after the parameterization. These theoretical models could be applied on different climatic zones of the dense communities of the MENA region to achieve an energy efficient neighborhood or city with respect to the urban form, morphology, and urban planning pattern. A final criticism of the theoretical model is to be conducted showing the feasibility of the proposed solutions economically. Finally some push and pull policies are to be proposed to help integrate these solutions into the planning process.

Keywords: parametric urbanism, climate responsive, urban form, urban and regional studies

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229 eTransformation Framework for the Cognitive Systems

Authors: Ana Hol

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Digital systems are in the cognitive wave of the eTransformations and are now extensively aimed at meeting the individuals’ demands, both those of customers requiring services and those of service providers. It is also apparent that successful future systems will not just simply open doors to the traditional owners/users to offer and receive services such as Uber for example does today, but will in the future require more customized and cognitively enabled infrastructures that will be responsive to the system user’s needs. To be able to identify what is required for such systems, this research reviews the historical and the current effects of the eTransformation process by studying: 1. eTransitions of company websites and mobile applications, 2. Emergence of new sheared economy business models as Uber and, 3. New requirements for demand driven, cognitive systems capable of learning and just in time decision making. Based on the analysis, this study proposes a Cognitive eTransformation Framework capable of guiding implementations of new responsive and user aware systems.

Keywords: system implementations, AI supported systems, cognitive systems, eTransformation

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228 Nanoparticles Made from PNIPAM-G-PEO Double Hydrophilic Copolymers for Temperature-Controlled Drug Delivery

Authors: Victoria I. Michailova, Denitsa B. Momekova, Hristiana A. Velichkova, Evgeni H. Ivanov

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The aim of this work is to design and develop thermo-responsive nanosized drug delivery systems based on poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-g-poly(ethylene oxide) (PNIPAM-g-PEO) double hydrophilic graft copolymers. The PNIPAM-g-PEO copolymers are able to self-assemble in water into nanoparticles above the LCST of the thermo-responsive PNIPAM backbone and to disassemble and rapidly release the entrapped drugs upon cooling. However, their drug delivery applications are often hindered by their low loading capacity as the drugs to be encapsulated do not dissolve in water. In order to overcome this limitation, here we applied a low-temperature procedure with ethanol as an alternative route to the formation and loading a model hydrophobic drug, Indomethacin (IMC), into PNIPAM-g-PEO nanoparticles. The rationale for this approach was that ethanol dissolves both IMC and the copolymer and its mixing with water may induce micellization of PNIPAM-g-PEO at temperatures lower than the LCST. The influence of the volume fraction of ethanol and the temperature on the aggregation characteristics of PNIPAM-g-PEO copolymers (2.7 mol% PEO) was investigated by means of DLS, TEM and rheological dynamic oscillatory tests. The studies showed rich phase behavior at T < LCST, incl. the formation of highly solvated 500-1000 nm complex structures, 30-70 nm micelles and polymersomes as well as giant polymersomes, as the fraction of added ethanol increased. We believe that the PNIPAM-g-PEO self-assembly is favored due to the different solvation of its constituting blocks in ethanol-water mixtures. The incorporation of IMC led to alteration of the physicochemical and morphological characteristics of the blank nanoparticles. In this case, only monodisperse polymersomes and micelles were observed in the solutions with an average diameter less than 65 nm and substantial drug loading (DLC ~117 – 146 wt%). Indomethacin release from the nanoparticles was responsive to temperature changes, being much faster at a temperature of 42oC compared to that of 37oC under otherwise the same conditions. The results obtained suggest that these PNIPAM-g-PEO nanoparticles could be potential in mild hyper-thermic delivery of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Keywords: drug delivery, nanoparticles, poly(N-isopropylacryl amide)-g-poly(ethylene oxide), thermo-responsive

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227 Tuning Nanomechanical Properties of Stimuli-Responsive Hydrogel Nanocomposite Thin Films for Biomedical Applications

