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45 Influence of the Local External Pressure on Measured Parameters of Cutaneous Microcirculation

Authors: Irina Mizeva, Elena Potapova, Viktor Dremin, Mikhail Mezentsev, Valeri Shupletsov


The local tissue perfusion is regulated by the microvascular tone which is under the control of a number of physiological mechanisms. Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) together with wavelet analyses is the most commonly used technique to study the regulatory mechanisms of cutaneous microcirculation. External factors such as temperature, local pressure of the probe on the skin, etc. influence on the blood flow characteristics and are used as physiological tests to evaluate microvascular regulatory mechanisms. Local probe pressure influences on the microcirculation parameters measured by optical methods: diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and LDF. Therefore, further study of probe pressure effects can be useful to improve the reliability of optical measurement. During pressure tests variation of the mean perfusion measured by means of LDF usually is estimated. An additional information concerning the physiological mechanisms of the vascular tone regulation system in response to local pressure can be obtained using spectral analyses of LDF samples. The aim of the present work was to develop protocol and algorithm of data processing appropriate for study physiological response to the local pressure test. Involving 6 subjects (20±2 years) and providing 5 measurements for every subject we estimated intersubject and-inter group variability of response of both averaged and oscillating parts of the LDF sample on external surface pressure. The final purpose of the work was to find special features which further can be used in wider clinic studies. The cutaneous perfusion measurements were carried out by LAKK-02 (SPE LAZMA Ltd., Russia), the skin loading was provided by the originally designed device which allows one to distribute the pressure around the LDF probe. The probe was installed on the dorsal part of the distal finger of the index figure. We collected measurements continuously for one hour and varied loading from 0 to 180mmHg stepwise with a step duration of 10 minutes. Further, we post-processed the samples using the wavelet transform and traced the energy of oscillations in five frequency bands over time. Weak loading leads to pressure-induced vasodilation, so one should take into account that the perfusion measured under pressure conditions will be overestimated. On the other hand, we revealed a decrease in endothelial associated fluctuations. Further loading (88 mmHg) induces amplification of pulsations in all frequency bands. We assume that such loading leads to a higher number of closed capillaries, higher input of arterioles in the LDF signal and as a consequence more vivid oscillations which mainly are formed in arterioles. External pressure higher than 144 mmHg leads to the decrease of oscillating components, after removing the loading very rapid restore of the tissue perfusion takes place. In this work, we have demonstrated that local skin loading influence on the microcirculation parameters measured by optic technique; this should be taken into account while developing portable electronic devices. The proposed protocol of local loading allows one to evaluate PIV as far as to trace dynamic of blood flow oscillations. This study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation under project N 18-15-00201.

Keywords: blood microcirculation, laser Doppler flowmetry, pressure-induced vasodilation, wavelet analyses blood

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44 Stent Surface Functionalisation via Plasma Treatment to Promote Fast Endothelialisation

Authors: Irene Carmagnola, Valeria Chiono, Sandra Pacharra, Jochen Salber, Sean McMahon, Chris Lovell, Pooja Basnett, Barbara Lukasiewicz, Ipsita Roy, Xiang Zhang, Gianluca Ciardelli


Thrombosis and restenosis after stenting procedure can be prevented by promoting fast stent wall endothelialisation. It is well known that surface functionalisation with antifouling molecules combining with extracellular matrix proteins is a promising strategy to design biomimetic surfaces able to promote fast endothelialization. In particular, REDV has gained much attention for the ability to enhance rapid endothelialization due to its specific affinity with endothelial cells (ECs). In this work, a two-step plasma treatment was performed to polymerize a thin layer of acrylic acid, used to subsequently graft PEGylated-REDV and polyethylene glycol (PEG) at different molar ratio with the aim to selectively promote endothelial cell adhesion avoiding platelet activation. PEGylate-REDV was provided by Biomatik and it is formed by 6 PEG monomer repetitions (Chempep Inc.), with an NH2 terminal group. PEG polymers were purchased from Chempep Inc. with two different chain lengths: m-PEG6-NH2 (295.4 Da) with 6 monomer repetitions and m-PEG12-NH2 (559.7 Da) with 12 monomer repetitions. Plasma activation was obtained by operating at 50W power, 5 min of treatment and at an Ar flow rate of 20 sccm. Pure acrylic acid (99%, AAc) vapors were diluted in Ar (flow = 20 sccm) and polymerized by a pulsed plasma discharge applying a discharge RF power of 200 W, a duty cycle of 10% (on time = 10 ms, off time = 90 ms) for 10 min. After plasma treatment, samples were dipped into an 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3- ethylcarbodiimide (EDC)/N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) solution (ratio 4:1, pH 5.5) for 1 h at 4°C and subsequently dipped in PEGylate-REDV and PEGylate-REDV:PEG solutions at different molar ratio (100 μg/mL in PBS) for 20 h at room temperature. Surface modification was characterized through physico-chemical analyses and in vitro cell tests. PEGylated-REDV peptide and PEG were successfully bound to the carboxylic groups that are formed on the polymer surface after plasma reaction. FTIR-ATR spectroscopy, X -ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and contact angle measurement gave a clear indication of the presence of the grafted molecules. The use of PEG as a spacer allowed for an increase in wettability of the surface, and the effect was more evident by increasing the amount of PEG. Endothelial cells adhered and spread well on the surfaces functionalized with the REDV sequence. In conclusion, a selective coating able to promote a new endothelial cell layer on polymeric stent surface was developed. In particular, a thin AAc film was polymerised on the polymeric surface in order to expose –COOH groups, and PEGylate-REDV and PEG were successful grafted on the polymeric substrates. The REDV peptide demonstrated to encourage cell adhesion with a consequent, expected improvement of the hemocompatibility of these polymeric surfaces in vivo. Acknowledgements— This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme under grant agreement number 604251- ReBioStent (Reinforced Bioresorbable Biomaterials for Therapeutic Drug Eluting Stents). The authors thank all the ReBioStent partners for their support in this work.

Keywords: endothelialisation, plasma treatment, stent, surface functionalisation

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43 Effects of Irrigation Applications during Post-Anthesis Period on Flower Development and Pyrethrin Accumulation in Pyrethrum

Authors: Dilnee D. Suraweera, Tim Groom, Brian Chung, Brendan Bond, Andrew Schipp, Marc E. Nicolas


Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) is a perennial plant belongs to family Asteraceae. This is cultivated commercially for extraction of natural insecticide pyrethrins, which accumulates in their flower head achenes. Approximately 94% of the pyrethrins are produced within secretory ducts and trichomes of achenes of the mature pyrethrum flower. This is the most widely used botanical insecticide in the world and Australia is the current largest pyrethrum producer in the world. Rainfall in pyrethrum growing regions in Australia during pyrethrum flowering period, in late spring and early summer is significantly less. Due to lack of adequate soil moisture and under elevated temperature conditions during post-anthesis period, resulting in yield reductions. Therefore, understanding of yield responses of pyrethrum to irrigation is important for Pyrethrum as a commercial crop. Irrigation management has been identified as a key area of pyrethrum crop management strategies that could be manipulated to increase yield. Pyrethrum is a comparatively drought tolerant plant and it has some ability to survive in dry conditions due to deep rooting. But in dry areas and in dry seasons, the crop cannot reach to its full yield potential without adequate soil moisture. Therefore, irrigation is essential during the flowering period prevent crop water stress and maximise yield. Irrigation during the water deficit period results in an overall increased rate of water uptake and growth by the plant which is essential to achieve the maximum yield benefits from commercial crops. The effects of irrigation treatments applied at post-anthesis period on pyrethrum yield responses were studied in two irrigation methods. This was conducted in a first harvest commercial pyrethrum field in Waubra, Victoria, during 2012/2013 season. Drip irrigation and overhead sprinkler irrigation treatments applied during whole flowering period were compared with ‘rainfed’ treatment in relation to flower yield and pyrethrin yield responses. The results of this experiment showed that the application of 180mm of irrigation throughout the post-anthesis period, from early flowering stages to physiological maturity under drip irrigation treatment increased pyrethrin concentration by 32%, which combined with the 95 % increase in the flower yield to give a total pyrethrin yield increase of 157%, compared to the ‘rainfed’ treatment. In contrast to that overhead sprinkler irrigation treatment increased pyrethrin concentration by 19%, which combined with the 60 % increase in the flower yield to give a total pyrethrin yield increase of 91%, compared to the ‘rainfed’ treatment. Irrigation treatments applied throughout the post-anthesis period significantly increased flower yield as a result of enhancement of number of flowers and flower size. Irrigation provides adequate soil moisture for flower development in pyrethrum which slows the rate of flower development and increases the length of the flowering period, resulting in a delayed crop harvest (11 days) compared to the ‘rainfed’ treatment. Overall, irrigation has a major impact on pyrethrin accumulation which increases the rate and duration of pyrethrin accumulation resulting in higher pyrethrin yield per flower at physiological maturity. The findings of this study will be important for future yield predictions and to develop advanced agronomic strategies to maximise pyrethrin yield in pyrethrum.

Keywords: achene, drip irrigation, overhead irrigation, pyrethrin

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42 Influence of Cryo-Grinding on Antioxidant Activity and Amount of Free Phenolic Acids, Rutin and Tyrosol in Whole Grain Buckwheat and Pumpkin Seed Cake

Authors: B. Voucko, M. Benkovic, N. Cukelj, S. Drakula, D. Novotni, S. Balbino, D. Curic


Oxidative stress is considered as one of the causes leading to metabolic disorders in humans. Therefore, the ability of antioxidants to inhibit free radical production is their primary role in the human organism. Antioxidants originating from cereals, especially flavonoids and polyphenols, are mostly bound and indigestible. Micronization damages the cell wall which consecutively results in bioactive material to be more accessible in vivo. In order to ensure complete fragmentation, micronization is often combined with high temperatures (e.g., for bran 200°C) which can lead to degradation of bioactive compounds. The innovative non-thermal technology of cryo-milling is an ultra-fine micronization method that uses liquid nitrogen (LN2) at a temperature of 195°C to freeze and cool the sample during milling. Freezing at such low temperatures causes the material to become brittle which ensures the generation of fine particles while preserving the bioactive content of the material. The aim of this research was to determine if production of ultra-fine material with cryo-milling will result in the augmentation of available bioactive compounds of buckwheat and pumpkin seed cake. For that reason, buckwheat and pumpkin seed cake were ground in a ball mill (CryoMill, Retch, Germany) with and without the use of LN2 for 8 minutes, in a 50 mL stainless steel jar containing one grinding ball (Ø 25 mm) at an oscillation frequency of 30 Hz. The cryo-milled samples were cooled with LN2 for 2 minutes prior to milling, followed by the first cycle of milling (4 minutes), intermediary cooling (2 minutes), and finally the second cycle of milling (further 4 minutes). A continuous process of milling was applied to the samples ground without freezing with LN2. Particle size distribution was determined using the Scirocco 2000 dry dispersion unit (Malvern Instruments, UK). Antioxidant activity was determined by 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) test and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, while the total phenol content was determined using the Folin Ciocalteu method, using the ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer (Specord 50 Plus, Germany). The content of the free phenolic acids, rutin in buckwheat, tyrosol in pumpkin seed cake, was determined with an HPLC-PDA method (Agilent 1200 series, Germany). Cryo-milling resulted in 11 times smaller size of buckwheat particles, and 3 times smaller size of pumpkin seed particles than milling without the use of LN2, but also, a lower uniformity of the particle size distribution. Lack of freezing during milling of pumpkin seed cake caused a formation of agglomerates due to its high-fat content (21 %). Cryo-milling caused augmentation of buckwheat flour antioxidant activity measured by DPPH test (23,9%) and an increase in available rutin content (14,5%). Also, it resulted in an augmentation of the total phenol content (36,9%) and available tyrosol content (12,5%) of pumpkin seed cake. Antioxidant activity measured with the FRAP test, as well as the content of phenolic acids remained unchanged independent of the milling process. The results of this study showed the potential of cryo-milling for complete raw material utilization in the food industry, as well as a tool for extraction of aimed bioactive components.

