Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 81

Search results for: proliferation

81 Investigating the Formation of Nano-Hydroxyapatite on a Biocompatible and Antibacterial Cu/Mg-Substituted Bioglass

Authors: Elhamalsadat Ghaffari, Moghan Amirhosseinian, Amir Khaleghipour

Abstract:

Multifunctional bioactive glasses (BGs) are designed with a focus on the provision of bactericidal and biological properties desired for angiogenesis, osteogenesis, and ultimately potential applications in bone tissue engineering. To achieve these, six sol-gel copper/magnesium substituted derivatives of 58S-BG, i.e. a mol% series of 60SiO2-4P2O5-5CuO-(31-x) CaO/xMgO (where x=0, 1, 3, 5, 8, and 10), were synthesized. Afterwards, the effect of MgO/CaO substitution on the in vitro formation of nano-hydroxyapatite (HA), osteoblast-like cell responses and BGs antibacterial performance were studied. During the BGs synthesis, the elimination of nitrates was achieved at 700 °C that prevented the BGs crystallization and stabilized the obtained dried gels. The structural and morphological evaluations were performed with X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). These characterizations revealed that Cu-substituted 58S-BG consisting of 5 mol% MgO (BG-5/5) slightly had retarded the formation of HA. In addition, Cu-substituted 58S-BGs consisting 8 mol% and 10 mol% MgO (BG-5/8 and BG-5/10) displayed lower bioactivity probably due to the lower ion release rate of Ca–Si into the simulated body fluid (SBF). The determination of 3-(4, 5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and alkaline phosphate (ALP) activities proved that the highest values of both differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1 cells can be obtained from a 5 mol% MgO substituted BG, while the over addition of MgO (8 mol% and 10 mol%) decreased the bioactivity. Furthermore, these novel Cu/Mg-substituted 58S-BGs displayed antibacterial effect against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Taken together, the results suggest the equally-substituted BG-5/5 (i.e. the one consists of 5 mol% of both CuO and MgO) as a promising candidate for bone tissue engineering, among all newly designed BGs in this work, owing to its desirable cell proliferation, ALP activity and antibacterial properties.

Keywords: Apatite, bioactivity, biomedical applications sol-gel processes.

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80 Students’ Perceptions of Communication Design in Media: Case Study of Portuguese and Spanish Communication Students

Authors: Fátima Gonçalves, Joaquim Brigas, Jorge Gonçalves

Abstract:

The proliferation of mobile devices in society enables the media to disseminate information and knowledge more rapidly. Higher education students access these contents and share them with each other, in the most diverse platforms, allowing the ubiquity in access to information. This article presents the results and respective quantitative analysis of a survey applied to communication students of two higher education institutions: one in Portugal and another in Spain. The results show that, in this sample, higher education students regularly access news content believing traditional news sources to be more credible. Regarding online sources, it was verified that the access was mostly to free news contents. This study intends to promote the knowledge about the changes that occur in the relationship of higher education students with the media, characterizing how news consumption is processed by these students, considering the resulting effects of the digital media evolution. It is intended to present not only the news sources they use, but also to know some of their habits and relationship with the news media.

Keywords: Students’ perceptions, communication design, mass media, higher education, digital media.

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79 The U.S. Missile Defense Shield and Global Security Destabilization: An Inconclusive Link

Authors: Michael A. Unbehauen, Gregory D. Sloan, Alberto J. Squatrito

Abstract:

Missile proliferation and global stability are intrinsically linked. Missile threats continually appear at the forefront of global security issues. North Korea’s recently demonstrated nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities, for the first time since the Cold War, renewed public interest in strategic missile defense capabilities. To protect from limited ICBM attacks from so-called rogue actors, the United States developed the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. This study examines if the GMD missile defense shield has contributed to a safer world or triggered a new arms race. Based upon increased missile-related developments and the lack of adherence to international missile treaties, it is generally perceived that the GMD system is a destabilizing factor for global security. By examining the current state of arms control treaties as well as existing missile arsenals and ongoing efforts in technologies to overcome U.S. missile defenses, this study seeks to analyze the contribution of GMD to global stability. A thorough investigation cannot ignore that, through the establishment of this limited capability, the U.S. violated longstanding, successful weapons treaties and caused concern among states that possess ICBMs. GMD capability contributes to the perception that ICBM arsenals could become ineffective, creating an imbalance in favor of the United States, leading to increased global instability and tension. While blame for the deterioration of global stability and non-adherence to arms control treaties is often placed on U.S. missile defense, the facts do not necessarily support this view. The notion of a renewed arms race due to GMD is supported neither by current missile arsenals nor by the inevitable development of new and enhanced missile technology, to include multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles (MIRVs), maneuverable reentry vehicles (MaRVs), and hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). The methodology in this study encapsulates a period of time, pre- and post-GMD introduction, while analyzing international treaty adherence, missile counts and types, and research in new missile technologies. The decline in international treaty adherence, coupled with a measurable increase in the number and types of missiles or research in new missile technologies during the period after the introduction of GMD, could be perceived as a clear indicator of GMD contributing to global instability. However, research into improved technology (MIRV, MaRV and HGV) prior to GMD, as well as a decline of various global missile inventories and testing of systems during this same period, would seem to invalidate this theory. U.S. adversaries have exploited the perception of the U.S. missile defense shield as a destabilizing factor as a pretext to strengthen and modernize their militaries and justify their policies. As a result, it can be concluded that global stability has not significantly decreased due to GMD; but rather, the natural progression of technological and missile development would inherently include innovative and dynamic approaches to target engagement, deterrence, and national defense.