Authors: Mallikarjunachari Gangapuram

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The design of stimuli-responsive hydrogel nanocomposite thin films is gaining significant attention in these days due to its wide variety of applications. Soft microrobots, drug delivery, biosensors, regenerative medicine, bacterial adhesion, energy storage and wound dressing are few advanced applications in different fields. In this research work, the nanomechanical properties of composite thin films of 20 microns were tuned by applying homogeneous external DC, and AC magnetic fields of magnitudes 0.05 T and 0.1 T. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) used as a matrix material and elliptical hematite nanoparticles (ratio of the length of the major axis to the length of the minor axis is 140.59 ± 1.072 nm/52.84 ± 1.072 nm) used as filler materials to prepare the nanocomposite thin films. Both quasi-static nanoindentation, Nano Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (Nano-DMA) tests were performed to characterize the viscoelastic properties of PVA, PVA+Hematite (0.1% wt, 2% wt and 4% wt) nanocomposites. Different properties such as storage modulus, loss modulus, hardness, and Er/H were carefully analyzed. The increase in storage modulus, hardness, Er/H and a decrease in loss modulus were observed with increasing concentration and DC magnetic field followed by AC magnetic field. Contact angle and ATR-FTIR experiments were conducted to understand the molecular mechanisms such as hydrogen bond formation, crosslinking density, and particle-particle interactions. This systematic study is helpful in design and modeling of magnetic responsive hydrogel nanocomposite thin films for biomedical applications.

Keywords: hematite, hydrogel, nanoindentation, nano-DMA

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226 Investigation on the Structure of Temperature-Responsive N-isopropylacrylamide Microgels Containing a New Hydrophobic Crosslinker

Authors: G. Roshan Deen, J. S. Pedersen

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Temperature-responsive poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) PNIPAM microgels crosslinked with a new hydrophobic chemical crosslinker was prepared by surfactant-mediated precipitation emulsion polymerization. The temperature-responsive property of the microgel and the influence of the crosslinker on the swelling behaviour was studied systematically by light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The radius of gyration (Rg) and the hydrodynamic radius (Rh) of the microgels decreased with increase in temperature due to the volume phase transition from a swollen to a collapsed state. The ratio of Rg/Rh below the transition temperature was lower than that of hard-spheres due to the lower crosslinking density of the microgels. The SAXS data was analysed by a model in which the microgels were modelled as core-shell particles with a graded interface. The model at intermediate temperatures included a central core and a more diffuse outer layer describing pending polymer chains with a low crosslinking density. In the fully swollen state, the microgels were modelled with a single component with a broad graded surface. In the collapsed state they were modelled as homogeneous and relatively compact particles. The polymer volume fraction inside the microgel was also derived based on the model and was found to increase with increase in temperature as a result of collapse of the microgel to compact particles. The polymer volume fraction in the core of the microgel in the collapsed state was about 60% which is higher than that of similar microgels crosslinked with hydrophilic and flexible cross-linkers.

Keywords: microgels, SAXS, hydrophobic crosslinker, light scattering

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225 Poly(N-Vinylcaprolactam) Based Degradable Microgels for Controlled Drug Delivery

Authors: G. Agrawal, R. Agrawal, A. Pich

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The pH and temperature responsive biodegradable poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) (PVCL) based microgels functionalized with itaconic acid (IA) units are prepared via precipitation polymerization for drug delivery applications. Volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) of the obtained microgels is influenced by both IA content and pH of the surrounding medium. The developed microgels can be degraded under acidic conditions due to the presence of hydrazone based crosslinking points inside the microgel network. The microgel particles are able to effectively encapsulate doxorubicin (DOX) drug and exhibit low drug leakage under physiological conditions. At low pH, rapid DOX release is observed due to the changes in electrostatic interactions along with the degradation of particles. The results of the cytotoxicity assay further display that the DOX-loaded microgel exhibit effective antitumor activity against HeLa cells demonstrating their great potential as drug delivery carriers for cancer therapy.