Keywords: bioactive, ball-mill, buckwheat, cryo-milling, pumpkin seed cake

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41 Integrated Services Hub for Exploration and Production Industry: An Indian Narrative

Authors: Sunil Arora, Anitya Kumar Jena, S. A. Ravi


India is at the cusp of major reforms in the hydrocarbon sector. Oil and gas sector is highly liberalised to attract private investment and to increase domestic production. Major hydrocarbon Exploration & Production (E&P) activity here have been undertaken by Government owned companies but with easing up and reworking of hydro carbon exploration licensing policies private players have also joined the fray towards achieving energy security for India. Government of India has come up with policy and administrative reforms including Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), Sagarmala (port-led development with coastal connectivity), and Development of Small Discovered Fields, etc. with the intention to make industry friendly conditions for investment, ease of doing business and reduce gestation period. To harness the potential resources of Deep water and Ultra deep water, High Pressure – High Temperature (HP-HT) regions, Coal Bed Methane (CBM), Shale Hydrocarbons besides Gas Hydrates, participation shall be required from both domestic and international players. Companies engaged in E&P activities in India have traditionally been managing through their captive supply base, but with crude prices under hammer, the need is being felt to outsource non-core activities. This necessitates establishment of a robust support services to cater to E&P Industry, which is currently non-existent to meet the bourgeon challenges. This paper outlines an agenda for creating an Integrated Services Hub (ISH) under Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to facilitate complete gamut of non-core support activities of E&P industry. This responsive and proficient multi-usage facility becomes viable with better resource utilization, economies of scale to offer cost effective services. The concept envisages companies to bring-in their core technical expertise leaving complete hardware peripherals outsourced to this ISH. The Integrated Services Hub, complying with the best in class global standards, shall typically provide following Services under Single Window Solution, but not limited to: a) Logistics including supply base operations, transport of manpower and material, helicopters, offshore supply vessels, warehousing, inventory management, sourcing and procurement activities, international freight forwarding, domestic trucking, customs clearance service etc. b) Trained/Experienced pool of competent Manpower (Technical, Security etc.) will be available for engagement by companies on either short or long term basis depending upon the requirements with provisions of meeting any training requirements. c) Specialized Services through tie-up with global best companies for Crisis Management, Mud/Cement, Fishing, Floating Dry-dock besides provision of Workshop, Repair and Testing facilities, etc. d) Tools and Tackles including drill strings, etc. A pre-established Integrated Services Hub shall facilitate an early start-up of activities with substantial savings in time lines. This model can be replicated at other parts of the world to expedite E&P activities.

Keywords: integrated service hub, India, oil gas, offshore supply base

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40 A Simple Chemical Approach to Regenerating Strength of Thermally Recycled Glass Fibre

Authors: Sairah Bashir, Liu Yang, John Liggat, James Thomason


Glass fibre is currently used as reinforcement in over 90% of all fibre-reinforced composites produced. The high rigidity and chemical resistance of these composites are required for optimum performance but unfortunately results in poor recyclability; when such materials are no longer fit for purpose, they are frequently deposited in landfill sites. Recycling technologies, for example, thermal treatment, can be employed to address this issue; temperatures typically between 450 and 600 °C are required to allow degradation of the rigid polymeric matrix and subsequent extraction of fibrous reinforcement. However, due to the severe thermal conditions utilised in the recycling procedure, glass fibres become too weak for reprocessing in second-life composite materials. In addition, more stringent legislation is being put in place regarding disposal of composite waste, and so it is becoming increasingly important to develop long-term recycling solutions for such materials. In particular, the development of a cost-effective method to regenerate strength of thermally recycled glass fibres will have a positive environmental effect as a reduced volume of composite material will be destined for landfill. This research study has demonstrated the positive impact of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution, prepared at relatively mild temperatures and at concentrations of 1.5 M and above, on the strength of heat-treated glass fibres. As a result, alkaline treatments can potentially be implemented to glass fibres that are recycled from composite waste to allow their reuse in second-life materials. The optimisation of the strength recovery process is being conducted by varying certain reaction parameters such as molarity of alkaline solution and treatment time. It is believed that deep V-shaped surface flaws exist commonly on severely damaged fibre surfaces and are effectively removed to form smooth, U-shaped structures following alkaline treatment. Although these surface flaws are believed to be present on glass fibres they have not in fact been observed, however, they have recently been discovered in this research investigation through analytical techniques such as AFM (atomic force microscopy) and SEM (scanning electron microscopy). Reaction conditions such as molarity of alkaline solution affect the degree of etching of the glass fibre surface, and therefore the extent to which fibre strength is recovered. A novel method in determining the etching rate of glass fibres after alkaline treatment has been developed, and the data acquired can be correlated with strength. By varying reaction conditions such as alkaline solution temperature and molarity, the activation energy of the glass etching process and the reaction order can be calculated respectively. The promising results obtained from NaOH and KOH treatments have opened an exciting route to strength regeneration of thermally recycled glass fibres, and the optimisation of the alkaline treatment process is being continued in order to produce recycled fibres with properties that match original glass fibre products. The reuse of such glass filaments indicates that closed-loop recycling of glass fibre reinforced composite (GFRC) waste can be achieved. In fact, the development of a closed-loop recycling process for GFRC waste is already underway in this research study.

Keywords: glass fibers, glass strengthening, glass structure and properties, surface reactions and corrosion

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39 Development and Implementation of An "Electric Island" Monitoring Infrastructure for Promoting Energy Efficiency in Schools

Authors: Vladislav Grigorovitch, Marina Grigorovitch, David Pearlmutter, Erez Gal


The concept of “electric island” is involved with achieving the balance between the self-power generation ability of each educational institution and energy consumption demand. Photo-Voltaic (PV) solar system installed on the roofs of educational buildings is a common way to absorb the available solar energy and generate electricity for self-consumption and even for returning to the grid. The main objective of this research is to develop and implement an “electric island” monitoring infrastructure for promoting energy efficiency in educational buildings. A microscale monitoring methodology will be developed to provide a platform to estimate energy consumption performance classified by rooms and subspaces rather than the more common macroscale monitoring of the whole building. The monitoring platform will be established on the experimental sites, enabling an estimation and further analysis of the variety of environmental and physical conditions. For each building, separate measurement configurations will be applied taking into account the specific requirements, restrictions, location and infrastructure issues. The direct results of the measurements will be analyzed to provide deeper understanding of the impact of environmental conditions and sustainability construction standards, not only on the energy demand of public building, but also on the energy consumption habits of the children that study in those schools and the educational and administrative staff that is responsible for providing the thermal comfort conditions and healthy studying atmosphere for the children. A monitoring methodology being developed in this research is providing online access to real-time data of Interferential Therapy (IFTs) from any mobile phone or computer by simply browsing the dedicated website, providing powerful tools for policy makers for better decision making while developing PV production infrastructure to achieve “electric islands” in educational buildings. A detailed measurement configuration was technically designed based on the specific conditions and restriction of each of the pilot buildings. A monitoring and analysis methodology includes a large variety of environmental parameters inside and outside the schools to investigate the impact of environmental conditions both on the energy performance of the school and educational abilities of the children. Indoor measurements are mandatory to acquire the energy consumption data, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and other air quality conditions in different parts of the building. In addition to that, we aim to study the awareness of the users to the energy consideration and thus the impact on their energy consumption habits. The monitoring of outdoor conditions is vital for proper design of the off-grid energy supply system and validation of its sufficient capacity. The suggested outcomes of this research include: 1. both experimental sites are designed to have PV production and storage capabilities; 2. Developing an online information feedback platform. The platform will provide consumer dedicated information to academic researchers, municipality officials and educational staff and students; 3. Designing an environmental work path for educational staff regarding optimal conditions and efficient hours for operating air conditioning, natural ventilation, closing of blinds, etc.

Keywords: sustainability, electric island, IOT, smart building

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38 Effect of Velocity-Slip in Nanoscale Electroosmotic Flows: Molecular and Continuum Transport Perspectives

Authors: Alper T. Celebi, Ali Beskok


Electroosmotic (EO) slip flows in nanochannels are investigated using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and the results are compared with analytical solution of Poisson-Boltzmann and Stokes (PB-S) equations with slip contribution. The ultimate objective of this study is to show that well-known continuum flow model can accurately predict the EO velocity profiles in nanochannels using the slip lengths and apparent viscosities obtained from force-driven flow simulations performed at various liquid-wall interaction strengths. EO flow of aqueous NaCl solution in silicon nanochannels are simulated under realistic electrochemical conditions within the validity region of Poisson-Boltzmann theory. A physical surface charge density is determined for nanochannels based on dissociations of silanol functional groups on channel surfaces at known salt concentration, temperature and local pH. First, we present results of density profiles and ion distributions by equilibrium MD simulations, ensuring that the desired thermodynamic state and ionic conditions are satisfied. Next, force-driven nanochannel flow simulations are performed to predict the apparent viscosity of ionic solution between charged surfaces and slip lengths. Parabolic velocity profiles obtained from force-driven flow simulations are fitted to a second-order polynomial equation, where viscosity and slip lengths are quantified by comparing the coefficients of the fitted equation with continuum flow model. Presence of charged surface increases the viscosity of ionic solution while the velocity-slip at wall decreases. Afterwards, EO flow simulations are carried out under uniform electric field for different liquid-wall interaction strengths. Velocity profiles present finite slips near walls, followed with a conventional viscous flow profile in the electrical double layer that reaches a bulk flow region in the center of the channel. The EO flow enhances with increased slip at the walls, which depends on wall-liquid interaction strength and the surface charge. MD velocity profiles are compared with the predictions from analytical solutions of the slip modified PB-S equation, where the slip length and apparent viscosity values are obtained from force-driven flow simulations in charged silicon nano-channels. Our MD results show good agreements with the analytical solutions at various slip conditions, verifying the validity of PB-S equation in nanochannels as small as 3.5 nm. In addition, the continuum model normalizes slip length with the Debye length instead of the channel height, which implies that enhancement in EO flows is independent of the channel height. Further MD simulations performed at different channel heights also shows that the flow enhancement due to slip is independent of the channel height. This is important because slip enhanced EO flow is observable even in micro-channels experiments by using a hydrophobic channel with large slip and high conductivity solutions with small Debye length. The present study provides an advanced understanding of EO flows in nanochannels. Correct characterization of nanoscale EO slip flow is crucial to discover the extent of well-known continuum models, which is required for various applications spanning from ion separation to drug delivery and bio-fluidic analysis.

