Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 517

Search results for: NoC

517 Sustainable Hydrogel Nanocomposites Based on Grafted Chitosan and Clay for Effective Adsorption of Cationic Dye

Authors: H. Ferfera-Harrar, T. Benhalima, D. Lerari

Abstract:

Contamination of water, due to the discharge of untreated industrial wastewaters into the ecosystem, has become a serious problem for many countries. In this study, bioadsorbents based on chitosan-g-poly(acrylamide) and montmorillonite (MMt) clay (CTS-g-PAAm/MMt) hydrogel nanocomposites were prepared via free‐radical grafting copolymerization and crosslinking of acrylamide monomer (AAm) onto natural polysaccharide chitosan (CTS) as backbone, in presence of various contents of MMt clay as nanofiller. Then, they were hydrolyzed to obtain highly functionalized pH‐sensitive nanomaterials with uppermost swelling properties. Their structure characterization was conducted by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analyses. The adsorption performances of the developed nanohybrids were examined for removal of methylene blue (MB) cationic dye from aqueous solutions. The factors affecting the removal of MB, such as clay content, pH medium, adsorbent dose, initial dye concentration and temperature were explored. The adsorption process was found to be highly pH dependent. From adsorption kinetic results, the prepared adsorbents showed remarkable adsorption capacity and fast adsorption rate, mainly more than 88% of MB removal efficiency was reached after 50 min in 200 mg L-1 of dye solution. In addition, the incorporating of various content of clay has enhanced adsorption capacity of CTS-g-PAAm matrix from 1685 to a highest value of 1749 mg g-1 for the optimized nanocomposite containing 2 wt.% of MMt. The experimental kinetic data were well described by the pseudo-second-order model, while the equilibrium data were represented perfectly by Langmuir isotherm model. The maximum Langmuir equilibrium adsorption capacity (qm) was found to increase from 2173 mg g−1 until 2221 mg g−1 by adding 2 wt.% of clay nanofiller. Thermodynamic parameters revealed the spontaneous and endothermic nature of the process. In addition, the reusability study revealed that these bioadsorbents could be well regenerated with desorption efficiency overhead 87% and without any obvious decrease of removal efficiency as compared to starting ones even after four consecutive adsorption/desorption cycles, which exceeded 64%. These results suggest that the optimized nanocomposites are promising as low cost bioadsorbents.

Keywords: Clay, chitosan, dye adsorption, hydrogels nanocomposites

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516 Evaluation of the Hepatitis C Virus and Classical and Modern Immunoassays Used Nowadays to Diagnose It in Tirana

Authors: Stela Papa, Klementina Puto, Migena Pllaha

Abstract:

HCV is a hepatotropic RNA virus, transmitted primarily via the blood route, which causes progressive disease such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV nowadays is a global healthcare problem. A variety of immunoassays including old and new technologies are being applied to detect HCV in our country. These methods include Immunochromatography assays (ICA), Fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), Enzyme linked fluorescent assay (ELFA), and Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect HCV antibodies in blood serum, which lately is being slowly replaced by more sensitive methods such as rapid automated analyzer chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). The aim of this study is to estimate HCV infection in carriers and chronic acute patients and to evaluate the use of new diagnostic methods. This study was realized from September 2016 to May 2018. During this study period, 2913 patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV by taking samples from their blood serum. The immunoassays performed were ICA, FIA, ELFA, ELISA, and CLIA assays. Concluding, 82% of patients taken in this study, resulted infected with HCV. Diagnostic methods in clinical laboratories are crucial in the early stages of infection, in the management of chronic hepatitis and in the treatment of patients during their disease.

Keywords: Hepatitis C Virus, Immunoassay, ELISA, CLIA

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515 Electrochemical Response Transductions of Graphenated-Polyaniline Nanosensor for Environmental Anthracene

Authors: O. Tovide, N. Jahed, N. Mohammed, C. E. Sunday, H. R. Makelane, R. F. Ajayi, K. M. Molapo, A. Tsegaye, M. Masikini, S. Mailu, A. Baleg, T. Waryo, P. G. Baker, E. I. Iwuoha

Abstract:

A graphenated–polyaniline (GR-PANI) nanocomposite sensor was constructed and used for the determination of anthracene. The direct electro-oxidation behavior of anthracene on the GR-PANI modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was used as the sensing principle. The results indicate thatthe response profile of the oxidation of anthracene on GR-PANI-modified GCE provides for the construction of sensor systems based onamperometric and potentiometric signal transductions. A dynamic linear range of 0.12- 100 µM anthracene and a detection limit of 0.044 µM anthracene were established for the sensor system.