Keywords: degradable, drug delivery, hydrazone linkages, microgels, responsive

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224 Diselenide-Linked Redox Stimuli-Responsive Methoxy Poly(Ethylene Glycol)-b-Poly(Lactide-Co-Glycolide) Micelles for the Delivery of Doxorubicin in Cancer Cells

Authors: Yihenew Simegniew Birhan, Hsieh Chih Tsai

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The recent advancements in synthetic chemistry and nanotechnology fostered the development of different nanocarriers for enhanced intracellular delivery of pharmaceutical agents to tumor cells. Polymeric micelles (PMs), characterized by small size, appreciable drug loading capacity (DLC), better accumulation in tumor tissue via enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, and the ability to avoid detection and subsequent clearance by the mononuclear phagocyte (MNP) system, are convenient to improve the poor solubility, slow absorption and non-selective biodistribution of payloads embedded in their hydrophobic cores and hence, enhance the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. Recently, redox-responsive polymeric micelles have gained significant attention for the delivery and controlled release of anticancer drugs in tumor cells. In this study, we synthesized redox-responsive diselenide bond containing amphiphilic polymer, Bi(mPEG-PLGA)-Se₂ from mPEG-PLGA, and 3,3'-diselanediyldipropanoic acid (DSeDPA) using DCC/DMAP as coupling agents. The successful synthesis of the copolymers was verified by different spectroscopic techniques. Above the critical micelle concentration, the amphiphilic copolymer, Bi(mPEG-PLGA)-Se₂, self-assembled into stable micelles. The DLS data indicated that the hydrodynamic diameter of the micelles (123.9 ± 0.85 nm) was suitable for extravasation into the tumor cells through the EPR effect. The drug loading content (DLC) and encapsulation efficiency (EE) of DOX-loaded micelles were found to be 6.61 wt% and 54.9%, respectively. The DOX-loaded micelles showed initial burst release accompanied by sustained release trend where 73.94% and 69.54% of encapsulated DOX was released upon treatment with 6mM GSH and 0.1% H₂O₂, respectively. The biocompatible nature of Bi(mPEG-PLGA)-Se₂ copolymer was confirmed by the cell viability study. In addition, the DOX-loaded micelles exhibited significant inhibition against HeLa cells (44.46%), at a maximum dose of 7.5 µg/mL. The fluorescent microscope images of HeLa cells treated with 3 µg/mL (equivalent DOX concentration) revealed efficient internalization and accumulation of DOX-loaded Bi(mPEG-PLGA)-Se₂ micelles in the cytosol of cancer cells. In conclusion, the intelligent, biocompatible, and the redox stimuli-responsive behavior of Bi(mPEG-PLGA)-Se₂ copolymer marked the potential applications of diselenide-linked mPEG-PLGA micelles for the delivery and on-demand release of chemotherapeutic agents in cancer cells.

Keywords: anticancer drug delivery, diselenide bond, polymeric micelles, redox-responsive

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223 Gender Responsiveness of Water, Sanitation Policies and Legal Frameworks at Makerere University

Authors: Harriet Kebirungi, Majaliwa Jackson-Gilbert Mwanjalolo, S. Livingstone Luboobi, Richard Joseph Kimwaga, Consolata Kabonesa

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This paper assessed gender responsiveness of water and sanitation policies and legal frameworks at Makerere University, Uganda. The objectives of the study were to i) examine the gender responsiveness of water and sanitation related policies and frameworks implemented at Makerere University; and ii) assess the challenges faced by the University in customizing national water and sanitation policies and legal frameworks into University policies. A cross-sectional gender-focused study design was adopted. A checklist was developed to analyze national water and sanitation policies and legal frameworks and University based policies. In addition, primary data was obtained from Key informants at the Ministry of Water and Environment and Makerere University. A gender responsive five-step analytical framework was used to analyze the collected data. Key findings indicated that the policies did not adequately address issues of gender, water and sanitation and the policies were gender neutral consistently. The national policy formulation process was found to be gender blind and not backed by situation analysis of different stakeholders including higher education institutions like Universities. At Makerere University, due to lack of customized and gender responsive water and sanitation policy and implementation framework, there were gender differences and deficiencies in access to and utilization of water and sanitation facilities. The University should take advantage of existing expertise within them to customize existing national water policies and gender, and water and sanitation sub-sector strategy. This will help the University to design gender responsive, culturally acceptable and environmental friendly water and sanitation systems that provide adequate water and sanitation facilities that address the needs and interests of male and female students.