Keywords: electroosmotic flow, molecular dynamics, slip length, velocity-slip

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37 Anesthesia for Spinal Stabilization Using Neuromuscular Blocking Agents in Dog: Case Report

Authors: Agata Migdalska, Joanna Berczynska, Ewa Bieniek, Jacek Sterna


Muscle relaxation is considered important during general anesthesia for spine stabilization. In a presented case peripherally acting muscle relaxant was applied during general anesthesia for spine stabilization surgery. The patient was a dog, 11-years old, 26 kg, male, mix breed. Spine fracture was situated between Th13-L1-L2, probably due to the car accident. Preanesthetic physical examination revealed no sign underlying health issues. The dog was premedicated with midazolam 0.2 mg IM and butorphanol 2.4 mg IM. General anesthesia was induced with propofol IV. After the induction, the dog was intubated with an endotracheal tube and connected to an open-ended rebreathing system and maintained with the use of inhalation anesthesia with isoflurane in oxygen. 0,5 mg/ kg of rocuronium was given IV. Use of muscle relaxant was accompanied by an assessment of the degree of neuromuscular blockade by peripheral nerve stimulator. Electrodes were attached to the skin overlying at the peroneal nerve at the lateral cranial tibia. Four electrical pulses were applied to the nerve over a 2 second period. When satisfying nerve block was detected dog was prepared for the surgery. No further monitoring of the effectiveness of blockade was performed during surgery. Mechanical ventilation was kept during anesthesia. During surgery dog maintain stable, and no anesthesiological complication occur. Intraoperatively surgeon claimed that neuromuscular blockade results in a better approach to the spine and easier muscle manipulation which was helpful in order to see the fracture and replace bone fragments. Finally, euthanasia was performed intraoperatively as a result of vast myelomalacia process of the spinal cord. This prevented examination of the recovering process. Neuromuscular blocking agents act at the neuromuscular junction to provide profound muscle relaxation throughout the body. Muscle blocking agents are neither anesthetic nor analgesic; therefore inappropriately used may cause paralysis in fully conscious and feeling pain patient. They cause paralysis of all skeletal muscles, also diaphragm and intercostal muscles when given in higher doses. Intraoperative management includes maintaining stable physiological conditions, which involves adjusting hemodynamic parameters, ensuring proper ventilation, avoiding variations in temperature, maintain normal blood flow to promote proper oxygen exchange. Neuromuscular blocking agent can cause many side effects like residual paralysis, anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reactions, delayed recovery from anesthesia, histamine release, recurarization. Therefore reverse drug like neostigmine (with glikopyrolat) or edrofonium (with atropine) should be used in case of a life-threatening situation. Another useful drug is sugammadex, although the cost of this drug strongly limits its use. Muscle relaxant improves surgical conditions during spinal surgery, especially in heavily muscled individuals. They are also used to facilitate the replacement of dislocated joints as they improve conditions during fracture reduction. It is important to emphasize that in a patient with muscle weakness neuromuscular blocking agents may result in intraoperative and early postoperative cardiovascular and respiratory complications, as well as prolonged recovery from anesthesia. This should not appear in patients with recent spine fracture or luxation. Therefore it is believed that neuromuscular blockers could be useful during spine stabilization procedures.

Keywords: anesthesia, dog, neuromuscular block, spine surgery

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36 Application of Flow Cytometry for Detection of Influence of Abiotic Stress on Plants

Authors: Dace Grauda, Inta Belogrudova, Alexei Katashev, Linda Lancere, Isaak Rashal


The goal of study was the elaboration of easy applicable flow cytometry method for detection of influence of abiotic stress factors on plants, which could be useful for detection of environmental stresses in urban areas. The lime tree Tillia vulgaris H. is a popular tree species used for urban landscaping in Europe and is one of the main species of street greenery in Riga, Latvia. Tree decline and low vitality has observed in the central part of Riga. For this reason lime trees were select as a model object for the investigation. During the period of end of June and beginning of July 12 samples from different urban environment locations as well as plant material from a greenhouse were collected. BD FACSJazz® cell sorter (BD Biosciences, USA) with flow cytometer function was used to test viability of plant cells. The method was based on changes of relative fluorescence intensity of cells in blue laser (488 nm) after influence of stress factors. SpheroTM rainbow calibration particles (3.0–3.4 μm, BD Biosciences, USA) in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) were used for calibration of flow cytometer. BD PharmingenTM PBS (BD Biosciences, USA) was used for flow cytometry assays. The mean fluorescence intensity information from the purified cell suspension samples was recorded. Preliminary, multiple gate sizes and shapes were tested to find one with the lowest CV. It was found that low CV can be obtained if only the densest part of plant cells forward scatter/side scatter profile is analysed because in this case plant cells are most similar in size and shape. The young pollen cells in one nucleus stage were found as the best for detection of influence of abiotic stress. For experiments only fresh plant material was used– the buds of Tillia vulgaris with diameter 2 mm. For the cell suspension (in vitro culture) establishment modified protocol of microspore culture was applied. The cells were suspended in the MS (Murashige and Skoog) medium. For imitation of dust of urban area SiO2 nanoparticles with concentration 0.001 g/ml were dissolved in distilled water. Into 10 ml of cell suspension 1 ml of SiO2 nanoparticles suspension was added, then cells were incubated in speed shaking regime for 1 and 3 hours. As a stress factor the irradiation of cells for 20 min by UV was used (Hamamatsu light source L9566-02A, L10852 lamp, A10014-50-0110), maximum relative intensity (100%) at 365 nm and at ~310 nm (75%). Before UV irradiation the suspension of cells were placed onto a thin layer on a filter paper disk (diameter 45 mm) in a Petri dish with solid MS media. Cells without treatment were used as a control. Experiments were performed at room temperature (23-25 °C). Using flow cytometer BS FACS Software cells plot was created to determine the densest part, which was later gated using oval-shaped gate. Gate included from 95 to 99% of all cells. To determine relative fluorescence of cells logarithmic fluorescence scale in arbitrary fluorescence units were used. 3x103 gated cells were analysed from the each sample. The significant differences were found among relative fluorescence of cells from different trees after treatment with SiO2 nanoparticles and UV irradiation in comparison with the control.

Keywords: flow cytometry, fluorescence, SiO2 nanoparticles, UV irradiation

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35 Broad Host Range Bacteriophage Cocktail for Reduction of Staphylococcus aureus as Potential Therapy for Atopic Dermatitis

Authors: Tamar Lin, Nufar Buchshtab, Yifat Elharar, Julian Nicenboim, Rotem Edgar, Iddo Weiner, Lior Zelcbuch, Ariel Cohen, Sharon Kredo-Russo, Inbar Gahali-Sass, Naomi Zak, Sailaja Puttagunta, Merav Bassan


Background: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory skin disorder that is characterized by dry skin and flares of eczematous lesions and intense pruritus. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that AD is associated with increased colonization by Staphylococcus aureus, which contributes to disease pathogenesis through the release of virulence factors that affect both keratinocytes and immune cells, leading to disruption of the skin barrier and immune cell dysfunction. The aim of the current study is to develop a bacteriophage-based product that specifically targets S. aureus. Methods: For the discovery of phage, environmental samples were screened on 118 S. aureus strains isolated from skin samples, followed by multiple enrichment steps. Natural phages were isolated, subjected to Next-generation Sequencing (NGS), and analyzed using proprietary bioinformatics tools for undesirable genes (toxins, antibiotic resistance genes, lysogeny potential), taxonomic classification, and purity. Phage host range was determined by an efficiency of plating (EOP) value above 0.1 and the ability of the cocktail to completely lyse liquid bacterial culture under different growth conditions (e.g., temperature, bacterial stage). Results: Sequencing analysis demonstrated that the 118 S. aureus clinical strains were distributed across the phylogenetic tree of all available Refseq S. aureus (~10,750 strains). Screening environmental samples on the S. aureus isolates resulted in the isolation of 50 lytic phages from different genera, including Silviavirus, Kayvirus, Podoviridae, and a novel unidentified phage. NGS sequencing confirmed the absence of toxic elements in the phages’ genomes. The host range of the individual phages, as measured by the efficiency of plating (EOP), ranged between 41% (48/118) to 79% (93/118). Host range studies in liquid culture revealed that a subset of the phages can infect a broad range of S. aureus strains in different metabolic states, including stationary state. Combining the single-phage EOP results of selected phages resulted in a broad host range cocktail which infected 92% (109/118) of the strains. When tested in vitro in a liquid infection assay, clearance was achieved in 87% (103/118) of the strains, with no evidence of phage resistance throughout the study (24 hours). A S. aureus host was identified that can be used for the production of all the phages in the cocktail at high titers suitable for large-scale manufacturing. This host was validated for the absence of contaminating prophages using advanced NGS methods combined with multiple production cycles. The phages are produced under optimized scale-up conditions and are being used for the development of a topical formulation (BX005) that may be administered to subjects with atopic dermatitis. Conclusions: A cocktail of natural phages targeting S. aureus was effective in reducing bacterial burden across multiple assays. Phage products may offer safe and effective steroid-sparing options for atopic dermatitis.