Keywords: Electrochemical sensors, environmental pollutants, graphenated-polymers, polyaromatic hydrocarbon

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514 Analysis of Structural and Photocatalytical Properties of Anatase, Rutile and Mixed Phase TiO2 Films Deposited by Pulsed-Direct Current and Radio Frequency Magnetron Co-Sputtering

Authors: S. Varnagiris, M. Urbonavicius, S. Tuckute, M. Lelis, K. Bockute

Abstract:

Amongst many water purification techniques, TiO2 photocatalysis is recognized as one of the most promising sustainable methods. It is known that for photocatalytical applications anatase is the most suitable TiO2 phase, however heterojunction of anatase/rutile phases could improve the photocatalytical activity of TiO2 even further. Despite the relative simplicity of TiO2 different synthesis methods lead to the highly dispersed crystal phases and photocatalytic activity of the corresponding samples. Accordingly, suggestions and investigations of various innovative methods of TiO2 synthesis are still needed. In this work structural and photocatalytical properties of TiO2 films deposited by the unconventional method of simultaneous co-sputtering from two magnetrons powered by pulsed-Direct Current (pDC) and Radio Frequency (RF) power sources with negative bias voltage have been studied. More specifically, TiO2 film thickness, microstructure, surface roughness, crystal structure, optical transmittance and photocatalytical properties were investigated by profilometer, scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, X-ray diffractometer and UV-Vis spectrophotometer respectively. The proposed unconventional two magnetron co-sputtering based TiO2 film formation method showed very promising results for crystalline TiO2 film formation while keeping process temperatures below 100 °C. XRD analysis revealed that by using proper combination of power source type and bias voltage various TiO2 phases (amorphous, anatase, rutile or their mixture) can be synthesized selectively. Moreover, strong dependency between power source type and surface roughness, as well as between the bias voltage and band gap value of TiO2 films was observed. Interestingly, TiO2 films deposited by two magnetron co-sputtering without bias voltage had one of the highest band gap values between the investigated films but its photocatalytic activity was superior compared to all other samples. It is suggested that this is due to the dominating nanocrystalline anatase phase with various exposed surfaces including photocatalytically the most active {001}.

Keywords: photocatalysis, Films, TiO2, magnetron co-sputtering

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513 Quantification of Biomethane Potential from Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste at Vaal University of Technology

Authors: Kgomotso Matobole, Pascal Mwenge, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.

Keywords: Biogas, Anaerobic Digestion, Food Waste, biomethane potential

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512 Peculiarities of Internal Friction and Shear Modulus in 60Co γ-Rays Irradiated Monocrystalline SiGe Alloys

Authors: I. Kurashvili, G. Darsavelidze, T. Kimeridze, G. Chubinidze, I. Tabatadze

Abstract:

At present, a number of modern semiconductor devices based on SiGe alloys have been created in which the latest achievements of high technologies are used. These devices might cause significant changes to networking, computing, and space technology. In the nearest future new materials based on SiGe will be able to restrict the A3B5 and Si technologies and firmly establish themselves in medium frequency electronics. Effective realization of these prospects requires the solution of prediction and controlling of structural state and dynamical physical –mechanical properties of new SiGe materials. Based on these circumstances, a complex investigation of structural defects and structural-sensitive dynamic mechanical characteristics of SiGe alloys under different external impacts (deformation, radiation, thermal cycling) acquires great importance. Internal friction (IF) and shear modulus temperature and amplitude dependences of the monocrystalline boron-doped Si1-xGex(x≤0.05) alloys grown by Czochralski technique is studied in initial and 60Co gamma-irradiated states. In the initial samples, a set of dislocation origin relaxation processes and accompanying modulus defects are revealed in a temperature interval of 400-800 ⁰C. It is shown that after gamma-irradiation intensity of relaxation internal friction in the vicinity of 280 ⁰C increases and simultaneously activation parameters of high temperature relaxation processes reveal clear rising. It is proposed that these changes of dynamical mechanical characteristics might be caused by a decrease of the dislocation mobility in the Cottrell atmosphere enriched by the radiation defects.

Keywords: Shear Modulus, internal friction, gamma-irradiation, SiGe alloys

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511 Links between Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in Children with Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Mustafa M. Donma, Orkide Donma

Abstract:

Obesity is a clinical state associated with low-grade inflammation. It is also a major risk factor for insulin resistance (IR). In its advanced stages, metabolic syndrome (MetS), a much more complicated disease which may lead to life-threatening problems, may develop. Obesity-mediated IR seems to correlate with the inflammation. Human studies performed particularly on pediatric population are scarce. The aim of this study is to detect possible associations between inflammation and IR in terms of some related ratios. 549 children were grouped according to their age- and sex-based body mass index (BMI) percentile tables of WHO. MetS components were determined. Informed consent and approval from the Ethics Committee for Clinical Investigations were obtained. The principles of the Declaration of Helsinki were followed. The exclusion criteria were infection, inflammation, chronic diseases and those under drug treatment. Anthropometric measurements were obtained. Complete blood cell, fasting blood glucose, insulin, and C-reactive protein (CRP) analyses were performed. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), systemic immune inflammation (SII) index, tense index, alanine aminotransferase to aspartate aminotransferase ratio (ALT/AST), neutrophils to lymphocyte (NLR), platelet to lymphocyte, and lymphocyte to monocyte ratios were calculated. Data were evaluated by statistical analyses. The degree for statistical significance was 0.05. Statistically significant differences were found among the BMI values of the groups (p < 0.001). Strong correlations were detected between the BMI and waist circumference (WC) values in all groups. Tense index values were also correlated with both BMI and WC values in all groups except overweight (OW) children. SII index values of children with normal BMI were significantly different from the values obtained in OW, obese, morbid obese and MetS groups. Among all the other lymphocyte ratios, NLR exhibited a similar profile. Both HOMA-IR and ALT/AST values displayed an increasing profile from N towards MetS3 group. BMI and WC values were correlated with HOMA-IR and ALT/AST. Both in morbid obese and MetS groups, significant correlations between CRP versus SII index as well as HOMA-IR versus ALT/AST were found. ALT/AST and HOMA-IR values were correlated with NLR in morbid obese group and with SII index in MetS group, (p < 0.05), respectively. In conclusion, these findings showed that some parameters may exhibit informative differences between the early and late stages of obesity. Important associations among HOMA-IR, ALT/AST, NLR and SII index have come to light in the morbid obese and MetS groups. This study introduced the SII index and NLR as important inflammatory markers for the discrimination of normal and obese children. Interesting links were observed between inflammation and IR in morbid obese children and those with MetS, both being late stages of obesity.