Keywords: Arms control, arms race, global security, GMD, ICBM, missile defense, proliferation.

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78 The Effect of Substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO on in vitro Bioactivity of Sol-Gel Derived Bioactive Glass

Authors: Zeinab Hajifathali, Moghan Amirhosseinian

Abstract:

This study had two main aims: firstly, to determine how the individual substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO can affect the in vitro bioactivity of sol-gel derived substituted 58S bioactive glass (BG) and secondly to introduce a composition in the 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)MgO and 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)SrO quaternary systems (where x= 0, 5, 10 mol.%) with enhanced biocompatibility, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and more efficient antibacterial activity against MRSA bacteria. Results showed that both magnesium-substituted bioactive glasses (M-BGs) and strontium- substituted bioactive glasses (S-BGs) retarded the Hydroxyapatite (HA) formation. Meanwhile, magnesium had more pronounced effect. The 3-(4, 5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and ALP assays revealed that the presence of moderate amount (5 mol%) of Mg and Sr had a stimulating effect on increasing of both proliferation and differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells. Live dead and Dapi/actin staining revealed both substitution of CaO/MgO and CaO/SrO resulted in more biocompatibility and stimulation potential of the MC3T3 cells compared with control. Taken together, among all of the synthesized magnesium substituted (MBGs) and strontium substituted (SBGs), the sample 58- BG with 5 mol% CaO/MgO substitution (BG-5M) was considered as a multifunctional biomaterial in bone tissue regeneration field with enhanced biocompatibility, ALP activity as well as the highest antibacterial efficiency against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria.

Keywords: Apatite, alkaline earth, bioactivity, biomedical applications, sol-gel.

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77 Application of Thermoplastic Microbioreactor to the Single Cell Study of Budding Yeast to Decipher the Effect of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural on Growth

Authors: Elif Gencturk, Ekin Yurdakul, Ahmet Y. Celik, Senol Mutlu, Kutlu O. Ulgen

Abstract:

Yeast cells are generally used as a model system of eukaryotes due to their complex genetic structure, rapid growth ability in optimum conditions, easy replication and well-defined genetic system properties. Thus, yeast cells increased the knowledge of the principal pathways in humans. During fermentation, carbohydrates (hexoses and pentoses) degrade into some toxic by-products such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF or HMF) and furfural. HMF influences the ethanol yield, and ethanol productivity; it interferes with microbial growth and is considered as a potent inhibitor of bioethanol production. In this study, yeast single cell behavior under HMF application was monitored by using a continuous flow single phase microfluidic platform. Microfluidic device in operation is fabricated by hot embossing and thermo-compression techniques from cyclo-olefin polymer (COP). COP is biocompatible, transparent and rigid material and it is suitable for observing fluorescence of cells considering its low auto-fluorescence characteristic. The response of yeast cells was recorded through Red Fluorescent Protein (RFP) tagged Nop56 gene product, which is an essential evolutionary-conserved nucleolar protein, and also a member of the box C/D snoRNP complexes. With the application of HMF, yeast cell proliferation continued but HMF slowed down the cell growth, and after HMF treatment the cell proliferation stopped. By the addition of fresh nutrient medium, the yeast cells recovered after 6 hours of HMF exposure. Thus, HMF application suppresses normal functioning of cell cycle but it does not cause cells to die. The monitoring of Nop56 expression phases of the individual cells shed light on the protein and ribosome synthesis cycles along with their link to growth. Further computational study revealed that the mechanisms underlying the inhibitory or inductive effects of HMF on growth are enriched in functional categories of protein degradation, protein processing, DNA repair and multidrug resistance. The present microfluidic device can successfully be used for studying the effects of inhibitory agents on growth by single cell tracking, thus capturing cell to cell variations. By metabolic engineering techniques, engineered strains can be developed, and the metabolic network of the microorganism can thus be manipulated such that chemical overproduction of target metabolite is achieved along with the maximum growth/biomass yield.  

Keywords: COP, HMF, ribosome biogenesis, thermoplastic microbioreactor, yeast.

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76 Comparative Study of Calcium Content on in vitro Biological and Antibacterial Properties of Silicon-Based Bioglass

Authors: Morteza Elsa, Amirhossein Moghanian

Abstract:

The major aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of CaO content on in vitro hydroxyapatite formation, MC3T3 cells cytotoxicity and proliferation as well as antibacterial efficiency of sol-gel derived SiO2–CaO–P2O5 ternary system. For this purpose, first two grades of bioactive glass (BG); BG-58s (mol%: 60%SiO2–36%CaO–4%P2O5) and BG-68s (mol%: 70%SiO2–26%CaO–4%P2O5)) were synthesized by sol-gel method. Second, the effect of CaO content in their composition on in vitro bioactivity was investigated by soaking the BG-58s and BG-68s powders in simulated body fluid (SBF) for time periods up to 14 days and followed by characterization inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Additionally, live/dead staining, 3-(4,5dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assays were conducted respectively, as qualitatively and quantitatively assess for cell viability, proliferation and differentiations of MC3T3 cells in presence of 58s and 68s BGs. Results showed that BG-58s with higher CaO content showed higher in vitro bioactivity with respect to BG-68s. Moreover, the dissolution rate was inversely proportional to oxygen density of the BG. Live/dead assay revealed that both 58s and 68s increased the mean number live cells which were in good accordance with MTT assay. Furthermore, BG-58s showed more potential antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Taken together, BG-58s with enhanced MC3T3 cells proliferation and ALP activity, acceptable bioactivity and significant high antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria is suggested as a suitable candidate in order to further functionalizing for delivery of therapeutic ions and growth factors in bone tissue engineering.