Keywords: atopic dermatitis, bacteriophage cocktail, host range, Staphylococcus aureus

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34 Multi-Model Super Ensemble Based Advanced Approaches for Monsoon Rainfall Prediction

Authors: Swati Bhomia, C. M. Kishtawal, Neeru Jaiswal


Traditionally, monsoon forecasts have encountered many difficulties that stem from numerous issues such as lack of adequate upper air observations, mesoscale nature of convection, proper resolution, radiative interactions, planetary boundary layer physics, mesoscale air-sea fluxes, representation of orography, etc. Uncertainties in any of these areas lead to large systematic errors. Global circulation models (GCMs), which are developed independently at different institutes, each of which carries somewhat different representation of the above processes, can be combined to reduce the collective local biases in space, time, and for different variables from different models. This is the basic concept behind the multi-model superensemble and comprises of a training and a forecast phase. The training phase learns from the recent past performances of models and is used to determine statistical weights from a least square minimization via a simple multiple regression. These weights are then used in the forecast phase. The superensemble forecasts carry the highest skill compared to simple ensemble mean, bias corrected ensemble mean and the best model out of the participating member models. This approach is a powerful post-processing method for the estimation of weather forecast parameters reducing the direct model output errors. Although it can be applied successfully to the continuous parameters like temperature, humidity, wind speed, mean sea level pressure etc., in this paper, this approach is applied to rainfall, a parameter quite difficult to handle with standard post-processing methods, due to its high temporal and spatial variability. The present study aims at the development of advanced superensemble schemes comprising of 1-5 day daily precipitation forecasts from five state-of-the-art global circulation models (GCMs), i.e., European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (Europe), National Center for Environmental Prediction (USA), China Meteorological Administration (China), Canadian Meteorological Centre (Canada) and U.K. Meteorological Office (U.K.) obtained from THORPEX Interactive Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE), which is one of the most complete data set available. The novel approaches include the dynamical model selection approach in which the selection of the superior models from the participating member models at each grid and for each forecast step in the training period is carried out. Multi-model superensemble based on the training using similar conditions is also discussed in the present study, which is based on the assumption that training with the similar type of conditions may provide the better forecasts in spite of the sequential training which is being used in the conventional multi-model ensemble (MME) approaches. Further, a variety of methods that incorporate a 'neighborhood' around each grid point which is available in literature to allow for spatial error or uncertainty, have also been experimented with the above mentioned approaches. The comparison of these schemes with respect to the observations verifies that the newly developed approaches provide more unified and skillful prediction of the summer monsoon (viz. June to September) rainfall compared to the conventional multi-model approach and the member models.

Keywords: multi-model superensemble, dynamical model selection, similarity criteria, neighborhood technique, rainfall prediction

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33 Effect of Metarhizium robertsii in Rhipicephalus microplus hemocytes

Authors: Jessica P. Fiorotti, Maria C. Freitas, Caio J. B. Coutinho-Rodrigues, Mariana G. Camargo, Emily S. Mesquita, Amanda R. C. Corval, Ricardo O. B. Bitencourt, Allan F. Marciano, Diva D. Spadacci-Morena, Patricia S. Golo, Isabele C. Angelo, Vania R. E. P. Bittencourt


The bovine tick, Rhipicephalus microplus, is an arthropod of great importance in veterinary medicine leading to anemia, weight loss, animals' leather depreciation and also acting as a vector of many pathogens. In this way, the parasitism causes a loss of 3.24 billion dollars per year in Brazil. Knowingly, entomopathogenic fungi act as natural controller of some arthropods, acting mainly by active penetration through the cuticle. However, it can also act on the hemolymph and through the production of mycotoxins. Hemocytes are responsible for the cellular immune response and participate in the processes of phagocytosis, nodulation and encapsulation and may undergo changes when challenged by pathogens. The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in R. microplus hemocytes after inoculation of Metarhizium robertsii using transmission electron microscopy. The isolate ARSEF 2575 and 200 engorged R. microplus females were used. The groups were divided into control, in which the females were inoculated with 5 μL of sterile distilled water solution and 0.1% Tween 80, and a group inoculated with 5 μL of fungal suspension at the concentration of 10⁷ conidia mL⁻¹. The experiment was performed in duplicate and each group contained 50 females. Twenty-four hours after fungal inoculation, hemolymph was collected through the cuticle dorsal surface perforation of the tick females. After collection, the hemolymph samples were centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes at 4 °C, the plasma was discarded and the hemocyte pellet was resuspended in 50 μl PBS. The suspension material was fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde in Millonig buffer for three hours. After fixation, the material was centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes, the supernatant was discarded and the cells were resuspended in a wash solution. Subsequently, the cells were post-fixed with 1% osmium tetroxide in phosphate buffer for one hour at room temperature and dehydrated in increasing concentrations of ethanol, and then embedded in Epon resin. The ultrathin sections were examined under the LEO EM 906E transmission electron microscopy at 80kV. The ultrastructural results revealed control group, the cells were considered intact, in which the granulocytes were observed with granules of different electrodensities, intact mitochondria and cytoplasm without vacuolization. In addition, granulocytes showed plasma membrane projections similar to pseudopodia. Plasmatocytes presented as irregularly shaped cells, with the eccentric nucleus, agranular cytoplasm and some cells presented pseudopodia. Nevertheless, in the group exposed to the fungus, most of the cells presented in degeneration. The granulocytes found had fewer granules in the cytoplasm and more vacuoles. Plasmatocytes, after treatment, presented many vacuoles also in the cytoplasm and the lysosomes presented great amount of electrodense material in their interior. Thus, the results suggest that the fungus has a depressant action in the immune system of the tick, not only by the cell degranulation, but also suggesting that this leads to morphological changes in the hemocytes and may even trigger processes such as phagocytosis.

Keywords: bovine tick, cellular defense, entomopathogenic fungi, immune response

Procedia PDF Downloads 52
32 Development of DEMO-FNS Hybrid Facility and Its Integration in Russian Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Authors: Yury S. Shpanskiy, Boris V. Kuteev


Development of a fusion-fission hybrid facility based on superconducting conventional tokamak DEMO-FNS runs in Russia since 2013. The main design goal is to reach the technical feasibility and outline prospects of industrial hybrid technologies providing the production of neutrons, fuel nuclides, tritium, high-temperature heat, electricity and subcritical transmutation in Fusion-Fission Hybrid Systems. The facility should operate in a steady-state mode at the fusion power of 40 MW and fission reactions of 400 MW. Major tokamak parameters are the following: major radius R=3.2 m, minor radius a=1.0 m, elongation 2.1, triangularity 0.5. The design provides the neutron wall loading of ~0.2 MW/m², the lifetime neutron fluence of ~2 MWa/m², with the surface area of the active cores and tritium breeding blanket ~100 m². Core plasma modelling showed that the neutron yield ~10¹⁹ n/s is maximal if the tritium/deuterium density ratio is 1.5-2.3. The design of the electromagnetic system (EMS) defined its basic parameters, accounting for the coils strength and stability, and identified the most problematic nodes in the toroidal field coils and the central solenoid. The EMS generates toroidal, poloidal and correcting magnetic fields necessary for the plasma shaping and confinement inside the vacuum vessel. EMC consists of eighteen superconducting toroidal field coils, eight poloidal field coils, five sections of a central solenoid, correction coils, in-vessel coils for vertical plasma control. Supporting structures, the thermal shield, and the cryostat maintain its operation. EMS operates with the pulse duration of up to 5000 hours at the plasma current up to 5 MA. The vacuum vessel (VV) is an all-welded two-layer toroidal shell placed inside the EMS. The free space between the vessel shells is filled with water and boron steel plates, which form the neutron protection of the EMS. The VV-volume is 265 m³, its mass with manifolds is 1800 tons. The nuclear blanket of DEMO-FNS facility was designed to provide functions of minor actinides transmutation, tritium production and enrichment of spent nuclear fuel. The vertical overloading of the subcritical active cores with MA was chosen as prospective. Analysis of the device neutronics and the hybrid blanket thermal-hydraulic characteristics has been performed for the system with functions covering transmutation of minor actinides, production of tritium and enrichment of spent nuclear fuel. A study of FNS facilities role in the Russian closed nuclear fuel cycle was performed. It showed that during ~100 years of operation three FNS facilities with fission power of 3 GW controlled by fusion neutron source with power of 40 MW can burn 98 tons of minor actinides and 198 tons of Pu-239 can be produced for startup loading of 20 fast reactors. Instead of Pu-239, up to 25 kg of tritium per year may be produced for startup of fusion reactors using blocks with lithium orthosilicate instead of fissile breeder blankets.

Keywords: fusion-fission hybrid system, conventional tokamak, superconducting electromagnetic system, two-layer vacuum vessel, subcritical active cores, nuclear fuel cycle

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31 Intensification of Wet Air Oxidation of Landfill Leachate Reverse Osmosis Concentrates

Authors: Emilie Gout, Mathias Monnot, Olivier Boutin, Pierre Vanloot, Philippe Moulin


Water is a precious resource. Treating industrial wastewater remains a considerable technical challenge of our century. The effluent considered for this study is landfill leachate treated by reverse osmosis (RO). Nowadays, in most developed countries, sanitary landfilling is the main method to deal with municipal solid waste. Rainwater percolates through solid waste, generating leachates mostly comprised of organic and inorganic matter. Whilst leachate ages, its composition varies, becoming more and more bio-refractory. RO is already used for landfill leachates as it generates good quality permeate. However, its mains drawback is the production of highly polluted concentrates that cannot be discharged in the environment or reused, which is an important industrial issue. It is against this background that the study of coupling RO with wet air oxidation (WAO) was set to intensify and optimize processes to meet current regulations for water discharge in the environment. WAO is widely studied for effluents containing bio-refractory compounds. Oxidation consists of a destruction reaction capable of mineralizing the recalcitrant organic fraction of pollution into carbon dioxide and water when complete. WAO process in subcritical conditions requires a high-energy consumption, but it can be autothermic in a certain range of chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations (10-100 g.L⁻¹). Appropriate COD concentrations are reached in landfill leachate RO concentrates. Therefore, the purpose of this work is to report the performances of mineralization during WAO on RO concentrates. The coupling of RO/WAO has shown promising results in previous works on both synthetic and real effluents in terms of organic carbon (TOC) reduction by WAO and retention by RO. Non-catalytic WAO with air as oxidizer was performed in a lab-scale stirred autoclave (1 L) on landfill leachates RO concentrates collected in different seasons in a sanitary landfill in southern France. The yield of WAO depends on operating parameters such as total pressure, temperature, and time. Compositions of the effluent are also important aspects for process intensification. An experimental design methodology was used to minimize the number of experiments whilst finding the operating conditions achieving the best pollution reduction. The simulation led to a set of 18 experiments, and the responses to highlight process efficiency are pH, conductivity, turbidity, COD, TOC, and inorganic carbon. A 70% oxygen excess was chosen for all the experiments. First experiments showed that COD and TOC abatements of at least 70% were obtained after 90 min at 300°C and 20 MPa, which attested the possibility to treat RO leachate concentrates with WAO. In order to meet French regulations and validate process intensification with industrial effluents, some continuous experiments in a bubble column are foreseen, and some further analyses will be performed, such as biological oxygen demand and study of gas composition. Meanwhile, other industrial effluents are treated to compare RO-WAO performances. These effluents, coming from pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and tertiary wastewater industries, present different specific pollutants that will provide a better comprehension of the hybrid process and prove the intensification and feasibility of the process at an industrial scale. Acknowledgments: This work has been supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR) for the Project TEMPO under the reference number ANR-19-CE04-0002-01.