Keywords: Obesity, metabolic syndrome, Children, Inflammation, insulin resistance

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510 Monitoring of Spectrum Usage and Signal Identification Using Cognitive Radio

Authors: O. S. Omorogiuwa, E. J. Omozusi

Abstract:

The monitoring of spectrum usage and signal identification, using cognitive radio, is done to identify frequencies that are vacant for reuse. It has been established that ‘internet of things’ device uses secondary frequency which is free, thereby facing the challenge of interference from other users, where some primary frequencies are not being utilised. The design was done by analysing a specific frequency spectrum, checking if all the frequency stations that range from 87.5-108 MHz are presently being used in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. From the results, it was noticed that by using Software Defined Radio/Simulink, we were able to identify vacant frequencies in the range of frequency under consideration. Also, we were able to use the significance of energy detection threshold to reuse this vacant frequency spectrum, when the cognitive radio displays a zero output (that is decision H0), meaning that the channel is unoccupied. Hence, the analysis was able to find the spectrum hole and identify how it can be reused.

Keywords: Telecommunication, cognitive radio, Frequency, Interference, spectrum

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509 The Use of Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton and Microbial Biotechnologies for Restoration of Degraded Pastoral Lands: The Case of the Middle Atlas of Morocco

Authors: O. Zennouhi, M. El Mderssa, J. Ibijbijen, E. Bouiamrine, L. Nassiri

Abstract:

Rangelands and silvopastoral systems of the middle Atlas are under a heavy pressure, which led to pasture degradation, invasion by non-palatable and toxic species and edaphic aridification due to the regression of the global vegetation cover. In this situation, the introduction of multipurpose leguminous shrubs, such as Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton, commonly known as bituminous clover, could be a promising socio-ecological alternative for the rehabilitation of these degraded areas. The application of biofertilizers like plant growth promoting rhizobacteria especially phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) can ensure a successful installation of this plant in the selected degraded areas. The main objective of the present work is to produce well-inoculated seedlings using the best efficient PSB strains in the greenhouse to increase their ability to resist to environmental constraints once transplanted to the field in the central Middle Atlas.

Keywords: Rehabilitation, Biofertilizers, phosphate solubilizing bacteria, bituminaria bituminosa

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508 Thermal Characterization of Graphene Oxide-Epoxy Nanocomposites Produced by Aqueous Emulsion

Authors: H. A. Brandão Cordeiro, M. G. Bocardo, N. C. Penteado, V. T. de Moraes, S. M. Giampietri Lebrão, G. W. Lebrão

Abstract:

The present study desired to obtain a nanocomposite of epoxy resin reinforced with graphene oxide (OG), for aerospace application, produced by aqueous emulsion. It was obtained proof bodies with 0.00 wt%, 0.10 wt%, 0.25 wt% and 0.50 wt% in weight of nanoparticles, to check the influence of it in the final quality of the obtained product. The validation of the results was done by the application thermal characterization by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). It was seen that the nanocomposite reinforced with 0.10 wt% of OG showed the best results, the average glass transition temperature, at 2 °C, compared to the pure resin.

Keywords: Nanocomposites, Graphene, Thermal Characterization, aqueous emulsion

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507 Assessment of the Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Soybean Sown in Different Types of Moroccan Soils

Authors: F. Z. Aliyat, B. Ben Messaoud, L. Nassiri, E. Bouiamrine, J. Ibijbijen

Abstract:

The present study aims to assess the biological nitrogen fixation in the soybean tested in different Moroccan soils combined with the rhizobial inoculation. These effects were evaluated by the plant growth mainly by the aerial biomass production, total nitrogen content and the proportion of the nitrogen fixed. This assessment clearly shows that the inoculation with bacteria increases the growth of soybean. Five different soils and a control (peat) were used. The rhizobial inoculation was performed by applying the peat that contained a mixture of 2 strains Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 and Bradyrhizobium. The biomass, the total nitrogen content and the proportion of nitrogen fixed were evaluated under different treatments. The essay was realized at the greenhouse the Faculty of Sciences, Moulay Ismail University. The soybean has shown a great response for the parameters assessed. Moreover, the best response was reported by the inoculated plants compared to non- inoculated and to the absolute control. Finally, good production and the best biological nitrogen fixation present an important ecological technology to improve the sustainable production of soybean and to ensure the increase of the fertility of soils.