Keywords: Antibacterial, bioactive glass, hydroxyapatite, proliferation, sol-gel processes.

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75 Synthesis and in vitro Characterization of a Gel-Derived SiO2-CaO-P2O5-SrO-Li2O Bioactive Glass

Authors: Mehrnaz Aminitabar, Moghan Amirhosseinian, Morteza Elsa

Abstract:

Bioactive glasses (BGs) are a group of surface-reactive biomaterials used in clinical applications as implants or filler materials in the human body to repair and replace diseased or damaged bone. Sol-gel technique was employed to prepare a SiO2-CaO-P2O5 glass with nominal composition of 58S BG with the addition of Sr and Li modifiers which imparts special properties to the BG. The effect of simultaneous addition of Sr and Li on bioactivity and biocompatibility, proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of osteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 and antibacterial property against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria were examined. BGs were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy before and after soaking the samples in the simulated body fluid (SBF) for different time intervals to characterize the formation of hydroxyapatite (HA) formed on the surface of BGs. Structural characterization indicated that the simultaneous presence of 5% Sr and 5% Li in 58S-BG composition not only did not retard HA formation because of opposite effect of Sr and Li of the dissolution of BG in the SBF but also, stimulated the differentiation and proliferation of MC3T3-E1s. Moreover, the presence of Sr and Li on dissolution of the ions resulted in an increase in the mean number of DAPI-labeled nuclei which was in good agreement with live/dead assay. The result of antibacterial tests revealed that Sr and Li-substituted 58S BG exhibited a potential antibacterial effect against MRSA bacteria. Because of optimal proliferation and ALP activity of MC3T3-E1cells, proper bioactivity and high antibacterial potential against MRSA, BG-5/5 is suggested as a multifunctional candidate for bone tissue engineering.

Keywords: Antibacterial activity, bioactive glass, sol-gel, strontium.

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74 A Study of the Assistant Application for Tourists Taking Metros

Authors: Anqi Wang, Linye Zhang

Abstract:

With the proliferation and development of mobile devices, various mobile apps have appeared to satisfy people’s needs. Metro, with the feature of convenient, punctuality and economic, is one of the most popular modes of transportation in cities. Yet, there are still some inconveniences brought by various factors, impacting tourists’ riding experience. The aim of this study is to help tourists to shorten the time of purchasing tickets, to provide them clear metro information and direct navigation, detailed schedule as well as a way to collect metro cards as souvenir. The study collects data through three phases, including observation, survey and test. Data collected from 106 tourists totally in Wuhan metro stations are discussed in the study. The result reflects tourists’ demand when they take the metro. It also indicates the feasibility of using mobile technology to improve passenger’s experience.

Keywords: Mobile App, metro, public transportation, ticket, mobile payment, indoors positioning, tourists.

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73 Design and Fabrication of a Scaffold with Appropriate Features for Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Authors: S. S. Salehi, A. Shamloo

Abstract:

Poor ability of cartilage tissue when experiencing a damage leads scientists to use tissue engineering as a reliable and effective method for regenerating or replacing damaged tissues. An artificial tissue should have some features such as biocompatibility, biodegradation and, enough mechanical properties like the original tissue. In this work, a composite hydrogel is prepared by using natural and synthetic materials that has high porosity. Mechanical properties of different combinations of polymers such as modulus of elasticity were tested, and a hydrogel with good mechanical properties was selected. Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells were also seeded into the pores of the sponge, and the results showed the adhesion and proliferation of cells within the hydrogel after one month. In comparison with previous works, this study offers a new and efficient procedure for the fabrication of cartilage like tissue and further cartilage repair.

Keywords: Cartilage tissue engineering, hydrogel, mechanical strength, mesenchymal stem cell.

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72 CFD Simulation for Air-Borne Infection Analysis in AII-Room

Authors: Young Kwon Yang, In Sung Kang, Jung Ha Hwang, Jin Chul Park

Abstract:

The present study is a foundational study for performance improvements on isolation wards to prevent proliferation of secondary infection of infectious diseases such as SARS, H1N1, and MERS inside hospitals. Accordingly, the present study conducted an analysis of the effect of sealing mechanisms and filling of openings on ensuring air tightness performance in isolation wards as well as simulation on air currents in improved isolation wards. The study method is as follows. First, previous studies on aerial infection type and mechanism were reviewed, and the review results were utilized as basic data of analysis on simulation of air current. Second, national and international legislations and regulations in relation to isolation wards as well as case studies on developed nations were investigated in order to identify the problems in isolation wards in Korea and improvement plans. Third, construction and facility plans were compared and analyzed between general and isolation wards focusing on large general hospitals in Korea, thereby conducting comparison and analysis on the performance and effects of air-tightness of general and isolation wards through CFD simulations. The study results showed that isolation wards had better air-tightness performance than that of general wards.

Keywords: AII Room, air-borne infection, CFD, computational fluid dynamics.

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71 Implementation of Geo-Crowdsourcing Mobile Applications in e-Government of V4 Countries: A State-of-the-Art Survey

Authors: Barbora Haltofová

Abstract:

In recent years, citizens have become an important source of geographic information and, therefore, geo-crowdsourcing, often known as volunteered geographic information, has provided an interesting alternative to traditional mapping practices which are becoming expensive, resource-intensive and unable to capture the dynamic nature of urban environments. In order to address a gap in research literature, this paper deals with a survey conducted to assess the current state of geo-crowdsourcing, a recent phenomenon popular with people who collect geographic information using their smartphones. This article points out that there is an increasing body of knowledge of geo-crowdsourcing mobile applications in the Visegrad countries marked by the ubiquitous Internet connection and the current massive proliferation of smartphones. This article shows how geo-crowdsourcing can be used as a complement, or in some cases a replacement, to traditionally generated sources of spatial data and information in public management. It discusses the new spaces of citizen participation constructed by these geo-crowdsourcing practices.