Keywords: hybrid process, landfill leachates, process intensification, reverse osmosis, wet air oxidation

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30 Listeria and Spoilage Inhibition Using Neutralized and Sodium Free Vinegar Powder

Authors: E. Heintz, H. J. van Lent, K. Glass, J. Lim


The trend for sodium reduction in food products is clear. Following the World Health Organization (WHO) publication on sodium usage and intake, several countries have introduced initiatives to reduce food-related sodium intake. As salt is a common food preservative, this trend motivates the formulation of a suitable additive with comparable benefits of shelf life extension and microbial safety. Organic acid derivatives like acetates are known as generic microbial growth inhibitors and are commonly applied as additives to meet food safety demands. However, modern consumers have negative perceptions towards -synthetic-derived additives and increasingly prefer natural alternatives. Vinegar, for example, is a well-known natural fermentation product used in food preservation. However, the high acidity of vinegar often makes it impractical for direct use in meat products and a neutralized form would be desirable. This research demonstrates the efficacy of powdered vinegar (Provian DV) in inhibiting Listeria and spoilage organisms (LAB) to increase safety and shelf life of meat products. For this, the efficacy of Provian DV was compared to the efficacy of Provian K, a commonly used sodium free acetate-based preservative, which is known for its inhibition against Listeria. Materials & methods— Cured pork hams: Ingredients: Pork ham muscle, water, salt, dextrose, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate, and starch. Targets: 73-74% moisture, 1.75+0.1% salt, and pH 6.4+0.1. Treatments: Control (no antimicrobials), Provian®K 0.5% and 0.75%, Provian®DV 0.5%, 0.65%, 0.8% and 1.0%. Meat formulations in casings were cooked reaching an internal temperature of 73.9oC, cooled overnight and stored for 4 days at 4oC until inoculation. Inoculation: Sliced products were inoculated with approximately 3-log per gram of a cocktail of L. monocytogenes (including serotypes 4b, 1/2a and 1/2b) or LAB-cocktail (C. divergens and L. mesenteroides). Inoculated slices were vacuum packaged and stored at 4oC and 7°C. Samples were incubated 28 days (LAB) or 12 weeks (L. monocytogenes) Microbial analysis: Microbial populations were enumerated in rinsate obtained after adding 100ml of sterile Butterfield’s phosphate buffer to each package and massaging the contents externally by hand. L. monocytogenes populations were determined on triplicate samples by surface plating on Modified Oxford agar whereas LAB plate counts were determined on triplicate samples by surface plating on All Purpose Tween agar with 0.4% bromocresol purple. Proximate analysis: Triplicate non-inoculated ground samples were analyzed for the moisture content, pH, aw, salt, and residual nitrite. Results—The results confirmed the no growth of Listeria on cured ham with 0.5% Provian K stored at 4°C and 7°C for 12 weeks, whereas the no-antimicrobial control showed a 1-log increase within two weeks. 0.5% Provian DV demonstrated similar efficacy towards Listeria inhibition at 4°C while 0.65% Provian DV was required to match the Listeria control at 7°C. 0.75% Provian K and 1% Provian DV were needed to show inhibition of the LAB for 4 weeks at both temperatures. Conclusions—This research demonstrated that it is possible to increase safety and shelf life of cured ready-to-eat ham using preservatives that meet current food trends, like sodium reduction and natural origin.

Keywords: food safety, natural preservation, listeria control, shelf life extension

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29 Empirical Modeling and Spatial Analysis of Heat-Related Morbidity in Maricopa County, Arizona

Authors: Chuyuan Wang, Nayan Khare, Lily Villa, Patricia Solis, Elizabeth A. Wentz


Maricopa County, Arizona, has a semi-arid hot desert climate that is one of the hottest regions in the United States. The exacerbated urban heat island (UHI) effect caused by rapid urbanization has made the urban area even hotter than the rural surroundings. The Phoenix metropolitan area experiences extremely high temperatures in the summer from June to September that can reach the daily highest of 120 °F (48.9 °C). Morbidity and mortality due to the environmental heat is, therefore, a significant public health issue in Maricopa County, especially because it is largely preventable. Public records from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) revealed that between 2012 and 2016, there were 10,825 incidents of heat-related morbidity incidents, 267 outdoor environmental heat deaths, and 173 indoor heat-related deaths. A lot of research has examined heat-related death and its contributing factors around the world, but little has been done regarding heat-related morbidity issues, especially for regions that are naturally hot in the summer. The objective of this study is to examine the demographic, socio-economic, housing, and environmental factors that contribute to heat-related morbidity in Maricopa County. We obtained heat-related morbidity data between 2012 and 2016 at census tract level from MCDPH. Demographic, socio-economic, and housing variables were derived using 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimate from the U.S. Census. Remotely sensed Landsat 7 ETM+ and Landsat 8 OLI satellite images and Level-1 products were acquired for all the summer months (June to September) from 2012 and 2016. The National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2016 percent tree canopy and percent developed imperviousness data were obtained from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). We used ordinary least squares (OLS) regression analysis to examine the empirical relationship between all the independent variables and heat-related morbidity rate. Results showed that higher morbidity rates are found in census tracts with higher values in population aged 65 and older, population under poverty, disability, no vehicle ownership, white non-Hispanic, population with less than high school degree, land surface temperature, and surface reflectance, but lower values in normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and housing occupancy. The regression model can be used to explain up to 59.4% of total variation of heat-related morbidity in Maricopa County. The multiscale geographically weighted regression (MGWR) technique was then used to examine the spatially varying relationships between heat-related morbidity rate and all the significant independent variables. The R-squared value of the MGWR model increased to 0.691, that shows a significant improvement in goodness-of-fit than the global OLS model, which means that spatial heterogeneity of some independent variables is another important factor that influences the relationship with heat-related morbidity in Maricopa County. Among these variables, population aged 65 and older, the Hispanic population, disability, vehicle ownership, and housing occupancy have much stronger local effects than other variables.

Keywords: census, empirical modeling, heat-related morbidity, spatial analysis

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28 Gene Cloning and Expression of Azoreductases from Azo-Degraders Lysinibacillus macrolides and Bacillus coagulans Isolated from Egyptian Industrial Wastewater

Authors: Omaima A. Sharaf, Wafaa M. Abd El-Rahim, Hassan Moawad, Michael J. Sadowsky


Textile industry is one of the important industries in the worldwide. It is known that the eco-friendly industrial and agricultural activities are significant for socio-economic stability of all countries. The absence of appropriate industrial waste water treatments is essential barrier for sustainable development in food and agricultural sectors especially in developing country like Egypt. Thus, the development of enzymatic bioremediation technology for textile dye removal will enhance the collaboration between scientists who develop the technology and industry where this technology will be implemented towards the safe disposal of the textile dye wastes. Highly efficient microorganisms are of most importance in developing and using highly effective biological treatment processes. Bacterial degradation of azo dyes is generally initiated by an enzymatic step that involves cleavage of azo linkages, usually with the aid of an azoreductase as electron donor. Thus, expanding the spectrum of microorganisms with high enzymatic activities as azoreductases and discovering novel azo-dye degrading enzymes, with enhanced stability and superior catalytic properties, are necessary for many environmental and industrial applications. Consequently, the use of molecular tools has become increasingly integrated into the understanding of enzyme properties and characterization. Researchers have utilized a gene cloning and expression methods as a tool to produce recombinant protein for decolorizing dyes more efficiently. Thus, presumptive evidence for the presence of genes encoding azoreductases in the genomes of selected local, and most potent azo-degrading strains were obtained by using specific oligonucleotides primers. These potent strains have been isolated from textile industrial wastewater in Egypt and identified using 16S rRNA sequence analysis as 'Lysinibacillus macrolidesB8, Brevibacillus parabrevisB11, Bacillus coagulansB7, and B. cereusB5'. PCR products of two full length genes designated as (AZO1;621bp and AZO2;534bp) were detected. BLASTx results indicated that AZO1 gene was corresponding to predicted azoreductase from of Bacillus sp. ABP14, complete genome, multispecies azoreductase [Bacillus], It was submitted to the gene bank by an accession no., BankIt2085371 AZO1 MG923210 (621bp; 207 amino acids). AZO1 was generated from the DNA of our identified strains Lysinibacillus macrolidesB8. On the other hand, AZO2 gene was corresponding to a predicted azoreductase from Bacillus cereus strain S2-8. Gene bank accession no. was BankIt2085839 AZO2 MG932081 (534bp;178 amino acids) and it was amplified from our Bacillus coagulansB7. Both genes were successfully cloned into pCR2.1TOPO (Invitrogen) and in pET28b+ vectors, then they transformed into E. coli DH5α and BL21(DE3) cells for heterologous expression studies. Our recombinant azoreductases (AZO1&AZO2) exhibited potential enzyme activity and efficiently decolorized an azo dye (Direct violet). They exhibited pH stability between 6 and 8 with optimum temperature up to 60°C and 37 °C after induction by 1mM and 1.5mM IPTG, for both AZO1 &AZO2, respectively. These results suggested that further optimization and purification of these recombinant proteins by using different heterologous expression systems will give great potential for the sustainable utilization of these recombinant enzymes in several industrial applications especially in wastewater treatments.

Keywords: azoreductases, decolorization, enzyme activity, gene cloning and expression

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27 Global Evidence on the Seasonality of Enteric Infections, Malnutrition, and Livestock Ownership

Authors: Aishwarya Venkat, Anastasia Marshak, Ryan B. Simpson, Elena N. Naumova


Livestock ownership is simultaneously linked to improved nutritional status through increased availability of animal-source protein, and increased risk of enteric infections through higher exposure to contaminated water sources. Agrarian and agro-pastoral households, especially those with cattle, goats, and sheep, are highly dependent on seasonally various environmental conditions, which directly impact nutrition and health. This study explores global spatiotemporally explicit evidence regarding the relationship between livestock ownership, enteric infections, and malnutrition. Seasonal and cyclical fluctuations, as well as mediating effects, are further examined to elucidate health and nutrition outcomes of individual and communal livestock ownership. The US Agency for International Development’s Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund’s Multi-Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) provide valuable sources of household-level information on anthropometry, asset ownership, and disease outcomes. These data are especially important in data-sparse regions, where surveys may only be conducted in the aftermath of emergencies. Child-level disease history, anthropometry, and household-level asset ownership information have been collected since DHS-V (2003-present) and MICS-III (2005-present). This analysis combines over 15 years of survey data from DHS and MICS to study 2,466,257 children under age five from 82 countries. Subnational (administrative level 1) measures of diarrhea prevalence, mean livestock ownership by type, mean and median anthropometric measures (height for age, weight for age, and weight for height) were investigated. Effects of several environmental, market, community, and household-level determinants were studied. Such covariates included precipitation, temperature, vegetation, the market price of staple cereals and animal source proteins, conflict events, livelihood zones, wealth indices and access to water, sanitation, hygiene, and public health services. Children aged 0 – 6 months, 6 months – 2 years, and 2 – 5 years of age were compared separately. All observations were standardized to interview day of year, and administrative units were harmonized for consistent comparisons over time. Geographically weighted regressions were constructed for each outcome and subnational unit. Preliminary results demonstrate the importance of accounting for seasonality in concurrent assessments of malnutrition and enteric infections. Household assets, including livestock, often determine the intensity of these outcomes. In many regions, livestock ownership affects seasonal fluxes in malnutrition and enteric infections, which are also directly affected by environmental and local factors. Regression analysis demonstrates the spatiotemporal variability in nutrition outcomes due to a variety of causal factors. This analysis presents a synthesis of evidence from global survey data on the interrelationship between enteric infections, malnutrition, and livestock. These results provide a starting point for locally appropriate interventions designed to address this nexus in a timely manner and simultaneously improve health, nutrition, and livelihoods.