Keywords: gender, Makerere University, policies, water, sanitation

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222 The Expression of a Novel Gene Encoding an Ankyrin-Repeat Protein, DRA1, Is Regulated by Drought-Responsive Alternative Splicing

Authors: H. Sakamoto, Y. Nakagawara, S. Oguri

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Drought stress is a critical environmental factor that adversely affects crop productivity and quality. Because of their immobile nature, plants have evolved mechanisms to sense and respond to drought stress. We identified a novel locus of Arabidopsis, designated DRA1 (drought responsive ankyrin 1), whose disruption leads to increased drought stress tolerance. DRA1 encodes a transmembrane protein with an ankyrin repeat motif that has been implicated in diverse cellular processes such as signal transduction. RT-PCR analysis revealed that there were at least two splicing variants of DRA1 transcripts in wild type plants. In response to drought stress, the levels of DRA1 transcripts retaining second and third introns were increased, whereas these introns were removed under unstressed conditions. These results suggest that DRA1 protein may negatively regulate plant drought tolerance and that the expression of DRA1 is regulated in response to drought stress by alternative splicing.

Keywords: alternative splicing, ankyrin repeat, Arabidopsis, drought tolerance

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221 Assessing Gender Mainstreaming Practices in the Philippine Basic Education System

Authors: Michelle Ablian Mejica

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Female drop-outs due to teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence in schools are two of the most contentious and current gender-related issues faced by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines. The country adopted gender mainstreaming as the main strategy to eliminate gender inequalities in all aspects of the society including education since 1990. This research examines the extent and magnitude by which gender mainstreaming is implemented in the basic education from the national to the school level. It seeks to discover the challenges faced by the central and field offices, particularly by the principals who served as decision-makers in the schools where teaching and learning take place and where opportunities that may aggravate, conform and transform gender inequalities and hierarchies exist. The author conducted surveys and interviews among 120 elementary and secondary principals in the Division of Zambales as well as selected gender division and regional focal persons within Region III- Central Luzon. The study argues that DepEd needs to review, strengthen and revitalize its gender mainstreaming because the efforts do not penetrate the schools and are not enough to lessen or eliminate gender inequalities within the schools. The study found out some of the major challenges in the implementation of gender mainstreaming as follows: absence of a national gender-responsive education policy framework, lack of gender responsive assessment and monitoring tools, poor quality of gender and development related training programs and poor data collection and analysis mechanism. Furthermore, other constraints include poor coordination mechanism among implementing agencies, lack of clear implementation strategy, ineffective or poor utilization of GAD budget and lack of teacher and learner centered GAD activities. The paper recommends the review of the department’s gender mainstreaming efforts to align with the mandate of the agency and provide gender responsive teaching and learning environment. It suggests that the focus must be on formulation of gender responsive policies and programs, improvement of the existing mechanism and conduct of trainings focused on gender analysis, budgeting and impact assessment not only for principals and GAD focal point system but also to parents and other school stakeholders.

Keywords: curriculum and instruction, gender analysis, gender budgeting, gender impact assessment

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220 The Collaborative Advocacy Work of Language Teachers

Authors: Sora Suh, Catherine Michener

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This paper examines the collaborative forms of advocacy that a group of four public school teachers took for their emergent bilingual students in one public school district. While teacher advocacy takes many forms in and out of the classroom, much advocacy work is done by individuals and less by collective action. As a result, individual teachers risk isolation or marginalization in their school contexts when they advocate for immigrant youth. This paper is intended to contribute to the documentation and understanding of teachers’ advocacy work as a collaborative act in teacher education research. The increase of ELs in US classrooms and a corresponding lack of teacher preparation to meet the needs of ELs has motivated the training of educators in linguistically responsive education (e.g., ESL, sheltered English instruction [SEI], bilingual education). Drawing from educational theories of linguistically responsive teaching for preparing educators, we trace the linguistically responsive advocacy work of the teachers. The paper is a multiple case study that tracks how teachers’ discussions on advocacy during a teacher preparation program leading to collaborative actions in their daily teaching lives in and out of school. Data collected includes online discussion forums on the topic of advocacy, course assignments on the topic of advocacy, video-audio recordings of classroom teaching observations, and video-audio recordings of individual and focus group interviews. The findings demonstrate that the teachers’ understanding of advocacy developed through collaborative partnerships formed in the teacher preparation program and grew into active forms of collaborative advocacy in their teaching practice in and out of school. The teachers formed multi-level and collaborative partnerships with teachers, families, community members, policymakers from the local government, and educational researchers to advocate for their emergent bilingual students by planning advocacy events such as new family orientations for emergent bilinguals, professional development for general education teachers on the topic of linguistically responsive instruction, and family nights hosted by the district. The paper’s findings present types of advocacy work in which teachers engage (pedagogical, curricular, out-of-school work) and provide evidence of collaborative advocacy work by a group of engaged educators. The paper highlights the increased agency and effective advocacy of teachers through teacher education and collaborative partnerships and suggests a need for more research on collaborative forms of teacher advocacy for emergent bilinguals.