Keywords: Citizen participation, geo-crowdsourcing, e-government, participatory mapping, mobile applications.

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70 Ultrasound Mechanical Index as a Parameter Affecting of the Ability of Proliferation of Cells

Authors: Z. Hormozi Moghaddam, M. Mokhtari-Dizaji, M. Movahedin, M. E. Ravari

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Mechanical index (MI) is used for quantifying acoustic cavitation and the relationship between acoustic pressure and the frequency. In this study, modeling of the MI was applied to provide treatment protocol and to understand the effective physical processes on reproducibility of stem cells. The acoustic pressure and MI equations are modeled and solved to estimate optimal MI for 28, 40, 150 kHz and 1 MHz frequencies. Radial and axial acoustic pressure distribution was extracted. To validate the results of the modeling, the acoustic pressure in the water and near field depth was measured by a piston hydrophone. Results of modeling and experiments show that the model is consistent well to experimental results with 0.91 and 0.90 correlation of coefficient (p<0.05) for 1 MHz and 40 kHz. Low intensity ultrasound with 0.40 MI is more effective on the proliferation rate of the spermatogonial stem cells during the seven days of culture, in contrast, high MI has a harmful effect on the spermatogonial stem cells. This model provides proper treatment planning in vitro and in vivo by estimating the cavitation phenomenon.

Keywords: Ultrasound, mechanical index, modeling, stem cell.

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69 Reduction of Plutonium Production in Heavy Water Research Reactor: A Feasibility Study through Neutronic Analysis Using MCNPX2.6 and CINDER90 Codes

Authors: H. Shamoradifar, B. Teimuri, P. Parvaresh, S. Mohammadi

Abstract:

One of the main characteristics of Heavy Water Moderated Reactors is their high production of plutonium. This article demonstrates the possibility of reduction of plutonium and other actinides in Heavy Water Research Reactor. Among the many ways for reducing plutonium production in a heavy water reactor, in this research, changing the fuel from natural Uranium fuel to Thorium-Uranium mixed fuel was focused. The main fissile nucleus in Thorium-Uranium fuels is U-233 which would be produced after neutron absorption by Th-232, so the Thorium-Uranium fuels have some known advantages compared to the Uranium fuels. Due to this fact, four Thorium-Uranium fuels with different compositions ratios were chosen in our simulations; a) 10% UO2-90% THO2 (enriched= 20%); b) 15% UO2-85% THO2 (enriched= 10%); c) 30% UO2-70% THO2 (enriched= 5%); d) 35% UO2-65% THO2 (enriched= 3.7%). The natural Uranium Oxide (UO2) is considered as the reference fuel, in other words all of the calculated data are compared with the related data from Uranium fuel. Neutronic parameters were calculated and used as the comparison parameters. All calculations were performed by Monte Carol (MCNPX2.6) steady state reaction rate calculation linked to a deterministic depletion calculation (CINDER90). The obtained computational data showed that Thorium-Uranium fuels with four different fissile compositions ratios can satisfy the safety and operating requirements for Heavy Water Research Reactor. Furthermore, Thorium-Uranium fuels have a very good proliferation resistance and consume less fissile material than uranium fuels at the same reactor operation time. Using mixed Thorium-Uranium fuels reduced the long-lived α emitter, high radiotoxic wastes and the radio toxicity level of spent fuel.

Keywords: Burn-up, heavy water reactor, minor actinides, Monte Carlo, proliferation resistance.

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68 An Exploratory Study in Nursing Education: Factors Influencing Nursing Students’ Acceptance of Mobile Learning

Authors: R. Abdulrahman, A. Eardley, A. Soliman

Abstract:

The proliferation in the development of mobile learning (m-learning) has played a vital role in the rapidly growing electronic learning market. This relatively new technology can help to encourage the development of in learning and to aid knowledge transfer a number of areas, by familiarizing students with innovative information and communications technologies (ICT). M-learning plays a substantial role in the deployment of learning methods for nursing students by using the Internet and portable devices to access learning resources ‘anytime and anywhere’. However, acceptance of m-learning by students is critical to the successful use of m-learning systems. Thus, there is a need to study the factors that influence student’s intention to use m-learning. This paper addresses this issue. It outlines the outcomes of a study that evaluates the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model as applied to the subject of user acceptance in relation to m-learning activity in nurse education. The model integrates the significant components across eight prominent user acceptance models. Therefore, a standard measure is introduced with core determinants of user behavioural intention. The research model extends the UTAUT in the context of m-learning acceptance by modifying and adding individual innovativeness (II) and quality of service (QoS) to the original structure of UTAUT. The paper goes on to add the factors of previous experience (of using mobile devices in similar applications) and the nursing students’ readiness (to use the technology) to influence their behavioural intentions to use m-learning. This study uses a technique called ‘convenience sampling’ which involves student volunteers as participants in order to collect numerical data. A quantitative method of data collection was selected and involves an online survey using a questionnaire form. This form contains 33 questions to measure the six constructs, using a 5-point Likert scale. A total of 42 respondents participated, all from the Nursing Institute at the Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia. The gathered data were then tested using a research model that employs the structural equation modelling (SEM), including confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The results of the CFA show that the UTAUT model has the ability to predict student behavioural intention and to adapt m-learning activity to the specific learning activities. It also demonstrates satisfactory, dependable and valid scales of the model constructs. This suggests further analysis to confirm the model as a valuable instrument in order to evaluate the user acceptance of m-learning activity.