Keywords: diarrhea, enteric infections, households, livestock, malnutrition, seasonality

Procedia PDF Downloads 24
26 Development and Experimental Validation of Coupled Flow-Aerosol Microphysics Model for Hot Wire Generator

Authors: K. Ghosh, S. N. Tripathi, Manish Joshi, Y. S. Mayya, Arshad Khan, B. K. Sapra


We have developed a CFD coupled aerosol microphysics model in the context of aerosol generation from a glowing wire. The governing equations can be solved implicitly for mass, momentum, energy transfer along with aerosol dynamics. The computationally efficient framework can simulate temporal behavior of total number concentration and number size distribution. This formulation uniquely couples standard K-Epsilon scheme with boundary layer model with detailed aerosol dynamics through residence time. This model uses measured temperatures (wire surface and axial/radial surroundings) and wire compositional data apart from other usual inputs for simulations. The model predictions show that bulk fluid motion and local heat distribution can significantly affect the aerosol behavior when the buoyancy effect in momentum transfer is considered. Buoyancy generated turbulence was found to be affecting parameters related to aerosol dynamics and transport as well. The model was validated by comparing simulated predictions with results obtained from six controlled experiments performed with a laboratory-made hot wire nanoparticle generator. Condensation particle counter (CPC) and scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS) were used for measurement of total number concentration and number size distribution at the outlet of reactor cell during these experiments. Our model-predicted results were found to be in reasonable agreement with observed values. The developed model is fast (fully implicit) and numerically stable. It can be used specifically for applications in the context of the behavior of aerosol particles generated from glowing wire technique and in general for other similar large scale domains. Incorporation of CFD in aerosol microphysics framework provides a realistic platform to study natural convection driven systems/ applications. Aerosol dynamics sub-modules (nucleation, coagulation, wall deposition) have been coupled with Navier Stokes equations modified to include buoyancy coupled K-Epsilon turbulence model. Coupled flow-aerosol dynamics equation was solved numerically and in the implicit scheme. Wire composition and temperature (wire surface and cell domain) were obtained/measured, to be used as input for the model simulations. Model simulations showed a significant effect of fluid properties on the dynamics of aerosol particles. The role of buoyancy was highlighted by observation and interpretation of nucleation zones in the planes above the wire axis. The model was validated against measured temporal evolution, total number concentration and size distribution at the outlet of hot wire generator cell. Experimentally averaged and simulated total number concentrations were found to match closely, barring values at initial times. Steady-state number size distribution matched very well for sub 10 nm particle diameters while reasonable differences were noticed for higher size ranges. Although tuned specifically for the present context (i.e., aerosol generation from hotwire generator), the model can also be used for diverse applications, e.g., emission of particles from hot zones (chimneys, exhaust), fires and atmospheric cloud dynamics.

Keywords: nanoparticles, k-epsilon model, buoyancy, CFD, hot wire generator, aerosol dynamics

Procedia PDF Downloads 30
25 The Future of Adventure Tourism in a Warmer World: An Exploratory Study of Mountain Guides’ Perception of Environmental Change in Canada

Authors: Brooklyn Rushton, Michelle Rutty, Natalie Knowles, Daniel Scott


As people are increasingly on the search for extraordinary experiences and connections with nature, adventure tourism is experiencing significant growth and providing tourists with life-changing experiences. Unlike built attraction-based tourism, adventure tourism relies entirely on natural heritage, which leaves communities dependent on adventure tourism extremely vulnerable to environmental and climatic changes. A growing body of evidence suggests that global climate change will influence the future of adventure tourism and mountain outdoor recreation opportunities on a global scale. Across Canada, more specifically, climate change is broadly anticipated to present risks for winter-snow sports, while opportunities are anticipated to arise for green season activities. These broad seasonal shifts do not account for the indirect impacts of climate change on adventure tourism, such as the cost of adaptation or the increase of natural hazards and the associated likelihood of accidents. While some research has examined the impact of climate change on natural environments that adventure tourism relies on, a very small body of research has specifically focused on guides’ perspectives or included hard adventure tourism activities. The guiding industry is unique, as guides are trained through an elegant blend of art and science to make decisions based on experience, observation, and intuition. While quantitative research can monitor change in natural environments, guides local knowledge can provide eye-witness accounts and outline what environmental changes mean for the future sustainability of adventure tourism. This research will capture the extensive knowledge of mountain guides to better understand the implications of climate change for mountain adventure and potential adaptive responses for the adventure tourism industry. This study uses a structured online survey with open and close-ended questions that will be administered using Qualtrics (an online survey platform). This survey is disseminated to current members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). Participation in this study will be exclusive to members of the ACMG operating in the outdoor guiding streams. The 25 survey questions are organized into four sections: demographic and professional operation (9 questions), physical change (4 questions), climate change perception (6 questions), and climate change adaptation (6 questions). How mountain guides perceive and respond to climate change is important knowledge for the future of the expanding adventure tourism industry. Results from this study are expected to provide important information to mountain destinations on climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity. Expected results of this study include guides insight into: (1) experience-safety relevant observed physical changes in guided regions (i.e. glacial coverage, permafrost coverage, precipitation, temperature, and slope instability) (2) changes in hazards within the guiding environment (i.e. avalanches, rockfall, icefall, forest fires, flooding, and extreme weather events), (3) existing and potential adaptation strategies, and (4) key information and other barriers for adaptation. By gaining insight from the knowledge of mountain guides, this research can help the tourism industry at large understand climate risk and create adaptation strategies to ensure the resiliency of the adventure tourism industry.

Keywords: adventure tourism, climate change, environmental change, mountain hazards

Procedia PDF Downloads 41
24 Microstructural Characterization of Bitumen/Montmorillonite/Isocyanate Composites by Atomic Force Microscopy

Authors: Francisco J. Ortega, Claudia Roman, Moisés García-Morales, Francisco J. Navarro


Asphaltic bitumen has been largely used in both industrial and civil engineering, mostly in pavement construction and roofing membrane manufacture. However, bitumen as such is greatly susceptible to temperature variations, and dramatically changes its in-service behavior from a viscoelastic liquid, at medium-high temperatures, to a brittle solid at low temperatures. Bitumen modification prevents these problems and imparts improved performance. Isocyanates like polymeric MDI (mixture of 4,4′-diphenylmethane di-isocyanate, 2,4’ and 2,2’ isomers, and higher homologues) have shown to remarkably enhance bitumen properties at the highest in-service temperatures expected. This comes from the reaction between the –NCO pendant groups of the oligomer and the most polar groups of asphaltenes and resins in bitumen. In addition, oxygen diffusion and/or UV radiation may provoke bitumen hardening and ageing. With the purpose of minimizing these effects, nano-layered-silicates (nanoclays) are increasingly being added to bitumen formulations. Montmorillonites, a type of naturally occurring mineral, may produce a nanometer scale dispersion which improves bitumen thermal, mechanical and barrier properties. In order to increase their lipophilicity, these nanoclays are normally treated so that organic cations substitute the inorganic cations located in their intergallery spacing. In the present work, the combined effect of polymeric MDI and the commercial montmorillonite Cloisite® 20A was evaluated. A selected bitumen with penetration within the range 160/220 was modified with 10 wt.% Cloisite® 20A and 2 wt.% polymeric MDI, and the resulting ternary composites were characterized by linear rheology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The rheological tests evidenced a notable solid-like behavior at the highest temperatures studied when bitumen was just loaded with 10 wt.% Cloisite® 20A and high-shear blended for 20 minutes. However, if polymeric MDI was involved, the sequence of addition exerted a decisive control on the linear rheology of the final ternary composites. Hence, in bitumen/Cloisite® 20A/polymeric MDI formulations, the previous solid-like behavior disappeared. By contrast, an inversion in the order of addition (bitumen/polymeric MDI/ Cloisite® 20A) enhanced further the solid-like behavior imparted by the nanoclay. In order to gain a better understanding of the factors that govern the linear rheology of these ternary composites, a morphological and microstructural characterization based on XRD and AFM was conducted. XRD demonstrated the existence of clay stacks intercalated by bitumen molecules to some degree. However, the XRD technique cannot provide detailed information on the extent of nanoclay delamination, unless the entire fraction has effectively been fully delaminated (situation in which no peak is observed). Furthermore, XRD was unable to provide precise knowledge neither about the spatial distribution of the intercalated/exfoliated platelets nor about the presence of other structures at larger length scales. In contrast, AFM proved its power at providing conclusive information on the morphology of the composites at the nanometer scale and at revealing the structural modification that yielded the rheological properties observed. It was concluded that high-shear blending brought about a nanoclay-reinforced network. As for the bitumen/Cloisite® 20A/polymeric MDI formulations, the solid-like behavior was destroyed as a result of the agglomeration of the nanoclay platelets promoted by chemical reactions.

Keywords: Atomic Force Microscopy, bitumen, composite, isocyanate, montmorillonite.

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23 Expanded Polyurethane Foams and Waterborne-Polyurethanes from Vegetable Oils

Authors: A.Cifarelli, L. Boggioni, F. Bertini, L. Magon, M. Pitalieri, S. Losio


Nowadays, the growing environmental awareness and the dwindling of fossil resources stimulate the polyurethane (PU) industry towards renewable polymers with low carbon footprint to replace the feed stocks from petroleum sources. The main challenge in this field consists in replacing high-performance products from fossil-fuel with novel synthetic polymers derived from 'green monomers'. The bio-polyols from plant oils have attracted significant industrial interest and major attention in scientific research due to their availability and biodegradability. Triglycerides rich in unsaturated fatty acids, such as soybean oil (SBO) and linseed oil (ELO), are particularly interesting because their structures and functionalities are tunable by chemical modification in order to obtain polymeric materials with expected final properties. Unfortunately, their use is still limited for processing or performance problems because a high functionality, as well as OH number of the polyols will result in an increase in cross-linking densities of the resulting PUs. The main aim of this study is to evaluate soy and linseed-based polyols as precursors to prepare prepolymers for the production of polyurethane foams (PUFs) or waterborne-polyurethanes (WPU) used as coatings. An effective reaction route is employed for its simplicity and economic impact. Indeed, bio-polyols were synthesized by a two-step method: epoxidation of the double bonds in vegetable oils and solvent-free ring-opening reaction of the oxirane with organic acids. No organic solvents have been used. Acids with different moieties (aliphatic or aromatics) and different length of hydrocarbon backbones can be used to customize polyols with different functionalities. The ring-opening reaction requires a fine tuning of the experimental conditions (time, temperature, molar ratio of carboxylic acid and epoxy group) to control the acidity value of end-product as well as the amount of residual starting materials. Besides, a Lewis base catalyst is used to favor the ring opening reaction of internal epoxy groups of the epoxidized oil and minimize the formation of cross-linked structures in order to achieve less viscous and more processable polyols with narrower polydispersity indices (molecular weight lower than 2000 g/mol⁻¹). The functionality of optimized polyols is tuned from 2 to 4 per molecule. The obtained polyols are characterized by means of GPC, NMR (¹H, ¹³C) and FT-IR spectroscopy to evaluate molecular masses, molecular mass distributions, microstructures and linkage pathways. Several polyurethane foams have been prepared by prepolymer method blending conventional synthetic polyols with new bio-polyols from soybean and linseed oils without using organic solvents. The compatibility of such bio-polyols with commercial polyols and diisocyanates is demonstrated. The influence of the bio-polyols on the foam morphology (cellular structure, interconnectivity), density, mechanical and thermal properties has been studied. Moreover, bio-based WPUs have been synthesized by well-established processing technology. In this synthesis, a portion of commercial polyols is substituted by the new bio-polyols and the properties of the coatings on leather substrates have been evaluated to determine coating hardness, abrasion resistance, impact resistance, gloss, chemical resistance, flammability, durability, and adhesive strength.