Keywords: language education, teacher advocacy, language instruction, teacher education

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219 A Theory of Vertical Partnerships Model as Responsive Failure in Alternative Arrangement for Infrastructural Development in the Third World Countries: A Comparative Public Administration Analysis

Authors: Cyril Ekuaze

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This paper was instigated by a set of assumption drawn at the introduction to a research work on alternative institutional arrangements for sustaining rural infrastructure in developing countries. Of one of such assumption is the one held that, a problem facing developing countries is the sustaining of infrastructural investment long enough to allow the facility to at least repay the cost of the development as been due to insufficient maintenance. On the contrary, this work argues that, most international partnerships relation with developing nations in developing infrastructures is “vertical modeling” with the hierarchical authority and command flow from top to bottom. The work argued that where international donor partners/agencies set out infrastructural development agenda in the developing nations without cognizance of design suitability and capacity for maintenance by the recipient nations; and where public administrative capacity building in the field of science, technology and engineering requisite for design, development and sustenance of infrastructure in the recipient countries are negated, prospective output becomes problematic.

Keywords: vertical partnerships, responsive failure, infrastructural development, developing countries

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218 Liquid Crystal Elastomers as Light-Driven Star-Shaped Microgripper

Authors: Indraj Singh, Xuan Lee, Yu-Chieh Cheng

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Scientists are very keen on biomimetic research that mimics biological species to micro-robotic devices with the novel functionalities and accessibility. The source of inspiration is the complexity, sophistication, and intelligence of the biological systems. In this work, we design a light-driven star-shaped microgripper, an autonomous soft device which can change the shape under the external stimulus such as light. The design is based on light-responsive Liquid Crystal Elastomers which fabricated onto the polymer coated aligned substrate. The change in shape, controlled by the anisotropicity and the molecular orientation of the Liquid Crystal Elastomer, based on the external stimulus. This artificial star-shaped microgripper is capable of autonomous closure and capable to grab the objects in response to an external stimulus. This external stimulus-responsive materials design, based on soft active smart materials, provides a new approach to autonomous, self-regulating optical systems.

Keywords: liquid crystal elastomers, microgripper, smart materials, robotics

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217 Re-Conceptualizing the Indigenous Learning Space for Children in Bangladesh Placing Built Environment as Third Teacher

Authors: Md. Mahamud Hassan, Shantanu Biswas Linkon, Nur Mohammad Khan

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Over the last three decades, the primary education system in Bangladesh has experienced significant improvement, but it has failed to cope with different social and cultural aspects, which present many challenges for children, families, and the public school system. Neglecting our own contextual learning environment, it is a matter of sorrow that much attention has been paid to the more physical outcome-focused model, which is nothing but mere infrastructural development, and less subtle to the environment that suits the child's psychology and improves their social, emotional, physical, and moral competency. In South Asia, the symbol of education was never the little red house of colonial architecture but “A Guru sitting under a tree", whereas a responsive and inclusive design approach could help to create more innovative learning environments. Such an approach incorporates how the built, natural, and cultural environment shapes the learner; in turn, learners shape the learning. This research will be conducted to, i) identify the major issues and drawbacks of government policy for primary education development programs; ii) explore and evaluate the morphology of the conventional model of school, and iii) propose an alternative model in a collaborative design process with the stakeholders for maximizing the relationship between the physical learning environments and learners by treating “the built environment” as “the third teacher.” Based on observation, this research will try to find out to what extent built, and natural environments can be utilized as a teaching tool for a more optimal learning environment. It should also be evident that there is a significant gap in the state policy, predetermined educational specifications, and implementation process in response to stakeholders’ involvement. The outcome of this research will contribute to a people-place sensitive design approach through a more thoughtful and responsive architectural process.