Keywords: Biological nitrogen fixation, soybean, inoculation, rhizobium

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506 Fabrication of Poly(Ethylene Oxide)/Chitosan/Indocyanine Green Nanoprobe by Co-Axial Electrospinning Method for Early Detection

Authors: Zeynep R. Ege, Aydin Akan, Faik N. Oktar, Betul Karademir, Oguzhan Gunduz

Abstract:

Early detection of cancer could save human life and quality in insidious cases by advanced biomedical imaging techniques. Designing targeted detection system is necessary in order to protect of healthy cells. Electrospun nanofibers are efficient and targetable nanocarriers which have important properties such as nanometric diameter, mechanical properties, elasticity, porosity and surface area to volume ratio. In the present study, indocyanine green (ICG) organic dye was stabilized and encapsulated in polymer matrix which polyethylene oxide (PEO) and chitosan (CHI) multilayer nanofibers via co-axial electrospinning method at one step. The co-axial electrospun nanofibers were characterized as morphological (SEM), molecular (FT-IR), and entrapment efficiency of Indocyanine Green (ICG) (confocal imaging). Controlled release profile of PEO/CHI/ICG nanofiber was also evaluated up to 40 hours.

Keywords: chitosan, coaxial electrospinning, indocyanine green, controlled releasing, polyethylene oxide, nanoprobe

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505 Combustion Improvements by C4/C5 Bio-Alcohol Isomer Blended Fuels Combined with Supercharging and EGR in a Diesel Engine

Authors: Yasufumi Yoshimoto, Enkhjargal Tserenochir, Eiji Kinoshita, Takeshi Otaka

Abstract:

Next generation bio-alcohols produced from non-food based sources like cellulosic biomass are promising renewable energy sources. The present study investigates engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions of a small single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fueled by four kinds of next generation bio-alcohol isomer and diesel fuel blends with a constant blending ratio of 3:7 (mass). The tested bio-alcohol isomers here are n-butanol and iso-butanol (C4 alcohol), and n-pentanol and iso-pentanol (C5 alcohol). To obtain simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions, the experiments employed supercharging combined with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). The boost pressures were fixed at two conditions, 100 kPa (naturally aspirated operation) and 120 kPa (supercharged operation) provided with a roots blower type supercharger. The EGR rates were varied from 0 to 25% using a cooled EGR technique. The results showed that both with and without supercharging, all the bio-alcohol blended diesel fuels improved the trade-off relation between NOx and smoke emissions at all EGR rates while maintaining good engine performance, when compared with diesel fuel operation. It was also found that regardless of boost pressure and EGR rate, the ignition delays of the tested bio-alcohol isomer blends are in the order of iso-butanol > n-butanol > iso-pentanol > n-pentanol. Overall, it was concluded that, except for the changes in the ignition delays the influence of bio-alcohol isomer blends on the engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions are relatively small.

Keywords: Diesel Engine, alternative fuel, EGR, next generation bio-alcohol isomer blended fuel, pentanol, supercharging,  Butanol

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504 UV Resistibility of a Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Polymer Composite

Authors: A. Evcin, N. Çiçek Bezir, R. Duman, N. Duman

Abstract:

Nowadays, a great concern is placed on the harmfulness of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) which attacks human bodies. Nanocarbon materials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and graphene, have been considered promising alternatives to shielding materials because of their excellent electrical conductivities, very high surface areas and low densities. In the present work, carbon nanofibers have been synthesized from solutions of Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/ N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by electrospinning method. The carbon nanofibers have been stabilized by oxidation at 250 °C for 2 h in air and carbonized at 750 °C for 1 h in H2/N2. We present the fabrication and characterization of transparent and ultraviolet (UV) shielding CNF/polymer composites. The content of CNF filler has been varied from 0.2% to 0.6 % by weight. UV Spectroscopy has been performed to study the effect of composition on the transmittance of polymer composites.

Keywords: Characterization, Composites, Nanofiber, Electrospinning, Ultraviolet radiation, carbon nanofiber

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503 The Effects of Drought and Nitrogen on Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) Physiology and Yield

Authors: Oqba Basal, András Szabó

Abstract:

Legume crops are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen by the symbiotic relation with specific bacteria, which allows the use of the mineral nitrogen-fertilizer to be reduced, or even excluded, resulting in more profit for the farmers and less pollution for the environment. Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) is one of the most important legumes with its high content of both protein and oil. However, it is recommended to combine the two nitrogen sources under stress conditions in order to overcome its negative effects. Drought stress is one of the most important abiotic stresses that increasingly limits soybean yields. A precise rate of mineral nitrogen under drought conditions is not confirmed, as it depends on many factors; soybean yield-potential and soil-nitrogen content to name a few. An experiment was conducted during 2017 growing season in Debrecen, Hungary to investigate the effects of nitrogen source on the physiology and the yield of the soybean cultivar 'Boglár'. Three N-fertilizer rates including no N-fertilizer (0 N), 35 kg ha-1 of N-fertilizer (35 N) and 105 kg ha-1 of N-fertilizer (105 N) were applied under three different irrigation regimes; severe drought stress (SD), moderate drought stress (MD) and control with no drought stress (ND). Half of the seeds in each treatment were pre-inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum inoculant. The overall results showed significant differences associated with fertilization and irrigation, but not with inoculation. Increasing N rate was mostly accompanied with increased chlorophyll content and leaf area index, whereas it positively affected the plant height only when the drought was waived off. Plant height was the lowest under severe drought, regardless of inoculation and N-fertilizer application and rate. Inoculation increased the yield when there was no drought, and a low rate of N-fertilizer increased the yield furthermore; however, the high rate of N-fertilizer decreased the yield to a level even less than the inoculated control. On the other hand, the yield of non-inoculated plants increased as the N-fertilizer rate increased. Under drought conditions, adding N-fertilizer increased the yield of the non-inoculated plants compared to their inoculated counterparts; moreover, the high rate of N-fertilizer resulted in the best yield. Regardless of inoculation, the mean yield of the three fertilization rates was better when the water amount increased. It was concluded that applying N-fertilizer to provide the nitrogen needed by soybean plants, with the absence of N2-fixation process, is very important. Moreover, adding relatively high rate of N-fertilizer is very important under severe drought stress to alleviate the drought negative effects. Further research to recommend the best N-fertilizer rate to inoculated soybean under drought stress conditions should be executed.