Keywords: Mobile learning, nursing institute, unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model.

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67 Biomolecules Based Microarray for Screening Human Endothelial Cells Behavior

Authors: Adel Dalilottojari, Bahman Delalat, Frances J. Harding, Michaelia P. Cockshell, Claudine S. Bonder, Nicolas H. Voelcker

Abstract:

Endothelial Progenitor Cell (EPC) based therapies continue to be of interest to treat ischemic events based on their proven role to promote blood vessel formation and thus tissue re-vascularisation. Current strategies for the production of clinical-grade EPCs requires the in vitro isolation of EPCs from peripheral blood followed by cell expansion to provide sufficient quantities EPCs for cell therapy. This study aims to examine the use of different biomolecules to significantly improve the current strategy of EPC capture and expansion on collagen type I (Col I). In this study, four different biomolecules were immobilised on a surface and then investigated for their capacity to support EPC capture and proliferation. First, a cell microarray platform was fabricated by coating a glass surface with epoxy functional allyl glycidyl ether plasma polymer (AGEpp) to mediate biomolecule binding. The four candidate biomolecules tested were Col I, collagen type II (Col II), collagen type IV (Col IV) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), which were arrayed on the epoxy-functionalised surface using a non-contact printer. The surrounding area between the printed biomolecules was passivated with polyethylene glycol-bisamine (A-PEG) to prevent non-specific cell attachment. EPCs were seeded onto the microarray platform and cell numbers quantified after 1 h (to determine capture) and 72 h (to determine proliferation). All of the extracellular matrix (ECM) biomolecules printed demonstrated an ability to capture EPCs within 1 h of cell seeding with Col II exhibiting the highest level of attachment when compared to the other biomolecules. Interestingly, Col IV exhibited the highest increase in EPC expansion after 72 h when compared to Col I, Col II and VEGF-A. These results provide information for significant improvement in the capture and expansion of human EPC for further application.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease, cell microarray platform, cell therapy, endothelial progenitor cells, high throughput screening.

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66 Effect of the Polymer Modification on the Cytocompatibility of Human and Rat Cells

Authors: N. Slepickova Kasalkova, P. Slepicka, L. Bacakova, V. Svorcik

Abstract:

Tissue engineering includes combination of materials and techniques used for the improvement, repair or replacement of the tissue. Scaffolds, permanent or temporally material, are used as support for the creation of the "new cell structures". For this important component (scaffold), a variety of materials can be used. The advantage of some polymeric materials is their cytocompatibility and possibility of biodegradation. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biodegradable,  semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. PLLA can be fully degraded into H2O and CO2. In this experiment, the effect of the surface modification of biodegradable polymer (performed by plasma treatment) on the various cell types was studied. The surface parameters and changes of the physicochemical properties of modified PLLA substrates were studied by different methods. Surface wettability was determined by goniometry, surface morphology and roughness study were performed with atomic force microscopy and chemical composition was determined using photoelectron spectroscopy. The physicochemical properties were studied in relation to cytocompatibility of human osteoblast (MG 63 cells), rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and human stem cells (ASC) of the adipose tissue in vitro. A fluorescence microscopy was chosen to study and compare cell-material interaction. Important parameters of the cytocompatibility like adhesion, proliferation, viability, shape, spreading of the cells were evaluated. It was found that the modification leads to the change of the surface wettability depending on the time of modification. Short time of exposition (10-120 s) can reduce the wettability of the aged samples, exposition longer than 150 s causes to increase of contact angle of the aged PLLA. The surface morphology is significantly influenced by duration of modification, too. The plasma treatment involves the formation of the crystallites, whose number increases with increasing time of modification. On the basis of physicochemical properties evaluation, the cells were cultivated on the selected samples. Cell-material interactions are strongly affected by material chemical structure and surface morphology. It was proved that the plasma treatment of PLLA has a positive effect on the adhesion, spreading, homogeneity of distribution and viability of all cultivated cells. This effect was even more apparent for the VSMCs and ASCs which homogeneously covered almost the whole surface of the substrate after 7 days of cultivation. The viability of these cells was high (more than 98% for VSMCs, 89-96% for ASCs). This experiment is one part of the basic research, which aims to easily create scaffolds for tissue engineering with subsequent use of stem cells and their subsequent "reorientation" towards the bone cells or smooth muscle cells.

Keywords: Poly(L-lactic acid), plasma treatment, surface characterization, cytocompatibility, human osteoblasts, rat vascular smooth muscle cells, human stem cells.

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65 Apoptotic Induction Ability of Harmalol and Its Binding: Biochemical and Biophysical Perspectives

Authors: Kakali Bhadra

Abstract:

Harmalol administration caused remarkable reduction in proliferation of HepG2 cells with GI50 of 14.2 mM, without showing much cytotoxicity in embryonic liver cell line, WRL-68. Data from circular dichroism and differential scanning calorimetric analysis of harmalol-CT DNA complex shows conformational changes with prominent CD perturbation and stabilization of CT DNA by 8 oC. Binding constant and stoichiometry was also calculated using the above biophysical techniques. Further, dose dependent apoptotic induction ability of harmalol was studied in HepG2 cells using different biochemical assays. Generation of ROS, DNA damage, changes in cellular external and ultramorphology, alteration of membrane, formation of comet tail, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and a significant increase in Sub Go/G1 population made the cancer cell, HepG2, prone to apoptosis. Up regulation of p53 and caspase 3 further indicated the apoptotic role of harmalol.

Keywords: Apoptosis, beta carboline alkaloid, comet assay, cytotoxicity, ROS.