Keywords: built environment, conventional planning, indigenous learning space, responsive design

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216 A Case Study on Vocational Teachers’ Perceptions on Their Linguistically and Culturally Responsive Teaching

Authors: Kirsi Korkealehto

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In Finland the transformation from homogenous culture into multicultural one as a result of heavy immigration has been rapid in the recent decades. As multilingualism and multiculturalism are growing features in our society, teachers in all educational levels need to be competent for encounters with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Consequently, also the number of multicultural and multilingual vocational school students has increased which has not been taken into consideration in teacher education enough. To bridge this gap between teachers’ competences and the requirements of the contemporary school world, Finnish Ministry of Culture and Education established the DivEd-project. The aim of the project is to prepare all teachers to work in the linguistically and culturally diverse world they live in, to develop and increase culturally sustaining and linguistically responsive pedagogy in Finland, increase awareness among Teacher Educators working with preservice teachers and to increase awareness and provide specific strategies to in-service teachers. The partners in the nationwide project are 6 universities and 2 universities of applied sciences. In this research, the linguistically and culturally sustainable teaching practices developed within the DivEd-project are tested in practice. This research aims to explore vocational teachers’ perceptions of these multilingualism and multilingual educational practices. The participants of this study are vocational teachers in of different fields. The data were collected by individual, face-to-face interviews. The data analysis was conducted through content analysis. The findings indicate that the vocational teachers experience that they lack knowledge on linguistically and culturally responsive pedagogy. Moreover, they regard themselves in some extent incompetent in incorporating multilingually and multiculturally sustainable pedagogy in everyday teaching work. Therefore, they feel they need more training pertaining multicultural and multilingual knowledge, competences and suitable pedagogical methods for teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Keywords: multicultural, multilingual, teacher competence, vocational school

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215 An Investigation on Climate Responsive Design Strategies of Apartment Buildings in Athens of the Period 1920-1960s

Authors: Angeliki Chronopoulou, Eleni Alexandrou

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This paper thoroughly investigates residential buildings of the period 1920 – 1960 in Athens and evaluates their bioclimatic response and energy performance. A methodology adapted to the specific context of the city is proposed and applied in order to assess and extract results related to the climate analysis of the city of Athens, the general/architectural design and construction characteristics of the apartment buildings constructed during the period 1920 – 1960, the bioclimatic strategies applied on them, and the achieved thermal comfort based on questionnaires answered by their users. The results of the current study indicate that the residential architecture of that period in the city of Athens is adapted to an extent to the local climate with various climate-responsive strategies. As an outcome of the analysis, the most frequently applied depending on the period of construction are presented. For this reason, the examined period is divided into three sub-periods: 1st period the 1920s – 1930s (late neoclassicism & eclecticism), 2nd period, 1930s – 1940s (modernism), 3rd period, 1940s – 1960s (postwar modernism).

Keywords: Athens, climatic design strategies, residential buildings, middle war and post war architecture, thermal comfort

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214 Addressing Differentiation Using Mobile-Assisted Language Learning

Authors: Ajda Osifo, Fatma Elshafie

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Mobile-assisted language learning favors social-constructivist and connectivist theories to learning and adaptive approaches to teaching. It offers many opportunities to differentiated instruction in meaningful ways as it enables learners to become more collaborative, engaged and independent through additional dimensions such as web-based media, virtual learning environments, online publishing to an imagined audience and digitally mediated communication. MALL applications can be a tool for the teacher to personalize and adjust instruction according to the learners’ needs and give continuous feedback to improve learning and performance in the process, which support differentiated instruction practices. This paper explores the utilization of Mobile Assisted Language Learning applications as a supporting tool for effective differentiation in the language classroom. It reports overall experience in terms of implementing MALL to shape and apply differentiated instruction and expand learning options. This session is structured in three main parts: first, a review of literature and effective practice of academically responsive instruction will be discussed. Second, samples of differentiated tasks, activities, projects and learner work will be demonstrated with relevant learning outcomes and learners’ survey results. Finally, project findings and conclusions will be given.

Keywords: academically responsive instruction, differentiation, mobile learning, mobile-assisted language learning

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