Keywords: Yield, inoculation, drought stress, N-fertilizer, soybean physiology

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502 Assessment of the Occupancy’s Effect on Speech Intelligibility in Al-Madinah Holy Mosque

Authors: Wasim Orfali, Hesham Tolba

Abstract:

This research investigates the acoustical characteristics of Al-Madinah Holy Mosque. Extensive field measurements were conducted in different locations of Al-Madinah Holy Mosque to characterize its acoustic characteristics. The acoustical characteristics are usually evaluated by the use of objective parameters in unoccupied rooms due to practical considerations. However, under normal conditions, the room occupancy can vary such characteristics due to the effect of the additional sound absorption present in the room or by the change in signal-to-noise ratio. Based on the acoustic measurements carried out in Al-Madinah Holy Mosque with and without occupancy, and the analysis of such measurements, the existence of acoustical deficiencies has been confirmed.

Keywords: Speech Intelligibility, Al-Madinah Holy Mosque, worship sound, mosque acoustics

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501 Mechanical Investigation Approach to Optimize the High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel Fe-Based Amorphous Coatings Reinforced by B4C Nanoparticles

Authors: Behrooz Movahedi

Abstract:

Fe-based amorphous feedstock powders are used as the matrix into which various ratios of hard B4C nanoparticles (0, 5, 10, 15, 20 vol.%) as reinforcing agents were prepared using a planetary high-energy mechanical milling. The ball-milled nanocomposite feedstock powders were also sprayed by means of high-velocity oxygen fuel (HVOF) technique. The characteristics of the powder particles and the prepared coating depending on their microstructures and nanohardness were examined in detail using nanoindentation tester. The results showed that the formation of the Fe-based amorphous phase was noticed over the course of high-energy ball milling. It is interesting to note that the nanocomposite coating is divided into two regions, namely, a full amorphous phase region and homogeneous dispersion of B4C nanoparticles with a scale of 10–50 nm in a residual amorphous matrix. As the B4C content increases, the nanohardness of the composite coatings increases, but the fracture toughness begins to decrease at the B4C content higher than 20 vol.%. The optimal mechanical properties are obtained with 15 vol.% B4C due to the suitable content and uniform distribution of nanoparticles. Consequently, the changes in mechanical properties of the coatings were attributed to the changes in the brittle to ductile transition by adding B4C nanoparticles.

Keywords: HVOF, nanocomposite coating, Fe-based amorphous, B₄C nanoparticles

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500 Absorbed Dose Estimation of 177Lu-DOTATOC in Adenocarcinoma Breast Cancer Bearing Mice

Authors: S. Zolghadri, M. Mousavi-Daramoroudi, H. Yousefnia, F. Abbasi-Davani

Abstract:

In this study, the absorbed dose of human organs after injection of 177Lu-DOTATOC was studied based on the biodistribution of the complex in adenocarcinoma breast cancer bearing mice. For this purpose, the biodistribution of the radiolabelled complex was studied and compartmental modeling was applied to calculate the absorbed dose with high precision. As expected, 177Lu-DOTATOC illustrated a notable specific uptake in tumor and pancreas, organs with high level of somatostatin receptor on their surface and the effectiveness of the radio-conjugate for targeting of the breast adenocarcinoma tumors was indicated. The elicited results of modeling were the exponential equations, and those are utilized for obtaining the cumulated activity data by taking their integral. The results also exemplified that non-target absorbed-doses such as the liver, spleen and pancreas were approximately 0.008, 0.004, and 0.039, respectively. While these values were so much lower than target (tumor) absorbed-dose, it seems due to this low toxicity, this complex is a good agent for therapy.