Keywords: bio-polyols, polyurethane foams, solvent free synthesis, waterborne-polyurethanes

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22 Digital Geological Map of the Loki Crystalline Massif (The Caucasus) and Its Multi-Informative Explanatory Note

Authors: Irakli Gamkrelidze, David Shengelia, Giorgi Chichinadze, Tamara Tsutsunava, Giorgi Beridze, Tamara Tsamalashvili, Ketevan Tedliashvili, Irakli Javakhishvili


The Caucasus is situated between the Eurasian and Africa-Arabian plates and represents a component of the Mediterranean (Alpine-Himalayan) collision belt. The Loki crystalline massif crops out within one of the terranes of the Caucasus – Baiburt-Sevanian terrane. By the end of 2018, a digital geological map (1:50 000) of the Loki massif was compiled. The presented map is of great importance for the region since there is no large-scale geological map which reflects the present standards of the geological study of the massif up to the last time. The existing State Geological Map of the Loki massif is very outdated. A new map drown by using GIS (Geographic Information System) technology is loaded with multi-informative details that include: specified contours of geological units and separate tectonic scales, key mineral assemblages and facies of metamorphism, temperature conditions of metamorphism, ages of metamorphism events and the massif rocks, genetic-geodynamic types of magmatic rocks. Explanatory note, attached to the map includes the large specter of scientific information. It contains characterization of the geological setting, composition and petrogenetic and geodynamic models of the massif formation. To create a geological map of the Loki crystalline massif, appropriate methodologies were applied: a sampling of rocks, GIS technology-based mapping of geological units, microscopic description of the material, composition analysis of rocks, microprobe analysis of minerals and a new interpretation of obtained data. To prepare a digital version of the map the appropriated activities were held including the creation of a common database. Finally, the design was created that includes the elaboration of legend and the final visualization of the map. The results of the study presented in the explanatory note are given below. The autochthonous gneissose quartz diorites of normal alkalinity and sub-alkaline gabbro-diorites included in them belong to different phases of magmatism. They represent “igneous” granites corresponding to mixed mantle-crustal type granites. Four tectonic plates of the allochthonous metamorphic complex–Lower Gorastskali, Sapharlo–Lok-Jandari, Moshevani, and Lower Gorastskali differ from each other by structure and degree of metamorphism. The initial rocks of these plates are formed in different geodynamic conditions and during the Early Bretonian orogeny while overthrusting due to tectonic compression they form a thick tectonic sheet. The Lower Gorastskali overthrust sheet is a fragment of ophiolitic association corresponding to the Paleotethys oceanic crust. The protolith of the ophiolitic complex basites corresponds to the tholeiitic series of basalts. The Sapharlo–Lok-Jandari overthrust sheet is metapelites, metamorphosed in conditions of greenschist facies of regional metamorphism. The regional metamorphism of Moshevani overthrust sheet crystalline schists quartzites corresponds to a range from greenschist to hornfels facies. The “mélange” is built of rock fragments and blocks of above-mentioned overthrust sheets. Sub-alkaline and normal alkaline post-metamorphic granites of the Loki crystalline massif belong to “igneous” and rarely to “sialic” and “anorogenic” types of granites.

Keywords: digital geological map, 1:50 000 scale, crystalline massif, the caucasus

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21 A Review on Biological Control of Mosquito Vectors

Authors: Asim Abbasi, Muhammad Sufyan, Iqra, Hafiza Javaria Ashraf


The share of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in the global burden of infectious diseases is almost 17%. The advent of new drugs and latest research in medical science helped mankind to compete with these lethal diseases but still diseases transmitted by different mosquito species, including filariasis, malaria, viral encephalitis and dengue are serious threats for people living in disease endemic areas. Injudicious and repeated use of pesticides posed selection pressure on mosquitoes leading to development of resistance. Hence biological control agents are under serious consideration of scientific community to be used in vector control programmes. Fish have a history of predating immature stages of different aquatic insects including mosquitoes. The noteworthy examples in Africa and Asia includes, Aphanius discolour and a fish in the Panchax group. Moreover, common mosquito fish, Gambusia affinis predates mostly on temporary water mosquitoes like anopheline as compared to permanent water breeders like culicines. Mosquitoes belonging to genus Toxorhynchites have a worldwide distribution and are mostly associated with the predation of other mosquito larvae habituating with them in natural and artificial water containers. These species are harmless to humans as their adults do not suck human blood but feeds on floral nectar. However, their activity is mostly temperature dependent as Toxorhynchites brevipalpis consume 359 Aedes aegypti larvae at 30-32 ºC in contrast to 154 larvae at 20-26 ºC. Although many bacterial species were isolated from mosquito cadavers but those belonging to genus Bacillus are found highly pathogenic against them. The successful species of this genus include Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sphaericus. The prime targets of B. thuringiensis are mostly the immatures of genus Aedes, Culex, Anopheles and Psorophora while B. sphaericus is specifically toxic against species of Culex, Psorophora and Culiseta. The entomopathogenic nematodes belonging to family, mermithidae are also pathogenic to different mosquito species. Eighty different species of mosquitoes including Anopheles, Aedes and Culex proved to be highly vulnerable to the attack of two mermithid species, Romanomermis culicivorax and R. iyengari. Cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus was the first described pathogenic virus, isolated from the cadavers of mosquito specie, Culex tarsalis. Other viruses which are pathogenic to culicine includes, iridoviruses, cytopolyhedrosis viruses, entomopoxviruses and parvoviruses. Protozoa species belonging to division microsporidia are the common pathogenic protozoans in mosquito populations which kill their host by the chronic effects of parasitism. Moreover, due to their wide prevalence in anopheline mosquitoes and transversal and horizontal transmission from infected to healthy host, microsporidia of the genera Nosema and Amblyospora have received much attention in various mosquito control programmes. Fungal based mycopesticides are used in biological control of insect pests with 47 species reported virulent against different stages of mosquitoes. These include both aquatic fungi i.e. species of Coelomomyces, Lagenidium giganteum and Culicinomyces clavosporus, and the terrestrial fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana. Hence, it was concluded that the integrated use of all these biological control agents can be a healthy contribution in mosquito control programmes and become a dire need of the time to avoid repeated use of pesticides.

Keywords: entomopathogenic nematodes, protozoa, Toxorhynchites, vector-borne

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20 Quasi-Photon Monte Carlo on Radiative Heat Transfer: An Importance Sampling and Learning Approach

Authors: Utkarsh A. Mishra, Ankit Bansal


At high temperature, radiative heat transfer is the dominant mode of heat transfer. It is governed by various phenomena such as photon emission, absorption, and scattering. The solution of the governing integrodifferential equation of radiative transfer is a complex process, more when the effect of participating medium and wavelength properties are taken into consideration. Although a generic formulation of such radiative transport problem can be modeled for a wide variety of problems with non-gray, non-diffusive surfaces, there is always a trade-off between simplicity and accuracy of the problem. Recently, solutions of complicated mathematical problems with statistical methods based on randomization of naturally occurring phenomena have gained significant importance. Photon bundles with discrete energy can be replicated with random numbers describing the emission, absorption, and scattering processes. Photon Monte Carlo (PMC) is a simple, yet powerful technique, to solve radiative transfer problems in complicated geometries with arbitrary participating medium. The method, on the one hand, increases the accuracy of estimation, and on the other hand, increases the computational cost. The participating media -generally a gas, such as CO₂, CO, and H₂O- present complex emission and absorption spectra. To model the emission/absorption accurately with random numbers requires a weighted sampling as different sections of the spectrum carries different importance. Importance sampling (IS) was implemented to sample random photon of arbitrary wavelength, and the sampled data provided unbiased training of MC estimators for better results. A better replacement to uniform random numbers is using deterministic, quasi-random sequences. Halton, Sobol, and Faure Low-Discrepancy Sequences are used in this study. They possess better space-filling performance than the uniform random number generator and gives rise to a low variance, stable Quasi-Monte Carlo (QMC) estimators with faster convergence. An optimal supervised learning scheme was further considered to reduce the computation costs of the PMC simulation. A one-dimensional plane-parallel slab problem with participating media was formulated. The history of some randomly sampled photon bundles is recorded to train an Artificial Neural Network (ANN), back-propagation model. The flux was calculated using the standard quasi PMC and was considered to be the training target. Results obtained with the proposed model for the one-dimensional problem are compared with the exact analytical and PMC model with the Line by Line (LBL) spectral model. The approximate variance obtained was around 3.14%. Results were analyzed with respect to time and the total flux in both cases. A significant reduction in variance as well a faster rate of convergence was observed in the case of the QMC method over the standard PMC method. However, the results obtained with the ANN method resulted in greater variance (around 25-28%) as compared to the other cases. There is a great scope of machine learning models to help in further reduction of computation cost once trained successfully. Multiple ways of selecting the input data as well as various architectures will be tried such that the concerned environment can be fully addressed to the ANN model. Better results can be achieved in this unexplored domain.