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64 Modeling of Oxygen Supply Profiles in Stirred-Tank Aggregated Stem Cells Cultivation Process

Authors: Vytautas Galvanauskas, Vykantas Grincas, Rimvydas Simutis

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This paper investigates a possible practical solution for reasonable oxygen supply during the pluripotent stem cells expansion processes, where the stem cells propagate as aggregates in stirred-suspension bioreactors. Low glucose and low oxygen concentrations are preferred for efficient proliferation of pluripotent stem cells. However, strong oxygen limitation, especially inside of cell aggregates, can lead to cell starvation and death. In this research, the oxygen concentration profile inside of stem cell aggregates in a stem cell expansion process was predicted using a modified oxygen diffusion model. This profile can be realized during the stem cells cultivation process by manipulating the oxygen concentration in inlet gas or inlet gas flow. The proposed approach is relatively simple and may be attractive for installation in a real pluripotent stem cell expansion processes.

Keywords: Aggregated stem cells, dissolved oxygen profiles, modeling, stirred-tank, 3D expansion.

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63 3D Mesh Coarsening via Uniform Clustering

Authors: Shuhua Lai, Kairui Chen

Abstract:

In this paper, we present a fast and efficient mesh coarsening algorithm for 3D triangular meshes. Theis approach can be applied to very complex 3D meshes of arbitrary topology and with millions of vertices. The algorithm is based on the clustering of the input mesh elements, which divides the faces of an input mesh into a given number of clusters for clustering purpose by approximating the Centroidal Voronoi Tessellation of the input mesh. Once a clustering is achieved, it provides us an efficient way to construct uniform tessellations, and therefore leads to good coarsening of polygonal meshes. With proliferation of 3D scanners, this coarsening algorithm is particularly useful for reverse engineering applications of 3D models, which in many cases are dense, non-uniform, irregular and arbitrary topology. Examples demonstrating effectiveness of the new algorithm are also included in the paper.

Keywords: Coarsening, mesh clustering, shape approximation, mesh simplification.

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62 Antimicrobial Properties of SEBS Compounds with Zinc Oxide and Zinc Ions

Authors: Douglas N. Simões, Michele Pittol, Vanda F. Ribeiro, Daiane Tomacheski, Ruth M. C. Santana

Abstract:

The increasing demand of thermoplastic elastomers is related to the wide range of applications, such as automotive, footwear, wire and cable industries, adhesives and medical devices, cell phones, sporting goods, toys and others. These materials are susceptible to microbial attack. Moisture and organic matter present in some areas (such as shower area and sink), provide favorable conditions for microbial proliferation, which contributes to the spread of diseases and reduces the product life cycle. Compounds based on SEBS copolymers, poly(styrene-b-(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene, are a class of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), fully recyclable and largely used in domestic appliances like bath mats and tooth brushes (soft touch). Zinc oxide and zinc ions loaded in personal and home care products have become common in the last years due to its biocidal effect. In that sense, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of zinc as antimicrobial agent in compounds based on SEBS/polypropylene/oil/ calcite for use as refrigerator seals (gaskets), bath mats and sink squeegee. Two zinc oxides from different suppliers (ZnO-Pe and ZnO-WR) and one masterbatch of zinc ions (M-Zn-ion) were used in proportions of 0%, 1%, 3% and 5%. The compounds were prepared using a co-rotating double screw extruder (L/D ratio of 40/1 and 16 mm screw diameter). The extrusion parameters were kept constant for all materials. Tests specimens were prepared using the injection molding machine. A compound with no antimicrobial additive (standard) was also tested. Compounds were characterized by physical (density), mechanical (hardness and tensile properties) and rheological properties (melt flow rate - MFR). The Japan Industrial Standard (JIS) Z 2801:2010 was applied to evaluate antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). The Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) NBR 15275:2014 were used to evaluate antifungal properties against Aspergillus niger (A. niger), Aureobasidium pullulans (A. pullulans), Candida albicans (C. albicans), and Penicillium chrysogenum (P. chrysogenum). The microbiological assay showed a reduction over 42% in E. coli and over 49% in S. aureus population. The tests with fungi showed inconclusive results because the sample without zinc also demonstrated an inhibition of fungal development when tested against A. pullulans, C. albicans and P. chrysogenum. In addition, the zinc loaded samples showed worse results than the standard sample when tested against A. niger. The zinc addition did not show significant variation in mechanical properties. However, the density values increased with the rise in ZnO additives concentration, and had a little decrease in M-Zn-ion samples. Also, there were differences in the MFR results in all compounds compared to the standard.

Keywords: Antimicrobial, home device, SEBS, zinc.

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61 Preparation and Characterization of Silk/Diopside Composite Nanofibers via Electrospinning for Tissue Engineering Application

Authors: Abbas Teimouri, Leila Ghorbanian, Iren Dabirian

Abstract:

This work focused on preparation and characterizations of silk fibroin (SF)/nanodiopside nanoceramic via electrospinning process. Nanofibrous scaffolds were characterized by combined techniques of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results confirmed that fabricated SF/diopside scaffolds improved cell attachment and proliferation. The results indicated that the electrospun of SF/nanodiopside nanofibrous scaffolds could be considered as ideal candidates for tissue engineering.

Keywords: Electrospinning, nanofibers, silk fibroin, diopside, composite scaffold.