Keywords: Dosimetry, Breast Cancer, compartmental modeling

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499 Safety Climate Assessment and Its Impact on the Productivity of Construction Enterprises

Authors: Krzysztof J. Czarnocki, F. Silveira, E. Czarnocka, K. Szaniawska

Abstract:

Research background: Problems related to the occupational health and decreasing level of safety occur commonly in the construction industry. Important factor in the occupational safety in construction industry is scaffold use. All scaffolds used in construction, renovation, and demolition shall be erected, dismantled and maintained in accordance with safety procedure. Increasing demand for new construction projects unfortunately still is linked to high level of occupational accidents. Therefore, it is crucial to implement concrete actions while dealing with scaffolds and risk assessment in construction industry, the way on doing assessment and liability of assessment is critical for both construction workers and regulatory framework. Unfortunately, professionals, who tend to rely heavily on their own experience and knowledge when taking decisions regarding risk assessment, may show lack of reliability in checking the results of decisions taken. Purpose of the article: The aim was to indicate crucial parameters that could be modeling with Risk Assessment Model (RAM) use for improving both building enterprise productivity and/or developing potential and safety climate. The developed RAM could be a benefit for predicting high-risk construction activities and thus preventing accidents occurred based on a set of historical accident data. Methodology/Methods: A RAM has been developed for assessing risk levels as various construction process stages with various work trades impacting different spheres of enterprise activity. This project includes research carried out by teams of researchers on over 60 construction sites in Poland and Portugal, under which over 450 individual research cycles were carried out. The conducted research trials included variable conditions of employee exposure to harmful physical and chemical factors, variable levels of stress of employees and differences in behaviors and habits of staff. Genetic modeling tool has been used for developing the RAM. Findings and value added: Common types of trades, accidents, and accident causes have been explored, in addition to suitable risk assessment methods and criteria. We have found that the initial worker stress level is more direct predictor for developing the unsafe chain leading to the accident rather than the workload, or concentration of harmful factors at the workplace or even training frequency and management involvement.

Keywords: Civil Engineering, Productivity, Occupational Health, safety climate

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498 Automated Heart Sound Classification from Unsegmented Phonocardiogram Signals Using Time Frequency Features

Authors: Nadia Masood Khan, Muhammad Salman Khan, Gul Muhammad Khan

Abstract:

Cardiologists perform cardiac auscultation to detect abnormalities in heart sounds. Since accurate auscultation is a crucial first step in screening patients with heart diseases, there is a need to develop computer-aided detection/diagnosis (CAD) systems to assist cardiologists in interpreting heart sounds and provide second opinions. In this paper different algorithms are implemented for automated heart sound classification using unsegmented phonocardiogram (PCG) signals. Support vector machine (SVM), artificial neural network (ANN) and cartesian genetic programming evolved artificial neural network (CGPANN) without the application of any segmentation algorithm has been explored in this study. The signals are first pre-processed to remove any unwanted frequencies. Both time and frequency domain features are then extracted for training the different models. The different algorithms are tested in multiple scenarios and their strengths and weaknesses are discussed. Results indicate that SVM outperforms the rest with an accuracy of 73.64%.

Keywords: Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning, heart sound classification, and feature extraction, computer aided diagnosis

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497 Laser Beam Micro-Drilling Effect on Ti-6Al-4V Titanium Alloy Sheet Properties

Authors: Petr Homola, Roman Růžek

Abstract:

Laser beam micro-drilling (LBMD) is one of the most important non-contact machining processes of materials that are difficult to machine by means oeqf conventional machining methods used in various industries. The paper is focused on LBMD knock-down effect on Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5) titanium alloy sheets properties. Two various process configurations were verified with a focus on laser damages in back-structure parts affected by the process. The effects of the LBMD on the material properties were assessed by means of tensile and fatigue tests and fracture surface analyses. Fatigue limit of LBMD configurations reached a significantly lower value between 15% and 30% of the static strength as compared to the reference raw material with 58% value. The farther back-structure configuration gives a two-fold fatigue life as compared to the closer LBMD configuration at a given stress applied.

Keywords: Fatigue, titanium alloy, fracture surface, laser beam micro-drilling

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496 Electrospinning and Characterization of Silk Fibroin/Gelatin Nanofibre Mats

Authors: S. Mohammadzadehmoghadam, Y. Dong

Abstract:

In this study, Bombyx mori silk fibroin/gelatin (SF/GT) nanocomposite with different GT ratio (SF/GT 100/0, 90/10 and 70/30) were prepared by electrospinning process and crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (GA) vapor. Properties of crosslinked SF/GT nanocomposites were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), mechanical test, water uptake capacity (WUC) and porosity. From SEM images, it was found that fiber diameter increased as GT content increased. The results of mechanical test indicated that the SF/GT 70/30 nanocomposites had both the highest Young’s modulus of 342 MPa and the highest tensile strength of about 14 MPa. However, porosity and WUC decreased from 62% and 405% for pristine SF to 47% and 232% for SF/GT 70/30, respectively. This behavior can be related to higher degree of crosslinking as GT ratio increased which altered the structure and physical properties of scaffolds. This study showed that incorporation of GT into SF nanofibers can enhance mechanical properties of resultant nanocomposite, but the GA treatment should be optimized to control and fine-tune other properties to warrant their biomedical application.