Keywords: radiative heat transfer, Monte Carlo Method, pseudo-random numbers, low discrepancy sequences, artificial neural networks

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19 Phytochemicals and Photosynthesis of Grape Berry Exocarp and Seed (Vitis vinifera, cv. Alvarinho): Effects of Foliar Kaolin and Irrigation

Authors: Andreia Garrido, Artur Conde, Ana Cunha, Ric De Vos


Climate changes predictions point to increases in abiotic stress for crop plants in Portugal, like pronounced temperature variation and decreased precipitation, which will have negative impact on grapevine physiology and consequently, on grape berry and wine quality. Short-term mitigation strategies have, therefore, been implemented to alleviate the impacts caused by adverse climatic periods. These strategies include foliar application of kaolin, an inert mineral, which has radiation reflection proprieties that decreases stress from excessive heat/radiation absorbed by its leaves, as well as smart irrigation strategies to avoid water stress. However, little is known about the influence of these mitigation measures on grape berries, neither on the photosynthetic activity nor on the photosynthesis-related metabolic profiles of its various tissues. Moreover, the role of fruit photosynthesis on berry quality is poorly understood. The main objective of our work was to assess the effects of kaolin and irrigation treatments on the photosynthetic activity of grape berry tissues (exocarp and seeds) and on their global metabolic profile, also investigating their possible relationship. We therefore collected berries of field-grown plants of the white grape variety Alvarinho from two distinct microclimates, i.e. from clusters exposed to high light (HL, 150 µmol photons m⁻² s⁻¹) and low light (LL, 50 µmol photons m⁻² s⁻¹), from both kaolin and non-kaolin (control) treated plants at three fruit developmental stages (green, véraison and mature). Plant irrigation was applied after harvesting the green berries, which also enabled comparison of véraison and mature berries from irrigated and non-irrigated growth conditions. Photosynthesis was assessed by pulse amplitude modulated chlorophyll fluorescence imaging analysis, and the metabolite profile of both tissues was assessed by complementary metabolomics approaches. Foliar kaolin application resulted in, for instance, an increased photosynthetic activity of the exocarp of LL-grown berries at green developmental stage, as compared to the control non-kaolin treatment, with a concomitant increase in the levels of several lipid-soluble isoprenoids (chlorophylls, carotenoids, and tocopherols). The exocarp of mature berries grown at HL microclimate on kaolin-sprayed non-irrigated plants had higher total sugar levels content than all other treatments, suggesting that foliar application of this mineral results in an increased accumulation of photoassimilates in mature berries. Unbiased liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based profiling of semi-polar compounds followed by ASCA (ANOVA simultaneous component analysis) and ANOVA statistical analysis indicated that kaolin had no or inconsistent effect on the flavonoid and phenylpropanoid composition in both seed and exocarp at any developmental stage; in contrast, both microclimate and irrigation influenced the level of several of these compounds depending on berry ripening stage. Overall, our study provides more insight into the effects of mitigation strategies on berry tissue photosynthesis and phytochemistry, under contrasting conditions of cluster light microclimate. We hope that this may contribute to develop sustainable management in vineyards and to maintain grape berries and wines with high quality even at increasing abiotic stress challenges.

Keywords: climate change, grape berry tissues, metabolomics, mitigation strategies

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18 Screening and Improved Production of an Extracellular β-Fructofuranosidase from Bacillus Sp

Authors: Lynette Lincoln, Sunil S. More


With the rising demand of sugar used today, it is proposed that world sugar is expected to escalate up to 203 million tonnes by 2021. Hydrolysis of sucrose (table sugar) into glucose and fructose equimolar mixture is catalyzed by β-D-fructofuranoside fructohydrolase (EC, commonly called as invertase. For fluid filled center in chocolates, preparation of artificial honey, as a sweetener and especially to ensure that food stuffs remain fresh, moist and soft for longer spans invertase is applied widely and is extensively being used. From an industrial perspective, properties such as increased solubility, osmotic pressure and prevention of crystallization of sugar in food products are highly desired. Screening for invertase does not involve plate assay/qualitative test to determine the enzyme production. In this study, we use a three-step screening strategy for identification of a novel bacterial isolate from soil which is positive for invertase production. The primary step was serial dilution of soil collected from sugarcane fields (black soil, Maddur region of Mandya district, Karnataka, India) was grown on a Czapek-Dox medium (pH 5.0) containing sucrose as the sole C-source. Only colonies with the capability to utilize/breakdown sucrose exhibited growth. Bacterial isolates released invertase in order to take up sucrose, splitting the disaccharide into simple sugars. Secondly, invertase activity was determined from cell free extract by measuring the glucose released in the medium at 540 nm. Morphological observation of the most potent bacteria was examined by several identification tests using Bergey’s manual, which enabled us to know the genus of the isolate to be Bacillus. Furthermore, this potent bacterial colony was subjected to 16S rDNA PCR amplification and a single discrete PCR amplicon band of 1500 bp was observed. The 16S rDNA sequence was used to carry out BLAST alignment search tool of NCBI Genbank database to obtain maximum identity score of sequence. Molecular sequencing and identification was performed by Xcelris Labs Ltd. (Ahmedabad, India). The colony was identified as Bacillus sp. BAB-3434, indicating to be the first novel strain for extracellular invertase production. Molasses, a by-product of the sugarcane industry is a dark viscous liquid obtained upon crystallization of sugar. An enhanced invertase production and optimization studies were carried out by one-factor-at-a-time approach. Crucial parameters such as time course (24 h), pH (6.0), temperature (45 °C), inoculum size (2% v/v), N-source (yeast extract, 0.2% w/v) and C-source (molasses, 4% v/v) were found to be optimum demonstrating an increased yield. The findings of this study reveal a simple screening method of an extracellular invertase from a rapidly growing Bacillus sp., and selection of best factors that elevate enzyme activity especially utilization of molasses which served as an ideal substrate and also as C-source, results in a cost-effective production under submerged conditions. The invert mixture could be a replacement for table sugar which is an economic advantage and reduce the tedious work of sugar growers. On-going studies involve purification of extracellular invertase and determination of transfructosylating activity as at high concentration of sucrose, invertase produces fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which possesses probiotic properties.

Keywords: Bacillus sp., invertase, molasses, screening, submerged fermentation

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17 Fabrication of Zeolite Modified Cu Doped ZnO Films and Their Response towards Nitrogen Monoxide

Authors: Irmak Karaduman, Tugba Corlu, Sezin Galioglu, Burcu Akata, M. Ali Yildirim, Aytunç Ateş, Selim Acar


Breath analysis represents a promising non-invasive, fast and cost-effective alternative to well-established diagnostic and monitoring techniques such as blood analysis, endoscopy, ultrasonic and tomographic monitoring. Portable, non-invasive, and low-cost breath analysis devices are becoming increasingly desirable for monitoring different diseases, especially asthma. Beacuse of this, NO gas sensing at low concentrations has attracted progressive attention for clinical analysis in asthma. Recently, nanomaterials based sensors are considered to be a promising clinical and laboratory diagnostic tool, because its large surface–to–volume ratio, controllable structure, easily tailored chemical and physical properties, which bring high sensitivity, fast dynamic processand even the increasing specificity. Among various nanomaterials, semiconducting metal oxides are extensively studied gas-sensing materials and are potential sensing elements for breathanalyzer due to their high sensitivity, simple design, low cost and good stability.The sensitivities of metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors can be enhanced by adding noble metals. Doping contents, distribution, and size of metallic or metal oxide catalysts are key parameters for enhancing gas selectivity as well as sensitivity. By manufacturing doping MOS structures, it is possible to develop more efficient sensor sensing layers. Zeolites are perhaps the most widely employed group of silicon-based nanoporous solids. Their well-defined pores of sub nanometric size have earned them the name of molecular sieves, meaning that operation in the size exclusion regime is possible by selecting, among over 170 structures available, the zeolite whose pores allow the pass of the desired molecule, while keeping larger molecules outside.In fact it is selective adsorption, rather than molecular sieving, the mechanism that explains most of the successful gas separations achieved with zeolite membranes. In view of their molecular sieving and selective adsorption properties, it is not surprising that zeolites have found use in a number of works dealing with gas sensing devices. In this study, the Cu doped ZnO nanostructure film was produced by SILAR method and investigated the NO gas sensing properties. To obtain the selectivity of the sample, the gases including CO,NH3,H2 and CH4 were detected to compare with NO. The maximum response is obtained at 85 C for 20 ppb NO gas. The sensor shows high response to NO gas. However, acceptable responses are calculated for CO and NH3 gases. Therefore, there are no responses obtain for H2 and CH4 gases. Enhanced to selectivity, Cu doped ZnO nanostructure film was coated with zeolite A thin film. It is found that the sample possess an acceptable response towards NO hardly respond to CO, NH3, H2 and CH4 at room temperature. This difference in the response can be expressed in terms of differences in the molecular structure, the dipole moment, strength of the electrostatic interaction and the dielectric constant. The as-synthesized thin film is considered to be one of the extremely promising candidate materials in electronic nose applications. This work is supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) under Project No, 115M658 and Gazi University Scientific Research Fund under project no 05/2016-21.

Keywords: Cu doped ZnO, electrical characterization, gas sensing, zeolite

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16 An E-Maintenance IoT Sensor Node Designed for Fleets of Diverse Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Authors: George Charkoftakis, Panagiotis Liosatos, Nicolas-Alexander Tatlas, Dimitrios Goustouridis, Stelios M. Potirakis


E-maintenance is a relatively new concept, generally referring to maintenance management by monitoring assets over the Internet. One of the key links in the chain of an e-maintenance system is data acquisition and transmission. Specifically for the case of a fleet of heavy-duty vehicles, where the main challenge is the diversity of the vehicles and vehicle-embedded self-diagnostic/reporting technologies, the design of the data acquisition and transmission unit is a demanding task. This clear if one takes into account that a heavy-vehicles fleet assortment may range from vehicles with only a limited number of analog sensors monitored by dashboard light indicators and gauges to vehicles with plethora of sensors monitored by a vehicle computer producing digital reporting. The present work proposes an adaptable internet of things (IoT) sensor node that is capable of addressing this challenge. The proposed sensor node architecture is based on the increasingly popular single-board computer – expansion boards approach. In the proposed solution, the expansion boards undertake the tasks of position identification by means of a global navigation satellite system (GNSS), cellular connectivity by means of 3G/long-term evolution (LTE) modem, connectivity to on-board diagnostics (OBD), and connectivity to analog and digital sensors by means of a novel design of expansion board. Specifically, the later provides eight analog plus three digital sensor channels, as well as one on-board temperature / relative humidity sensor. The specific device offers a number of adaptability features based on appropriate zero-ohm resistor placement and appropriate value selection for limited number of passive components. For example, although in the standard configuration four voltage analog channels with constant voltage sources for the power supply of the corresponding sensors are available, up to two of these voltage channels can be converted to provide power to the connected sensors by means of corresponding constant current source circuits, whereas all parameters of analog sensor power supply and matching circuits are fully configurable offering the advantage of covering a wide variety of industrial sensors. Note that a key feature of the proposed sensor node, ensuring the reliable operation of the connected sensors, is the appropriate supply of external power to the connected sensors and their proper matching to the IoT sensor node. In standard mode, the IoT sensor node communicates to the data center through 3G/LTE, transmitting all digital/digitized sensor data, IoT device identity, and position. Moreover, the proposed IoT sensor node offers WiFi connectivity to mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) equipped with an appropriate application for the manual registration of vehicle- and driver-specific information, and these data are also forwarded to the data center. All control and communication tasks of the IoT sensor node are performed by dedicated firmware. It is programmed with a high-level language (Python) on top of a modern operating system (Linux). Acknowledgment: This research has been co-financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH—CREATE—INNOVATE (project code: T1EDK- 01359, IntelligentLogger).

Keywords: IoT sensor nodes, e-maintenance, single-board computers, sensor expansion boards, on-board diagnostics

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