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60 Enhancing Supply Chain Agility by Deploying Competence Management and the Supply Chain Operations Model

Authors: N. Sefiani, L. Chraibi, K. Reklaoui, Y. Sefiani

Abstract:

Currently, business environment is characterized by pressure caused by stiff competition, constant changes (e.g., product/ technological innovations, decreasing product lifecycles, and product proliferation), and a high level of market uncertainty band unpredictability. The agility of the Supply Chain Management (SCM) is clearly identified as a key factor for success and a strategic essential lever. This paper explores the impact of deploying competence management and Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model on firm performance. Our approach is based on a systemic view by considering the SCOR reference model as the heart of competence management system.

Keywords: Competence, competence management, performance, SCOR model and agility.

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59 High-Rises and Urban Design: The Reasons for Unsuccessful Placemaking with Residential High-Rises in England

Authors: E. Kalcheva, A. Taki, Y. Hadi

Abstract:

High-rises and placemaking is an understudied combination which receives more and more interest with the proliferation of this typology in many British cities. The reason for studying three major cities in England: London, Birmingham and Manchester, is to learn from the latest advances in urban design in well-developed and prominent urban environment. The analysis of several high-rise sites reveals the weaknesses in urban design of contemporary British cities and presents an opportunity to study from the implemented examples. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to analyze design approaches towards creating a sustainable and varied urban environment when high-rises are involved. The research questions raised by the study are: what is the quality of high-rises and their surroundings; what facilities and features are deployed in the research area; what is the role of the high-rise buildings in the placemaking process; what urban design principles are applicable in this context. The methodology utilizes observation of the researched area by structured questions, developed by the author to evaluate the outdoor qualities of the high-rise surroundings. In this context, the paper argues that the quality of the public realm around the high-rises is quite low, missing basic but vital elements such as plazas, public art, and seating, along with landscaping and pocket parks. There is lack of coherence, the rhythm of the streets is often disrupted, and even though the high-rises are very aesthetically appealing, they fail to create a sense of place on their own. The implications of the study are that future planning can take into consideration the critique in this article and provide more opportunities for urban design interventions around high-rise buildings in the British cities.

Keywords: High-rises, placemaking, urban design, townscape.

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58 Industrial Wastewater Sludge Treatment in Chongqing, China

Authors: Victor Emery David Jr, Jiang Wenchao, Yasinta John, Md. Sahadat Hossain

Abstract:

Sludge originates from the process of treatment of wastewater. It is the byproduct of wastewater treatment containing concentrated heavy metals and poorly biodegradable trace organic compounds, as well as potentially pathogenic organisms (viruses, bacteria, etc.) which are usually difficult to treat or dispose of. China, like other countries, is no stranger to the challenges posed by increase of wastewater. Treatment and disposal of sludge has been a problem for most cities in China. However, this problem has been exacerbated by other issues such as lack of technology, funding, and other factors. Suitable methods for such climatic conditions are still unavailable for modern cities in China. Against this background, this paper seeks to describe the methods used for treatment and disposal of sludge from industries and suggest a suitable method for treatment and disposal in Chongqing/China. From the research conducted, it was discovered that the highest treatment rate of sludge in Chongqing was 10.08%. The industrial waste piping system is not separated from the domestic system. Considering the proliferation of industry and urbanization, there is a likelihood that the production of sludge in Chongqing will increase. If the sludge produced is not properly managed, this may lead to adverse health and environmental effects. Disposal costs and methods for Chongqing were also included in this paper’s analysis. Research showed that incineration is the most expensive method of sludge disposal in China/Chongqing. Subsequent research therefore considered optional alternatives such as composting. Composting represents a relatively cheap waste disposal method considering the vast population, current technology and economic conditions of Chongqing, as well as China at large.

Keywords: Sludge, disposal of sludge, treatment, industrial sludge, Chongqing, wastewater.

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57 Prediction of MicroRNA-Target Gene by Machine Learning Algorithms in Lung Cancer Study

Authors: Nilubon Kurubanjerdjit, Nattakarn Iam-On, Ka-Lok Ng

Abstract:

MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNA found in many different species. They play crucial roles in cancer such as biological processes of apoptosis and proliferation. The identification of microRNA-target genes can be an essential first step towards to reveal the role of microRNA in various cancer types. In this paper, we predict miRNA-target genes for lung cancer by integrating prediction scores from miRanda and PITA algorithms used as a feature vector of miRNA-target interaction. Then, machine-learning algorithms were implemented for making a final prediction. The approach developed in this study should be of value for future studies into understanding the role of miRNAs in molecular mechanisms enabling lung cancer formation.

Keywords: MicroRNA, miRNAs, lung cancer, machine learning, Naïve Bayes, SVM.

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56 Mitigation of Electromagnetic Interference Generated by GPIB Control-Network in AC-DC Transfer Measurement System

Authors: M. M. Hlakola, E. Golovins, D. V. Nicolae

Abstract:

The field of instrumentation electronics is undergoing an explosive growth, due to its wide range of applications. The proliferation of electrical devices in a close working proximity can negatively influence each other’s performance. The degradation in the performance is due to electromagnetic interference (EMI). This paper investigates the negative effects of electromagnetic interference originating in the General Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB) control-network of the AC-DC transfer measurement system. Remedial measures of reducing measurement errors and failure of range of industrial devices due to EMI have been explored. The ACDC transfer measurement system was analysed for the commonmode (CM) EMI effects. Further investigation of coupling path as well as much accurate identification of noise propagation mechanism has been outlined. To prevent the occurrence of common-mode (ground loops) which was identified between the GPIB system control circuit and the measurement circuit, a microcontroller-driven GPIB switching isolator device was designed, prototyped, programmed and validated. This mitigation technique has been explored to reduce EMI effectively.

Keywords: CM, EMI, GPIB, ground loops.