Keywords: Nanocomposites, Electrospinning, Mechanical Properties, Gelatin, Silk Fibroin

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495 Silicon-To-Silicon Anodic Bonding via Intermediate Borosilicate Layer for Passive Flow Control Valves

Authors: Luc Conti, Dimitry Dumont-Fillon, Harald van Lintel, Eric Chappel

Abstract:

Flow control valves comprise a silicon flexible membrane that deflects against a substrate, usually made of glass, containing pillars, an outlet hole, and anti-stiction features. However, there is a strong interest in using silicon instead of glass as substrate material, as it would simplify the process flow by allowing the use of well controlled anisotropic etching. Moreover, specific devices demanding a bending of the substrate would also benefit from the inherent outstanding mechanical strength of monocrystalline silicon. Unfortunately, direct Si-Si bonding is not easily achieved with highly structured wafers since residual stress may prevent the good adhesion between wafers. Using a thermoplastic polymer, such as parylene, as intermediate layer is not well adapted to this design as the wafer-to-wafer alignment is critical. An alternative anodic bonding method using an intermediate borosilicate layer has been successfully tested. This layer has been deposited onto the silicon substrate. The bonding recipe has been adapted to account for the presence of the SOI buried oxide and intermediate glass layer in order not to exceed the breakdown voltage. Flow control valves dedicated to infusion of viscous fluids at very high pressure have been made and characterized. The results are compared to previous data obtained using the standard anodic bonding method.

Keywords: drug delivery, anodic bonding, evaporated glass, microfluidic valve

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494 Cellulose Nanocrystals Suspensions as Water-Based Lubricants for Slurry Pump Gland Seals

Authors: Mohammad Javad Shariatzadeh, Dana Grecov

Abstract:

The tribological tests were performed on a new tribometer, in order to measure the coefficient of friction of a gland seal packing material on stainless steel shafts in presence of Cellulose Nanocrystal (CNC) suspension as a sustainable, environmentally friendly, water-based lubricant. To simulate the real situation from the slurry pumps, silica sands were used as slurry particles. The surface profiles after tests were measured by interferometer microscope to characterize the surface wear. Moreover, the coefficient of friction and surface wear were measured between stainless steel shaft and chrome steel ball to investigate the tribological effects of CNC in boundary lubrication region. Alignment of nanoparticles in the CNC suspensions are the main reason for friction and wear reduction. The homogeneous concentrated suspensions showed fingerprint patterns of a chiral nematic liquid crystal. These properties made CNC a very good lubricant additive in water.

Keywords: gland seal, lubricant additives, water-based lubricants, nanocrystalline cellulose

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493 Jigger Flea (Tunga penetrans) Infestations and Use of Soil-Cow Dung-Ash Mixture as a Flea Control Method in Eastern Uganda

Authors: Gerald Amatre, Julius Bunny Lejju, Morgan Andama

Abstract:

Despite several interventions, jigger flea infestations continue to be reported in the Busoga sub-region in Eastern Uganda. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that expose the indigenous people to jigger flea infestations and evaluate the effectiveness of any indigenous materials used in flea control by the affected communities. Flea compositions in residences were described, factors associated with flea infestation and indigenous materials used in flea control were evaluated. Field surveys were conducted in the affected communities after obtaining preliminary information on jigger infestation from the offices of the District Health Inspectors to identify the affected villages and households. Informed consent was then sought from the local authorities and household heads to conduct the study. Focus group discussions were conducted with key district informants, namely, the District Health Inspectors, District Entomologists and representatives from the District Health Office. A GPS coordinate was taken at central point at every household enrolled. Fleas were trapped inside residences using Kilonzo traps. A Kilonzo Trap comprised a shallow pan, about three centimetres deep, filled to the brim with water. The edges of the pan were smeared with Vaseline to prevent fleas from crawling out. Traps were placed in the evening and checked every morning the following day. The trapped fleas were collected in labelled vials filled with 70% aqueous ethanol and taken to the laboratory for identification. Socio-economic and environmental data were collected. The results indicate that the commonest flea trapped in the residences was the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) (50%), followed by Jigger flea (Tunga penetrans) (46%) and rat flea (Xenopsylla Cheopis) (4%), respectively. The average size of residences was seven squire metres with a mean of six occupants. The residences were generally untidy; with loose dusty floors and the brick walls were not plastered. The majority of the jigger affected households were headed by peasants (86.7%) and artisans (13.3%). The household heads mainly stopped at primary school level (80%) and few at secondary school level (20%). The jigger affected households were mainly headed by peasants of low socioeconomic status. The affected community members use soil-cow dung-ash mixture to smear floors of residences as the only measure to control fleas. This method was found to be ineffective in controlling the insects. The study recommends that home improvement campaigns be continued in the affected communities to improve sanitation and hygiene in residences as one of the interventions to combat flea infestations. Other cheap, available and effective means should be identified to curb jigger flea infestations.

Keywords: Infestations, cow dung-soil-ash mixture, jigger flea, Tunga penetrans

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492 Inequalities in Higher Education and Students’ Perceptions of Factors Influencing Academic Performance

Authors: Violetta Parutis

Abstract:

This qualitative study aims to answer the following research questions: i) What are the factors that students perceive as relevant to a) promoting and b) preventing good grades? ii) How does socio-economic status (SES) feature in those beliefs? We conducted in-depth interviews with 19 first- and second-year undergraduates of varying SES at a research-intensive university in the UK. The interviews yielded eight factors that students perceived as promoting and six perceived as preventing good grades. The findings suggested one significant difference between the beliefs of low and high SES students in that low SES students perceive themselves to be at a greater disadvantage to their peers while high SES students do not have such beliefs. This could have knock-on effects on their performance.

Keywords: Education, Social Class, Academic Performance, students’ beliefs

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491 The Role of Initiator in the Synthesis of Poly(Methyl Methacrylate)-Layered Silicate Nanocomposites through Bulk Polymerization

Authors: Tsung-Yen Tsai, Naveen Bunekar, Ming Hsuan Chang, Wen-Kuang Wang, Satoshi Onda

Abstract:

The structure-property relationship and initiator effect on bulk polymerized poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)–oragnomodified layered silicate nanocomposites was investigated. In this study, we used 2, 2'-azobis (4-methoxy-2,4-dimethyl valeronitrile and benzoyl peroxide initiators for bulk polymerization. The bulk polymerized nanocomposites’ morphology was investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The type of initiator strongly influences the physiochemical properties of the polymer nanocomposite. The thermal degradation of PMMA in the presence of nanofiller was studied. 5 wt% weight loss temperature (T5d) increased as compared to pure PMMA. The peak degradation temperature increased for the nanocomposites. Differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis were performed to investigate the glass transition temperature and the nature of the constrained region as the reinforcement mechanism respectively. Furthermore, the optical properties such as UV-Vis and Total Luminous Transmission of nanocomposites are examined.

Keywords: initiator, bulk polymerization, layered silicates, methyl methacrylate

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490 Study on the Impact of Size and Position of the Shear Field in Determining the Shear Modulus of Glulam Beam Using Photogrammetry Approach

Authors: Niaz Gharavi, Hexin Zhang

Abstract:

The shear modulus of a timber beam can be determined using torsion test or shear field test method. The shear field test method is based on shear distortion measurement of the beam at the zone with the constant transverse load in the standardized four-point bending test. The current code of practice advises using two metallic arms act as an instrument to measure the diagonal displacement of the constructing square. The size and the position of the constructing square might influence the shear modulus determination. This study aimed to investigate the size and the position effect of the square in the shear field test method. A binocular stereo vision system has been employed to determine the 3D displacement of a grid of target points. Six glue laminated beams were produced and tested. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed on the acquired data to evaluate the significance of the size effect and the position effect of the square. The results have shown that the size of the square has a noticeable influence on the value of shear modulus, while, the position of the square within the area with the constant shear force does not affect the measured mean shear modulus.

Keywords: shear field test method, photogrammetry approach, structural-sized test, shear modulus of Glulam beam

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489 Assessment of Drug Delivery Systems from Molecular Dynamic Perspective

Authors: M. Rahimnejad, B. Vahidi, B. Ebrahimi Hoseinzadeh, F. Yazdian, P. Motamed Fath, R. Jamjah

Abstract:

In this study, we developed and simulated nano-drug delivery systems efficacy in compare to free drug prescription. Computational models can be utilized to accelerate experimental steps and control the experiments high cost. Molecular dynamics simulation (MDS), in particular NAMD was utilized to better understand the anti-cancer drug interaction with cell membrane model. Paclitaxel (PTX) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) were selected for the drug molecule and as a natural phospholipid nanocarrier, respectively. This work focused on two important interaction parameters between molecules in terms of center of mass (COM) and van der Waals interaction energy. Furthermore, we compared the simulation results of the PTX interaction with the cell membrane and the interaction of DPPC as a nanocarrier loaded by the drug with the cell membrane. The molecular dynamic analysis resulted in low energy between the nanocarrier and the cell membrane as well as significant decrease of COM amount in the nanocarrier and the cell membrane system during the interaction. Thus, the drug vehicle showed notably better interaction with the cell membrane in compared to free drug interaction with the cell membrane.

Keywords: Anti-Cancer Drug, molecular dynamics simulation, nanocarrier, center of mass, interaction energy

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488 Apparent Temperature Distribution on Scaffoldings during Construction Works

Authors: I. Szer, J. Szer, K. Czarnocki, E. Błazik-Borowa

Abstract:

People on construction scaffoldings work in dynamically changing, often unfavourable climate. Additionally, this kind of work is performed on low stiffness structures at high altitude, which increases the risk of accidents. It is therefore desirable to define the parameters of the work environment that contribute to increasing the construction worker occupational safety level. The aim of this article is to present how changes in microclimate parameters on scaffolding can impact the development of dangerous situations and accidents. For this purpose, indicators based on the human thermal balance were used. However, use of this model under construction conditions is often burdened by significant errors or even impossible to implement due to the lack of precise data. Thus, in the target model, the modified parameter was used – apparent environmental temperature. Apparent temperature in the proposed Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model has been a perceived outdoor temperature, caused by the combined effects of air temperature, radiative temperature, relative humidity and wind speed (wind chill index, heat index). In the paper, correlations between component factors and apparent temperature for facade scaffolding with a width of 24.5 m and a height of 42.3 m, located at south-west side of building are presented. The distribution of factors on the scaffolding has been used to evaluate fitting of the microclimate model. The results of the studies indicate that observed ranges of apparent temperature on the scaffolds frequently results in a worker’s inability to adapt. This leads to reduced concentration and increased fatigue, adversely affects health, and consequently increases the risk of dangerous situations and accidental injuries

Keywords: Health, apparent temperature, safety work, scaffoldings

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