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55 Cellular Components of the Hemal Node of Egyptian Cattle

Authors: Amira E. Derbalah, Doaa M. Zaghloul

Abstract:

10 clinically healthy hemal nodes were collected from male bulls aged 2-3 years. Light microscopy revealed a capsule of connective tissue consisted mainly of collagen fiber surrounding hemal node, numerous erythrocytes were found in wide subcapsular sinus under the capsule. The parenchyma of the hemal node was divided into cortex and medulla. Diffused lymphocytes, and lymphoid follicles, having germinal centers were the main components of the cortex, while in the medulla there was wide medullary sinus, diffused lymphocytes and few lymphoid nodules. The area occupied with lymph nodules was larger than that occupied with non-nodular structure of lymphoid cords and blood sinusoids. Electron microscopy revealed the cellular components of hemal node including elements of circulating erythrocytes intermingled with lymphocytes, plasma cells, mast cells, reticular cells, macrophages, megakaryocytes and endothelial cells lining the blood sinuses. The lymphocytes were somewhat triangular in shape with cytoplasmic processes extending between adjacent erythrocytes. Nuclei were triangular to oval in shape, lightly stained with clear nuclear membrane indentation and clear nucleoli. The reticular cells were elongated in shape with cytoplasmic processes extending between adjacent lymphocytes, rough endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes and few lysosomes were seen in their cytoplasm. Nucleus was elongated in shape with less condensed chromatin. Plasma cells were oval to irregular in shape with numerous dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum containing electron lucent material occupying the whole cytoplasm and few mitochondria were found. Nuclei were centrally located and oval in shape with heterochromatin emarginated and often clumped near the nuclear membrane. Occasionally megakaryocytes and mast cells were seen among lymphocytes. Megakaryocytes had multilobulated nucleus and free ribosomes often appearing as small aggregates in their cytoplasm, while mast cell had their characteristic electron dense granule in the cytoplasm, few electron lucent granules were found also, we conclude that, the main function of the hemal node of cattle is proliferation of lymphocytes. No role for plasma cell in erythrophagocytosis could be suggested.

Keywords: Cattle, Electron microscopy, Hemal node, Histology, Immune system.

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54 Corporate Governance of Enterprise IT: Research Study on IT Governance Maturity

Authors: Mario Spremić

Abstract:

Despite the financial crisis and ongoing need for cost cutting, companies all around the world heavily invest in Information Systems (IS) and underlying Information Technology (IT). Proliferation of governance of enterprise IT helps companies manage, or rather, governs IS as a primary business function with executive management involved in making decision about IS and IT. The business value of IT is raising with the involvement of the executive management in IT decision making process and quality IT governance mechanisms in place. In this paper the practice of governing the enterprise IT will be investigated on a sample of the largest 100 Croatian companies. Research questions posed here will reveal if there are some formal IT governance mechanisms, are there any differences in perceived role of IS and IT between CIOs (Chief Information Officers) and CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) of the sampled companies and what are the mechanisms to govern massive investment in enterprise IT.

Keywords: IT governance, governance of enterprise IT, information system auditing, IT maturity.

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53 Preparation of Low-Molecular-Weight 6-Amino-6-Deoxychitosan (LM6A6DC) for Immobilization of Growth Factor

Authors: Koo-Yeon Kim, Eun-Hye Kim, Tae-Il Son

Abstract:

Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF, Mw=6,045) has been reported to have high efficiency of wound repair and anti-wrinkle effect. However, the half-life of EGF in the body is too short to exert the biological activity effectively when applied in free form. Growth Factors can be stabilized by immobilization with carbohydrates from thermal and proteolytic degradation. Low molecular weight chitosan (LMCS) and its derivate prepared by hydrogen peroxide has high solubility. LM6A6DC was successfully prepared as a reactive carbohydrate for the stabilization of EGF by the reactions of LMCS with alkalization, tosylation, azidation and reduction. The structure of LM6A6DC was confirmed by FT-IR, 1H NMR and elementary analysis. For enhancing the stability of free EGF, EGF was attached with LM6A6DC by using water-soluble carbodiimide. EGF-LM6A6DC conjugates did not show any cytotoxicity on the Normal Human Dermal Fibroblast (NHDF) 3T3 proliferation at least under 100 μg/ml. In the result, it was considered that LM6A6DC is suitable to immobilize of growth factor.

Keywords: Epidermal growth factor (EGF), low-molecular-weight chitosan, immobilization.

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52 Exploring Social Impact of Emerging Technologies from Futuristic Data

Authors: Heeyeul Kwon, Yongtae Park

Abstract:

Despite the highly touted benefits, emerging technologies have unleashed pervasive concerns regarding unintended and unforeseen social impacts. Thus, those wishing to create safe and socially acceptable products need to identify such side effects and mitigate them prior to the market proliferation. Various methodologies in the field of technology assessment (TA), namely Delphi, impact assessment, and scenario planning, have been widely incorporated in such a circumstance. However, literatures face a major limitation in terms of sole reliance on participatory workshop activities. They unfortunately missed out the availability of a massive untapped data source of futuristic information flooding through the Internet. This research thus seeks to gain insights into utilization of futuristic data, future-oriented documents from the Internet, as a supplementary method to generate social impact scenarios whilst capturing perspectives of experts from a wide variety of disciplines. To this end, network analysis is conducted based on the social keywords extracted from the futuristic documents by text mining, which is then used as a guide to produce a comprehensive set of detailed scenarios. Our proposed approach facilitates harmonized depictions of possible hazardous consequences of emerging technologies and thereby makes decision makers more aware of, and responsive to, broad qualitative uncertainties.

Keywords: Emerging technologies, futuristic data, scenario, text mining.

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